NPR News

First And Main
2:02 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Voices From First And Main: What Matters To Swing-State Voters

Becky Lettenberger and John W. Poole NPR

In the run-up to the presidential election, Morning Edition visited communities in swing states — in fact, in swing counties — that are predictably unpredictable when it comes to voting. We wanted to hear from voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

Shots - Health Blog
1:37 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Medicare Dings Hospitals For Too Many Repeat Customers

Denver Health has a network of clinics to keep track of patients discharged from its hospital.
Denver Health

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am

A paradox of American health care is that hospitals are sometimes rewarded for doing things badly.

Patients who are discharged, for example, shouldn't have to come right back because they got worse after getting home. But if they do come back, hospitals benefit because they can fill an empty bed and bill for more care.

The federal government says, in fact, that Medicare alone pays $17.4 billion a year for unnecessary return visits.

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James Bond At 50
1:34 am
Wed October 3, 2012

The Sound Of James Bond: Vic Flick's Surf Guitar

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:36 am

The 007 theme is one of the most famous themes in movie history. The infamous guitar riff that gives the theme its secret agent feel was performed by Vic Flick, who spoke to Morning Edition about the day he played it, 50 years ago.

In 1962, Flick was a 25-year-old studio guitarist who was asked to help give the James Bond theme more of a punch. Composer Monty Norman, who wrote the theme, was scrambling to complete the score for the first Bond movie, Dr. No. He'd scratched out a rough draft of the theme, but Flick says it fell a little flat.

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Science
1:33 am
Wed October 3, 2012

How Politicians Get Away With Dodging The Question

In a 2004 debate in St. Louis, President Bush answers a question as his opponent, Sen. John Kerry, listens. Both candidates used a number of "pivots" in their debates.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 am
Wed October 3, 2012

When New Diseases Emerge, Experts Are Faster On The Uptake

A railway worker wearing protective clothing to ward off the SARS virus controls a line of travelers as they wait to enter Beijing's West Railway Station Tuesday in 2003.
Greg Baker AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:37 am

Scientists have recently discovered three new human viruses.

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It's All Politics
1:26 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Colorado Voters Get Revved Up Over Energy Policy

Beer is processed at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. The brewery has embraced sustainability, making efforts to produce some of its own energy.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:17 pm

The presidential debates are expected to cover a wide range of topics, from the economy to foreign policy to health care. Wednesday night's debate will focus on domestic policy — and one topic that's likely to come up is energy.

It's a subject that is certainly on the minds of voters in Larimer County, Colo. Last week, in a rural area outside Fort Collins, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a campaign event in a warehouse at Walker Mowers, a family-owned manufacturer of lawn mowers and tractors.

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

The NFL's Lesson: There's No Replacing Good Refs

Referee Walt Anderson makes a call in the Chicago Bears game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, ending the NFL's first full slate of games with its regular officials.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:14 am

So, we found out that the National Football League is too big to fail. But not so big that it couldn't make a complete fool of itself and show to the world that its owners are stingy, greedy nincompoops.

Not so big that it couldn't make its commissioner, Roger Goodell, stand out in front, looking lost and small, so that their erstwhile tough-guy commander suddenly became an errand boy, losing respect and dignity that will be hard to regain the next time he needs it.

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It's All Politics
5:39 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Setbacks For Voter ID Laws in Pa., Other States Could Be Short-Lived

Emily Goldberg, with her daughter, Willa, 2, holds up a sign during the NAACP voter ID rally to protest against Pennsylvania's voter ID law on Sept. 13. Tuesday, a judge ordered that the law not be enforced in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Michael Perez AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:23 pm

Civil rights groups are cheering the injunction placed on the Pennsylvania voter identification law, but their recent victories against state photo ID measures very likely won't last beyond Election Day.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Mike McQueary Files Lawsuit Against Penn State

Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary.
Chris Gardner Getty Images

Mike McQueary, the graduate assistant who witnessed former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy, has filed a lawsuit against Penn State University for defamation and misrepresentation.

The AP reports:

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
4:14 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

'Million-Dollar Blocks' Map Incarceration's Costs

Bernard Goutier, 25, has served time in prison twice. He's now learning construction skills with Emerge Connecticut, which offers paid on-the-job training, literacy classes and support groups to ex-offenders.
Uma Ramiah for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:16 pm

In many neighborhoods, hard truths about day-to-day life — like violent streets or crumbling schools — are readily apparent to residents, but less obvious to city and state officials.

Hard data can sometimes bridge that gap, helping policymakers better visualize which communities are doing well, and which may need additional help or resources.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:35 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Vitamin D No Help For Colds

Sorry the vitamin D didn't help.
Michael Kemter iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:53 am

Should you take Vitamin D supplements to prevent colds and shorten the misery?

Like other theories about the benefits of vitamin D, it seems like a reasonably good idea. After all, some lab studies suggest vitamin D might enhance immunity. And as everybody knows, people are more prone to respiratory infections during winter, when they cover up and get less vitamin D-generating sunlight.

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The Message Machine
3:24 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Campaigns Targeting Hispanics, But With Tight Focus

A volunteer hands out buttons before first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a Hispanic caucus on Sept. 5 in Charlotte, N.C.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:17 pm

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:20 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Turning Data Into Action With 'Million-Dollar Blocks'

Certain truths about life in a neighborhood are readily apparent to people who live there, but less obvious to city and state officials. The Justice Mapping Center uses data to help bridge that gap with information about the prison system. By mapping the residential addresses of every inmate in various prison systems, Eric Cadora and his colleagues have made vividly clear a concept they call "Million-Dollar Blocks." In some places more than a million dollars are being spent every year to incarcerate the residents of a single Census block. Audie Cornish talks with Eric Cadora.

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Europe
3:12 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Opposition Victory Signals New Direction For Georgia

Georgian billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili (left) reacts with supporters at his office on Monday. Ivanishvili defeated Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the election, clearing the way for a new government.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Parliamentary elections in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, delivered a resounding defeat for the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday. Preliminary election results showed the opposition winning 57 percent of the vote.

A day later, the president conceded defeat. In a televised address, Saakashvili said he respected the decision of the voters, and that he would clear the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government, a move that would install opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili as prime minister.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Syria, Running Low On Friends, Angrily Sheds Another

Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was a close ally of Syria and lived in the capital Damascus for years. But relations soured over the uprising in Syria, and Syria's state television denounced him in withering terms. Mashaal is shown speaking at a conference in Turkey on Sunday.
Kayhan Ozer AP

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 6:23 am

As the bloodletting in Syria carries on, President Bashar Assad's government doesn't have a lot of allies left.

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Middle East
2:47 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Panic Rises In Iran As Currency Plunges To New Lows

An Iranian man checks the rates of foreign currencies at a currency exchange bureau in central Tehran on Sept. 29. The Iranian currency lost nearly one-third of its value in a day over the weekend.
Maryam Rahmanian UPI/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Large crowds of anxious Iranians gathered in Tehran on Sunday and Monday at foreign exchange offices — some of which had shuttered their doors — as Iran's currency continues its free fall.

From Sunday to Monday, the rial lost nearly one-third of its value against the dollar — and the decline appears to have continued Tuesday.

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Movies
2:36 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Sept. 11 Documentarian Wins MacArthur Genius Grant

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

A Poll's Query About Partisan Bias Of Pollsters Finds The Tilt Is With Voters

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:55 pm

You can believe this latest poll result if you'd like. Or not.

A survey released Tuesday that was conducted by Public Policy Polling asked people if they thought pollsters were rigging their results to show President Obama leading Mitt Romney (h/t Josh Voorhees at The Slatest).

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Nope, Jimmy Hoffa Wasn't Buried Underneath That Michigan Driveway

Still Missing: Jimmy Hoffa on July 24, 1975. He disappeared six days later.
Tony Spina MCT /Landov

The 37-year-old search for Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa will continue.

As Mark reported last week, the search for Hoffa turned to a driveway in Roseville, Mich. Police took "soil core" samples after they received a "credible" tip that someone was buried there right around the time Hoffa went missing.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

New Report Sheds Light On Life In Solitary Confinement

A typical special housing unit (SHU) cell for two prisoners, in use at Upstate Correctional Facility and SHU 20.0.s in New York.
NYACLU

A year-long study released today is providing insight into the effects of solitary confinement in New York state prisons.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New York talked to more than 100 people who spent time in "extreme isolation." In many cases, they received letters from those people.

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Music News
1:42 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Waylon Jennings: The 'Last Recordings' Of A Dreamer

Goin' Down Rockin': The Last Recordings is a new album of songs by Waylon Jennings, who died in 2002.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Known for his gritty baritone, Waylon Jennings embodied the outlaw side of country music. He was 64 when he died of complications from diabetes, leaving behind a collection of vocal tracks that remained unfinished until now.

"It was almost shocking when I first heard it," says the singer Jessi Colter, who was married to Jennings for more than 30 years. "It took me several times to be able to listen to it. It sounded like he was there, that he's opening his heart to you, and he's telling you how he feels."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:28 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Democrats And Republicans Differ On Medicaid Fix

Isabelle "Simone" Svikhart, 3, has spent 13 months in the hospital for treatment of a range of health conditions. The Children's Hospital Association distributed a trading card with her picture and details of her case to lobby against Medicaid cuts.
Children's Hospital Association

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Medicaid is already the nation's largest health insurance program in terms of number of people covered: It serves nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Yet at the same time it's putting increasing strain on the budgets of states, which pay about 40 percent of its costs.

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It's All Politics
1:22 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

5 Myths About The Presidential Race

The flaps and "fun things" that happen during a political campaign might be gifts for the media, but do they really matter?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:20 pm

There's always a lot of noise around a presidential campaign — minor flaps that suck up a lot of media attention but are forgotten by Election Day.

John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University and a founder of the blog The Monkey Cage, says there's no need to worry about a lot of the ephemera that news coverage tends to focus on.

"I'm telling you, all the fun things don't matter," Sides says.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Currency In Crisis: Collapse Of Iran's Rial Continues

A 20,000 rial banknote, which today was worth less than 60 cents.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:56 pm

One U.S. dollar was worth 35,500 Iranian rials today, The Associated Press reports, as the collapse of the Persian nation's currency continued.

Two years ago, the rial traded at 10,000 to the dollar. It has lost about a quarter of its value in just the past week, Business Insider says.

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World Cafe
12:43 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Iris DeMent On World Cafe

Iris DeMent.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:01 am

Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent was born the youngest child of a large Pentecostal family in rural Arkansas, and later moved to Southern California. DeMent grew up listening to traditional country and gospel music, which influenced her roots-folk sound, though she was 25 when she wrote her first song. It would take another five years for her to release her first album, Infamous Angel.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Pope's Butler Pleads Innocent, But Says He Betrayed Pontiff

Pope Benedict XVI and his former butler, Paolo Gabriele (center), are shown at the Vatican in this file photo. The pope's private secretary, Georg Gaenswein, is on the left.
Andrew Medichini AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Pope Benedict XVI's former butler took the stand at his trial Tuesday and offered a somewhat contradictory message: He declared himself innocent of stealing papal documents, but acknowledged betraying the trust of Pope Benedict XVI.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Paolo Gabriele, 46, is charged with stealing documents pointing to corruption and power struggles with the church. Prosecutors say Gabriele has confessed to giving the material to an Italian journalist, and that his motive was to expose "evil and corruption" in the church.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Tue October 2, 2012

House Committee: Washington Denied More Security For Libyan Consulate

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after an attack by an armed group.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 12:00 pm

Before the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the U.S. mission had made "repeated requests" for more security at the compound.

According to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform those requests by U.S. mission in Libya were denied by "officials in Washington."

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Law
11:08 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Judge Postpones Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A judge in Pennsylvania has blocked a key part of that state's new voter ID law, a law that's caused controversy. Now, come Election Day, voters showing up at the polls can still be asked to show a government-issued photo ID, but they will not be prevented from voting if they don't have one. NPR's Pam Fessler has been covering the story and she joins us now. Good morning.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So, remind us what this Pennsylvania law is - you know, why it's been making national news.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Weather Channel Will Start Naming Winter Storms

A person uses cross country skis to get up 26th Street NW near P Street in the snow in Washington in 2010.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 10:46 am

For a long time now, winter storms that cause significant headaches are named posthumously. Think about the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, which got its name after it collapsed the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, D.C, or the School House Blizzard of 1888, which killed hundreds, including many students making their way to school.

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Middle East
9:40 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Syria, Bahrain Still Feel Arab Spring Aftershocks

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, can saving money now actually cost you money in the long run? We'll take a look at the effects of historically low interest rates in just a few minutes. But first, let's turn to the Middle East.

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