NPR News

Sports
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Preparing For The 2012 Paralympic Games In London

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Business
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Settlement Shines Light On N.Y. Regulator, Agency

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York state's Department of Financial Services, got British bank Standard Chartered to pay a $340 million settlement over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:03 pm

Banking industry officials say it's unheard of: A state regulator, flying solo, threatens to take away the state license of a global bank — and then secures a very public settlement.

That's exactly what happened in New York this past week, when the state's Department of Financial Services reached a settlement with Britain's Standard Chartered Bank over allegations that it schemed with the Iranian government to launder billions of dollars.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Valomilks: A Sweet Treat That Runs Down Your Chin

The family-owned Russel Sifers Candy Company has been making Valomilks — and only Valomilks — for decades.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 3:23 pm

The Valomilk was once advertised as "the 5-cent candy bar with the 50-cent taste." And while the price has changed, the product has not.

For more than 80 years, the family-owned Russell Sifers Candy Company has been using the same recipe to churn out a rich concoction of chocolate and creamy marshmallow goo.

The candy-making machines are busy on the factory floor in Merriam, Kan., just southwest of Kansas City. This is the headquarters of the century-old company, where Russell Sifers himself is a fourth-generation candy maker.

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Around the Nation
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Near Wounded Knee, Years Of Alleged Injustice

A memorial marks the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre in Wounded Knee, S.D. The town is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Kristi Eaton AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:49 pm

In the late 1960s, Native Americans fed up with what they saw as years of mistreatment by the federal government formed an organization known as the American Indian Movement.

Founded in Minnesota, the group followed in the footsteps of the civil rights movement and took up protests across the country. One of those protests took place in 1973, when some AIM members occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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Simon Says
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

If Politicians Went On Vacation, We'd All Get A Break

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan holds up a Green Bay Packers jersey during a campaign stop at the Iowa State Fair.
Steve Pope Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 7:58 am

If you toss a corn dog at a state or county fair this summer, you may bonk a politician.

Congress is in recess, but for politicians, it's not recess of the kind they have in grade school. Many pols, especially in a close election year, spend the summer shaking hands at meet-and-greets. They cock their heads to pay rapt attention during listening tours and community meetings, raise money, make speeches, hurl charges, countercharges and ask for votes.

Does that sound refreshing?

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Election 2012
4:31 am
Sat August 18, 2012

King, Vilsack Take House Battle To The Fairground

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa (right) flips pork chops at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines while Terry Aupperle of Wiota watches. Aupperle lives in Cass County. He can't vote for King anymore because of redistricting.
Clay Masters Iowa Public Radio

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 12:14 pm

One of the country's toughest congressional races is in Iowa between Republican Rep. Steve King and the state's former first lady, Christie Vilsack.

Iowa is losing a seat in the House after the election, due to redistricting. Now ultra-conservative King is facing a more moderate electorate as he runs in the newly redrawn 4th Congressional District against a political newcomer.

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Europe
2:54 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Italian Yacht Owners Weigh Anchor To Dodge Taxes

The quayside at Compagnia della Vela in Venice, Italy, is largely deserted. Authorities have targeted yacht owners as part of a crackdown on tax evasion, and many boat owners have sailed to other countries in the Mediterranean.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 6:24 pm

Italy has a public debt of nearly 2 trillion euros, and it's cracking down on its notoriously wily tax evaders. Owners of luxury yachts are a prime target, with tax police launching dockside raids to see how individual tax files line up with owning and maintaining an expensive boat.

But yachts are mobile assets. In response, many boat owners are simply weighing anchor and setting course for more tax-friendly Mediterranean marinas.

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The Two-Way
4:27 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Paul Ryan, Wife Paid 15.9 Percent In Taxes In 2010; 20 Percent In 2011

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speaks during a campaign rally at West Springfield High School on Friday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:43 pm

GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and wife, Janna, have released the tax returns for the past two years.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the returns show that in 2010, Ryan and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 15.9 percent and one of 20 percent in 2011.

The Journal reports that a little more than half of the couple's income for that period came from Ryan's Congressional salary. The paper adds:

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Summer Nights: Funtown
4:03 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

For A Silvery Calif. Fish, A Special Moonlit Night

People stand on the beach to catch grunion during the annual grunion run at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Calif., in 2009.
Jae C. Hong AP

Summertime is beach time in Southern California, even at night. Locals gather around bonfires, roast marshmallows and enjoy each other's company. On some very special nights, there's even sex — at least for the fish.

The grunion run happens only in the spring and summer months. Late at night, under the full and new moons, thousands of tiny, silvery fish swim to shore for a very peculiar mating ritual.

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Youth Radio
4:03 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

PTSD Not Just War Wound, Young People Suffer, Too

Dr. Amit Etkin and a research assistant help a participant into the bore of the MRI.
Courtesy of the Etkin Lab at Stanford University

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:38 pm

Though post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with war veterans, many sufferers have yet to finish high school.

According to the National Survey of Adolescents, about 4 percent of teenage boys and 6 percent of teenage girls meet the clinical definition of PTSD.

But adolescents can be hard to diagnose.

'A Total Nightmare'

The night Stephanie Romero turned 23, she and a friend were attacked by a stranger.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Moscow Court Upholds 100-Year Ban On Gay Pride Events

Russian police officers detain a gay rights activist with his flag during an attempt to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow in May.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Aside from the sentencing of the punk rock band Pussy Riot, there was another interesting ruling out of Moscow today: A court upheld the city's 100-year ban on gay pride events.

According to the BBC, Nikolay Alexeye, Russia's most prominent gay rights activist, challenged the city council's decision to ban any events that could be considered "gay parades" from March 2012 until May 2112.

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Election 2012
3:13 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Once 'The Obama Of Alabama,' Now A GOP Headliner

Artur Davis, with his wife, Tara, concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010. Since losing that race, he has become a Republican and moved to Virginia.
Mark Almond AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:57 pm

Four years ago in Denver, Artur Davis took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to speak up for Barack Obama.

"I am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know America can be," he said.

But now, as President Obama seeks re-election, Davis is on the list of scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention.

The former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who tried and failed to become the state's first black governor, is now a Republican resident of Virginia.

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It's All Politics
3:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Five Social Issues On November Ballots

Petitions for Referendum 74, which would provide a public vote on gay marriage, were submitted in June in Olympia, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

In addition to choosing a president and members of Congress, voters in several states will weigh in on high-profile social issues on Nov. 6. Here are some of the key voter initiatives on ballots:

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U.S.
3:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Budgets Tight, States Ask Voters To Raise Taxes

California Gov. Jerry Brown, speaking in Sacramento on Wednesday, advocates a ballot initiative that would increase sales and income taxes. Several states have measures on the November ballot that seek to plug deficits by raising taxes.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Tax increases will join political candidates on the November ballot in several states struggling to plug some big holes in their budgets.

One of the most closely watched measures is in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown has staked his reputation on closing his state's multibillion-dollar budget gap.

On Wednesday in Sacramento, Brown officially kicked off his campaign to get voter approval to raise taxes via the Schools Public Safety Protection Act, also known as Proposition 30.

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Europe
3:08 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Russian Rockers Get Prison Sentences

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Human rights groups are denouncing the sentence handed down today to members of the Russian feminist punk band, Pussy Riot. The group's crimes? It staged a protest in Moscow's main Russian Orthodox Cathedral last winter. A judge convicted the three women of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced each of them to two years in a labor camp.

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Participation Nation
2:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Outreach With A Wrench In Homer, Alaska

The generous Brant Torsen at Boog's Automotive shop.
Nathan Rott for NPR

Brant "Boog" Torsen can't fix everyone's cars for cookies. Wouldn't have much of a business if he did. But he knows that when you've got a repair garage in a place like Homer, sometimes folks need a little help to make sure the town's nickname — "The End of the Road" — doesn't apply to them.

That's why Boog's done everything from "fixing engines to replacing turn signal bulbs," for nothing more than handshakes and once, a plate of double chocolate chip cookies.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:14 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine

Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti, in March. After some delays, a vaccination project proved successful.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 3:11 pm

A month ago the results of a successful cholera vaccine project in Haiti became available. Now the World Health Organization is calling for the establishment of a global stockpile of the vaccine to respond to outbreaks like Haiti's.

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Law
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Jailed Young, Inmates Seek A New Day In Court

Ruth "Margo" Gee (left) is hopeful that her brother, Tyrone Jones, convicted of murder as a juvenile, will soon be freed from prison. Lawyer Charlotte Whitmore is helping her.
Emma Lee for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

A recent Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory life terms for juveniles has touched off a flurry of activity across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where lawyers are advising about 500 prisoners to file requests for new sentencing hearings before the end of next week.

Bradley Bridge with the Defender Association of Philadelphia has received more than 200 letters from prisoners in the past two months asking about the Supreme Court ruling.

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All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At This Camp, Kids Learn To Question Authority (And Hack It)

DefCon Kids camp co-founder Chris Hoff, with Conner Gilliam (from left), Conner Fine and Ethan Lai, work on a machine that draws designs on ping-pong balls. The camp is held in Las Vegas.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:54 pm

Some kids go to band camp; others go to swim camp. But for the children of the world's digital rabble-rousers, there is hacking camp. It's called DefCon Kids.

This camp, held in Las Vegas, encourages kids to take a hard, skeptical look at the machines that surround them, and teaches them to hack apart everything they can lay their hands on.

One of the most popular activities is lock-picking.

"I had fun with some of the harder locks," says 16-year-old Alaetheia Garrison Stuber.

But did she learn any new tricks?

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Afghanistan
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Afghan Attacks On Western Partners Rising Sharply

Afghan soldiers (right) patrol with U.S. troops in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan in May. The two armies have been working together for years, but Afghan attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have been rising recently.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

In the past two weeks, seven Afghans in uniform have opened fire on Western forces. The most recent incidents occurred Friday. First, a newly recruited policeman in western Afghanistan turned his gun on U.S. military trainers, killing two and wounding a third. A short time later in southern Kandahar province, an Afghan soldier shot and wounded two foreign troops.

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Africa
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

In S. Africa Protest Shooting, An Echo Of The Past?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It has become the deadliest protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid: 34 people dead and more than 78 wounded after police opened fire yesterday on striking workers at a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. The miners had walked off the job a week ago, demanding an increase in wages double to triple what they were making. Today, South Africa's National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said officers were acting in self-defense after armed miners charged their position.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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Politics
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

An Early Exit For Calif. Congressman

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Congressman Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat from California, was retiring after this year. But why wait? A job with a big lobby-law firm was waiting, so the congressman resigned from Congress this week.

Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Romney To Obama On Tax Deal: No, Thanks

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:02 pm

After weeks of saying he would not release his tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday he had checked them and could report he had always paid at least 13 percent annual in federal income tax. But Romney still refuses to make public more of his tax returns, despite a new offer from the Obama campaign.

Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Sound From The Trail: Ryan On His Running Mate

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

We're hearing from all the candidates on the presidential campaign trail this week. We listen to part of a stump speech from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in Glen Allen, Va.

Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Week In Politics: Taxes And What Ryan Will Do

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We're going to talk about this question of taxes and more with our Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and subbing for David Brooks this week, Reihan Salam of National Review. Welcome to you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

REIHAN SALAM: Thanks for having us.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Snickers And 5-Star Hotels: Report Details Top General's Wasteful Spending

Army Lt. Gen. William E. Kip Ward is adminstered the oath of four-star General, the Army's highest rank of general.
Caleb Jones AP

A report made public today by the Department of Defense finally gives us details on what caused the downfall of Four-Star Gen. William "Kip" Ward.

More than a year ago, Ward gave up his post as leader of U.S. Africa Command and Stars and Stripes reported in May that he would be stripped of two of his stars, pending an investigation. But the reasons why were kept quiet, as Stars And Stripes reported.

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Music Reviews
1:17 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Fire Up Your Kid's Imagination At The 'Science Fair'

Science Fair includes science-loving songs from Laura Veirs, Mates of State, Elizabeth Mitchell and more.
El Lohse

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

As a math-loving parent of a math-loving tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering fields. A new benefit album of kids music called Science Fair gathers musicians together to take on that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Study Supports Regulators' Effort To Limit Miners' Exposure To Coal Dust

A study released today by the Government Accountability Office says that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) used appropriate data and scientific methods in drafting new regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coal dust miners are exposed to at U.S. operations.

As NPR's Howard Berkes reported for us last month, some House Republicans had blocked implementation of the regulations until GAO issued its report.

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It's All Politics
12:05 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Obama Camp's DOA Tax Offer To Romney Keeps Issue Alive

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:26 pm

The Friday offer from President Obama's campaign to Mitt Romney — that if the GOP presidential candidate releases his tax returns for the past five years, it won't attack him for not releasing more — was immediately rejected by the Romney campaign.

But the give-and-take keeps Romney on the defensive, and promises to keep the issue of Romney's taxes going for weeks to come.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Fri August 17, 2012

New Syrian Envoy Brahimi Takes On 'Crucial Task'

Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

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