Sarah Handel is the Associate Producer for NPR's Talk of the Nation. She also directs the show from time to time, and assists the New York production staff of NPR's Talk of the Nation Science Friday. After a formative stint as a college radio DJ at WUOG in Athens, Georgia, Sarah knew a career in sociology could never compare to radio. Then, one evening, she heard a story on the Magnetic Fields on All Things Considered, and realized a gig at National Public Radio was her logical next step. This goal dovetailed neatly with her planned return to the DC area, where she grew up and had been accepted at graduate school.

Up To Date
3:19 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

The Weekend To-Do List: August 24-26

Crypticon Kansas City
Crypticon Kansas City

Looking for something to do the weekend of August 24- 26, 2012?  Brian McTavish is back with Up to Date's Weekend To-Do List.

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It's All Politics
3:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Presidential Campaign Ads Target Seniors In Fla., Younger Voters In N.H.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigns with his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, on Saturday in The Villages, Fla. The Mitt Romney campaign has created an ad from the event.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 2:27 pm

Ask your average American about Florida, and you'll hear something like this: It's hot, it has Disney World, and lots of old people live there.

And since the weather and Mickey Mouse don't make good attack ads, both presidential campaigns are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Florida's senior population over Medicare.

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NPR Story
3:11 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Democrats Give Up On Capturing Maine Senate Seat

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:47 pm

It looks like the Democratic Party has all but given up on clinching the seat now held by retiring Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. Independent Angus King has lead in the polls since he announced he was running. Even the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee isn't helping Democrat Cynthia Dill in her run for the seat.

The Salt
3:10 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Willing To Play The Dating Game With Your Food? Try A Grocery Auction

Grocery auctions have been growing in popularity as a way to get a lot of food for not a lot of money.
Matt Sindelar for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:56 am

Every year, U.S. grocers discard $10 billion to $15 billion in unsold products. The items might be damaged, discontinued, seasonal or food that's just close to its sell-by date.

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Theater
3:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Regimental Combat Team 2, in Afghanistan. (January 2010 file photo.)
Corporal David R. Hernandez 3rd Battalion 5th Marines-RCT 2
  • Amb. James Cunningham on who is attacking U.S. troops
  • Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Good Intention, Heartbreak: The Botched Restoration Of A 19th Century Fresco

A combination of three documents provided by the Centre de Estudios Borjanos.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:32 pm

Cecilia Giménez, 81, thought she was doing a good thing. A 19th century fresco by painter Elias Garcia Martinez had slowly been battered by time. The masterpiece portrait of Jesus had faded. His tunic was splashed by bare wall and half his face had gone missing.

Giménez, a member of the church where the fresco is located, took it upon herself to restore it to its former glory. Except, well, her artistic skills weren't up to the task.

The pictures tell the story, so we'll just show you.

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Asia
1:34 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

With A Girl Jailed, Pakistan Law Again Under Scrutiny

Christians pray for Rimsha on the roof of their priest's compound. Hundreds of the girl's Christian neighbors have fled their homes, fearing attacks by Muslims.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:47 pm

Until last week, Pakistani Christians and Muslims on the outskirts of Islamabad lived side-by-side in peace — and in the tight quarters that come with extreme poverty.

Then an Islamic cleric heard a rumor: A Christian girl named Rimsha Masih may have set fire to pages of Quranic verse.

The girl's priest, Father Boota, says a Muslim neighbor claims to have witnessed it.

"He was the one who raised the alarm, and then there was a shopkeeper — he also started shouting, and he also started making calls, 'Get the Christians! Wage a jihad against them!' " the priest says.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
1:30 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Forest-Killing Megafires Are The New Normal

Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, sips water in the shade of a burnt tree in New Mexico's Bandelier Wilderness area, adjacent to the Bandelier National Monument. This site was devastated by last year's Las Conchas fire.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 8:46 am

Second of a five-part series

Fire scientists are calling it "the new normal": a time of fires so big and hot that no one can remember anything like it.

One of the scientists who coined that term is Craig Allen. I drive with him to New Mexico's Bandelier National Monument, where he works for the U.S. Geological Survey. We take a dirt road up into the Jemez Mountains, into a landscape of black poles as far as you can see.

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