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It's the final week before the debates begin and the presidential candidates are stepping up their campaigning as they try to shake loose what polls are still showing to be a very tight race. We'll hear about one of those polls of rural voters in just a minute. But first, both President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney appeared last night on the CBS program "60 Minutes."
A large children's hospital in Durban, South Africa, is being rebuilt two decades after it closed owing to apartheid. It opened in 1931 as a facility for all races, but racial tensions in the 1980s forced its closure.
Now with Durban and the surrounding province of KwaZulu-Natal extremely hard hit by AIDS and tuberculosis, local leaders are hopeful they can begin reopening the hospital early in 2013.
Grizzly Bear, which has just released its fourth studio album, Shields, spoke to Morning Edition host David Greene about democracy within the band, censorship and candor in interviews, and achieving success as an indie band. Hear the radio version at the audio link and read part of their conversation below.
Tech companies like Google, Facebook and Zynga are on a shopping spree. They're buying small startups with innovative products and apps. But, many times, the tech giants don't care about what the small companies were producing. They just want the engineers.
There's a new name for these deals: the "acqui-hire," and it could mean the end to your favorite app.
For thousands of people across the country, going to a regular gym just doesn't cut it. Instead, they prefer CrossFit routines: like swinging kettlebells, flipping tires, and doing squats and dead lifts until they drop. Now kids as young as 4 are taking part.
The idea behind CrossFit Kids, says co-founder Jeff Martin, is to pair fitness and fun. Since he started the program with his wife Mikki in 2004, it has taken off. There are hundreds of CrossFit Kids classes across the U.S., and more in cities across the world.
The nation's smallest and most remote places are providing Mitt Romney's biggest margins in battleground states as the 2012 presidential race enters its final weeks.
In fact, rural counties are keeping Romney competitive in the states that are now up for grabs. That's what a new bipartisan survey indicates. The poll also finds that President Obama's rural support has plunged since 2008.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
The income gap is receiving much attention lately as more Americans are isolating themselves around "people like us."
More accurately, they surround themselves with people who earn similar incomes, and it is now fueling a rise in residential segregation. One recent study suggests the income gap might be greater today than even during colonial times – even when you account for slavery.
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 6:16 pm
Alma Solis, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Systematic Entomology Lab, and her husband, Jason Hall, a researcher with the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum, are, at first blush, a natural match.
Both are entomologists, a career that requires long hours, field work and travel for months at time — all without huge pay. But the couple soon learned that though they shared a passion, they did not share a specialty.
The town of Roosevelt, N.J., was born out of an era not much different from today. It was 1937, the economy was in the toilet, and the country bitterly divided.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had won a second term in office — an election as acrimonious as today's — and with his re-election, a host of New Deal programs moved forward. One of these projects built 99 towns outside of industrial centers across the country. The town of Roosevelt, 50 miles south of New York City, was one of them.
Cities and towns facing tight budgets have often neglected their cemeteries, an oversight that has left many of them in disrepair with broken fencing, crumbling gravestones, overgrown grass and persistent weeds.
But this summer, the Vermont town of Charlotte implemented a new strategy to both save money and keep grass in the town's graveyards under control, and it's a decidedly traditional way of doing it: Let goats and sheep do the work.
It's a small town girl's dream: One day, you're strutting the floorboards of a summer stage; the next, the silver screen. Thus is the arc of Elsa Emerson, a Door County, Wis., girl whose life at the Cheery County playhouse never quite goes away when she becomes the Oscar-winning Laura Lamont.
Johns Hopkins, Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Cornell. What do these medical schools have in common?
Beyond their first-rate reputations, they're also on the short list of top U.S. med schools that don't have departments of family medicine. Elite schools have long focused on training specialists and researchers, but with the federal health law's emphasis on primary care, some schools are looking harder at family medicine.
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 3:11 pm
The giant panda cub born to much excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., last weekend was found dead this morning.
The Associated Press reports panda-keepers were alerted by sounds of distress from the cub's mother, Mei Xiang, but it was too late. The cause of death is not yet known, but zoo officials are planning a press conference at 1 p.m. ET.
Weekends on All Things Considered continues its "Why Music Matters" series with music from the heavens, as chosen by astronaut Stan Love.
"In space, every day is an important day of work," Love says. But when he was sent up to the space station to drop off and pick up crew members, the returning station crew member asked, "Dudes, where are the tunes?"
Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 12:43 pm
More women are running for Congress this year than ever before. The 18 women running for the Senate break the previous record of 14, set two years ago. Also, there are 163 female candidates for House seats, more than the 141 who ran in 2004.
That gives this election season a Year-of-the-Woman ring to it, says The Center for American Women and Politics. The center's director, Debbie Walsh, offered some reasons in a press release:
Automaker Fiat announced its commitment to remain in Italy after a meeting Saturday between the company's CEO and the country's president.
Fiat had threatened to shut down its operations in Italy unless it received additional state assistance. The crisis came at a time the entire country is undergoing a steep decline across all industrial sectors.
When you walk into a McDonald's in India, it doesn't feel that much different from one in the U.S. That is, until you try to order.
When McDonald's first came to India 15 years ago, it ditched the Big Macs and Quarter Pounders to try to fit in in a country where cows are sacred and most people frown on eating beef. The chain tried re-creating its American classics with lamb, but it was a flop.
President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, seem to have switched places in recent days.
The incumbent president is promising to change Washington from the outside. Meanwhile, Romney, who made his fortune turning businesses around, says he wants to work within the existing political system.
The contrast was on display Saturday in Wisconsin, where Obama held one of the biggest rallies of his re-election campaign.
Ihab Abu Nada's family lives down a series of dark narrow alleyways in Gaza City. The house has two bedrooms for the seven people living there — the kitchen and the bathroom are in the same space, and the roof is made of tin and frequently leaks.
Still, most of the Palestinian family's income goes into paying the rent.
Ihab's picture adorns a cracked wall; it's a simple memorial. Earlier this month, after being unable to find work, the 18-year-old set himself on fire and died. The family is still in mourning.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 1:39 pm
If you had a sudden urge to put a horn on your head, not use your knees and chew on some leaves, you may be catching the spirit of World Rhino Day. It's being celebrated all over the world with art shows, auctions, walk-a-thons and lectures with the theme of "Five Rhino Species Forever."
A reminder from weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden that Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is still open for submissions. Our judge, Brad Meltzer, is looking for an original short story that revolves around a U.S. president — fictional or real — in under 600 words. Listeners can submit their story online at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
In a move to perhaps change the topic after a turbulent few weeks, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his 2011 tax returns. But the move has not silenced his critics. With just 45 days until Election Day, weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with NPR's White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro about the candidate's next steps.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.
MITT ROMNEY: Eight percent unemployment for over, how many, 43 months right here in Las Vegas and in Nevada. You've seen housing prices bumping along the bottom, record numbers of foreclosures. These are tough times. We have a president who says he can't fix Washington. I can. I will lead. I'll get the job done.
Theweekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For actor Michael Peña, whose credits include Crash, World Trade Center, and End of Watch, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose.