On July 1, the state gas tax will increase 1.9 cents from 19.5 to 21.4 cents per gallon. The gas tax is tied to the average wholesale price of gasoline, which increased according to a survey in April, said Greg Harkenrider, acting deputy executive director for the Governor’s Office for Policy Research. Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the Transportation Cabinet, said the gas tax increase will generate about $57 million in additional revenue. The money will go into the state road fund that pays for road construction and repairs. The federal gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon.
Responding to the pending trial of two Iraqi nationals facing terrorism charges in Kentucky, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wants the duo shipped to Guantanamo Bay. In May, Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were arrested in Bowling Green and have been accused of attempting to provide cash and weapons to al Qaida in Iraq. The two men have been indicted on 23 counts and if convicted they could face life in prison.
Since 2001, the black beret has been the official headgear for the Army Combat Uniform. At the time, the Army chose the beret because it said it represented excellence in some of its specialty units. In its 2001 announcement, the Army said it was extending the use of the beret to whole Army as a symbol of a force in the midst of transforming itself into a more nimble military institution.
Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was swiftly arrested after being accused of sexual assault in May. But some victims' advocates say such a rapid response is unusual, and that the criminal justice system is still too quick to blame the victim.
Foreign policy clashes and the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound have left Pakistan mistrustful of the United States, and the U.S. harbors its own suspicions about the Pakistani government and military. NPR's Steve Inskeep and Asma Khalid say the mistrust was palpable on a May reporting trip.
A recent Wall Street Journal article argues that young adult fiction has grown too gruesome, especially as they're dominated by horror, vampires and violence. Many parents and educators have been responding to the article, with some saying that tackling tough issues can help develop teens' moral sensibilities. In this week's parenting segment, host Michel Martin speaks with Meghan Cox Gurdon, who wrote "Darkness Too Visible" in the Wall Street Journal and Christopher John Farley, editorial director of the Wall Street Journal's blogs.
As the immigrant population continues growing and federal lawmakers fail to pass immigration reform, state legislators are taking matters into their own hands. Alabama Republican Governor Robert Bentley signed a tough bill last week. One of its four components criminalizes a person to be in the state without proper documentation. Host Michel Martin looks at that law with The Montgomery Advertiser state reporter Brian Lyman. Latino Decisions pollster Matt Barreto also shares how immigration reform may affect the 2012 election.