Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Activist: It's Time For Syrian Opposition To Unify

Syrian President Bashar Assad addresses a meeting of his Baath Party in Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday. President Obama called on Assad to step down, though it's not clear who would replace Assad if he quit or was ousted.
SANA AP

President Obama has now called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to quit. But if he did, or if he is toppled, who would replace Assad?

There's no clear answer. Assad and his late father, Hafez Assad, have ruled Syria for four decades and have not tolerated anything that resembles a genuine opposition inside the country's borders.

"There is no opposition in Syria. There are opposition groups," said Lebanon's Wissam Tarif, who has been a prominent campaigner for democracy and human rights in the Middle East.

Divided Opposition

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Race To The Arctic
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

In The Arctic Race, The U.S. Lags Behind

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy breaks ice to support scientific research in the Arctic Ocean near Barrow, Alaska, in this file photo from July 2006 provided by the Coast Guard. In addition to the medium-class Healy, the U.S. just has two polar-class icebreakers — one of which will be decommissioned soon.
Prentice Danner AP

Seattle is the home of the U.S. Coast Guard's entire fleet of polar-class icebreakers.

Both of them.

Capt. George Pellissier commands both the Polar Sea and the Polar Star. He has spent much of his career on these ships, which were built in Seattle in the 1970s.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

In Hard Times, Welfare Cases Drop In Some States

Monday marks 15 years since President Clinton signed an overhaul of the nation's welfare system into law. The president said the measure wasn't perfect, but provided a historic opportunity to fix a system that didn't work.

"Today we are ending welfare as we know it," he said in a Rose Garden ceremony on Aug. 22, 1996. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."

What it was supposed to begin was a program that would get the poor into the workforce and end their dependence on public aid.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

For Supporters, Ron Paul's Message Strikes A Chord

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul, a Texas congressman, reacts after seeing several hundred people show up to see him Wednesday in Concord, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:54 am

On a balmy August evening in Concord, N.H., the smells of summer float through the air: cooking meat, freshly cut grass and bug spray. A few hundred Ron Paul supporters have gathered under a white tent to hear their candidate speak at the opening of his state campaign headquarters.

They're excited about the Texas congressman's close second-place finish at the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. They're also a little frustrated that it hasn't been getting more attention.

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

A Big Bridge In The Wrong Place

Why the long bridge?
Stuart Ramson AP

You would never look at a map of the Hudson River, point to the spot where the Tappan Zee Bridge is, and say, "Put the bridge here!"

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Research News
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Black Researchers Getting Fewer Grants From NIH

A new study finds that when applying for scientific research grants from the National Institutes of Health, white researchers succeeded 25 percent of the time, while blacks about 15 percent of the time. Above, the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center at the NIH Campus in Bethesda, Md.
NIH

If you glance around university corridors or scientific meetings, it's obvious that African-Americans are uncommon in the world of science. A study in Science magazine now finds that the black scientists who do start careers in medical research are at a big disadvantage when it comes to funding.

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Small Businesses, Big Problems
10:01 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Ag Business Strained Finding Good Crop Of Employees

Hamilton Farm Bureau Chief Operating Officer Wade Blowers says he hopes to recruit sales people that will make investing in more storage and processing capacity at his co-op worthwhile.
Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

Last of a five-part series

In Michigan, one in 10 people who want work can't find a job, and that number doubles if you include people who are underemployed or who have just given up on their job search.

But despite high unemployment, some employers are still finding that the search for talent can be a challenge.

At the Hamilton Farm Bureau cooperative in southwest Michigan, a 50-ton truck is taking in a load of grain that will go to feed cattle.

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StoryCorps
8:32 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Homemade Planetarium Reflects One Man's Dream

The Kovac Planetarium is dedicated to Frank's father, Frank Kovac Sr., seen in the inset photo on the sign, who inspired his son to gaze at the stars.
StoryCorps

Deep in the North Woods of Wisconsin, more than 200 miles north of Milwaukee, sits the world's largest handmade planetarium.

It isn't easy to find. A sign points down a dirt road toward Frank Kovac's backyard, where he built the planetarium over a period of 10 years. His lifelong fascination with the stars turned into a project of cosmic proportions.

As a child, Kovac looked at the sky through his father's small telescope.

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News
5:34 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Wyoming Democrats take aim at GOP Presidential candidates

The Chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party says the country will soon be facing a battle over things that most thought were settled in America. Chuck Herz took the opportunity of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's visit to the state to attack Romney's lean to the right of the Republican Party and took after other Republican hopefuls as well. Herz says many of the proposals by Republicans concern him.

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News
5:32 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Grand Teton National Park will get bulk of state's federal highway grant money.

Grand Teton National Park will get almost three million dollars to extend its bike pathway as part of federal transportation grants announced today/Thursday.

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