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It's All Politics
4:24 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

In Blue-Leaning Connecticut, Tight Senate Race Has Democrat On Offense

Linda McMahon (center) visits a senior center in Naugatuck, Conn., this month.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

It might seem counterintuitive, but the man running against Republican Linda McMahon in her second attempt at becoming Connecticut's first female senator wants this race to be all about women.

Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy released an ad this week, hammering McMahon's stance on women's health and reminding voters of McMahon's former role as CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

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World
4:07 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Pakistani Minister Stands By Bounty For Filmmaker

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Pakistan's railways minister, has offered $100,000 for the death of a filmmaker who produced an anti-Islam movie. He says it's the "only way" to stop insults to the Prophet Muhammad.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Despite international condemnation, Pakistan's railways minister says he isn't backing down from his $100,000 bounty offer to anyone who kills the maker of the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims.

Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, the slight, silver-haired minister, says he was angry when he saw the video and that he's a man of great faith, passionately devoted to the Prophet Muhammad.

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It's All Politics
3:11 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Presidential Debates: The One Area Where Campaigns Pitch Their Weakness

Sen. John McCain and then-Sen. Barack Obama, at one of their 2008 presidential debates.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 3:19 pm

An oddity of U.S. presidential politics is that candidates and their campaigns spend nearly all their time telling voters how superior they are to their rivals in virtually every area: the wisdom of their policy proposals; the soundness of their characters and judgments — everything, really.

Except for debating.

It's the old game of setting the bar high for your opponent and lower for your candidate, of course. That way, anything short of a disastrous debate performance can be claimed as a knockout victory.

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Planet Money
3:02 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Weird Story Of Why Helium Prices Are Going Through The Roof

A man selling helium balloons at a local festival on Feb. 19, in Athens, Greece.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:51 am

For More: Pork, Helium, Maple Syrup: Our Favorite Strategic Reserves

Back in the 1920s, the U.S. government thought blimps might be the next big thing in warfare. So the government started producing helium. And they created the Federal Helium Reserve, a vast store of helium that sits underground in the Texas panhandle.

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It's All Politics
3:01 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Citing 'Zero Tolerance' For Voter Fraud, RNC Fires Firm Over Florida Questions

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:31 pm

A big embarrassment came this week for the Republican Party, which has made voting integrity and fighting voter fraud a major issue.

A consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in five battleground states has been let go after one of its workers apparently submitted over 100 questionable registration forms in Florida's Palm Beach County.

The party severed its ties with the firm — Strategic Allied Consulting — because it has "zero tolerance" for voter fraud, said RNC spokesman Sean Spicer.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Holy Bat Virus! Genome Hints At Origin Of SARS-Like Virus

Bats harbor many types of coronaviruses and were probably the original source of the new coronavirus that appeared in the Middle East.
iStockphoto.com

On the surface, the new coronavirus detected in the Middle East this month looks quite similar to SARS. It apparently causes severe respiratory problems, and can be lethal.

But with viruses, the devil is in their details — the genetic details.

Dutch virologists have just published the whole genome of the new coronavirus — all 30,118 letters of its code. And, the sequence reveals that the mystery virus is most closely related to coronaviruses that infect bats in Southeast Asia.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

On Iran: Obama, Netanyahu In 'Full Agreement' About Goal, White House Says

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:50 am

Here's what the White House says the conversation was like when President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone today:

"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke today as part of their regular consultations, and to follow up on Secretary Clinton's meeting with the prime minister.

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Interviews
2:13 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Steve Martin: From Standup To Movie Star And Writer

Steve Martin at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

This interview is an combination of broadcasts from Oct. 22, 2008 and Oct. 6, 2003. His early standup routines, TV specials and other TV appearances have been released in a new DVD box set.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Grieving Pet Owners Want Imported Dog Treats Pulled From Shelves

Rita Desollar believes chicken jerky treats imported from China killed her German shepherd, Heidi.
Rita Desollar

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:52 pm

The Food and Drug Administration isn't sure, but Rita Desollar of Pekin, Ill., feels she knows what killed Heidi, her 7-year-old German shepherd. She feels it was the chicken jerky strips she bought at her local Walgreen's.

Desollar says on the Wednesday before Memorial Day, she gave two pieces of Waggin' Train jerky to Heidi as a treat. A few days later, Heidi was throwing up and "in a lot of distress," she says. By the time the holiday rolled around on Monday, Desollar says, Heidi was convulsing in her bed. She died that day, before Desollar could even take her to the vet.

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Law
1:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

'Innocence Of Muslims' Filmmaker Arrested

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Federal authorities in Southern California have arrested the man who produced the now infamous anti-Islam video, the one that recently sparked unrest in many Muslim countries. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested for violating his probation from a previous bank fraud conviction. The judge at his hearing this afternoon denied Mr. Nakoula bail, calling him a flight risk, that's according to news agency reports. We now go to NPR West, and we're joined by NPR's Carrie Kahn, who has the latest on Nakoula's arrest.

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Education
1:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

New Wave Of School Integration In Birmingham, Ala.

First-grade teacher Euginia Miller reads to her class at Avondale Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. In this crucible of the civil rights movement, the city's schools are being reintegrated, as a handful of middle-class parents ignore the school district's poor reputation and enroll their kids in the city's public schools.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

When Laura Kate Whitney enrolled her 4-year-old, Grey, at Avondale Elementary, a public school in Birmingham, Ala., she and her husband were bucking a trend. Whitney and her husband are white, middle-class professionals. Public schools in Birmingham are 95 percent black, and 90 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch.

Whitney's is one of about two-dozen similar families who are not buying into the conventional tradeoff that if you live within city limits and have means, you send your kids to private schools.

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Television
1:22 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fall TV's Returning Series: A Cause To Rejoice

A phone call from her former boss, Saul (Mandy Patinkin), delivers Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) back into the action of Homeland's second season.
Ronen Akerman Showtime

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:05 pm

Right now, as we near the end of the 2012 fall TV premiere week, there's a tendency for a sense of weariness to set in. So many of the new TV series are so bad this year, and not one of them is outstanding. It tends to get a little depressing.

But then you think about the rich bounty of returning series, and how good television drama has gotten lately, and there's cause to rejoice all over again.

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Election 2012
1:11 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Secrets Of Winning The Presidential Debates

Then-Sen. Barack Obama gets makeup applied at a presidential candidate forum in Lake Forest, Calif., on Aug. 16, 2008.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:29 pm

TO: President Obama and Mitt Romney

FROM: NPR News

RE: Prepping (and primping) for debates

With the first 2012 presidential debate slated for Wednesday night, we thought it might be helpful to pass along a few suggestions — some more substantive than others — to the participants.

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Science
1:03 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Ice Age Co-Stars: Horses, Camels And Cheetahs

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Mammoths and saber-toothed cats may be the most famous beasts of the Ice Age. But they shared the prairie with horses and camels, too--both of which evolved in North America and crossed the ice bridge into Eurasia, before disappearing here. Matthew Kohn and Christopher Hill talk about the lesser-known fauna of the Ice Age.

The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Ahmadinejad More Popular Than Obama? Iranian News Agency Gets Fooled

Not unbelievable to some in Iran, it seems.
The Onion

Last week, Fox and Friends saw a photo on The Drudge Report and started saying that President Obama had time to sit down with a comical "pirate" but not to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The only problem: The photo was three years old.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:33 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

For Best Toilet Health: Squat Or Sit?

A contractor designed the Squatty Potty to help his mother get closer to the squatting position on the john.
Courtesy of Squatty Potty

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:50 pm

We at Shots don't shy away from talking about poop, as Michaeleen Doucleff demonstrated last month with her post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment in fake feces.

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Business
12:12 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Bank Of America To Pay $2.43 Billion In Settlement

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with more fallout from the financial crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Analysing The Evidence On DNA

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:57 pm

When police find DNA at a crime scene, the amount and how it's handled are crucial components in solving a case. Greg Hampikian, Director of the Idaho Innocence Project, discusses the use and misuse of DNA analysis, and why he says all DNA evidence is not created equal.

NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

The Biology Of Birds Of Prey

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 3:30 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the biology of raptors, moving from giant animals to the birds, we're going to talk about here in Boise. Just outside of town is the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. And that park has one of the highest concentrations of nesting raptors in the world, more than 20 different birds of prey, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, screech owls.

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NPR Story
12:04 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fires And Invasive Grass Threaten American West

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 2:02 pm

Cheatgrass, an invasive weed, is choking out native sagebrush in the Great Basin--and setting the stage for hotter, more catastrophic fires there. Jen Pierce, an expert on ancient fires, and Mike Pellant, of the Great Basin Restoration Initiative, talk about how fires are reshaping landscapes in the American West.

'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
12:03 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

It's All Politics, Sept. 27, 2012

Tony Dejak AP

Less than six weeks to go and President Obama seems to have opened up a lead in the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida. Aside from poor economic numbers and worsening international events, Mitt Romney's best hope lies in the debates, which begin next week. Also to no one's surprise — and Sen. Claire McCaskill's delight — Todd Akin stays in the Missouri Senate race.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political news in this week's roundup.

The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

No Evidence Yet Of Jimmy Hoffa Under That Michigan Driveway

In Roseville, Mich., officials carry away a soil sample taken from under a driveway where a tipster says a body was buried decades ago — raising speculation that it might be Jimmy Hoffa.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

So far, at least, the dirt beneath a driveway in Roseville, Mich., isn't turning up any sign that former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa was buried there 37 years ago.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Due To Threat, University Barred Colorado Shootings Suspect, Prosecutors Say

James Holmes in a Sept. 20 sheriff's photo.
Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 1:08 pm

The man charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater on July 20 threatened a University of Colorado psychiatrist about six weeks before the massacre and was barred from campus "as a result of those actions," according to local prosecutors.

They also say in court documents released this morning that James Holmes' alleged threat was reported to university police at the time.

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History
11:33 am
Fri September 28, 2012

The Fight To Desegregate Ole Miss, 50 Years Later

James Meredith is escorted by U.S. Marshals. A riot broke out in 1962 when Meredith tried to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:59 pm

On Sept. 30, 1962, chaos broke out at the University of Mississippi — also known as Ole Miss — after an African-American man named James Meredith attempted to enroll.

That night, students and other protesters took to the streets, burning cars and throwing rocks at the federal marshals who were tasked with protecting Meredith. By the time the riot was over, observers said the grounds looked like a war zone, and the smell of tear gas hung in the air.

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Middle East
11:33 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Should The World Brace For An Iran-Israel War?

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:50 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, violence erupted at the University of Mississippi 50 years ago when an African-American student tried to enroll. We'll look back on that day in just a few minutes.

But, first, to the United Nations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday, the only way to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb is to draw a clear red line.

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Apple Is 'Extremely Sorry' For Its Much-Maligned Maps, CEO Tim Cook Says

Will it take you where you want to go? A new iPhone 5 and Apple's new mapping software.
Beck Diefenbach Reuters /Landov

How much of a "public relations disaster" has Apple's new mapping software been?

Big enough that the famously proud company has apologized — and suggested that users can turn to arch rival Google Maps instead.

In a message "to our customers" posted this morning, CEO Tim Cook says:

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The Salt
10:08 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Some Grumble About Change As School Lunches Get Leaner And Greener

Michelle Kloser, School Nutrition Director for the West Salem School District in Wisconsin took this picture of Thursday's lunch, which includes baked chicken and rosemary potatoes.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:16 pm

This fall, the more than 38 million kids who get their lunches through the National School Lunch Program are seeing big changes on their trays.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:50 am
Fri September 28, 2012

'Cocaine For Snowblindness': What Polar Explorers Packed For First Aid

From left: Frank Wild, Ernest Shackleton, Dr. Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams head back to base camp after getting within 97 miles of the South Pole — closer than anyone had gotten before them — in January 1909.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 11:12 am

So you're headed out to explore the frozen wilderness of the Antarctic, facing one of the most punishing climates on Earth. What kind of medical supplies do you strap onto your sledge in case of emergency, miles from any sign of civilization?

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Bank Of America To Pay $2.43 Billion To Settle Class Action Lawsuit

Bank of America's corporate center in Charlotte, N.C.
Scott Olson Getty Images

While denying it did anything wrong, Bank of America announced this morning it will pay "$2.43 billion and institute certain corporate governance policies ... to settle a class action lawsuit brought in 2009 on behalf of investors who purchased or held Bank of America securities at the time the company announced plans to acquire Merrill Lynch."

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Income And Spending Both Basically Flat In August

Higher prices at the pump meant the amount of money consumers spent went up last month.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Americans' personal income grew by just 0.1 percent in August from July and consumer spending would have been basically flat as well if it hadn't been for higher gasoline prices, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning.

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