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Opinion
6:41 am
Wed August 3, 2011

New Republic: For GOP It's A Far-Right Turn Only

As the Tea Party's presence in the political spectrum grows, some are wondering if the GOP will be forced away from the center.
iStockphoto.com

Ed Kilgore is a special correspondent for The New Republic.

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Opinion
6:41 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Weekly Standard: Yes, He's The Great Disuader

President Barack Obama walks out to deliver a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011, following the Senate's passing of the debt ceiling agreement. The president's approval rating fell during this most recent economic debate.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Mathew Continetti is an opinion editor for The Weekly Standard.

The talks were going nowhere. It was July 13, the fifth straight day of negotiations between President Obama and congressional leaders over an agreement to increase the debt ceiling. The hour was late when House majority leader Eric Cantor repeated the Republican preference for a short-term increase. But the president wasn't having it. "Eric, don't call my bluff," Obama said. "I'm going to the American people on this."

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Local New Jersey Politician Resigns Amid Sexting Scandal

Louis N. Magazzu.
Cumberland County

Yet another politician has given up his seat because explicit pictures of themselves ended up on the World Wide Web and in this case on the site of a political adversary.

Louis N. Magazzu, 53-year-old Democrat, had been a New Jersey freeholder, or county commissioner, for nearly 14 years. He resigned, yesterday, amid a controversy that's becoming very familiar: Magazzu texted naked pictures of himself to a woman he'd never met in person and then those pictures went public.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Joining Fitch, Moody's Also Affirms U.S. Credit Rating

Echoing what Fitch Ratings said yesterday, Moody's Investor Service said it is keeping a triple-A credit rating for the United States. Bloomberg reports that the announcement also came with a warning that a downgrade is still possible if the country doesn't take on debt reduction:

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Environment
3:00 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Natural Gas Extraction Creates A Boom For Sand

At the top of the bluffs, this backhoe shovels the sand that's been crushed and washed onto a conveyor belt that runs the sand through a drier before it's loaded into a rail car.
Kathleen Masterson for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 3, 2011 11:02 am

The rise of fracking as a method for extracting natural gas from shale rock has triggered demand for a key ingredient in the process: silica sand. In parts of the upper Midwest, there's been a rush to mine this increasingly valuable product.

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Economy
3:00 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Debt-Ceiling Deal Does Little For Global Economic Ills

With the fight over the U.S. debt ceiling finally over, investors are free again to focus on all the economic challenges that lie ahead, but they are finding little reason to celebrate. Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Tuesday, skipping the "relief rally" that customarily follows the resolution of a crisis.

In the United States, signs of a serious economic slowdown had been building up, though with attention focused on the debt-ceiling debate, the news had apparently not yet sunk in.

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National Security
3:00 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Pentagon Could See Deep Cuts In Debt Deal

For several GOP lawmakers, the decision on whether to vote for the debt deal hinged on how the prescribed cuts will affect defense spending. In the end, enough Republicans in the House put their concerns about cutting the deficit over their concerns about cutting defense spending.

But no one really knows how much the Pentagon will have to cut as a result of the deal or when.

"We are in uncharted territory here," said David Berteau, an expert on budgetary issues with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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Around the Nation
2:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

A Fight For Jim Thorpe's Body

Native American sports star Jim Thorpe throws the discus at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, where he won gold medals in both the pentathlon and decathlon events.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:38 am

More than half a century after the death of sports star Jim Thorpe, his surviving children and a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania are locked in a battle over the Native American athlete's remains.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist, member of the NFL Hall of Fame and former Major League Baseball player was buried in the town of Jim Thorpe, Pa., after he died of a heart attack in 1953.

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Environment
2:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

NASA's Eyes In The Sky Study Pollution On Earth

The P-3B NASA research aircraft, seen on the tarmac at Baltimore Washington International Airport on June 28, will gather data as it flies spirals over six ground stations in Maryland.
Paul E. Alers NASA

NASA, the agency best known for exploring space, is trying to answer some urgent questions about air pollution right here on Earth.

For much of July, the agency flew research planes between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore as part of a mission known as DISCOVER-AQ. The planes, along with weather balloons and ground stations, were gathering data on how pollutants such as ozone and particulates behave in the atmosphere.

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Health
2:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Rural Arizona Hospital Prepares For Future Cuts

Jim Dickson, the CEO of Copper Queen Community Hospital in Bisbee, Ariz.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Mayor Jack Porter arrived at the only post office in Bisbee, Ariz., on a red motorcycle. Getting off, he walked with a slight limp, the only lingering effect of a frightening morning last July when he awoke with numbness in his right side and slurred speech.

The paramedics had rushed him to the only emergency room in rural Bisbee at the Copper Queen Community Hospital. There, doctors determined he was having a stroke and gave him tPA, a clot-busting drug that, when administered within a tight timeframe, can minimize a stroke's effects.

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Economy
2:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Deal Averts Default, But Doesn't Fix Debt Problems

The National Debt Clock, a billboard-size digital display showing the increasing U.S. debt, is seen in New York City on Monday. Congress passed a bill Tuesday that would raise the nation's debt limit.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The bill passed Tuesday to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid default includes as much as $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.

"It's an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means," President Obama said.

The deal was hard-fought, with cuts some say will be painful, but experts say it doesn't come close to fixing the country's debt problems.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Syrian Uprising Expands Despite Absence Of Leaders

In a photo provided to AFP by a third party, Syrians demonstrate after Friday prayers in the central city of Hama on July 22. Syrian security forces killed at least eight civilians as more than 1.2 million protesters swarmed cities to protest against President Bashar al-Assad's rule, activists said.
- AFP/Getty Images

Syria's uprising has been called the YouTube Revolution. The protest videos from cities across the country are a guide to how the movement works.

The banners and the slogans are remarkably similar, from the city of Dera'a in the south, to Hama on the central plain, to the eastern desert town of Deir Ezzor. Even in the capital of Damascus, the chants are the same: "It's time for President Bashar al-Assad to go."

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Africa
2:00 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Militants A Hurdle In Somalia Famine Aid Efforts

Renee Montagne speaks with Kristalina Georgieva about the famine in Somalia and the difficulties of getting aid into the country. Georgieva is the European Union's humanitarian aid commissioner and is just back from Somalia.

Africa
2:00 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Ailing Mubarak Wheeled Into Cairo Corruption Trial

Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak goes on trial in Cairo today along with his two sons and top officials from his government. Mubarak could face the death penalty if he is convicted of ordering attacks on protesters in Tahrir Square that left some 800 dead.

Sweetness And Light
10:01 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

NCAA: Still Stalled By 'Amateur Hour' Thinking

NCAA President Mark Emmert address the media during a press conference before the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Verizon Center on March 17 in Washington, D.C.
Nick Laham Getty Images

Next week, at some place in Indianapolis where time has been instructed to stand still, Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, will convene what is being called, without irony, a "retreat."

Assembled will be about 50 college presidents, pledged, it seems, to make sure that college athletics continue to remain firmly in the past, in the antiquated amateur hours.

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National Security
8:31 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

White House Report To Detail Anti-Extremism Effort

The White House will unveil its strategy to counter radicalization on Wednesday afternoon, ending months of speculation about how President Obama intends to tackle the growing problem of violent extremism in this country.

The strategy paper, titled The National Strategy on Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism, has been more than a year in the making and marks the first time the U.S. has laid out a comprehensive strategy to counter violent extremism.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

After 57 Years, Man Looks To Sell Rare Gehrig Memorabilia

Jeffrey Quick, 69, holds a family photo of his parents and Lou Gehrig's mother as he and his wife, Joan, stand in their dining room. On the table next to them is a glove signed by Gehrig's Yankees teammates — a gift from Christina Gehrig.
Matt Rainey Matt Rainey for NPR

Jeffrey Quick doesn't have any family ties to legendary Yankees ballplayer Lou Gehrig. But his collection of mementos from Gehrig's life — a glove and a grade-school autograph book among them — are the kinds of things passed down from one generation to the next. And that's how Quick got them. Gehrig's mother, Christina, left them to Quick's mother, back in 1954.

As Quick tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris, his mother, Ruth Quick, briefly dated Lou Gehrig, back when he was a single superstar in New York.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Harry Reid: GOP Must OK Tax Increases Or Ax Falls On Defense

Democrats may have yielded on their demand for tax increases to Republicans to achieve the the debt-ceiling deal President Obama signed into law Tuesday.

But Sen. Harry Reid had a warning for congressional Republicans when he talked Tuesday with Michele Norris, co-host of All Things Considered. Later this year when Congress has to decide on additional ways to cut federal deficits, Democrats intend to stand firm on the need for more tax revenues, the Senate minority leader said.

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Around the Nation
3:32 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

After Tornado, Joplin Creates Makeshift Schools

The former Shopko in the Northpark Mall in Joplin, Mo., is being converted into a temporary high school for 11th- and 12th-graders. A tornado in May destroyed more than half the district's classroom space.
Kansas City Star MCT via Getty Images

Gearing up for the fall is a big job for most school districts. But in Joplin, Mo., where a monstrous tornado killed 160 people and destroyed more than half of the district's classroom space in May, the task is massive.

Thanks to a very resourceful approach, plenty of help and hard work, though, school will start as scheduled — and that means a lot to the community.

The tornado ripped across Joplin on Sunday, May 22, graduation day. The devastation was vast and surreal: phones and power lines in tatters, desperate triage at swamped medical centers, scores missing.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Reid Says FAA Shutdown Will Continue; Blames House, Delta Airlines

Construction equipment sits idle in front of the half-completed new control tower at Oakland International Airport. Thousands of construction workers on aviation projects have stopped work, as a standoff over funding of the FAA continues.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has been in a partial shutdown mode since July 22. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the shutdown will continue, with some 4,000 federal workers remaining on furlough.

"It'll be closed until... maybe not September, maybe more than that," he tells All Things Considered co-host Michele Norris.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Four Loko, 11 Young People And A Busy Emergency Room

Cans of fruit-flavored Four Loko in the liquor department of a convenience store in Miami in 2010.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Here at Shots, we've been watching the uproar over the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko ever since college kids last year reportedly started ending up in hospitals after drinking too much of the stuff.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Debt Impasse Over, GOP Hopefuls Turn To Spending

For the Republicans vying to replace President Obama, the debate on the campaign trail has taken a back seat to the debate in Washington.

Among the GOP presidential hopefuls, the dominant position on the deal is thumbs-down, though some reluctantly supported the agreement.

But now, the issue of federal spending promises to become one of the leading topics of discussion as voters size up the Republican field.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Giffords Staff Member Describes An Emotional Return To The House

The House of Representatives' vote to raise the debt ceiling Monday was upstaged by the surprise appearance of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), making her first visit to the chamber since being shot in the head in January during a visit to her home state.

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Middle East
1:49 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Egyptians Ready To See Mubarak Put On Trial

Mubarak (shown here in November 2010) is not well enough to be moved to Cairo from his hospital bed in the seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to stand trial, according to his lawyer.
Khaled Desouki Getty Images

Less than six months after he was toppled, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to go on trial Wednesday, and a guilty verdict could bring the death penalty.

Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, is charged with multiple crimes that include corruption and ordering the killing of hundreds of protesters while he struggled to put down a popular uprising.

State television will broadcast the proceedings live, a show that is sure to grip the nation. That is, if it begins as scheduled — or at all.

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Asia
1:35 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

China's Supercomputing Goal: From 'Zero To Hero'

The $60 million Tianhe-1A supercomputer in Tianjin, China.
Louisa Lim NPR

Second in a three-part series

China basked in a moment of technological glory last November when it nudged out the U.S. as home of the world's fastest supercomputer.

The achievement was short-lived — after just six months, a Japanese supercomputer three times as fast supplanted the Chinese machine — but it generated intense national pride.

But questions remain as to whether China's much-vaunted supercomputing program will be able to live up to Beijing's high expectations.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Missouri Outlaws Student-Teacher Facebook Friendship

Facebook.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 3, 2011 4:12 pm

A law signed into law last month in Missouri is making waves nationally, this week. A small part of the wide-ranging SB54, makes it illegal for teachers to be "friends" with students on any social networking site that allows private communication.

That means teachers and students can't be friends on Facebook or can't follow each other on Twitter for example.

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Law
1:00 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Justice Department Sues Alabama Over Immigration Law

In this June 25, 2011 file photo, participants bow their heads in prayer during a demonstration to protest Alabama's new law against illegal immigration, in Birmingham, Ala.
Jay Reeves AP

Reaction was swift in Alabama on Tuesday after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block a new immigration law set to take effect next month.

Alabama's new law — considered the toughest in the country — requires authorities to confirm the status of anyone they stop if there's reasonable doubt that person could be in the U.S. illegally. The law makes it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work, rent an apartment or get a driver's license.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Norwegian Killer Breivik Quotes Writer; Writer Responds

Anders Behring Breivik, left, leaves an Oslo courthouse in a police car after a hearing. Since then, Breivik has been held in solitary confinement.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Confessed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik's "manifesto" references many statistics and papers dealing with both science and global population. But what if you were a writer — and you learned that the man who killed 77 people had quoted some of your work?

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It's All Politics
12:16 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Now History, Debt-Ceiling Fight Left Much Wreckage In Its Wake

President Obama walks back to the Oval Office after speaking about the Senate's passage of debt-ceiling legislation, at the White House on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue August 2, 2011 2:13 pm

With the Senate's passage of the debt-ceiling legislation and President Obama having signed it Tuesday afternoon, the nation no longer needs to worry about defaultmageddon, at least not until early 2013 when the U.S. Treasury once again runs out of the room to borrow again.

But even though there wasn't a default, the fight left plenty of wreckage laying about.

Among the casualties was Obama. Yes, he seemed to have narrowly averted becoming the first president to have the nation default during his term.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:36 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Even A Little Exercise Can Help Your Heart

Even 15 minutes off the couch would help.
iStockphoto.com

We all know that exercise is good for us, but sometimes it's can seem too hard to even detach from the couch.

Plus, let's be honest, having the federal government tell us it's a terrific idea to get 2 1/2 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week doesn't really help our motivation much. Sorry.

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