Republicans have decided to delay the official start of their presidential nominating convention until Tuesday. Tropical Storm Isaac is causing weather-related issues around Tampa, Florida. As the convention is about to begin, polls show GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama.
Florida has so far been spared the worst of Tropical Storm Isaac. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana cannot be so sure. If the storm stays on its current course, it threatens to hit Louisiana seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina arrived in New Orleans. NPR's Greg Allen is tracking the storm. He's on the line from Florida this morning.
Greg, good morning.
GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: How much damage was there from Isaac in Florida?
John Walker Lindh was a middle-class kid in Northern California who converted to Islam and went to travel the world. U.S. authorities eventually captured him in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, when he was allegedlyfighting alongside the Taliban.
His story was the focus of a Law and Order episode, and a song called "John Walker's Blues" by Steve Earle.
For the past fiveyears, Lindh has been living in a secret prison facility in Indiana with convicted terrorists, neo-Nazis and other inmates who get special monitoring.
After a month-long offensive in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, rebels are struggling under a fierce counter offensive by the Syrian military and the outcome is far from clear. But the future of Aleppo, the country's financial hub, is already under discussion in secret meetings on the Turkish border.
Over cups of sweat tea in a Turkish border hotel, Moeihmen Abdul Rahman, a lawyer from Aleppo, sits down for his first meeting with Abu Riad, a commander from the Al Tawheed brigade, a coalition of rebel militias leading the assault on Aleppo.
The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday announced its first major shift on circumcision in more than a decade, concluding that the health benefits of the procedure clearly outweigh any risks.
"There is clear evidence that supports the health benefits of circumcision," said Susan Blank, who led the 14-member task force that formulated the new policy being published in the journal Pediatrics.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he favors keeping all of the Bush-era tax cuts and then adding some more. To pay for these cuts, he would reduce or eliminate some of the tax deductions that many Americans have come to rely on. But his proposals are already facing a lot of resistance.
As we age, our sleep patterns change. We've all heard the complaints: "I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep!"
Some sleep experts estimate that as many as 40 percent of older adults suffer sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and insomnia. Now, researchers have found a link between disrupted sleep and cognitive decline.
Ask Harry Dolan to take you for lunch at a restaurant he's written about, and he won't disappoint. In downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Liberty Street, the vegetarian restaurant Seva serves mushroom sliders and yam fries that both the crime writer and his characters are quite fond of. With any luck, you'll also catch the perfect song playing in the background — "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:44 pm
Miranda Kelly, a 14-year-old from Sykesville, Md., says she's been sleepwalking since she was 6 or 7. The first time, she says, "I woke up on the couch on a school day. And I'd gone to bed in my bed."
Since that first episode, Kelly now sleepwalks every couple of months. "I wake up in weird places, randomly. I have once woken up in the kitchen, and on the floor of the bathroom wrapped in my sheet," she says.
Sixteen members of an Ohio Amish sect are set to go on trial in federal court Monday in Cleveland. The defendants are accused of violating U.S. hate crime laws by cutting the hair and beards of detractors, a humiliating reprimand for the devout.
Chin hair, according to Jacob Troyer, an Amish craftsman in Holmes County, Ohio, is a rite of passage for young Amish men.
"When they join church to get baptized, they grow a beard up to the bottom of the ear. They usually have an inch or so of space there. When they marry, they grow that together," Troyer says.
Republican congressman Ron Paul on Sunday turned his presidential swan song into a feisty rage against the political machine of his own party for legally manipulating him out of presidential convention delegates.
"They've learned how to bend rules, break rules and now they want to rewrite the rules," Paul told a raucous crowd of nearly 10,000 supporters who nearly filled the Sun Dome arena in Tampa, the city hosting this week's hurricane-delayed Republican National Convention.
Greetings from Tampa, where that old phrase "the calm before the storm" has never been more appropriate.
Tropical storm Isaac is now looking like it will make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east to the Florida Panhandle. And when it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is warning, Isaac could be a Category 2 hurricane.
It's hard to know if 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a target or collateral damage.
Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was killed last fall at a barbeque with friends. His father, Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida supporter and also American-born, was killed in a drone strike two weeks earlier in Yemen.
The two of them, plus one more man, now make three Americans — three of thousands — who are believed to have been killed by America's top secret drone warfare program.
In Tampa, Fla., Republicans are closely watching the weather. Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to pass by Tampa Monday, bringing heavy rain and wind. Monday also marks the day the GOP convention was to supposed to start, but organizers decided it was safer to cancel the first day of events. Guest host Laura Sullivan speaks with NPR's Jeff Brady about the preparations.
In 2006, Roy Tuscany was an up-and-coming professional skier, solely focused on his burgeoning career. Then a fall during training left Roy paralyzed from the waist down.
As a young athlete, Roy had to depend on the community to help him through his recovery — to walk and even ski again. It was that connection with generous people that led Roy to start the High Fives Foundation, dedicated to helping injured athletes get back on their boards, skis and wheels.
Venus and Serena Williams, Sloane Stephens and Donald Young will be among those vying for Grand Slam Glory at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, which start Monday at Flushing Meadows in New York.
Those four are the only African-Americans who rank among the top 100 men's and women's players in the country at this stage. Some tennis enthusiasts say the game has got to do better than that – and they are working at the grassroots to level the playing ground.
Next time you're admiring a 19th century American master painting at a museum or auction house, take a closer look. What looks like an authentic creation complete with cracks and yellowing varnish could actually be the work of forger Ken Perenyi.
Perenyi made millions of dollars over 30 years with more than 1,000 forgeries, allowing him to jet set around the world. His highest earning work was a Martin Johnson Heade forgery that sold for more than $700,000.
A Utah congressional hopeful will take the stage Tuesday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.
Mia Love is the mayor of Saratoga Springs, a small Utah community, but her energy and personal story have Republicans believing she's a winner. If elected, she'd become the first black female Republican in Congress.
Perhaps Love's unofficial audition for a speaking slot in Tampa started when she took the stage at the Utah state GOP convention in April.
In 2009, The Avett Brothers became one of the surprise hits of the year. Paste Magazine considered their I and Love and You the best album of that year, calling it "an overpowering acoustic album brimming with sadness and soul."
That sadness took on new meaning recently. Bassist Bob Crawford took a temporary leave from the band to tend to his infant daughter, Hallie, after she developed a brain tumor.
Next month, The Avett Brothers release a new album, The Carpenter, which explores the delicate balance between life and death.
Babies need diapers. But it's not always easy for low-income families who might have to choose between buying diapers or paying bills. Federal assistance programs do not pay for diapers, so if parents can't afford them, babies sit in soiled diapers. That's unhealthy, and it leads to fussier babies — which stresses out parents even more.
Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 2:00 pm
The auto industry is big business in Ohio. Billions of dollars' worth of cars and auto parts are made in the state each year. Thousands of unionized auto workers live in Ohio, as do the business owners and employees who make it one of the top auto parts suppliers in the nation.
So, the auto bailout is a hot issue — and a complicated one.
For Republicans in Ohio, the bailout is a tough issue — perhaps because of Mitt Romney's initial stance, or perhaps because of the consensus that the bailout worked.
Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 8:13 am
My friend Stephen J. Bailey is a strong voice for the revitalization of downtown Fort Wayne. He oversees social media and web development for the Downtown Improvement District. He enjoys running and whenever he runs through downtown or the West Central area, he takes a bag with him so he can pick up trash as he goes.
On the last day of the London Olympics, a Ugandan runner seemingly came from nowhere during the marathon to pass the favored Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes and win gold.
Stephen Kiprotich is the first gold medalist from Uganda since John Akii-Bua won the 400-meter hurdles at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In the last two weeks, Kiprotich has become an unlikely national hero in a struggling country that rarely has much to cheer about.
After a year and a half of preparations, Tampa, Fla., is ready host the Republican National Convention.
Some 70,000 delegates, support personnel, media and protestors are gathering for the party's nominating event. Originally scheduled to start on Monday, the convention was pushed back because of Tropical Storm Isaac.
Inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum — a hockey arena that's been transformed into a high-tech political stage — it's a vision in red, white and blue. There's a nod to tradition, placards marking the sections reserved for each state's delegation.
It was the kind of history that ignites the imagination of humanity.
On July 20, 1969, hundreds of millions of people around the world watched or listened as the lunar module Eagle carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon. Armstrong got on the radio to let them know "the Eagle has landed."
Almost seven hours later, Armstrong stepped off the ladder in his bulky white space suitand said those famous words: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"