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Election 2012
2:54 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Once 'The Obama Of Alabama,' Now A GOP Headliner

Artur Davis, with his wife, Tara, concedes the Democratic gubernatorial race in Birmingham, Ala., in 2010. Since losing that race, he has become a Republican and moved to Virginia.
Mark Almond AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:57 pm

Four years ago in Denver, Artur Davis took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to speak up for Barack Obama.

"I am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know America can be," he said.

But now, as President Obama seeks re-election, Davis is on the list of scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention.

The former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who tried and failed to become the state's first black governor, is now a Republican resident of Virginia.

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Participation Nation
2:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Outreach With A Wrench In Homer, Alaska

The generous Brant Torsen at Boog's Automotive shop.
Nathan Rott for NPR

Brant "Boog" Torsen can't fix everyone's cars for cookies. Wouldn't have much of a business if he did. But he knows that when you've got a repair garage in a place like Homer, sometimes folks need a little help to make sure the town's nickname — "The End of the Road" — doesn't apply to them.

That's why Boog's done everything from "fixing engines to replacing turn signal bulbs," for nothing more than handshakes and once, a plate of double chocolate chip cookies.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:14 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine

Thousands of doses of cholera vaccine sit in a refrigerated trailer in a United Nations compound in Saint-Marc, Haiti, in March. After some delays, a vaccination project proved successful.
John Poole NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 3:11 pm

A month ago the results of a successful cholera vaccine project in Haiti became available. Now the World Health Organization is calling for the establishment of a global stockpile of the vaccine to respond to outbreaks like Haiti's.

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Law
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Jailed Young, Inmates Seek A New Day In Court

Ruth "Margo" Gee (left) is hopeful that her brother, Tyrone Jones, convicted of murder as a juvenile, will soon be freed from prison. Lawyer Charlotte Whitmore is helping her.
Emma Lee for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

A recent Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory life terms for juveniles has touched off a flurry of activity across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where lawyers are advising about 500 prisoners to file requests for new sentencing hearings before the end of next week.

Bradley Bridge with the Defender Association of Philadelphia has received more than 200 letters from prisoners in the past two months asking about the Supreme Court ruling.

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All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At This Camp, Kids Learn To Question Authority (And Hack It)

DefCon Kids camp co-founder Chris Hoff, with Conner Gilliam (from left), Conner Fine and Ethan Lai, work on a machine that draws designs on ping-pong balls. The camp is held in Las Vegas.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 5:54 pm

Some kids go to band camp; others go to swim camp. But for the children of the world's digital rabble-rousers, there is hacking camp. It's called DefCon Kids.

This camp, held in Las Vegas, encourages kids to take a hard, skeptical look at the machines that surround them, and teaches them to hack apart everything they can lay their hands on.

One of the most popular activities is lock-picking.

"I had fun with some of the harder locks," says 16-year-old Alaetheia Garrison Stuber.

But did she learn any new tricks?

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Afghanistan
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Afghan Attacks On Western Partners Rising Sharply

Afghan soldiers (right) patrol with U.S. troops in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan in May. The two armies have been working together for years, but Afghan attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have been rising recently.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

In the past two weeks, seven Afghans in uniform have opened fire on Western forces. The most recent incidents occurred Friday. First, a newly recruited policeman in western Afghanistan turned his gun on U.S. military trainers, killing two and wounding a third. A short time later in southern Kandahar province, an Afghan soldier shot and wounded two foreign troops.

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Law
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

When Pronouncing A Case Is Harder Than 'Roe V. Wade'

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. Now, a story about Supreme Court cases and how you pronounce their names. Some are easy enough, like Roe V. Wade, but others aren't so clear cut. Is it Bachy or Bachy, Padilla or Padilla? Many a case name has been mangled, so as we hear from NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg, law professor Eugene Fidell set out to set the record straight.

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Africa
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

In S. Africa Protest Shooting, An Echo Of The Past?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It has become the deadliest protest in South Africa since the end of apartheid: 34 people dead and more than 78 wounded after police opened fire yesterday on striking workers at a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. The miners had walked off the job a week ago, demanding an increase in wages double to triple what they were making. Today, South Africa's National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega said officers were acting in self-defense after armed miners charged their position.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

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Politics
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

An Early Exit For Calif. Congressman

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Congressman Dennis Cardoza, a Democrat from California, was retiring after this year. But why wait? A job with a big lobby-law firm was waiting, so the congressman resigned from Congress this week.

Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Romney To Obama On Tax Deal: No, Thanks

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:02 pm

After weeks of saying he would not release his tax returns, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told reporters Thursday he had checked them and could report he had always paid at least 13 percent annual in federal income tax. But Romney still refuses to make public more of his tax returns, despite a new offer from the Obama campaign.

Presidential Race
2:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Sound From The Trail: Ryan On His Running Mate

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

We're hearing from all the candidates on the presidential campaign trail this week. We listen to part of a stump speech from vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan in Glen Allen, Va.

The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Snickers And 5-Star Hotels: Report Details Top General's Wasteful Spending

Army Lt. Gen. William E. Kip Ward is adminstered the oath of four-star General, the Army's highest rank of general.
Caleb Jones AP

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:31 pm

A report made public today by the Department of Defense finally gives us details on what caused the downfall of Four-Star Gen. William "Kip" Ward.

More than a year ago, Ward gave up his post as leader of U.S. Africa Command and Stars and Stripes reported in May that he would be stripped of two of his stars, pending an investigation. But the reasons why were kept quiet, as Stars And Stripes reported.

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Music Reviews
1:17 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Fire Up Your Kid's Imagination At The 'Science Fair'

Science Fair includes science-loving songs from Laura Veirs, Mates of State, Elizabeth Mitchell and more.
El Lohse

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 4:03 pm

As a math-loving parent of a math-loving tween girl, I'm worried that women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering fields. A new benefit album of kids music called Science Fair gathers musicians together to take on that disparity both by raising awareness and firing up the imagination.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Study Supports Regulators' Effort To Limit Miners' Exposure To Coal Dust

A study released today by the Government Accountability Office says that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) used appropriate data and scientific methods in drafting new regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coal dust miners are exposed to at U.S. operations.

As NPR's Howard Berkes reported for us last month, some House Republicans had blocked implementation of the regulations until GAO issued its report.

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It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Obama Camp's DOA Tax Offer To Romney Keeps Issue Alive

The Friday offer from President Obama's campaign to Mitt Romney — that if the GOP presidential candidate releases his tax returns for the past five years, it won't attack him for not releasing more — was immediately rejected by the Romney campaign.

But the give-and-take keeps Romney on the defensive, and promises to keep the issue of Romney's taxes going for weeks to come.

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Author Interviews
11:12 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Donald Ray Pollock On Finding Fiction Late In Life

This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 2011. Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time is now out in paperback.

Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a tiny hamlet in southern Ohio. In the 1950s, Knockemstiff had three stores, a bar and a population of about 450 people. Most of those people, says fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, were "connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Fri August 17, 2012

New Syrian Envoy Brahimi Takes On 'Crucial Task'

Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Steve Jobs' Stolen iPad Ends Up In The Hands Of A Clown

Kenny the Clown.
@kennytheclown via Twitter

You may have heard that the house of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was burglarized, back in July. Among the stolen items, was a 64 GB silver iPad.

Today, there's news from the San Jose Mercury News that the iPad was recovered from an unlikely source: It was in the hands of Kenny the Clown, who used it to entertain kids and tourists in the Bay Area.

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Participation Nation
10:33 am
Fri August 17, 2012

A Middle Way In Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana University student volunteers participate at the Middle Way House fundraising events held in spring 2012.
Courtesy of Indiana University

Each year hundreds of students from Indiana University volunteer at Middle Way House, a haven for victims of domestic violence.

Volunteers conduct crisis interventions and act as personal counselors and advocates. A new on-campus chapter makes it easier for student volunteers to promote the mission of MWH.

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It's All Politics
10:24 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Twitter And The New Mom: Keeping Up With Politics, 140 Characters At A Time

Twitter.com

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:46 am

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR), an NPR congressional reporter.

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Movie Interviews
10:22 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Sacha Baron Cohen: The Fresh Air Interview

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:12 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 21, 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is now out on DVD.

Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:11 am
Fri August 17, 2012

When Does Mom's Blog Become An Ad?

Some mommy bloggers threw parties with Madagascar 3-themed activities for kids. Here's one suggestion from Merck's Children's Claritin Facebook page.
Facebook

Blogging about being a mom is a booming business. And the popularity of these blogs has spawned an industry that turns some of the moms into virtual product reps.

With companies and conferences devoted to connecting moms with industry, regulatory agencies that keep track of truthfulness and transparency in advertising are struggling to keep up.

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Election 2012
9:51 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Has Romney Settled Debate Over Personal Taxes?

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday that he's paid a rate of at least 13 percent in taxes over the past 10 years. But the Obama campaign again called on Romney to release more tax returns. Guest host Jacki Lyden discusses this and other political news with Univision's Fernando Vila and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert.

Faith Matters
9:51 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Nuns Ask Candidates To Spend A Day With The Poor

A group of Catholic nuns say they're worried about the way GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will approach poverty and safety-net programs, if elected. So the nuns have invited him, and his running mate Paul Ryan, to spend a day with them, helping the poor. Sister Simone Campbell discusses the invitation with guest host Jacki Lyden.

Faith Matters
9:51 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Does Law Protect Prayer Or Exclude Non-Christians?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 10:03 am

Advocates say a public prayer amendment to the Missouri state constitution will strengthen the right to pray in public. But critics say it'll marginalize non-Christians. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with Missouri State Rep. Mike McGhee who sponsored the initiative, and the Anti-Defamation League's Karen Aroesty, who opposes it.

Africa
9:06 am
Fri August 17, 2012

South African Police Accused Of Massacring Miners

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Insurer Will Pay In Case That Quickly Went Viral

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:20 am

Monday, New York comedian Matt Fisher wrote a very serious blog post headlined "My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court."

It quickly drew considerable attention on the Web, bad publicity for Progresssive Insurance and coverage from national news outlets because he laid out a sad story:

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It's All Politics
7:16 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Federal Court Reinstates Early Voting Days In Parts Of Florida

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 9:02 am

A federal court has rejected part of Florida's new election law that would have restricted the number of early voting days across the state. The court said the new law cannot take effect in five counties where the African-American vote could be key in November.

The ruling — which was announced late Thursday — is a win for voting rights groups, who say the new law was meant to suppress minority voters in Florida in the Nov. 6 presidential election.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Alabama Authorities Put A Real-Life Walter White On Their Most Wanted List

"Real" Walter White is at left. "TV Walter" is at right.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office / AMC

In this case, life is imitating art:

"The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office has placed Walter White on their priority list of the county's most wanted," The Tuscaloosa News reports. "White, 55, was on probation for a 2008 charge of making methamphetamine when he was arrested on similar charges in Bibb County earlier this year."

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