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House & Senate Races
3:27 am
Thu August 2, 2012

GOP Has Big Hopes For Missouri Senate Race

Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman has earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin in her bid for a Republican Senate nomination.
Brian Naylor NPR

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:07 am

Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.

Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.

Meet The Candidates

In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.

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National Security
3:25 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Drones: From War Weapon To Homemade Toy

In this Jan. 8, 2009, photo provided by the Mesa County, Colo., Sheriff's Department, a small Draganflyer X6 drone makes a test flight in Mesa County, Colo. with a Forward Looking Infrared payload. The drone, which was on loan to the sheriff's department from the manufacturer, measures about 36 inches from rotor tip to rotor tip, weights just over two pounds.
Mesa County Sheriff's Dept. AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 1:19 pm

Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.

But that's changing.

For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.

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Strange News
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Will You Marry Me? Wait, Where Are You?

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Destination Art
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Marfa, Texas: An Unlikely Art Oasis In A Desert Town

In the 1970s, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas, where he created giant works of art that bask beneath vast desert skies. In the years since, Marfa has emerged as a hot spot for art tourism.
Art (c) Judd Foundation Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 3:36 pm

This tiny town perched on the high plains of the Chihuahua desert is nothing less than an arts world station of the cross, like Art Basel in Miami, or Documenta in Germany. It's a blue-chip arts destination for the sort of glamorous scenesters who visit Amsterdam for the Rijksmuseum and the drugs.

"They speak about Marfa with the same kind of reverent tones generally reserved for the pilgrimage of the Virgin of Lourdes," notes Carolina Miranda, a writer who covers the art world.

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Middle East
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Syrian Rebels Gain Ground, And Criticsm

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep, good morning.

Fighters for the Free Syrian Army are getting their hands on heavier weapons than normal. They used a captured tank to open fire on a government airbase. That happened outside the country's largest city, Aleppo, where despite a clear advantage in numbers and weapons, the government has not been able to take the city back after five days of intense fighting.

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Politics
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Back To The Debt Debacle: A Look At What's Changed

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 8:53 am

It was just a year ago that the House rejected a deal with President Obama and threatened to allow the U.S. to default on debt obligations coming due. The Tea Party refusal to raise the debt ceiling led to a downgrade in U.S. credit and a selloff in the markets. NPR's David Welna reports on what's changed since then and what hasn't.

Presidential Race
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Breaking Tax Code: Obama Jumps On Romney's Policy

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

A damaging analysis has worked out the implications of Mitt Romney's plan to change the tax code. Romney says if elected, he would cut taxes, and do it in a way that does not expand the federal deficit.

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Education
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

A Survey Of Families: Grappling With College Costs

Renee Montagne interviews Sarah Ducich, senior vice president for public policy at Sallie Mae. The big student lender just issued a major report on how families are paying for college these days and among the findings, it shows that students are taking on more of the burden of paying for college compared to before.

Sports
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Medals And Scandals: An Olympic Update

Thursday is day seven of the Summer Olympics. Another big moment is on tap for American swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. The host country looks to add to its suddenly growing tally of medals. And badminton marches on, its image battered by scandal. Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Tom Goldman about all things Olympics.

Education
2:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Who's The Best? How Universities Stack Up

Forbes Magazine just released its rankings of the best universities in the U.S. They're based on graduation rates, student satisfaction, post-graduate debt and success.

The Salt
6:45 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

The Secret Life Of California's World-Class Strawberries

Strawberry research fields in Watsonville, Calif.
courtesy California Strawberry Commission

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 4:16 pm

May is the month we see strawberries explode in the market. There are strawberry festivals in every corner of the nation celebrating the juicy ruby beauties, and Strawberry Queens crowned galore. Those traditional harvest time festivals make us think our strawberries are mostly grown on the farm just down the road.

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Books
3:56 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Famous For His Hates: The Cool, Witty Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal arrives at the premiere of Alexander at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2004.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Chris Bram is the author of the novel Gods and Monsters.

Gore Vidal was famous for his hates: academia, presidents, whole portions of the American public and, most notably, Truman Capote. Yet he could be incredibly generous to other writer friends. He wrote beautiful, appreciative essays about Tennessee Williams and Dawn Powell.

He was a man of many facets and endless contradictions.

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Romney's Adviser Defends Statements About Palestinian Culture

Dan Senor, senior national security aide to Mitt Romney, speaks to the press en route to Israel from London on Saturday.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:05 am

A top foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended statements the Republican presidential candidate made in Israel about the cultural differences between Israelis and Palestinians.

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It's All Politics
2:38 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

In Ohio, Obama Seeks Middle-Class Mantle Romney's Team Would Deny Him

President Obama argued in Mansfield, Ohio, that he was the true defender of middle-class voters.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

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Music Interviews
2:37 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

The Very Best: A Summer Escape With A Message

Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and Swedish producer Johan Hugo met in a London thrift shop and soon became musical collaborators as The Very Best.
David Harrison

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:45 am

The high-tech pop intro to The Very Best's song "Kondaine" suggests a carefree summer party. There's Afropop uplift to the sound and Top 40 melodiousness to the vocal.

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The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

NCAA Appoints Former Sen. George Mitchell To Monitor Penn State

George Mitchell.
Amr Nabil AP

The NCAA said today that it has appointed former Sen. George Mitchell as an Athletics Integrity Monitor of Penn State. His job will be to make sure the university is complying with the sanctions put in place after the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Mitchell has been appointed for a five-year term that begins immediately.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Regulators Propose Tougher Rules For Children's Online Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission is proposing some tougher rules to control the privacy of children online. According to The Washington Post, the proposed rules would make it more difficult for advertisers and social networks to collect information from children.

Reuters adds:

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Asia
2:26 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

India's Blackout: In The Dark About Being In The Dark

India's electric system is under constant stress and blackouts are common. Elliot Hannon was on the streets of New Delhi when power went out Tuesday, but he didn't realize there was an outage until later.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

This might sound strange, but I was on the streets of New Delhi when the power went out Tuesday and I didn't learn about the biggest blackout in history until I read about it later online.

The roads did seem particularly crowded, even for New Delhi. And it did seem odd that the streets were clogged with children in school uniforms and lines of office workers so early in the day.

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Poetry Games
2:18 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'The Wrestler' Grapples With Myth, Power And Love

Ron Tanovitz

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:15 am

A Muslim-American poet and novelist of Indian descent, Kazim Ali's work has been featured in Best American Poetry and the American Poetry Review. He teaches at Oberlin College.

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Science
2:10 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

At Old Mine, Hopes Of Striking Gold With Dark Matter

The LUX Dark Matter Detector is installed in the Davis Cavern of the Sanford Lab in South Dakota in March. The water tank measures 24 feet in diameter, is two stories high and will hold 71,600 gallons.
Matt Kapust AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 2:54 pm

In Lead, S.D., a steel cage drops almost a mile below ground into the Sanford Underground Laboratory. It's formerly the deepest underground gold mine in North America, and when it closed a decade ago, state officials hoped that an underground science laboratory along with on-site university classes could spur economic development.

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