NPR News

The Two-Way
5:52 am
Thu August 16, 2012

More Carnage In Pakistan: Gunmen Execute About 20 Shiites

Pakistani Air Force personnel guard an air base northwest of Islamabad earlier today. It was attacked Thursday by militants armed with guns, rocket launchers and suicide vests.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Thursday's attack on a Pakistani air base near Islamabad by heavily armed militants, which security forces were able to repel, has been followed by the news that gunmen executed about 20 Shiite Muslims today in northern Pakistan.

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Space
5:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

YouTube Satire: 'We're NASA And We Know It'

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. You may have heard about NASA's Curiosity mission to Mars. Well, I bet you didn't know it had a backbeat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WE'RE NASA AND WE KNOW IT (MARS CURIOSITY)")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Crane, lower that rover. Crane, lower that rover. Crane, lower, that rover.

GREENE: Yes, this popped up on a YouTube channel called Satire. It's to the tune of LMFAO's song (Singing) "Sexy and I Know It." The cast in this video dressed in NASA garb, kicking at the console.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Family Research Council Attacker Could Face Terrorism Charge

The scene Wednesday morning outside the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., after the shooting.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 9:41 am

Update at 11:35 a.m. ET. Charges Filed:

The man arrested for opening fire at the Washington, D.C., offices of the Family Research Council on Wednesday faces charges of "assault with intent to kill" and illegal transportation of a gun and ammunition. He has not been charged with attempting a terrorist act.

In a statement emailed a short time ago to reporters, the Justice Department says:

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Participation Nation
5:03 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Focusing On Fish In Knoxville, Tenn.

A sicklefin redhorse being propagated for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Courtesy of Conservation Fisheries

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 5:36 am

I work for a company called Conservation Fisheries. It's a 20-year-old nonprofit based in Knoxville that focuses on the conservation of rare freshwater fish, such as chubs, darters, madtoms and minnows.

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Sports
4:43 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Mariners' Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game

Pitcher Felix Hernandez retired all 27 batters in order Wednesday. It was the first perfect game in Mariners' history, and it was the third perfect game this year.

Around the Nation
4:32 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Cancer Claims The Life Of 120-Year-Old Woman

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Health Care
3:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ryan As GOP's VP Pick Forces Medicare Discussion

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on the ticket, it had the potential to reset the presidential race - that is, offer a choice between two radically different visions of government, in a campaign seemingly stuck in tit-for-tat attacks over the economy. So far, though, the campaigns have a somewhat different fight on their hands. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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Space
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Update On Mars Rover

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It has been just over a week now since Curiosity, the NASA Mars rover, made its successful landing on the Red Planet. Curiosity is by far the most technologically advanced rover to reach the surface of Mars so far, and it's already begun sending back some pretty compelling, high-resolution photographs of the planet's surface. To talk about space and the importance of this mission, we're joined, as we often are, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

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Around the Nation
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Dallas Ramps Up Against West Nile Virus

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And health officials around the country are raising warnings about West Nile Virus. The U.S. is seeing the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness since it was first detected in 1999. So far this year, 26 people have died, and about half of the country's 700 cases are in Texas - most of them in Dallas County. This week, for the first time in almost half a century, the county will begin aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes. B.J. Austin of member station KERA has the story.

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World
2:38 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ecuador To Decide On Assange Asylum Request

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Music
1:29 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Juanes: A Superstar Slows Down, Shifts Gears

Juanes' latest album is all acoustic, and was recorded in front of a live audience as part of MTV's Unplugged series.
MTV

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:57 am

The new release from Juanes marks a departure for the Colombian pop star. The all-acoustic album was recorded in front of a live Miami audience for MTV Unplugged.

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Middle East
1:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Asked To Spy On Rebels, Syrian Soldier Becomes One

A Syrian soldier casts a shadow as he stands in the northwest city of Idlib in May. Growing numbers of Syrian soldiers are defecting and joining the rebels.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been stung by a string of prominent defections, from the prime minister to a leading general to a military aviator who was Syria's first man in space.

Ra'ed, a soldier from Syria's most prestigious military unit, the Republican Guard, is among the defectors.

The guard's chief duty is to protect the Syrian leadership. But Ra'ed says he never felt proud to serve after he was drafted in June 2010 at age 19.

Ra'ed, who is now living in Lebanon, asked that NPR use only his first name out of concern for his safety.

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Africa
1:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

In South Sudan, Cows Are Cash And Source Of Friction

A man from the Mundari nomad tribe stands among cattle on Jan. 18, in Juba, South Sudan. Cattle raids, a common occurrence in the region, have grown increasingly violent in recent years.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

For the rural people of South Sudan, cattle are at the center of their culture. They use them as currency, treat them as objects of beauty, and fight tribal battles over them.

In recent years, traditional cattle raids have turned deadly. Tribesmen aren't just stealing cattle; they are slaughtering rivals, burning villages and abducting women and children.

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It's All Politics
1:26 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ryan's District Gains Despite His Positions

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a campaign event on June 18 in Janesville, Wis. Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, has made sure his constituents haven't been left out of federal programs like the stimulus.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.

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Middle East
1:25 am
Thu August 16, 2012

'No Terrorists Here': Sinai Residents Fear Crackdown

A motorbike burns following a raid by Egyptian security forces on the village of El-Jurah in Egypt's North Sinai province on Aug. 12. Six gunmen were killed in the raid.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:53 pm

Egyptian security forces are conducting a major campaign in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack by masked gunmen on a border post earlier this month. While the government assures the nation and the world that it will deal with the threat, Sinai residents worry that they will be blamed, targeted and abused as a result of the assault that left 16 soldiers dead.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

27 Up, 27 Down: Mariners' Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game

Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was dowsed with water after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:15 pm

This is the face of perfection:

The Seattle Mariner's Felix Hernandez is now a part of baseball lore, joining 22 others when he threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, this afternoon.

That means Hernandez retired 27 batters in a row, throwing 113 pitches, 77 of them strikes. No one got on base.

What's incredible is that this is the third perfect game this season. USA Today reports:

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Arizona Gov. Issues Executive Order Limiting New Immigration Policy

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:23 am

Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is throwing more punches in her contentious relationship with the federal government.

Today, she issued an executive order that says young people granted a deportation deferral under President Obama's new policy will still be considered undocumented and won't be granted public benefits.

Obama's new policy went into effect today.

NPR's Ted Robbins sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Ecuador Says U.K. Threatened To Storm Embassy, If Assange Isn't Turned Over

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:55 pm

The diplomatic battle in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a dramatic turn today: In an angry press conference streamed live on the Internet, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Britain threatened to storm their embassy in London if Assange was not handed over to police.

"Ecuador is not a British colony," Patiño said. "The days of colonialism are over."

He added that "such a threat is improper of a democratic and civilized country."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:44 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Bill Gates Crowns Toilet Innovators At Foundation's Sanitation Fair

Bill Gates, co-founder of the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, checks out a toilet demo at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle, Wash. The festival featured prototypes of high-tech toilets developed by researchers around the world.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:23 pm

This week, Bill Gates was at a summer fair in Washington State, but he was not eating deep-fried butter on-a-stick, or checking out livestock.

Gates was inspecting cutting-edge toilet technology on display at an event his foundation hosted in Seattle — the Reinvent the Toilet Fair.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

A Baseball School For Big League Dreamers

Ketchum Marsh, a senior from Massachusetts, walks back to the dugout during an intrasquad game at IMG Baseball Academy, where he trains and goes to school.
Chip Litherland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:11 pm

If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.

It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.

But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Could Ryan Lure Younger Voters To GOP?

Rep. Paul Ryan greets supporters during a campaign rally Sunday in Waukesha, Wis.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 7:08 am

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.

Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).

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It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Judge Refuses To Block Pa. Voter ID Law; Appeal Headed To State Supreme Court

Demonstrators hold signs at an NAACP-organized rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol to protest the state's new voter identification law on July 24 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Marc Levy AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:04 pm

A judge's decision Wednesday to uphold the new Pennsylvania voter identification law shifted attention to the state's highest court, which could now determine if the requirement will be imposed on Election Day.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked the judge to stop the law from taking effect as part of a constitutional challenge. Their complaint claims the law would make it disproportionately harder for seniors, minorities and others to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:45 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Safety Flag Raised For Codeine In Kids

When it comes to pain relief for kids, there may be better options than codeine.
iStockphoto.com

The Food and Drug Administration has warned doctors to be careful with codeine to relieve children's pain.

The agency noted reports of three kids who died and one who almost did after taking codeine following surgery. The kids had their tonsils or adenoids removed to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

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Participation Nation
2:34 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Giving Folks A Chance In Medford, Ore.

A young girl hangs out at the Maslow Project.
Courtesy of David Gibb Photography
  • The mission of the Maslow Project in Medford: To increase the coping skills of, and self-sufficiency in, young people who are homeless — to give them a decent chance in the adult world.
  • Founder and Executive Director Mary Ferrell was born and raised in Medford.
  • Lacey Renae is the group's counselor and art therapist. Most art supplies are donated by the local community.
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Sports
2:34 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Megan Rapinoe On Winning Gold, Soccer's Future

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team is home from the Olympics with gold medals. They got redemption by winning the final over Japan, after losing to Japan in last year's World Cup. But the women's team comes home to an uncertain future. The U.S. Women's Professional Soccer League folded earlier this year, which means there's no top-level league where they can play.

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Obama's Iowa Hosts Say They'll Pray For Him, But They Won't Vote For Him

President Obama walks with members of the Heil family as he arrives to deliver remarks on wind power at the Heil Family Farm in Haverhill, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:02 pm

Iowans are famously nice — so nice, it seems, they'll let you hold a campaign event on their property even if they won't vote for you.

Hours after President Obama paid a visit to a central Iowa farm Tuesday afternoon, the farm owner's adult son issued a statement not exactly in line with the Obama campaign's talking points.

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Education
2:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Tax Credit Scholarships Reignite Voucher Debate

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 7:23 am

In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.

The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.

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Education
2:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Immigrants Seek Answers On State College Tuition

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:23 pm

The question many young immigrants have had since President Obama's Deferred Action policy was announced is whether their new status would allow them to pay in-state tuition at state universities. Audie Cornish speaks with Maria Sacchetti, immigration reporter for The Boston Globe, about how various states are handling tuition matters.

Politics
2:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Judge Won't Block Pa. Voter ID Law

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. This presidential campaign season features not only battles between candidates, but fights over how the voting process should work. Today in Pennsylvania, a judge refused to block the state's new voter ID law from going into effect before the election. The law requires voters to show identification at the polls.

As we hear from NPR's Pam Fessler, opponents of the law say they will appeal.

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Around the Nation
2:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Controversy At The National Scrabble Tournament

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:23 pm

A player at the national Scrabble tournament was kicked out of the competition after he was caught cheating. For more, Audie Cornish speaks to sportswriter and Scrabble aficionado Stefan Fatsis.

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