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What Does The Electoral College Do?

Sep 13, 2016

Voters go to the polls on Nov. 8. But the 538 members of the Electoral College vote on Dec. 19.

They’re supposed to follow the popular vote, but there’s always a chance a few might not. And what happens if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are tied?

Political scientist Kyle Dell joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young for a refresher on the Electoral College, and how members of Congress might break a potential tie.

Interview Highlights: Kyle Dell

On the Electoral College’s function

The world’s wilderness areas have experienced catastrophic losses in the past two decades, according to a new study published Friday in the journal “Current Biology.”

Comparing current maps with those from the 1990s, researchers concluded that more than 3.3 million square kilometers, or about one-tenth of the world’s total wilderness, has been lost, raising deep concerns about what effect that has on local economies and global climate change.

Stock markets in the U.S. were steady this morning, after closing at their lowest level since July on Friday.

The drop came after comments from Eric Rosengren, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president, raising the expectations for a rate hike from the Federal Reserve later this year.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Jill Schlesinger about what is rattling investors.

Former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who turned 93 last month, suffered a stroke and was rushed to a hospital in Tel Aviv, according to representatives from his office.

They issued this brief statement Tuesday:

"The office of the 9th president wishes to update that the 9th president Shimon Peres has been hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer hospital after suffering a stroke. His condition is stable and he is fully conscious. He is receiving appropriate medical treatment."

Republicans and Democrats have moved further and further from each other over the last few decades. The result has been gridlock and partisan vitriol like many Americans have never seen in their lifetimes.

As it turns out, it's not just about beliefs: according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, "the two parties look less alike today than at any point over the last quarter-century."

Republican politicians in North Carolina are lashing out at the NCAA after the sanctioning body announced it was relocating seven championship sporting events because of a state law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.

The law, known as HB2, has drawn wide condemnation and had already cost the state the 2017 NBA All-Star game.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to intervene in a voting rights case from Ohio on Tuesday, leaving intact a reduction of early voting days that was enacted by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.

The cutback still allows for 23 days in which voters can cast in-person ballots prior to Election Day, but it eliminates the so-called Golden Week in which voters can both register and cast ballots.

Is Arizona A Swing State This Year?

Sep 13, 2016

The last time Arizona voters picked a Democrat for president was two decades ago to re-elect Bill Clinton in 1996. To find another example, you have to go back even further to 1948 when Harry Truman was running for president.

But now that the Hillary Clinton campaign has started investing in the state, raising the question: Is Arizona actually a swing state this year?

A living history museum usually conjures up images of butter churns and anvils. At Den Gamle By (The Old Town) Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, you'll find all that. But tucked away in one corner of this museum, there's also something different — an entire apartment straight out of the 1950s.

The "House of Memories" is not usually open to the public, and it's not aimed at schoolchildren sent to learn about a distant and exotic past.

Donald Trump is once again taking the fight to Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

During a week in which the Republican presidential nominee has been attacking Clinton for disparaging half of his supporters as "deplorables," Trump plans to roll out a new proposal that treads deep into the core issues that Clinton and other Democrats regularly campaign on: making child care more accessible and affordable.

Days after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet, two U.S. bombers flew over South Korea in a display of force — a warning to Pyongyang and reassurance to Seoul.

"U.S. and South Korean fighter jets escorted the bombers in their low-altitude flight over South Korea's Osan Air Base ... about an hour from the border between North and South Korea," NPR's Elise Hu reports. She says the supersonic B-1B Lancers are based in Guam.

How Do You Anesthetize A Goldfish?

Sep 13, 2016
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with world traffic news. Picton, Australia, suffered major delays when two drivers confronted each other on a one-lane bridge. Both felt they had the right of way. Neither yielded for half an hour.

Republicans were already at a massive disadvantage when it came to the 2016 Senate map — defending more than double the number of seats as Democrats. To compound matters, many of those endangered Republicans were sitting in swing state territory in a presidential year where the electorate already leans more liberal.

College presidents from High Point, N. C., to Laie, Hawaii, are sitting up a little straighter, because the 2017 U.S. News & World Report rankings are out today. Published every year since 1983, they've become perhaps the most famous and influential college rankings. But they're no longer the only game in town.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On Sept. 13, 1996, Tupac Shakur died, six days after he was targeted in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Twenty years later, Tupac has become a celebrated figure around the world. He's not only a lodestar of hip-hop, but a global cultural phenomenon.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Bubble Wrap is so beloved that it even has its own appreciation day.

Mark your calendars now — the next one rolls around on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017.

Sure, plastic cushioning's purpose is to protect fragile items from damage, but there are a lot of people who get plenty of enjoyment from popping it.

Weird Al Yankovic honors fun with plastic-enclosed air bubbles in two lines from his song "White & Nerdy":

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A more than 160-year-old Arctic mystery has come to resolution: The HMS Terror, a vessel from a doomed Royal Navy exploration to chart an unnavigated portion of the Northwest Passage, has been found, Aleta Brooke, operations manager for the Arctic Research Foundation said.

The Guardian, which first reported the story, said the vessel is in "perfect condition." The paper reports:

A legendary South Asian dish has suddenly found itself in the midst of a war in India. Made up of layers of meat and rice and cooked with fragrant spices, the dish is the much-loved biryani. And the latest battlefield is in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

Every so often, you run across a collection that opens up an entirely new way to think about an artist. Jack White's new, 26-track retrospective, which focuses on his unplugged, less raucous songs, does just that. The unreleased songs, album tracks and B-sides that make up Jack White Acoustic Recordings, 1998-2016 offer a fresh window onto the work of the creative, prolific rock musician.

A group of inmates in Texas is suing the state prison system, the nation's largest, arguing that extreme heat is killing older and infirm convicts. The inmates allege it constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment" and they're asking the courts for relief.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Kratom Advocates Speak Out Against Proposed Government Ban

Sep 12, 2016

Kratom is made from the leaves of a small tree native to Southeast Asia that is a relative of the coffee plant. According to David Kroll, a pharmacologist and medical writer, farmers and indigenous people have used it for hundreds of years as both a stimulant to increase work output and also at the end of the day as a way to relax.

The leaves are often brewed like a tea, or crushed and mixed with water. In the U.S., kratom has become popular among people coping with chronic pain and others trying to wean themselves off opioids or alcohol.

Karisa Rowland is one of them.

It was just a glimpse, but the scene spoke volumes — and started a push for help. Joel Cervantes Macias was struck by the sight of an elderly man pushing his cart of frozen treats on Chicago's 26th Street, so he took a photo. That was last week; as of Monday afternoon, Macias had raised more than $165,000 to help a stranger.

The tables turned for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton over the weekend. For much of the campaign, Clinton has been sitting back, staying quiet and allowing Trump's gaffes, offensive statements and flip-flops to take up the news cycle.

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