This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The war in Afghanistan has gone largely unmentioned by both presidential campaigns. When it does come up, conversations focus not so much on what happening now but withdrawal.
If timetables hold, the U.S. and NATO will hand over combat operations to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, but plans call for American troops to stay on for many years in support and counterterrorism roles.
Last week, after Donald Trump asked President Obama to produce more records to prove his citizenship, the president used an appearance on "The Tonight Show" to dismiss the issue with a one-liner. Host Jay Leno asked, what's this thing between you and Trump?
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 12:49 pm
Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.
Mitt Romney was on CNN not long ago defending the claims in his campaign ads — "We've been absolutely spot on," he said. Politics aside, the expression had me doing an audible roll of my eyes. I've always associated "spot on" with the type of Englishman who's played by Terry-Thomas or John Cleese, someone who pronounces "yes" and "ears" in the same way — "eeahzz." It shows up when people do send-ups of plummy British speech. "I say — spot on, old chap!"
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 12:24 pm
"After Sandy, Wired New Yorkers Get Reconnected With Pay Phones: Coin-Eating Retro Devices Baffle Some, Frustrate Many; Moment Merits a Tweet."
That Wall Street Journal story today, about folks in lower Manhattan who have been forced by the power outages and damages in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to seek out an old-fashioned way to make a call, has struck a chord.
The cleanup effort is underway after superstorm Sandy, and questions are cropping up about the country's aging infrastructure. Henry Gomez reports for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. He put his questions to President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney well before the storm hit. He speaks with host Michel Martin, as part of NPR's "Solve This" series.
Billboards declaring "Voter Fraud is a Felony" were recently taken down in some urban Ohio and Wisconsin areas. But not before civil rights groups said they could intimidate minority voters and decrease turnout. Host Michel Martin talks with WCPN reporter Brian Bull about the billboards, who paid for them, and concerns about their lasting impact.
Millions of Americans are dealing with the aftermath of Sandy, including the responsibility of comforting children who may not have a frame of reference for the storm. For tips on helping kids cope, host Michel Martin speaks with Suzanne McCabe of Scholastic's classroom magazines. The magazines cover the aftermath of all kinds of disasters.
People often say China is a nation of contrasts: of wealth and poverty, of personal freedom and political limits. But that observation doesn't begin to capture the tensions and incongruities of modern life here.
For instance, in today's Shanghai, you can sip a $31 champagne cocktail in a sleek rooftop bar overlooking the city's spectacular skyline, while, just a few miles away, ordinary citizens languish in a secret detention center run by government-paid thugs.
On Monday, Sandy brought heavy rain, winds and storm surges to the Northeast, causing widespread flooding and extensive damage to hundreds of communities, particularly in New Jersey and New York.
But the drenching from all that water varied greatly by region.
In areas south of Atlantic City, N.J., where the storm made landfall Monday night, the wind was pushing out toward the ocean. This prevented high storm tides along the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware coasts and in Chesapeake Bay. But the same arm of the storm that held the ocean at bay carried a lot of rain.
Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 7:02 am
Three closely watched employment indicators are out this morning:
-- Unemployment Benefits. There were 363,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down from 372,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. So, as they have all year, claims remain in a range between 350,000 and 400,000.
The campaign calm after the storm is about to end.
Both President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will be out stumping for votes today. The race for the White House, which was just about put on hold as Superstorm Sandy bore down on the East Coast and then roared ashore, is back on with just five days to go before Election Day.
Romney will be in Virginia. The president will be in Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.
Public health officials are warning that people in areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy face many risks in the aftermath and are urging people to protect themselves from health threats in the water, air and even their refrigerators.
As millions of people try to put their lives back together, the most obvious threat is the floodwaters themselves. In many places, the water could be a toxic stew.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A coffee chain in Britain surveyed its customers and found 70 percent suffered coffee confusion. So the chain is now offering a new trial menu in plain English. A latte is now really, really milky coffee, a cappuccino - frothy coffee, and a mocha -chocolate flavored coffee. Not listed: a decaf soy triple tall latte, though some baristas might just call that - Why Bother. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This could happen to the best of drivers. Suspected smugglers wanted to take their SUV across the U.S.-Mexico border. They built ramps that would take it over the Arizona border fence. But unlike the way it would've happened in old episodes of the "Dukes of Hazzard," the Jeep got stuck on top of the fence. The smugglers spent time trying to free it from the top of the fence, then fled back into Mexico when border patrol agents arrived. You are listening to MORNING EDITION.
Abigael Evans, 4, of Fort Collins, Colo., started crying on the way to the grocery store as she and her mother listened to NPR in the car. NPR editors issued an immediate apology online, and later in the afternoon, Abbie cheered up when she got an NPR Politics pin from member station KUNC.
The Greek government faces widespread condemnation for prosecuting Kostas Vaxevanis, a 46-year-old investigative journalist who recently published the names of Greeks who may have sent billions to Swiss bank accounts.
Vaxevanis, one of Greece's best-known reporters, is in court in Athens on Thursday to face charges that he violated data protection laws by publishing the list of names in Hot Doc, the biweekly magazine he edits. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
On the first of November, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Portions of the New York subway system are up and running again after being shut down for three days after Superstorm Sandy. There is, of course, a giant hole in the middle of the system. The lines stop short of Lower Manhattan, where many tunnels and stations flooded.