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A man-made bat cave in Tennessee is looking for tenants. An hour northwest of Nashville, the artificial cave is built to give thousands of bats a haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome.

Millions of bats in the Northeast have died from the infection since it first showed up a few years ago. The culprit is an invasive fungus that grows in caves. When bats hibernate inside, they wake up with faces covered in white fuzz and often wind up starving or freezing to death.

State Crime Lab Scandal Rocks Massachusetts

Sep 20, 2012

Massachusetts is reeling from a massive scandal in its state crime lab. Details are still emerging about what officials call a "rogue chemist" who may have mishandled evidence in as many as 40,000 cases over 10 years.

It could mean the unraveling of countless convictions.

Even lawyers prone to hyperbole may not be overstating it when they call the scandal a catastrophic failure and unmitigated disaster.

We don't know how much software mogul Larry Ellison recently paid for the Hawaiian island of Lanai — for 98 percent of the island, to be exact — but estimates run upward of half a billion dollars. So what do you get for that kind of money?

Beautiful beaches, for starters. A view of Maui, just eight miles away. A couple of luxury resorts built by the previous owner. And, as a bonus, some delicate history.

A federal court has awarded a Denver man $7.2 million in a lawsuit he filed against a popcorn maker and a grocery store for selling him microwaved popcorn that made him sick.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, it's Hispanic Heritage Month. That's the time of year when we talk about the contributions and, sometimes, challenges facing people of Latino heritage in this country.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. You might have heard us mention our Twitter Education Forum that we'll be hosting in Miami next month. We'll tell you more about that a little later.

But education is very much on our minds, so today, we're also going to talk more about some troubling new numbers showing that the high school graduation rates for black and Latino boys is lagging. We want to find out more about why. We'll talk about that a little later.

When Reid Gorecki began his quest to make it to baseball's major leagues this year, he probably didn't expect things to end up in Camden, N.J. The city is the home of Campbell's Soup — and Campbell 's Field, where the Camden Riversharks play their games.

And that's where Gorecki now plays, after being traded by the Long Island Ducks. Tuesday night's game was supposed to be one of the last of his season. But the game was canceled owing to rain, and the stadium was quiet.

The French government announced Wednesday that it will prohibit demonstrations planned for Saturday to protest the anti-Muslim video that has sparked violence in Muslim countries around the world.

The decision came after a French satirical magazine published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Florida A&M University played its first home game of the season Saturday — without its famous Marching 100 band for the first time in decades. The band was suspended for the year after drum major Robert Champion died as a result of a band hazing incident. The incident took place after the last football game of the 2011 season.

This year's suspension has left a void at Rattler football games. Just about everyone in Bragg Memorial Stadium for the first home game was talking about it.

Ahead of high-profile talks in China by U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, there was a high-impact leak. Photos emerged of a second Chinese stealth fighter jet — one that had been rumored but never seen before.

The J31, as analysts call it, shows how fast China is moving.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Kids in Chicago are back in school. While teachers and school officials still need to iron out wrinkles in their new contract, both are satisfied they can do that with school in session. Chicago students lost seven days as a result of the strike.

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From the race for president, now to Congress. It's caught in a serious time crunch, not to finish its legislative business, though it hasn't done much of that this year. No, the real squeeze is in the campaign fundraising. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, lawmakers are trying to fill up lobbyists' schedules with events hoping to extract a few more dollars for their re-election bids.

The mural in downtown Corvallis, Ore., is big: 10 feet high and 100 feet long. One side shows a peaceful countryside setting in rural Taiwan. The other shows police beating protesters in Tibet and a Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. In the presidential campaign, it was relatively quiet on the stump today, but it was anything but on the cable channels. Pundits and spinmasters continued to chew over that Florida fundraiser and Mitt Romney's controversial line about America's 47 percent.

Scientists have known for a long time that rice — often babies' first food and the staple of much of the world's diet — is good at absorbing inorganic arsenic from soil during the growing process.

Two separate analyses, one by Consumer Reports and one by the Food and Drug Administration, have raised concerns that we might be getting too much of this known human carcinogen in our diets.

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, we're going to focus on a new study about the people who decide what you see on America's television news. The National Association of Black Journalists, or NABJ, has just released its latest diversity census. The group says the picture is bleak for journalists of color who hope to get into television newsroom management. That's journalists who belong to all different ethnic groups.

Drone strikes ordered by the Obama administration have killed more than a dozen al-Qaida leaders around the world, in places ranging from Afghanistan to Somalia. In speeches and public appearances, U.S. officials say those attacks are legal and essential to protect the nation's security.

But when civil liberties groups asked for more information about targeted killing, the CIA told them it's a secret.

On Thursday, they'll square off in front of a federal appeals court in Washington.

Pushing For Records

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took his effort to contain the damage from the video of his remarks about Americans who don't pay taxes to Fox News Channel Tuesday.

There, he acknowledged that some of those who don't pay federal income taxes are senior citizens and military service members.

Pennsylvania's highest court is returning the state's controversial voter ID law to a lower court judge who must decide whether it will disenfranchise some voters.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports that according to Tuesday's ruling, the lower court judge must block the law from taking effect if he finds voters cannot easily get photo ID cards that the law requires.

The state Supreme Court recognized difficulties in implementing the law under a "relatively short time frame," concluding:

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In Chicago, teachers have suspended their strike. That means teachers and students could be back to class as soon as tomorrow. The strike lasted seven days.

And with us to explain what has transpired in Chicago is NPR's Claudio Sanchez. And, Claudio, teachers, as we've said, have suspended the strike. What has the reaction been?

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The news today wasn't all bad for Mitt Romney and his team. A panel of three federal appeals judges reversed a lower court decision, one that would have required more disclosure of big political donors. As NPR's Peter Overby reports, that threat of disclosure was troubling to pro-Romney outside groups which have far outspent the Romney campaign on television.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The fundraiser where the Romney video was recorded was held in Florida. And today, in that politically important state, reaction was mixed about Romney's unscripted remarks. NPR's Kathy Lohr gathered some views from people at a retirement community.

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Mother Jones magazine is known for its small but passionate following of liberal readers. And right now, it's getting a huge amount of attention. NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik joins us now for more on Mother Jones and how it got this story. Hi there, David.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Hey, Audie.

CORNISH: So this video of Mitt Romney was recorded a while back. Some of the clips were living on YouTube months ago. So what did Mother Jones do to acquire the story and get so much attention for it now?

Anytime a candidate calls an unexpected press conference in the evening, you know it's not good news. We look at the latest news and political fall out from the release of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser. The comments were made in May and the recording was released by Mother Jones magazine.

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The teachers Union in Chicago votes later today for the second time on whether to and a strike that has kept 350,000 students and their parents in limbo. On Sunday, the union's House of Delegates voted to continue the weeklong strike until they have more time to read the outline on of a tentative agreement. That vote was a setback for union President Karen Lewis and her bargaining team.

NPR's Claudio Sanchez reports that with the vote pending, some teachers still don't know what's in that agreement.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney admits he could've used more elegant language, but he's not backing down. Romney was secretly recorded speaking at a fundraiser in May and his comments were publicized yesterday by the liberal magazine, "Mother Jones." Here he is telling wealthy backers that President Obama has a built-in base of support.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

The Mother Jones journalist behind the release of a surreptitiously shot fundraising video says the source "did not go there looking to catch Mitt Romney in the act."

David Corn, the magazine's Washington bureau chief, tells NPR's Michel Martin on Tell Me More:

I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper, but clearly, some people are not Peppers.

Dr Pepper's new Facebook ad campaign featuring an ape moving from all-fours, to seeing a soda on a rock, to an upright man, enjoying a Pepper, is apparently red meat to some creationists who are loudly expressing outrage at the idea that humans evolved from soda-discovering apes.

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