10:03pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Feeling Just Wild About Wild Cards

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 1:46 pm

Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is out at second against Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Despite less-than-stellar statistics, the Orioles are contenders in the American League wild-card race.
Nick Wass AP

Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball, has persuaded his owners and the players to add an extra wild-card team to the playoffs, so now five teams per league will qualify.

Not only is this terrific for the fans, but Selig also wisely managed to make it so that the wild-card teams engage in a one-game showdown for the privilege of being the team that joins the three division winners in the battle for the league championship.

I have just the old-fashioned word for this newfangled development: nifty.

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6:51pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Fast-Moving Washington Wildfire Burns 60 Homes

As embers still smolder, family members sift through the remains of their home that was destroyed in a wildfire.
Elaine Thompson AP

A wildfire burning near Cle Elum, Wash., has destroyed 60 homes, as it rushed through 45-square-miles of land.

The Seattle Times reports that the fire is still on the move and more homes and ranches are in its path.

The Times adds:

"The fire is proving difficult to fight.

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6:27pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Election 2012

Will Florida Seniors Accept Ryan's Medicare Vision?

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

An audience member looks on during a campaign rally for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in St. Augustine, Fla., on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate may help energize support from conservative voters who like his tough approach to overhauling the federal budget.

But there's a risk that Ryan may turn off an important voting bloc: senior citizens.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

Scorching Phoenix Plans For An Even Hotter Future

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:37 pm

A Metro Light Rail train rolls by the Devine Legacy apartment building along Central Avenue in Phoenix. The energy-efficient complex includes 65 "urban style" apartments.
Courtesy of Mica Thomas Mulloy

It's been a record hot summer in many cities across the nation. Phoenix is no exception. This Sonoran Desert metropolis already records more days over 100 degrees than any other major U.S. city. Now, climate models predict Phoenix will soon get even hotter.

A hotter future may mean a more volatile environment — and along with it, natural disasters, greater pressure on infrastructure, and an increased physical toll on city residents.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
The Salt

Sneaking A Bite During Ramadan's Long, Hot Days

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:01 am

Palestinians order food at a coffee shop in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.
Tara Todras-Whitehill Tara Todras-Whitehill for NPR

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has fallen on the longest and hottest days of the year, which means up to 15 hours of fasting in soaring temperatures.

This seems to have increased the number of Muslims who aren't fully observing the fast, and may be sneaking a bite or a drink — though no one wants to say so on the record.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
All Tech Considered

Could The New Air Traffic Control System Be Hacked?

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

The current radar-based air traffic control system (shown here) will eventually be replaced with a new system called NextGen, which will rely on GPS. A number of computer security experts are concerned that NextGen is insecure and vulnerable to hackers.
John Moore Getty Images

5:15pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Exposed Nearby City To Little Radiation

Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Koji Sasahara AP

After a tsunami disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March of 2011, residents of the nearby city of Minamisoma, just 14 miles from the plant, were evacuated.

But within a few months, most returned to their homes. Still, many communities near the plant have remained skeptical and concerned about possible radiation exposure.

To find out how much radiation exposure these people have received, Japanese researchers measured levels of radioactive cesium in nearly 10,000 residents starting six months after the incident.

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4:59pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Politics and Government

Republican Senate candidate on the issues

Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Republican candidate for US Senate, Wendy Long, is describing herself as pro-hydrofracking, for entitlement reform and focused on beating her opponent. Long spoke with reporters in Albany Monday and talked about everything from Paul Ryan to tort reform.

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4:57pm

Tue August 14, 2012
Presidential Race

Biden: Mitt Romney Will Put America 'Back In Chains'

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, that Mitt Romney has chosen his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden knows who the competition is. And Biden has been talking about Paul Ryan on the campaign trail.

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The very plans the congressman voted for and promoted for 12 years and the governor supported put America's greatness in jeopardy. How do they think we got in this spot in the first place? What do they think happened? As my little youngest granddaughter would say, was it Casper the Ghost, Pop?

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