Three closely watched employment indicators are out this morning:
-- Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.
The campaign calm after the storm is about to end.
Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be out stumping for votes today. The race for the White House, which was just about put on hold as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the East Coast and then roared ashore, is back on with just five days to go before Election Day.
Romney will be in Virginia. The president will be in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.
Public health officials are warning that people in areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy face many risks in the aftermath and are urging people to protect themselves from health threats in the water, air and even their refrigerators.
As millions of people try to put their lives back together, the most obvious threat is the floodwaters themselves. In many places, the water could be a toxic stew.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A coffee chain in Britain surveyed its customers and found 70 percent suffered coffee confusion. So the chain is now offering a new trial menu in plain English. A latte is now really, really milky coffee, a cappuccino - frothy coffee, and a mocha -chocolate flavored coffee. Not listed: a decaf soy triple tall latte, though some baristas might just call that - Why Bother. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This could happen to the best of drivers. Suspected smugglers wanted to take their SUV across the U.S.-Mexico border. They built ramps that would take it over the Arizona border fence. But unlike the way it would've happened in old episodes of the "Dukes of Hazzard," the Jeep got stuck on top of the fence. The smugglers spent time trying to free it from the top of the fence, then fled back into Mexico when border patrol agents arrived. You are listening to MORNING EDITION.
The Greek government faces widespread condemnation for prosecuting Kostas Vaxevanis, a 46-year-old investigative journalist who recently published the names of Greeks who may have sent billions to Swiss bank accounts.
Vaxevanis, one of Greece's best-known reporters, is in court in Athens on Thursday to face charges that he violated data protection laws by publishing the list of names in Hot Doc, the biweekly magazine he edits. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
On the first of November, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Portions of the New York subway system are up and running again after being shut down for three days after Superstorm Sandy. There is, of course, a giant hole in the middle of the system. The lines stop short of Lower Manhattan, where many tunnels and stations flooded.
Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., started crying on the way to the grocery store as she and her mother listened to NPR in the car. NPR editors issued an immediate apology online, and later in the afternoon, Abbie cheered up when she got an NPR Politics pin from member station KUNC.
Though Superstorm Sandy destroyed much in its path, it did apparently build at least one bridge, that of bipartisanship between President Obama and New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie, a strong ally of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, and a key critic of the president before the storm, has had little but praise for Obama for the assistance provided to New Jersey leading into the epic storm, which hit this week.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The most populous city in the country is drying out, and beginning a long and complicated recovery. One positive sign: Tomorrow, some New York City subway routes are scheduled to reopen. But today, gridlock ruled as people took to their cars. And that means it's carpool time.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:29 pm
ABC News and the New York Daily News are reporting that cells, tissues, mice and rats used for medical research may have been lost as New York University Hospital approaches its third day without power. The losses could set researchers back years.
Hurricane Sandy only sideswiped Haiti during its early days. But reports so far suggest that even this indirect hit led to nearly as many deaths there as in the U.S. after the storm made landfall on the Mid-Atlantic coast.
As of Wednesday, Haiti had documented 54 deaths caused by Sandy — most in the nation's southern peninsula, which points toward Jamaica. Another 21 Haitians were still counted as missing, and many fear the death toll will rise as officials reach affected areas isolated by impassable roads and ruined bridges.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases Wednesday testing what, if any, limits there are to the police using drug-sniffing dogs. By the close of two hours of argument, it looked very much as though the court would rule against the use of drug-sniffing dogs without a warrant in one case, but not the other.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, taxes, dependency and the role of government.
While it may be uncomfortable to admit, some Americans are simply more financially successful than others. But why do some achieve wealth, while others struggle? Why does one woman make it to the executive suite, while another man drives a taxi? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:22 pm
Halloween might be the best day of the year for kids who love candy and grown-ups who love to be scared, but it is also the last day of work for thousands of ghouls and clowns.
Every year, people from all walks of life — firefighters, students, preschool teachers — adopt the rather unconventional part-time job of scaring at haunted attractions. They spend a month caking their faces with makeup, dipping their bodies in jelly-like substances that resemble blood and practicing chilling screams and creepy laughs until they're pitch perfect.
If you're using social media to follow the presidential campaign or even if you're related to someone else who's doing that, there's a good chance your cellphone got spammed Tuesday night with an anti-Obama text message.
The messages went out between 7:30 and 10 p.m. They were anonymous but quickly traced to a Republican consulting firm in Northern Virginia.
Better satellites, smarter computer models and faster computers helped government forecasters correctly predict the devastation from Hurricane Sandy, scientists say.
It's unlikely the forecast would have been nearly as accurate just a couple of decades ago, they say.
"The National Hurricane Center did a fantastic job, particularly with the track forecast and the intensity forecast as it was moving toward the Northeast," says Sharan Majumdar, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami.
Lady Rhea is not the kind of witch you'll find in a pointy hat this Halloween. She is a real workaday witch, grinding out a living selling magic products in a booth at Original Products, a grocery store-sized botanica in the Bronx. She's been a practicing Wiccan for nearly four decades, making her one of the longest-serving high priestesses in New York City.
The Assassin's Creed video game series has become a megahit for gaming enthusiasts. The story line follows a bloody war between Assassins and the Knights Templar, first during the Crusades and then in Renaissance Italy.
The newly released Assassins Creed III crosses the ocean and a couple of centuries so the action could take place during the Revolutionary War and would be wildly anticipated on its own.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:06 pm
As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.
"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.
If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he sees strong connections between the two. Horton is a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He says that in New York City, the sea level has gone up about a foot over the past century and that researchers expect that rise to continue and even accelerate.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 1:53 pm
It's not yet time to change the subject. That might pose a problem for Mitt Romney.
Media coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath has been intense in recent days, dominating regular news shows and prompting prime-time specials. With just a few days left before the election, the presidential contest has become an afterthought.
"It interrupted the news cycle at a time when there were favorable horse race stories for Mitt," says Tom Rath, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign. "In a campaign, you don't get to design the racetrack; you play the cards you're dealt."