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Africa
2:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

In South Sudan, Cows Are Cash And Source Of Friction

A man from the Mundari nomad tribe stands among cattle on Jan. 18, in Juba, South Sudan. Cattle raids, a common occurrence in the region, have grown increasingly violent in recent years.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

For the rural people of South Sudan, cattle are at the center of their culture. They use them as currency, treat them as objects of beauty, and fight tribal battles over them.

In recent years, traditional cattle raids have turned deadly. Tribesmen aren't just stealing cattle; they are slaughtering rivals, burning villages and abducting women and children.

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Middle East
2:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Asked To Spy On Rebels, Syrian Soldier Becomes One

A Syrian soldier casts a shadow as he stands in the northwest city of Idlib in May. Growing numbers of Syrian soldiers are defecting and joining the rebels.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been stung by a string of prominent defections, from the prime minister to a leading general to a military aviator who was Syria's first man in space.

Ra'ed, a soldier from Syria's most prestigious military unit, the Republican Guard, is among the defectors.

The guard's chief duty is to protect the Syrian leadership. But Ra'ed says he never felt proud to serve after he was drafted in June 2010 at age 19.

Ra'ed, who is now living in Lebanon, asked that NPR use only his first name out of concern for his safety.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ryan's District Gains Despite His Positions

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a campaign event on June 18 in Janesville, Wis. Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, has made sure his constituents haven't been left out of federal programs like the stimulus.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.

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Middle East
2:25 am
Thu August 16, 2012

'No Terrorists Here': Sinai Residents Fear Crackdown

A motorbike burns following a raid by Egyptian security forces on the village of El-Jurah in Egypt's North Sinai province on Aug. 12. Six gunmen were killed in the raid.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Egyptian security forces are conducting a major campaign in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack by masked gunmen on a border post earlier this month. While the government assures the nation and the world that it will deal with the threat, Sinai residents worry that they will be blamed, targeted and abused as a result of the assault that left 16 soldiers dead.

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Economy
2:24 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Amid Budget Squeeze N.Y. Sells Nursing Homes

Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., was sold in June, part of a wave of privatizations in rural counties across New York state.
Brian Mann for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

The national recession may be over, but local governments around the country are still hurting. Core services and programs are being scaled back, cut or privatized. In Upstate New York, county officials are scrambling to sell off nursing homes that have been taxpayer-funded for generations.

Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., a modest brick building that sits a stone's throw from the village square, has 100 beds, and that's how many elderly people live here. There is always a waiting list.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

27 Up, 27 Down: Mariners' Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game

Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was dowsed with water after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 8:15 pm

This is the face of perfection:

The Seattle Mariner's Felix Hernandez is now a part of baseball lore, joining 22 others when he threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, this afternoon.

That means Hernandez retired 27 batters in a row, throwing 113 pitches, 77 of them strikes. No one got on base.

What's incredible is that this is the third perfect game this season. USA Today reports:

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Arizona Gov. Issues Executive Order Limiting New Immigration Policy

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 7:23 am

Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is throwing more punches in her contentious relationship with the federal government.

Today, she issued an executive order that says young people granted a deportation deferral under President Obama's new policy will still be considered undocumented and won't be granted public benefits.

Obama's new policy went into effect today.

NPR's Ted Robbins sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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American Dreams: Then And Now
4:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

A Baseball School For Big League Dreamers

Ketchum Marsh, a senior from Massachusetts, walks back to the dugout during an intrasquad game at IMG Baseball Academy, where he trains and goes to school.
Chip Litherland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 8:11 pm

If you have ever dreamed of playing big-league baseball, chances are the dream started to fade sometime in high school.

It gradually becomes clear: You won't be starting in Game 7 of the World Series, and tipping your cap after hitting a walk-off homer. So at some point you go from player to fan — watching others chase greatness on the diamond.

But not every baseball dreamer is willing to give up so early. And in Bradenton, Fla., there's a place that lies somewhere between the Little League field and Yankee Stadium.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Could Ryan Lure Younger Voters To GOP?

Rep. Paul Ryan greets supporters during a campaign rally Sunday in Waukesha, Wis.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:08 am

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.

Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).

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Shots - Health Blog
4:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Bill Gates Crowns Toilet Innovators At Foundation's Sanitation Fair

Bill Gates, co-founder of the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, checks out a toilet demo at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in Seattle, Wash. The festival featured prototypes of high-tech toilets developed by researchers around the world.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

This week, Bill Gates was at a summer fair in Washington State, but he was not eating deep-fried butter on-a-stick, or checking out livestock.

Gates was inspecting cutting-edge toilet technology on display at an event his foundation hosted in Seattle — the Reinvent the Toilet Fair.

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Ecuador Says U.K. Threatened To Storm Embassy, If Assange Isn't Turned Over

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 6:55 pm

The diplomatic battle in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a dramatic turn today: In an angry press conference streamed live on the Internet, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Britain threatened to storm their embassy in London if Assange was not handed over to police.

"Ecuador is not a British colony," Patiño said. "The days of colonialism are over."

He added that "such a threat is improper of a democratic and civilized country."

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Judge Refuses To Block Pa. Voter ID Law; Appeal Headed To State Supreme Court

Demonstrators hold signs at an NAACP-organized rally on the steps of the Pennsylvania Capitol to protest the state's new voter identification law on July 24 in Harrisburg, Pa.
Marc Levy AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:04 pm

A judge's decision Wednesday to uphold the new Pennsylvania voter identification law shifted attention to the state's highest court, which could now determine if the requirement will be imposed on Election Day.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had asked the judge to stop the law from taking effect as part of a constitutional challenge. Their complaint claims the law would make it disproportionately harder for seniors, minorities and others to vote in the Nov. 6 general election.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:42 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Safety Flag Raised For Codeine In Kids

When it comes to pain relief for kids, there may be better options than codeine.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:45 pm

The Food and Drug Administration has warned doctors to be careful with codeine to relieve children's pain.

The agency noted reports of three kids who died and one who almost did after taking codeine following surgery. The kids had their tonsils or adenoids removed to treat obstructive sleep apnea.

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Remembrances
3:38 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Journalist Karl Fleming Chronicled Civil Rights Era

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

Journalist Karl Fleming chronicled many of the key moments in the civil rights era in the South. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he was beaten during the 1965 Watts Riots. Fleming died last weekend at age 84.

Participation Nation
3:34 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Giving Folks A Chance In Medford, Ore.

A young girl hangs out at the Maslow Project.
Courtesy of David Gibb Photography
  • The mission of the Maslow Project in Medford: To increase the coping skills of, and self-sufficiency in, young people who are homeless — to give them a decent chance in the adult world.
  • Founder and Executive Director Mary Ferrell was born and raised in Medford.
  • Lacey Renae is the group's counselor and art therapist. Most art supplies are donated by the local community.
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Asia
3:34 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Japan Looks For Ways To Keep Communities Intact

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

Japanese officials are experimenting with ways to help people displaced by last year's earthquake and tsunami. One idea is to create parallel towns where everyone from the dog-catcher to the schoolteacher can shift to one town while their old village is being rebuilt. It's a way of keeping communities intact. But after more than a year, many of the affected communities have already scattered.

It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Obama's Iowa Hosts Say They'll Pray For Him, But They Won't Vote For Him

President Obama walks with members of the Heil family as he arrives to deliver remarks on wind power at the Heil Family Farm in Haverhill, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 4:02 pm

Iowans are famously nice — so nice, it seems, they'll let you hold a campaign event on their property even if they won't vote for you.

Hours after President Obama paid a visit to a central Iowa farm Tuesday afternoon, the farm owner's adult son issued a statement not exactly in line with the Obama campaign's talking points.

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Politics
3:32 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Analysis: Congress Is Least Productive In Decades

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

An analysis by USA Today says this Congress may be the least productive since the end of World War II. Sixty-one bills became law so far this year, 90 bills last year. So it's not surprising that Congress' approval rating is 10 percent.

Education
3:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Tax Credit Scholarships Reignite Voucher Debate

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:23 am

In Georgia, among those returning when school resumes this month are several thousand students who attend private religious academies on scholarships paid for by taxpayers. Georgia is one of several states that allow businesses and individuals to receive tax credits for contributions to scholarship programs for kids, kindergarten through 12th grade.

The tax credit scholarships are popular with school choice advocates. Like vouchers, they use public money to pay for private education. But in Georgia, even some supporters say the scholarships may be open to abuse.

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Election 2012
3:17 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Stump Speeches On The Trail: Mitt Romney

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

All this week, All Things Considered will listen to dispatches from the campaign trail. On Tuesday, we checked in on President Obama — today, a bit of Mitt Romney's stump speech.

NPR Story
3:07 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Where Is The Liberal Ayn Rand?

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

Melissa Block speaks to Beverly Gage, a history professor at Yale University, about her current article in Slate, "Why Is There No Liberal Ayn Rand?" Gage says the conservative movement has been developing a common intellectual heritage, but liberals have been moving in the opposite direction, to an increasingly diversified, rather than a shared, set of ideas.

NPR Story
3:07 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Obama Wraps Up Iowa Bus Tour

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 5:23 pm

President Obama wraps up a four-day bus tour of Iowa this evening. The president seemed to enjoy the barnstorming — delivering speeches before enthusiastic throngs, high-fiving kids along the way, and knocking back beers with their folks. A look at the trip, and the messaging woven through the speeches and seemingly spontaneous exchanges.

It's All Politics
2:45 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Ryan Role In Thompson Win Debated

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson at his primary election night party Tuesday in Waukesha, Wis.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:47 pm

The question of whether GOP vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will ultimately help or hurt Mitt Romney's quest for the White House is the subject of fierce debate.

But some politicos are calling Ryan a kingmaker following former longtime Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson's slim victory Tuesday in the hotly contested, four-way Republican U.S Senate primary.

Why? Ryan gave Thompson a shout-out at a Badger State homecoming rally Sunday, and the former governor quickly incorporated the veep pick's endorsement-of-sorts into a campaign ad.

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The Salt
2:34 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Saving Lives In Africa With The Humble Sweet Potato

Sweet potato evangelist Maria Isabel Andrade from the International Potato Center drives around Mozambique in her orange Toyota Land Cruiser.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:26 am

A regular old orange-colored sweet potato might not seem too exciting to many of us.

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Music Reviews
2:23 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

How Jan Garbarek Came To Epitomize Nordic Jazz

A new box set of early albums captures Jan Garbarek's forming saxophone sound — austere and astringent.
Roberto Massoti ECM Records

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:22 pm

Saxophonist Jan Garbarek was a teenage protege of American composer George Russell in Norway in the 1960s and later played in Keith Jarrett's Scandinavian quartet. More recently, he has collaborated with the vocal quartet the Hilliard Ensemble, improvising as they sing medieval music.

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Politics
2:23 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Do Voter ID Laws Prevent Fraud, Or Dampen Turnout?

Pennsylvania voters show identification as they sign in to vote during the Republican primary in Philadelphia in April.
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:36 pm

Ahead of the 2012 presidential election, key states have adopted voter ID laws and other measures that could affect voter turnout. It's created a national controversy about who will be most affected.

According to the New York Times, 33 states now have laws requiring identification for voting, and five require specific kinds of photo IDs to vote.

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Middle East
2:11 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

From All Sides, Iran Under Siege

Iranians walk through the main bazaar in Tehran in January. Sanctions by the EU and U.S., plus political woes related to the Syrian uprising, have created the most serious crisis faced by Tehran since the 1980s.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 5:19 pm

Iran appears to be facing a crisis more serious than anything it has experienced since its war with Iraq in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, President Bashar Assad's regime is under threat from the widening war in Syria, Iran's sole ally in the Arab world. Domestically, the European oil embargo and U.S. banking sanctions are undermining the Iranian economy, bringing inflation, food shortages and unemployment.

Iran is trying to maintain a defiant posture, without much success.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Giants' Melky Cabrera Suspended 50 Games For Failed Drug Test

San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera high-fives teammates after scoring off a single by teammate Buster Posey in the third inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in July.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 2:36 pm

The most valuable player of this year's All Star Game has been suspended for 50 games, Major League Baseball announced today.

Melky Cabrera, MLB tweeted, tested positive for testosterone and the suspension knocks him out for the rest of the season.

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Planet Money
1:51 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Everybody Always Thinks Inflation Is Higher Than It Really Is

Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 9:30 am

The world is going to hell, and prices are going through the roof. This, more or less, seems to be the perpetual conventional wisdom.

The first half of the statement is debatable. But the second half is clearly wrong at the moment: Prices are not going through the roof.

Prices for U.S. consumers rose by just 1.4 percent over the past year, according to the consumer price index numbers released this morning. In other words, inflation is very low.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Reports: Hypersonic 'WaveRider' Failed

An artist's rendition of an X-51A WaveRider (in white) attached to the wing of a B-52.
Pratt & Whitney

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:58 pm

An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.

Its report follows earlier word from Wired magazine's Danger Room blog that it had been told by an "insider familiar with the test" that:

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