This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:28 pm
Each year, some 2,000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S., and the number of people on the waiting list is even larger. Between finding the perfect donor to worrying about insurance, the wait can be grueling, but heart transplant social workers are here to help.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:00 am
In Colorado and Iowa, two states considered up for grabs in the presidential race, a battle over alternative energy policy is playing a growing role in the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Both states have important wind-energy sectors, and Obama's campaign is rolling out new radio ads this week highlighting the president's support for — and Romney's opposition to — extending a tax credit on wind-energy production.
AT&T is on the defensive today, saying that its decision to limit the use of Apple's video-call app Facetime does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules.
Ever since Apple introduced the application, AT&T has limited its use to Wi-fi. In other words, customers who were using the AT&T network could not make video calls using the built-in app. Last week, AT&T changed that policy, saying it would allow customers on its new "shared data plans" to use the app but that did not apply to those who are on unlimited or tiered plans.
More Latino students are enrolling in college now than ever before, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Latinos still lag behind other groups in preparing for and completing college. Guest host Viviana Hurtado discusses the report's findings with Richard Fry of the Pew Hispanic Center and the College Board's Jim Montoya.
When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:02 am
In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.
Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 3:08 pm
There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.
Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:55 am
GOP officials and the Mitt Romney campaign have cut a deal with Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign to allow some — though not all — of Paul's delegates from Louisiana and Massachusetts to be seated at the Republican National Convention. The status of Maine's delegates remains unsettled.
The compromise would appear to avert a potential public clash with Paul supporters during the convention's opening day Monday.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 8:17 am
We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.
Oops, we just did.
It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.
The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."
The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.
Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 9:42 am
When I moved to Philadelphia seven years ago, I was looking to take a ceramics class. Instead I found a wonderful community-minded program in which I've made lifelong friends, unleashed children's creativity and touched their hearts. They in turn have touched mine.
Haiti plans to clear away a symbol of the country's devastation. The earthquake in 2010 ruined the National Palace, one of the most spectacular buildings in Port-au-Prince.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
We've been looking at some recent photographs. They show the white building still standing, if barely. The earthquake did not knock down its elegant rows of columns. But the white dome on top was left sloping at a dangerous angle, the supporting walls half-crushed beneath its weight.
In Kentucky yesterday, there was another sign of Tea Party clout. Mitch McConnell - minority leader in the U.S. Senate, and Kentucky's most powerful politician - turned up at his first-ever Tea Party rally. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: This was not McConnell's first Tea Party rally. He participated in a Tea Party event in 2010.] This year, Tea Party candidates have scored upsets in Republican primaries in Missouri, Texas and Indiana. That's where longtime Senator Richard Lugar lost.
What your next smart phone or tablet computer might look like is in the hands of a California jury. In one of the biggest patent infringement cases ever, Apple is suing Samsung — charging that in creating its products, Samsung ripped off iPhone and iPad technology. Samsung countered with its own allegations.
This case is complex, the legal issues are daunting, and the jury's decision has to be unanimous.
"What's at stake here is the future of smartphones and the tablet market," says intellectual property expert Christopher V. Carani.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
A deadline came and went yesterday and Todd Akin remains on the ballot for United States Senate in Missouri. On a radio program, the Republican said his party was overreacting in the effort to drive him out of the race.
Battleground states are not always neighbors. And for President Obama, yesterday was one of those days when a candidate stops in one and flies across most of the entire country to another. Mr. Obama was in Ohio and then Nevada, visiting college campuses. This morning he'll keep with the education theme at a high school near Las Vegas. The president has been highlighting steps he's taken to make higher education more affordable.
Here's NPR's Scott Horsley.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: How many students do we have here?
In Lebanon, a wave of kidnappings and an alleged plot to destabilize the country with bombings — both related to the uprising in Syria — are shaking Lebanon's precarious sectarian balance.
That's been apparent on al-Mokdad Street in south Beirut, which has been tense in recent days. The Mokdads are a large Shiite clan who control the street that is named for them. Young men with pistols in their pockets cruise the street on motor scooters, acting as the clan's lookouts.
On the fishing-boat piers of New England, nearly everyone knows a fisherman who was lost at sea.
Boat captain Joe Neves remembers when a crew member got knocked overboard. "We heard him screaming 'Help me!' " Neves says, grimacing. "But you know, on the water at night, your head is like a little coconut." They didn't find him.
Mike Gallagher discovered a friend who was entangled in still-running hydraulics. "I knew right away he was dead," he says.
Independent voters have grown in recent years into a mega voting bloc. By some estimates they outnumber registered Republicans, and even registered Democrats.
Every election cycle, independents generate enormous amounts of interest as candidates, pollsters and the media probe their feelings. These voters are widely considered to hold the key to most elections.
As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year. This week, we're spending time in Winnebago County, Wis., where we spoke with two women — one Democrat, one Republican — who embody their state's Midwestern charm and spirit of self-reliance. First, we hear from the Democrat.