And health officials around the country are raising warnings about West Nile Virus. The U.S. is seeing the worst outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness since it was first detected in 1999. So far this year, 26 people have died, and about half of the country's 700 cases are in Texas - most of them in Dallas County. This week, for the first time in almost half a century, the county will begin aerial spraying to kill mosquitoes. B.J. Austin of member station KERA has the story.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
When Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on the ticket, it had the potential to reset the presidential race - that is, offer a choice between two radically different visions of government, in a campaign seemingly stuck in tit-for-tat attacks over the economy. So far, though, the campaigns have a somewhat different fight on their hands. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.
All right. So we just heard in Renee's conversation there that American Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, giving her clout with potential sponsors.
Our last word in business today is Klout spelled with a K. Klout, k-l-o-u-t, is a Web startup that's been around for a few years. The company says it can measure your online influence by using a special algorithm.
It has been just over a week now since Curiosity, the NASA Mars rover, made its successful landing on the Red Planet. Curiosity is by far the most technologically advanced rover to reach the surface of Mars so far, and it's already begun sending back some pretty compelling, high-resolution photographs of the planet's surface. To talk about space and the importance of this mission, we're joined, as we often are, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
In the latest twist to the WikiLeaks story, its founder Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by the South American nation of Ecuador. Ecuador's foreign minister made the announcement this morning, speaking through a translator.
Over the past four years, Bruce Marks has been on a traveling road show to help people avoid foreclosure. His nonprofit, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, has held more than 80 events in cities around the country. So far, Marks says, NACA has helped 202,000 people get their payments lowered so they can afford to keep their homes.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.
Egyptian security forces are conducting a major campaign in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack by masked gunmen on a border post earlier this month. While the government assures the nation and the world that it will deal with the threat, Sinai residents worry that they will be blamed, targeted and abused as a result of the assault that left 16 soldiers dead.
The national recession may be over, but local governments around the country are still hurting. Core services and programs are being scaled back, cut or privatized. In Upstate New York, county officials are scrambling to sell off nursing homes that have been taxpayer-funded for generations.
Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., a modest brick building that sits a stone's throw from the village square, has 100 beds, and that's how many elderly people live here. There is always a waiting list.
Beyond bratwurst, we generally don't think of German food as summertime food. In fact, many of us don't think about German food much at all. But one delicious German tradition is catching on this barbecue season — schwenker.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:23 am
Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is throwing more punches in her contentious relationship with the federal government.
Today, she issued an executive order that says young people granted a deportation deferral under President Obama's new policy will still be considered undocumented and won't be granted public benefits.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:55 pm
The diplomatic battle in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a dramatic turn today: In an angry press conference streamed live on the Internet, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Britain threatened to storm their embassy in London if Assange was not handed over to police.
"Ecuador is not a British colony," Patiño said. "The days of colonialism are over."
He added that "such a threat is improper of a democratic and civilized country."
If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.
It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.
But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.
Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:04 pm
A judge's decision Wednesday to uphold the new Pennsylvania voter identification law shifted attention to the state's highest court, which could now determine if the requirement will be imposed on Election Day.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked the judge to stop the law from taking effect as part of a constitutional challenge. Their complaint claims the law would make it disproportionately harder for seniors, minorities and others to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
Japanese officials are experimenting with ways to help people displaced by last year's earthquake and tsunami. One idea is to create parallel towns where everyone from the dog-catcher to the schoolteacher can shift to one town while their old village is being rebuilt. It's a way of keeping communities intact. But after more than a year, many of the affected communities have already scattered.
In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.
The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.
An analysis by USA Today says this Congress may be the least productive since the end of World War II. Sixty-one bills became law so far this year, 90 bills last year. So it's not surprising that Congress' approval rating is 10 percent.