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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Earthquake Triggers Pacific Tsunami Warnings For Central & South America

The star marks the epicenter of today's earthquake in Costa Rica.
U.S. Geological Survey

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 12:48 pm

The Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are no longer the focus of tsunami warnings, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced just after 1 p.m ET.

As we've been reporting, there was a strong — 7.6 magnitude — earthquake in Costa Rica this morning. At first, there were concerns about possible tsunamis from Mexico south to Chile. As the day continued, however, authorities gradually reduced their warnings.

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The Salt
8:58 am
Wed September 5, 2012

To Maximize The Joy Of Eating Candy, Apply Physics

These German Liebesperlen, or "love pearls," helped researchers unravel the mysteries of how candies dissolve. Why the baby bottle packaging? Beats us.
Matthias Rietschel APN

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:12 pm

When it comes to candy, most people fit into two camps — either you savor your candy, or you devour it right away.

If you're a "savorist," you'll be happy to learn that certain spherical candies can take up to a half-hour to dissolve if you don't bite into them, at least according to some research recently submitted to the journal Physics Education.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Hundreds Of Afghan Soldiers Arrested Or Discharged

A U.S. Marine (right) and an Afghan National Army soldier on patrol this summer in Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images
  • Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson on the NPR Newscast

Looking to stem the recent wave of "green on blue" attacks in which men wearing police or military uniforms have killed more than 30 U.S. or other international forces, Afghan officials said today that they have "arrested or discharged hundreds of their country's soldiers," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Kabul.

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It's All Politics
8:25 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Because Of Weather, Obama's Acceptance Speech Will Move Indoors

The skyline of Charlotte, N.C., rises behind Bank of America Stadium.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 9:27 am

President Barack Obama will not be in a stadium full of supporters on Thursday when he delivers his acceptance speech.

The Democratic National Convention said that because of the threat of thunderstorms, it was moving the events of Thursday from Bank of America Stadium to the Time Warner Cable Arena, the host of the first two days of events.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Nearly 18 Million U.S. Households Had Trouble Getting Food Last Year

In Oswego, N.Y., this summer, a child waited at a food distribution site.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

An estimated 14.9 percent of U.S. households — 17.9 million in total — "had difficulty" at some point last year getting food because they just didn't have enough money or other resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this morning.

In 2010, 14.5 percent of households were similarly "food insecure" at some point, USDA says.

Even worse:

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The Two-Way
7:16 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Slaughtering Of Elephants Is Soaring Because Of China's Demand For Ivory

Elephants in Kenya's Tsavo-east National Park earlier this year.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images
  • Jeffrey Gettleman talks with Steve Inskeep

"For the first time in history," hundreds of millions of people in China are now wealthy enough to buy jewelry, combs and trinkets made of ivory and that's led to a huge spike in the illegal slaughtering of elephants in Africa, The New York Times' Jeffrey Gettleman said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:27 am
Wed September 5, 2012

What's With Frosty? Why Isn't He Showing Up On Time?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:57 am

Check out this graph of America's "Growing Season" — it measures the number of continuous days and nights when it never gets below 32 degrees. You could call this our "frost-free" time of year. In many places, the frost-free season begins in the spring and ends somewhere in October.

As you can see, over the 20th century, it's been staying frost-free longer...and longer...and longer...

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The Two-Way
6:23 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Wow! NASA Video Shows 'Mind-Bogglingly Gorgeous' Solar Eruption

That's quite an eruption.
nasa.gov

Before we run through the news of the day, let's pause for something spectactular: a new video from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It shows a "massive filament" eruption on the sun that occurred last Friday. As Britain's The Register says, it is "mind-bogglingly gorgeous."

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It's All Politics
5:53 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Bill Clinton, Politics' Comeback Kid, Rides Again At The DNC

It may be in former President Bill Clinton's (and his wife's) interest to help keep the Democratic party together for the next convention.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:19 pm

Bill Clinton will add yet another chapter to his storied career tonight when the former president places in nomination the name of the current president, Barack Obama.

It will be the focal point of the evening and for some, perhaps, the most newsworthy moment of the entire convention. The old Clinton-Obama feud remains an endless source of political gossip, and the convention planners are happy to have the former president's supposedly unedited and unvetted remarks as a rare source of suspense. Maybe it will help the ratings.

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Around the Nation
5:23 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Doolittle Doesn't Want To Talk To Stuck Alligator

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's All Politics
5:22 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Democrats Unleashed Some 'Dubious Or Misleading Claims,' Fact Checkers Say

The scene Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 9:56 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports on Night One

Just as they did during the Republican National Convention, independent fact checkers spent the first day of the Democratic National Convention listening for claims that don't add up — and found them.

-- FactCheck.org says it heard "a number of dubious or misleading claims" from the Democrats who spoke on stage Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Among the problems it found:

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Europe
5:08 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Election Results Could End Pot-Selling Coffee Shops

Next week's election in the Netherlands could seal the fate of Amsterdam coffee shops that also sell pot to foreign tourists. Some parties favor, and others oppose, a plan to restrict the shops' business. Cafe owners are struggling to get their customers to the polls.

World
4:19 am
Wed September 5, 2012

1 Shot Dead At Rally For New Quebec Premier

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Sports
3:21 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Ready For Some Football? NFL Season To Begin

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You know what this means.

(SOUNDBITE OF "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" THEME MUSIC)

GREENE: Yes, to some like me, the sound of the fall. To others, a signal that you're not going to see your spouse or good friend on Sunday afternoons, because they've disappeared into the bar or man cave. Yes, NFL football begins tonight with the New York Giants battling the Dallas Cowboys and then much more action this weekend.

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Election 2012
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper To Address Convention

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:57 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is among the scheduled speakers at the Democratic Convention tonight. The former brew pub owner is one of the most popular governors in the country, and the Obama campaign hopes his popularity will help the party, once again, with the battleground state of Colorado in November. Kirk Siegler of member station KUNC has this profile.

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Business
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:15 am

One of those vegetarian-only outlets will be in the city of Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, the holiest site for India's Sikh religion. The other will be near a Hindu mountain shrine.

Election 2012
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Obama Needs Minority Voters On His Side

Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, speaker after speaker made the case that voters should give President Obama four more years. Ronald Brownstein of the National Journal tells Steve Inskeep that to get that chance; the president will need to win 80 percent of minority voters.

Election 2012
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

First Lady Stays Above The Fray In Convention Speech

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:25 am

First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the stars on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. She delivered a ringing, impassioned plea for the re-election of her husband, President Barack Obama.

Asia
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

No Breakthroughs In Clinton's Trip To China

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been visiting Chinese officials, talking of mutual cooperation, despite a lot of tension. So far her visit to Beijing has produced no breakdowns but also no breakthroughs. Here's NPR's Louisa Lim.

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Africa
2:46 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Elephant Poaching In Africa Is On The Rise

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:17 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

State Department officials have been saying that Secretary Clinton wants to push the Chinese on a surprising issue: elephants. Thousands of African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory. The New York Times reports they are the latest plunder taken by armed African groups - a little like blood diamonds - and most of the ivory goes to China. Jeffrey Gettleman wrote the Times report after spending time in a national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He's on the line from that country. Welcome to the program.

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Around the Nation
1:24 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'

Abel Meeropol watches as his sons, Robert and Michael, play with a train set.
Courtesy of Robert and Michael Meeropol

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 1:37 pm

One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.

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All Tech Considered
1:23 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Web-Based Subscription Businesses Surf A New Wave

Customers of Dollar Shave Club say that the company's sense of humor — as seen in an absurdist video of CEO Michael Dubin in his warehouse — has helped win them over.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:43 pm

The newspaper boy and the milkman might not come around as often as they used to, but the days of subscription and delivery aren't over. The Internet and overnight delivery have combined to make a new type of subscription business possible. The sales pitch is part convenience, part price and part cool factor.

Making Razors Cheap, And Cool

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Middle East
1:22 am
Wed September 5, 2012

A Syrian Village Is Oasis Of Calm Amid Conflict

Dr. Mahmoud Hasson, a specialist in internal medicine, runs a new hospital in the Syrian village of Kfar Ghan, a protected area along the border with Turkey. The Turkish government warned that any Syrian military aircraft near the border would be a target.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:58 am

Driving into Kfar Ghan, you notice the difference right away: The shops are open, there are kids on the street, there's even a row of open-air vegetable stalls and a crowd of shoppers.

There is a full spread of watermelon, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. All the farmers from the area have brought their produce to the market in this Syrian village, about a mile from the Turkish border.

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Business
1:21 am
Wed September 5, 2012

'Quite Good' May Not Be Good Enough For GM

The General Motors logo is displayed atop the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The automaker, while doing much better following the government bailout, is still lagging some of its competitors.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:54 pm

When you talk to car people about General Motors, they all say the company has gotten better.

"I think General Motors, productwise, is in a better position than it's been in a decade or so," says Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book. "The new products, we feel ... are all quite good."

Like many people, however, Nerad adds an important caveat. He says GM's improvement doesn't mean the company is completely out of the woods, because the competition is very good as well.

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Education
1:20 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Florida Schools In Session, But Teachers Absent

Thousands of students in Florida are starting the school year without permanent teachers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:46 am

Schools have been open for a couple of weeks across much of Florida, but not all of the students know who their teachers are yet. There's typically a lot of teacher turnover during the summer break, and schools can't always get vacant teaching positions filled by the time school starts.

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It's All Politics
12:47 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Payroll Tax Holiday May Not Survive Year's End

The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:46 am

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.

If you work, you've probably been getting this tax break: Since January 2011, the government has knocked 2 percentage points off the payroll tax.

For someone making $50,000 a year, the payroll tax holiday works out to about $20 a week.

"We definitely notice it," says Steve Warner of Winter Haven, Fla., while on vacation with his family recently in the nation's capital.

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Europe
12:38 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Educated Russians Often Lured To Leave

Russia is suffering from an exodus of educated, talented citizens, including scientists. Here, scientists rally in Moscow to demand the government increase funding for science last October.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 9:43 am

Russia has been facing troubling demographics ever since the Soviet breakup two decades ago. The population has contracted by several million people over this period. The birth rate is low. Life expectancy for men is still less than 65 years.

And there is also a sense that many educated, talented people are leaving the country.

To take one example, the world of science lit up in July, when a billionaire Internet investor named Yuri Milner announced nine prizes for some of the world's most innovative thinkers in physics.

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Sweetness And Light
12:24 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Southern Pride And The Southeastern Conference

Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin speaks to reporters at the Southeastern Conference NCAA college football media day.
Butch Dill AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:09 pm

Well, the Southeastern Conference season has begun. I have it on good authority that other college football teams around the country will also be playing games this fall.

I don't know when exactly the SEC took over America. I know this is hard to believe, but the epicenter of college football used to be in the Midwest. I'm so old, I can remember when Notre Dame actually mattered, and the real tough players were supposed to come from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

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It's All Politics
10:40 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Michelle Obama: 'Being President ... Reveals Who You Are'

First lady Michelle Obama speaks Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:55 am

There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.

Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

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It's All Politics
10:26 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Chat Archive: Tuesday At The Democratic Convention

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 9:51 pm

On Tuesday, NPR's Frank James hosted a live chat during the Democratic convention. He was joined by Neal Carruth, NPR's elections editor; political science professors Sarah Treul of the University of North Carolina and Melody Crowder-Meyer of Sewanee: The University of the South; and Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly.

Read below to see how it unfolded.

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