NPR News

Election 2012
3:09 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Early Voting Grows In Popularity Across Country

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So six weeks to go before Election Day, but in-person early voting has already started in a handful of states. Many others will begin soon, and more and more of us are choosing to vote early. In Colorado, for example, where we just heard from Ari Shapiro, nearly 80 percent of votes were cast early in the 2008 presidential election.

Michael McDonald tracks these trends with the U.S. Elections Project at George Mason University and he joins me now. Welcome to the program.

MICHAEL MCDONALD: Oh, thank you for having me.

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Middle East
2:51 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

U.S. Naval Exercises Send Message In The Tense Gulf

A U.S. Navy boat is lowered to the sea from the deck of the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf on Sept. 22. More than 30 nations are participating in an exercise responding to simulated sea-mine attacks in international waters amid rising tension with Iran.
Hasan Jamali AP

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:44 am

The U.S. military, along with more than 30 allied countries, has just launched a new round of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf at a time when tensions in the region are running particularly high.

But U.S. officials say the aim is not to increase anxiety, but rather to ensure stability. More specifically, the exercises are designed to deal with mines that could hamper shipping in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's oil supply transits.

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Asia
2:41 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

In Singapore, The Voices Of Dissent Grow Louder

Former political detainees, Michael Fernandez (left), 72, and Tan Jing Quee (second from right), 66, participate in a forum in Singapore. A notebook used by Fernandez to scribble notes while he was jailed is projected behind them at the event held in 2006. Fernandez and Tan are among the hundreds of Singaporeans detained by the government without trial for, they say, political reasons.
Wong Maye-e AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

After decades of enforced silence, Singaporeans who spent years in jail without charges or trial are shattering a political taboo by speaking out about their detention — and the colonial-era security laws that made it possible.

The affluent trading hub — known for its solid rule of law — still allows the government to detain citizens indefinitely.

But people who say that the laws were used to abuse them and silence their dissenting voices are now talking — which many see as a foreshadowing of bigger political changes for Southeast Asia's wealthiest nation.

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The Message Machine
2:35 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Colorado Springs Soaks In Triple The Political Ads

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Second of a two-part series

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The Record
2:33 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

An American Punk-Rock Band On Tour In The Land Of The Arab Spring

The Black Lips, not in Cairo.
Courtesy of Biz3 Publicity

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Last year, after the Atlanta rock band Black Lips released the album Arabia Mountain, its members planned a trip to tour the Middle East, but the wave of Arab Spring protests forced them to change plans. Yet even with simmering anti-Americanism persisting throughout the region, singer-guitarist Ian St. Pe was determined to see this through. Cairo, where I spoke with them on Friday, was the band's second stop.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Todd Akin Bets He Still Has A Chance

Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin is joined by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at an Akin campaign event Monday in Kirkwood, Mo.
Whitney Curtis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:22 pm

Say what you want about Rep. Todd Akin, he's no quitter.

Tuesday is the last day Akin can remove his name from the Missouri ballot as the Republican nominee for Senate. As the deadline approached, he made it clear he has no intention of dropping out.

"For about the hundredth time or so, I am in this race," Akin said at a news conference Monday at the Amtrak station in Kirkwood, a suburb of St. Louis. "The people of Missouri chose me to do a job."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:46 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Experimental Drug Is First To Help Kids With Premature-Aging Disease

Sam Berns, 15, who has the very rare premature-aging disease progeria, plays the drums in his high school's marching band.
Courtesy of the Progeria Research Foundation

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 3:11 pm

Researchers have found the first drug to treat progeria, an extremely rare genetic disease that causes children to age so rapidly that many die in their teens.

The drug, called lonafarnib, is not a cure. But in a study published Monday of 28 children, it reversed changes in blood vessels that usually lead to heart attacks and strokes.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Marine Corps Plans Court Martial For Two Servicemen In Urination Case

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 2:01 pm

The Marine Corps said it will court-martial two servicemen for allegedly urinating on the bodies of Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

The incident became public after a video surfaced in January that showed four Marines urinating on three bodies.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Obscenities Fly In E-Mails Between Reporter, Top Aide To Sec. Clinton

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 1:05 pm

BuzzFeed says an email exchange between a journalist and one of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's top aides grew quite heated and profane on Sunday — marking at least the second time in recent months that a spokesman for a major political figure used an obscenity to get across his point.

This time it was the journalist who fired off the first word we can't repeat. But the Clinton aide deploys more verbal bombs.

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It's All Politics
12:44 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Can Bad Campaigners Make Good Presidents?

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:59 pm

John F. Kennedy once said there was no experience that could have adequately prepared him for the presidency.

That presumably included a hard-fought campaign for the job against sitting Vice President Richard Nixon — one of the closest-ever contests.

So, why should we assume that presiding over a well-oiled campaign has anything to do with running the White House?

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Shots - Health Blog
12:38 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Pediatricians: Bounce Trampolines From Homes To Protect Kids

Eric Wiltz cavorts on a trampoline in New Orleans in 2010. Everything is fun and games on the backyard attractions until someone gets hurt, a leading group of pediatricians says.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Parents, have you somehow missed the YouTube videos of trampoline accidents?

There's the one of the kid who knocks his front teeth out trying a trampoline-assisted slam dunk. A whole bunch that show knuckleheads jumping from roofs then bouncing every which way and hitting the ground. And then there are the videos of a big kid bouncing a small kid into oblivion.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

2012 SAT Reading Scores Lowest Since 1972

NPR's Claudio Sanchez brings us this bit of bad academic news: The class of 2012 scored the lowest average SAT reading score since 1972. A bit of good news is that math scores were up.

Claudio filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Writing, too, is down nine points since the SAT introduced a writing section in 2006. The average score in math was 514 out of 800, five points higher than it was 40 years ago.

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Around the Nation
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Report: Boy Scouts Concealed Abuse

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll take a look at the big winners from last night's Emmy Awards, but first, we want to turn to a much more serious topic and this would be a good time to say this conversation may not be appropriate for some listeners.

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Election 2012
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Could Gay Marriage Keep Black Voters From Polls?

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk to the head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. That's a U.S. government agency focused on pulling developing nations out of poverty. But first, it's the final stretch before Election Day. Polls show African-Americans' support, not surprisingly, is solid for President Obama.

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Election 2012
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Rep. Cleaver Pushes To Prep Black Voters

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

First, your response to the Reverend over there. He's heard pastors say that they're actually telling people in their congregations not to go to the polls.

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Africa
10:37 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Fighting Global Poverty With Business Strategies

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, many parents encourage - some say pressure - their kids to become high achievers, but what if a child just says no? David Yoo discusses his memoir, "The Choke Artist: Confessions of a Chronic Underachiever." That's just ahead.

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Music Reviews
9:16 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Aimee Mann: The 'Charmer' And The Disciplined Id

Ken Tucker says Aimee Mann's latest album, Charmer, is a song cycle about getting rid of a cynical frame of mind.
Sheryl Nields

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:16 pm

If you listen to the music on Charmer, hearing Aimee Mann's vocals as just another lilting instrument, you'd probably think the album was just what the title suggests: a charmer. The melodies have an airy quality, at once floating and propulsive, and even without fixing on the words, you can hear that they're metrically precise, with carefully counted-out syllables and tight rhymes.

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Secretary Clinton Hails Rejection Of Extremists In Benghazi

On Friday and again on Saturday in Benghazi: Protesters took to the streets in opposition to the extremist militias that have operated in the city since the toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.
Tariq Al-Hun UPI /Landov

One of the most interesting stories from over the weekend was the move by people in Benghazi, Libya, against the armed extremist groups that had been operating in their city and which have been linked to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate there that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Debate Preview: Obama And Romney Shadow Box On '60 Minutes'

CBS News' 60 Minutes

The first official presidential debate isn't until Oct. 3 in Denver. But as The New York Times writes, last night on CBS News' 60 Minutes there was something of a "shadow debate that offered a likely preview of the tone and substance" of what will happen on stage next week.

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Africa
6:13 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Libyan Government To Disband Rogue Groups

Soldiers from the Libyan National Army get ready to enter the compound of Rafallah al-Sahati in Benghazi on Saturday. Libya's president announced that all government-aligned militias will now report to the army chief of staff, and that all other armed groups must disband.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

Violent protests in eastern Libya have set in motion a movement to take back the nation from dozens of militias born from the revolt against strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Since the dictator's demise, Libya has been beholden to men with guns.

The transitional state is weak, and it depends on the militias to help secure the streets. The state has now promised to integrate the militias into the security forces.

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Little Panda's Death Leaves Zookeepers 'Devastated'

Dennis Kelly (right), director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo, and Suzan Murray, chief veterinarian, discuss the panda cub's death.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:05 pm

Sunday's sad news about the death of a giant panda cub that was just less than a week old is being followed this morning with reports about how the staff at Washington's National Zoo tried hard to save it and have been hit hard by its death.

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World
5:10 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Canadian Man Returns To Ireland To Find Lost Love

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 9:10 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Sandy Crocker has gone more than 500 miles for love. The Canadian man was touring in Ireland when he met a freckled woman with reddish brown hair. They spoke for a couple minutes at a café, then she left. Back in Canada, he was heartbroken.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M GONNA BE (500 MILES)")

THE PROCLAIMERS: (Singing) But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more...

Around the Nation
5:06 am
Mon September 24, 2012

S.C. Shooting Range Rents Automatic Weapons

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Analysis
3:07 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

It's the final week before the debates begin and the presidential candidates are stepping up their campaigning as they try to shake loose what polls are still showing to be a very tight race. We'll hear about one of those polls of rural voters in just a minute. But first, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney appeared last night on the CBS program "60 Minutes."

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Latin America
3:07 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Mexican Drug War Chokes Nuevo Laredo With Fear

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The city of Nuevo Laredo, which hugs the border of south Texas, is the latest hotspot in Mexico's violent drug war. Over the past two weeks, over 70 people have been killed there in drug-related violence. Monica Ortiz Uribe from member station KJZZ visited the city and she found a community terrified and afraid to even speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)

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Asia
3:07 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Signs Emerge Of Economic Change In North Korea

Workers plant rice at a co-op farm in Nampo, North Korea, on May 12. The North Korean leadership has given indications that it may be preparing to implement measures to liberalize the country's economy.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

An unusual parliamentary meeting is due to open Tuesday in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, amid speculation of sweeping changes ahead. In the first such confirmation from within the country, farmers told The Associated Press they would be given more control over their crops under new agricultural rules. Long seen as an economic basket case, North Korea now could be on the cusp of economic change.

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NPR Story
2:48 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Homeland,' 'Modern Family' Are Big Emmy Winners

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 9:10 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

"Homeland" and "Modern Family" were big winners last night at the Emmy Awards. For Showtime, the "Homeland" win was a first-ever Emmy for a drama series.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's a thriller about the CIA fighting terrorism in the U.S. It also won acting awards for Claire Danes and Damian Lewis.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE 2012 EMMY AWARDS")

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Shots - Health Blog
1:57 am
Mon September 24, 2012

South African Children's Hospital Closed Under Apartheid To Reopen

The Durban Children's hospital opened in 1931, as a facility for all races, but tensions during the apartheid era forced it to close in the 1980s.
Courtesy of KwaZulu-Natal Children's Hospital

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:08 am

A large children's hospital in Durban, South Africa, is being rebuilt two decades after it closed owing to apartheid. It opened in 1931 as a facility for all races, but racial tensions in the 1980s forced its closure.

Now with Durban and the surrounding province of KwaZulu-Natal extremely hard hit by AIDS and tuberculosis, local leaders are hopeful they can begin reopening the hospital early in 2013.

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Music Interviews
1:24 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Grizzly Bear On Candor, Democracy And Too Much Music

Grizzly Bear
Tom Hines Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 9:10 am

Grizzly Bear, which has just released its fourth studio album, Shields, spoke to Morning Edition host David Greene about democracy within the band, censorship and candor in interviews, and achieving success as an indie band. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read part of their conversation below.


Interview Highlights

On division of labor in Grizzly Bear

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