U.S. News

The Two-Way
10:54 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Obama Balances 'Comforter-In-Chief' Role With Campaign Sprint

President Obama greets audience members Saturday after speaking at a campaign event at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, before traveling to Milwaukee for another campaign event.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:44 pm

President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney are making the most of every moment this weekend, with only three days left before Americans choose who will lead the government for the next four years.

Update at 4 p.m. ET. Focus Is On Early Voting:

On his first stop today in the final campaign sprint, President Obama was in the super-battleground state of Ohio. The AP reports that the president reminded voters that Tuesday's election is "not just a choice between two candidates or two parties, it's a choice between two different visions for America."

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Gas Rationing Ordered In New Jersey

Parts of New York were also suffering fuel shortages, including Staten Island, where there were long lines for gas Friday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:50 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he is unsure how long restrictions on the sale of gasoline that began at noon on Saturday will last. The gas rationing in 12 New Jersey counties was enacted after Christie signed an executive order Friday night.

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House & Senate Races
3:17 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Race For Redrawn Calif. District Is Tight And Pricey

Democrat Ami Bera is challenging Lungren. Bera ran against Lungren in 2004 and lost, but since the district was redrawn, the race has become competitive.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 8:48 am

Dan Lungren has been in and out of public office since 1979. The Republican represented a Southern California district in the '80s, served as the state's attorney general for eight years, and then returned to Congress to represent the Sacramento area in 2004.

These days, he's still the same pro-business, limited-government conservative he's always been, Lungren told a friendly audience in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Lessons From Katrina Boost FEMA's Sandy Response

Victims of Superstorm Sandy wait in line to apply for recovery assistance at a FEMA processing center Friday on New York's Coney Island. The agency has been praised for its response to the storm.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 11:22 am

Following Superstorm Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received good grades from politicians and even some survivors of the storm. In part, that's due to lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

For Staten Island resident Deb Smith, whose house was flooded by the storm surge from Sandy, FEMA has been a savior.

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Around the Nation
3:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Nation's Christmas Tree Plucked From Colorado

This year's Capitol Christmas Tree comes from White River National Forest in Northwest Colorado. The spruce is more than 70 feet tall.
Luke Runyon for NPR

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 11:57 am

The undeniable smell of fresh-cut spruce filled the air Friday morning as crews crowded around the trunk of this year's Capitol Christmas Tree, prepping it for departure to Washington, D.C.

The task of finding this year's tree was left largely up to one man: Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor for the White River National Forest in Colorado. In picking the tree, Fitzwilliams was asked to follow a few guidelines.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:14 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Marathon Runners Wonder, Why Not Cancel Earlier?

Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners, announces the cancellation of the maration Friday in New York with Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson (left) and George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners.
Louis Lanzano AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 10:48 am

For the first time since it began in 1970, the New York City Marathon will not take place.

Marathon officials and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had initially insisted that Sunday's race would go on despite the devastation caused by Sandy. But mounting opposition forced the organizers to change their minds Friday.

All week, the group that organizes the race, the New York Road Runners, kept saying the marathon would go on. But on Friday night, Road Runners CEO Mary Wittenberg made this announcement:

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Around the Nation
5:43 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

New York City Marathon Cancelled As Lights Come Back

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Joel Rose in New York. And, Joel, tell us first of all, where has the electricity been restored?

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Around the Nation
5:41 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

In New York, Lights Are Back On But The Race Is Off

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In New York City, the lights are coming back on and the race has been called off. For details, I'm joined now by NPR's Margot Adler in New York. And, Margot, first, where has the electricity been restored?

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Home Health Care Proves Resilient In Face Of Sandy Destruction

Barbara Fleming is evacuated from Bellevue Hospital by Victor Rivera in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in New York on Oct. 31.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 7:57 pm

One lasting image of Superstorm Sandy will be very sick patients being evacuated from flooded hospitals. But less visible are thousands of patients who rely on visiting nurses and home health aides for care ranging from bathing and feeding to oxygen and ventilators.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

No, Romney's Son Is Not Gunning To Steal Ohio Vote By Rigging Voting Machines

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 4:34 pm

Have you heard the story that's swept the liberal blogosphere in recent days about how Mitt Romney's son Tagg is going to steal the election for his dad?

It's not true, but like all good conspiracy theories, it is based on kernels of truth.

This conspiracy centers on voting machines in Ohio, a key battleground in this election. A couple of Ohio counties use voting machines made by a company called Hart InterCivic. According to the rumor, Tagg Romney owns part of Hart. So, goes the story, Tagg Romney could fix the election.

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Energy
3:38 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy Dealt Serious Blows To Fuel Supply System

Sandy dealt two serious blows to the gasoline and diesel supply system in New York and New Jersey. The storm shut down a large number of the petroleum terminals in the region. Those are the massive storage tanks that hold gasoline so tanker trucks can pick it up and take it to gas stations. Some of these terminals were damaged, while others just lost power. The storm also shut down the major pipeline that brings gasoline from the Gulf Coast. So even when fuel stations get their power back, they will have a hard time getting gasoline they need.

Around the Nation
3:38 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

After The Storm, Staten Islanders Share The Misery

Steve Santo stands in the kitchen of his house on the south side of the New York City borough of Staten Island on Friday.
Mike Segar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:35 am

Much of the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy happened in New York's less touristy outer boroughs.

Some neighborhoods have been changed forever by the storm. Staten Island saw half of the city's fatalities. On Friday, residents sorted through waterlogged belongings and tried to figure out next steps.

Rosemarie Caruso lives a block from the water on the eastern shore of Staten Island. She says there have been hurricanes before and all they brought was a little flooding. She figured she could ride out Sandy.

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Presidential Race
3:37 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Obama: Jobs Figures Proof Of A Rebounding Economy

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Today's jobs numbers gave the presidential candidates something new to talk about, or at least new details for an old story. President Obama says the better-than-expected number of new jobs is evidence that his policies are working, slowly but surely. And Mitt Romney argued that the uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent shows it's time to change course.

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Around the Nation
3:37 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

New York Officials Promise Power Will Return Soon

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. In New York City tonight, two developments, one that has many Manhattan residents cheering and the other has many marathon runners booing. And to find out why, I'm joined by NPR's Quil Lawrence in Manhattan. And, Quil, I understand that Manhattan is a brighter place tonight, at least part of it. What's happened?

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Around the Nation
3:36 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Coney Island Devastated By Superstorm Sandy

We report on Sandy's aftermath in Coney Island.

Your Money
2:48 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Storm Leaves Many Facing Tricky Insurance Process

A tree service worker prepares to remove a giant oak tree limb that fell onto the roof of Charles Edamala's home in Elkins Park, Pa., during Superstorm Sandy.
Emma Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:34 pm

Mario Veas spent Monday night hunkered down with his family. But he has been running ever since.

Veas runs a tree service in Willow Grove, Pa. He says his phone has been ringing nonstop because people want trees felled by the storm chopped up and cleared.

"Everybody [is] calling and they want [the job] to be done this morning," Veas says.

Earlier this week, Veas was clearing an enormous tree branch from Preethy Edamala's patio in nearby Elkins Park.

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It's All Politics
2:13 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

What If There's No Winner? Presidential Campaigns And Their Lawyers Prepare

People cast their ballots at an early-voting center in Columbus, Ohio, on Oct. 15.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 3:46 pm

The presidential race is expected to be extremely close, and that has a lot of people nervous about what it will mean for election night.

Does it mean that the vote count could drag on for days, or even weeks, as it did in 2000?

Lawyers for the campaigns, the political parties and state election offices are preparing for the possibility.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted could very well be the man in the middle of any election night storm. By all accounts, the vote in his crucial battleground state will be extremely close.

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Economy
1:40 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Sandy, Election Could Skew Future Jobs Reports

Workers clean up debris left by Superstorm Sandy in Long Beach Island, N.J., on Wednesday. The storm may lead to layoffs as business losses mount, but also could result in hiring related to rebuilding.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:20 pm

Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.

With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.

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Shots - Health News
10:33 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Attention, Shoppers: Health Care Prices Go Online In Colorado

If that ski run goes bad in Colorado, at least you'll be able to find the best price for a scan of your knee.
iStockphoto.com

If you need an MRI of your knee in Colorado, the price varies — a lot.

You can pay anywhere from $350 to $2,336. It's a huge range, but the truly remarkable thing about the prices is that we know them at all.

Prices for health care aren't public in most places, making shopping for the best deal nearly impossible. And patients pay different amounts for the same procedure based on their insurance coverage, too.

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Digital Life
9:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Why Some Spread Misinformation In Disasters

Superstorm Sandy turned out the lights along the Eastern Seaboard, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. Host Michel Martin looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of social media during Sandy, including intentional hoaxes. She speaks with Rey Junco of the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet and Society about why some users spread misinformation.

Energy
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Fixing NYC's Underground Power Grid Is No Easy Task

Consolidated Edison workers try to repair damage near the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:43 am

The fury of the great storm Sandy shocked a lot of people, like John Miksad, vice president of the New York electric utility Consolidated Edison. "We hit 14-foot tides — that was the biggest surprise," he told a press conference this week. "The water just kept rising and rising and rising."

That rising water flooded streets, buildings and parts of the city's underground electricity grid. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost power. But it might have been worse if the power lines had not been underground.

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U.S.
3:04 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Ala. Racist Language Measure Draws Unexpected Foes

Alabama's Constitution still includes language referring to poll taxes and segregated schools. Voters are poised to decide on an amendment to excise the outdated lines, but some African-American leaders in the state are opposing the change.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:20 am

State-mandated segregation is a thing of the past in Alabama, but the state's antiquated 1901 constitution paints a different picture. On Tuesday, Alabama voters will decide whether to strip language from the state's governing document that calls for poll taxes and separate schools for "white and colored."

In 2004, voters rejected an amendment to purge those remnants of Jim Crow from the constitution by fewer than 2,000 votes.

'We've Got To Move Forward'

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Key Senate Races, Outside Groups Outpace Candidates' Ad Spending

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (right), D-Ohio, debates his Republican challenger, Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, at the City Club in Cleveland on Oct. 15.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 5:52 pm

Most of the attention heading into Election Day may be on the presidential race, but the stakes are also high in the battle for the U.S. Senate, where there are close contests in about a dozen states.

According to an NPR analysis of Kantar Media CMAG data, outside groups are spending more than $100 million blanketing the airwaves. This won't come as a surprise if you live in a state with a competitive Senate race.

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Flooded New Jersey, No Oversight For Levees

An emergency responder helps residents of Little Ferry, N.J., after their neighborhood was flooded due to Superstorm Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.

Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Looters Target Stores In Queens After Sandy

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Not all of the chaos left in Sandy's wake can be blamed on the storm itself. In pockets around the New York region, looters took advantage of power outages to steal what they could.

NPR's Joel Rose has this story from a shopping center in the Rockaway section of Queens.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: For Destiny's Hair and Nail Salon in Rockaway Beach, fate was not kind. First, there was the storm surge from Sandy that flooded the neighborhood, then came the looters.

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U.S.
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Manhattan Businesses Struggle Until Power Returns

Paul Nicaj, who owns Battery Gardens Restaurant on the southern tip of Manhattan, says Superstorm Sandy will cost him a few hundred thousand dollars, including income from two weddings that may have to be cancelled this weekend.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:01 am

Lower Manhattan continues to slog through another day without electricity, and it's taking a toll on businesses that have been shuttered since the storm hit. No electricity means no lights, no credit card machines, no heating and no refrigerators to keep food fresh, so local shops and restaurants are waiting desperately for the power to turn back on.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Many Still Without Power As New Jersey Recovers

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Nancy Solomon about how New Jersey is recovering from superstorm Sandy.

Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Low-Income New Yorkers Struggle After Sandy

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

With power still out in large parts of the city, life for New Yorkers with limited resources is getting tougher. From member station WNYC, Marianne McCune has the story of one woman getting by in a public housing complex on the Lower East Side.

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Around the Nation
3:15 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

New Yorkers Struggle With Limited Transit Options

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

New Yorkers were ready to get back to work today. Unfortunately, the region's transportation system was not. Commuters to Manhattan overwhelmed the barely operating bus and train system. From Brooklyn, NPR's Robert Smith reports on the resulting long lines and frustration.

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Superstorm Sandy May Have Blown In Fresh Breeze Of Bipartisanship

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon arriving in Atlantic City, N.J., on Wednesday to visit areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:02 pm

Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.

Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.

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