Robert Benincasa is a computer-assisted reporting producer in NPR's Investigations Unit.

Since joining NPR in 2008, Benincasa has been reporting on NPR Investigations stories, analyzing data for investigations, and developing data visualizations and interactive applications for NPR.org. He has worked on numerous groundbreaking stories, including an exclusive on the independence level of nursing home residents, the safety of automated aircraft, and a government mandate to produce $1 coins that Americans don't want.

Prior to NPR, Benincasa served as the database editor for the Gannett News Service Washington Bureau for a decade. In 1995, he joined the Burlington VT Free Press as a staff writer.

Herman Cain
3:40 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Herman Cain's 9-9-9 Plan Gets A Closer Look

In the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Herman Cain has seen his popularity spike over the past couple of weeks. It was confirmed Monday, with a new CNN poll, showing him essentially tied with Mitt Romney at the front of the pack. Cain credits his success to three numbers: 9-9-9.

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Presidential Race
3:37 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Interactive: 2012 Campaign Cash, Week By Week

Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw his fundraising numbers plummet after his September debate performances.

Jeff Swensen Getty Images

The latest batch of campaign finance reports adds a little clarity to the presidential race. For starters, President Obama's campaign reported a hefty $61 million on hand as of Sept. 30. But in the Republican primary race, things are in flux.

Five states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida — are trying to squeeze their contests into January. They all hope to boost their influence on the outcome.

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Africa
3:26 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Liberian President Confident Ahead Of Runoff

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addresses a crowd of supporters on Saturday outside offices of her party on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia's capital. She faces Winston Tubman in a runoff election scheduled for Nov. 8.

Glenna Gordon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 10:05 am

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, fresh from winning the Nobel Peace Prize, was hoping for an outright re-election victory last week.

But Africa's first democratically elected female leader is facing a runoff election next month. She says she is confident Liberians will vote for her in big numbers, but the first-round voting last Tuesday shows she is facing stiff competition after six years in power.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Was Van Gogh Murdered? A New Book Says Yes

A new book, written by Pulitzer winners, is raising eyebrows over how it says the great Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh died. Van Gogh: The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, posits that Van Gogh did not kill himself as is popularly believed.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:05 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Vaccinations Can Be Money-Losers For Doctors

A good deal for children's health can be a bad deal for doctors.

Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 17, 2011 3:08 pm

Vaccines vanquished smallpox and have the polio virus on the run. And immunizations recommended routinely in the U.S. help protect people from chickenpox and cervical cancer.

But many doctors who administer the vaccinations lose money on them, according to new data from athenahealth, a company that helps doctors with electronic billing and medical records.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:26 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Disease Detective Hot On The Trails Of Anthrax And Cholera

Paul Keim at work in his lab on the Northern Arizona University campus.

Charlie McCallie Northern Arizona University

Ten years after the anthrax attacks and three years after the FBI named a chief suspect in the case, speculation about the origin of the deadly letters hasn't completely died out.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

iPhone 4S Sales Top 4 Million In First Weekend

An Apple Store customer looks at the new Apple iPhone 4S on Oct. 14 in San Francisco.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Apple announced today that its iPhone 4S has sold more than four million units in the three days after it went on sale.

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Matt has been a reporter at KUT off and on since 2006.  He came to Austin from Boston, then went back for a while--but couldn't stand to be away--so he came back to Austin.  Matt grew up in Maine (but hates lobster), and while it might sound hard to believe, he thinks Maine and Texas are remarkably similar.

Monkey See
1:30 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

'Why Read Moby-Dick?': A Passionate Defense Of The 'American Bible'

iStockphoto.com

We have a bit of history with Herman Melville's Moby-Dick here at Monkey See. It was the second selection in our I Will If You Will Book Club after Twilight (true story!), and we read the entire thing together in the spring of 2010.

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