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Political experts are keeping a close eye on Texas because it will pick up four new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives next year, thanks to a soaring Latino population. But civil rights groups and the U.S. Justice Department are signaling they may have some concerns about the redistricting process in Texas and whether it could put Latino voters at a disadvantage.

European governments seem to be having a hard time deciding whether to come together or drift apart at a time of economic uncertainty.

Years from now, historians will no doubt say this was a crisis waiting to happen. The people who came up with the idea of a eurozone stopped halfway. The participating countries would use a common currency, but they wouldn't have common tax and spending policies — a monetary union but not a fiscal union.

The Ups And Downs Of A Tech Startup Rollercoaster

Sep 19, 2011

Bluebox Now is an aspiring, young startup that aims to revolutionize how companies market to their customers. Like entrepreneurs everywhere, the trio who founded the firm dream of making it big.

Now, they're trying to perfect their product, garner customers, bring in revenue and — they hope — profits.

Earlier this year, the founders of Bluebox Now, all in their 30s and 40s, were faced with a choice. The company they were working for was bought out, and they had to decide what to do next.

Man's Call To America: Turn Off That Air Conditioner

Sep 19, 2011

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this summer has been the second-hottest ever recorded in the United States, helping to push power demand in homes to record levels. As some worry that the growing use of fossil fuels to produce electricity for cooling is unsustainable, one man is urging Americans to live without air conditioning.

Parents used to think that once their kids were out of elementary school, they were done with vaccines. But the rules are changing.

In California, middle schoolers and high schoolers now have to prove that they're immunized against pertussis, or whooping cough, in order to attend school. It's one of dozens of states that have recently passed laws requiring vaccines for teens and tweens.

American Presidents On Palestine

Sep 18, 2011

In 1948, President Truman endorsed the creation of an Israeli state. Nearly three decades later, before finalizing the Camp David accords, Jimmy Carter became the first U.S. president to call for the creation of a Palestinian "homeland." Presidents have put their own spins on that effort ever since. Here's a sampling:

March 16, 1977 — Carter, at a town hall meeting in Massachusetts, said that after Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist, "There has to be a homeland provided for the Palestinian refugees who have suffered for many, many years."

AMC's Mad Men is one of the big favorites at Sunday night's Emmy Awards — and this past season's most memorable character may have been Don Draper's new secretary, Miss Ida Blankenship.

Played by Randee Heller, Miss Blankenship was a departure from the attractive, attentive young girls that usually wait on Draper. She stole every scene she was in, even in death. Her passing was both shocking and comical and became one of the most talked-about moments of the TV season.

Former President Jimmy Carter urges the United States to not veto the Security Council vote for Palestinian statehood anticipated to take place next week.

"If I were president, I'd be very glad to see the Palestinians have a nation recognized by the United Nations," Carter tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "There's no downside to it."

Carter admits that for President Obama, failure to veto "would have some adverse effects perhaps on his political future."

And Then There Were 8? Big 12 In Jeopardy

Sep 18, 2011

The Big 12, an athletic conference composed of 10 colleges from the Central U.S., may soon need to rebrand itself as the Big 8. The possible departure of two of its members — Texas A&M and the University of Oklahoma — may destabilize not only the Big 12, but also the college football landscape.

The News Tip: Don't Get Distracted In Debates

Sep 18, 2011

The Republican presidential hopefuls will meet in Orlando on Thursday for their next debate. It's an additional opportunity for the candidates to try to set themselves apart in a crowded field. It's also a chance to take stock of the debate moderators.

NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik has this tip for the moderators: Don't get distracted.

He tells Weekend Edition host Audie Cornish that the "theatricality" of some debates can make people forget their purpose.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, Host:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly this Friday, and take his statehood bid directly to the Security Council.

Maen Rashid Areikat is the Palestinian Liberation Organization's representative to the United States. He's part of the delegation that will introduce the bid at the U.N. this week. He explained the Palestinians' approach.

Israel Braces For Palestinian Statehood Bid

Sep 18, 2011

Israel and the United States strongly object to the Palestinian effort to seek UN membership. Host Audie Cornish talks about the possible repercussions of the Palestinians' statehood bid with Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to the United States.

An old Beatles performance contract set to be auctioned gives some new insight into the values of the Fab Four early in their career. The document is for a 1965 concert and states that the group "not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience." Host Audie Cornish has more.

Customers Turn The Page On Borders

Sep 18, 2011

It's the final chapter for Borders. The once-dominant bookseller will close Sunday, a victim of growing online sales and other problems. NPR's Jeff Brady talks to customers in Pennsylvania making one last purchase.

Obama's Deficit Plans Make Room For Jobs

Sep 18, 2011

On Monday, President Obama will lay out his new plan for reducing the federal deficit. His proposal will also include specific recommendations to the bipartisan deficit Super Committee on how to offset the cost of his $447 billion jobs plan. Host Audie Cornish talks with NPR's Mara Liasson.

Obama's Re-Election: What Are The Odds?

Sep 18, 2011

With unemployment at 9.1 percent and the economy as the top issue of the 2012 presidential race, the president faces a tough fight for re-election. Still, he might find some encouragement in the history books. Host Audie Cornish chats with presidential historian Michael Beschloss about Obama's odds for re-election.

The Facts About The HPV Vaccine

Sep 18, 2011

There was a bit of a dust-up at last week's Republican candidate debate. It had to do with Texas governor Rick Perry's 2007 mandate that middle school girls in his state receive the HPV vaccine. Host Audie Cornish gets the facts on that vaccine from Dr. Jessica Kahn of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

The presidential campaign has been a roller coaster for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

From a back-of-the-pack start, the Tea Party favorite won an upset victory in the Iowa straw poll. Then, Texas Gov. Rick Perry got in the race and eclipsed her as a media headliner, and Bachmann's star fell. After a feisty debate appearance last week that put her back on an upswing, Bachmann headed to southern California to try and get her groove back.

Documenting The Sound Of Fallen Trees (And Planes)

Sep 18, 2011

Researchers at Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon have spent the past two years documenting the park's natural sound. Often, microphones will pick up the sound of falling trees, elks snacking and coyotes howling.

In even the most remote parts of the park, however, researchers are also hearing airplane noise 15 percent of the time.

Second in a two-part report.

Sperm donation has long been shrouded in secrecy, and that seemed in the best interest of both the donors and the couples who used their sperm. But now a generation of donor-conceived children has come of age, and many believe they should have the right to know who their biological parents are.

President Obama flies to New York on Monday for an annual presidential tradition that this year could become a diplomatic disaster.

It's the meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, when world leaders gather to address the world's problems. The Palestinians plan to ask the U.N. to recognize them as an independent state this week, which puts Obama on a collision course with some of America's closest allies.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, Host:

Do New Voting Laws Suppress Fraud? Or Democrats?

Sep 17, 2011

While campaigning to become Kansas' secretary of state, Kris Kobach held a press conference to make the case for a photo ID requirement at the polls. In his argument, he noted that a man named Alfred K. Brewer, who died in 1996, had voted in the 2010 primary.

There was just one problem with that: Brewer wasn't dead.

Shortly after the press conference, Brewer's wife received a call regarding her husband's "passing."

"And she says, 'Well, why do you want to talk to me? He's out raking leaves,'" Brewer says.

New Crackdowns

A new New York Times-CBS News poll shows President Obama with an approval rating of 43 percent. That, and other tough news for the president have prompted at least one major Democratic voice, James Carville, to call for a round of White House firings. Weekends on All Things Considered Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about what Obama needs to do to right the ship.

Daughter Of Late Sen. Edward Kennedy Dies

Sep 17, 2011

Kara Kennedy, the oldest child of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, has died. She was 51.

Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, said his sister died Friday while at a Washington, D.C.-area health club.

Kara Kennedy, the oldest of three children, was a lung cancer survivor. Doctors removed a malignant tumor in 2003.

"She's with dad," Patrick Kennedy said. Their father died in 2009.

Patrick Kennedy said his sister loved to exercise but that her cancer treatment "took quite a toll on her and weakened her physically."

Obamas Kick Back With White House Homebrew

Sep 17, 2011

Former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, who was awarded the Medal of Honor this week, had one simple request. He wanted to have a beer with the president. So they sat down with a pint of White House Honey Ale, the first beer made at the White House. Apparently, when the Obama's moved in, they brought beer-making with them.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The world comes to New York next week for the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly. This year's meeting is going to feature a diplomatic showdown. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced yesterday that he'll seek Palestinian statehood through the Security Council, a move the United States has said it would veto. NPR's foreign correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us from Jerusalem.

Lourdes, thanks for being with us.

LOURDES GARCIA: You're welcome.

Devastating Crash Closes Reno Air Show

Sep 17, 2011

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. At least three people died, and more than 50 were injured, at an air show in Nevada late yesterday afternoon. A plane participating in the Reno Air Races crashed into a group of spectators, and the scene was horrific. From Reno Public Radio, Brandon Rittiman reports.

Anti-Bullying Laws Get Tough With Schools

Sep 17, 2011

New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, considered by many as the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation, went into effect this month. Host Scott Simon talks with Emily Bazelon of Slate Magazine about bullying laws, where they're working and where they're headed (hint: the Supreme Court).

Egyptian-Israeli Peace Stretches Thin

Sep 17, 2011

After more than three decades of peace between Israel and Egypt, relations are fraying. A cross-border attack last month left five Egyptian police officers dead. Protesters last weekend stormed Israel's embassy. This week, most Israeli diplomats fled Egypt. Things have gotten so bad that Egypt's prime minister this week said even the 1979 peace treaty wasn't sacred. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson joins host Scott Simon from Cairo to talk about the latest there.

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