NPR News

U.S.
1:24 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Sikh Shooting Puts Focus On Hate Groups At Home

Rescue workers stand in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after an explosion on April 19, 1995. The bombing killed 168 people.
David Longstreath AP

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The slaying of six people at a Sikh temple by a gunman with ties to white supremacists has raised questions about the scope of domestic terrorism — and what law enforcement is doing to stop it.

Federal law enforcement agencies cracked down hard on homegrown extremists after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people, including 19 children at a day care center. Many leaders went to prison, died or went bankrupt.

But in recent years, the spread of the Internet, the worsening economy and changing demographic patterns have been giving new voice to hate groups.

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First And Main
1:20 am
Fri August 10, 2012

An Undecided Florida Voter Faces Emotional Decision

Wanda Kos is undecided this election year, but voted for Barack Obama in 2008. She is concerned for the future of her daughter Sofia, 6, and her two older children, including one son who just joined the military
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:25 am

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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National Security
1:19 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Air Force Chief Leaves Legacy In The Sky: Drones

Gen. Norton Schwartz (shown here in October 2010) is stepping down as the top U.S. Air Force officer.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The top officer in the U.S. Air Force, Gen. Norton Schwartz, is stepping down Friday after four years on the job.

Schwartz got the job after his predecessor was fired for — among other things — clashing with his Pentagon bosses over how many fighter jets the military needs.

Schwartz is most likely to be remembered for pushing another kind of aircraft: drones.

At this moment, dozens of these unmanned aircraft are flying high above Afghanistan.

Just don't call them drones when speaking with Schwartz.

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Joe's Big Idea
1:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

So You Landed On Mars. Now What?

Adam Steltzner, the leader of the rover's entry, descent and landing engineering team, cheers after Curiosity touched down safely on Mars on Sunday.
Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The Mars rover Curiosity is beginning its fifth day on the red planet, and it's been performing flawlessly from the moment it landed.

That's been especially gratifying for NASA landing engineer Adam Steltzner. Last Friday, while Steltzner was still on pins and needles waiting for the landing to take place, I told the story of Steltzner's decision as a young man to give up his life as a rocker and go for a career in space engineering.

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StoryCorps
11:57 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Two Sikh Men, Two Lifetimes Of Looking Different

Surinder Singh and his son Rupinder visited StoryCorps in San Francisco in April.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:28 am

The tragic shooting at a Sikh house of worship in Wisconsin this month has turned the spotlight on the Sikh faith and the nation's Sikh community.

Earlier this year, Surinder Singh and his son Rupinder visited a StoryCorps booth in San Francisco, where they reflected on their own experiences standing out among their peers and neighbors.

Both practicing Sikhs, Surinder and Rupinder wear turbans, and maintaining that tenet of their faith has made for some difficult experiences.

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The Two-Way
5:06 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Sikh Temple In Wisconsin Reopens For First Time Since Shooting

Members of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin wash items as they return for the first time in Oak Creek, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

This afternoon for the first time since a gunman opened fire and killed six people on Sunday, volunteers and members of the Sikh community ventured back into the temple.

As soon as the FBI allowed it, they started the grim task of cleaning the Gurdwara. The Sikh Coalition has been tweeting on the progress. They noted that they received help from the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Summer Film, Starring Real-Life Porn Star, Is Testing India's Limits

A man pastes the posters of Bollywood film "Jism 2" outside a cinema hall in Bangalore, India.
Aijaz Rahi AP

The prolific and pervasive film industry of India, often called Bollywood, is pushing the country's decency envelope with its latest summer release, which features a real-life porn star. The film, awkwardly titled Jism 2, is a sequel to a 2002 blockbuster and stars Indian-Canadian adult film star Sunny Leone in the leading role. (The title means 'body' in Hindi.)

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

From Our Readers: Morpheus' 'Failure Is A Good Thing'

When we reported the 'total loss' of NASA's moon lander Morpheus during testing, some readers expressed disappointment.

Sandra Chapin called it a 'bummer':

"To me the sad thing is not the loss of money, but the loss of time. How long will it take to redesign and build a new one? Puts us that much further behind in gathering data."

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Publisher Pulls Controversial Thomas Jefferson Book, Citing Loss Of Confidence

Cover art for The Jefferson Lies
Thomas Nelson Publishers

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 6:44 pm

Citing a loss of confidence in the book's details, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson is ending the publication and distribution of the bestseller, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.

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It's All Politics
3:19 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Obama Targets Romney On Tax Credit For Wind Energy Producers

President Obama at a Newton, Iowa, wind-turbine blade maker in May.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:12 pm

How many votes can President Obama gain or Mitt Romney lose because of the Republican's opposition to renewing federal tax credits to wind energy producers? The answer, with apologies to Bob Dylan, is blowin' in the wind.

Obama hopes to influence the answer by relentlessly pounding the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee's opposition to the renewal.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

On The Trail, Even Republicans Spin Clinton Years Into Gold

What a difference 14 years makes. Here, Bill Clinton departs the White House on July 31, 1998, after telling reporters he wouldn't take questions about the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

This week, the presidential campaign has been dominated by debate over the welfare law from the 1990s. It's just the latest example of how both sides are trying to use the Clinton years to their advantage — portraying them as a halcyon golden age.

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Environment
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

How A Texas Town Became Water Smart

An area in San Antonio's Brackenridge Park where treated wastewater is pumped into the San Antonio River, one of many measures the city has taken to combat drought.
Mose Buchele StateImpact Texas

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Faced with a booming population and a disappearing water supply, the city of San Antonio responded by dramatically cutting consumption, pioneering new storage techniques and investing in water recycling and desalination projects. It now boasts that it is "Water's Most Resourceful City."

There are so many programs and projects that Chuck Ahrens of Water Resources and Conservation with the San Antonio Water System can hardly keep track.

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Wish You Were Here: My Favorite Destination
3:17 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Listening To Loons In Maine

Hearing the call of the loons is like "a blessing."
Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Writer Roxana Robinson's most recent novel, Cost, is set in Maine.

Mount Desert Island, off the coast of northern Maine, is known for dramatic scenery. Most of the island is Acadia National Park: steep forests, plunging down to a cobalt sea. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak, is the first place where light touches the American continent, each morning at dawn. Trails follow the windswept ridges; they wind along the smooth pink granite bluffs, rising from the deep, icy water, along the wild swirl of the great tides.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

James Holmes, Colorado Shooting Suspect, Is Mentally Ill, His Attorneys Say

The attorneys for the James Holmes, the alleged Colorado shooter, say their client is mentally ill.

The AP reports the disclosure came during a hearing today at the Arapahoe (Colo.) County Courthouse in which news organizations, including NPR, were asking for documents in the case to be unsealed.

The AP adds:

"Holmes had the same dazed demeanor that he has had in previous court appearances.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Ashton Eaton, Of United States, Wins Gold In Decathlon

Ashton Eaton of the United States smiles after competing in the Men's Decathlon Pole Vault in London.
Feng Li Getty Images

(This post appeared in our Olympics blog, The Torch.)

The American Ashton Eaton can call himself the greatest athlete in the world, today.

With 8,869 points, Eaton took the gold medal in the decathlon. His American teammate Trey Hardee took the silver with 8,671 points.

If you're not familiar, the decathlon is the closest the sports world comes to a standardized test in athletic ability. It spans two days and 10 events, including the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put.

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The Torch
3:01 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Ashton Eaton, Of United States, Wins Gold In Decathlon

Ashton Eaton of the United States smiles after competing in the Men's Decathlon Pole Vault in London.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:58 pm

The American Ashton Eaton can call himself the greatest athlete in the world, today.

With 8,869 points, Eaton took the gold medal in the decathlon. His American teammate Trey Hardee took the silver with 8,671 points.

If you're not familiar, the decathlon is the closest the sports world comes to a standardized test in athletic ability. It spans two days and 10 events, including the 100 meter dash, the long jump, the high jump and the shot put.

The final event is the 1,500 meter run. It's a grueling final metric mile. Eaton finished it easily with a time of 4:35.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

List Of Drug-Resistant Infections Continues To Grow

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Included on that growing list that Rob just mentioned: some strains of tuberculosis, strep, typhoid fever, malaria and MRSA - which is a staph infection. Mutations of these have outpaced new drug development. For more on drug-resistant infections, we're joined by Dr. Arjun Srinivasan. He works on this issue with the CDC. Dr. Srinivasan, welcome to the program.

DR. ARJUN SRINIVASAN: Thank you so much for having me.

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Missing Athletes Join Long List Of Olympic Defectors

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to the case of the missing Olympians. Seven competitors from Cameroon have gone missing in London - five boxers, a swimmer and a soccer goalie - six men and one woman. It's presumed they may seek asylum in England. And if so, they'll join a long list of athletes who've defected during the Olympic Games. For more on who has defected and why, I'm joined by Olympic historian, David Wallechinsky. He's at the games in London. David, welcome to the program.

Thank you.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Torch
2:11 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Usain Bolt Cements His Place In History, Winning 200 Meter Gold

Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Yohan Blake of Jamaica to win gold during the Men's 200m Final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

Usain Bolt cemented his place as one of the greatest sprinters in history, when he won the 200 meter final today.

Bolt was challenged by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who closed in with less than 100 meters to go. Bolt kicked on his burners and ended up taking back the lead and beating Blake 19.32 to 19.44 seconds.

The big deal here is that this makes Bolt the first Olympian to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter races two Olympics in a row.

Warren Weir, another Jamaican, took third.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Gonorrhea Evades Antibiotics, Leaving Only One Drug To Treat Disease

Health officials say they're worried that one day there will be no more antibiotics left to treat gonorrhea.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:02 am

There's some disturbing news out today about a disease we don't hear about much these days: gonorrhea. Federal health officials announced that the sexually transmitted infection is getting dangerously close to being untreatable.

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World Cafe
1:31 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Latin Roots: San Antonio In The 1950s

Alejandro Escovedo.
M Chavez

San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo co-hosts the latest installment of Latin Roots, in which he discusses the Latin character of his hometown's music since the 1950s. Escovedo's prolific rock music has always had strong Latin influences as a result of the time he spent listening to his parents' records.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Thanks For Nothing, Stephen: Colbert Spoils The Wiki Veep Indicator

Buzz Killer.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 10:11 am

Well, tracking changes to prominent politicians' Wikipedia pages had been one way of trying to get advance notice of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick.

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World Cafe
1:13 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Alejandro Escovedo On World Cafe

Alejandro Escovedo.
Todd Wolfson

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 1:32 pm

Alejandro Escovedo has played virtually every kind of rock 'n' roll there is to play, from punk to orchestral to country, during a career dating back to the 1970s.

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Politics
12:45 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Iowa, Key To Obama's 2008 Win, Now Divided

Signs of the drought in central Iowa are apparent just off the road in Marion County. A vast majority of farmers are protected from crop losses with federally backed insurance.
Liz Halloran NPR

The line at the cavernous Smokey Row Coffee House in Oskaloosa stretched out the door and down the block, so long that dozens of Iowans waiting to see presidential candidate Barack Obama had to settle for a peek through the windows.

It was July 4, 2007, heady days for Obama in the Hawkeye State, where Democratic caucusgoers would soon launch him as a legitimate national contender, and where state voters would later turn out in record numbers to help put the first-term Illinois senator into the White House.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

VIDEO: NASA Moon Lander Crashes And Burns During Test Flight

A screengrab of NASA's moon lander in flames.
NASA

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 12:57 pm

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The Torch
12:35 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Women's Olympic Soccer Final: U.S. Beats Japan 2-1, To Win Gold

American Carli Lloyd heads in a goal in the first half to put the U.S. up 1-0 against Japan in the Olympic gold medal match.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 9:08 am

In Olympic women's soccer, the U.S. team has beaten Japan, 2-1, in the gold medal match at London's Wembley Stadium, a game that set a new attendance record with more than 80,000 spectators. Carli Lloyd scored both of the American goals, while U.S. stars Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach weren't able to finish their chances. But they were very active, and both players kept the Japanese defenders occupied around the goal.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

After Tragedy For Sikhs, A Glimpse Into 'The Sunshine of Their Minds'

Sikhs and others who wanted to show support gathered Wednesday night for a vigil in Manhattan.
Mario Tama Getty Images
  • Ambassador Nirupama Rao on 'Tell Me More'

Out of the horror of Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., has come a window into "the sunshine of their minds," India's ambassador to the U.S. says about faithful Sikhs.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Shannon Eastin Set To Become First Female To Officiate NFL Game

In this photo taken on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, and provided by the Seattle Seahawks, NFL official Shannon Eastin works during the Seahawks NFL football training camp in Renton, Wash.
Rod Mar AP

Tonight, Shannon Eastin will break a gender barrier: The line judge will become the first woman to officiate an NFL game.

In a conference call today, she told the AP she wasn't intimidated.

"I want to encourage women: Don't be afraid," Eastin said. "Pursue and have dreams. This is my dream. With very step I hope to show it really doesn't matter if you are male or female."

The thing is that Eastin is stepping into the role during a difficult time. She is a replacement official because the regular officials are currently locked out because of a labor dispute.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:45 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Justice Department Looks For Ways To Recruit Forensic Pathologists

Dr. Amy Tharp, a forensic pathologist, explains gun shot wounds on an anatomical model during her testimony in Bedford, Va. in March 2010.
Kim Raff AP

Television crime dramas may draw big audiences, but they don't seem to work as a recruiting tool for forensic pathologists.

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The Torch
11:15 am
Thu August 9, 2012

Michigan's Claressa Shields Wins Historic Gold Medal In Women's Boxing

U.S. boxer Claressa Shields (left) lands a punch on Nadezda Torlopova of Russia during the women's boxing middleweight final at the ExCel Arena in London. Shields, 17, won the first-ever gold medal in the event.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 1:59 pm

She's still in high school, but boxer Claressa Shields, 17, is also an Olympic gold medalist, after she won her middleweight final Thursday. She defeated Russia's Nadezda Torlopova by a score of 19-12.

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