9:12 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

Famine In Somalia Also Taking Toll On Al-Shabaab

Displaced Somalis waits in a queue for food-aid rations on August 11, 2011 at an IDP camp in Mogadishu. The United Nations has officially declared famine in Somalia for the first time this century.

How can you feed starving people without feeding an insurgency as well? That is one of the challenges the Obama administration faces in providing aid to Somalia.

As the U.S. and other donors scramble to help Somalis survive a famine, some experts see an opportunity of sorts. The drought, they say, seems to be starving the Islamist militia group al-Shabaab of resources, limiting its ability to wreak havoc in Somalia.

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7:16 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

Gas Prices, Retail Sales Offer Economic Bright Spots

Shoppers stroll through Sawgrass Mills Mall during the first day of the back-to-school sales tax holiday on Friday in Sunrise, Fla. The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July.
Wilfredo Lee AP

It may seem hard to believe after such a tumultuous week on Wall Street, but economists do see a few bright spots.

For one, Americans with good credit scores can get some of the best housing bargains in decades. Freddie Mac's latest survey shows the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages has dropped to 4.32 percent. That's down to the half-century lows set during the fourth quarter of last year.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her husband, Marcus, wave to the crowd after she speaks at the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday. Bachmann won the poll with 4,823 votes.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:40 am

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa Republican presidential straw poll on Saturday, edging out Ron Paul, the Libertarian Texas congressman and quadrennial White House hopeful.

Former two-term Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished a distant third, capturing less than half of the totals brought in by the top two finishers.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was not on the ballot, ended up in sixth place with 718 votes, besting Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Thaddeus McCotter.

Romney and Huntsman were on the ballot, but did not actively compete.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

Perry Jumps Into Presidential Race Touting Texas Job Growth

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces that he will run for the Republican presidential nomination, in Charleston, S.C., on Saturday.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

As the rest of the Republican field jockeyed for support in Iowa's straw poll Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a feisty late entry into the presidential race before hundreds of conservative bloggers in South Carolina, encouraging voters to "give a pink slip to the current residents of the White House."

Perry launched his bid touting his home state's record of job creation as a central reason to elect him, but Texas' economic picture is more complex than what the governor shares on the stump.

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

Straw Poll Voters Look For 'Breakout' In GOP Field

They love "the Huckster" in Iowa, and he loves them back.

And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made a "tactical error" by shunning Saturday's straw poll, instead opting to announce his candidacy for president today in South Carolina.

"He's raining on the parade in Iowa," said Huckabee, taking a break from signing books for the happy crowd mobbing him Saturday morning. "I'm not against Rick at all, but this is the biggest day of the year for Iowa Republicans."

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Around the Nation
12:16 pm
Sat August 13, 2011

No Judges In The "Karaoke Cab," Just Good Times

Care for a little karaoke before you reach your destination?
Meghan Keane NPR

Some cab drivers might stay silent with customers in their cars. Others can talk your ear off. Joel Laguidao just wants to sing with you.

Laguidao has become known as the "karaoke cab driver." While driving for Red Top Cab Co. on weekend nights around Arlington, Va., he sings favorites like Journey's "Faithfully" and Bon Jovi's "Bed of Roses."

It started about three years ago. Laguidao grew tired of the FM radio offerings and bought a karaoke machine. He has two small monitors for reading lyrics, a large silver microphone and a thick song catalog.

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The Record
10:54 am
Sat August 13, 2011

In New York City, Free Summer Concerts Feel The Burn

Patrons at a 2007 New York Philharmonic concert in Central Park. This year, the Philharmonic abruptly cancelled its annual summer concert series for the first time since 1965.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Over the next few weeks Weekend Edition Saturday will be producing stories about the business of putting on free concerts, how they work and what they bring to their communities. Last week's story was on free shows at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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10:37 am
Sat August 13, 2011

How A Recession Rewires Your Toleration For Risk

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 11, 2011. US stocks made another dramatic comeback after a stunning fall on Thursday, in another day of extreme volatility in markets around the world.
Stan Honda/AFP Getty Images

This past week the stock market took a serious nose-dive, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 500 points on Thursday. As a result, investors across the board have been flocking to safer investments. Now you might expect older people to cash out in order to save their nest eggs — but young people? The standard investment advice would be to hold tight. Turns out, they're actually the ones fleeing from stocks the fastest.

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7:29 am
Sat August 13, 2011

'Boredom And Alienation' May Factor Into UK Riots

Youths steal electrical goods from a store in Birmingham, central England, on August 9. While the riots started after a man was shot to death by police in north London, their actual cause continues to be debated.
AFP/Getty Images

It's been more than a week since the fatal shooting of a man by police in London. Riots that erupted after the killing of Mark Duggan have shaken England since. Many people are divided over the real reasons behind the riots, questioning how much is due to the current recession or alienation or boredom among young people. Some have suggested poor parenting is to blame.

Cultural critic and novelist Diran Adebayo grew up in north London, in a neighborhood next door to Tottenham, where the riots first broke out.

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Election 2012
6:00 am
Sat August 13, 2011

Iowa Straw Poll Offers First Sip Of 2012

Later Saturday in Ames, Iowans will cast their ballots in the state's quadrennial straw poll, considered the first ballot-box test of the 2012 presidential field. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports on the tradition and this year's politics.