It's All Politics
6:58 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Presidential Debates Can Be Great Theater, But How Much Do They Matter?

In a 1988 debate against George H.W. Bush, Michael Dukakis's answer to a question about whether he would support the death penalty if his wife were raped and murdered is considered a huge stumble.
LENNOX MCLENDON ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:52 am

Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.

These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.

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Around the Nation
6:41 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Still Home Sweet Home More Than A Century Later

Lee and Shirley Wohler in the kitchen of their farmhouse south of Waterville, Kan.
Becky Sullivan NPR

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:36 am

This year, the Homestead Act of 1862 turned 150. That landmark piece of legislation opened up the Western territories to settlement. Almost anybody could receive up to 160 acres for free if they built a house and "improved" the land over the course of five years. Millions took part, and eventually, more than 10 percent of all U.S. land was given away.

A German peasant named Frederick Wohler was one of those early homesteaders. Wohler received the deed to 80 acres of farmland in north-central Kansas 138 years ago this weekend. And today, the Wohlers are still there.

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Around the Nation
6:23 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Many Texans Bereaved Over 'Dead' Voter Purge

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:36 am

Quite a few Texas voters are seeing dead people in the mirror these days when they go to brush their teeth in the morning.

In Houston, high school nurse Terry Collins got a letter informing her that after 34 years of voting she was off the Harris County rolls. Sorry.

"Friday of last week, I got a letter saying that my voting registration would be revoked because I'm deceased, I'm dead. I was like, 'Oh, no I'm not!' " Collins says.

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Politics
6:21 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Congress Bets On Post-Election Edge, Delaying Action

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:36 am

Congress roared into town last week after a five-week break. Lawmakers will be heading back home just as quickly this week. They're expected to complete exactly one big item before pulling the plug on this briefest of sessions: a stopgap spending measure that keeps the government from shutting down during the next six months.

Members of both parties prefer tackling the mountain of unfinished business they leave behind only after the November election.

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Africa
6:20 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Rwanda's Economy: An Unlikely Success Story

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at the International Fund for Agricultural Development headquarters in Rome in February. Changes in agriculture have been part of the country's economic growth.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

East Africa is a tough place to do business. Want to open shop in Kenya? Prepare for a month of paper work, surly officials and bribes. To the west, in Rwanda, it's a different story.

"Registering a business takes just a matter of hours. It no longer takes months, weeks, as it used to be," says Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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Pop Culture
4:58 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Meet 'The Most Interesting Man In The World'

Jonathan Goldsmith plays "The Most Interesting Man in the World" in beer company Dos Equis' ad campaign. The audition, he says, "was a cattle call."
Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 3:50 am

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Politics
4:03 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Obama Polishes His 'Regular Guy' Image With Beer

President Obama toasts others at the Dubliner Restaurant and Pub in Washington, D.C., on March 17.
Joshua Roberts Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 5:48 pm

There's an old shorthand for likeability in politics: "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?"

Polls show President Obama has been winning that likeability contest. And he's been raising a lot of frosty mugs on the campaign trail, hoping to press his advantage over the teetotaling Mitt Romney.

The strategy could come to a head in the swing state of Colorado.

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Africa
9:08 am
Sat September 15, 2012

South African Police Crack Down On Striking Miners

Police firing rubber bullets and tear gas sent men, women and children scattering as they herded them into their shacks in a crackdown on striking miners at a platinum mine.

Saturday's show of force follows a South African government vow to halt illegal protests and disarm strikers who have stopped work at one gold and six platinum mines northwest of Johannesburg. The strikes have destabilized South Africa's critical mining sector.

It was the first police action since officers killed 34 miners Aug. 16 in state violence that shocked the nation.

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Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know
8:14 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Antietam 'Death Studies' Changed How We Saw War

Alexander Gardner's original caption for this image: "A Lone Grave, on Battle-field of Antietam."
Alexander Gardner Library Of Congress

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 3:08 pm

In mid-September 1862, the Civil War was only a year and a half old, and many Americans in the North and the South still clung to the view that this war was a noble, glorious, even romantic undertaking. That notion was shattered forever when Alexander Gardner and his assistant James Gibson, working for photographer Mathew Brady's firm, came to Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, Md.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Sat September 15, 2012

Chicago Teachers Rally With Deal In The Works

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Chicago Teachers Union and city school officials have reportedly reached what they call a framework for an agreement that would end a five-day teacher strike. The walkout has shut down school for 350,000 students this week. They could be back in class as early as Monday.

We're joined now by NPR education correspondent Claudio Sanchez. Claudio, thanks for being with us.

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: Good to be here.

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