NPR News

It's All Politics
10:00 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Conventions: The 'First Date' That Lasts For Days

Final preparations were under way Monday for the opening of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Democrats are holding their convention next week in Charlotte, N.C.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 2:01 pm

Even some Republicans don't think the loss of Monday's proceedings at their party's national convention in Tampa, due to Tropical Storm Isaac, will matter much in the grand scheme of things.

"The whole drama of the hurricane's very unique here," says David Woodard, a GOP consultant who teaches at Clemson University. "Suppose Isaac wiped out the whole convention — who cares?"

Conventions clearly are a diminished thing, Woodard says. They no longer decide who the presidential nominees are going to be, in anything but a strictly formal sense.

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It's All Politics
9:58 am
Mon August 27, 2012

McConnell's Message: On The Budget, The 'Missing Person Was The President'

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., checked out the Republican Convention stage in Tampa on Sunday. The backdrop is in honor of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died over the weekend.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:15 am

Political conventions, even ones that have been delayed a day by a tropical storm, are all about getting a party's message out to the nation.

Minutes ago in the Tampa Convention Center, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky used a sit-down with USA Today and Gannett correspondents to restate one key argument Republicans have been making and will continue to make through Election Day:

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Sports
9:48 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Will Kick-Off To Football Season Bring More Boos?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to turn now from one contact sport, politics, to another, professional football. The clock is ticking down to the start of another season. The Super Bowl champion New York Giants kick things off next week against the Dallas Cowboys, but when the referee blows the whistle, there's a good chance it will be his or her first time doing that in a regular season NFL game and you might be hearing more of this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BROADCAST OF NFL GAME)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: I don't understand what they're trying to call here.

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Latin America
9:48 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Haiti Weathers Isaac, Says First Lady

Tropical Storm Isaac slammed Haiti with heavy rain and strong winds. Although the damage is less than feared, the country is still trying to rebuild after the devastating 2010 earthquake. Host Michel Martin speaks with Haiti's First Lady Sophia Martelly to learn more about how they were affected by the storm.

Election 2012
9:48 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Romney Campaign Not Giving Up On Black Vote

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'd like to thank my colleagues Viviana Hurtado and Jacki Lyden for sitting in for me while I was away. Like it or not, the final phase of this year's election season is upon us. The economy is so central to this year's presidential contest and reeling(ph) political discussions up and down the ticket that we're going to ask NPR's Marilyn Geewax to set the stage by reminding us about what the key indicators on the economy are telling us and how those compare to four years ago.

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It's All Politics
5:53 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Trump: Romney Got A Laugh, But Birther 'Issue' Is No Joke

Donald Trump on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., where local Republicans named him their Statesman of the Year.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

The Donald isn't done yet with the "birther" conspiracy.

Developer/reality show star/sort-of politician Donald Trump brought his unique personality to Florida on Sunday and for at least a few minutes took some of the spotlight away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa and tropical storm Isaac out in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Around the Nation
5:12 am
Mon August 27, 2012

United Flight Attendant, 83, Ends 63-Year Career

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Participation Nation
5:03 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Loving Dogs In Toms River, N.J.

Alice and Simon.
Courtesy of CVCJ

When a doglover gets to an age when she can't care for a dog anymore, it can be a huge loss.

Since 2009, Simon, a Golden Retriever and his owner, Pat, have been visiting Alice — who is 94 years old and legally blind — in her home near Toms River.

For years, Alice enjoyed the companionship of a dog. Now because of health problems, she cannot. So every week she looks forward to her visits with Pat and Simon, who are part of the Caregiver Canines program.

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Around the Nation
4:51 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Ocean City, Md., Falls Short Of Bikini Record

A Chinese city set the record for the most women to participate in a parade while wearing bikinis. Over the weekend, Ocean City, Md., set out to break the record of 1,085 — but fell far short at 325. Organizers blame the rainy weather for holding down turnout.

It's All Politics
4:49 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Tempest in Tampa: Isaac Tests Mitt Romney's Mettle

Mitt Romney, who this week is set to accept the Republican presidential nomination, with wife Ann on Sunday in Wolfeboro, N.H.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 7:12 am

Political conventions are famed for focusing the nation's attention on one name, but at this year's Republican National Convention here in Tampa, that name is not the nominee's.

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Election 2012
2:56 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Watching Isaac, GOP Delays Opening Convention In Tampa

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 3:18 am

Republicans have decided to delay the official start of their presidential nominating convention until Tuesday. Tropical Storm Isaac is causing weather-related issues around Tampa, Florida. As the convention is about to begin, polls show GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama.

Around the Nation
2:56 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Gulf Coast States Brace For Isaac's Fury

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 3:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Florida has so far been spared the worst of Tropical Storm Isaac. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana cannot be so sure. If the storm stays on its current course, it threatens to hit Louisiana seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina arrived in New Orleans. NPR's Greg Allen is tracking the storm. He's on the line from Florida this morning.

Greg, good morning.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: How much damage was there from Isaac in Florida?

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Law
2:01 am
Mon August 27, 2012

John Walker Lindh Sues For Prison Prayer Group

John Walker Lindh was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 after fighting with the Taliban.
File Photo AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:34 am

John Walker Lindh was a middle-class kid in Northern California who converted to Islam and went to travel the world. U.S. authorities eventually captured him in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, when he was allegedly fighting alongside the Taliban.

His story was the focus of a Law and Order episode, and a song called "John Walker's Blues" by Steve Earle.

For the past five years, Lindh has been living in a secret prison facility in Indiana with convicted terrorists, neo-Nazis and other inmates who get special monitoring.

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Middle East
1:28 am
Mon August 27, 2012

In Distressed Syria, Urban And Rural Cultures At Odds

Syrian children, who fled their home with their family, take refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey on Sunday.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 9:31 pm

After a month-long offensive in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, rebels are struggling under a fierce counter offensive by the Syrian military and the outcome is far from clear. But the future of Aleppo, the country's financial hub, is already under discussion in secret meetings on the Turkish border.

Over cups of sweat tea in a Turkish border hotel, Moeihmen Abdul Rahman, a lawyer from Aleppo, sits down for his first meeting with Abu Riad, a commander from the Al Tawheed brigade, a coalition of rebel militias leading the assault on Aleppo.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:26 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Pediatricians Decide Boys Are Better Off Circumcised Than Not

Social worker Shannon Coyne and her husband decided against circumcision for their son, now 11 months old. The nation's most influential pediatricians group says the health benefits of circumcision in newborn boys outweigh any risks and that insurance companies should pay for it.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:35 am

The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday announced its first major shift on circumcision in more than a decade, concluding that the health benefits of the procedure clearly outweigh any risks.

"There is clear evidence that supports the health benefits of circumcision," said Susan Blank, who led the 14-member task force that formulated the new policy being published in the journal Pediatrics.

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It's All Politics
1:25 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Romney's Plan To Broaden Tax Base Finds Critics

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks at a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., on July 10. Romney says he wants to sharply cut income tax rates, but that those cuts would be revenue-neutral.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:22 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he favors keeping all of the Bush-era tax cuts and then adding some more. To pay for these cuts, he would reduce or eliminate some of the tax deductions that many Americans have come to rely on. But his proposals are already facing a lot of resistance.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:24 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Sleepless Nights May Put The Aging Brain At Risk Of Dementia

If you're having trouble sleeping, researchers say you should resist the urge to keep checking the time.
mrsmuckers iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 8:55 am

As we age, our sleep patterns change. We've all heard the complaints: "I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep!"

Some sleep experts estimate that as many as 40 percent of older adults suffer sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Now, researchers have found a link between disrupted sleep and cognitive decline.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:23 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Lack Of Sleep, Genes Can Get Sleepwalkers Up And About

Though scientists have identified sleepwalking triggers, the condition is still a bit of a mystery.
Victoria Alexandrova iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:44 pm

Miranda Kelly, a 14-year-old from Sykesville, Md., says she's been sleepwalking since she was 6 or 7. The first time, she says, "I woke up on the couch on a school day. And I'd gone to bed in my bed."

Since that first episode, Kelly now sleepwalks every couple of months. "I wake up in weird places, randomly. I have once woken up in the kitchen, and on the floor of the bathroom wrapped in my sheet," she says.

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Law
1:21 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Beard-Cutting Case Tests Limits of Hate Crime Law

Sam Mullet, in the front yard of his home in Bergholz, Ohio, last year, is one of 16 people charged in beard- and hair- cutting attacks on fellow Amish. Mullet denies being involved in the attacks.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 10:13 am

Sixteen members of an Ohio Amish sect are set to go on trial in federal court Monday in Cleveland. The defendants are accused of violating U.S. hate crime laws by cutting the hair and beards of detractors, a humiliating reprimand for the devout.

Chin hair, according to Jacob Troyer, an Amish craftsman in Holmes County, Ohio, is a rite of passage for young Amish men.

"When they join church to get baptized, they grow a beard up to the bottom of the ear. They usually have an inch or so of space there. When they marry, they grow that together," Troyer says.

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It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Was Romney's Song Playing Sunday? Check 'I Want You To Want Me'

G.E. Smith plays during a sound check inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida Sunday.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Sometimes you just walk into a metaphor.

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It's All Politics
5:25 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

With A Roar And Some Rage, Ron Paul Rallies His Faithful

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, brought thousands to the Sun Dome in Tampa on Sunday for a "we are the future" rally.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Republican congressman Ron Paul on Sunday turned his presidential swan song into a feisty rage against the political machine of his own party for legally manipulating him out of presidential convention delegates.

"They've learned how to bend rules, break rules and now they want to rewrite the rules," Paul told a raucous crowd of nearly 10,000 supporters who nearly filled the Sun Dome arena in Tampa, the city hosting this week's hurricane-delayed Republican National Convention.

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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Republicans Are Ready (If Isaac Allows); And We're On The Scene In Tampa

The Republican message: Workers were putting up a sign Sunday inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the 2012 Republican National Convention is set to begin.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Greetings from Tampa, where that old phrase "the calm before the storm" has never been more appropriate.

Tropical storm Isaac is now looking like it will make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east to the Florida Panhandle. And when it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is warning, Isaac could be a Category 2 hurricane.

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National Security
3:08 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Obama's Warfare: 'From Power To A Policy'

A boy watches a group of Afghan and U.S. commandos in their up armored Humvee in Shindand Afghanistan. The special forces have become more prominent in the U.S. war effort.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:30 pm

It's hard to know if 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a target or collateral damage.

Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was killed last fall at a barbeque with friends. His father, Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida supporter and also American-born, was killed in a drone strike two weeks earlier in Yemen.

The two of them, plus one more man, now make three Americans — three of thousands — who are believed to have been killed by America's top secret drone warfare program.

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NPR Story
3:04 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac Looms Over GOP Convention

In Tampa, Fla., Republicans are closely watching the weather. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to pass by Tampa Monday, bringing heavy rain and wind. Monday also marks the day the GOP convention was to supposed to start, but organizers decided it was safer to cancel the first day of events. Guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with NPR's Jeff Brady about the preparations.

Participation Nation
3:03 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

High Fiving In Truckee, Calif.

Roy Tuscany on the slopes.
Courtesy of HFF

In 2006, Roy Tuscany was an up-and-coming professional skier, solely focused on his burgeoning career. Then a fall during training left Roy paralyzed from the waist down.

As a young athlete, Roy had to depend on the community to help him through his recovery — to walk and even ski again. It was that connection with generous people that led Roy to start the High Fives Foundation, dedicated to helping injured athletes get back on their boards, skis and wheels.

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Race
2:12 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Advantage Tennis: Improving Game's Racial Disparity

Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams compete in Wimbledon at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Venus and Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Donald Young will be among those vying for Grand Slam Glory at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, which start Monday at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Those four are the only African-Americans who rank among the top 100 men's and women's players in the country at this stage. Some tennis enthusiasts say the game has got to do better than that – and they are working at the grassroots to level the playing ground.

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The Picture Show
12:35 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Documenting Haiti's Ruined Grandeur

A view of the collapsed cupola of the National Palace is seen in Port-au-Prince on Aug. 13. The palace, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 200,000 people, was supposed to be demolished, but the plans have been put on hold.
Swoan Parker Courtesy of Reuters

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 3:04 pm

Photojournalist Swoan Parker recently toured Haiti's National Palace, which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. NPR's Laura Sullivan interviewed Parker about her photos of the once-grand building.

Laura Sullivan: It looks like the building is literally falling down on top of you — how dangerous was it to walk around this former palace?

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Politics
12:30 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

GOP Hopes House Hopeful Will 'Change Impressions'

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who is running for a House seat, speaks at the Republican state convention April 21, in Sandy, Utah. Love would be the first black, female Republican elected to Congress.
Leah Hogsten The Salt Lake Tribune via AP

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 5:42 pm

A Utah congressional hopeful will take the stage Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Mia Love is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, a small Utah community, but her energy and personal story have Republicans believing she's a winner. If elected, she'd become the first black female Republican in Congress.

Perhaps Love's unofficial audition for a speaking slot in Tampa started when she took the stage at the Utah state GOP convention in April.

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Music Interviews
11:19 am
Sun August 26, 2012

The Avett Brothers: Matters Of Life And Death

The Avett Brothers are real-life siblings Scott (left) and Seth Avett (right), and bass player Bob Crawford. The band's newest album is The Carpenter.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 4:15 pm

In 2009, The Avett Brothers became one of the surprise hits of the year. Paste Magazine considered their I and Love and You the best album of that year, calling it "an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul."

That sadness took on new meaning recently. Bassist Bob Crawford took a temporary leave from the band to tend to his infant daughter, Hallie, after she developed a brain tumor.

Next month, The Avett Brothers release a new album, The Carpenter, which explores the delicate balance between life and death.

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Participation Nation
11:03 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Happier Bottoms In Kansas City, Mo.

Kerry Rodriguez and her three sons organized a diaper drive for HappyBottoms at their church.
Courtesy of HappyBottoms

Babies need diapers. But it's not always easy for low-income families who might have to choose between buying diapers or paying bills. Federal assistance programs do not pay for diapers, so if parents can't afford them, babies sit in soiled diapers. That's unhealthy, and it leads to fussier babies — which stresses out parents even more.

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