Moderator Jim Lehrer sits at his desk before last Wednesday's debate between President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Denver. For third-party candidates, getting into a presidential debate is practically impossible.
What's it like to be a third-party candidate running for president? Ralph Nader can tell us.
"You're excluded from the debates," he says. "You spend an exhausting amount of time, until Labor Day, trying to get over the ballot access barriers. Your petitioners are harassed in the streets; you're subjected to baseless lawsuits by one party or another."
Nader has run for president three times – four if you count the time he ran unofficially. In 2000, he managed to win almost 3 percent of the national vote.
Nov. 6 is 32 days away, but for millions of Americans, there is no longer an Election Day.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia now have early voting, which is under way even now in eight states. Hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast, most before this week's presidential debates or Friday's jobs report, and all ahead of the three future debates and any unforeseen October event that might test the mettle of a candidate.
On Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces his most serious election test in 14 years of power. Though he has easily beaten his adversaries in the past, Chavez now confronts a 40-year-old former governor who has been electrifying the crowds.
The stakes are high. If Chavez loses, it could mean the end of his socialist experiment in the oil-rich nation.
In speech after speech, Chavez is like the Chavez of old — bombastic, loud, defiant, with grand dreams about projecting Venezuelan influence worldwide.
An unmanned U.S. Predator drone sits on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport in southern Afghanistan in 2010. The U.S. has been using drones in Pakistan for years. The Pakistanis initially claimed the drone attacks as the work of their own military, but the strikes have become a source of friction.
The U.S. has been carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan for some eight years, but it's done so under a policy that has emerged piecemeal over that time.
"It started in 2004, when drones were really an oddity," says Daniel Markey, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was on the State Department's policy planning staff when it all started during the Bush administration.
Retailers across the country expect to hire hundreds of thousands of extra workers this holiday season to help with the anticipated spike in sales. Retail workers who have been hustling year-round for more hours are looking at that news with a jaded eye — because the vast majority of these seasonal jobs will disappear after December, sending many of these workers back scrounging for more work.
With a 17-hour workweek, Onieka O'Kieffe is left with a lot of time on her hands. Too much time. She said she very often sleeps 12 hours a day just because she can.
Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.
Women and their children wait for medication and instructions on how to use it at the clinic in Dareta, Nigeria. Treating children with high levels of lead is a painstaking process that works only if their environment at home is free from lead.
A massive graffiti mural in Cairo's Tahrir Square documenting the political turmoil in Egypt was whitewashed earlier this month. The next night, several hundred artists and supporters were back, covering the wall in new images and anti-government slogans.
Medical student and painter Doaa Okasha, 20, was outraged when she found out the original mural was gone.
"It's our history there. This wall explains a lot of what happened in the last months, and it's very important to us," she says. "They easily come and erase everything, and we don't accept that."
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing his week with Amy Dickinson, Maz Jobrani, and Paula Poundstone. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. There's new information tonight about the shooting of two border patrol agents along the Arizona-Mexico border earlier this week. One of the agents was killed in that incident. Well, the FBI now says that there are strong preliminary indications that the shooting was accidental and only involved the agents on the scene. NPR's Ted Robbins is following the story and joins me from Tucson. And, Ted, it sounds like the FBI is saying this is a case of friendly fire. What more do you know?
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 6:28 pm
The shooting death of a Border Patrol agent along the Arizona-Mexico border may have been the result of friendly fire. The FBI said a preliminary investigation indicates the death of one agent and the injury of another "were the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents."
NPR's Ted Robbins tells our Newscast unit the FBI was investigating the possibility of friendly fire and that today Homeland Security Janet Napolitano flew to Arizona to review the case and meet with the dead agent's family.
U.S. Speedskating apologized today, after one of its athletes admitted that he tampered with the skates of a competitor.
"I speak for everyone at U.S. Speedskating — our staff, athletes and Board of Directors — when I say that we are shocked and disappointed by Simon [Cho's] actions," Tamara Castellano, marketing director of U.S. Speedskating, said in a prepared statement. "We would like to apologize to Speedskate Canada and Olivier Jean, as well as all of the Canadian athletes who competed in Warsaw, for the actions of our athlete."
Twenty-five years ago, The Princess Bride performed only so-so at the box office. But as you know if you have ever had it quoted to you — and who hasn't? — it's come to be one of the most beloved films of the 1980s. On Friday's All Things Considered, Mandy Patinkin, now starring in Showtime's Homeland but back then the Spanish swordsman Inigo Montoya, talks to Melissa Block about the film and what it's like to be part of such a beloved piece of popular culture.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In Britain, the radical cleric Abu Hamza has lost his final battle to avoid extradition to the United States. Britain's high court judges ruled today that Hamza and four other suspected terrorists must now be sent to the U.S. to face trial on terror charges related to al-Qaida. That ends a legal battle that, in Hamza's case, has lasted nearly 14 years. Vicki Barker reports from London.
The new jobs report, out today, shows a sharp drop in the unemployment rate. But millions of Americans are, of course, still looking for work. Often, the bridge between them and a good job is a training program to help give them a new set of skills. Programs to retrain America's workforce got quite a bit of attention in Wednesday's presidential debate, and NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on one of them here in Washington.
For the past decade, al-Qaida has been a top-down organization.
Letters seized at Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan showed that he was a hands-on manager, approving everything from operations to leadership changes in affiliate groups.
But there's early intelligence that al-Qaida may have had a small role in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, on Sept. 11.
If al-Qaida involvement is confirmed, it may signal that al-Qaida has changed.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:24 pm
The news that the cost of personal genome sequencing will soon drop as low as $1,000 has generated a quite a bit of interest and concern — from medical researchers, biotech companies, bioethicists and the average consumer alike.
NPR's Rob Stein explored many of the implications of this technology in his four-part series "The $1,000 Genome." They're complicated, to say the least.
After testing negative for Ebola, Magdalena Nyamurungi returns home with a new set of belongings from the World Health Organization. Medical workers burned and buried her possessions when they suspected she was infected.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:25 pm
The Ebola outbreak in Uganda, which started two months ago, has come to a close.
"The Ministry of Health [of Uganda] has been very prudent of declaring the outbreak over," Gregory Hartl, a World Health Organization spokesman, tells Shots. The last case was detected over 42 days ago — or twice the incubation period for the hemorrhagic fever — so new infections are highly unlikely.
LaVelma Byrd, photographed at the California Institution for Women in Chino, Calif., was convicted of murdering her husband in 1994. She never let on that her husband beat her on a regular basis. She is not eligible for parole until 2020.
Credit Courtesy of Sin by Silence
Brenda Clubine received a sentence of 15 years to life in 1983 for killing her husband. While in prison, she started the support group Convicted Women Against Abuse to help victims of domestic abuse like herself. When she was released in 2008, her first request was to see the beach in Venice, Calif.
Brenda Clubine is a platinum blonde with focused blue eyes and a no-nonsense demeanor.
She spent 26 years in prison for killing her husband. After enduring beatings and emergency room visits, she says, it finally ended in a locked motel room where he told her to give him her wedding rings.
"I said, 'Why?' He said, 'Because tomorrow they won't be able to identify your body without them,' " Clubine says.
"The Anadolu Agency quoted the governor for Hatay province as saying that Turkish troops 'responded with fire' after the mortar round landed in a rural area of the province that borders Syria. No one was reported hurt.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:23 pm
DAVE DAVIES, HOST:
Actress Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Up in the Air." Now she stars in the film musical, "Pitch Perfect," in which she plays a college freshman who reluctantly joins the school's illustrious all-female a cappella group. Director Jason Moore is best known for his work on the satirical Broadway musical, "Avenue Q." Film critic David Edelstein has this review of "Pitch Perfect."