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Election 2012
3:23 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Pre-Election Legal Battles Target Voting Rules

Protesters hold signs in Allentown, Pa., om July 25 as the Commonwealth Court holds hearings on voter ID laws.
Stephen Flood Express-Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 am

If you vote, you might very well be confused about what the rules will be when you go to cast your ballot this fall. There's been a flood of new laws on things such as voter identification and early voting, and many of them are now being challenged in court.

Some cases could drag on until Nov. 6, Election Day, and beyond. The outcomes will affect voters, and maybe even the results.

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StoryCorps
3:21 am
Fri August 24, 2012

An Inmate Firefighter Finds His Proudest Moment

Daniel Ross, currently serving time in a Wyoming prison, is a member of a prison firefighting team. He told StoryCorps about the kindness of those he's helped.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 am

Severe drought has parched huge swaths of the United States this year, the first time since the mid 1950s that drought has affected so much of the nation.

With so much scorched land, the center of the country could be described as a tinderbox; in recent months, severe wildfires have raged across several states. And in at least 10 Western states, including Wyoming, many fires are fought by teams of prison inmates.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Is The Cloud In Gamers' Future?

Nintendo's Wii U is the only new game system on the horizon as console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 11:56 am

Last year, consumers spent $17 billion on video games. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly $1.5 billion lower than the previous year. One reason: there haven't been any new game consoles out to excite buyers.

Only Nintendo's Wii U might be on shelves for the holiday season.

The console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.

Try asking a gamer like Ryan Block what would entice him to drop a few hundred bucks on a new console.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
3:18 am
Fri August 24, 2012

In Southwest, Worst-Case Fire Scenario Plays Out

Craig Allen, left, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, survey a plateau ravaged during last year's Las Conchas fire in New Mexico. The megafire burned over 150,000 acres of forest.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:48 pm

Third of a five-part series

As the Earth's average temperature creeps upward, climate scientists have predicted record heat waves and droughts. That's what we've seen this summer in the U.S.

The question has become, are we now seeing the real damage climate change can do?

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The Two-Way
7:12 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Gawker Releases 950 Pages Of What It Says Are Internal Bain Documents

This afternoon, the website Gawker published 950 pages of what it says are internal documents from Bain Capital.

Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Immigration Employees File Suit Against Obama's New Immigration Policy

The logo of the U.S. Homeland Security Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention and Removal unit.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 1:03 pm

A group of immigration agents on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming that following new lenient deportation policies requires them to violate the law.

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Theater
6:16 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Michelle Obama Meets With Victims Of Sikh Temple Shooting

First lady Michelle Obama greets Sikh temple secretary of the board of trustees Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, left, and Oak Creek, Wis.
Morry Gash AP

First lady Michelle Obama met with the victims of the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wis. today.

The AP reports that Obama met with the families of the those killed and those were wounded in the shooting.

The AP adds:

"Temple official Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal says Obama offered her sympathies Thursday for the Aug. 5 tragedy. He says her appearance is a 'wonderful gesture.'

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Afghanistan
5:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

U.S. Faces Growing 'Insider Attacks' In Afghanistan

Spc. Ben Purvis (center) helps train Afghan troops on how to use mortars in the eastern province of Kunar in June. The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Allen, points to several factors in the rise of "insider attacks" on American forces. He says relations between U.S. and Afghan troops are good overall.
Lucas Jackson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:55 pm

Gunmen wearing Afghan police and army uniforms have killed 40 U.S. and NATO troops so far this year, and the top American commander in Afghanistan says there is no single reason — and no simple solution.

Taliban infiltrators, disputes between NATO and Afghan security forces, and even the timing of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, are all factors, according to Gen. John Allen.

"We think the reasons for these attacks are complex," says Allen, who spoke by video link from Kabul on Thursday. Ten of the American deaths have come in just the past two weeks.

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Energy
5:14 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Romney Energy Plan Touts Oil, Gas, Coal Production

In unveiling his energy policy during a campaign event on Thursday, Mitt Romney says he wants to set a goal of North American energy independence by 2020.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:07 pm

Mitt Romney outlined an energy plan Thursday that would guide his Republican presidency. It focuses heavily on expanding the supply of fossil fuels. The presumptive nominee said the U.S., Mexico and Canada together could reach energy independence by 2020.

But the plan makes no mention of climate change and would end subsidies for cleaner sources of energy, such as wind and solar.

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