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It's All Politics
3:28 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Perry Shakes Up Campaign Leadership With Bush and Dole Operatives

Joe Allbaugh, left, speaks to the press in Austin, Texas, in this Jan. 4, 2001, photo after being named as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency by then President-elect George W. Bush.

J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:07 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry shook up his foundering presidential campaign Monday, bringing in old Republican Party hands, including former George W. Bush operative Joe Allbaugh who is to manage the effort.

Allbaugh will be joined on the campaign by top GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio, a former strategist for Bob Dole; Curt Anderson, an established GOP media strategist; and Nelson Warfield, who was spokesman for Dole's 1996 presidential campaign.

Fabrizio, Anderson, and Warfield all worked on Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott's insurgent campaign last year.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Islamist Party Takes Half Of Overseas Seats In Tunisia

Some of the results of Tunisia's first elections since the overthrow of its longtime dictator are in: The AP reports that "a leading Islamist party has taken half the seats reserved for Tunisians living abroad."

And in a statement, the opposing secular party conceded defeat. Via Reuters, they issued this statement:

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National Security
3:22 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

U.S. Keeping Close Watch On Al-Qaida in Africa

This image released by the SITE Intelligence Group on April 27, 2011 shows Thierry Dol, one of four French hostages held by al-Qaida's north Africa affiliate. U.S. counter-terrorism officials are concerned that al-Qaida affiliates in Africa are growing stronger.

Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 5:00 am

The U.S. has had major successes against al-Qaida this year, taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.

But for American counterterrorism officials, concerns over al-Qaida in Africa keep growing.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:52 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

BPA And Behavior: More Questions Than Answers

iStockphoto.com

When it comes to worries about raising kids in our modern age, the effects of chemicals in the environment are near the top of the list.

Unfortunately for those looking for definitive answers about BPA, the latest study doesn't have them.

Critics of bisphenol A say it can cause health problems by mimicking the hormone estrogen in the body, which could be hazardous for developing bodies. Some jurisdictions have moved to ban it.

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National Security
2:34 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

The Osprey: Good Reviews, But A Costly Program

A U.S. Marine Osprey at Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan. The aircraft suffered multiple problems when it was being developed, but is now getting praise from those flying it.

David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:05 pm

Over three decades, the U.S. has spent billions of dollars and lost 30 lives creating a unique aircraft, the Osprey, which lifts off like a helicopter and flies like a plane.

After all these problems, the Marines are now using them widely in Afghanistan, and the Osprey is getting excellent reviews.

But the aircraft now faces another question: Because it's so expensive, should the Osprey program be slashed as the Pentagon looks for cuts?

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Author Interviews
2:26 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Reporting On The Front Lines Of Mexico's Drug War

Screenshot from El Narco

Since 2006, 40,000 people have been murdered in Mexico as drug cartels battle each other and the Mexican military.

British journalist Ioan Grillo has spent the past 10 years covering the Mexican drug trade. His book El Narco traces how Mexico came to dominate drug trafficking, how it spread throughout the country, and how the drug cartels have radically transformed the area along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The Salt
2:21 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

A Day To Think About Food Even More

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Participants, including Mario Batali, right, at the "Eat In," a Food Day lunch event in Times Square in New York on Monday.

Philip Greenberg Philip Greenberg for Food Day

It's tough to get excited about another awareness day. In case you hadn't heard, October is National Protect Your Hearing Month. Sept. 21 was National School Backpack Day. There is a Hug Your Hound Day. These are all worthy causes, of course, but at a certain point, one wonders whether any good can come from singling out one more day to force awareness on people.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

McDonald's Elusive McRib Makes A Comeback

Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 2:02 pm

At this point the McRib has become American folklore. The boneless pork sandwich slathered in barbeque sauce is only sold whenever each individual McDonald's franchise feels like selling it. So — probably because of elusiveness — it's developed a cult-like following.

The AP reports that McRib hunters will be very happy, because the fast-food behemoth is doing what it did last year and asking its restaurants nationwide to sell the sandwich through Nov. 14.

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Larry Page Now More Popular Than Facebook's Zuckerberg On Google+

Larry Page.

Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 10:50 am

That headline may seem insignificant — you know that Larry Page, Google's CEO, now has more followers on Google+ than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — but in the tech world it's seen as tea leaves that hint at the future of the social network.

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Latin America
12:38 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Google To Deliver The Amazon Jungle In 3-D

A boat navigates along the Black River near the village of Tumbira, in the Amazon, northern Brazil, on Aug. 18. In a few weeks, Google will post a 3-D, on-the-ground view of Tumbira on Google Earth Outreach.

Evaristo SA AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:00 pm

Google has long offered anyone with an Internet connection a street-level view of cities and landmarks around the world, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Roman Coliseum.

Now, it's teaming up with a Brazilian environmental group to offer a 3-D, on-the-ground view of one of the planet's most remote areas: the hamlet of Tumbira in the center of the Brazilian Amazon. The goal is to show how people in the Amazon live — and educate the public about their effort to protect the forest.

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Law
12:36 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

'Deadly Monopolies'? Patenting The Human Body

Drugs or pills against a background of dollar bills.

Aron Hsiao iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 3:52 pm

In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled that living, human-made microorganisms could be patented by their developers. The ruling opened the gateway for cells, tissues, genetically modified plants and animals, and genes to be patented.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

#WeCantWait: Obama's Fans And Foes Take The Argument To Twitter

twitter.com

The news that President Obama and his team are going to make the case that "we can't wait" any longer for Congress (and in particular, his Republican opponents) to take action on his ideas about how to boost job growth has inspired much discussion on Twitter today.

"#WeCantWait" is, it seems, an almost perfect hashtag no matter which side you're on.

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Politics
12:09 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

A Push To Register New Voters Reaches Behind Bars

Dr. Brenda Williams, right, with her husband, Dr. Joe Williams, in their Sumter, S.C. medical clinic. The two routinely register their patients to vote. Brenda also seeks out new voters at the county jail.

Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 6:50 am

Tens of millions of Americans who are eligible to vote are not registered. So before every big election there's a flurry of activity to sign them up.

One South Carolina woman is passionate about registering those who others might ignore. Dr. Brenda Williams, a physician in Sumter, S.C., regularly visits the county jail to sign up inmates.

Williams says it's important for them to become part of the community after they're released. She thinks this will make them less likely to end up back behind bars.

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Iraq
12:00 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Coming Home From Iraq: Military Community Responds

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, host: This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up: As cholera epidemic grips Haiti, we'll hear about new efforts to fight the disease and the challenge of getting medical care to all who need it, and we'll also hear about a musical group with roots in the Haitian diaspora that is wowing critics and audiences around the world. That's all coming up later in the program. But first, an announcement that many Americans have been waiting for, for years, that U.S. troops will be leaving Iraq by the end of the year.

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It's All Politics
11:36 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Obama's Executive-Power Use Shows He Still Holds Some Cards

Auctioneer Eddie Burks calls out bids during a foreclosure auction in Las Vegas, April 2011.

Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 1:22 pm

An advantage of being an Oval Office incumbent seeking re-election was readily evident Monday in President Obama's roll-out of his administration's latest effort to help struggling homeowners.

With many Americans either facing foreclosure and others, because of declining property values or much tighter lending standards, unable to refinance their mortgages to take advantage of lower interest rates, the Obama administration is doing extensive renovations of its current housing policies.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Mon October 24, 2011

NPR's Michele Norris Stepping Away From Hosting Duties

NPR's Michele Norris.

Stephen Voss

Michele Norris, an All Things Considered co-host since December 2002, is stepping away from that post until after the 2012 presidential campaign because her husband has taken a senior position with President Obama's re-election effort.

She is not leaving NPR's airwaves, however. While she will not be involved in coverage of the 2012 election, Norris will continue to report and produce projects for the organization.

In a message just sent to NPR staff, Norris says:

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Mon October 24, 2011

WikiLeaks Suspends Operations, May Have To Close

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stood in front of a selection of inverted banking company logos as he spoke to journalists today in London.

Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Saying that "an arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade ... has destroyed 95 percent of our revenue," WikiLeaks has suspended publishing operations and founder Julian Assange says it may have to shut down permanently by year's end.

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Law
9:59 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Big Fight Brewing In Senate Over Defense Policy Bill

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has criticized the Obama administration's stance on the detainee policy in the defense bill.

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 25, 2011 6:06 pm

A big fight is brewing in the Senate over the national defense policy bill. It's legislation that would authorize a pay raise and other benefits for U.S. troops.

But the bipartisan bill also contains a provision about detainees that's raising alarms at the White House, because the Obama administration says the measure would tie its hands in some terrorism cases.

The defense authorization bill has pitted President Obama's national security advisers against some prominent Democrats in the U.S. Senate.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Mon October 24, 2011

'We Can't Wait,' Obama Says As He Unveils New Economic Initiatives

President Obama talked about jobs last week in North Chesterfield, Va.Â

Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 5:50 pm

Update at 5:42 p.m. ET. As expected, President Obama announced that his administration was easing the terms of a federal program that would open the doors for homeowners to refinancing their homes no matter how far underwater their mortgage is.

The AP reports that the Federal Housing Finance Administration "estimated an additional 1 million people would qualify. Moody's Analytics say the figure could be as high as 1.6 million."

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Gadhafi's Death To Be Investigated, Transitional Leader Says

"Libya's transitional leader has ordered an investigation into the death of Moammar Gadhafi after the U.S. and other international powers pressed for the probe," The Associated Press reports. It adds that "Mustafa Abdul-Jalil told a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi that the Transitional National Council formed a committee to investigate the killing on Thursday, amid conflicting reports of how the dictator who ruled Libya for four decades died."

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The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon October 24, 2011

U.S. Ambassador Leaves Syria Due To 'Credible Threats'

Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

"The U.S. has pulled its ambassador out of Syria over security concerns, blaming President Bashar Assad's government for the threats.," The Associated Press writes. "State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Monday that Ambassador Robert Ford returned to Washington this weekend after 'credible threats against his personal safety.' "

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Napoli, Holland Are Names To Remember As Rangers Even Series At 2-2

Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland and catcher Mike Napoli celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in game four of the MLB World Series.

Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Pitcher Derek Holland gave up just two hits over 8 1/3 innings as his Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 Sunday night and evened the best-of-seven World Series at two games each.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:22 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Big-Name Drugs Are Falling Off The 'Patent Cliff'

iStockphoto.com

Some of the most popular and expensive brand-name drugs are about to go generic.

Take Lipitor, for example. In November, the heart drug comes off-patent — and by next June, there are likely to be multiple generic versions.

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Race
5:21 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Moreno, Leguizamo Talk Latin Life In 'Hollywouldn't'

Four's The Score: One of a handful of performers to score an EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony — Rita Moreno is revisiting the highlights and lowlights of her life and career in a new solo show.

Michael LaMonica Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:03 pm

Rita Moreno — the only Latino performer to win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony — is reprising some of her most memorable characters in a solo show at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. Up the coast in Los Angeles, John Leguizamo, who co-starred opposite Al Pacino in Carlito's Way and voiced Sid the sloth in the animated Ice Age films, is performing another of his acclaimed solo shows. And while their Hollywood success came 40 years apart, the two say they encountered many of the same hurdles.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:20 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Medicare Enrollment Comes Sooner This Year

The open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries is under way earlier this year — one of many upcoming changes.

Anne de Haas iStockphoto.com

If you're a senior on Medicare — or an adult child responsible for a senior on Medicare — here's something you should know: The annual "open enrollment" period for joining or changing prescription drug or private health plans is already under way.

"It's much earlier this year. It started on Oct. 15, and it's going to stop on Dec. 7," says Nancy Metcalf, a senior editor and health expert at Consumer Reports. "So you have your window right now."

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Around the Nation
5:19 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Labor Worries Rise As Planting Season Nears In Ala.

Farmer Scott Allgood, front, of Allgood, Ala., listens during a meeting of farmers and state officials to discuss the impact of the Alabama Immigration law on their livelihoods in Oneonta, Ala.

Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Wed October 26, 2011 12:26 am

Alabama farmers are facing a labor crisis because of the state's new immigration law as both legal and undocumented migrant workers have fled the state since the strict new rules went into effect last month.

So far, piecemeal efforts to match the unemployed or work release inmates to farm jobs are not panning out, and farmers are asking state lawmakers to do something before the spring planting season.

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National Security
5:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

U.S. Military Boosts Clean Energy, With Startup Help

Lance Cpl. Dakota Hicks, from Laharpe, Ill., connects a radio battery to a portable solar panel system in Sangin District, Afghanistan.

William Price Small AP

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:03 pm

With a bill of about $15 billion a year the U.S. military is the largest energy user in the country by far, so the Defense Department has been finding alternative ways to meet its energy needs with help from Silicon Valley.

But this partnership between the military and clean tech companies is taking some heat in the midst of discussions about Solyndra, the failed solar panel manufacturer, and the riskiness of green startups.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
5:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Housing Crisis A Hot Topic For Presidential Hopefuls

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann participate in a Republican presidential debate last week in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:03 pm

Home prices across the U.S. have dropped 30 percent from their peaks, a downturn that has sapped trillions of dollars in wealth from Americans. Not surprisingly, it's a hot topic for presidential candidates this campaign season. But so far, new ideas about how to fix the crisis have been scarce.

On Monday, President Obama is visiting Nevada, where he's expected to announce his administration's latest proposals on housing. The state is at the epicenter of the downturn, with the latest reports showing home prices and sales numbers continuing to slip.

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Election 2012
5:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Latino Republicans Find Party A Tough Sell

President Obama, seen here in North Chesterfield, Va., last week, is on a campaign swing through the West this week, making stops in California, Nevada and Colorado — states with significant Hispanic populations.

Jay Paul Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 7:03 pm

President Obama is on a campaign swing through the West this week, making stops in California, Nevada and Colorado — all states where Hispanic voters will play a pivotal role in next year's election.

Obama has lost popularity with Latinos recently, mostly due to the economy. But Hispanic voters looking for alternatives find problems with the Republican slate as well.

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain recently said he'd "electrify" the U.S.-Mexico border fence "with a sign on it on the other side that says it can kill you."

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