Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:09 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Staten Island Relief Efforts Are A Community Affair

Volunteers bring food to residents of homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy earlier this month in the Staten Island borough of New York City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 6:09 pm

On a street corner in Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers have set up a makeshift stand. There's no tent here, no corporate logos — just a couple of folding tables and cardboard boxes full of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.

Ross Decker is the guy in charge.

"Anytime we run out of something, I tell the people just come back in 20 minutes, it'll be here," he says.

Decker says the site, badly flooded during Superstorm Sandy, was picked by a handful of local churches. This volunteer operation seems to be stocked mainly through the kindness of strangers.

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Around the Nation
5:54 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

How Do Public Officials Bounce Back After Scandal?

Should David Petraeus' extramarital affair be considered a disqualifying factor for his public position?
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 7:09 pm

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus — and the extramarital affair and FBI investigation that led up to it — has been at the top of the news for the past week.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Gaza And Israel Trade Rockets For Airstrikes

Rockets lunched by Palestinian militants toward Israel make their way from the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday.
Hatem Moussa AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:29 am

  • Hamas Remains Defiant As Fighting Escalates

The conflict between Israel and the Gaza Strip continues to escalate after Israeli airstrikes flattened key targets in Gaza, and Palestinian rockets threatened deeper into Israel than ever before.

The death toll in Gaza doubled overnight to at least 39 people, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City. Around 300 airstrikes overnight hit the Hamas prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels, among other targets.

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Middle East
11:55 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Iron Dome Embraces Tel Aviv As Residents Take Cover

Israeli civilians in Tel Aviv run for cover during a rocket attack launched from Gaza on Saturday.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:30 am

Sarah and Yael Levintin raised their wine glasses to the sky and toasted the Iron Dome system that had just been deployed outside Israel's commercial center.

The two sisters decided to leave their apartment Friday evening after two rockets fired into the Tel Aviv area were successfully intercepted by the system.

"We had stayed home all day because we didn't want to take the chance that, you know, we'd be away from the bomb shelter," said Yael Levintin. "We aren't used to war. I guess we are kind of babies about it."

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka 'Feels Good' After Minor Stroke

Former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka suffered a minor stroke on Friday. He's telling fans he's fine, but he will be taking the weekend off from his job as analyst at ESPN.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke on Friday. The Hall of Famer says doctors have assured him the stroke was slight, and he told The Chicago Tribune, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal." As the Tribune explains:

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It's All Politics
8:03 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Do We Really Need A Second Inauguration?

President Obama dances with first lady Michelle Obama on the night of his inauguration, Jan. 20, 2009, in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 3:53 pm

For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.

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Planet Money
7:48 am
Sat November 17, 2012

A Sequester Is A 'Jelly-Like Mass,' And Other Notes On Fiscal-Cliff Jargon

Charles Dharapak AP

Here's a quick rundown on three of the most impenetrable terms related to the fiscal cliff. For more, see our post, The Fiscal Cliff In Three And A Half Graphics.

1. Sequester

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 10:15 am

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It's All Politics
5:28 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Obama And Lawmakers' Confidence About Avoiding Cliff Isn't Universal

Congressional leaders after their meeting with President Obama Friday. From left: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), House Speaker John Boehner (R) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As President Obama and congressional leaders started negotiations Friday to find a way to avoid the nation's going over the fiscal cliff, it was fairly plain that even some of those who are wisest in the ways of Washington couldn't agree on whether policymakers would actually be able to prevent the federal government from becoming a cliff diver.

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Africa
5:26 am
Sat November 17, 2012

Sierra Leone Holds A Vote, Not A War, On Diamonds

A diamond prospector filters earth from a river in Koidu, the capital of diamond-rich Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone. Koidu suffered some of the worst ravages of Sierra Leone's war in the 1990s as rebels forced citizens to mine at gunpoint. Ten years after the conflict, diamonds remain a contentious issue.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 1:53 pm

Sierra Leone's "blood diamonds" helped fuel atrocities in the impoverished West African nation in the 1990s. The war has now been over for a decade, and the country's most valuable resource is no longer known as the product of a conflict. But it remains a contentious issue.

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