NPR News

Dwight Yoakam persists in mixing genres in a way that may leave him out of the country mainstream, but puts him in a good position to make a personal album with some of his best music.

Debunking The 'Myth Of The Muslim Tide'

Sep 19, 2012

The violent protests that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East over a video insulting the Prophet Muhammad were in part a reflection of conflicting values — Islamic strictures on images of the prophet versus the Western principle of respect for free speech.

But journalist Doug Saunders says that the video itself reflects a troubling current in Western political discourse — an irrational fear of Muslim communities in Europe and the United States.

Introducing A New Commenting System

Sep 19, 2012

As many of you have no doubt noticed, within the past few hours our technology team has introduced a brand-new commenting system.

The transition should be painless — meaning that there is nothing to do on your end to continue participating in the comments.

The good news is that this new system allows for many modern amenities the other system lacked. Those include: Threaded comments and the ability to use HTML formatting. The new system also allows you to delete your own comments.

Republicans scrambling to turn Mitt Romney's videotaped aspersions cast on 47 percent of Americans into a campaign opportunity are hoping for a "Chick-fil-A moment."

Susanna Moore's latest novel, The Life of Objects, is a slim World War II saga that reads like a cautionary fairy tale: It's packed with descriptions of ornate furniture and paintings, lavish banquets, demons and diamonds. At the center of the story is a young girl bewitched by her own desire to live a larger life, a wish that's granted with grim exactitude.

Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, who led the opposition in his city to the opening of a Chick-fil-A restaurant there because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, now says he won't stand in the fast-food chain's way.

Update at 2:01 p.m. ET. 14 U.S. Officials Cited For Possible Discipline:

The Justice Department's Inspector General has released the results of an investigation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive's failed gun-walking operation known as "Fast and Furious."

Tens of thousands of students are back in school this morning in Chicago.

As we told you yesterday, the Chicago Teachers Union voted to end the seven-day walkout. This morning, reports The Chicago Sun-Times, everyone was excited to get back to normal — the teachers, the students and even the mayor.

The Sun-Times reports:

Transcript

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.

There's been a lot of attention on how voter ID laws might affect minority groups like African-Americans and Latinos. But some observers say that Asian Americans may also be affected. Host Michel Martin discusses the potential impact with Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Democratic members of the House introduced a bill yesterday that would allow voters without ID to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity at the polls. The new bill is the latest in the ongoing voter ID debate and host Michel Martin speaks with one of the bill's sponsors Congressman Rick Larsen about the proposal.

It's not quite as iconic as falling leaves, crisp air, and football, but the McDonald's McRib is usually something folks look forward to enjoying in the autumn months. Not happening this year, according to a company memo obtained by Advertising Age.

Following a tip from a friend one day, photographer Dmitri Kasterine drove 15 miles from his home in Garrison, N.Y., to nearby Newburgh. What he found there was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

Kasterine was immediately drawn to the crumbling Victorian houses, the neglected buildings, and, most strikingly, the unassuming grace of the people on the street. But when he tried to take his first photo, his subject told him to go away. Still, Kasterine returned, and kept coming back for the next 16 years.

There's no rest for the undead, it seems.

Zombies have been used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread tips about preparing for natural disasters. They've been "studied" by Canadian researchers trying to figure out the best way to respond to new, highly infectious diseases.

Homegrown rebels have done most of the fighting against the Syrian government troops. But Islamist militants from abroad, including some with links to al-Qaida, are now joining the fight against the government in growing numbers.

The local rebels are not pleased with this development, and there is growing tension between the groups that share a desire to oust President Bashar Assad but little else.

Until a few weeks ago, the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa on Syria's northern frontier with Turkey was the site of a training camp for a militant Islamist group.

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

Sep 19, 2012

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

Dog Shoots French Hunter

Sep 19, 2012

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A flat tire could have been tragic for an Ohio man, but for a good Samaritan who stopped to help and whose own car was then struck by a drunk driver.

Gerald Gronowski told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he and his son would surely have been hit as they stood on the shoulder. All the more miraculous, the stranger, Christopher Manacci, had rescued Gronowski eight years earlier, pulling out a hook embedded in his hand while he was fishing.

Erick Erickson editor of RedState.com says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney needs to "own" the comments he made in a video released by the liberal publication Mother Jones. In the secretly taped video, Romney was speaking to donors and said President Obama's supporters are "dependent on the government" and "pay no income tax." Steve Inskeep talks to Erickson about his reactions to the video.

Japan Shocked By China's Fury Over Island Dispute

Sep 19, 2012

The head of Japan's Foreign Trade Council says China has started to delay imports of Japanese products. It's a replay of the de facto trade sanctions China imposed two years ago during a similar flare-up of tensions. The most recent confrontation was sparked by Japan's purchase of disputed islands which China claims sovereignty over. In Japan, the response to the more than a week of anti-Japanese protests across China has been shock.

A Harvard researcher says a "new gospel" written on a fragment of papyrus shows some early Christians believed Jesus had a wife. The fragment — which scholars believe was written in the fourth century — is creating a sensation among New Testament experts.

Univision Hosts Presidential Forums

Sep 19, 2012

Spanish-language network Univision will broadcast the first part of its presidential forum Wednesday night. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will be the first candidate to appear, and President Obama follows Thursday night.

The presidential interviews came after a dramatic clash that would rival any of the network's famous telenovelas. Univision confronted the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit group that organizes the candidate debates, after it announced an all-white lineup of moderators.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to the NFL, where these days, it's tough to say where the harder hitting is happening right now; on the field, or off - where players, coaches and the media blasted this past weekend's performance by replacement officials. The regular officials were locked out by the league in June because of a labor dispute. Joining us is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Renee.

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