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2:37 pm
Sat September 17, 2011

Do New Voting Laws Suppress Fraud? Or Democrats?

While campaigning to become Kansas' secretary of state, Kris Kobach held a press conference to make the case for a photo ID requirement at the polls. In his argument, he noted that a man named Alfred K. Brewer, who died in 1996, had voted in the 2010 primary.

There was just one problem with that: Brewer wasn't dead.

Shortly after the press conference, Brewer's wife received a call regarding her husband's "passing."

"And she says, 'Well, why do you want to talk to me? He's out raking leaves,'" Brewer says.

New Crackdowns

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Politics
1:00 pm
Sat September 17, 2011

What Can Obama Do Improve His Approval Rating?

A new New York Times-CBS News poll shows President Obama with an approval rating of 43 percent. That, and other tough news for the president have prompted at least one major Democratic voice, James Carville, to call for a round of White House firings. Weekends on All Things Considered Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about what Obama needs to do to right the ship.

Around the Nation
10:40 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Daughter Of Late Sen. Edward Kennedy Dies

Kara Kennedy, the oldest child of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, has died. She was 51.

Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, said his sister died Friday while at a Washington, D.C.-area health club.

Kara Kennedy, the oldest of three children, was a lung cancer survivor. Doctors removed a malignant tumor in 2003.

"She's with dad," Patrick Kennedy said. Their father died in 2009.

Patrick Kennedy said his sister loved to exercise but that her cancer treatment "took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically."

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Education
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Shrinking Budgets Put School Support On The Block

Across the country, a group of education administrators, known as regional superintendents, are seeing their budgets shrink. These administrators are involved in providing services like teacher certification and other support for school districts. In Illinois, the state's 44 regional superintendents have been working without pay since the governor zeroed out their funding in July. Maria Altman of St. Louis Public Radio reports that the issue of whether or not these officials are needed at all is coming to a head.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Nashville Schools Rock Music Education

When many public schools are cutting back on arts education, schools in Nashville are expanding their music departments and offering classes in country, rock and rap. Host Scott Simon reflects.

Sports
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Runner Takes On Record-Breaking Mission For Mom

Former Yale track star Sam Fox is trying to break the record for running the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Canada to Mexico. But, as Dave Iverson from member station KQED in San Francisco reports, this long distance challenge is about more than just the record books.

Sports
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues

Originally published on Sat September 17, 2011 7:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and I wait all week to say: Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: There's cheering in Detroit today, sighs of relief all over New England, for now. And pro basketball braces for the sounds of silence.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us from the great Northwest. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hello, Scott.

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Economy
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Europeans Split Over Debt Crisis

After another week of financial turmoil in Europe, there was little hope that the Eurozone debt crisis is any closer to being resolved. NPR's Eric Westervelt in Berlin and Sylvia Poggioli in Athens join host Scott Simon to discuss how northern and southern Europeans differ in their attitudes to the debt crisis in Europe.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Obamas Kick Back With White House Homebrew

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor this week, had one simple request. He wanted to have a beer with the president. So they sat down with a pint of White House Honey Ale, the first beer made at the White House. Apparently, when the Obama's moved in, they brought beer-making with them.

Middle East
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Palestinian Push For Statehood Comes To A Head

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 9:54 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The world comes to New York next week for the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly. This year's meeting is going to feature a diplomatic showdown. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced yesterday that he'll seek Palestinian statehood through the Security Council, a move the United States has said it would veto. NPR's foreign correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us from Jerusalem.

Lourdes, thanks for being with us.

LOURDES GARCIA: You're welcome.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Devastating Crash Closes Reno Air Show

Originally published on Sat September 17, 2011 7:52 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. At least three people died, and more than 50 were injured, at an air show in Nevada late yesterday afternoon. A plane participating in the Reno Air Races crashed into a group of spectators, and the scene was horrific. From Reno Public Radio, Brandon Rittiman reports.

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Education
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Anti-Bullying Laws Get Tough With Schools

New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, considered by many as the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation, went into effect this month. Host Scott Simon talks with Emily Bazelon of Slate Magazine about bullying laws, where they're working and where they're headed (hint: the Supreme Court).

Middle East
6:00 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Egyptian-Israeli Peace Stretches Thin

After more than three decades of peace between Israel and Egypt, relations are fraying. A cross-border attack last month left five Egyptian police officers dead. Protesters last weekend stormed Israel's embassy. This week, most Israeli diplomats fled Egypt. Things have gotten so bad that Egypt's prime minister this week said even the 1979 peace treaty wasn't sacred. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson joins host Scott Simon from Cairo to talk about the latest there.

Economy
5:02 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Median Male Worker's Income Lower Than In 1973

Tuesday the government's annual poverty and income report revealed that the earnings of male workers in the middle of the income ladder are lower today than they were almost 40 years ago.

In 1973 the median male worker earned just over $49,000 when adjusted for inflation, while in 2010 that worker made about $1,500 less. Yet, in the same period, the output of the economy has more than doubled, and the productivity of workers has risen steadily.

What Has Changed

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Around the Nation
4:28 am
Sat September 17, 2011

Irene Aftermath: When It Rains, It Spores

Black trumpet mushrooms are among the 24 varieties of mushrooms that Pat McDonagh of Northampton, Mass., eats. She says that there are more than 1,000 varieties in the woods — and there's been an abundance since Hurricane Irene tore through the Northeast.
Anne Mostue for NPR

When Hurricane Irene tore through the Northeast last month, it caused severe flooding and damage to homes, trees and power lines. But it also left behind something rather delicate — mushrooms.

Foragers say they've seen more fungi in the past few weeks than ever before.

On a recent weekday morning in Northampton, Mass., three 50-something adults wander into the woods. The oak leaves fall alongside the pine needles, and the tall maple trees are just starting to show color.

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Around the Nation
4:10 am
Sat September 17, 2011

'On The Edge' In Mississippi: Residents Cling To Land

Occasional flooding is part of life on the batture, between the Mississippi River and the levee.
Kevin O'Mara

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:23 am

In the netherworld of the batture between the levee and the Mississippi River near New Orleans, there is a small community built on stilts. Locals call them "camps": a dozen eccentric structures — some rundown, some handsome, all handmade — clinging to the river side of the great dike.

One man has been fighting for years to claim this land, which he says belongs to his family, but those living on the batture don't seem too worried about losing their homes.

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World
3:29 am
Sat September 17, 2011

U.S. Underwhelmed With Emerging Powers At U.N.

It's the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy — a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office.

Obama's team has courted the world's rising powers, even publicly backing India's hopes to one day be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. But now that India, along with South Africa and Brazil, have rotating seats on the council, U.S. officials and many human rights activists complain they're not living up to expectations.

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Making Babies: 21st Century Families
1:45 am
Sat September 17, 2011

A New Openness For Donor Kids About Their Biology

Tina and Patrick Gulbrandson, with their daughter, Waverly.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

Originally published on Sat September 17, 2011 7:52 am

First in a two-part report.

Women inseminated with a donor's sperm used to be advised to tell no one. Go home, doctors said, make love to your husband and pretend that worked. But in a trend that mirrors that of adoption — from secrecy to openness — more parents now do plan to tell such children how they were conceived and are seeking advice on how best to do that.

Tina Gulbrandson understands the temptation of secrecy. She felt stigma and pain when she needed to use another woman's eggs to get pregnant.

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Animals
6:35 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Glowing Kittens Fight AIDS

Mayo Clinic

Here's an experiment: turn off your lights. Shine a blue flashlight on the cats in the room. Look for the ones that turn neon green, like a glow stick.

That's how scientists at the Mayo clinic identify cats that they've successfully treated against the feline immunodeficiency virus.

The AIDS epidemic is well-known amongst humans. Less known is that every year, millions of cats suffer and die from the infection.

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Economy
5:40 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Economist: U.S. Skating On Thin Ice

iStockphoto.com

Last year economist Lakshman Achuthan said he thought the United States had emerged from the depths of a recession, but today the picture looks a bit more grim. Unemployment is hovering above 9 percent and there were no new jobs created in August. On top of that, consumer confidence is at its second-lowest level of the year.

"We are skating on very thin ice," Achuthan tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

NY Cabbies Win Right Veto Racy Ads On Vehicles

Some New York cab drivers have complained that the companies they work for were putting racy ads — for strip clubs, for example — on their cars. And those ads were embarrassing and tested their ethical and religious beliefs.

Yesterday, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously to allow cab drivers who own their cars to veto the ads put on top of their vehicles.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:26 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Doctors Call For Pullback On Narcotics For Chronic Pain

In a bracing call to action, three doctors from California are telling their peers to think twice before prescribing potent narcotics for patients with chronic pain.

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Technology
3:02 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Anonymous Comes Out In The Open

A demonstrator wears a Guy Fawkes mask typically worn by followers of the cyberguerrilla group Anonymous during an Aug. 15 protest inside a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 4:17 pm

"Hacktivists" are hitting the streets.

The cyberguerrilla group Anonymous — known for high-profile computer attacks on corporate and government targets — is urging its followers to come out from behind their PCs on Saturday and occupy Wall Street.

The aim: an Arab Spring-style protest over the "abuse and corruption of corporations, banks and governments."

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Technology
2:59 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Hacking Made Easier, Thanks To New Tools

iStockphoto.com

Time was when it took a fair amount of expertise to launch the kinds of illegal computer attacks that have become the hallmarks of "hacktivist" groups like Anonymous.

Today, just about anyone can download user-friendly software capable of crippling websites. One such tool is LOIC [Low Orbit Ion Cannon], which was used in Anonymous' attack on MasterCard, Visa and other companies late last year.

It's rumored that the group will release another weapon, called #RefRef, on Saturday.

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Sports
2:46 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

A Celtic Cure: Soldiers Use Hurling To Heal After War

The Barley House Wolves circle up around their coach, Ruairi O'Mahony, for a half-time huddle during a match against a hurling team from Worcester, Mass.
Shannon Mullen for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 11:15 am

One of the most popular sports in Ireland is the rough contact game of hurling.

It was created by ancient Celtic warriors, and now it's found a niche following among some soldiers in the U.S. A group of National Guardsmen in New Hampshire formed a hurling team to stay in shape after Middle East deployments.

But they're getting a lot more than exercise.

It's Like Stepping Off Of Battle

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Justice Department: Violent Crime Drops 12 Percent In 2010

Crime scene tape is wrapped around a telephone pole in Detroit.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Statistics released today by the Justice Department show that the number of violent crimes in the country continued their downward trend, dropping a surprising 12 percent in 2010.

The AP reports:

The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported there were 3.8 million violent crimes last year, down from 4.3 million in 2009. Experts aren't sure why. The expectation had been that crime would increase in a weak economy with high unemployment like that seen in 2010.

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Latin America
1:35 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Venezuelan Know-How Fuels Rise Of Colombian Oil

A view of the Campo Rubiales oil field camp in eastern Colombia, in April 2010. Colombia's oil production has doubled since 2005 with the help of oil workers who were fired nearly a decade ago by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
Jose Miguel Gomez Reuters /Landov

Nearly a decade ago, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez fired 20,000 striking oil workers, many in highly specialized areas who had years of experience.

Venezuelan oil production has since fallen, and those banished oil workers are helping boost oil production in other countries, including one new oil frontier, Colombia.

On a recent day on Colombia's southern plains, the oil fields run by Pacific Rubiales, the country's biggest private oil producer, were a hive of activity.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Developing: Tucson Airbase On Lockdown

The Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, Ariz. is on lockdown. The AP, as well as local news outlets, report the Air Force base has confirmed that it has stepped up security, but it refused to give details of the situation.

The AP reports:

Senior Airman Timothy Dunaway says traffic has been reduced to a single point entry but he refused to elaborate.

He says the Sonoran Science Academy on the base is on lockdown.

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Rick Perry
1:22 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

In Texas, Perry's Vaccine Mandate Provoked Anger

Mike Toomey (foreground), former chief of staff to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, watches primary election returns with other staffers in Austin in 2006.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 11:15 am

The most dramatic moment of the GOP debate in Florida last Monday revolved around Gov. Rick Perry and his 2007 executive order mandating that all 11- and 12-year-old girls in Texas get the HPV vaccine. The human papillomavirus vaccine protects women and teens against a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer.

During the debate, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called Perry's executive order an example of crony capitalism.

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Around the Nation
12:50 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Miami Invaded By Giant, House-Eating Snails

In southwest Miami, a small subdivision is being called "ground zero" of an invasion by a destructive, non-native species.

"It's us against the snails," Richard Gaskalla, head of plant industry for Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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