This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In the 2008 election, Indiana was a surprise. It voted for Barack Obama by a tiny margin. Typically, it's a solidly red state. And this year, Indiana seems on the verge of a Republican sweep, that is, except in the race there for U.S. Senate. The campaign to replace longtime Republican Richard Lugar is heating up in the Hoosier state.
Though Lugar is out of the running, that doesn't mean he's out of the race as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
The new jobs report, out today, shows a sharp drop in the unemployment rate. But millions of Americans are, of course, still looking for work. Often, the bridge between them and a good job is a training program to help give them a new set of skills. Programs to retrain America's workforce got quite a bit of attention in Wednesday's presidential debate, and NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on one of them here in Washington.
For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.
Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.
But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.
If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:24 pm
The news that the cost of personal genome sequencing will soon drop as low as $1,000 has generated a quite a bit of interest and concern — from medical researchers, biotech companies, bioethicists and the average consumer alike.
NPR's Rob Stein explored many of the implications of this technology in his four-part series "The $1,000 Genome." They're complicated, to say the least.
After testing negative for Ebola, Magdalena Nyamurungi returns home with a new set of belongings from the World Health Organization. Medical workers burned and buried her possessions when they suspected she was infected.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:25 pm
The Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which started two months ago, has come to a close.
"The Ministry of Health [of Uganda] has been very prudent of declaring the outbreak over," Gregory Hartl, a World Health Organization spokesman, tells Shots. The last case was detected over 42 days ago — or twice the incubation period for the hemorrhagic fever — so new infections are highly unlikely.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:59 pm
Taking her tone from the sensuality of nature and the rawness of the Yorkshire moors, British director Andrea Arnold charges straight for the cruel heart of Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte's sole novel. Peeling away much more than the story's annoying framing device — there is no musical score, and definitely no Kate Bush — Arnold, a director of uncommon originality, attacks our very notion of what a costume drama should look like.
The Labor Department revised the number of jobs added in July up by 40,000 jobs and the number of jobs added in August up by 46,000. These revisions have some people asking questions about the way the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures employment.
LaVelma Byrd, photographed at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Calif., was convicted of murdering her husband in 1994. She never let on that her husband beat her on a regular basis. She is not eligible for parole until 2020.
Credit Courtesy of Sin by Silence
Brenda Clubine received a sentence of 15 years to life in 1983 for killing her husband. While in prison, she started the support group Convicted Women Against Abuse to help victims of domestic abuse like herself. When she was released in 2008, her first request was to see the beach in Venice, Calif.
Brenda Clubine is a platinum blonde with focused blue eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor.
She spent 26 years in prison for killing her husband. After enduring beatings and emergency room visits, she says, it finally ended in a locked motel room where he told her to give him her wedding rings.
"I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Because tomorrow they won't be able to identify your body without them,' " Clubine says.
"The Anadolu Agency quoted the governor for Hatay province as saying that Turkish troops 'responded with fire' after the mortar round landed in a rural area of the province that borders Syria. No one was reported hurt.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:23 pm
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Actress Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Up in the Air." Now she stars in the film musical, "Pitch Perfect," in which she plays a college freshman who reluctantly joins the school's illustrious all-female a cappella group. Director Jason Moore is best known for his work on the satirical Broadway musical, "Avenue Q." Film critic David Edelstein has this review of "Pitch Perfect."
Whither smooth jazz? Though straight-ahead and experimental fans might assume their, uh, less bumpy cousin is weathering the storm, the loss of many radio stations is affecting the field a lot. David Adler talks to many musicians and industry insiders for JazzTimes. That includes Kenny G, who is identified on subsequent reference as "G," in a sidebar.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are both calling on the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign oil, though their plans differ. Here, workers with Bramwell Petroleum set up a derrick for a new oil well near Spivey, Kan., in March.
Credit Lauren Purkey / MCT/Landov
The Obama administration has set higher fuel economy standards for cars and promoted alternative energy sources. Here, a Ford Focus electric car is shown during a test drive in San Jose, Calif., in July.
The pressing energy issue in the 2008 presidential campaign was how to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Four years later, the drive for "green energy" has been replaced by a new imperative: the need to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by 2020," Mitt Romney declared during a campaign speech in August. "That means we produce all the energy we use in North America."
He reiterated that goal in the opening minutes of the presidential candidates' debate in Denver this week.
President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Supporters of Republican Mitt Romney during a campaign rally Thursday in Fishersville, Va.
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Wendy Leedy, John Gaugush and 3-month-old Isabel at the annual craft fair in Occoquan. Says Gaugush: "I think most people in America are not far right, and not far left, but are forced to pick one or the other."
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:50 pm
Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.
His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.
It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.
Gas prices spiked overnight Thursday by as much as 20 cents per gallon in parts of California, causing some stations to close and shocking many customers.
According to The Associated Press, the average price of regular gas across the state was nearly $4.49 a gallon. In other parts of the country, gas prices have fallen. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices in the continental U.S. at $3.49 a gallon.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Suicide bombers explode themselves in the heart of Damascus; tens of thousands killed in that Syrian civil war and counting; the U.S. ambassador to Libya and four other Americans murdered in an attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11; in Minneapolis, a gunman kills four people at a local post office before shooting and killing himself; just a few of the recent headlines from a world seemingly afflicted by war and violence.
A lawsuit against the University of Tennessee and its athletic director has revealed that earlier this year legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt felt that the school official was trying to force her to step down from her job.
That stands in contrast to statements Summitt made last spring. The coach, who is dealing with early-onset dementia, said then that it was her decision to become "head coach emeritus."
Summitt also says in an affidavit, however, that her feelings might have been due to a misunderstanding.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 11:09 am
To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:53 pm
Ryan Andresen spent 12 years as a Boy Scout. Now that he's 17 and about to graduate from high school, he completed the final requirement to receive the Eagle Scout award, which signifies the highest rank in the organization.
Except, according to his mother, Karen, when he submitted the paperwork, the scoutmaster for Troop 212 in the San Francisco Bay Area told him he could not give him the Eagle Scout honor because Andresen is gay.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:22 pm
With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.
The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Starting route to Empire State Building: Head northwest on West 43rd Street.
FLATOW: That's the voice of Apple's maps app for iOS 6. She sounds confident enough, but how do you know she'll actually lead you to the correct destination? Because as users all over the world have figured out, Apple's maps and their driving directions have some serious problems. Apple has even apologized for it.
Republican Mitt Romney delivers a needed jolt to his campaign at the first presidential debate. Ron Elving and Ken Rudin dissect the memorable moments and look ahead to next week's matchup between Vice President Joe Biden and Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political news in this week's roundup.