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It's All Politics
4:46 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Live Blog: Tuesday At The Democratic National Convention

A general view of the start of Day 1 of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Tuesday.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:56 pm

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 3

Good evening from Charlotte, N.C., where Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz gaveled the convention to order promptly at 5 p.m. ET. in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena.

Schultz, who is also the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said that throughout the next three days, "we will demonstrate we need to keep President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden four more years."

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

To Some Runners, Zombies Are A Killer Motivator

A runner tries to escape with his life as zombies pursue him during the Run for Your Lives race. The 5K course is littered with obstacles — and the undead.
HGL

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:32 pm

Some people run for charity; some run for their health. And some run because it's the only way to escape the ravenous brain-eating zombies who chase them. No, that's not a movie plot. It's essentially the pitch for Run for Your Lives, a "zombie-infested 5K obstacle race" whose popularity has surprised even its organizers.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

High Blood Pressure: Often Recognized, But Still Poorly Controlled

Knowing your blood pressure is just the beginning.
iStockphoto.com

After decades of encouragement, Americans are getting their blood pressure checked more often.

And there's a little more good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults with high blood pressure are being treated these days.

But, and you knew there had to be a but, more than half of all Americans with hypertension — about 36 million people, all told — still haven't got it under control.

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Author Interviews
3:35 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

An Individualist Approach To The Hebrew Bible

Hebrew scripture is a "message in a bottle," says Yoram Hazony, and in The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, he tries to decipher that message. Hazony's new book makes the case for a different reading of the ancient texts — and argues that the Hebrew Bible is a work of philosophy in narrative form.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:17 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Bridging The Gap Between Two Neighborhoods

An illustration for a park proposed for Washington's old 11th Street Bridge. If realized, the park would span the Anacostia River, linking the Capitol Hill neighborhood with lower-income Anacostia.
Ed Estes Courtesy of D.C. Office of Planning

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 6:19 pm

Cities around the nation have tried a variety of approaches to revitalizing their urban cores. Some have turned to repurposing old infrastructure to breathe new life into neighborhoods.

One such effort is under way in the nation's capital, where the redevelopment of a bridge linking a wealthy part of the city with a lower-income one may present an opportunity — if an ambitious park plan can be brought to fruition.

A '21st Century Playground'

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It's All Politics
2:28 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Are You Better Off? Democrats In Charlotte Say It's Complicated

Caroline Sink (from left), Liz McKeithen, Mary Edith Alexander and Sue Collins were handing out lemonade and cookies in front of the First Presbyterian Church.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:21 pm

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

As Mark reported earlier, that's the question Republicans want Americans to ask themselves as they head to the polls this November.

The question was brought to the forefront after Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley was asked that question on CBS' Face the Nation.

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Africa
2:26 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Decades Later, South African Miners Sue Employers

Armstrong Ngutyana (left), 55, and Dumisani Mjolwa, 65, were gold miners during the apartheid era. Both worked underground for nearly three decades. They developed lung disease and were forced to quit their jobs, but received only minimal compensation. They are now part of a class-action lawsuit against South African mining companies.
Anders Kelto for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:35 pm

South Africa's mining industry is under heavy scrutiny after 44 people died during protests at a platinum mine near Johannesburg. Now, the industry is facing challenges on another front: Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against three of the country's biggest gold mining companies.

They're suing on behalf of miners who worked during the apartheid era and now have lung disease.

A settlement in the case — and another like it — could reach into the billions of dollars.

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

State Must Grant Murder Convict A Sex Change Operation, Judge Rules

Michelle Kosilek, formerly known as Robert, in 1993.
Lisa Bul AP

A federal judge in Boston today "ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison" for murder, The Associated Press writes.

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Education
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Can A New Building Save A Failing School?

Research shows that students who attend school in buildings that are in disrepair score lower on state tests than students in satisfactory buildings.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:59 pm

When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind.

As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance.

A Drain On Spirit And A Drain On Grades

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Around the Nation
1:51 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

In A Crisis, Did You Act Or Did You Freeze?

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Last week, on the first day of classes at a Baltimore high school, panic broke out when a student opened fire in the cafeteria. One student was shot in the back and remains in critical condition, but it might have been much worse if not for guidance counselor Jesse Wasmer, who wrestled the shooter to the ground. He's being called a hero.

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From Our Listeners
1:51 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Letters: Unemployed Veterans And Being Mormon

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week we talked about the high levels of unemployment veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq face and how difficult it can be to translate military training into civilian job skills. Not exactly the problem that listener Corey Morris faces in Denver. My husband served a 15-month tour in Iraq, and as a dentist he had no trouble getting work in the civilian world, she wrote. The issue I would like raise is that of spouses transitioning back.

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Music News
1:39 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Why We're Happy Being Sad: Pop's Emotional Evolution

A less complicated time? Petula Clark holds her 1965 gold record for "Downtown," an uptempo song in a major key.
R. McPhedran Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:48 pm

Six years ago, Glenn Schellenberg decided to do an experiment.

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Law
1:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

'Rights Of Publicity' Extended Beyond The Grave

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

There's A 'Bear Epidemic' Out West, And It's 'About To Get Worse'

Perhaps not the sight you want to see when you come home: A black bear.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen has reported for All Things Considered, encounters between humans and bears are up sharply across the western U.S. The bears are having to cover more territory because of droughts that have dried up some of their natural foods, including berries.

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Author Interviews
1:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Mickey Edwards On Democracy's 'Cancer'

Mickey Edwards served as a Republican congressman for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District from 1977 to 1993.
Gia Regan Yale University Press

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:48 pm

In his 16 years in Congress, Republican Mickey Edwards came to a strong conclusion: Political parties are the "cancer at the heart of our democracy," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his new book, The Parties Versus the People, the former Republican congressman from Oklahoma details how party leaders have too much control over who runs for office, what bills make it to the floor and how lawmakers vote.

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The Salt
1:07 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

Even this Maharaja Mac, made specifically for the Indian market, will be off the menu at the new vegetarian McDonald's in India.
kawanet Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:13 pm

McDonald's, home of the iconic Big Mac, is going vegetarian. Well, at least in India, where 20 to 42 percent or more of the population (depending on how you count) eschews meat, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Middle East
1:07 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

What's Changed In Egypt Since Morsi Took Office

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 7:32 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In just over two months in office, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has asserted himself on several fronts. Just weeks after his election, he fired several senior defense officials, effectively seizing power from the military government that ruled after former President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

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Education
12:59 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Security Cameras In School: Protective Or Invasive?

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Students in many schools across the country will notice something new as classes' resume. Clifton High School in New Jersey, Garnet Valley High School in Pennsylvania, Ottumwa High School in Iowa, just three of the many schools that installed security cameras in hallways, classrooms, cafeterias, in buses and gymnasiums.

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Author Interviews
12:48 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Conservation Biologist Explains Why 'Feathers' Matter

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:11 pm

It was the absence of feathers that got conservation biologist Thor Hanson thinking about the significance of them. Hanson was in Kenya studying the feeding habits of vultures, and he noticed the advantages that vultures had relative to other birds because of their bare, featherless heads.

"Having lost their feathers allows [vultures] to remain much cleaner and more free from bacteria and parasites and disease," Hanson tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Zanzibar Shows Cholera Vaccine Can Protect Even The Unvaccinated

A vaccine against cholera bacteria like these protected people in Zanzibar.
CDC

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:09 pm

Cholera vaccine gives indirect protection to unvaccinated people in communities where a substantial fraction of the population gets the vaccine, a study in Africa shows.

The effect is called "herd immunity." It works because there are fewer bacteria circulating in communities where vaccination levels are relatively high.

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Business
11:38 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Automakers Report Strong August Sales

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with auto sales on a fast track.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Music Reviews
11:38 am
Tue September 4, 2012

When Ian Hunter Is 'President'

Ian Hunter once is at once crafty and mindful of craft, striving mightily to make his music seem tossed off.
Ross Halfin

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 2:54 pm

Recently, I was listening to a new tribute album covering the songs of Fleetwood Mac, and thought once again how dreadful most tribute albums are: They don't add much to the legacy of the artists being saluted, while inadvertently freezing vital old music in an amber of sentimentality. Then I turned to When I'm President, an album of new songs by Ian Hunter.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Ex-NFL Star Strahan Joins 'Live! With Kelly'

The new team: Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan earlier today in New York City.
Ben Gabbe Getty Images

Live! With Kelly is now Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Michael Strahan, a retired defensive end from the New York Giants, was officially named today to fill Regis Philbin's slot on ABC-TV's popular daytime chat show.

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Middle East
10:58 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Syrian Rebel Leader Keeps Order On The Border

Syrian rebels captured the Bab al-Salam crossing on the border with Turkey in July. Large numbers of refugees fleeing northern Syria for Turkey come to the crossing, which is orderly and well-run, at least for now.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 7:32 am

The Bab al-Salam border crossing, on Syria's northern border with Turkey, has settled into an orderly routine.

Back in July, rebel brigades wrested this border post in Syria's strategic Aleppo province from President Bashar Assad's army in a fierce battle. Now, passports are stamped and cars inspected by the rebels — polite, young, bearded men who wear mismatched military uniforms or civilian clothes.

While the military confrontation was a joint operation, bringing together many rebel brigades, the Northern Storm brigade retains exclusive control of the border post.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Big Three All Posted Double-Digit Gains In Auto Sales Last Month

A Dodge Ram pickup on sale at Criswell Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Gaithersburg, Md.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:02 am
Tue September 4, 2012

More Employers' Health Plans Include Benefits For Transgender People

A growing number of companies are changing their health insurance plans to include benefits for transgender employees.

Yet even though professional groups such as the American Medical Association recommend coverage of services for transgender people —who identify with a gender other than the one they were born as—many companies continue to hold back. One of their big worries is cost.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Rumors Of Son's Sexcapade Behind A Ferrari's Wheel Rock China's Leadership

Ling Jihua, left, looked on in March 2010 as Chinese President Hu Jintao, signed a document at the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Ling has been shifted to a lesser position.
Andy Wong AP

A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.

According to the AP:

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It's All Politics
8:52 am
Tue September 4, 2012

At DNC, Julián Castro Tackles Comparisons To President Obama

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, left, and his twin brother State Rep. Joaquin Castro give an interview during preparations for the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Monday.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

As is traditional, first lady Michelle Obama will be the featured speaker on the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Thursday.

But the buzz in the political sphere and in the city is all about San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who has the distinction of being the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic convention.

Outside of Texas, however, Castro is essentially unknown.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Queen Of Cocaine' Is Gunned Down In Colombia

Griselda Blanco, the "queen of cocaine," in a 2004 photo posted by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Fla. Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:18 am

Talk about your just deserts:

"A Colombian drug trafficker, known as the 'queen of cocaine,' has been killed in the city of Medellin," the BBC writes. "Griselda Blanco, 69, was shot dead by gunmen as she was leaving a butcher's."

That rather dry report doesn't do justice to the life and death of Blanco, though. As Miami New Times writes, her assassination on Monday:

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