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Election 2012
2:40 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:05 pm

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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Election 2012
2:40 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:19 pm

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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Africa
2:40 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:15 pm

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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Middle East
2:40 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:05 pm

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

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Animals
1:52 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man-Made Cave Built To Shelter Bats From Infection

The artificial cave built for bats in Tennessee has a human entrance below and a bat entrance above. In the summer, any fungus left by the bats over the winter will be cleaned up.
The Nature Conservancy

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:05 pm

A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

'New York Times' Bans Practice Of Allowing Sources To Approve Quotes

Back in July, The New York Times writer Jeremy Peters lifted the curtain on a common, but surprising, practice in Washington: In exchange for an interview, high-powered politicos demand the right to approve any quotes before they're published.

It's a practice used by the White House as well as the Romney campaign.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:38 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Who's Next In Line For A Kidney Transplant? The Answer Is Changing

Surgeons transplant a kidney in 8-year-old Sarah Dickman at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in 2008. The proposed changes in the transplant list attempt to maximize kidney life in young patients.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:38 am

There's some big news out today about one of the most sensitive issues in medicine: Who's next in line for a transplant?

The United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS, a nonprofit in charge of distributing organs, wants to revamp the system for distributing the most sought-after organ — kidneys — for the first time in 25 years.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:29 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Challenges To Health Law Just Keep Coming

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, seen at a news conference in early 2011 before he took office, promised to file a lawsuit soon after he was sworn in. He did.
Sue Ogrocki AP

The Affordable Care Act survived a near-death experience at the Supreme Court earlier this year. And the overhaul law's fate again hangs in the balance come Election Day. Mitt Romney has vowed to work for its repeal, if he's elected president.

Meanwhile, the law continues to take its hits.

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U.S.
1:22 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

You Can Buy An Island, But Can You Really Own It?

The Four Seasons resort on Lanai. Software mogul Larry Ellison recently bought virtually the entire Hawaiian island.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 4:23 pm

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

U.S. Speedskater Accused Of Sabotaging Rival

Simon Cho of the U.S. celebrates during the 500 meter men's final race at the Short Track Speed Skating World Cup in Dresden in 2011.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 3:53 pm

The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.

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The Salt
12:53 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Man Wins $7 Million In Suit Claiming Microwave Popcorn Caused Lung Disease

Wayne Watson, who just won a $7 million lawsuit, explains how a bag of popcorn would "whoof" when opened, releasing steam and flavor.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:04 pm

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:25 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Could Genes For Stripes Help Kitty Fight Disease?

The genetic factors responsible for a cat's stripes might help researchers understand disease resistance in humans.
kennymatic via Flickr

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:04 pm

At this point it's just an interesting hypothesis, but it's possible that understanding cat coloration could help scientists understand resistance to infectious diseases.

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All Tech Considered
12:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Electronic Pull-Tab Gambling Hits The iPad In Minnesota Bars

Booths that sell paper pull-tab games like this one have new competition in Minnesota: electronic pull-tab games played on iPads. The games are meant to help pay for a new football stadium in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:30 pm

Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

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Planet Money
12:01 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Are Chinese Exporters Cheating?

Workers assemble one of the many car models at Chinese carmaker's Chery Automobile plant in Wuhu, east China's Anhui province.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 11:35 am

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization this week alleging that China is illegally subsidizing its auto industry.

The US says China provides cheap loans and grants and other incentives to their car industry, and that these favors go to companies who are already successful exporters. That, says US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, is unfair.

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The Two-Way
11:51 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Leader Of Amish Sect, 15 Others Found Guilty Of Hate Crimes In Beard Cuttings

Samuel Mullet outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio, in 2011.
Amy Sancetta AP

Fifteen members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio "have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences," The Associated Press reports.

According to the wire service, a jury today "also found the sect's leader, 66-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr., "guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio. ... They all face prison terms of 10 years or more."

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Author Interviews
11:46 am
Thu September 20, 2012

A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print'

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:20 am

Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.

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Around the Nation
11:44 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Katrina Survivor Explains How To Weather Disaster

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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History
11:20 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Civil War Buff Takes On McClellan's Critics

Gen. George McClellan's Union forces narrowly won the battle of Antietam, but he has long been blamed by historians and politicians for botching an opportunity to destroy Gen. Robert E. Lee's army and bring an early end to the Civil War. Cartographer Gene Thorp argues his critics have it wrong.

Television
11:19 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Kelly Macdonald: Strong Woman On The 'Boardwalk'

In Boardwalk Empire, Margaret Schroeder (Kelly Macdonald) is married to corrupt political boss "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi.)
Macall B. Polay HBO

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:24 am

When Kelly Macdonald landed her first acting gig in Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed 1996 film, Trainspotting, her lack of experience made it hard for her to relax on set.

"I don't think I spoke very much — I was very, very shy," Macdonald tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "I kind of hid in the toilets most of the time when we weren't required on set."

Before Trainspotting, Macdonald was working at a bar in Glasgow, Scotland. After two friends separately handed her fliers for the movie's open casting call, she decided to audition.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Billionaires Fund A 'Manhattan Project' For Nutrition And Obesity

Billionaires John and Laura Arnold are betting that the country's top nutrition researchers can get to the bottom of the obesity epidemic.
Courtesy of the John and Laura Arnold Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 6:46 am

Why would a billionaire energy trader-turned-philanthropist throw his foundation's dough behind a new think tank that wants to challenge scientific assumptions about obesity?

John Arnold, 38, whose move from Enron to a spectacularly successful hedge fund got him on the list of wealthiest Americans, isn't crazy about talking to the press. But certainly his decision with his wife Laura to back a newly launched operation called the Nutrition Science Initiative, or NuSI, is an intriguing one.

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