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2:49 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Austerity Measures, Euro Troubles Hit Britain's Economy

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The U.S. economy has been slowly recovering, but economists warn it could plunge back into recession if Congress does not take action to avoid what's become known as the fiscal cliff.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That is the name that some clever communications specialist gave to the combination of expiring tax cuts - in other words, tax increases - and broad, mandatory spending cuts aimed at reducing the deficit. The two are set to go into effect at the end of the year.

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It's All Politics
2:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

America's Changing Face Presents Challenges For The GOP

Voters cast their ballots during the first day of early voting at the Meadows Mall on Oct. 20 in Las Vegas, Nev.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

The final days of an election cycle bring an obsession with the short term — the very short term. Daily tracking polls. A relentless get-it, post-it, blog-it news cycle. Trending topics on Twitter telling us something (though it's not always clear what).

But for just a moment, let's slow it down, look at what's happening over a somewhat longer time frame, and see what it tells us about what the country will look like for the winner of the presidential race.

The Long View

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Shots - Health News
1:32 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Why Abortion Has Become Such A Prominent Campaign Issue

Women use wordplay to protest Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's position on women's health care outside the Hyatt Regency, where Romney was scheduled to attend a fundraiser, on March 22 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:25 am

Abortion isn't usually a major issue in presidential campaigns.

But this year is different.

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The Two-Way
1:31 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Recovery To Take 'Quite A Long Time' In Storm-Ravaged Breezy Point

A chapel icon that once adorned the front of a beachfront home is one of the few items to have survived what is now known as the Breezy Point fire in Queens.
Dina Temple-Raston NPR

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 6:17 pm

Anyone who traveled to Breezy Point, Queens, in New York City in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, even as recently as a few of days ago, would have needed an SUV — its main thoroughfare was under 3 feet of water. Today, you can see pavement. It sounds like a small victory, but this beachfront, blue-collar town is willing to accept progress in increments.

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Music
1:28 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Lianne La Havas: 'The Golden Girl Of British Music'

The singer-songwriter released her debut studio album, Is Your Love Big Enough, this summer.
Ravi Dhar Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:07 am

Lianne La Havas was pretty much unknown until she appeared on the influential TV show in Britain called Later with Jools Holland. It was just her, singing and playing guitar. Her voice was clear, pure and soulful. The song she performed — called "Age" — was both jazzy and sassy.

"Time seemed to stand still," wrote one critic of La Havas' live performance. There were much more established artists on the music show that day, but Alison Howe, the producer, says La Havas was the standout.

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It's All Politics
1:27 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Any Way You Describe It, 2012 Campaign Spending Is Historic

Voters participate in early voting Friday in Silver Spring, Md.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:07 am

As relentlessly as the candidates have courted voters, they've also shown their love to donors.

A report by the Center for Responsive Politics places the total cost of the 2012 elections at an estimated $6 billion, which would make it the most expensive election in U.S. history

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Three-Minute Fiction
4:13 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 9 Winner Is...

iStockphoto.com

We made it. After six weeks and nearly 4,000 stories, we've reached the end of Round 9 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest, where we ask listeners to come up with an original short story that can be read in about three minutes.

Graduate students from around the country helped read all the submissions. The winning story was chosen by this round's judge, novelist Brad Meltzer. Meltzer wrote the best-selling books The Inner Circle and The Book of Lies. His new book, due out in January, is called The Fifth Assassin.

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Music Interviews
2:13 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

It's Gibberish, But Italian Pop Song Still Means Something

Cover art from the "Prisencolinensinainciusol" single, released in 1972. The song by Italian pop star Adriano Celentano became a hit in spite of its gibberish lyrics.
Album cover

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:49 am

In November 1972, Italian pop star Adriano Celentano released a song that hit No. 1 in his home country, despite the fact it wasn't performed in Italian.

It also wasn't performed in English.

In fact, it wasn't performed in any language at all.

The song, called "Prisencolinensinainciusol," was written to mimic the way English sounds to non-English speakers.

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Election 2012
2:00 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

Gay Marriage, Marijuana And Taxes: States Decide

Melissa Fults, treasurer for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, holds up cards at the back of a news conference in Little Rock, Ark., with the names of doctors she says support a ballot issue that would legalize medical marijuana.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:42 am

Voters will decide 174 ballot propositions across 37 states this election. Reid Wilson, the editor in chief of National Journal's Hotline, says he believes these decisions will change the day-to-day lives of average Americans more than who wins the presidency.

He spoke to Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about some key initiatives across the country.


Interview Highlights

On same-sex marriage

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Sun November 4, 2012

The Last Pew Poll: Obama Holds Edge On Eve Of Election

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:24 am

The final poll released Sunday by the Pew Research Center ahead of Tuesday's election shows President Obama has a 3 percentage point lead over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney just two days before the general election.

Obama leads Romney 48 percent to 45 percent in the poll of 2,709 likely voters, which has a margin of error of 2.2 percentage points. The poll was conducted Oct. 31-Nov. 3.

Here's more from the Pew news release:

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Sandy's Effects Linger Nearly A Week After Storm

Gas customers on foot with portable containers and lines of vehicles wait for gas pumps to open at a service station on Saturday in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that resolving gas shortages could take days.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:26 pm

Here's what's happening today in the New York-New Jersey area, nearly a week after Superstorm Sandy devastated the region:

-- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said tens of thousands of people whose houses were damaged by the storm will need other places to live because of the falling temperatures.

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It's All Politics
10:59 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Potential Election Day Firsts: Races To Watch

On Tuesday, Mia Love could become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress. Here, she speaks at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Election Day is promising many firsts — and not just the obvious ones.

Yes, the country could get its first Mormon president if Republican Mitt Romney is elected. And of course, it could get its first two-term African-American commander in chief if President Obama is re-elected.

But Tuesday offers a smorgasbord of other potential "first" opportunities across the nation — from New Hampshire, which could end up with the nation's first all-female congressional delegation, to Arizona, which could elect its first Hispanic U.S. senator.

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It's All Politics
10:03 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Two Days Out: It's All About Election Day Turnout

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney poses with children during a campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sunday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 4:28 pm

With Election Day just two days away, the presidential campaigns of Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney are spending the final hours criss-crossing the swing states trying to get their supporters to the polls.

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT:

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Sun November 4, 2012

NYC Marathoners Run For Storm Relief

A crowd of runners stands near the barricaded Central Park finish line for the now-canceled New York Marathon on Saturday.
John Minchillo AP

New York City's canceled marathon left thousands of runners who had traveled to the storm-damaged city with nothing but free time and a good pair of shoes.

The result: Sunday morning's hastily arranged mercy run in which hundreds of would-be marathoners are expected to jog through Staten Island with backpacks full of food and other supplies.

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House & Senate Races
3:36 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Rape Comment Hangs Over Senate Race In Indiana

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat (right) meets Mike Nestor and LoRita Stofleth at Blueberry Hill Pancake House Saturday in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 12:08 pm

Republicans are hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate. The path toward victory had Indiana solidly on their side. That was, until Indiana's treasurer Richard Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.

Then, during a debate on Oct. 23, Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, were asked about abortion and contraception. Like Donnelly, Mourdock said he was against abortion.

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It's All Politics
3:11 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Stuck In The Middle (Class) With You

The debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is seen on a TV in a Korean restaurant Oct. 22 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

In a country of dreamers and achievers, we seem surprisingly content in the middle.

The term "middle class" is at once useful for political purposes and practically useless as an economic descriptor. Without a consensus on an economic definition, nearly half of the country self-identifies as being in the middle class.

That gives politicians an opportunity to make far-reaching appeals to voters, speaking to Americans with incomes of $30,000 and $100,000 in the same breath.

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Can China's Legal System Change?

Chen Guangcheng, a blind Chinese lawyer, made international headlines when he escaped house arrest in April. Now at New York University, he believes changes to China's legal system are inevitable.
Frank Langfitt NPR

China's Communist Party will introduce a new slate of leaders this month to run the world's most populous country for at least the next five years. Their to-do list will include dealing with the nation's opaque and politicized court system.

"China's judicial system urgently needs to be reformed, improved and developed," a government planning paper acknowledged last month.

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It's All Politics
3:10 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Time's Running Out For Missouri's Todd Akin

Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin addresses supporters during a campaign event Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:44 am

It may be too little, too late for Rep. Todd Akin.

The Republican candidate for Senate from Missouri is seeing an influx of money in the closing days of his campaign. Still, it would come as a surprise to seasoned observers in the state if Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill went down to defeat.

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World
3:06 am
Sun November 4, 2012

U.S. Handoff In Afghanistan Includes Radio Training

Unidentified Afghan civilians broadcast a radio program from the radio studio at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, south of Kabul. The U.S. military is training Afghans to disseminate anti-insurgent messages via local radio.
Spc. Tia Sokimson DVIDS

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:54 pm

From the outside, this white metal container looks like all the other mobile structures at Forward Operating Base Shank, the main NATO base in Afghanistan's Logar province. But rather than housing soldiers, offices or latrines, the building contains a fully functioning — if spartan — radio studio.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:06 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Levee Rebuilding Questioned After Sandy Breach

A man crosses a flooded street in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Thursday in Little Ferry, N.J. Surprise coastal surge floods caused by the storm battered Little Ferry, Moonachie and some other towns along the Hackensack River in Bergen County, all areas unaccustomed to flooding.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 1:19 pm

Every time a storm brings flooding to a large metropolitan area, there are calls to improve the levee systems that are designed to prevent flooding.

But there's a major problem with doing that. "We don't know where all of our levees are," says Samantha Medlock with the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
10:15 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Insurance Companies Rethink Business After Sandy

This aerial photo shows destruction in the wake of Superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:56 pm

Superstorm Sandy capped what's been a pretty impressive couple of years for U.S. natural disasters. There have been wildfires, tornadoes, floods and derechos. And insurance companies are on the hook to pay billions in related claims.

"We're seeing more of everything, and what we're doing is trying to factor that in going forward as we work with others to have a better sense of what the future holds," says State Farm spokesman David Beigie.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Despite Antifungal Treatment, More Woes For Some Meningitis Patients

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 6:21 am

The news for patients who had injections of fungus-tainted steroids just keeps getting worse.

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It's All Politics
3:31 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

In Iowa, The Physics Of Politics

More than half a million Iowans had already voted as of Thursday — a new record.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Both campaigns want to claim momentum heading into the final days of the campaign. This is especially true in battleground states like Iowa, where enthusiasm and voter turnout can make all the difference.

It's a common political metaphor — momentum — but is it a good one?

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It's All Politics
3:21 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

With Buses And Billboards, Small-Money Groups Try To Make A Mark

The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, a small-donor PAC, has launched a bus tour to reach conservative voters in hotly contested states, while trying to raise money to launch an anti-Obama TV ad.
Yfat Yossifor Courtesy of Mlive.com

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 5:23 pm

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Nonvoters: The Other Abstinence Movement

iStockphoto.com

To many Americans, the right to vote in a presidential election is a sacred and precious opportunity. To others, the right to not vote is just as meaningful. And they exercise it.

In just-released data, the Pew Research Center reports that about 43 percent of Americans of voting age in 2008 didn't participate in the presidential election.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:03 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

The Movie RZA Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Clint Eastwood in a scene from Sergio Leone's film The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 3:36 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:00 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Crews Work To Restore Power, And Explain The Delay

Utility crews work on power lines as dusk falls in Ship Bottom, a community on Long Beach Island, N.J.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 4:45 pm

More than 8 million people lost power after Superstorm Sandy. Five days later, 2.5 million are still waiting as power companies across the region continue to say that restoring power is more complicated than it seems.

The storm packed a one-two punch. First, it flooded several switching stations including one hidden under the New Jersey Turnpike in Newark, says Art Torticelli, who was out with his crew from Public Service Electric and Gas at a switching station in Essex, N.J.

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It's All Politics
2:53 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Campaigns Strive To Project Confidence, But Not Hubris, In Final Days

Republican Ted Cruz (center), a candidate for U.S. Senate, greets voters in Mesquite, Texas, last month. Cruz has an 18-point lead over his challenger.
Ron Baselice, The Dallas Morning News AP

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 5:04 pm

There are political races all over the country that aren't even close, but you wouldn't know it from listening to the candidates.

It seems that every behind-the-curve challenger is scrapping his or her way to victory and every ensconced incumbent is fighting an unexpectedly tight contest.

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Election 2012
2:40 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

'For Whom Will You Vote?' May Be Wrong Question

If you want to predict a candidate's fate, there may be a better question to ask than whom voters cast a ballot for.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 4:53 pm

In the vast majority of pre-election polls, likely voters are usually asked, "If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?"

That's the wrong question to ask, says Justin Wolfers, a political economist with the University of Michigan. He's spent years researching polls, and in a new paper he offers what he says is the right question:

Who do you think will win?

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

They're Furry And Furious: Puppets Protest At The U.S. Capitol

A marcher with a puppet of Bert, the Muppet character from Sesame Street, shouts during The Million Muppet March in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The bipartisan rally was organized to show support for public broadcasting following Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's pledge to cut funding to PBS.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat November 3, 2012 1:44 pm

There's presidential politics and then there's puppet politics. You may recall that in the first presidential debate GOP contender Mitt Romney made a statement that caused the two worlds to collide.

"I am going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS. I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too," Romney said, referring to moderator Jim Lehrer. "But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it."

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