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Election 2012
12:23 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Pre-Election Legal Battles Target Voting Rules

Protesters hold signs in Allentown, Pa., om July 25 as the Commonwealth Court holds hearings on voter ID laws.
Stephen Flood Express-Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:56 am

If you vote, you might very well be confused about what the rules will be when you go to cast your ballot this fall. There's been a flood of new laws on things such as voter identification and early voting, and many of them are now being challenged in court.

Some cases could drag on until Nov. 6, Election Day, and beyond. The outcomes will affect voters, and maybe even the results.

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StoryCorps
12:21 am
Fri August 24, 2012

An Inmate Firefighter Finds His Proudest Moment

Daniel Ross, currently serving time in a Wyoming prison, is a member of a prison firefighting team. He told StoryCorps about the kindness of those he's helped.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:56 am

Severe drought has parched huge swaths of the United States this year, the first time since the mid 1950s that drought has affected so much of the nation.

With so much scorched land, the center of the country could be described as a tinderbox; in recent months, severe wildfires have raged across several states. And in at least 10 Western states, including Wyoming, many fires are fought by teams of prison inmates.

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All Tech Considered
12:18 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Is The Cloud In Gamers' Future?

Nintendo's Wii U is the only new game system on the horizon as console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:56 am

Last year, consumers spent $17 billion on video games. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly $1.5 billion lower than the previous year. One reason: there haven't been any new game consoles out to excite buyers.

Only Nintendo's Wii U might be on shelves for the holiday season.

The console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.

Try asking a gamer like Ryan Block what would entice him to drop a few hundred bucks on a new console.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
12:18 am
Fri August 24, 2012

In Southwest, Worst-Case Fire Scenario Plays Out

Craig Allen, left, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, survey a plateau ravaged during last year's Las Conchas fire in New Mexico. The megafire burned over 150,000 acres of forest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 4:48 pm

Third of a five-part series

As the Earth's average temperature creeps upward, climate scientists have predicted record heat waves and droughts. That's what we've seen this summer in the U.S.

The question has become, are we now seeing the real damage climate change can do?

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Books
12:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Searching For 'Bernadette' In The Wilds Of Seattle

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:56 am

The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.

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The Two-Way
7:49 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong Says He Won't Fight Doping Charges

Lance Armstrong grimaces prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium, on July 6, 2010. Armstrong said Thursday he is finished fighting charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 4:35 am

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong says he won't fight accusations of doping from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency any longer, putting at risk his string of titles and his reputation as one of the world's great cyclists.

Here's part of Armstrong's statement:

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Gawker Releases 950 Pages Of What It Says Are Internal Bain Documents

This afternoon, the website Gawker published 950 pages of what it says are internal documents from Bain Capital.

Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Immigration Employees File Suit Against Obama's New Immigration Policy

The logo of the U.S. Homeland Security Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention and Removal unit.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:03 am

A group of immigration agents on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming that following new lenient deportation policies requires them to violate the law.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Michelle Obama Meets With Victims Of Sikh Temple Shooting

First lady Michelle Obama greets Sikh temple secretary of the board of trustees Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, left, and Oak Creek, Wis.
Morry Gash AP

First lady Michelle Obama met with the victims of the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wis. today.

The AP reports that Obama met with the families of the those killed and those were wounded in the shooting.

The AP adds:

"Temple official Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal says Obama offered her sympathies Thursday for the Aug. 5 tragedy. He says her appearance is a 'wonderful gesture.'

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Election 2012
2:47 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Michelle Obama Focuses On Work Still To Be Done

First lady Michelle Obama sits with guests as they eat lunch during a kids' state dinner at the White House on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:35 pm

This week, first lady Michelle Obama was doing something she loves to do, talking about nutrition with kids. She hosted the first state dinner for children, welcoming 54 of them and their parents to the White House.

"This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you," Obama said to the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 12.

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Afghanistan
2:31 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

U.S. Faces Growing 'Insider Attacks' In Afghanistan

Spc. Ben Purvis (center) helps train Afghan troops on how to use mortars in the eastern province of Kunar in June. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, points to several factors in the rise of "insider attacks" on American forces. He says relations between U.S. and Afghan troops are good overall.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Gunmen wearing Afghan police and army uniforms have killed 40 U.S. and NATO troops so far this year, and the top American commander in Afghanistan says there is no single reason — and no simple solution.

Taliban infiltrators, disputes between NATO and Afghan security forces, and even the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, are all factors, according to Gen. John Allen.

"We think the reasons for these attacks are complex," says Allen, who spoke by video link from Kabul on Thursday. Ten of the American deaths have come in just the past two weeks.

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Energy
2:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Romney Energy Plan Touts Oil, Gas, Coal Production

In unveiling his energy policy during a campaign event on Thursday, Mitt Romney says he wants to set a goal of North American energy independence by 2020.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:07 pm

Mitt Romney outlined an energy plan Thursday that would guide his Republican presidency. It focuses heavily on expanding the supply of fossil fuels. The presumptive nominee said the U.S., Mexico and Canada together could reach energy independence by 2020.

But the plan makes no mention of climate change and would end subsidies for cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar.

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Around the Nation
2:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

A City Leveled By Hurricane Andrew Rebuilds — Again

An aerial view of Homestead, Fla., taken on Sept. 7, 1992, two weeks after Hurricane Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in the city.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:43 pm

Twenty years ago, Homestead, Fla., was in the eye of what was then the worst storm to hit the United States.

Fifteen people died directly from Hurricane Andrew and a few dozen more died from injuries later. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. Andrew's 165-mile-per-hour winds took out nearly every building in Homestead, leaving tens of thousands homeless. Families spent hours in lines to get water and ice.

National Guard troops handed out bags of ice but limited how much each family could get.

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Participation Nation
2:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Caring For Others In Bountiful, Utah

Providing charitable health care in Utah.
Courtesy of RMCF

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:55 pm

The Rocky Mountain Care Foundation was created in 1999 to provide charitable health care services and improve the overall quality of life for low-income people in Utah.

For example, we recently provided a Hoyer Lift to a quadriplegic woman to assist her in getting into and out of her wheelchair. And to make it easier on her caregiver, her tiny grandmother.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
1:41 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

How Rashida Jones Found Her Inner Music Nerd

Actress Rashida Jones says Steely Dan opened her young mind to "the mathematics of music."
Vera Anderson WireImage

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:06 am

This summer, All Things Considered has asked listeners and guests to share a personal memory: the memory of one song discovered through their parents' record collection.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:30 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Tattoo Ink Linked To Serious Skin Infections

Along with a tattoo, this person got an infection.
A. Kalus CDC

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 5:58 am

If you're going to take a walk on the wild side and get a tattoo, it could get even wilder than you planned.

Federal and state health investigators have identified five clusters of skin infections linked to tattoos.

Now it's true that infection risks from tattoos are not exactly new or unknown. In fact, tattoo parlors are licensed and regulated in many jurisdictions to minimize the risk of trouble for people getting "inked."

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Technology
1:26 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Demand For Smartphones Takes A Human Toll Abroad

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:47 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If you own a smartphone or a tablet, there's a good chance that inside the device is tin from Indonesia. Tin is used to make the solder that binds metal parts together. The explosion in demand for smart devices has driven up the demand for tin. But that demand has a human toll.

Reporter Cam Simpson traveled to an Indonesian island where nearly all the country's tin is mined. And a story about what he found was published today in Bloomberg Businessweek. Cam Simpson joins us from the Bloomberg studios in London. Welcome.

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It's All Politics
1:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Presidential Campaign Ads Target Seniors In Fla., Younger Voters In N.H.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigns with his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, on Saturday in The Villages, Fla. The Mitt Romney campaign has created an ad from the event.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 12:27 pm

Ask your average American about Florida, and you'll hear something like this: It's hot, it has Disney World, and lots of old people live there.

And since the weather and Mickey Mouse don't make good attack ads, both presidential campaigns are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Florida's senior population over Medicare.

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The Salt
1:10 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Willing To Play The Dating Game With Your Food? Try A Grocery Auction

Grocery auctions have been growing in popularity as a way to get a lot of food for not a lot of money.
Matt Sindelar for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:56 am

Every year, U.S. grocers discard $10 billion to $15 billion in unsold products. The items might be damaged, discontinued, seasonal or food that's just close to its sell-by date.

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Theater
1:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 3:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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