Politics
1:00 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Mixed Feelings Abound As Obama Visits Iowa

President Obama listens to questions during a Monday town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:38 am

As President Obama travels on a three-day, three-state Midwestern bus tour to talk about the economy and jobs, one of the places he has visited is the city of Decorah in northeast Iowa.

The tiny college town — whose economy is doing considerably better than the nation as a whole — is friendly territory for the president. Obama carried the county by a wide margin in 2008.

Among voters now, you'll find plenty of loyalists — but also plenty of frustration.

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Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National desk. He covers the news throughout the Northwest, with an emphasis on technology and privacy stories.

In addition to general assignment reporting throughout the region, Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Focusing on technology and privacy issues, Kaste has reported on the government's wireless wiretapping practices as well as the data-collection and analysis that goes on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in a US Supreme Court opinion concerning GPS tracking.

The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Congress' Approval Rating Plummets, Especially Among Independents

The new Gallup poll, which finds that only 13 percent of the U.S. public approves of how Congress is doing its job, is the group's first sampling since the debate over the federal debt ceiling. Many Americans watched an 11th-hour vote on that deal on TV, as pictured here.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Only 13 percent of the American public approves of how Congress is doing its job, according to a new Gallup poll. The low-water mark ties the all-time low set this past December, when Americans grew tired of the lame-duck Congress.

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Around the Nation
12:39 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Crumbling Viaduct Divides Seattle

Washington Department of Transportation surveyors Mark McDonald (left) and Richard Torres work atop Alaskan Way Viaduct in downtown Seattle in 2009. The viaduct, which was constructed in the 1950s, is slated to be replaced by a deep-bore tunnel. A 2001 earthquake seriously weakened the structure, and engineers say another hard shake could bring it down.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Downtown Seattle is one earthquake away from a transportation catastrophe. The city's last big quake in 2001 seriously weakened an elevated highway called the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and engineers say another good shake could bring the double-decker structure down. Although the city has been living with the threat for 10 years, residents and politicians still can't agree what to do about it.

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Hidden World Of Girls
12:09 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

From China To The U.S.: Student Juggles Two Worlds

Mandy with her parents at the Beijing airport.
Courtesy of Mandy Lu

The end of high school and the beginning of college is a momentous time for any teenager — a time of shifting identities and evolving family relationships. Now imagine going through all of that in a country other than your own. Mandy Lu, 19, did just that. Here are her reflections on the two worlds she straddles — as a college student in Greensboro, N.C., and as the daughter of migrant workers from northeastern China.

A couple months ago, I went back to China for the first time since before I started college in the U.S. It was my first trip home in two years.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Tue August 16, 2011

U.S. Public Health Service Official Clarifies Stance On Uniforms

Service members model the Modified Service Dress Blue Sweater. The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service requires that members wear either the sweater or a windbreaker.
Commissioned Corps of The U.S. Public Health Service

We got an e-mail this morning from Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Lyons of the U.S. Public Health Service, asking that we straighten out a mess we created with our post on sweaters and windbreakers Monday.

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It's All Politics
11:40 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Rick Perry Stirs Firestorm By Accusing Fed Chair Bernanke Of Near Treason

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Aug. 15, 2011.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:56 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry only officially entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination Saturday and already by Tuesday he was raising plenty of eyebrows with his warning that he would consider it an act of treason if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke took further extraordinary steps to boost the sagging economy.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Tue August 16, 2011

U.S. Drone Missiles Reportedly Kill Four In Tribal Area Of Pakistan

A U.S. drone missile strike has reportedly killed at least four suspected militants and wounded two others in Miramshah, Pakistan, the main city in the tribal area of North Waziristan, according to Pakistani officials. The United States does not normally confirm its drone strikes.

From Islamabad, Julie McCarthy filed this report for our Newscast unit:

According to the office of the political agent, the drone missiles struck a house and a nearby parked car in Miramshah as residents were beginning the pre-dawn Ramadan fast.

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Latin America
11:24 am
Tue August 16, 2011

Colombian Cyclists Dream Of Racing Out Of Poverty

In the rural mountains of central Colombia, young cyclists such as these train in hopes of competing on the professional cycling circuit. Colombian riders are famous for their ability to withstand pain.
Courtesy of Adam Liebendorfer

On a warm, clear, breezy day in the highlands of central Colombia, Luis Cardenas' boys are moving fast, breathing hard, legs pumping, eyes focused on the asphalt ahead, 8,000 feet above sea level.

Cardenas is the coach of a cycling club for teenagers. And he pushes them hard.

"Go, go, go Johan, 500 more meters," Cardenas says.

He's talking to Johan Cardenas, one of the best teenage cyclists in this swath of emerald green mountains and potato farms.

This is a sparsely populated state called Boyaca, and it's a cycling mecca.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue August 16, 2011

France, Germany Propose 'True European Economic Government'

With the sovereign debt crisis deepening, the leaders of France and Germany announced that they would seek a "true European economic government" made up of all the heads of state of eurozone countries but led by European Union President Herman Van Rompuy.

The AP reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met in France after a turbulent week in the world markets, also want the 17 nations to make a balanced budget part of their constitutions.

Reuters adds:

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