NPR News

It's All Politics
10:22 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Five Takeaways From The Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:07 am

Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.

Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.

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It's All Politics
10:15 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Debate Decision: A Family Still Divided In Swing State Ohio

Tom Barnes
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:51 am

Tom Barnes is a 70-year-old retired grain farmer born in Ohio. He's the son of a school teacher turned farmer, and now himself the father of four, grandpa of eight.

It's clear that he adores his daughter, Becky Barnes, 30, and takes pride in describing how she's taken a piece of the big family farm south of Columbus and turned it into an organic vegetable operation by dint of hard work and sheer determination.

"It's an amazing project out there," he says. What he says distresses him, however, are her political leanings.

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It's All Politics
9:24 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Biden, Ryan Engage In Spirited Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:54 am

  • Listen to the Debate
  • Listen to NPR Analysis of the Debate

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:33 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Puts Doctors, Regulators In New Territory

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

There's new information on the ongoing outbreak of a rare meningitis caused by a fungus that somehow got into a steroid drug. Federal officials now say the drug got injected into 14,000 patients — 1,000 more than earlier thought.

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Election 2012
5:44 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Closer Look: Beyond The Buzzwords

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:19 pm

A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.

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It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Here's Where To Get 'Fact Checks' Tonight

Just as they did before, during and after last week's presidential debate, the fact checkers will be up and running for tonight's vice presidential debate:

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It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

B-I-D-E-N Or R-Y-A-N? It's Debate Bingo

WNYC's vice presidential debate game
WNYC

If you're looking for something else to do while watching or listening to tonight's 90-minute vice presidential debate, there's always debate bingo.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Romney: People Don't Die For Lack Of Insurance

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney boards his campaign plane Thursday in Dayton, Ohio, for a flight to North Carolina. In comments to The Columbus Dispatch, Romney said uninsured Americans don't die from a lack of health care.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Another day, another editorial board, another controversial remark for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. On Wednesday, it was abortion. On Thursday, health care.

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Solve This
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama, Romney On Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

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Around the Nation
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

To Survive A Shooting, Students Learn To Fight Back

Many schools advise students and staff to lock doors and stay in place during a shooting threat. But others are adopting an approach that includes fighting back if escape is impossible.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:30 pm

The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put.

The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

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Books
3:02 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

From Boy King Of Texas To Literary Superstar

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas. He has been nominated for a National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Yesterday morning I'm lying in bed and the phone rings. It's way too early. I'm thinking — "Wow, bill collectors are calling earlier and earlier."

Except it wasn't a bill collector. It was Alice Martell, my agent. She was calling to tell me that I'd been nominated for the National Book Award.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:41 am

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:51 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Among Disciplined Nurse Aides, Criminal Records Turn Up

HHS found that 19 percent of nurse aides who'd been disciplined had a prior conviction that would have shown up on a background check.
Matt Rourke AP

There are two ways to look at results of a recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both are pretty disturbing.

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Music Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the science-fiction thriller Looper.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:58 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Cellphones Helped Researchers Track Malaria In Kenya

More than 90 percent of Kenyans use mobile phones, giving scientists a powerful tool to track how diseases spread.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Cellphones are popping up all over in health care these days. They're monitoring our blood sugar, tracking the flu season and even mapping the junk food we eat at night.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Panda Cub's Death Due To 'Lung And Liver Damage'

Mei Xiang at the National Zoo earlier today. Her cub died last month.
Rod Lamkey Jr. The Washington Times /Landov

The giant panda cub born at Washington's National Zoo did, as first suspected, die on Sept. 23 because of "lung and liver damage" stemming from problems with her development, zoo officials say.

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It's All Politics
1:19 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How Ohio Could Swing The Election

A campaign charter flight carrying Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan arrives in Ohio, which has seen nearly nonstop visits from the candidates in recent weeks.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:52 pm

Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Very Fancy: Scientists Detail A Diamond Encrusted Super-Earth

Illustration of the interior of 55 Cancri e — an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond, below which is a layer of silicon-based minerals and a molten iron core at the center.
Haven Giguere via Yale University

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:39 pm

Scientists have discovered a world much fancier than our homely, little Earth.

New research that will published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters details a planet that is eight times heavier than Earth and with twice its radius. But instead of being covered in water and granite, it is encrusted in graphite and diamond.

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Asia
12:42 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Shooting Foreshadowed By Taliban Threats

Malala Yousafzai is treated in a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, after she was shot on Tuesday.
ISPR EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:00 pm

A 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl remains in critical condition after being shot in the head for defying the Taliban and championing the right of girls to go to school. Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence during the recent war in Pakistan's Swat Valley by writing a blog under a pen name. NPR's Philip Reeves reported on that war — and twice met Malala's father. Reeves sent this account of the tough world in which Malala spent her childhood.

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World Cafe
12:01 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Patrick Watson On World Cafe

Patrick Watson (right).
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 1:16 pm

Polaris Prize-winning singer-songwriter Patrick Watson makes music the way some directors make film: in three dimensions and with lots of emotion. With the aid of guitarist Simon Angell, percussionist Robbie Kuster and bassist Mishka Stein, Watson crafts songs that are experimental in nature, blending cabaret-style pop with classical and indie-rock music.

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The Salt
10:58 am
Thu October 11, 2012

100 Years Ago, Maillard Taught Us Why Our Food Tastes Better Cooked

A tower of profiteroles like this one, known as croquembouche, was created in France to celebrate Maillard, the man credited with identifying a key reaction in food science.
Gavin Tapp via Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 12:36 pm

A few hundred scientists gathered in the small French city of Nancy recently to present scientific papers related to a chemical reaction. Now that may seem a bit humdrum and hardly worth mentioning in The Salt, but in this case, it isn't.

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Music Reviews
10:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Ron Miles Finds Wide-Open Spaces On 'Quiver'

For Ron Miles, the better he knows how a tune works, the less he has to play to put it across.
John Spiral

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:19 pm

Teaching jazz history got trumpeter Ron Miles deep into the pleasures of early jazz, with its clarity of form and emphasis on melodic improvising that doesn't wander far from the tune.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Masked Gunman Kills Yemeni Who Worked As Security Official At U.S. Embassy

A masked gunman killed a Yemeni man when he was on his way to work as a security official at the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

The Associated Press reports that Yemeni officials said the drive-by shooting was reminiscient of other attacks undertaken by the al-Qaida offshoot in Yemen.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:35 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Bioethicists Call For Privacy Protections For Personal Genomes

Would you like a genome with that?
iStockphoto.com

When a stranger can gain access to someone's entire genetic code by picking up a used coffee cup, it presents a whole new thicket of concerns about privacy and security.

Actually, we're already there, though we're still in the early stages of what's shaping up, after all the years of hype, as a genuine revolution. Just take a look at Rob Stein's recent series on the $1,000 genome to see how far we've come and where we're headed.

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Europe
10:25 am
Thu October 11, 2012

With A Database, Germany Tracks Rise Of Neo-Nazis

Neo-Nazis and their sympathizers march on Feb. 13 to commemorate the World War II firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied planes. Concerns about far-right extremism have grown in Germany after the discovery last year of an extreme far-right cell believed to have carried out a decade-long crime spree, including the murder of 10 people, mainly Turkish shopkeepers, bank robberies and bombs.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

The spread of neo-Nazi influence in Germany came to light fully last year with the shocking discovery of a neo-Nazi terrorist cell responsible for the worst right-wing violence since World War II.

At least nine people of migrant origin were murdered, and there were bomb attacks and bank robberies.

In response, Germany last month established the first centralized neo-Nazi database, similar to those that existed for decades for Islamic and leftist extremists.

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Middle East
10:07 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Exile Defends Unity Of Syrian Opposition

Tensions are heating up between Syria and Turkey, as rebels and regime troops continue to battle it out. Host Michel Martin discusses whether the conflict can spill over with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International and Radwan Ziadeh of the Syrian National Council, a coalition of exiles opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It's All Politics
9:56 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Wonkfest Or Slugfest? Anticipation Mounts Ahead Of Biden Vs. Ryan

Tonight's faceoff between Vice President Joe Biden (right) and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will likely be an important stage-setter for next week's second presidential debate.
Jose Luis Magana/Thanassis Stavrakis AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:51 am

It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.

The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Malala, Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Military Hospital

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

The news coming out of Pakistan today in the case of Malala is not good: The 15-year-old girl shot by the Taliban has been airlifted to the "country's top military hospital for specialist treatment," Pakistan's Dawn reports.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Forced Landing Of Syrian Plane, Opens Rift Between Turkey And Russia

People speak atop the aircraft steps of a Syrian passenger plane that was forced by Turkish jets to land at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey, early Thursday.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

The rift between Syria and Turkey deepened, after Turkish warplanes forced a Moscow-to-Damascus bound passenger airplane to land on Wednesday.

Not only that but it also opened fresh conflict with Russia. The New York Times reports that today Moscow demanded answers for it called "air piracy" and Turkey said it had found illegal materials on board.

The Times reports:

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