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It's All Politics
2:25 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama Battling To Maintain Women's Vote, Seen As His Key To Victory

The crowd joins Republican Mitt Romney in singing the national anthem at a rally Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:54 pm

After President Obama's self-described somnolent first debate performance, his female supporters lit up social media and tagged the campaign with complaints about his failure to talk about their issues, from pay equity to health and reproductive rights.

He's been playing catch-up ever since, focusing on shoring up his party's two-decade-long domination with female voters who are key to Obama's hold on the White House.

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Health
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

For Cancer Survivors, Armstrong An Inspiration

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tonight in Austin, Livestrong, the cancer organization founded by Lance Armstrong, is holding its 15th anniversary gala and Armstrong is scheduled to speak at the event. But it's been a bad stretch for the champion cyclist. In the face of a scathing report linking him to doping, he stepped down as chairman of Livestrong and he lost major sponsors, including Nike.

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Food
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Record-Breaking Bratwurst Story Has A Twist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We'd like to take a moment now to recognize greatness. Earlier this month in a grocery store parking lot in Prescott, Wisconsin, the world's largest bratwurst was cooked.

PATRICK PTACEK: Fifty-two feet and two inches.

(APPLAUSE)

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The brat was grilled in honor of the 100th anniversary of Ptacek's IGA. Patrick Ptacek co-owns the store. He and his family paid for the massive brat and made it in the store.

SIEGEL: Actually, we should say brats. They made two.

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Law
1:54 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Marriage Law Likely Headed To Supreme Court

A New York case in which a same-sex couple was denied a tax benefit is likely headed to the Supreme Court.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

A federal appeals court ruling on Thursday has catapulted a New York case to the head of the line, as the Supreme Court considers which of many cases it should use to decide whether the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional.

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Sports
1:54 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Pitching Puts Tigers In World Series

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals are close. And sportswriter Stefan Fatsis is with us to discuss baseball's playoff season. Hiya, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS: Hey, Robert.

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Politics
1:54 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Senate Hopefuls Make Final Pitches

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Candidates in a handful of other close Senate races squared off in their final debates last night. We're going to hear some of what they had to say in three states: Virginia, Connecticut and - first - Missouri.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Presidential Race
1:42 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

For Hispanics, A Question Of Turnout

Latino supporters hold up signs as they attend a campaign rally for President Obama at Sloan's Lake Park in Denver on Oct. 4.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

By now, it's no surprise that most Latinos plan to vote for President Obama. They are the nation's largest minority group, often likened to a sleeping giant that could decide the outcome in key swing states.

But will enough Latinos show up on Election Day to make good on the prediction?

As many as 60,000 Hispanics reach voting age every month, but Latinos overall have yet to bring their full force to the voting booth. Two-thirds of eligible whites and African-Americans voted in the 2008 presidential election, while barely half of Hispanics cast ballots.

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Music Reviews
1:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

U.S. Military Apologizes, Sets Curfew After Alleged Rape In Japan

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:50 pm

The commander of U.S. Forces Japan apologized and announced that all military personnel in Japan would have to adhere to a night curfew beginning today.

The move comes after two Navy sailors allegedly raped a woman in Okinawa. Like the case in 1995, when three servicemen raped a school girl, opposition to U.S. bases swelled after the arrests.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'A Fire I Can't Put Out': Texas State Fair's 'Big Tex' Destroyed By Blaze

Big Tex goes up in flames.
John McKibben via Twitter

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:21 pm

If you've ever been to the Dallas area during the State Fair of Texas, you no doubt have encountered Big Tex.

He's impossible to miss. He wears size 70 boots and a 75-gallon hat. His height comes in at a stunning 52 feet. He's an icon, his western shirt dusted off every year since 1952.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Saying Moderator Is Prettier Than CNN's Crowley Gets Candidate In Trouble

Democrat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate from Arizona.
Ross Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:11 pm

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

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Planet Money
10:50 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Watch Our Fake Presidential Candidate's First Real Ad

The fake candidate.
Lam Vo NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

The story so far: A panel of economists from across the political spectrum came up with a presidential platform they could all support. It was a platform that would doom any real candidate. So we created a fake one.

We tested out one of our key ideas — eliminating the mortgage-interest tax deduction — on a focus group. They hated it.

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Music Reviews
10:49 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Gary Clark Jr.: A Raucous Blues Shout

Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak and Blu is an eclectic romp through the blues.
Frank Maddocks

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:49 pm

On his major-label debut Blak and Blu, you can hear the roar in Gary Clark Jr.'s blues guitar, and in his vocal throughout "Bright Lights." It's one of the few straight-up blues songs on what is essentially an introduction to one of the most highly praised young blues guitarists in recent times. While Clark comes out of a blues tradition, he's also a twentysomething who's taken in all of contemporary music.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:48 am
Fri October 19, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 18, 2012

AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:07 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Presidential debate No. 2 is in the books, and the consensus is that — unlike debate No. 1 — President Obama came prepared for battle. For all the talk about "binders full of women," and what was said when after the events in Benghazi, Libya, Obama and Mitt Romney both made their cases. Now, they prepare for the third and final debate on Monday. We also bid farewell to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political roundup.

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Shots - Health News
10:39 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Probiotics Need To Eat, Too

Did someone say prebiotics?
iStockphoto.com

Which comes first, the probiotics or the prebiotics?

Could prebiotics, the food for the good bacteria known as probiotics, have more benefits than a dose of the microbes, particularly for people with serious health problems like preemies?

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Turkey Urges International Intervention In Syria

Syrian protesters shout slogans during an anti-regime demonstration in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

"How long can this situation continue? I mean in Bosnia, now we have Ban Ki-moon [the UN secretary general] apologizing 20 years after. Who will apologise for Syria in 20 years' time? How can we stay idle?"

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Author Interviews
10:21 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Baratunde Thurston Explains 'How To Be Black'

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:55 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 1, 2012. How to Be Black will be released in paperback on Oct. 30.

It's no coincidence that Baratunde Thurston's new memoir and satirical self-help book How to Be Black was slated for release on the first day of Black History Month.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Twitter Blocks 'Offensive' Accounts In Germany, U.K.; Deletes Tweets In France

Twitter.com

Earlier this year, Twitter announced a new device and a policy of weeding out and removing offensive content from its site if a foreign government requested it.

Thursday, the company tweeted that it's done so for the first time — blocking a neo-Nazi group's account in Germany. Today, Twitter withheld another account — this one in Britain, belonging to a right-wing member of the European Parliament who tweeted support for discrimination against gays. Government officials are investigating both cases.

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The Salt
10:03 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sugar Beet Labor Battles Spill Out Onto The National Stage

Supporters of American Crystal Sugar Co. workers, who have been locked out of the company's sugar beet processing plants since 2011, rally in the North Dakota Capitol.
Dale Wetzel AP

It's not just nutritionists who have a problem with sugar these days, so does organized labor. The AFL-CIO is calling for a boycott of one the country's biggest sugar producers, the American Crystal Sugar Company, based in Moorhead, Minn.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Life Of The Mother: Never A Reason For Abortion, Congressman Says

Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) right, and challenger Tammy Duckworth, left, at a televised debate at WTTW Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:43 am

During a televised debate Thursday on Chicago's WTTW, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) reiterated his opposition to abortion in any circumstance. It's similar to the Republican Party's national platform, which doesn't have any exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Walsh is taking it a step further — banning abortion to save the life of the mother.

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Election 2012
9:39 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Are Candidates Ignoring the Poor?

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 9:59 am

President Obama and Governor Romney have discussed the middle class a great deal during the debates, but the candidates haven't spent nearly as much time talking about the poor. To get a read on the state of poverty in America, host Michel Martin talks with Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Fund and Timothy Noah, a columnist for The New Republic.

Shots - Health News
9:33 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Tweet Chat: Chasing Down Polio, Eradication In Sight

Ado Ibrahim carries his son Aminu through a village in northern Nigeria. Aminu was paralyzed by polio in August.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:26 pm

Polio is on the ropes.

Thanks to vigorous efforts to eradicate the virus through vaccination, there are only three countries on the face of the earth where polio is still endemic.

Reported cases of the paralytic virus worldwide stand at 177 so far this year compared with 350,000 in the late 1980s.

Can polio be wiped out? The target is within sight.

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It's All Politics
9:32 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redistricting In Maryland Imperils Longtime Congressional Republican

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Sept. 21, 2011. After two decades in Congress, a redrawn district has put his re-election in question.
T.J. Kirkpatrick The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:38 am

Democrats have an uphill battle to take control of the House of Representatives in November. But one bright spot for the party is in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries, and now it favors their party. That leaves 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in trouble.

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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Fri October 19, 2012

What The ...? Tom Hanks Drops 'F-Bomb' On 'Good Morning America'

TMZ.com was on the story quickly.
TMZ.com

If we were asked to list actors who would be likely to slip up and drop the "f-bomb" on live, national TV, we don't think Tom Hanks would have come to mind.

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Movie Reviews
8:51 am
Fri October 19, 2012

'The Sessions': Sex, Comedy And Something More

Living most of his life in an iron lung forces Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) to see the world from a different point of view.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:53 pm

In 1983, Berkeley poet and journalist Mark O'Brien wrote an article about sexual surrogates — women and men trained to help people with disabilities learn to use their bodies to give themselves and others erotic pleasure.

For O'Brien, the subject wasn't academic. After a bout of childhood polio, he had spent much of his life in an iron lung. He could talk, and tap out words on a typewriter holding a stick in his mouth. He could feel things below the neck. But he couldn't move his muscles.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:39 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Charles Darwin And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Aaron Birk

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:45 am

I guess everybody, even the smartest people who ever lived, have days when they feel dumb — really, really dumb. Oct. 1, 1861, was that kind of day for Charles Darwin.

In a letter to his friend Charles Lyell, Darwin says, "I am very poorly today," and then — and I want you to see this exactly as he wrote it, so you know this isn't a fake; it comes from the library of the American Philosophical Society, courtesy of their librarian Charles Greifenstein. Can you read it?

It says:

Whoah! You know the feeling, right?

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Deadly Car Bomb In Downtown Beirut Causes Devastation

Lebanese firefighters extinguish burning cars in Beirut following a huge bomb explosion.
Hussein Malla AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 12:17 pm

A huge explosion in central Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded at least 78, state media in Lebanon are reporting, according to NPR's Kelly McEvers. The target of the bomb isn't clear, but Reuters says the blast occurred on the same street that's home to a political group that opposes Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Dipped In September, But Prices Rose

A "sold" sign in San Francisco in August.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:19 am

There was a 1.7 percent drop in sales of existing homes in September from August, the National Association of Realtors says.

But the median selling price compared to one year earlier was up for the seventh month in a row, leading NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun to say "we're experiencing a genuine recovery."

According to NAR:

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Suspect In Libya Attack Denies Involvement, Is Living In Open

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images

Not only is Ahmed Abu Khattala saying he wasn't part of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, but the man who witnesses and officials have said was "a ringleader" that night is living openly and "scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments," The New York Times reports.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama, Romney Trade Jokes; Critics Aim At Obama's 'Optimal' Comment

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left) and President Obama at the 67th Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images
  • Scott Horsley on the NPR Newscast

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, as predicted, took on the challenge of being funny last night at the annual Al Smith Dinner in New York City — which as we said Thursday has become a quadrennial must-stop on the campaign trail for those seeking the White House.

As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, they "added a laugh track to their campaigns."

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