NPR News

It's All Politics
11:13 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Lights, Camera, Action (zzzz), Tweet!

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama shake hands at the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:47 am

I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

So many questions lingered:

Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?

Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?

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Presidential Race
10:59 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Five Takeaways From The First Presidential Debate

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama talk after the first presidential debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Mitt Romney may have given his campaign something of a reset with his performance in the first debate against President Obama.

He appeared more comfortable on stage than the incumbent, and was able at least to lay the groundwork for a message of bipartisanship that could appeal to remaining undecided voters.

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It's All Politics
10:31 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:03 am

In their first of three debates, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney "traded barbs" and stretched some facts, say the nonpartisan watchdogs at PolitiFact.com.

Similarly, the researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org found examples of truth-stretching by both men.

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It's All Politics
10:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Swing State Debate Watchers Give First Round To Romney, And Lehrer The Loss

Kim Deal (left) and Connie Moser, at Deal's house in Occoquan, Va.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 11:09 pm

We headed to Virginia's Prince William County, a swing county in a swing state, to watch Wednesday night's presidential debate with four undecided voters — three of whom voted for Barack Obama in 2008, one who voted for Republican John McCain.

They gathered in the Occoquan home of Kim Deal and Jim Drakes, and were joined by Connie Moser of Dale City and Al Alborn of Manassas.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Chick-fil-A Chief: 'We Support Biblical Families'

Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:58 pm

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy hasn't said much since his comments against same-sex marriage led to shows of support by some and protests by others over the summer.

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It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Paul Ryan Says TV And Politics Don't Always Mix. Does He Have A Point?

Workers prepare Wednesday for the presidential debate at the University of Denver. Experts differ over whether even a televised debate is a good forum for sharing very specific details about policy proposals.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:19 pm

Responding to calls that the Republican presidential ticket provide more detail about some of its policy proposals, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says TV isn't always the right medium for such specifics.

"I don't have the time," Paul Ryan told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this week, when asked about his proposed revenue neutral tax cut. "It would take me too long to go through all the math."

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All Tech Considered
3:40 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Some Schools Actually Want Students To Play With Their Smartphones In Class

In Durham, N.H., Oyster River Middle School seventh-graders Patrick Beary and Morgan Bernier play with StoryKit, a free app that helps middle-schoolers put together simple presentations, and elementary students make storybooks.
Sam Evans-Brown New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:40 pm

If there is one thing that the mobile-computing era has made clear, it's that kids love touch screens. Because those touch screens — smartphones, iPads, Kindles and the like — are an inevitable added distraction to the classroom, schools across the country are struggling to deal with the growing prevalence of the technology.

But a growing number of schools are embracing these hand-held, Internet-ready devices by creating policies that put them to use in the classroom.

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Music Reviews
3:29 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

A Ska And Jazz Innovator Bridges Continents And Decades

The collaborative album Avila is the latest release from pioneering guitarist Ernest Ranglin.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:19 pm

Guitarist Ernest Ranglin is an elder statesman of Jamaican music. A self-styled composer and improviser, he has traveled and collaborated widely during his 80 years. In California last year, he teamed up with three much younger musicians from South Africa, the U.S. and Israel. The four musicians bonded and quickly recorded an album, named for the San Francisco street where they rehearsed: Avila.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Here's Where To Get Your 'Fact Checks' During And After Tonight's Debate

The stage is set: Tonight's debate is at the University of Denver.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:52 pm

Looking to see and hear what the fact checkers are saying during and after tonight's presidential debate about the claims made by President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney?

-- PolitiFact.com says it will be updating on its website and on Twitter. It's also pitching an Argument Ender app.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Texas Company Charged In Illegal Technology Transfers To Russia

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:22 pm

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn say they have broken up a ring that allegedly exported sensitive electronic technology to Russia.

Eight people were arrested today in Houston, including Alexander Fishenko, an immigrant from Kazakhstan who built a multi-million dollar export firm called Arc Electrics.

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Music Interviews
2:48 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Delta Rae: Modern Folklore Music

Delta Rae puts a new spin on loss throughout Carry The Fire.
Smallz and Raskind Courtesy of the artist

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

Love songs are like the meat and potatoes of most rock and pop music, but sometimes you need something different. For the band Delta Rae from Durham, N.C., inspiration for new material comes from stuff like graveyards and being stuck in the wrong job.

Delta Rae is a six-piece band that includes three siblings: Ian, Eric and Brittany Holljes. Their music is like a kind of modern folklore.

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Around the Nation
2:39 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Did Man Who Armed Black Panthers Lead Two Lives?

Richard Aoki was known as the "minister of education" for the Berkeley, Calif., chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Nikki Arai Courtesy of Nancy Park

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 9:39 am

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

'Bully Creep' Or 'Erudite Takedown?' TV Anchor's Response To Being Called Fat

La Crosse, Wis., TV anchor Jennifer Livingston during her on-air response.
WKBT

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:11 am

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Shots - Health Blog
1:55 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Admit It: Medicare Errs In Crackdown On Hospital Quality

Whoops!
iStockphoto.com

Medicare has an embarrassing admission about readmissions: It goofed.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Report: If Captured Alive, Obama Favored Putting Osama Bin Laden On Trial

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:27 pm

In an interview with Vanity Fair's contributing editor, President Obama said if Osama bin Laden was captured alive, he would have favored putting him on trial in a federal courtroom.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Teddy Wins! Washington Nationals' Mascot Snaps 525-Game Losing Streak

Teddy broke the tape first today — after 525 losses over seven seasons.
Greg Fiume Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:15 am

As monumental as the Washington Nationals' first trip to Major League Baseball's playoffs has been, this news may come close in importance for some fans in the nation's capital:

Teddy, one of the team's four presidential mascots, finally won a "race" today.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Iran's Ahmadinejad Could Become Scapegoat For Sanction Woes

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a news conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 7:41 pm

Economic sanctions have a reputation for being the international equivalent of a slap on the wrist. But in Iran, there's evidence that they are working, and that the country's flamboyant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might pay the price.

In the past year, Iran's currency has shed 80 percent of its value against the dollar, dropping by 25 percent in just the past week. That's caused a scramble for the few U.S. dollars available in the black market as people seek a safe haven against the free-falling rial.

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World Cafe
12:59 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

David Wax Museum On World Cafe

David Wax Museum.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:38 am

David Wax Museum fuses traditional Mexican and American folk music into what the band calls "Mexo-Americana" — a style that's lively and unique. David Wax and Suz Slezak, the band's core members, met in Boston in 2007. After spending summers working with Quakers in rural Mexico, Wax spent a graduate fellowship year studying the local music of Mexico.

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Music Reviews
12:48 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Low Cut Connie: The Self-Deprecating Bar Band

Low Cut Connie's Call Me Sylvia is as raucous as its debut, though it's a bit more self-conscious.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 7:47 am

Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when. Positive fellows, for the most part, even when they're in their cups, these guys "say yes," as the title of one song goes, to a life in music. Oh, and they're also trying to get women to say yes to their craven come-ons.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Manhunt For Manatee-Riding Lady Comes To An End In Florida

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez is seen attempting to ride a manatee.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 12:19 pm

For a short period, yesterday, the hunt was on in Pinellas County, Florida for a lady photographed riding a manatee.

The sheriff's department called a deadly serious press conference in which they asked the help of the public in identifying the perpetrator. The lady was wearing a white cap, red shorts and a black bikini top. Witnesses in the area, the sheriff said in a statement, took photographs and contacted police.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:58 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Nigerian Gold Rush, Lead Poisons Thousands Of Children

Women and their children wait for medication and instructions on how to use it at the clinic in Dareta, Nigeria. Treating children with high levels of lead is a painstaking process that works only if their environment at home is free from lead.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:26 pm

Across a swath of northern Nigeria, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding, as lead from illegal gold mines sickens thousands of children.

More than 400 kids have died, and many more have been mentally stunted for life.

Doctors Without Borders, which has set up clinics to treat the children, is calling it one of the worst cases of environmental lead poisoning in recent history.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed October 3, 2012

New, House-Cat-Sized Dinosaur With Massive Fangs Is Identified

With jaws only 1 inch in length, the plant-eating Pegomastax ("thick jaw") was one of the smallest dinosaurs ever discovered. The photo above is of a close relative of the Pegomastax.
Tyler Keillor The University of Chicago

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 3:09 pm

What we learn about dinosaurs keeps surprising us. Today in the journal ZooKeys we get a peek into an odd, new kind of dinosaur that was lighter than a house cat and just as small but had a terrifying set of teeth and a short, birdlike beak.

The fossil used to re-create the creature was actually discovered in southern Africa in the 1960s, but it is described for the first time today by Paul Sereno, paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago.

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Law
10:22 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Interactive: Richard Aoki's FBI File

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:31 am

Documents from the FBI file released to author Seth Rosenfeld as part of research for his book, Subversives.

Television
10:02 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Holmes Carves African-American Spot In Late Night

T.J. Holmes has spent more than a decade in journalism, but now he's turning his sights to late night with a new show called Don't Sleep! The show began broadcasting on BET this week. Holmes sits down with host Michel Martin to discuss his career and hope to bring a fresh perspective to late night talk.

Election 2012
9:46 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Battle Continues On Who Can Vote, And How

A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday blocked the state from moving forward with changes to its voter ID law until after the presidential election. This news comes just days after some suspicious voter registration activity in states like Florida, North Carolina and Nevada. Host Michel Martin discusses voter issues across the country with two reporters.

The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Turkey Fires On Northern Syria In Response To Rocket Attack

Three suicide car bombings rocked the center of Aleppo in northern Syria on Wednesday, killing dozens and causing extensive damage.
SANA Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:16 pm

Update at 3:15 p.m. Turkey Fires Back After Rocket From Syria

Turkey's military has fired on targets in northern Syria in response to a rocket that hit a Turkish village and killed several people Wednesday, the BBC and other news organizations are reporting.

The cross-border shooting could potentially mark a major escalation along the tense frontier.

In a statement, the Turkish government said that the border town of Akcakale came under fire on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in deaths and injuries.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Are Those Spidery Black Things On Mars Dangerous? (Maybe)

Michael Benson NASA/JPL/University of Arizona/Kinetikon Pictures

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 2:43 pm

You are 200 miles directly above the Martian surface — looking down. This image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010. (The color was added later.) What do we see? Well, sand, mostly. As you scroll down, there's a ridge crossing through the image, then a plain, then dunes, but keep looking. You will notice, when you get to the dunes, there are little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows. Can you see them?

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed October 3, 2012

'Explosive' Or 'Yawn': Obama Video Touted By Fox Sparks Race Debate

A screenshot of a video published by the Daily Caller.
Daily Caller

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:42 am

Last night, Drudge Report trotted out its siren. Fox News, it reported, would be airing "Obama's other race speech."

Sean Hannity, who aired the video on his show, said it was a "bombshell... that could dramatically impact the race for the White House."

At one point in the video, Obama says he's going off script. He goes on to imply that the government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina was partly due to the fact that many in the city were black.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:57 am
Wed October 3, 2012

How Sunlight Weakens Your Skin

Stefano Amabili walks under the sun in Miami Beach, Florida, in May. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has found that more people are using sunscreen and protecting themselves from the sun's rays.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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

A sunny day at the beach has plusses and minuses for your health.

A little bit of sun can help your body produce vitamin D, but the sun's ultraviolet radiation raises your risk for skin cancer. And, it turns out, UV radiation poses another threat — it physically weakens your skin.

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It's All Politics
7:56 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Should TV Stations Refuse To Air Political Ads That Make False Claims?

If a television or radio station determines that a political ad is false, should it refuse to run the ad?

That's exactly what the nonpartisan group Free Press is calling on stations to do.

"They certainly could reject some of them," said Matt Wood, the group's policy director.

At the very least, they could do more fact checking, he said.

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