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Environment
4:20 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wood Energy Not 'Green' Enough, Says Mass.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

Wind and solar get lots of attention, but another kind of renewable power actually creates more energy in our country --wood. The state of Massachusetts on Friday decided that these plants aren't green enough to get some special breaks.

Remembrances
3:58 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Comedy's Self-Deprecating Pioneer Phyllis Diller Dies

Diller poses with a photo at her Los Angeles home in 2005.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller, Legendary Comedian, Is Dead

In this May 20, 1966 file photo, comedian Phyllis Diller appears in character in the ABC-TV comedy series "The Pruitts of Southampton."
AP

Phyllis Diller, who was known for her trademark self-deprecating humor and laugh, has died at 95.

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Presidential Race
3:38 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Ann Romney Adds Fire, Faith To Husband's Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, greet supporters during an Illinois primary victory party in March.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 8:52 pm

If you want to see how much Mitt and Ann Romney consider themselves a team, check out his official portrait at the Massachusetts Statehouse. He's the first governor to request that an image of his wife be included in the painting — he's posed beside a framed picture of her.

By all accounts, the Romneys consult each other on everything. So after a bruising campaign in 2008 that left Mrs. Romney openly disgusted by the process and vowing she would never do it again, it looked like that might be it for Mitt.

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It's All Politics
3:35 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Todd Akin Fallout Spreads From Missouri To White House Race

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and his wife Lulli, talk with reporters last Thursday at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. On Monday, Akin was resisting GOP calls to resign from his Senate race.
Orlin Wagner AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 9:28 pm

After Republican Rep. Todd Akin's inflammatory comments over the weekend in which he blithely minimized rape-induced pregnancies, there are at least two inescapable questions:

1) What impact will his remark have on his U.S. Senate race in Missouri against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill?

2) And how much will the shockwaves buffet the presidential contest or other races elsewhere?

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Latin America
3:03 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dissident's Death Stirs A Drama In Cuba

Oswaldo Paya, who challenged Cuba's communist regime for decades, died in a car crash on July 22. A Spanish man who was driving Paya has been charged with the equivalent of vehicular manslaughter. Here, a nun holds a portrait of Paya during his funeral in Havana.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:02 pm

The family of well-known Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in a car crash in July, claims that the Cuban government may have had a role in his death.

But as new details come to light, it appears that a European activist who came to help Paya ended up accidentally killing him on a trip gone horribly wrong.

Actually, two Europeans, both 27, were in the car with Paya at the time of his death. The Europeans had met through Facebook.

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Election 2012
2:47 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Medicare And Medicaid: How The Campaigns Differ

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., discusses Medicare, Medicaid and the federal budget last year, in Kenosha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:07 pm

Since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, seems all we've been hearing about is Medicare and its future.

No surprise, of course: Ryan is the author of the GOP budget plan that would dramatically remake how the health care insurance program for seniors is managed and funded. He also calls for big changes to Medicaid, the insurance program for the poor, including elderly Americans who have exhausted their means.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:42 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Planned Parenthood Windfall Funds Breast Health Expansion

Radiologist Gerald Iba checks mammograms at The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection in Los Angeles in May 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:05 pm

When the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure moved to cut funding for Planned Parenthood's work to screen women for breast cancer early this year, the reaction was swift and furious.

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On Disabilities
2:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wheelchairs Welcome? Not Everywhere.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent describes incidences of clubs, offices and public spaces posing obstacles for him and his wheelchair. He joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the places where those in wheelchairs still don't feel welcome.

Mental Health
2:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Behind Mental Health Stigmas In Black Communities

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder has focused attention on the shame that sometimes accompanies mental health diagnoses in the African-American community. Psychiatrist William Lawson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss why such a stigma exists.

Middle East
2:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

In Syria, Factions Gain Strength Amid Chaos

Syria's civil war erupted again on Monday, just one day after the U.N. ended its monitoring mission in the country. Reporter Jon Lee Anderson joins NPR's John Donvan to discuss the different factions that are rising up amid the current confusion.

Fitness & Nutrition
2:30 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Getting Fit: Why More People Are Walking The Walk

More people are getting their exercise by walking, according to a new study by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The health benefits are clear: Walkers generally have a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. If walking is your form of exercise, why does it work for you?

The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Syrian Rebel Leader Accuses Regime Of Fabricating Scandalous Video

Abdel Razaq Tlas, 25, the leader of Farouk Brigades in Homs — one of the biggest rebel groups in Syria — has been a charismatic figure of the Syrian uprising.

Today, Tlas is facing questions about a video purporting to show him having Skype sex. It's a video he has said is a fabrication, but it seems to be damaging his popularity on the Syrian street.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

White House Dinner Rewards Kids Who Eat (And Cook) Their Veggies

First Lady Michelle Obama chats with Illana Gonzales-Evans from Washington at the first Kids State Dinner.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:02 am

No one said it would be easy to sell kids on quinoa and kale, but an invitation to the White House's first Kids State Dinner today, complete with fresh fruit topiaries and balloon animals, turned out to be just the ticket for some.

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

On Chinese Beaches, The Face-Kini Is In Fashion

Chinese beachgoers wear face-kinis in Qingdao, northeast China's Shandong province. The face masks allow people to enjoy the water and sand — but not the effects of the sun.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:14 pm

In China, it's the height of the tourist season for Qingdao's famed beaches. But while many of the town's visitors want to enjoy the sand and water, they're not so wild about sunbathing. So they often resort to a local tradition: the face-kini, a sort of light cloth version of a ski mask.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Obama: Congressman's Rape Remarks 'Don't Make Sense,' Were 'Way Out There'

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 9:20 pm

Saying that the comments "don't make sense to the American people" and were "way out there," President Obama just weighed in on the controversial remarks made over the weekend by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who said in a television interview that "if it's a legitimate rape," it's rare for a woman to get pregnant and therefore want an abortion.

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Business
1:50 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Aetna To Buy Coventry Health Care

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.

The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

After Serving 12 Years On Death Row, Virginia Man Is Vindicated, Free

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:50 pm

Michael Wayne Hash served 12 years in prison, after he was convicted of capital murder.

In March, a court found deep problems with how prosecutors achieved that conviction, so he threw it out and told the state it needed to make a decision on whether it would take Hash to trial again.

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Movie Interviews
1:32 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Mike Birbiglia, 'Sleepwalk'-ing On The Big Screen

Comedian Mike Birbiglia co-wrote the script for the new film about himself: Sleepwalk With Me.
Brian Friedman

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:58 pm

When comedian Mike Birbiglia opened his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me in 2008 at the Bleecker Street Theatre in New York, he didn't anticipate that it would become material for a popular piece on This American Life and a New York Times best-seller. He especially didn't think it would turn into a feature film.

Birbigilia had never made a film before. And he was initially hesitant to make one about his dangerous sleepwalking condition, because he wanted to distance himself from the topic he had been immersed in for more than four years.

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The Two-Way
1:02 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Walking Into Syria: A Reporter's Visit To Where Rebels Are 'Running The Show'

Syrians fleeing increased violence arriving last week at the border between the Syrian town of Azaz and the neighboring Turkish town of Kilis.
Phil Moore AFP/Getty Images

Getting into Syria has been a journalistic obsession since anti-regime protests began there in March 2011. The choices have been risky or next to impossible. The Syrian regime has given out few journalists' visas (full disclosure, I got a legal visa to Syria in June).

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Lance Armstrong Loses Bid To Stop Doping Hearing

Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.
Arnulfo Franco AP

A federal court in Austin, Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed by cyclist Lance Armstrong that sought to stop a doping hearing by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

The AP reports:

"Armstrong has repeatedly denied doping. His lawsuit claimed USADA lacked jurisdiction and that its arbitration process violates his constitutional rights.

"U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks dismissed the lawsuit, allowing the case to proceed. Armstrong can appeal in federal court, go ahead with USADA's arbitration or accept its sanctions."

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Participation Nation
12:32 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Being Good Students In Sherman, Texas

Austin College student Naureen Dharani, center, with new friends at an afterschool program.
Courtesy of Austin College

Before coming to Austin College, I hosted some bake sales and donated the proceeds to make a difference. Only after joining the student-led Service Station did I realize: To serve others, all I need is my heart.

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Election 2012
11:29 am
Mon August 20, 2012

State Voter ID Laws Hang In The Balance

Transcript

VIVIANA HURTADO, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, a new documentary looks at how well the military is able to take care of women who return from service. That's in a few minutes. But first we turn to the election.

Both candidates are fighting for votes on the campaign trail. There's a battle brewing in several states over who will be able to vote and how, this November. Since 2010, state legislatures around the country pass laws requiring varying forms of identification at the polls.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Famed Augusta National Golf Club Adds First 2 Female Members

The 16th green at Augusta National — framed by some of the course's famed azaleas — in 2001.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:06 pm

Breaking news from The Associated Press about a historic day for one of the nation's most historic sporting venues:

"For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

"The home of the Masters has invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October. Both women have accepted."

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Scott McKenzie, Who Sang 'San Francisco' In The Summer Of Love, Dies

Scott McKenzie, center, with the members of The Mamas and the Papas in 1967. John Phillips, far right, wrote San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair). McKenzie died Saturday.
Worth AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:04 pm

He sang a gentle song that became a hit and something of a theme song for 1967's "Summer of Love."

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Hundreds Of Christians Hiding In Pakistan After Girl's Arrest

In the Islamabad slum where a Christian girl is accused of burning some Muslim verses, the gate to her family's home is locked and the people who live there have fled.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images
  • Lauren Frayer, on the NPR Newscast

"Hundreds of Pakistani Christians are hiding out at a priest's compound, praying for the safety of an 11-year-old member of their community" who is in police custody, NPR's Lauren Freyer reports from Islamabad. The Christians also fear their own safety.

The cause of anger directed toward them by some in the Muslim nation: The girl may have burned some Islamic religious materials. According to The Associated Press:

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Participation Nation
10:10 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Dames Gone Wild In Burlington, Vt.

The women of Dames Gone Wild: Carol Hasbrouck, Sharon Saraga and Joyce Claflin.
Courtesy of DGW

As Dames Gone Wild, we are traveling the U.S. doing volunteer work after leaving jobs that no longer fulfilled us. In our 50s and 60s, we had the courage to leave our home, St. Petersburg, Fla., in June and we are on our fifteenth stop — Burlington, Vt. — of 33 cities during our Summer Service Adventure.

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Europe
9:52 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Raising Romania's Orphans, Several Boys At A Time

In Romania, a country with many abandoned children, Florin Grosuleac (right) has taken care of more than 60 boys over the past 13 years in his small apartment in Bucharest. Three of the boys currently living with him are (left to right) Emanuel, Dragos and Samuel.
Meghan Collins Sullivan for NPR

Second of two stories

Spray-painted graffiti covers the gray, communist-era concrete building housing a cramped two-bedroom apartment that's home to seven boys and their "dad."

They are among more than 60 boys who have grown up here, in the Berceni section of Bucharest, Romania, under the tutelage of 45-year-old Florin Grosuleac. Known as Good Shepherd, the single-apartment home was founded by Grosuleac 13 years ago and is one of a handful of private houses for abandoned boys across the city.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Mon August 20, 2012

'I Function Off Fear,' Said Director Tony Scott, Who Died Sunday

Tony Scott in a 2009 file photo.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images
  • Neda Ulaby on 'Morning Edition'

The death Sunday of director Tony Scott, who appears to have jumped from a Los Angeles County bridge in what's being investigated as a suicide, has "shocked Hollywood and the fans of his memorable movies," as NPR's Neda Ulaby said earlier on Morning Edition.

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