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It's All Politics
1:25 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Among Israelis, Romney Appears The Favorite

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney places a prayer note during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in July. Israel is one of the few foreign countries where residents have a clear preference for Romney over President Obama.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:51 am

Israelis view the American presidential election much the way they tend to view most issues: What does it mean for Israel?

And by a wide margin, Israelis seem to believe that Republican candidate Mitt Romney would be more attentive to Israel's interests than President Obama.

The Peace Index Poll, commissioned by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute, found that Romney was favored 2-to-1 by Israelis back in August.

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House & Senate Races
1:23 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: Brown Vs. Warren In Massachusetts

Elise Amendola AP

A special election two years ago to fill the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat brought a huge change to Massachusetts politics: the first Republican U.S. senator in nearly four decades.

Not surprisingly, Sen. Scott Brown has been a thorn in the side of the state's Democratic establishment since his 2010 victory.

"Most of the time here, you have a Democratic primary and then shortly thereafter, a swearing in," says Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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Politics
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Campaigns Upgrade, But Political Buttons Endure

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Political campaigns have been transformed in so many ways over the decades. But you wouldn't want to wear a silicon chip or a yard sign in your lapel. Mort Berkowitz has made political buttons since 1976, and says business is still good. He joins us now from member station WBUR in Boston. Mr. Berkowitz, thanks for being with us.

MORT BERKOWITZ: My pleasure.

SIMON: You've seen a lot of buttons over the years, haven't you?

BERKOWITZ: Yes, I have.

SIMON: Any favorites you can share with us?

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World
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Reporter's Notebook: Celebrating In Pakistan

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Muslims around the world are celebrating the holy festival of Eid this weekend. That includes almost all of the people of Pakistan. NPR's Philip Reeves is in that country, and sent us this postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC NOISES)

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Around the Nation
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Mammals Get A Facelift At N.Y. History Museum

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Media
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Sexual Abuse Scandal Rocks U.K.'s BBC Network

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The BBC, one of the world's most prominent broadcasters, is in an uproar over allegations that one of its most famous TV personalities was a pedophile who preyed upon youths who appeared on his shows. As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, the BBC is both investigating the actions of the late Jimmy Savile and fielding sharp questions about why it killed a documentary exploring such accusations late last year.

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Presidential Race
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Tax Reform: Then And Now

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In an election year marked by heated partisan exchanges and personal attacks, President Obama and Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, agree on something: tax reform.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high. So I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing...

MITT ROMNEY: The secondary then, taxation, we agree, we've got to bring the tax rates down, and I do, both for corporations and for individuals.

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Movies
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Horror Movies Surge Back To Mainstream Audiences

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Halloween is almost here, so perhaps it's no surprise that the film "Paranormal Activity 4" led the box office in its opening weekend. It is the latest entry in an already successful movie franchise. As Beth Accomando of member station KPBS reports, film audiences still enjoy a good scare - but what scares us keeps changing.

BETH ACCOMANDO, BYLINE: Horror renaissance man Clive Barker says the first person to scare him was Walt Disney.

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Middle East
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Variety Of Weapons Increases In Syrian Conflict

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In the months leading up to the cease-fire, combatants on both sides have escalated the scale of weaponry used in the conflict. The war in Syria is notoriously difficult to cover, making it very hard to know exactly what weapons are being used. Eliot Higgins runs the Brown-Moses blog, which is often cited as an authoritative source on the weapons used in the Syrian conflict. We've reached him in the United Kingdom. Mr. Higgins, thanks so much for being with us.

ELIOT HIGGINS: That's no problem.

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Technology
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Week In Tech: Microsoft's Big Gamble

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Big week for Microsoft. The company introduced Windows 8, its new operating system, and entered the ever-expanding tablet market. These are major steps for a company that has been perceived as lagging behind Apple and Google in innovation. We're joined now by NPR's Steve Henn in Silicon Valley.

Steve, thanks for being with us.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Oh, my pleasure.

SIMON: Why is Windows 8 considered such a defining moment for Microsoft?

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Media
9:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

How Is The BBC Handling Abuse Scandal?

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more about the implications of the scandal with the BBC, we're joined by Martin Bell, OBE. He has a distinguished career as one of the BBC's most famous war correspondents. He covered 11 conflicts, reported from 80 countries over the course of 30 years. Martin Bell was seriously wounded by shrapnel while reporting the war in Bosnia, and if that weren't punishment enough, he then went on to be an independent member of the British parliament from 1997 to 2001.

Martin Bell joins us from London. Thanks so much for being with us.

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Middle East
8:09 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Little Festivity As Syria's Holiday Cease-Fire Fails

Children run after a truck loaded with presents for Eid Al-Adha in a refugee camp near Atma, Idlib province, Syria. A powerful car bomb exploded in Damascus on Friday and scattered fighting broke out in several areas across Syria, quickly dashing any hopes that a holiday cease-fire would hold.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:27 pm

Eid al-Adha is one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar. The day marks the end of the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. It's the feast of the sacrifice, when any Muslim who is able should sacrifice an animal and donate the meat to the poor.

There is little to celebrate in Syria's largest city, Aleppo, however. A cease-fire called for the holiday is already crumbling, and in some areas it never took hold.

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Presidential Race
5:57 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Campaigns Crisscross Nation As Election Nears

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Want to know how tight the presidential race is? President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney spent the week barnstorming across a handful of battleground states - mostly the same states, including Iowa, Ohio, Nevada and Colorado - to fire up supporters and make a pitch to win wavering voters. We're joined now by NPR's Scott Horsley, who's been covering President Obama's reelection campaign. He's in our studio. Thanks for being with us, Scott.

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Europe
5:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Italy's Berlusconi Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:18 am

An Italian court on Friday sentenced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to four years in jail for tax fraud in connection with the purchase of broadcasting rights by his Mediaset television company. Weekend Edition host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli.

Sports
5:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

World Series Heats Up; NBA's Commish Retires

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: Baseball comes to Motown for game three of the World Series. But, will Detroit's heavy hitters show up? The International Cycling Union says none of the above, or below, won the Tour de France in the years that Lance Armstrong copped the title and it plans for some organizational soul-searching. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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Environment
5:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Sandy Downgraded To Tropical Storm

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And this morning, we're following the progression of a major storm, hurricane Sandy, which is turning toward parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The National Hurricane Center briefly downgraded Sandy to a tropical storm, but this morning restored it to a category one hurricane. Parts of the east coast are bracing for destructive winds and heavy flooding once Sandy makes landfall in the coming days.

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Presidential Race
5:00 am
Sat October 27, 2012

On The Campaign Trail: Obama's Final Push

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. With just 10 days to go in a tightening race, both campaigns are out in force around the country trying to win over voters. Today, Governor Mitt Romney is in Florida. President Obama is in New Hampshire. We're joined now by Ben LaBolt. He's national press secretary for President Obama's 2012 campaign. He's on the line from Chicago.

Mr. LaBolt. Thanks for being with us.

BEN LABOLT: Good morning, Scott. Thanks for having me.

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Statewide Races
4:18 am
Sat October 27, 2012

The 'Ten Commandments Judge' Wants His Seat Back

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, known as the "Ten Commandments Judge," makes an appearance at a Tea Party rally in Mobile. The Republican is running for chief justice again despite being removed from the office nearly 10 years ago for defying a federal court order to remove a massive Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama judicial building.
Debbie Elliott/NPR

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 7:26 pm

Republican Roy Moore, Alabama's controversial "Ten Commandments Judge," is back on the ballot this year, running for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court — despite being removed from that office nearly a decade ago.

In a state as red as they come, he is facing last-minute Democratic challenger Bob Vance, who is reaching out to moderate Republicans turned off by Moore's politics.

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The Future Of Nonhuman Rights
4:03 am
Sat October 27, 2012

When A Robot Comes Knocking On The Door

Wall-E fell in love with another robot in the movie named after him. Researchers have yet to create a sentient machine, but a breakthrough could be on the horizon.
John M. Heller Getty Images

Peter Remine says he will know it's time to get serious about rights for robots "when a robot knocks on my door asking for some help."

Remine, founder of the Seattle-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots, says the moment will come when a robot in an automobile factory "will become sentient, realize that it doesn't want to do that unfulfilling and dangerous job anymore, and ask for protection under state workers' rights."

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The Two-Way
3:34 am
Sat October 27, 2012

Storm's Uncertain Track Defies Weather Rules

In this satellite image provided Friday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extent of up to 2,000 miles churns over the Bahamas, as a line of clouds associated with a powerful cold front approaches the East Coast of the U.S.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 5:53 pm

It's still unclear whether Sandy will be a devastating storm or just a bad one.

It is clear, however, that Sandy will be remembered as the storm that broke all the rules and baffled the nation's top weather forecasters.

Early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service downgraded the storm from a hurricane to a tropical storm — only to return it to hurricane status a few hours later. Either way, forecasters warn, "widespread impacts" are expected along the coast.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sat October 27, 2012

At 93, Pete Seeger Keeps The Fire Burning Low

Pete Seeger released two albums this year: Pete Remembers Woody (a Woody Guthrie tribute) and A More Perfect Union, a collaboration with guitarist Lorre Wyatt.
David Bernz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:13 pm

As he often does when the weather's decent, Pete Seeger recently played a free show outdoors in Beacon, N.Y. A few dozen people packed around the stage that held Seeger, his ever-present banjo and a small band; a group of kids in red T-shirts clustered down in front, singing along. The emcee for the afternoon was Susan Wright, the music teacher at Beacon Elementary School, where Seeger visits regularly.

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It's All Politics
4:11 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Obama May Not Need To Repeat 2008 Support From White Voters To Win

The erosion of President Obama's support among white voters means he must rely even more on nonwhites.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 5:28 pm

While much of what will happen on Election Day is now unknowable, we can predict with certainty that President Obama won't win a majority of the white vote.

No news there. No Democratic presidential candidate, after all, has received the support of most white voters since President Lyndon Johnson's 1964 historic rout of Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

Still, four years ago, Obama did manage to get a very respectable 43 percent of white voters to choose him over Goldwater's Senate successor from Arizona, Sen. John McCain.

That was then.

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World
3:57 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

What's A Lake Doing In The Middle Of The Desert?

A midas fly touches down on the sands of the desert in the United Arab Emirates. A lake in the area has brought new forms of wildlife, but some scientists are concerned it could harm the habitat of the midas fly.
Brigitte Howarth

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 3:37 pm

One place you don't expect to see waves lapping against the shore is in the middle of a desert. But that's exactly what's happening deep inside the United Arab Emirates, where a recently formed lake is nestled into the sand dunes, and a new ecosystem is emerging.

Drive through the desert in the United Arab Emirates, and all you see mile after mile are red, rolling dunes. Maybe some occasional trees or shrubs, but otherwise a dry, red sandscape.

And then, suddenly, a bright blue spot comes into view. It must be a mirage, you think. But it's not.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Gay Marriage On Ballot In Four States; Obama Endorses Measures

Supporters rally for a referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, Sept. 10 in Portland, Maine.
Joel Page AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 4:17 pm

Six states and the nation's capital have recognized the legality of same-sex marriages, either by law or by court order.

But over the past decade and a half, each of the 30 states to consider constitutional amendments that would outlaw such unions has adopted the ban — from Alaska in 1998 to North Carolina earlier this year.

That may change on Election Day, when voters in Maryland, Washington, Maine and Minnesota — awash in money, messages and advertisements from both sides of the issue — will make their decision on whether to recognize gay marriage.

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Author Interviews
3:21 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

History Inspired Travel Tales Of Donoghue's 'Astray'

Originally published on Sat October 27, 2012 4:29 am

A young mother sets sail from Ireland after the potato famine to meet her husband in Canada; two gold prospectors seek their fortune in the frozen Yukon; a slave poisons his master and the master's wife escapes with him.

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Shots - Health News
3:12 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

FDA Says Massachusetts Pharmacy Knew Of Sterility Problems For Months

A Framingham police officer keeps watch as federal agents search the New England Compounding Center company in Framingham, Mass., on October 16.
Dominick Reuter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:40 pm

In a highly unusual step, the Food and Drug Administration has released a report of inspections it conduct this month of the Massachusetts pharmacy at the center of a national outbreak of fungal infections.

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Sports
2:55 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

NBA Commissioner Stern Helped League Grow

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:57 pm

Audie Cornish talks to sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern, who has announced he will step down in early 2014.

Remembrances
2:43 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Cultural Historian Jacques Barzun Dies At 104

Pioneering cultural historian Jacques Barzun was the author of dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday in San Antonio at the age of 104.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:57 pm

Jacques Barzun, one of the most influential historians, educators and thinkers of the 20th century, died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. Barzun seemed to have a limitless capacity to understand and translate complex ideas — about the evolution of Western culture, what it means to be free, and even the value of American baseball. He shared his observations in numerous books and magazine articles and at Columbia University, where he held forth for half a century.

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Around the Nation
2:37 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Computers, Pinch Of Art Aid Hurricane Forecasters

These are some of the "spaghetti map" models used to generate a forecast for Hurricane Sandy's track. The models have grown increasingly sophisticated over the years.
PCWeather Products Inc.

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 5:07 pm

If you've ever found yourself anxiously wondering where a hurricane might make landfall, then you're probably familiar with "spaghetti charts" — the intertwined web of possible storm tracks put out by many forecasters.

Those lines represent hundreds of millions of observations from satellites, aircraft, balloons and buoys, all crunched from complex forecasting equations on some of the world's most powerful computers.

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National Security
2:30 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

As Jihadists Spread, Connecting The Dots Proves Hard

The Ansar Dine group in northeastern Mali is among the Islamist factions proliferating in North Africa and the Middle East. Officials have focused on possible links between these groups and al-Qaida, but counterterrorism experts say understanding the differences is just as important.
Adama Diarra Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 3:57 pm

More than a year after popular protests rocked the Arab world, U.S. intelligence officials are struggling to understand the myriad of Islamist groups that have filled the vacuum.

Those groups run the gamut from moderate believers who are willing to give the political process a try to violent extremists. The difficulty is figuring out which is which.

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