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

Sep 18, 2011

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The Facts About The HPV Vaccine

Sep 18, 2011

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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.

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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

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The White House brewski is reportedly a honey wheat ale. They haven't disclosed a recipe. But the North Koreans are already working on it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Lourdes, thanks for being with us.

LOURDES GARCIA: You're welcome.

SIMON: And U.S. and European diplomats had been working hard to try and steer President Abbas away from this course. What does he risk by doing this?

Devastating Crash Closes Reno Air Show

Sep 17, 2011

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Anti-Bullying Laws Get Tough With Schools

Sep 17, 2011

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Egyptian-Israeli Peace Stretches Thin

Sep 17, 2011

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NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson joins us from Cairo. Soraya, thanks very much for being with us.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: You're welcome, Scott.

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Nashville Schools Rock Music Education

Sep 17, 2011

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But as Dave Iverson, of member station KQED in San Francisco, reports, this long-distance challenge is about more than just making the record books.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

DAVE IVERSON: Sam Fox is running 2,650 miles.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and I wait all week to say: Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us from the great Northwest. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hello, Scott.

Europeans Split Over Debt Crisis

Sep 17, 2011

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Last Tuesday, the government's annual poverty and income report revealed that the earnings of male workers in the middle of the income ladder are lower today than they were almost 40 years ago.

In 1973, the median male worker earned just over $49,000 when adjusted for inflation, while in 2010 that worker made about $1,500 less. Yet, in the same period, the output of the economy has more than doubled, and the productivity of workers has risen steadily.

What Has Changed

Irene Aftermath: When It Rains, It Spores

Sep 17, 2011

When Hurricane Irene tore through the Northeast last month, it caused severe flooding and damage to homes, trees and power lines. But it also left behind something rather delicate: mushrooms.

Foragers say they've seen more fungi in the past few weeks than ever before.

On a recent weekday morning in Northampton, Mass., three 50-something adults wander into the woods. The oak leaves fall alongside the pine needles, and the tall maple trees are just starting to show color.

In the netherworld of the batture between the levee and the Mississippi River near New Orleans, there is a small community built on stilts. Locals call them "camps": a dozen eccentric structures — some rundown, some handsome, all handmade — clinging to the river side of the great dike.

One man has been fighting for years to claim this land, which he says belongs to his family, but those living on the batture don't seem too worried about losing their homes.

It's the time of year when world leaders converge at the United Nations headquarters in New York. And this year, there will be a lot of talk about multilateral diplomacy — a priority for the Obama administration since it came to office.

Obama's team has courted the world's rising powers, even publicly backing India's hopes to one day be a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. But now that India, along with South Africa and Brazil, have rotating seats on the council, U.S. officials and many human rights activists complain they're not living up to expectations.

First in a two-part report.

Women inseminated with a donor's sperm used to be advised to tell no one. Go home, doctors said, make love to your husband and pretend that worked. But in a trend that mirrors that of adoption — from secrecy to openness — more parents now do plan to tell such children how they were conceived and are seeking advice on how best to do that.

Tina Gulbrandson understands the temptation of secrecy. She felt stigma and pain when she needed to use another woman's eggs to get pregnant.

Glowing Kittens Fight AIDS

Sep 16, 2011

Here's an experiment: turn off your lights. Shine a blue flashlight on the cats in the room. Look for the ones that turn neon green, like a glow stick.

That's how scientists at the Mayo clinic identify cats that they've successfully treated against the feline immunodeficiency virus.

The AIDS epidemic is well-known amongst humans. Less known is that every year, millions of cats suffer and die from the infection.

Economist: U.S. Skating On Thin Ice

Sep 16, 2011

Last year economist Lakshman Achuthan said he thought the United States had emerged from the depths of a recession, but today the picture looks a bit more grim. Unemployment is hovering above 9 percent and there were no new jobs created in August. On top of that, consumer confidence is at its second-lowest level of the year.

"We are skating on very thin ice," Achuthan tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

The newest opinion host on cable news channel MSNBC is the Rev. Al Sharpton, a figure much better known for a past in which he cast more heat than light.

F. Scott Fitzgerald notwithstanding, Sharpton is now on at least his third act in public life: as a civil rights activist with a history of divisive and confrontational tactics; an increasingly accepted player in Democratic Party politics; and now, cable news pundit and host of PoliticsNation, which airs weeknights at 6.

NY Cabbies Win Right Veto Racy Ads On Vehicles

Sep 16, 2011

Some New York cab drivers have complained that the companies they work for were putting racy ads — for strip clubs, for example — on their cars. And those ads were embarrassing and tested their ethical and religious beliefs.

Yesterday, the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously to allow cab drivers who own their cars to veto the ads put on top of their vehicles.

After more than 30 years, production of the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car has ended. The large, gas guzzling, rear-wheel drive behemoths have been the favorites of limo drivers, taxi drivers and police officers for more than a generation.

The end of the Town Car and the Crown Vic, as it's affectionately known, comes as Ford tries to become a hipper and more fuel-efficient company.

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