Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 12:58 pm
Hurricane Sandy's on-the-ground devastation has yet to be cataloged, and how the violent storm may affect the presidential campaign with just a week to Election Day is equally uncertain.
Will President Obama's response to the disaster help or hurt his re-election prospects? Or will the campaign's new trajectory — canceled appearances, postponed early voting — ultimately benefit Republican Mitt Romney?
For Jennifer Kaye, Hurricane Sandy is a threat to her livelihood. Kaye is General Manager and Captain of the Schooner Woodwind, a family-owned business based in Annapolis, Maryland. She and her crew are riding out the storm on board a 74-foot sailboat. Kaye explains how being on the boat is key to protecting it.
And let's get another glimpse, as we are all morning, of New York City in the aftermath of what was Hurricane Sandy. We saw, overnight, dramatic video of around 50 homes burning in Queens. There was massive flooding in lower Manhattan.
NPR's Robert Smith is there. Robert, we saw a video of water that was going up to the door handles of cars. I trust that the waters receded somewhat at this point.
Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:16 am
Sandy, the hurricane-turned-superstorm, has left dozens dead, millions without power and thousands in need of rescue from rising waters as it slowly moves north and west from the Mid-Atlantic to pass over the Great Lakes and into Canada.
According to The Associated Press, storm damage was projected at $20 billion, "meaning it could prove to be one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history."
Sandy has also taken a huge human toll: More than 30 deaths since the weekend and millions more coping with damaged homes, crippled transportation systems and no power.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In the midst of a monster storm, let's take a moment to contemplate a monster pumpkin. Out in California, John Sach grew a pumpkin weighing just under 1,000 pounds. He calls it Sally, and it won Orange County's annual Pumpkinmania contest. Sach's pumpkin outgrew the runner-up, named Gourdita, which was downright slim at 795 pounds. According to the O.C. Register, Sally's secret is simple - a lot of food and water. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
As Hurricane Sandy, or whether - at this point in time, it's Superstorm Sandy, when it did thunder ashore as a hurricane, Tamara Brownstein(ph) was assessing the damage. She was working for the Red Cross in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 5:07 am
Tax policy has been a divisive theme throughout the presidential campaign. At the core of the debate are divergent philosophies about what the economy needs — and how to get it.
In this Oxford-style debate from Intelligence Squared U.S., a panel of experts dissects the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough." The term "enough," in this case, is determined by three factors: fairness, sufficiency and efficiency.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:14 am
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And let's move back to the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney has been criticized for being on many sides of many issues, but there's one where he's been pretty consistent: He wants to repeal the federal health care law. The question is: Can Romney actually keep that promise?
Here's NPR's Julie Rovner.
JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: You can barely listen to Mitt Romney make a speech or give an interview without hearing some variation of this vow...
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 7:12 am
The National Weather Service is tracking where the superstorm Sandy goes next. Jennifer McNatt, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's national operations center, speaks with Steve Inskeep about what people should expect.
Author Richard Russo has been writing about the burned-out mill town of Gloversville, N.Y., for years. In one Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, he called it Empire Falls, Maine; in another novel, it was Thomaston, N.Y.
A new NPR poll shows the outcome of the Nov. 6 election is too close to call. Mitt Romney leads President Obama nationwide; Obama leads Romney in key battleground states. Both leads are within the poll's margin of error.
The latest and last NPR Battleground Poll for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.
The poll adds evidence that the Oct. 3 debate between the two men redefined the race. But the movement toward Romney that emerged after that night in Denver also seems to have stalled after the race drew even — leaving the outcome difficult to call.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
The storm on the East Coast is making a devastating impression on New York City. Storm surge coupled with a high tide have swelled the water to record levels in some places that includes Battery Park, and now, reports of flooding in the subway and in automotive tunnels.
NPR's Margot Adler joins us from New York with more details. And, Margot, what can you tell us about these reports of flooding?
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
Already more than a million people from Maine to Virginia have lost electricity because of the storm. And in one case, as we heard a few minutes ago, the utility Consolidated Edison took the unusual step of cutting off power to parts of lower Manhattan. By the time the storm is over, more than 10 million homes and businesses in the eastern U.S. could lose electricity. That's according to the utility industry.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 5:27 pm
Doug Smith and his girlfriend Trenor Bender thought the worst of Hurricane Sandy had passed them by when they looked out the windows in the wee hours today. At their rental home, three rows back from the beach in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, there was no water in the yard at all at 3:30 this morning. But that didn't last.
"When I woke up, I couldn't believe it," says Smith of the view just a few hours later, "I saw this sheet of water on the ground."
Cray employees put the finishing touches on Titan at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. The supercomputer may be the world's fastest. It's designed to do 20 petaflops — or 20,000 trillion calculations — each second. It consumes enough electricity to power a small city of 9,000 people.
Credit Courtesy of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
U.S. Energy Secretary Chu stands inside a 3-D imaging "cave," which simulates the inside of a nuclear reactor. The cave, powered by the supercomputers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, helps scientists to process, view and understand enormous amounts of data visually.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
A Cray employee organizes the processors used to build Titan. To accelerate its processing power and conserve energy, Titan uses GPUs — graphics processing units. These chips were originally developed for the video game industry.
Credit Steve Henn / NPR
Eric Lee plays a massively multiplayer online game at Euphnet, a cybercafe for gamers in Sunnyvale, Calif. The $30 billion video game industry is driving new, faster chip designs that are now powering some of the world's most powerful supercomputers.
Credit Courtesy of Nvidia
The Nvidia Tesla K20 GPU Accelerator powers the new Titan supercomputer. Its design is based on chips built for gaming.
The world's fastest supercomputers have come back to the U.S. In June, the title was claimed by a machine named Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore Labs. Monday, at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, what could be an even faster computer comes online. It's called Titan and it would not have been possible were it not for the massive market for video games.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 9:32 am
There's big news in the world of publishing: The two conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin announced Monday that they were merging their book businesses to form a new company.
German media company Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, will own 53 percent of the new firm, Penguin Random House; Pearson, which owns Penguin, will control the rest. The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013.
A poll released Monday by the Pew Research Center shows that President Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days after the first presidential debate.
The poll shows that among likely voters, the race is now a statistical dead heat with both Obama and Mitt Romney receiving 47 percent support. Among registered voters there is what Pew calls a "statistically insignificant two-point edge" of 47 percent to 45 percent for Obama.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 3:12 pm
Economists will need many days — maybe weeks or months — to assess the financial harm being done by Hurricane Sandy. But whatever the final figure, it will be huge, well into the tens of billions of dollars.
More than 60 million Americans are feeling the impact of the weather monster slamming New York, New Jersey, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and many other states. The howling mix of wind, rain and snow is causing massive direct losses, i.e., the destruction of private homes, stores, boats and cars.
Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:33 pm
When smoking is banned in bars and workplaces, the number of people who suffer heart attacks and die drops within months, according to two new studies.
They found benefits not only in saving lives, but in lowering the cost of medical care for heart attacks, stroke and other smoking-related illnesses. It's the best evidence yet demonstrating big, swift health improvements when secondhand smoke is banished.
As the presidential campaign has unfolded, the candidates have traded polemics about wealth, class warfare, dependency and the role of government.
And 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? And what do we think explains our prosperity — or lack thereof?
The rest of the government may have been shut down for the hurricane, but not the U.S. Supreme Court.
The justices were in court Monday to consider a challenge to the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. The new law broadly expanded the government's ability to conduct large-scale monitoring of international phone calls and emails to and from people in the United States.
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 6:17 am
Hurricane Sandy may be grinding closer to the East Coast with 90 mph winds and torrential rains, but the most devastating aspect is likely to be storm surge.
Simply put, storm surge is wind-driven water that is forced against the shore, piling up in low-lying areas where it can cause dangerous flooding. A number of factors can make storm surge worse: a massive storm with high winds headed straight for a region full of shallow coastal bays and inlets.
Sandy seems to have them all, says Chris Landsea, science and operations officer at the National Hurricane Center.