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It's All Politics
4:54 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Mysterious Anti-Obama Spam Texts Linked To Republican Consulting Group

A screenshot of an anti-Obama text message received Tuesday evening.
NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

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.

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Success Factors: Rich, Poor And Everybody Else
4:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

At The Economy's Bottom Rungs, Striving To Climb Up

Johnita Ellerby, a single mother of four, is studying social work while working full time.
Art Silverman NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

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?

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy: A Voice From Union Beach, N.J.

Yesterday, we brought you a voice from Breezy Point, N.Y., the Queens neighborhood ravaged by fire.

Today, our Newscast unit spoke to Doug Doyle, the news director of NPR member station WGBO. Doug was making his way back to his apartment in Union Beach, N.J.

Except whole sections of shore city were destroyed by the storm surge. Doug was escorted to his apartment by emergency crews and he was fully expecting to find everything in tatters.

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Science
4:25 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

High-Def Storm Models Yielded Accurate Predictions

These computer models from Oct. 26 of then-Hurricane Sandy show different predictions for the storm's path.
NOAA

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

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.

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Around the Nation
4:23 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Atlantic City Starts To Dig Out From Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The massive storm that battered the East Coast this week is now fading, but Sandy's toll has become all too clear. In the U.S., at least 66 people are not confirmed dead, eight of them in New Jersey where we begin this hour.

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Arts & Life
4:11 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A 'Witch Queen' Who Casts Her Spells Year-Round

Courtesy of Faith in the Five Boroughs

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 2:53 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:03 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

To Stem Mumps Outbreak, Doctors Try An Extra Vaccination

Two boys study together at a Chicago yeshiva in 2009. Public health officials say this type of close physical contact caused a mumps outbreak to spread throughout several orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:39 pm

On June 17, 2009, an 11-year-old boy returned home from the U.K., which was experiencing a large number of mumps cases at the time. He then went to a summer camp for Orthodox Jews in upstate New York.

This turned out to be the spark that led to an outbreak of mumps among Orthodox Jewish communities in and around New York City. Ultimately, more than 3,500 people got sick.

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Digital Life
3:33 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

A Mohawk Hero In The Not-So-Diverse Gaming World

For the latest installment of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series, set in Colonial America, the hooded main character is part Mohawk. The company brought in a Mohawk consultant and hired a Native actor to play the role.
Courtesy of Ubisoft

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 4:49 pm

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.

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Environment
2:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Raises Questions About Climate And The Future

Taxis sit in a flooded lot in Hoboken, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:12 pm

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.

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The Salt
2:52 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Finding New Tricks To Get More Satisfaction Out Of Low-Fat Foods

The secret to making something low-fat taste good and keep us fuller longer may be in its thickness.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 2:12 pm

A thick and creamy shake sounds deliciously satisfying, and adding that kind of "mouth feel" to low-fat foods has become a multi-billion-dollar business. But are we really fooled?

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It's All Politics
2:46 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:06 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.

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The Two-Way
2:19 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

New Visa System Marks New Phase In India-Pakistan Relations

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:26 pm

The border between India and Pakistan has long divided two bitterly embattled nations. Any stable relationship between them has seemed far off.

This morning, though, Pakistan's Federal Cabinet ratified four agreements with neighboring India that are aimed at improving business, trade, and travel relations.

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Election 2012
1:08 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy's October Surprise May Change 2012 Race

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The storm stops top-of-the-ticket campaigning for a couple of days; the president plays chief of state; Romney collects cans and water for disaster relief; it's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Sandy...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy Disrupts Life For Weeks To Come

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:08 pm

The remnants of Hurricane Sandy continue to push north toward Canada, leaving behind flooding and destruction. Millions of people remain without electricity across more than 15 states, thousands are in shelters and it may be days before power and public transportation systems are restored.

It's All Politics
12:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

In Sandy's Wake, Romney Struggles To Regain Attention

Mitt Romney helps collect and pack donated goods for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, in Kettering, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:53 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."

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Not Exactly A Boxing Capital, Kabul Stages A Championship Bout

Kabul native Hamid Rahimi defeated Tanzania's Said Mbelwa by technical knockout in the seventh round on Tuesday to claim the World Boxing Organization's Intercontinental Middleweight Championship before an enthusiastic crowd in the Afghan capital.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:35 pm

It wasn't Caesar's Palace. It was the Loya Jirga Hall at Kabul Polytechnic University -– a building where Afghanistan's elders gather to discuss matters of national importance.

But for one night, there was boxing with all the hype of Las Vegas –- minus the showgirls.

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Shots - Health News
12:40 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Malaria Drug Subsidies: Good Idea Or Wrong Path?

Dr. Esther Dalizu holds a pack of Coartem Malaria drugs in a pharmacy in Nairobi, Kenya, last year.
Sayyid Azim AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 12:48 pm

A month ago we wrote about results from an experiment in getting the most effective malaria drugs to more people who need them in Africa.

The idea was to subsidize the cost of drugs, sometimes to a price point below their wholesale cost, and make them more widely available.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

VIDEO: Superstorm Sandy Topples A Giant Tree

Sandy uprooting a giant tree.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Shuts Down New York And New Jersey Subways, Trains And Tunnels

Workers try to clear boats and debris from the New Jersey Transit's Morgan draw bridge on Wednesday in South Amboy, N.J., after Monday's storm surge from Sandy pushed boats and cargo containers onto the train tracks.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 4:36 pm

It's a commuter's nightmare.

Cars and buses are back on the road in New York City and New Jersey, but workers are still trying to put the subway system and commuter trains back in operation after the devastating effect of Superstorm Sandy. It's a process that could take days or weeks to complete.

The impact on the country's most densely populated metropolitan area has been extensive. Here's a look at what is, and mostly what isn't, working:

NEW YORK CITY:

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Television
11:46 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Katey Sagal, Holding Court On 'Sons of Anarchy'

Katey Sagal as Gemma Teller Morrow in Sons of Anarachy on FX.
Prashant Gupta FX

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:59 pm

As Gemma, the fierce matriarch of the biker gang in the FX series Sons of Anarchy, Katey Sagal has shot and killed people, hit somebody with a skateboard, pulled a gun on a baby and done other horrible things. It's all part of the challenge of playing the character, Sagal says.

"She does things in the name of loyalty, which I relate to, but she goes way beyond anything I would do."

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Wed October 31, 2012

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 'Postpones' Halloween

Halloween will have to wait.
Sascha Schuermann AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 11:55 am

Yes, we already made one child cry. In that spirit, here's more bad news for the shorter demographic: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed an executive order postponing Halloween until Nov. 5.

Coming from any other governor, the decision would have immediately been met with sensible nods. But Christie has made his name by being tough and blunt.

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The Salt
11:05 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Behind A Halloween Mask, Even 'Good' Kids Can Turn Into Candy Thieves

Is there an angel or a devil behind the mask? Scientists say it may not matter in terms of anonymous behavior.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:07 pm

Vampires and monsters will be out in force tonight, but some of the darkest creatures out there might be your little angels inside those Halloween costumes.

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It's All Politics
10:53 am
Wed October 31, 2012

In Ohio, Teachers Run For Statehouse — And Could Give Obama A Boost

An attendee holds up a button at a speech by President Obama on Sept. 17 in Cincinnati.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 2:08 pm

Teachers unions in Ohio are supporting President Obama in the race for the White House. But way down the ballot, in races for the state Legislature, it's teachers themselves who want some support on Nov. 6.

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China: Change Or Crisis
10:40 am
Wed October 31, 2012

As Economy Slows, China Looks For A New Model

China's rapid expansion has been fueled in part by massive construction projects, like this one in Beijing, shown last year. But many economists say the Chinese economic model is unlikely to produce the same explosive growth in the coming years and needs to be revamped.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 12:06 pm

If you followed American media in recent years, you might have thought China was taking over the planet. Recent titles at the book store have included Becoming China's Bitch and When China Rules the World.

"They are the world's superpower or soon will be," Glenn Beck used to intone on Fox News. "They always thought America was just a blip."

And when the city of Philadelphia postponed an Eagles football game a couple of years ago because of a blizzard forecast, then-Gov. Ed Rendell said America — unlike China — was becoming a nation of "wussies."

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Latin America
10:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Haiti Tent Camps Bear Brunt Of Sandy

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Many Americans are still suffering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. In a moment our panel of women journalists and commentators - we call it our Beauty Shop - will talk about how Sandy may or may not change the race for the White House.

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Race
10:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Is Racial Prejudice On The Rise?

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 11:18 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we are going to talk about the impact of Superstorm Sandy on some places you might not be hearing much about. In the Caribbean, especially in Haiti, for example, the damage includes a significant loss of life. We'll try to find out why in a few minutes.

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Race
10:21 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Over The Top Hairdo Sparks Blogosphere Firestorm

Michelle Joni Lapidos sports a big afro wig.
Courtesy of Michelle Joni Lapidos

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:41 pm

Michelle Joni Lapidos never knew that she would fall in love with a big, black afro wig. And she certainly never knew it would change her life. But after she wore it to a dress-up party, that's exactly what happened. Now the white, Jewish "afro-girl" has been thrown in the middle of a racial firestorm.

It sounds like an experiment from a college sociology class, but Lapidos tells NPR's Michel Martin that she began wearing the wig with good, fun intentions. She was quickly called a racist by people who took offense to it.

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It's All Politics
9:53 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Presidential Race: What If There Are Two Winners?

Kimberly Fisher cast her ballot Wednesday at a polling place at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury, Md.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:10 pm

Even before Hurricane Sandy came roaring up the East Coast, political prognosticators were worried about next week's election being thrown into chaos and confusion.

The reason is that with the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney so close, there's a possibility of something other than a clean outcome.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Remembering Letitia Baldrige, The 'Doyenne Of Decorum'

Letitia Baldrige, when she was first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's social secretary.
JFK Presidential Library and Museum

We want to note the death of Letitia Baldrige, who as The Washington Post writes "was social secretary to first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and also became known as a 'doyenne of decorum' and chief arbiter of good manners in modern America."

Baldrige died Monday at a nursing facility in Bethesda, Md. She was 86.

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The Salt
8:19 am
Wed October 31, 2012

The Truth About Nepal's Blood-Drinking Festivals

Yaks roam the hills in the Mustang District, in Nepal's Dhaulagiri Zone. Every day during the annual blood-drinking festival, attendees wait and watch for the yaks. Only male yaks are bled.
Jana Asenbrennerova

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 2:44 pm

"Blood-drinking festival." Reading those words, it's hard not to get either creeped out or curious — especially around Halloween.

I opted for curiosity. Which is how I discovered photojournalist Jana Asenbrennerova's stunning photo essay on an obscure custom that takes place each year in the remote, mist-wrapped highlands of Nepal. These festivals are actually a reflection of the complex relationship that Nepal's Buddhists have with eating meat.

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