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It's All Politics
6:23 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Wisconsin's Ryan To Be His Running Mate On GOP Ticket

The Republican ticket at this morning's announcement in Norfolk, Va.: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 2:11 pm

  • Listen to NPR's Live Coverage

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney's choice for running mate on the 2012 Republican presidential ticket.

The official word, which began leaking overnight, came early this morning from the Romney campaign via a smartphone app and a news release.

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Afghanistan
5:25 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Three NATO Soldiers Killed By Afghans

An Afghan working on an installation shared by Afghan and foreign forces shot and killed three NATO soldiers on Friday — raising to six the number of international troops killed by their Afghan partners in 24 hours, officials said.

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Around the Nation
3:44 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Some Idaho Farmers Pray, Others Turn On The Water

Farmer Hans Hayden walks through his drought-stricken wheat field in Idaho. He says the wheat should be 3 feet tall by now.
Molly Messick for NPR

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 1:38 pm

In the West, in Idaho's arid, high desert, the drought has a mixed effect. There's a big divide between farmers with deep wells and irrigation and those without.

Hans Hayden is a rare find: a talkative farmer. He likes to explain things. But when it comes to the wheat he planted this spring, there's not much to say. This field needed rain. It didn't get it.

"At this point in time, it kind of looks like a desert," he says.

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Around the Nation
3:44 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Joplin's New Trees Struggle To Survive Amid Drought

Volunteers water saplings planted in Cunningham Park in Joplin, Mo. The trees were planted to help reforest Joplin after a deadly tornado last year destroyed many of the city's trees.
Michele Skalicky KSMU

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 1:38 pm

Saplings — no more than 6 feet tall — dot the landscape in Joplin, Mo. They replace the large shade trees that were ripped out of the ground by a massive tornado that swept through town in May of 2011.

Nearly 7,000 new trees, donated by various organizations, have been planted. They include sturdy, mostly native, varieties, such as oak, sycamore and redbud — trees that can withstand strong winds when they're taller.

With temperatures above normal for the past few months and precipitation below normal, those trees have had a hard time taking root.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Busking In Lansing, To Rave Reviews

Alexis Dawdy plays her violin on the streets of Lansing, Mich.
Scott Pohl WKAR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:02 pm

All summer long, Weekend Edition has been sampling the sounds of America's street musicians. The latest to catch our ear is Alexis Dawdy, a young violinist who returned to her hometown of Lansing, Mich., to study at Michigan State University — and do a little busking on the side.

"I'm actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession," Dawdy says. "I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food."

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Sat August 11, 2012

Marian McPartland's Storied Life, Told 'In Good Time'

Marian McPartland hosted NPR's Piano Jazz for 33 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 11:32 am

More than half a century ago this week, on Aug. 12, 1958, some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day assembled in Harlem at what was, for them, the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. Fifty-seven players came to East 126th Street to have their picture taken for Esquire magazine.

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Author Interviews
1:03 am
Sat August 11, 2012

'This Will End In Tears': Soundtracks For Down Days

HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 2:31 pm

Even the strongest among us get the blues: You can't get out of bed, you don't want to talk to a single other humanoid, and you just want to close the curtains and turn on the music. The songs you choose for those miseries have to be just right.

Adam Brent Houghtaling is something of a connoisseur of the melancholy moment. Perhaps to cheer himself up, he's put that expertise to use by producing a kind of encyclopedia of the best soundtracks for lonely days and nights. It's called This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Panel Round Two

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

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 this week with Roy Blount Jr., Amy Dickinson, and Tom Bodett. And, here again is your host, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(APPLAUSE)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Limericks

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank. But first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That translates to 1-888-924-8924.

You can always click the contact us link on our website wait wait.npr.org. You can find out there about attending our weekly live shows back at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago. We'd love to see you. Or come visit us in Atlanta, George, when we do our show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta on September 20th.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, on to our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Carl, can you give us the scores?

CARL KASELL: Amy Dickinson has the lead, Peter, she has three points. Roy Blount, Jr., has two. Tom Bodett, one.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

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 Roy Blount Jr., Amy Dickinson, and Tom Bodett. And, here again is your host, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Thank you everybody. Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-Wait-Wait to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Prediction

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now, panel, what will the Rover discover on Mars? Roy Blount Jr.?

ROY BLOUNT JR: Well it's kind of sad. We discover that Curiosity landed on the only cat on Mars.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Amy Dickinson?

AMY DICKINSON: Well, I've been looking for my car keys for a long time, so I'm hoping.

SAGAL: And Tom Bodett?

TOM BODETT: It'll find Waldo, the Beef, Carmen, San Diego and Obama's birth certificate.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Who's Carl This Time?

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host, at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine, Peter Sagal.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you. So much for the reserved New Englander thing. It's great to be here in Portland, which is the hipster capital of Maine.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It's terrible now. The grizzled old lobstermen have to wear t-shirts saying, "My beard is not ironic."

(LAUGHTER)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Opening Panel Round

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 10:07 am

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Amy, scientists have discovered that just like Americans in the 50s, dinosaurs once experienced what?

AMY DICKINSON: Oh wow. Just like Americans in the 50s, dinosaurs once experienced. Making out in the rec room? No.

(LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: That's not it.

SAGAL: What are you guys doing down there? Hunting for prey, mom. Nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Actually, technically, for Americans it started right after World War II.

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The Torch
5:39 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

In World Record Time, Americans Take Gold In Women's 4X100 Relay

Carmelita Jeter of the United States receives the relay baton fom Bianca Knight of the United States on their way to winning gold in the Women's 4 x 100m Relay Final Friday.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:51 pm

Carmelita Jeter made sure everyone understood what Team USA had just accomplished. She pointed toward the digital clock with the baton as it flashed a time of 40.82 seconds.

Jeter, Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix and Bianca Knight had just gotten a gold medal in the 4 X 100m relay and they did so while shattering the world record by a little more than half a second.

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The Torch
4:57 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Seeing The World Through The Olympic Rings [Infographic]

Artist Gustavo Sousa of Mother London depicts the world's population using only the five colorful rings from the Olympic logo rings.
Gustavo Sousa Screenshot from Oceaniaeuropeamericaasiaafrica

One of the most thought-provoking infographics of the Olympics has nothing to with sports at all.

Artist Gustavo Sousa of the group Mother London uses only the five rings of the Olympic logo to strip down global statistics and expose disparities across th world's continents.

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The Torch
4:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates his gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke. He later admitted that he took extra dolphin kicks during his swim, a violation of the rules.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:06 pm

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

The Next Act For Newt Gingrich? It Could Be A TV Talk Show

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., on March 7.
David Bundy AP

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:55 pm

After serving as speaker of the House, publishing several historical novels and running for president, what's next for Newt Gingrich?

One possible third act, Gingrich told NPR staffers on Friday, could be sharing a television studio with his wife, Callista.

"We're kind of intrigued with the idea of doing a daily show, which would change our lives pretty dramatically," Gingrich said. "But if we do it, we want it to be closer to Regis and Kathie Lee than to Bill O'Reilly or Hardball."

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

In New Ads Focused On Character, Obama And Romney Get Personal

Romney campaign ad

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:24 pm

The economy and jobs may be what voters say they're most concerned about.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Time, CNN Suspend Fareed Zakaria's Column, After Plagiarism Claim

Fareed Zakaria.
Emmanuel Dunande AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:58 am

A little more than a week after a major plagiarism scandal brought down science wunderkind Jonah Lehrer, Time magazine said it was suspending Fareed Zakaria's column for a month.

Zakaria is an influential and respected commentator on foreign policy and also hosts a show on CNN called Fareed Zakaria GPS.

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Remembrances
4:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff Saw The World In All Its Dark Beauty

David Rakoff, the author of Half Empty, Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud, was a frequent contributor to This American Life. He died Thursday at the age of 47.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:04 pm

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

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The Torch
3:46 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

U.S. Men's 400m Relay Team Claims Silver, As Bahamas Win Gold

Ramon Miller (left) of the Bahamas crosses the finish line ahead of Team USA's Angelo Taylor to win the 4x400m relay gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:18 pm

The Bahamas men's team has won the 4x400m relay, edging past a surprisingly quick U.S. team to take the gold medal. It was the first gold medal for any male athlete from the Bahamas. The quartet ran a time of 2:56.72, setting a national record. The U.S. set a season best of 2:57.05 to take silver.

Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze medal, just ahead of Great Britain.

The Bahamas led the race after the first lap, with the U.S. running in second. And the two teams' runners stayed ahead of the pack, extending their lead to make it a two-team race.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Sunni Cleric Rises To Challenge Hezbollah In Lebanon

Sheik Ahmad Assir speaks to supporters at a tent encampment set up in protest against Hezbollah in Sidon, Lebanon. He accuses the Islamist militant group of using resistance against Israel as a smokescreen for another aim: advancing Iranian regional hegemony.
Mohamad al-Baba NPR

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 8:45 am

On a recent day, baffled motorists honked their horns and veered around the blocked entrance to a major street in Sidon. Now Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon was once a flourishing Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean.

The street was closed off by Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Assir, who erected a small tent encampment in protest against the country's most powerful military and political force, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah.

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U.S.
3:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Puedes Believe It? Spanglish Gets In El Dictionary

Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, has been spoken for more than a century. A sign in Spanglish advertises a yard sale in Los Angeles in 2009.
Aurelio Jose Barrera Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:47 pm

The Royal Spanish Academy — the official arbiter of the Spanish language — recently announced that it will add the word "Espanglish" to the 2014 edition of its dictionary. This is a big deal for the traditionally conservative academy, and it's a big deal for supporters who feel that mix of Spanish and English has officially been ignored for more than a century.

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Monkey See
3:26 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Can NBC Get Its Fall Shows Into The Olympic Spotlight?

Matthew Perry and Brett Gelman of NBC's Go On appear in a promo shot especially for the Olympics.
Justin Lubin NBC

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:47 pm

With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.

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Books News & Features
3:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 4:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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Participation Nation
3:03 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Treats For The Troops In Denver, Colo.

Lainey Hamrick, center, flanked by the folks she supports.
Courtesy of CSOT

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 11:59 am

Over the past several years, Lainey Hamrick and the volunteers at Colorado Supporting Our Troops have sent hundreds of care packages to members of the military in Afghanistan, Iraq and bases all over the world. In December, the group shipped 160 boxes of goodies overseas.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

VIDEO: Researchers Present Hard-To-Kill Robotic 'Earthworm'

A robotic worm.
MIT

Robots are cool to begin with, but today researchers at MIT, Harvard and Seoul National University unveiled one that will impress some and scare others.

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Some At-Risk Shark Species Are Ending Up In U.S. Soups

Click the image to see a full-size version. At least eight shark species, many endangered or threatened, were found in bowls of shark fin soup across the country.
Pew Environment Group

Sharks are some of the most feared and fascinating animals on the planet. They've had their own week of awareness-raising and celebration on the Discovery Channel for the last 25 years. But some say they are also delicious — as in the Chinese delicacy — shark fin soup.

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The Torch
2:24 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

U.S. Breaks Through In Wrestling, As Burroughs Delivers Gold

Jordan Burroughs celebrates with the U.S. flag after defeating Iran's Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi in the men's 74kg freestyle gold medal match.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

American wrestler Jordan Burroughs has won the first and only U.S. gold medal in his sport at the London Games, beating Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi of Iran. Burroughs, the reigning world champion at the 74kg weight, won a point in the first two periods to put a quick end to the men's freestyle match.

Goudarzi took silver with the loss, and the two bronze medals went to Russian Denis Tsargush, whom Burroughs defeated in the semifinals, and Sosan Tigiev of Uzbekistan.

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