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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Drought Puts Texas Ranchers, And Cattle, At Risk

A severe drought has caused shortages of grass, hay and water in most of Texas, forcing ranchers to thin their herds or risk losing their cattle to the drought. Cattle use a tree for shade in late July, as temperatures rose above 100 degrees near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In the cattle town of Emory in East Texas, the worst drought in state history is threatening a way of life. Scorching temperatures and no rain have forced many ranchers to sell off their stock.

Normally before being brought to market, cattle are penned in a rancher's best pasture to be fattened. The heavier the cow, the more the buyer pays.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Western Sanctions May Put Slow Squeeze On Syria

Syrian street vendors display their goods in downtown Damascus on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Syria's economy was hit hard initially by the anti-government uprising. It has bounced back, but now the U.S. is urging the E.U. to join in banning import of crude oil from Syria.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian economy has so far weathered the mass protests and widespread violence that have rocked most every major city. But in a move that could increase the pressure, the European Union is considering a ban on imported Syrian oil, similar to sanctions the U.S. imposed earlier this month.

Western governments say the Syrian regime's harsh response to an anti-government uprising has demonstrated that it is not fit to lead.

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Sports
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Woman Reaches K2's Summit, And A Place In History

Climber Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner sits with her husband, Ralf Dujmovits, in this file photo from 2009. This week, Kaltenbrunner became the first woman to climb all the world's 14 tallest peaks without using supplementary oxygen.
Ralf Dujmovits dapd

At more than 28,000 feet, K2 is the second-highest mountain in the world. And when Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner reached its summit this week, she became the first woman to climb all 14 of the world's tallest peaks without using any supplementary oxygen.

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Sports
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Female Golfing Phenom Seeks Titles, Recognition

The world's top women golfers are battling it out in Mirabel, Quebec, this week at the Canadian Women's Open. In the field is a powerful, yet little-known player: world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan.

Tseng has been powering and smiling her way around golf courses — and making history. At the relatively tender age of 22, she's already done something that no one who's swung a golf club has done before: Tseng has won five major championships.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

As Economy Teeters, All Eyes On Bernanke

Investors are closely watching Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 26, 2011 9:41 am

Nervous investors will be listening Friday to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's remarks in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for clues to additional steps the Fed might take to shore up the sagging economy.

For the past three decades, central bankers, and the people who watch them, have been gathering each summer in the Rocky Mountain resort to do some deep thinking about the economy. Fiscal watchdog Maya MacGuineas, who has attended several of these meetings, says it's not just the view of the Grand Tetons that makes them special.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Arizona Sues Federal Government Over Voting Rights Act

Arizona is once again challenging the authority of the federal government. This time the state's attorney general is suing the feds to get out from under the Voting Rights Act, which requires Arizona to get prior approval before changing election rules and maps.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report:

Tom Horne, the top elected lawyer in Arizona, says the landmark 1965 voting rights law is out of date and forces the state to bend to the whim of the federal Justice Department.

Arizona says the law is unconstitutional.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Hurricane Irene: Why One Couple Isn't Heeding Evacuation Orders

Cars pass a mandatory evacuation sign on Hatteras Island in the North Carolina.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Hurricane Irene is forecast to hit North Carolina hard. The National Hurricane Center says it will be a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall, so state officials have ordered evacuations of the Outer Banks, the barrier islands exposed off the Carolina's Atlantic coast.

As always, there are those who stay put. All Things Considered host Melissa Block spoke to a husband and wife who live in Ocracoke, N.C. and they're planning on weathering the storm at home.

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Environment
3:16 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

'Polarbeargate' Scientist To Head Back To Work

Two polar bears spar on the shoreline of the Hudson Bay in November 2007.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The polar bear scientist who has spent more than a month suspended from his government job has now been told that he should report back to work on Friday — although NPR has learned that his job is changing and he will no longer manage federal contracts.

"Chuck is planning to go to work. He just doesn't know what the work is going to be," says attorney Jeff Ruch of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is providing legal representation for wildlife biologist Charles Monnett.

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Around the Nation
2:54 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

New Deportation Rules Give Boost To Gay Rights

Anthony Makk (right) and husband Bradford Wells at their San Francisco home on Aug. 8. Though legally married in 2004, Makk faces deportation back to his native Australia.
Noah Berger San Francisco Chronicle via Polaris Images

Thousands of same-sex married couples now have hopes of staying together in the U.S. thanks to a change in deportation policy. The government says it will now prioritize deportations, giving lower priority to those with families in the U.S.

And the Obama administration has included same-sex couples in its definition of family.

Left In Legal Limbo

Bradford Wells, 55, a longtime resident of San Francisco, has good days and bad days.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:43 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Why The Cardiologist Cares About Your Antidepressant

iStockphoto.com

The Food and Drug Administration is telling doctors and patients not to use high doses of the popular antidepressant Celexa anymore because they can raise the risk for potentially harmful changes in heart rhythms.

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Around the Nation
2:06 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

East Coast Girds For Worst As Hurricane Irene Nears

Jim Abel shopped for hurricane supplies at Home Depot this week as he prepared for the possible arrival of Hurricane Irene in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Hurricane Irene was poised to cause major destruction along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast over the weekend, and thousands of people were leaving North Carolina's exposed coast Thursday in preparation for the storm's likely first U.S. strike.

"This is everything a hurricane can be, and it's on one of those worst-case tracks for the East Coast," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

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Business
2:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Can Apple Fly As High Without Steve Jobs?

Steve Jobs' resignation from Apple Wednesday prompted all sorts of retrospectives on the man who has run the iconic company for the last 14 years.

Jobs will remain as chairman of Apple. But what's next depends on how well Apple can recover from losing the man whose identity, for so long, was tied up with the company's.

Most companies, if they're lucky, have one great idea, but what's made Apple different is its ability to stage wildly successful second, third, and fourth acts

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Around the Nation
1:55 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

After Quake, A New Round Of Coastal Rivalry Erupts

In the east, they'll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. In the west, it's the Golden Gate.
Saul Loeb and Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Even though the Virginia-centered earthquake on Tuesday only resulted in mild damage, it did open up a good-sized, good-natured national chasm – between the East Coast and West Coast of the United States.

"Really all this excitement over a 5.8 quake??? Come on East Coast, we have those for breakfast out here!!!!" California-based comedian Dennis Miller famously quipped. The early salvo was cut-and-pasted throughout the Twitterverse,

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Middle East
1:27 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Iranian Exile Group Lobbies To Get Off Terrorist List

Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, an Iranian exile group, demonstrate in front of the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, on Aug. 4, 2009. The U.S. State Department is reviewing the group's status on the Foreign Terrorist Organization list.
Valerie Kuypers AFP/Getty Images

An Iranian exile group is ramping up its lobbying campaign to get off a U.S. terrorist list, and the issue has sparked a fierce debate among foreign policy experts about the wisdom of such a move.

Supporters of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq see it as a potentially useful group in countering Iran. It has provided the U.S. information about Iran's nuclear program, for instance. Others see it as a dangerous cult and warn that taking it off the Foreign Terrorist Organization list would undercut peaceful Iranian dissidents, who want nothing to do with the MEK.

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Politics
1:22 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

King Friend: Democrats Should 'Love Their Enemies'

The unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., this week has brought attention to the slain leader's former lieutenants, many of whom became iconic figures in the civil rights movement.

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Business
1:14 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

A 'Good Deal' For BofA, A 'Great Deal' For Buffett

Warren Buffett came to the rescue of Bank of America, the giant financial services company that faces a range of legal and financial problems. Buffett said Thursday he would invest $5 billion in the company and could buy more shares down the road. Buffett's decision to buy into Bank of America sent its share price higher, though the company still has to contend with big challenges.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

A Look Inside Gadhafi's Bunkers

Through people who have visited Col. Moammar Gadhafi's Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli talked about the miles of hallways and bunkers built below ground, no images had ever been seen of them.

As Mark noted earlier, now that the rebels control the complex it is being explored and ransacked. And today, we got images of those legendary tunnels. In this Al Jazeera report, you'll see video of one of those tunnels at around the 1:25 mark:

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Shots - Health Blog
11:45 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Report: Vaccines Are Safe, Hazards Few And Far Between

Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough at a Walgreen's pharmacy in Pasadena, Calif. last year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Vaccines do come with risks for trouble, but problems are generally rare, according to a new review of the evidence from the Institute of Medicine.

The independent panel considered adverse effects from eight common childhood vaccines, and found that in many cases there wasn't enough evidence to if say there was a problem. But the committee came out loud and clear on the controversial question which drove the report.

Do vaccines — such as the one against measles, mumps and rubella — cause autism?

Nope.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Thu August 25, 2011

A Shade Of Yellow: Steve Jobs And Attention To Detail

No doubt there are plenty of career retrospectives about the just-departed Apple CEO Steve Jobs today. He did, afterall, lead Apple to become the world's premiere technology company and for a few moments earlier this month, Apple surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable American company.

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Report: Obama Administration Looking At Refinancing Plans For Mortages

The New York Times has a report about a government plan that could affect millions of homeowners in the United States. The paper reports that the Obama administration is kicking around a proposal that would "allow millions of homeowners with government-backed mortgages to refinance them at today's lower interest rates, about 4 percent..."

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Politics
10:07 am
Thu August 25, 2011

In Summer Of Angry Voters, Whither The Town Hall?

For members of Congress, August can be a time to reconnect with voters back home. One favorite way to do so has been the town hall meeting.

But this year, with voters angrier than ever, many lawmakers are choosing not to hold those meetings.

In Minnesota, one Republican freshman is trying to navigate his district's political currents.

'I Will Do My Best'

When he was running for Congress last year, Chip Cravaack told the same story, over and over, about how a town hall meeting — or the lack of one — had gotten him into politics.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Merkel Back At No. 1 On Forbes' List Of World's Most Powerful Women

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday (Aug. 23, 2011) in Belgrade.
Andrej Isakovic AFP/Getty Images

After a dip to No. 4 last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is back at No. 1 on Forbes magazine's annual "World's Most Powerful Women" list.

Merkel's four-year run atop the rankings was broken last year by Michelle Obama. But this year, by Forbes' reasoning, the first lady came in at No. 8.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu August 25, 2011

India's Prime Minister Asks Anti-Corruption Activist To End His Fast

Anna Hazare, a 74-year old anti-corruption crusader in India, is on the 10th day of a hunger strike. Today Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked him to end his hunger strike saying parliament could discuss anti-corruption legislation.

Reuters reports:

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Crisis In The Housing Market
9:10 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Foreclosures A Third Of Sales; Mortgage Rates Rise

Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, RealtyTrac Inc. said.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales this spring. While that's a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it's six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market. Meanwhile, fixed mortgage rates edged up this week from their lowest levels in decades.

Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

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Conflict In Libya
9:02 am
Thu August 25, 2011

What Should The U.S. Do Next In Libya?

Libyan rebels remove the green flags from poles at the Abu Salim square in Tripoli on Aug. 26 after the opposition forces announced the transfer of their leadership to the capital.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:31 am

With Moammar Gadhafi and his regime driven from their strongholds in Tripoli, the most pressing question now is whether the rebels will be able to set up a government and establish order in the capital and the rest of Libya.

In their battle so far, the rebels have been boosted by NATO air power. Western nations have also been providing political and diplomatic backing to the rebel leadership, known as the Transitional National Council. And the U.S. and European states say they are prepared to return Libyan assets that were frozen in the final months of Gadhafi's rule.

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Monkey See
8:53 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs And The Cultural Apple

Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivers the keynote address at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference in June 2011. Jobs announced on August 24 that he would step down immediately as CEO of Apple.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as CEO of Apple yesterday, he handed the reins immediately to chief operating officer Tim Cook, who has had such a significant hand in day-to-day operations that many expect that Apple won't immediately suffer much in the way of effects on either its ability to turn out beloved products or its business position.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

In Gadhafi's Compound: A Condoleezza Rice Photo Album

Guns. Cars. Artwork. Statues.

And an album full of photos of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Odd as that may sound, what appears to be something of a keepsake about Rice — who Moammar Gadhafi once referred to as "my darling black African woman" and of whom he said, "I love her very much" — was found by opposition fighters as they searched and ransacked the Libyan leader's compound in Tripoli.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Warren Buffett Invests $5 Billion In Bank Of America; Stock Soars

Shares in Bank of America jumped nearly 25 percent in"premarket trading" this morning after it was reported that billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett is buying a $5 billion stake in the company, The Wall Street Journal's MarketBeat blog writes.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Cheney: I Urged Bush To Bomb Syria

Former Vice President Dick Cheney. (Feb. 10, 2011, file photo.)
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Thu August 25, 2011 7:52 am

"Former Vice President Dick Cheney says in a new memoir that he urged President George W. Bush to bomb a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site in June 2007," The New York Times reports this morning.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Thu August 25, 2011

Jobless Claims Rose Last Week; Verizon Strike A Factor

The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 417,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

Though the number of claims remained well above the level normally associated with a healthy economy, one factor was temporary. According to Reuters, "Verizon workers filed 8,500 claims for jobless benefits last week, after submitting 12,500 applications the previous week."

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