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The Torch
3:12 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Women's Beach Volleyball Final Will Be All-American Affair

Misty May-Treanor of the U.S. celebrates at the end of the women's beach volleyball semifinal with Kerri Walsh Jennings (in the background) against China's Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. USA won 2-0.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

The United States will have at least two shiny new medals no matter what happens tomorrow at the women's beach volleyball final.

After defeating China (2-0) and Brazil (2-1), today, the two American teams advanced to the finals, setting up an all-American match. It means the U.S. will receive a gold and silver.

ABC News reports:

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Convention List Grows: Carter (By Video) At Democrats'; Santorum At GOP's

Former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta in February 2012.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 3:50 pm

Former President Jimmy Carter may be the epitome of failed presidents in the eyes of many Republicans.

But the Democrats announced Tuesday that the one-term president will have a prime-time speaking role at their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. Carter won't be there live, however; he'll speak by video.

A news release from the Democratic National Convention Committee quoted the former president:

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

On The Trail, A Campaign's Style Can Reveal A Lot About Substance

President Obama delivers remarks at a campaign event on July 5 in Parma, Ohio.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

While President Obama and Mitt Romney offer competing visions every day on the campaign trail, there's also a more superficial aspect to their campaigns.

And on the surface, Obama and Romney events feel completely different.

Take a recent summer night in Leesburg, Va. Dorothy Fontaine had been standing outside of a local high school since the sun was high in the sky.

When asked why she would spend that much time waiting, Fontaine replied: "It's the president of the United States! I mean, isn't it cool to go see the president of the United States?"

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Books
3:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

A Comics Crusader Takes On The Digital Future

A panel from part one of Insufferable, the first title offered by the comics website Thrillbent.com. The site's creator, comic-book writer Mark Waid, hopes it will redefine comics in the era of smartphones and tablets.
Courtesy of Thrillbent.com

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:40 am

He wouldn't make the claim himself, but when it comes to comic-book writers, Mark Waid is one of the greats.

"I've pretty much hit all of the pop culture bases," Waid says, surrounded by comic-book memorabilia in his Los Angeles home. Batman, Spider-Man and even The Incredibles have all had adventures dreamed up by Waid.

"Jan. 26, 1979, was the most important day of my life," Waid says. "Because that's the day that I saw Superman: The Movie. I came out of it knowing that no matter what the rest of my life was going to be like, it had to involve Superman somehow."

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Fast And Furious Whistle-blower Reaches Agreement Over Retaliation Claims

Peter Forcelli, an ATF agent who blew the whistle on management lapses in the gun trafficking scandal known as Fast and Furious, has reached an agreement with the bureau over his retaliation claims.

A lawyer for Forcelli declined to disclose the terms of the settlement because it was the product of a confidential mediation process.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

As Execution Looms, Texas Debates Steinbeck And What's Mentally Impaired

Death row inmate Marvin Wilson.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:14 pm

There's a life-or-death drama unfolding in Texas tonight. It involves the death penalty, the Supreme Court and John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men.

First the basics: Marvin Wilson, 54, is set to be executed by Texas tonight. He was convicted of the 1992 killing of a police informant. His attorneys however argue that a Supreme Court ban on the death penalty for the mentally impaired prohibits the state from going forward with tonight's execution and are asking the high court to step in.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
1:48 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Wu-Where? Opportunities Shift To China's New Cities

Wuhan's newest attraction is Han Street, a shopping complex that stretches several football fields, features fancy faux European architecture, and is filled with stores featuring foreign brands from Dairy Queen to Zara.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 6:00 pm

China became a majority urban country this year. No nation has shifted so quickly from rural to urban than China, where more than half of the people now live in urban areas.

Everyone is familiar with megacities like Beijing and Shanghai, but they are just a tiny part of China's urbanization story. The country has more than 160 cities with populations of a million or more — places most of the world is only vaguely familiar with, if at all.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:36 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Scientists See Progress In Alzheimer's Despite Growing List of Drug Failures

A PET scan of the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease.
U.S. National Institute on Aging via Wikimedia Commons

Another once-promising Alzheimer's drug has just been tossed on the pharmaceutical scrap heap.

This time it's a drug called bapineuzumab. Like several previous experimental drugs, it was designed to attack the plaques that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's.

And like those earlier drugs, it failed.

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Around the Nation
1:27 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Would-Be Parents Wait As Foreign Adoptions Plunge

Mike Cannata with 2-year-old Bella. Mike and his wife, Barb, brought Bella home from Bulgaria this past spring after spending five years attempting to adopt.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 12:15 pm

When Barb and Mike Cannata adopted their first daughter from China almost a decade ago, the process was smooth and relatively quick — just 17 months from start to finish.

Now a chatty and confident 9-year-old, Emma is an accomplished equestrian with her show horse, Ajax. But the family had trouble explaining to Emma why it took so long to get her a little sister.

When the Cannatas decided to adopt again in 2007, Barb Cannata says, everything had changed. They ruled out China early on.

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The Torch
1:11 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

U.S. Women's Water Polo Team Wins In Overtime To Reach Gold Medal Game

U.S. water polo players on the bench react during their semifinal match between Australia and the United States at the Water Polo Arena in London. The Americans will play for gold on Thursday.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

The American women's water polo team will again chase an elusive gold medal, this time at the London Olympics. The team qualified for the gold medal match by defeating longtime Olympic rival Australia.

Tied after regular time expired, the Americans scored two goals in overtime to beat the Australian water polo women, 11-9. Now the U.S. team moves on to the gold medal match Thursday.

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Destination Art
1:09 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Stratford's Big Stars, From The Bard To The Bieb

The Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is the main venue for the town's annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town lies on the Avon River — just like Shakespeare's British birthplace — and had schools named after Romeo and Juliet before the festival started in 1953.
Richard Bain Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 3:00 pm

Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.

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The Salt
1:04 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Outsourced Croissants Outrage Traditional French Bakers

A woman walks into Boulangerie Cauvet in Paris, where they still make croissants from scratch.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:07 am

There's always a line at the Boulangerie Cauvet on the corner of rue St. Charles in Paris's 15th district. In their family owned bakery, Esmeralda Cauvet and her husband Cyril sell around 800 croissants and 3,500 baguettes a day.

In the kitchen, head pastry maker Pierre Gibert still rolls his croissants from triangular strips of dough. "The key to a good croissant is good ingredients and a high quality dough. You have to knead it, let it rise and roll it a second time in butter. That's what gives a croissant its flaky quality," Gibert says.

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Participation Nation
1:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Making Free Music In Camarillo, Calif.

Horn players in the Camarillo Community Band.
Courtesy of the Camarillo Community Band.

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
12:55 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Leonard Pitts On Memories Of Laundry And Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole (center) rehearses with his trio at the London Palladium in 1950.
Ron Case Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:04 pm

The Mom and Dad's Record Collection series on All Things Considered continues with a memory of music and family from the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author Leonard Pitts.

Pitts says his childhood mischief was set to the music of Nat King Cole, often courtesy of his mother's own voice. One afternoon, he remembers, she was singing "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" while he played out back.

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It's All Politics
12:49 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Romney Attacks President On Welfare; Obama Team Alleges Hypocrisy

President Bill Clinton signs welfare reform legislation into law on Aug. 22, 1996.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 3:02 pm

(Revised and updated @ 5:55 pm ET)

In an attack likely to conjure up for many President Reagan's successful use of Cadillac-driving welfare queens as an issue in presidential politics, Mitt Romney's campaign accused President Obama of using his power to weaken work requirements for welfare recipients.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Jared Loughner Pleads Guilty To Arizona Shootings

This handout provided by the Pima County Sheriff's Forensic Unit shows Jared Lee Loghner.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 1:42 pm

Jared Loughner, the man accused of going on a shooting spree during a meet-and-greet held by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., pleaded guilty today. The shooting spree left six people dead and 13 others wounded.

The AP adds:

"Loughner's plea Tuesday allows him to avoid the death penalty in a mass shooting that gained worldwide attention in January 2011 because his intended target was the congresswoman. Among the dead were Arizona's chief federal judge and a Giffords aide.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:31 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Kinesio Tape Plasters Olympians, But Not All The Science Sticks

Germany's Laura Ludwing wears Kinesio tape during a women's beach volleyball match on July 31, 2012, during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Daniel Garcia/AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 2:21 pm

Sports injuries are as much a part of the Olympic Games as gold medals and doping allegations.

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The Torch
12:17 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Equestrian Group Clears Way For Cloned Horses To Compete In The Olympics

A cloned foal named "ET Cryozootech Stallion" stands with Hugo Simon, Austrian former Olympic rider of "princeps" (initial donor) ET. The main equestrian organization has ended its ban on clones in the Olympics
Laurent Cipriani AFP/Getty Images

Will the London 2012 Games be remembered as the last Olympics of the pre-clone era? The answer is maybe — because the group that oversees equestrian events has given its OK to allowing cloned horses to compete in the Summer Olympics.

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Africa
11:55 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Mali In Crisis Fractures Along Twin Fault Lines

Militiaman from the Ansar Dine radical Islamic group ride on an armed vehicle between Gao and Kidal in northeastern Mali in June. Jihadists currently control the country's north.
Adama Diarra Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 3:10 pm

A rebellion in northern Mali, followed by a military coup in the south, has shattered the veneer of stability in a country that was hailed for 20 years as a model democracy in turbulent West Africa.

Now Mali is facing twin crises, prompting regional and international fears that the north — currently controlled by jihadists — is a terrorist safe haven. And the politicians who are meant to be fixing the problems are bickering.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Barry Bonds Says Without A Doubt He Deserves To Be In Hall Of Fame

Former baseball player Barry Bonds arrives at federal court for sentencing in Dec. 2011. Bonds was convicted of obstructing a government investigation into steroid use among athletes.
Noah Berger AP

Barry Bonds will be in the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this November. Whether he deserves a spot in Cooperstown will no doubt be debated endlessly. One side are those who say you can't take away the 762 home runs that made Bonds the sport's most successful slugger. Others will say that he and others like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are forever tarnished because of their connection to performance enhancing drugs.

We'll leave that debate for another day.

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