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It's All Politics
6:08 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Obama, Romney Tweak Each Other In Swing States

President Obama at a campaign rally at City Park in Denver Wednesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

With 13 days left until the Nov. 6 election, President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, both included trips to Iowa and Nevada on their schedules. Each tried to fire up his supporters and cast doubts about the other to gain an advantage in a race that appears essentially tied.

At rallies in Davenport, Iowa, and Denver, both swing states where the election is fluid, Obama trotted out attack lines he's used in recent days against the former Massachusetts governor.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

U.S. Sues Bank Of America Over Mortgage Loans To Fannie And Freddie

The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan filed a lawsuit today that alleges Bank of America Corp. cost American taxpayers more than $1 billion when it sold toxic mortgages — originally issued by Countrywide Financial — to the government controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

NPR's Margot Adler explains it like this to our Newscast unit:

"U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described the conduct of Countrywide as 'spectacularly brazen in scope.'

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Around the Nation
4:53 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Vote While You Shop: 'Pop-Up' Poll Sites Sweep Iowa

Satellite voting locations, like this one at a Latino grocery in Des Moines, Iowa, are designed to make early voting more convenient.
Sandhya Dirks for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:37 pm

In a number of swing states, early voting means many people are already casting their ballots. Typically, that entails voting by mail or visiting a county elections office.

But in Iowa, satellite voting — where "pop-up" polling stations allow people to vote at convenient times and nontraditional locations — is growing in popularity.

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Media
4:53 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Newspaper Endorsements: Prized, But Often Ignored

The power of newspaper endorsements has faded, but candidates still compete for them.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:02 pm

This weekend, a slew of newspapers in key swing states including Ohio are expected to release their endorsements for the presidency and other elected positions.

Such external validation is highly prized by candidates, but it's no longer entirely clear why.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Rajat Gupta, Former Goldman Sachs Director, Sentenced To Two Years

Rajat Gupta as he arrived at the federal courthouse in Manhattan in June.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Rajat Gupta, who was once a director at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble, has been sentenced to two years in prison, after a federal jury convicted him of insider trading.

Gupta was convicted of leaking information to Galleon Rajaratnam, the billionaire co-founder of Galleon Group who was found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

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World
4:40 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

As Somalia's War Ebbs, Mogadishu Dares To Rebuild

Somalis chat at a beach-side restaurant earlier this month. After two decades of civil war, Somali's capital, Mogadishu, is beginning to recover.
Feisal Omar Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:37 pm

There is a remarkable change going on in Mogadishu, Somalia — often dubbed the world's most dangerous city. For starters, it may not deserve that title anymore.

Last year, African Union forces drove the Islamist militant group al-Shabab out of Mogadishu. Now, Somalia has a new president and prime minister who have replaced the corrupt and unpopular transitional government.

Hope is edging aside despair, and Mogadishu is coming back to life.

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The Salt
4:38 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Aspartame And Cancer Risk: New Study Is Too Weak To Defend

Diet soda
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:06 pm

We almost brought you news today about a study that appeared to raise some troubling questions about aspartame, the popular sugar substitute found in many common foods like diet soda. Note the key word — almost.

A study due to be published at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and released to reporters earlier in the week under embargo found some correlation between drinking diet soda and an increased risk of leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as a few other rare blood-related cancers.

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U.S.
4:35 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

As World Series Begins, Detroit Catches Tigers Fever

Fans make their way into the ballpark prior to the Detroit Tigers hosting the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:12 pm

In Detroit, Tigers fans are preparing for the return of their beloved team to the grand stage of the World Series. In a city largely known for hard times these days, the World Series means far more than just a chance at a championship.

Facing high unemployment and crime rates and teetering on the edge of financial collapse, Detroit needs something to celebrate. Maybe something along the lines of the celebration that broke out after the Tigers won the World Series again in 1968.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Obama Campaign Invokes '537' To Get Out The Vote

Broward County canvassing board member Judge Robert Rosenberg examines a disputed ballot Nov. 24, 2000, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee AP

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Law
3:40 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Three Ballot Measures Would OK Pot Beyond Medicine

A marijuana bud at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. Colorado, Oregon and Washington could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:53 pm

Marijuana legalization is back on the ballot this year. California voters defeated a legalization proposal in 2010, but now similar measures have cropped up in three more Western states. This time around, some of the most intense opposition is coming from the earlier pioneers of legalization — the medical marijuana industry.

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Animals
3:32 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

In Animal Kingdom, Voting Of A Different Sort Reigns

A school of manini fish passes over a coral reef at Hanauma Bay in 2005, in Honolulu. Researchers say schooling behavior like the kind seen in fish helps groups of animals make better decisions than any one member of the group could.
Donald Miralle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:57 am

As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 1, Alix Spiegel looked at the personalities of American presidents.

Voters could learn some things about choosing a leader from a fish. Or a chimp. Or an elephant.

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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

More Than 700 Kurdish Prisoners Now on Hunger Strike in Turkey

Turkish soldiers block a street as Kurds demonstrate on September 3 in the center of Beytussebap, about 25 miles from the Iraqi border.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:44 pm

As the war in Syria rages unabated and Turkey struggles to manage an increasingly dire refugee situation and cross-border retaliations, another conflict simmers.

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It's All Politics
3:15 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Political Memes: Fast, Cheap And Out Of Control?

DailyKos.com

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:49 am

Even if you didn't watch any of the three presidential debates, chances are you're familiar with Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

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Book Reviews
3:09 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

'Middlesteins' Digs Into The Dark Side Of Food

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:53 pm

Food appears so often and takes on so much importance in Jami Attenberg's novel The Middlesteins, that while reading it I sometimes felt like I was on a kind of literary cruise ship. But excess isn't presented here wantonly; instead, it's laid out and explored with sympathy, thought and depth. Early on, the parents of the main character think, "Food was made of love, and was what made love, and they could never deny themselves a bite of anything they desired." And so the novel takes off from the evocative starting point known as appetite.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Texas Attorney General Sends Warning To International Election Observers

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to reporters 2011.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 9:47 am

The Texas attorney general is warning international election observers not to mess with Texas.

"Your opinion is legally irrelevant in the United States, where the Supreme Court has already determined that Voter ID laws are constitutional," Greg Abbott wrote in a letter sent to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which monitors elections across the world.

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It's All Politics
2:34 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Florida Republican Rep. David Rivera Charged In Ethics Probe

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., talks during a freedom for Cuba march in Miami on Feb. 24, 2011.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:46 pm

Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., was charged Wednesday by Florida authorities with alleged ethics violations while he was in the state Legislature, perhaps imperiling his bid for re-election to the House in an already tight contest.

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Author Interviews
2:09 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Tom Wolfe Takes Miami's Pulse In 'Back To Blood'

Author and journalist Tom Wolfe's books include The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Bonfire of the Vanities and I Am Charlotte Simmons, among others.
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:37 am

Tom Wolfe wrote his new novel, Back to Blood, entirely by hand. But the author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities also says that wasn't entirely by choice — he'd rather have used a typewriter.

"Unfortunately, you can't keep typewriters going today — you have to take the ribbons back to be re-inked," Wolfe tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "There's a horrible search to try to find missing parts."

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Medical Treatments
1:31 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Egg Freezing Moves Out Of Experimental Realm

Freezing women's eggs to treat infertility is no longer an experimental procedure, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Still, the procedure remains costly and controversial and many questions remain about the effectiveness and safety of using long-term egg-freezing.

Election 2012
1:26 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

What The Presidential Debates Accomplished

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. First the Democratic debacle in the Denver debate, then a show of teeth in Tennessee, last week hells-a-poppin' at Hofstra, and this week a comparative Kumbaya in Boca. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Horses and bayonets...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Shots - Health News
1:05 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Geneticists Breach Ethical Taboo By Changing Genes Across Generations

An image of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University removing the nucleus from the mother's cell before it's inserted into the donor's egg cell.
Courtesty of Oregon Health & Science University

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 1:21 pm

Geneticist reported Wednesday that they had crossed a threshold long considered off-limits: They have made changes in human DNA that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

The researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland say they took the step to try to prevent women from giving birth to babies with genetic diseases. But the research is raising a host of ethical, social and moral questions.

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Music Interviews
1:05 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stephen Colbert's Most Meaningful Musical Moments

Stephen Colbert (right) performs with Ben Folds on the set of his TV show, The Colbert Report.
Kris Long

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:12 am

Stephen Colbert loves music and loves to sing. That's why Fresh Air's Terry Gross asked him to bring a few songs that mean a lot to him and tell her why. For example, as a kid, Colbert discovered his first lesson about character acting through "King Herod's Song" from Jesus Christ Superstar, even though he thought the words were scandalous at first: "Oh, so you are the Christ? You're the great Jesus Christ. Prove to me that you're no fool. Walk across my swimming pool."

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Sports
1:04 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

NFL Gig A Dream Come True For Replacement Ref

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 1:33 pm

Inspired by a fellow referee who was sick with cancer, high school football ref Mike Wilmoth dropped 25 pounds, ignored the naysayers, and was picked to officiate a total of six NFL games. Wilmoth talks about making it to the big leagues and the challenges of working as a replacement ref.

The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Boeing Successfully Tests Electronics-Frying, Microwave Missile

Computers fried by CHAMP.
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

It's not the sexiest of weapons, because it doesn't cause big explosions, or fly around the world in minutes. But the effect is huge and could cripple a modern military without causing any casualties.

This week, Boeing announced that it has successfully tested a missile that can send out targeted, high-power microwaves that fry electronics without actually causing an explosion.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Here's The List: 63 Barnes & Noble Stores Where Crooks Hacked PIN Pads

A Barnes & Noble store in San Bruno, Calif. It's on the list.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 8:41 am

If you shopped recently at 63 Barnes & Noble stores in nine states and used a credit or debit card there's a chance that thieves got hold of data about your accounts and your PIN.

As the company has announced:

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Business
12:36 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Be In Play

About 34 million taxpayers take the mortgage interest deduction, for a typical savings of approximately $600 a year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 5:23 pm

In coming months, Congress will begin an epic struggle to get the federal budget deficit under control. One tax break almost certain to come into play is the mortgage interest deduction.

Both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, have suggested ways to scale back the deduction's value for wealthy taxpayers. And many economists are cheering them on, saying that now — when interest rates are low — would be a great time to reduce or even phase out the deduction.

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It's All Politics
12:07 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Beyond Hot Air: Political Blimps Take To Swing State Skies

A blimp with a message in support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney flies over Plantation, Fla., on Sunday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:41 pm

How do you reach an audience of more than 200,000 people a day in an important swing state without buying an expensive TV ad?

If you're Sid Overton, you build a blimp and fly it alongside one of Colorado's busiest freeways.

"It says, 'Romney For President. He Creates Jobs,' " Overton told KUNC.

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It's All Politics
12:03 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Despite Obama's Nevada Advantages, Romney Campaign Betting On State

Culinary Union members Emilia Cabrera (left) and Dallany Santos canvass in Las Vegas for the union's get-out-the-vote effort for President Obama.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 12:35 pm

Pundits and prognosticators have long opined about President Obama's built-in advantages in Nevada, where he captured more than 55 percent of the vote in 2008. And with good reason.

Democrats have a commanding voter registration lead, including among Latinos, and Obama's on-the-ground effort is fueled by the 55,000-member Culinary Union and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid's formidable state party organization.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Wed October 24, 2012

UPDATED: Sandy, Now A Hurricane, Hits Jamaica, Sets Sights On Cuba

National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:49 pm

Update at 3:46 p.m. ET. Sandy Makes Landfall:

At 3:20 p.m. ET., Sandy made landfall about five miles east of Kingston, Jamaica, the Hurricane Center said in an update.

Our Original Post Continues:

The tropical cyclone Sandy has just crossed the threshold to become a hurricane.

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Election 2012
10:55 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Is Early Voting A 'Quiet Revolution?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, Apple just unveiled its new iPad Mini, but it's not the only company trying to tempt you with new gadgets. Our digital lifestyle expert, Mario Armstrong, is going to stop by to tell us what's worth checking out. That's a little later.

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Food
10:55 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Fine Dining Turns To Familiar Favorites

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post Magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. The Post's Fall Dining Guide is out this week and that means food critic Tom Sietsema has been going all over town, eating and drinking up a storm, trying to narrow down his list of favorite restaurants.

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