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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

During Debates, Silence On Some Issues Was Deafening

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Max Gyselinck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:13 pm

It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.

Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 4:11 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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Military
1:40 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Horses, Bayonets And The Modern Military

U.S. Army Special Forces ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:58 pm

President Obama said during Monday night's debate that the U.S. Army has fewer horses and bayonets than in the past.

That's true. Although Army Special Forces were on horseback in Afghanistan when they helped defeat the Taliban in 2001, the Army's horses are now used only for ceremonial occasions.

As for bayonets? The last bayonet charge was during the Korean War in 1951.

The bayonet has somewhat gone the way of the horse cavalry, as far as the Army is concerned (although Marines still use bayonets in training).

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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Mental Health
1:04 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Kids As Caregivers Face Special Challenges

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Taking care of an ailing parent or grandparent can be an emotional and physical drain on anyone. Of course, millions of us take on those family responsibilities, but it's never easy, and there's a subset of family caregivers that often gets overlooked.

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From Our Listeners
12:52 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Letters: Elderly Drivers And Lance Armstrong

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
12:49 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Often, For-Profit Firms, Not FDA, Inspects Food

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses kill some 3,000 people in the U.S. each year. Often, the job of keeping America's food supply safe falls to for-profit companies with connections to the food producers they're supposed to inspect.

The Salt
12:26 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Buying Food Past Its Sell-By Date Tough To Swallow For Greeks

Bargain-hunting Greek shoppers may soon have more options at the grocery store. The government is asking retailers to discount expired nonperishable products in response to rising food prices.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:00 am

Austerity measures continue in Greece as the country sinks deeper into a recession. Incomes have dropped nearly 50 percent in some cases, but food prices are at record highs. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported that the country has some of the most expensive food and the costliest dairy products in the entire European Union.

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Asia
12:24 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Cambodia Vs. Sotheby's In A Battle Over Antiquities

The United States and Cambodia are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over this 1,000-year-old statue of the Hindu warrior Duryodhana that may have been looted from the Cambodian temple complex at Koh Ker.
Courtesy of the U.S. Attorney's Office

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

The governments of Cambodia and the United States are locked in a legal battle with the auction house Sotheby's over a thousand-year-old statue. The two governments say the statue was looted from a temple of the ancient Khmer empire. Sotheby's says this can't be proved, and a court in New York will decide on the matter soon.

The case could affect how collectors and museums acquire artifacts, and how governments recover lost national treasures.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Photo Of Dying WWII Veteran Casting Last Vote Inspires Thousands

Oct. 17: Frank Tanabe, center, casts his vote with help from his daughter Barbara Tanabe, left, and his wife Setsuko Tanabe.
Irene Tanabe AP

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 9:12 am

See if you agree with most of the nearly 600,000 people who have seen this photo and think it should inspire others to vote this year.

As The Associated Press writes, it shows 93-year-old World War II veteran Frank Tanabe casting what's almost surely to be his last vote — from a hospice bed in Hawaii. He has liver cancer.

This message was posted with the photo:

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It's All Politics
12:00 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

There's A Reason They Call It A Battleground State

Jean Gianfagna displays some of the political mailings her family receives at her home in Westlake, Ohio, on Oct. 19. Gianfagna says her family sometimes gets four of the same piece at a time — her husband and two grown kids all get their own.
Mark Duncan AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:55 pm

Ohio has been a key swing state in the last three presidential races. As with many elections, there are reports of stolen yard signs and clashes between supporters of the candidates at rallies.

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Shots - Health News
11:51 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Insurers Revive Child-Only Policies, But Cost Is Still An Issue

Child-only policies can be critical to some families, including those where an employer doesn't offer dependent coverage.
iStockphoto.com

Health policies for kids are back, now that heath insurers who stopped selling them after the health care overhaul passed are reopening shop, according to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund.

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Animals
11:44 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Baby Beluga, Swim So Wild And Sing For Me

This image, from an archival video, shows the white whale NOC swimming around and under researchers' boats.
Current Biology

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:18 am

Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house.

And one whale in particular has apparently done something that's never been documented before: He imitated human speech.

The beluga, or white whale, is smallish as whales go and very cute, if you're into marine mammals. Belugas are called the "canaries of the sea" because they're very vocal.

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Opinion
11:27 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Op-Ed: Students Don't Learn From Lectures

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:09 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Presidential Race
11:27 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Myths And Facts About The Osama Bin Laden Raid

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Salt
11:16 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Monster Beverage Under Fire As Reports Link Deaths To Its Energy Drinks

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:19 am

The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that it received five reports in the past past three years suggesting that people died after drinking caffeinated energy drinks.

But the agency also cautions that these reports do not add up to proof that the beverages actually caused those deaths. These reports — called adverse event reports — are considered unconfirmed allegations, and the FDA doesn't usually release them.

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It's All Politics
11:15 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Florida Officials Investigate Fake Voter Eligibility Letters

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:58 am

It's a sign that Election Day is getting closer: increasing reports of efforts to intimidate or mislead voters. Florida officials say they're now investigating fake letters that have been sent to voters in at least 20 counties questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Armstrong Deletes Tour Titles From Twitter, But Not Other Websites

Lance Armstrong at a LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

One day after having his seven Tour de France titles officially taken away and getting banned for life from competitive cycling, Lance Armstrong's getting some media attention for removing a reference to those victories from his Twitter bio.

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It's All Politics
10:47 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat

Mitt Romney shakes hands with President Obama after their final debate Monday in Boca Raton, Fla.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:02 am

In his third debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney dialed up "cool and cautious" on his mood meter. And that tells you a great deal about where this presidential race stands with two weeks to go.

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The Two-Way
10:26 am
Tue October 23, 2012

If The World Picked U.S. President, Election Would Be A Blowout

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney shake hands following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Tuesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The presidential election here at home is neck and neck. The Real Clear Politics average of the popular vote puts Gov. Mitt Romney 0.6 percent ahead of President Obama.

But if the world had its say, this election would be a blowout favoring the incumbent.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Emir Of Qatar Visits Gaza, Becoming First Head Of State There Since 2007

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (center right) walks alongside Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya (center left) during a welcome ceremony at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Tuesday.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:48 am

The Emir of Qatar visited the Gaza Strip today. It is the first time a head of state visited the Hamas-controlled territory since Egypt and Israel instituted a blockade in 2007. Hamas, remember, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

Reuters reports:

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Shots - Health News
9:41 am
Tue October 23, 2012

'Addictive' Cigarette Smoking Games On Smartphones Target Kids

In this iPhone app, players pretend to smoke a cigarette and then pass it to their friends.
Screenshot from Puff Puff Pass Lite.

You can do just about anything with your phone these days. Take an electrocardiogram. Confess your sins. Even smoke a cigarette

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The Salt
8:52 am
Tue October 23, 2012

How Fly Farming May Help More Fish Stay In The Sea

The fly larvae in the AgriProtein factory feed on cow blood and bran.
Courtesy of Jason Drew

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 2:19 pm

What's the lowly house fly got to do with the $60 billion fish farming industry?

Quite a lot, says Jason Drew, a jet-setting British entrepreneur who is so enthusiastic about the potential of flies, he's just written a book called The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save the World. He thinks flies can solve one of aquaculture's most vexing issues: what to feed the growing ranks of farmed fish.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Apple Expected To Announce A Smaller Version Of Its iPad

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller announces the new iPad Mini during an Apple special event at the historic California Theater on Tuesday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:35 pm

Update at 1:52 p.m. ET. Introducing iPad Mini:

Philip W. Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, announced a new, smaller and cheaper version of its popular tablet, just minutes ago in San Jose, Calif.

"So, what can you do with an iPad mini that can't do with an iPad?" Schiller asked. "You can hold it in one hand."

The iPad mini is as thin as a pencil, weighs 0.68 pounds and has a 7.9 inch screen, Schiller said. The iPad has a 9.7 inch screen.

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue October 23, 2012

BBC Chief Faces Parliament Over Child Sex Abuse Scandal

BBC Director General George Entwistle leaves Portcullis House in Parliament after giving evidence to a select committee on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 7:38 am

The vaunted British Broadcasting Corporation is in the midst of a child sexual abuse scandal that has cast a shadow over the broadcaster's reputation.

The New York Times reports that George Entwistle, the head of the BBC, sat before a Parliamentary panel. In fact it was the same panel that took the lead in the investigation of the phone hacking scandal that brought Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to its knees.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue October 23, 2012

With 9-0 Win, Giants Advance, Will Face Tigers In World Series

Angel Pagan (No. 16) of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after the Giants' 9-0 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in San Francisco.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 12:33 pm

The San Francisco Giants have completed another improbable journey to the World Series. Last night, they blew out the defending champions St. Louis Cardinals 9-0. They did so in Game 7, clawing their way back from 3-1 series deficit.

That means that they became only the third team in major league history to climb back that far in a National League Championship Series. The Braves did it in 1996 and the Marlins did it in 2003.

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U.S.
3:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Maryland To Vote On Its Own Dream Act

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've heard some discussion of immigration in this year's presidential campaign. We have not seen much immigration legislation move on Capitol Hill. But one state is holding a referendum on a local version of an immigration bill that's been debated in Washington. The so-called Maryland Dream Act would offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented college students residing in Maryland. But as Jacob Fenston reports, even in that solidly blue state the legislation is causing a stir.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) We are the dreamers.

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Presidential Race
3:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Candidates Inject Economy Into Foreign Policy Debate

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The third and final presidential debate was less dramatic than the ones before.

GREENE: Less dramatic but not without some drama. President Obama and Mitt Romney discussed foreign policy under the questioning of moderator Bob Schieffer.

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Strange News
3:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Captive Beluga Whale's Remarkably Human Song

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a tale of the singing whale. Scientists this week published a study of a captive beluga whale in San Diego. The whale began to sing, apparently after spending time close to people. It died several years ago, but left behind a recording that sounds like a person in the shower.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE SINGING)

INSKEEP: We do not know if during his lifetime the singing whale ever made it to a karaoke bar.

Strange News
3:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Bridge Designers Envision Giant Trampolines

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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