History
2:32 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

How Kennedy Stepped Back From The Brink Of War

Kennedy with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Jan. 15, 1962.
Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs/JFK Library and Museum, Boston

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:07 pm

Fifty years ago, the United States stood on the brink of nuclear war.

On Oct. 16, 1962, the national security adviser handed President John F. Kennedy black-and-white photos of Cuba taken by an American spy plane. Kennedy asked what he was looking at. He was told it was Soviet missile construction.

The sites were close enough — just 90 miles from the U.S. — and the missiles launched from there could reach major American cities in mere minutes.

The Cold War was heating up to a near-boiling point.

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It's All Politics
2:09 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

On The Campaign Trail, Regulations Dominate The Environmental Debate

Smoke rises from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kan. President Obama's regulation of the coal industry has come under fire from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:02 pm

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.

Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.

Environmental Rules

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Author Interviews
2:08 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Traveling The World Brings Andrew McCarthy Home

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:02 pm

He's an 80s teen heartthrob who turned to travel writing — and now soul searching. A few years ago, Andrew McCarthy decided to confront the fears that had followed him his whole life. As he prepared to marry the women he loved, he headed out around the world to find the part inside of himself that just kept saying "no" to everything good in his life.

McCarthy spoke with weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home.

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Movies
1:36 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) in Smashed.
Oana Marian Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 3:02 pm

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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Remembrances
12:03 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:16 am

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies at 82

Arlen Specter, the five-term senator from Pennsylvania, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son, Shanin. He was 82 years old.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:47 pm

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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Middle East
10:21 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Defection Hints At Cracks Among Syria's Alawites

In a new YouTube video, a Syrian colonel defects from the army, denounces President Bashar Assad and publicly joins the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Syrian Forces Using Cluster Bombs, Rights Group Says

Syrians deliver an injured civilian to a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, following shelling by government forces.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government indiscriminately used cluster bombs in last week's attacks on civilian areas, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Sunday.

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Science
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:00 am

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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Election 2012
4:45 am
Sun October 14, 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:14 pm

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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