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Middle East
12:32 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

U.S. Presses Fractured Syrian Opposition To Unite

A Syrian rebel fighter takes aim at government forces from an apartment in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday. While the fighting rages, the Syrian opposition is holding talks in Qatar in an attempt to create a new, more unified front. The U.S. announced last week that it favors an overhaul of the opposition leadership.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 1:27 pm

Could a united Syrian opposition be the game changer that finally topples President Bashar Assad, after almost 20 months of revolt and more than 30,000 dead?

"You need a game changer, either military or political, and hope it will break the stalemate," says Amr Azm, a Syrian-born professor at Shawnee State University in Ohio.

The Obama administration appears to embrace this view, and last week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the surprise announcement that the U.S. backed a plan to overhaul the Syrian opposition.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: Latest Figures & How To Help Those In Need

Long Beach, N.Y.: Volunteers unloaded water at an aid distribution center on Sunday.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 3:13 pm

NPR librarians continue to help us keep track of the recovery from Superstorm Sandy and the deadly toll from the storm that blasted New Jersey, New York City and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England one week ago.

-- Number of deaths: At least 115 in the U.S., by NPR's count. The Associated Press reports there were at least 106 fatalities. There were 69 Sandy-related deaths in the Caribbean and two in Canada.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Arizona Group Reveals Source For $11 Million Political Contribution In California

California Gov. Jerry Brown appears at a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 3:29 pm

This morning a shadowy Arizona group decided to disclose where $11 million in political contributions came from. The money was used to fight for an anti-union ballot measure and against a proposition from Gov. Jerry Brown to raise sales and income taxes.

California's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) says the $11 million is the largest contribution "ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history." FPPC says it may be the largest anonymous donation in state history.

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Music Reviews
11:34 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Taylor Swift Leaps Into Pop With 'Red'

Taylor Swift's Red challenges her diehard fans while inviting naysayers to give her music another try.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 3:44 pm

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Election Guides? We've Got 'Em

In Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, folks lined up to cast early ballots.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

As Eyder said earlier, "it's almost over."

The campaign, that is.

But if you haven't had enough of it all yet, here's are three places to go if you're looking for tips on what to watch for and when to watch for it.

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It's All Politics
11:10 am
Mon November 5, 2012

On Election Eve, Obama And Romney Try Blazing A Path To 270

A citizen votes on a paper ballot during the final day of early voting Monday in Lancaster, Ohio.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 7:44 pm

(Revised at 5:46 pm ET)

On the final day of the 2012 campaign for the White House, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making the last push for votes in states each believes critical to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory.

Obama was scheduled to campaign in three swing states, while Romney had events planned in four. The only overlap was in Ohio, considered the linchpin of the election.

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On Disabilities
11:08 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Op-Ed: Stop Using 'Retard' As An Insult

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:11 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Economy
11:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Sluggish Economy Relies More On Part-Time Workers

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:16 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Over the past few years, the definition of work has changed in parts of the American economy. More and more restaurants and retailers have half as many full-time workers as they used to and twice as many part-time. They save money on pay and benefits, and they use new technology to schedule part-timers based on the season, the time of day or even on the temperature.

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Media
11:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Should Newspapers Make Political Endorsements?

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:21 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

In the run-up to Election Day, newspaper readers usually expect to see endorsements on the editorial page, but that tradition's come into question. Last month, the Los Angeles Times received a flurry of criticism following its endorsement of President Obama, and the editorial board responded with a defense of the practice. On the other hand, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is among the papers that's decided to stop endorsing political candidates altogether. We want to hear from you: Should newspapers make political endorsements?

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Sandy Recovery Effort Faces A New Storm

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Since this time last week, parts of the Northeast have been transformed. The lights are back on in many areas, the floodwaters retreated, most public transportation is up and running, and most New York City schools reopened this morning. But wreckage still blocks streets, hundreds of thousands still lack power, gas is still short in North Jersey and on Long Island.

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It's All Politics
10:46 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Eliminate Government? Not Mine, Thanks

A vote to merge the city of Evansville, Ind., with Vanderburgh County has met opposition from some voters and even businesses.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 3:50 pm

If you asked most people whether there's too much government in their lives, they'd probably say yes. But when given the chance to eliminate a layer of government, voters often refuse.

That's why a vote to merge the city of Evansville, Ind., with Vanderburgh County may go down to defeat Tuesday. Many residents are concerned that their access to services would be limited under a unified government, while taxes would increase.

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It's All Politics
10:29 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Gridlock: Will The Election Break The 'Lousy Status Quo'?

Until the political parties learn to hold the center, we may wind up with more of this.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:33 am

In the end, the election may not settle anything.

If the polls are correct — and there's been heated debate about that — President Obama will be re-elected Tuesday. Even if he is, he'll have to face a Republican House that appears to be no warmer to his agenda than it's been for the past two gridlocked years.

But the polls are still so close that Republican Mitt Romney might be elected. If that's the case, it appears he'll have to contend with a Senate that remains under Democratic control.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Amputee Climbs 103 Floors Of Chicago's Willis Tower Using Bionic Leg

Zac Vawter, fitted with an experimental "bionic" leg, looks down from the Ledge at the Willis Tower, on Thursday in Chicago.
Brian Kersey AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 2:55 pm

There's a lot of grim news out there today, so here's a bit of the feel-good variety from the weekend: Zac Vawter, 31, climbed 103 floors of Chicago's Willis Tower using a prosthetic leg that he controls with his brain.

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Boy Killed By Dogs At Pittsburgh Zoo: Onlookers' Screams 'Just Kept Coming'

A security guard closes the gate at the Pittsburgh Zoo, where a 2-year-old boy was killed Sunday.
John Heller AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:28 am

Witnesses describe a horribly heartbreaking scene Sunday at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium after a 2-year-old boy fell into an exhibit housing wild African dogs.

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Education
9:52 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Is A Law Degree Still Worth It?

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 12:03 pm

A law degree used to pretty much guarantee a stable job. But journalist Elizabeth Lesly Stevens reports that thousands of law students are going into an industry that no longer has room for them. Stevens discusses her article with host Michel Martin, and they hear from NPR Facebook fans about whether a law degree is still worth it.

Election 2012
9:52 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Polls Put Race Within 'The Margin Of Litigation'

Election Day 2000 ended in a stalemate and weeks of finger-pointing and legal battles. Host Michel Martin looks at whether the country has learned the lessons from that crisis in time for Tuesday's vote. She speaks with Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, and Robert Pastor of the Center for Democracy and Election Management at American University.

Around the Nation
9:52 am
Mon November 5, 2012

NY Public Housing Residents Hit Hard By Sandy

Nearly a week after superstorm Sandy pummeled the East Coast, thousands of Americans are still without basics like power and clean water. Host Michel Martin speaks with New York Times reporter Michael Wilson about how some New York Public Housing residents are facing unique challenges in the storm's aftermath.

It's All Politics
9:06 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Arab-American Voters Lean Toward Obama, But With Less Enthusiasm

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 6:32 am

Arab-American voters strongly supported President Obama in 2008, and polls show most are doing so this time around as well. But some of those voters are concerned about the way Obama has handled issues important to their community — even if they still intend to cast their ballots for his re-election.

At the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Arab American Institute, the walls are full of red, white and blue signs in English and Arabic urging people to vote.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Mon November 5, 2012

'Insult To Injury': Nor'easter Targets New York, New Jersey

Another significant storm is looking likely for New York and New Jersey, forecasters are warning.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang says the computer models have come into agreement, forecasting a Nor'easter to begin forming election night and then move up the east coast on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Capital Weather Gang reports:

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The Two-Way
8:18 am
Mon November 5, 2012

In New York City, More Signs Of Normal As Schools Reopen After Sandy

Commuters disembark the Staten Island Ferry one week after Superstorm Sandy crashed into the metropolitan area.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:28 am

Some schools don't have heat. Others are serving their students shelf-safe milk.

But today, most of New York City's 1,700 schools reopened for the first time since Sandy devastated the northeast. NPR's Margot Adler has been working her way through Manhattan. She visited PS-41 in Greenwich Village and reports everything was great. But then, as she walked west on Houston St. all the way to East River, she stopped by Bard High School Early College.

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Shots - Health News
7:39 am
Mon November 5, 2012

What We Wanted To Tell You About Mumps But Couldn't

Each dot represents one case of mumps between late June 2009 and late June 2010.
The New England Journal of Medicine

Last week, we wrote about an outbreak of mumps within several Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.

We told you how the outbreak spread so rapidly in 2009 that public health officials tried something that hadn't been done before. Doctors gave uninfected children who'd already been immunized a third booster shot of the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine. Two doses is the usual regimen.

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Political Junkie
7:08 am
Mon November 5, 2012

What To Look For On Election Day: The Battle For The White House & Congress

A voter reads her ballot as she prepares to cast her vote during the last day of early voting in Miami on Nov. 3.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 6:02 am

Tuesday, as those who follow politics probably know, is Election Day. The battle between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney has been contentious, expensive, personal, illuminating, ugly, frustrating, petty, enlightening and, above all, long. And it is expected to be close.

This week's Political Junkie column is an attempt to guide you to what's at stake on Tuesday, both in the contest for the White House as well as the 33 Senate and 435 House seats on the ballot.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Chaos And A Bomb Scare Mar Early Voting In Florida

Kendall, Florida, resident, Diane, right, demands access to early voting. Hundreds stood in line at the Miami-Dade Elections Department to vote early.
Miami Herald MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:51 am

Let's hope what happened in Florida over the weekend is not a prelude to Election Day.

Just take what happened at a polling place in Miami-Dade County in South Florida: After early voting on Saturday was plagued by long lines — some voters waited up to six hours — officials decided to allow voters in one location to request and turn in absentee ballots.

Shortly after that polling place opened, it was shut down on directions from Republican Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Mon November 5, 2012

After A Long Campaign Season, A Blitz Through The Battleground

President Obama greets supporters during a campaign rally at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, on Nov.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:12 am

It's almost over. We're just hours from Election Day 2012, which means President Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney are blitzing the battleground states in the final day of campaigning.

Here's ABC News with the schedule:

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Around the Nation
5:34 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Ex-Flint Mayor Displays His Own Statue

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Animals
5:28 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Monarch Butterfly Sleeps Through Migration

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 11:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Election 2012
3:14 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Disputes Over Early voting Ignite In Florida

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The presidential election is still a day away and already disputes have broken out in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote. Let us vote.

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Around the Nation
2:49 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Missouri Ballot Measure Would Raise Cigarette Tax

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Asking voters to raise taxes on themselves is a tough sell, but there are initiatives around the country doing just that. In Missouri, it's the cigarette tax. Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax of any state, and some of the highest smoking and lung cancer rates. St. Louis Public Radio's Veronique LaCapra reports.

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Business
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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