From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Republicans convening today in Tampa aren't the only ones juggling politics and storm watch. President Obama is also keeping a close eye on Hurricane Isaac, even as he campaigns today in Iowa and Colorado. Mr. Obama got an update on the storm from his emergency managers this morning. And he's urging Gulf Coast residents to heed the instructions of their local officials.
From NPR News, This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
As the Republican convention kicks off in Tampa, the party will highlight some of the politicians who could be its future stars. We're going to hear about two of them now who both speak tonight. In a moment, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, tonight's keynote speaker. But first, the Republican Senate candidate Ted Cruz. If he wins in November he'll be the first Hispanic senator from Texas.
Many cities around the nation are trying to revive their downtowns, adding more apartments and condominiums — usually high-rises — to lure new residents.
But as urban dwellers grow in numbers, they need places to get outside. Yet, in many cities, like Miami, neighborhood parks can be hard to find. The Trust for Public Land ranks Miami 94 on a list of 100 cities when it comes to park acreage per 1,000 residents — just 2.8 acres per 1,000 residents, versus 4.5 in New York and 6.2 in Los Angeles.
We're going to stay on the Gulf Coast for a moment. Earlier today we caught up Acy Cooper. He's a shrimp boat captain. And when we reached him, he had sought safe harbor on the intercoastal waterway near Belle Chasse. As you just heard, many of the locals have braved these storms before and Cooper is no exception. He lives in the town of Venice, but today we found the captain docked on his boat far inland from his home.
Now, a non-story that's kicked off a very real conversation about race in America. In 2005, Congressman Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, told a Milwaukee magazine that he has a black sister-in-law. He also said that in his bachelor past he had a black girlfriend. A CNN blogger gave the interview new life a few days ago. But what, if anything, does this glimpse into Ryan's past tell us about how inclusive his politics would be as vice president?
NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates went in search of some answers.
In the Israeli port of Haifa today, a judge ruled that the military was not responsible for the death of a young American activist. Back in 2003, Rachel Corrie was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer during a protest by pro-Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip. Today's ruling came in response to a civil suit filed by Corrie's parents who say they will appeal the decision.
Debbie Elliott has spent the day driving along the Mississippi coast as people prepare for Isaac. The storm has dumped heavy rain across the area. She speaks with Audie Cornish from Gulfport, Mississippi.
As we mentioned, New Jersey Governor Christ Christie gives tonight's keynote speech. For a while, the popular first-term governor was rumored to be in the running for the vice presidential spot, and his appearance tonight could raise his national profile even more.
But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, tough economic times in New Jersey may put a damper on Christie's remarks.