U.S. News

Election 2012
10:45 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Obama And Romney, Metaphorically Speaking

Whatever you think about the candidates, we can all agree both have been punching bags for their opponents.
Chris O'Meara AP

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.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 am
Sat October 20, 2012

CDC: Meningitis Mold In Tainted Drug Can Incubate For Months

Federal agents investigate the offices of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., on Tuesday. The company's steroid medication has been linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak.
Barry Chin AP

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.

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National Security
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Wondering About The Cost Of War? We Have Answers

Sgt. Ben Roberts (center), recently returned from Afghanistan, speaks with Chick-fil-A manager Michael Sims at a military job fair in Columbia, S.C., in January.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

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."

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Religion
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

'Mother Of Outcasts' To Be A Saint For Leprosy Work

Mother Marianne Cope (in wheelchair) with other nuns and the women and girls of Bishop Home in Kalaupapa, Hawaii, shortly before her death in 1918.
Sisters of St. Francis Archive

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

They Call The Election A Horse Race; It Has Real Bettors, Too

The Dublin-based prediction market site Intrade lets users bet money on whom they expect to win a variety of U.S. political races, including the presidential race.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

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.

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National Security
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Minnesota Case Re-Opens Wounds Among Somalis

Burhan Hassan of Minnesota was recruited to fight in Somalia for al-Shabab, which the U.S. calls a terrorist group. He was killed there in 2009. This undated file photo released by his family in 2008.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

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.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Race For Arizona's Open Senate Seat Gets Personal

Democrat Richard Carmona (left) and Republican Rep. Jeff Flake shake hands before Thursday's debate in Chandler, Ariz.
Ross Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

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.

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Law
1:54 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Marriage Law Likely Headed To Supreme Court

A New York case in which a same-sex couple was denied a tax benefit is likely headed to the Supreme Court.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

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.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:28 am
Fri October 19, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 18, 2012

AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:07 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

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.

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NPR Story
10:12 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Making Sense Of Presidential Polls

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:55 pm

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.

The Salt
10:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sugar Beet Labor Battles Spill Out Onto The National Stage

Supporters of American Crystal Sugar Co. workers, who have been locked out of the company's sugar beet processing plants since 2011, rally in the North Dakota Capitol.
Dale Wetzel AP

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.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Jokes; Critics Aim At Obama's 'Optimal' Comment

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left) and President Obama at the 67th Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
  • Scott Horsley on the NPR Newscast

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."

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Business
2:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Investors' Funds Are Recovering, But Not Their Nerves

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.

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StoryCorps
12:55 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'Black Monday' Plunge: From 'High Life' To Street Life

Robert Griffo, 57, was working on Wall Street when the market crashed on Black Monday.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

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.

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U.S.
12:51 am
Fri October 19, 2012

With A Phone Call, Truckers Can Fight Sex Trafficking

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.
Brakkton Booker NPR

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:03 am

Eight years ago, a truck driver parked at a travel center near Detroit made a phone call that changed a life.

"I pulled into a truck stop about midnight," Willis Wolfswinkel remembered. "Getting my log book done. Had two girls knock on my door. And I waved them on 'cause I knew what they were looking for."

Something about those girls bothered Wolfswinkel. They looked young, so he called 911.

When the girls went inside another truck in the same lot, he called again. Wolfswinkel kept watching as the police arrived.

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Around the Nation
2:40 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Boy Scouts Forced To Show Sex Abuse Allegations

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:01 pm

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.

Business
2:40 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Premature Press Release Makes Google Shares Plunge

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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Health Care
2:40 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

'Times' Health Care Op-Ed Gets Unexpected Response

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

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.

Around the Nation
2:40 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Remote Alaskan Villages Get Indoor Plumbing

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Solve This
2:16 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Romney's Defense Plans Call For Higher Spending

U.S. Marines drive amphibious armored personnel carriers in the Philippines on Oct. 9, as part of the annual joint exercises with Philippine counterparts.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

One area where President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney clearly disagree is defense spending. The president wants less, Romney wants more. But the difference in their approaches is about more than money.

When Romney looks at the future, he sees a series of threats: from unrest in the Middle East to a nuclear North Korea to what he sees as a defiant Russia.

Speaking to veterans in Virginia's Fairfax County last month, Romney blamed the Obama administration for cuts that will go into effect unless Congress and the president act.

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It's All Politics
1:10 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Underdog Democrat Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

Democatic Rep. Shelley Berkley greets Republican Sen. Dean Heller before the second of their three debates, on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:00 pm

Early in-person voting in Nevada starts Saturday, and it's not just the presidential contest that's being closely watched in this swing state.

The race for the U.S. Senate is also seen as a tossup, a bit of a surprise for Republicans, who have counted on retaining the GOP-held seat as they try to build a majority.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller — in office for only 18 months — faces seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley on Nov. 6.

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Around the Nation
12:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

No Roof Rookies Here: Cleaning The Superdome

Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 12:42 am

Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.

Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.

"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.

The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.

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The Salt
12:22 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Evaporated Cane Juice: Sugar In Disguise?

If you look very closely, you'll see "evaporated cane juice" in the ingredients list on this yogurt. A California woman is suing the Chobani yogurt company over its use of the term.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 5:08 pm

If you're one of those people who vigilantly checks the ingredient list of the things you buy at the grocery store, you may have already seen this: Some food products now contain something called "evaporated cane juice." It can be found in yogurt, fruit juices and lemonades.

So what exactly is evaporated cane juice? Well, it depends on whom you ask. We spoke with a few folks outside our local grocery store, and many of them were confused. Take a listen:

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Winter Outlook: Above Normal Temps In West; Below In Southeast

Jan. 21, 2012: A winter scene in Brooklyn, N.Y. Snow may be a relatively rare sight this coming winter in the U.S.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:12 pm

Here are some of the details from the winter weather forecast released this morning by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center:

-- There are "enhanced chances for above normal temperatures across most of the western half of the lower 48 states."

-- The Florida peninsula is likely to experience "below-normal temperatures."

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Mississippi Queen: My Race Wasn't A Factor In Homecoming Title

University of Mississippi Homecoming Queen Courtney Pearson, as she was escorted on to the football field last Saturday by her father, Cmdr. Kerry Pearson.
Robert Jordan UM Communications
  • Michel Martin talks with Courtney Pearson

Courtney Pearson just became the first African-American woman to be elected homecoming queen at the University of Mississippi.

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The Salt
9:53 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Top Five Myths Of Genetically Modified Seeds, Busted

Central Illinois corn and soybean farmer Gary Niemeyer readies his genetically modified seed corn for spring planting at his farm near Auburn, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 3:49 pm

Having just stepped into the shouting match over patents on genetically engineered crops, there are a few small things that I, too, would like to get off my chest.

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The Salt
6:59 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Out Of The Binder, Into The Kitchen: Working Women And Cooking

Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:48 pm

Mitt Romney is getting a lot of heat for his somewhat awkward comments about women in the workplace during Tuesday night's presidential debate.

The Internet's meme makers made merry with Romney's comment about the "binder full of women" that he sought out to work for him during his stint as Massachusetts governor. Cue the obligatory Ryan Gosling meme.

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It's All Politics
5:02 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Obama, Romney Reprise Their Greatest Debate Hits On Campaign Trail

President Obama campaigned at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

A day after their second presidential debate, President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney were in different swing states, reprising some of their greatest hits from Tuesday night.

And "hits" is the exactly the right word because each man energetically repeated attacks he made on his rival.

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National Security
4:31 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested In Plot To Blow Up NY Federal Reserve

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

A man has been arrested in an alleged terror plot to blow up the Federal Reserve building in New York City. Federal authorities and the New York Police Department collaborated to foil the plot apparently conceived by a Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammd Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis. Nafis is said to have conceived the plot. However, authorities learned of the plot and actually provided what appeared to be the bomb. It was inert and there was no threat to the public.

Presidential Race
3:51 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

'Binders Of Women' Becomes Viral Sensation

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Presidential campaigns have a way of conferring instant popularity on certain people and phrases.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Big Bird.

BLOCK: Joe the Plumber.

SIEGEL: The economy, stupid.

BLOCK: You didn't build that.

SIEGEL: Well now, add another. During last night's debate, it came from Mitt Romney talking about recruiting women to his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts.

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