Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

To Shrink Rents, S.F. Considers Shrinking Apartments

The development firm Panoramic Interests is building about two dozen "micro-apartments" in San Francisco. The company is poised to offer even smaller units if the city approves a proposed new minimum size of 220 square feet.
Artist's Rendering of Smartspace Unit Courtesy of Panoramic Interests

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:32 pm

In many large cities, like Dallas, Phoenix and even parts of Chicago, $800 a month is enough for a clean one-bedroom apartment, decked out with a living room, washer and dryer — and maybe even a pool, in a larger complex.

But if you want to live alone in San Francisco, getting those amenities at that price is practically a pipe dream. With the region's resurgent high-tech industries luring many well-educated, well-paid workers to the Bay Area, the average rent for a studio apartment in the city now runs around $2,000.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Colombia, Rebel Group Will Continue Peace Talks In Cuba

Colombia's government head of negotiators Humberto de la Calle (second to the left), speaks next to the delegation members prior to boarding a plane to Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday.
Eitan Abramovich AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 5:04 pm

After a first round of historic peace talks, the Colombian government and members of the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia have agreed to continue peace talks in Havana, Cuba.

It was just this summer that President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged for the first time that the two groups were engaged in "exploratory talks" aimed at bringing the longest war in the Western Hemisphere to an end.

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Solve This
4:28 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Romney's Defense Plans Call For Higher Spending

U.S. Marines drive amphibious armored personnel carriers in the Philippines on Oct. 9, as part of the annual joint exercises with Philippine counterparts.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:00 pm

One area where President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney clearly disagree is defense spending. The president wants less, Romney wants more. But the difference in their approaches is about more than money.

When Romney looks at the future, he sees a series of threats: from unrest in the Middle East to a nuclear North Korea to what he sees as a defiant Russia.

Speaking to veterans in Virginia's Fairfax County last month, Romney blamed the Obama administration for cuts that will go into effect unless Congress and the president act.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Swing-State Billboards Warning Against Voter Fraud Stir Backlash

An anonymous "family foundation" is paying for billboards warning against voter fraud, like this one in a minority neighborhood on the east side of Cleveland. Clear Channel, which owns the space, says the anonymity violates its policies but it will not take the ads down.
Ken Barcus NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Dozens of anonymous billboards have popped up in urban areas in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Wisconsin. The signs note that voter fraud is a felony, punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Civil rights groups and Democrats complain that the billboards are meant to intimidate voters.

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It's All Politics
3:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Underdog Democrat Is Keeping Things Close In Nevada Senate Race

Democatic Rep. Shelley Berkley greets Republican Sen. Dean Heller before the second of their three debates, on Oct. 11 in Las Vegas.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Early in-person voting in Nevada starts Saturday, and it's not just the presidential contest that's being closely watched in this swing state.

The race for the U.S. Senate is also seen as a tossup, a bit of a surprise for Republicans, who have counted on retaining the GOP-held seat as they try to build a majority.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller — in office for only 18 months — faces seven-term Rep. Shelley Berkley on Nov. 6.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

On Court Order, Boy Scouts' Confidential 'Perversion Files' Go Public

A Boy Scout salutes traffic as he stands next to a flag display on a freeway overpass September 11, 2008 in Lafayette, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:29 pm

On orders from the Oregon Supreme Court, more than 1,200 confidential files the Boy Scouts of America kept on suspected child molesters from the 1960s through 1985 have been made public.

Commonly referred to as the organization's "perversion files," they give the public a first and intimate look at how the Boy Scouts handled allegations of sexual abuse. In some cases, they show how some volunteers were booted from the organization, then snuck back in, only to be kicked out again when parents or scouts made allegations of sexual abuse.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Second Federal Court Strikes Down Defense Of Marriage Act

Edith Windsor, whose case led to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 5:57 pm

The Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional because it discriminates against same-sex couples, a second federal appeals court has ruled.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that it took the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York less than a month to come to its decision. As he tells our Newscast Desk:

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Around the Nation
2:32 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

No Roof Rookies Here: Cleaning The Superdome

Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Keith O'Brien for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:42 am

Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.

Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.

"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.

The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.

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World
2:29 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Radio Liberty Going Off The Air In Russia

Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:42 am

Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.

But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.

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It's All Politics
2:13 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

A Watch Party In China For The U.S. Presidential Debate

The Shanghai skyline
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Gathering voters to watch a presidential debate and then evaluate it is a long tradition in American journalism. So, I got to thinking: What would happen if I invited a bunch of interested foreigners — all of them Chinese citizens — to watch the presidential debate from my Shanghai office?

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