The story of the Arkansas murder trials of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley — the men known as the "West Memphis Three" — has already been the topic of the three well-known documentaries in the Paradise Lost series made for HBO by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Those films, in fact, helped the case come to the attention of many of the people whose work ultimately resulted in the three defendants' release from prison in 2011.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a story of a stellar MacGyvering. The International Space Station was faced with a malfunctioning electrical unit and couldn't screw down a new one because the exterior bolts were covered in debris. After two astronauts were stuck outside for hours, they hit on an idea - scrub the bolts clean with a toothbrush. It was a thrifty fix for the $100 billion space station and luckily the toothbrush was a spare. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 7:52 am
"We heard some facts being spun" Thursday night when President Obama and Vice President Biden gave their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention, report the watchdogs at FactCheck.org.
They and other independent fact checkers have compiled, just as they did at last week's Republican National Convention, a list of those things said by the two parties' standard bearers that don't quite add up or may give misleading impressions.
On the heels of the quadrennial political extravaganzas, it's back to the day-to-day work of winning the election. On Friday, that means the focus returns to a pair of small-population states with relatively few electoral votes.
The day after he formally accepted his party's nomination, President Obama and an entourage including first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Biden were scheduled to campaign in Portsmouth, N.H., and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:50 am
Were last night's convention references to Barack Obama's mother and her struggles with an insurance company before her death a powerful argument for health care reform? Or were they a well-worn misrepresentation of history?
A new line of tablet readers is at the top of NPR's business news.
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INSKEEP: They come from Amazon, which is rolling out its latest Kindle e-readers. They are faster, we're told, as well as cheaper. And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, they're aimed squarely at the youngest members of the family.
Many air bases across the country are clamoring to get the next generation of fighter jets. But the Burlington, Vt. area is bitterly divided over being one of the Air Force's preferred locations. Some residents say there are enough problems already with the F-16s — like noise.
A tax-exempt group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers on Monday wraps up a monthlong, $26 million series of television ads that explicitly tell viewers to vote against President Obama — raising the question of what happens next with so-called dark money in the fall campaign.
Americans for Prosperity so far has been the only one of the major "social welfare organizations" — which do not disclose their donors — to risk possible problems with the Internal Revenue Service by running such explicitly political ads.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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Throughout this program we've been hearing parts of President Obama's speech. The people watching that speech in Charlotte last night included Ramesh Ponnuru. He writes for National Review and for Bloomberg. And in a column this week he predicted that if President Obama should win reelection the next four years will look a lot like the past two.
This year's Paralympics have been the best-attended games since the movement began back in 1960. Over 4,200 athletes from 164 countries are taking part in games that end this weekend. Disabled athletes began competing after World War II when a doctor in Britain organized the international wheelchair games to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics. Tanni Grey Thompson is one of Britain's most successful paralympians.
Peter Frew is one of a tiny number of people left in the United States who can — entirely on his own, using almost no machinery — make a classic bespoke suit. He can measure you, draw a pattern, cut the fabric and then hand-stitch a suit designed to fit your body perfectly.
Frew spent more than a decade as an apprentice for a remarkable tailor in his native Jamaica. He now sells his suits for about $4,000. Since New York is filled with very rich people who see their suits as an essential uniform, Frew has all the orders he can handle.
The concept of "pay what you want" for goods and services is a nostalgic throwback to the days when people trusted one another just a little bit more, and it's something you expect to see at the occasional farm stand or at a hip, independent coffee shop.
Every weekday, thousands of commuters to the nation's capital drive past the grave of a celebrated American author, and it's a good bet they don't realize it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, was born in St. Paul, Minn.; he's associated with that city, as well as Paris, the Riviera and New York. But he's buried in Rockville, Md., outside Washington, D.C., next to a highway between strip malls and train tracks.
Graham Haggett was just 10 weeks old when his grandmother Sandra Lee Wright was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. But he knows a lot about her, mainly from the stories his mother, Shelli Wright, has told him.
"Somebody described her to me once," Shelli says, "as the kind of person that when she walks in the room, the temperature goes up by 10 degrees."
Sandra Lee Wright worked for Aon Corp., a risk management and insurance company with offices close to the top of the World Trade Center's south tower. She was 57 when she died.
Framing the coming election as a choice between fundamentally different visions, President Obama offered himself to the country Thursday as a fire-tested leader ready to finish the job he started.
"Our problems can be solved," Obama said. "Our challenges can be met."
It was an older, battle-scarred nominee who faced his party in Charlotte, N.C. This message of hope was tempered and longer-view — a good distance if not a full turn from the vision he offered four years ago when he accepted the nomination in a thundering Denver stadium.
Over the past few weeks, President Obama has been heavily courting the youth vote with visits to college campuses in swing states nationwide. And at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., there's been a big push for youth involvement, with 644 delegates under the age of 35, and even an official youth engagement coordinator.
Polls show support for Obama among 18- to 29-year-olds at around 55 percent, slightly down from when he was elected in 2008.
Bradley Cooper has the wolfish grin and raffish charm of a cardsharp — or a baby hedge-fund manager. So at first you may find him a tough sell as a writer of prose so sensitive and "interior" that even an admiring old-school editor tells him it's unpublishable.
Hold on, though. The writer has moral flaws, and a name, Rory Jansen, that's better suited to a designer of racy swimwear than a crafter of lambent sentences about the inner workings of the psyche.