A container ship from China is offloaded at Massport's Conley Terminal in the port of Boston in July. Trade issues with China has been a major talking point for the presidential candidates.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
Stand-ins for President Obama, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and moderator Bob Scheiffer rehearse a day ahead of the final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla, on Sunday.
Credit Lucas Jackson / Reuters /Landov
At the U.N. Sept. 27, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a graphic to show how far he says Iran will be by mid-2013 in a quest to develop nuclear weapons.
Credit Mohammed Ballas / AP
A Palestinian man smokes a nargileh (waterpipe) next to a mural of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Jenin in September.
President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney are getting ready to answer any and all possible questions about foreign policy for Monday night's debate, the last one before the Nov. 6 election.
Iran, Israeli-Palestinian talks and China are among likely topics for the debate — and also major issues awaiting the next president. Each case is a matter of building and maintaining alliances while applying pressure to protect U.S. interests.
About a year ago, writer Jason Sheeler was working on a story about Hermès scarves — the elaborately decorated silk squares that can cost as much as $400. He traveled to Lyon, in southern France, to visit the factory, and on his first day there he found an even more interesting story: A French woman threw out a big scarf with a turkey on it and asked Sheeler if he knew Kermit. He didn't.
Kermit, as it turns out, is Kermit Oliver. He lives in Waco, Texas, and he's the only American to ever design scarves for Hermès.
Former Sen. George McGovern (D-S.C.) accepts the Democratic nomination for president at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.
Credit McGovern Family / AP
McGovern receives the Distinguished Flying Cross during World War II in 1944.
President John F. Kennedy talks with McGovern, at the time a special presidential assistant and director of the Food for Peace program, at the White House in 1961.
Credit Henry Burroughs / AP
In the Senate, McGovern took on the issue of hunger in America. Here he discusses his recommendations for more vigorous efforts to use surplus food at a news conference in Washington in 1961.
McGovern, the presidential candidate, stands with Sen.Thomas F. Eagleton, the vice presidential nominee, at the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.,1972.
In the final hours of his campaign for the presidency, McGovern speaks at a rally in Long Beach, Calif., 1972. He lost the race to Richard Nixon in a landslide.
Credit Ric Feld / AP
McGovern (third from right) ran for president again in 1984. He conceded his race to Democratic nominee Walter Mondale (third from left). Here, moderator John Chancellor (left) stands with five of the candidates for the Democratic nomination prepare a debate.
Credit Mike Okoniewski / AP
McGovern, who lost his Senate seat in 1980, teaches American foreign policy at Cornell in 1990.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark (right) is endorsed by McGovern during a pancake breakfast in Keene, N.H., 2004.
Credit Matt Sayles / AP
McGovern in Los Angeles, 2008.
Former Sen. George McGovern (D-S.C.) accepts the Democratic nomination for president at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.
Former Sen. George McGovern, the liberal senator from conservative South Dakota, died on Sunday. He was 90 years old.
McGovern lost the 1972 presidential race to Richard Nixon by a landslide, carrying only Massachusetts. But his candidacy and opposition to the Vietnam War were embraced by a new generation of voters.
The defining moments in McGovern's life included not only winning the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, and not just the dismal loss to Nixon that followed, but also safely landing an airplane that the German army had tried to blow out of the sky.
Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 8:32 am
Most of us know someone who's had a hard time finding or keeping a job over the past few years. It's an experience that often leaves people feeling defeated and demoralized. In Weekend Edition Sunday's Working It series, hear audio portraits of people whose daily lives are filled with uncertainty.
After a leg injury didn't heal well earlier this year, Lou has difficulty walking. He and his partner, Bill, will be slaughtered at the end of the month, and their meat will be used to feed students at Green Mountain College in Vermont.
Credit Nina Keck / Vermont Public Radio
Bill enjoys a scratch from graduate farm worker Ben Dube.
If the thought of eating horse meat makes you queasy, what about strong, sturdy oxen? A small Vermont college that emphasizes sustainable living will soon slaughter two beloved campus residents: Bill and Lou, a pair of oxen. Green Mountain College plans to serve the meat from the oxen in its dining hall, but the plan has drawn international outcry and a massive Facebook petition to save the oxen.
The candidates agreed to 21 pages of debate rules, but whether they obey them is another story.
Click on the documents to read the full memorandum.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
Both the Romney and Obama campaigns agreed to a laundry list of rules for the debates. That "Memorandum of Understanding" is 21 pages long and covers everything from air conditioning to props. Whether the candidates obey the rules is another story.
When President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney meet for their third presidential debate on Monday, there will be some rules for the candidates — and the audience.
In the first debate, Jim Lehrer of PBS demanded "Absolute silence!" Although Lehrer caught some flack for letting the candidates freewheel in that debate, he meant business when it came to keeping the audience quiet.
"If you hear something that's really terrific, sit on it!" he told the audience. "If you hear something you don't like, sit on it!"
Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 1:07 pm
Apples — right off the tree, baked in a pie, pressed into cider or mashed into sauce — are a basic element of American culture. October is the month to celebrate them, thanks, in part, to Johnny Appleseed.
You've probably heard of the legendary character who traveled the Midwest planting trees, but he's not a myth. Johnny Appleseed's real name was John Chapman, and he was born in Massachusetts in either 1774 or 1775.
Host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Don Gonyea, who has just spent two weeks on the campaign trail. Along the way, he met some undecided voters. In swing states, undecided voters are being bombarded by advertising, and Gonyea explains what is keeping them from making up their minds.
Sunday, Pope Benedict canonizes seven Catholics. Among them are two Americans, putting the total number of Americans among the thousands of officially recognized saints at 12. Host Guy Raz talks about the newly recognized saints with the Rev. James Martin, contributing editor at Catholic magazine America and author of the book My Life With the Saints.
Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino heard something strange on the radio last Tuesday. A local sports show host, Marc Hochman of The Ticket, said that while he might tune in to the Yankees vs. Tigers game that night instead of the presidential debate, he would definitely watch the third and final debate.
"That will really decide my vote at this point because I'm one of those undecided voters," Hochman said.
Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 3:46 pm
Sometimes it feels like everything that should be said about President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney has already been said.
But maybe there is a way to talk about politicians in a fresher, cleaner way — without talking about politics. Like — or as — poets do it. Speaking metaphorically.
Sometimes you can say more about someone by not really talking about the person, but talking about something else. My love is like a red red rose, Robert Burns wrote. He is a feather in the wind, Led Zeppelin sang.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:38 am
As the caseload of fungal meningitis linked to a tainted steroid drug climbs, experts are learning more about this human-made epidemic. The signs indicate that cases could still be emerging until Thanksgiving or beyond.
The latest count is 268 cases of meningitis and three patients with fungal joint infections, spread across 16 states from New Hampshire to Texas and Idaho to Florida. Twenty-one people have died.
As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, our focus is veterans affairs and defense spending.
Paying For War
Question from Sue Hoben of Canton, Conn.: "Why don't we increase taxes when we wage a war? For instance, Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely if national interest is at stake, then we should be willing to pay the price rather than add to the deficit."
A German-American nun will become a saint Sunday, nearly a century after her death. Mother Marianne Cope is the second person to be honored in this way for caring for people in Hawaii with leprosy, now known as Hansen's disease.
By this point in the campaign season, the presidential polls may have your head spinning. Romney's up 7 points in one, Obama's up 3 in another ... and on any given day, a dozen other polls are swirling, each offering a different take.
For nearly three weeks, the benches at the back of a federal courtroom in Minneapolis were filled with local Somalis. The man on trial, Mahamud Said Omar, was accused of conspiring to help a terrorist group recruit some two dozen young Minnesota men to fight a holy war in Somalia.
It took a federal jury just eight hours to convict him of all of the five terrorism charges leveled against him, but the verdict is only the beginning for the Somali community in the Twin Cities.
For the first time in nearly a generation, Arizona voters will elect a new senator. Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is retiring after 18 years. His ideological successor is Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, and a lot of people expected Flake to have an easy time of it.
But recent polls suggest Democrat Richard Carmona — a former surgeon general and a Hispanic — has a shot at winning. The race has become heated, and the airwaves are filled with brutal ads.
A federal appeals court ruling on Thursday has catapulted a New York case to the head of the line, as the Supreme Court considers which of many cases it should use to decide whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional.
Presidential debate No. 2 is in the books, and the consensus is that — unlike debate No. 1 — President Obama came prepared for battle. For all the talk about "binders full of women," and what was said when after the events in Benghazi, Libya, Obama and Mitt Romney both made their cases. Now, they prepare for the third and final debate on Monday. We also bid farewell to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political roundup.
In less than a month, the 2012 presidential election turned from an almost certain victory for President Obama to a neck-and-neck race. New York Times blogger and statistician Nate Silver and Princeton neuroscientist Sam Wang talk about making sense of the polls--and why not all votes are created equal.
It's not just nutritionists who have a problem with sugar these days, so does organized labor. The AFL-CIO is calling for a boycott of one the country's biggest sugar producers, the American Crystal Sugar Company, based in Moorhead, Minn.
President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as predicted, took on the challenge of being funny last night at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City — which as we said Thursday has become a quadrennial must-stop on the campaign trail for those seeking the White House.
As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, they "added a laugh track to their campaigns."
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:14 am
Chicken Little was running wild 25 years ago today. But one could hardly blame the poultry for panicking.
On Oct. 19, 1987, the stock market plunged a record-setting 23 percent. The next day, the New York Daily News' front page screamed "Panic!" and a New York Times headline asked: "Does 1987 equal 1929?"
Turns out, the 1987 plunge was a mere stutter step. The Dow Jones industrial average, which closed at 1,739 that day, quickly bounced back. Within a decade, the stock-price average had nearly quintupled.
Robert Griffo was living the high life at an investment firm on Wall Street when the stock market crashed 25 years ago on Black Monday. Along with the Dow Jones industrial average, Griffo's life tumbled.
Griffo tells StoryCorps he worked with the investment company for 11 years.
"I was making a lot of money," he says. "I used to walk over homeless people at Grand Central Station when they were begging for money, and I'd say, 'You need to get a job.' But I lost myself on Wall Street."
When the market crashed on Oct. 19, 1987, Griffo thought he would be let go.
Errol Giwa, en route to Washington, D.C., fuels up and wipes down his windshield at the truck stop in Jessup, Md. He says in his 34 years as a truck driver, he has heard of many instances of human trafficking at truck stops but hasn't seen it with his own eyes. "If you are looking for that sort of thing, it's not hard to find on the road," Giwa says.
Credit Ryan Smith / NPR
Workers at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center in Washington, D.C., answer nearly 2,000 phone calls to their anti-trafficking hotline every month. The organization is enlisting truck drivers to help identify possible victims of sex trafficking.
Records of Boy Scout leaders accused of child molestation between the mid-1960s and the 1980s were made public today. The Oregon Supreme court ordered the release of the so-called "perversion files" over the objections of the Boy Scouts of America, who wanted them to remain confidential.
Google's high-flying stock hit some turbulence today. Its shares were down as much as 10 percent before trading was temporarily halted. The drop came after the company's quarterly earnings report was released prematurely, a report that showed Google struggling in the third quarter. NPR's Steve Henn reports.
Robert Siegel talks to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof about his friend and college roommate Scott Androes, who was diagnosed with Stage Four prostate cancer. In two recent columns, Kristof wrote about Androes, who didn't have health insurance at the time of the diagnosis. In Thursday's paper, Kristof writes that Androes drifted into a coma Sunday and died Monday morning.