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9:57 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Paul Auster Meditates On Life, Death And Near Misses

Paul Auster is the author of fiction including The New York Trilogy and In the Country of Last Things.
Lotte Hansen Picador

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:28 pm

Paul Auster doesn't take living for granted. At 65, the author has had several "near misses," from sliding face-first into a jutting nail as a child to a traumatic car accident that almost killed him, his wife and his daughter.

Auster's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a series of meditations on his life, aging and mortality — including his mother's death.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu August 23, 2012

One Poll Finds Zero Percent Of Blacks Support Romney

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP annual convention in Houston, Texas in July.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Over at The Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart writes that few poll numbers "make me gasp."

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Election 2012
8:28 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Is Tampa Ready For 2 Oncoming Storms?

The Republican National Convention is being held in Tampa, Florida, and it's expected to bring the city tens of millions of dollars. But many are wondering if Tampa is ready for two oncoming storms — the whirlwind of people descending on the city, and brewing tropical storm Isaac. Guest host Viviana Hurtado talks with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

Around the Nation
8:28 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Cop Car Death Ruled Suicide, But Doubts Remain

Questions are swirling around the death of a 21-year-old Arkansas man who died in police custody in July. An autopsy report lists Chavis Carter's death as a suicide. But his family is asking how he could have shot himself in the head while handcuffed in a police car. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with Associated Press reporter Jeannie Nuss.

Africa
8:28 am
Thu August 23, 2012

South Africa Mine Shooting Hints At Deep Divisions

Memorial services are being held for miners shot dead recently by police at a South African mine. The violent images were compared to the darkest days of apartheid. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with prominent Johannesburg radio host John Robbie to gauge the mood in the country.

The Two-Way
8:04 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Former Penn State President Launches 'Full-Throttle Defense'

Then-Penn State President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno last fall, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal cost them both their jobs.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's

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Participation Nation
8:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Saving Landmarks In Eldon, Iowa

Volunteers in Eldon.
Courtesy of TAGHC

From a volunteer pool of more than 30 — most past retirement age – friendly folks greet visitors at the American Gothic House Center.

Unpaid guides provide pitchforks so tourists can pose in front of the house that inspired Grant Wood's recognizable painting. And they dispense information about one of America's most celebrated artists.

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The Salt
7:32 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Kids Ditching Full-Sugar Soda For Diet Drinks, Just Like Mom And Dad

Even Junior is drinking diet soda now. But is it good for him?
Todd Keith iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:00 am

Diet soda, once the soft drink of choice for adults watching their calories, isn't just for grown ups anymore. Increasingly, kids are getting their fix, too.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu August 23, 2012

No Parole For Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's Killer

Mark David Chapman in May 2012.
NYS Dept. of Corrections Reuters /Landov

The man who murdered Beatle John Lennon in December 1980 has been denied parole for a seventh time, The Associated Press reports.

Mark David Chapman, New York State Corrections inmate No. 81A3860, is now 57-years-old. He's serving a prison term of 20 years to life.

Lennon was gunned down at the entrance to his Manhattan apartment building.

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Around the Nation
6:52 am
Thu August 23, 2012

From Politics To Pestilence: Everything Is Earlier

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:17 pm

Leaves are falling in the summertime. School starts in early August in many places. Politicos are already talking about the presidential election — of 2016.

Everything is happening earlier.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu August 23, 2012

His Nakedness Should Not Be Shown, Palace Says Of Prince Harry's Photos

That's Harry, but not the prince: The Sun recreated the scene.
@suttonnick

The fuss over photos of Prince Harry enjoying some billiards-in-the-buff fun with a lady or two in Las Vegas has led the queen's office to contact Britain's Press Complaints Commission to warn that newspapers in the U.K. better not publish them.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Thu August 23, 2012

SEAL's Book On Bin Laden Raid, Woodward Book On Obama Due Sept. 11

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:07 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Even In Vacation Season, Office Noises Can Sap Your Concentration

What's all that racket?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:48 pm

In offices around the country, the ranks of workers are pretty thin as people grab their last moments of summer vacation.

For those of us left to toil in our cubicles, the absence of disruptions might seem like a help for productivity. So why is it still so hard to focus?

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The Two-Way
4:31 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Isaac Could Be A Hurricane By Friday; Florida And GOP Convention Brace

The projected track as of 11 a.m. ET today. The path has moved slightly to the west.
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:00 pm

  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on 'Tell Me More'

Here's the latest on tropical storm Isaac, which could hit Florida this weekend and drench the Republican National Convention in Tampa early next week:

-- The National Hurricane Center says the center of the storm should pass "to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ... [then] approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday."

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Europe
4:22 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Good Deed Ruins Prized Spanish Fresco

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:09 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Drought Assists Police With Marijuana Finds

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Participation Nation
4:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Backpacks For Kids In Punta Gorda, Fla.

Back Pack Kids in Punta Gorda.
Courtesy of Yah Yah Girls

Several years ago, Jolene Mowry, president of the Yah Yah Girls of Punta Gorda, heard about a program in another state that provided food on weekends to needy schoolchildren.

So every Friday since 2010, the Yah Yahs deliver backpacks full of healthy, non-perishable, child-friendly food to schools throughout Charlotte County. The packs are given to Back Pack Kidz who have been identified — by the principals and school nurses — as likely to be hungry on weekends.

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The Picture Show
2:38 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Our Changing Forests: An 88-Year Time Lapse

1909. Facing nearly due west from ridge northeast of Como Lake. Light selection cut in open ponderosa pine. Ground cover is comprised of perennial grasses and forbs, including basalmroot. A few low-growing bitterbrush plants can be seen in the vicinity of horses and in distance on left. A group of willows can be seen behind horsemen at left center.
Photo 87357 U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:35 am

Intense forest fires have been raging across the western United States this summer. So far this year, nearly 43,000 wildfires have torched almost 7 million acres of land.

As NPR Science correspondent Christopher Joyce and photographer David Gilkey report from Arizona and New Mexico this week, the forests of the American Southwest have become so overgrown that they're essentially tinderboxes just waiting for a spark.

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Around the Nation
1:52 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Drought's Effects Keep Expanding

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This summer's drought is not helping the wildfire situation, and the drought is also deeply harming the nation's agricultural economy. Parched lands extend from California to Indiana, and from Texas to South Dakota, impacting everyone from farmers and ranchers to barge operators and commodity traders.

As NPR's David Schaper reports, some farmers are getting close to calling it quits.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: Looking over his small, 100-acre farm near South Union, Kentucky, Rich Vernon doesn't like what he sees.

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