5:30pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Presidential Race

Obama Hits Battleground States In Final Blitz

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:18 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.

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5:21pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Middle East

Qatari Emir First World Leader To Visit Gaza In Years

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 9:48 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The Emir of Qatar visited the Gaza Strip today. He's the first world leader to do so since 2007, when the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory and Israel responded with a blockade. The emir called on Hamas to reconcile with the rival Fatah movement. He also promised some $400 million in reconstruction projects, as NPR's Peter Kenyon reports from Gaza.

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5:02pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Activists Attack Assad Regime, With Puppets

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 10:07 am

This episode of Top Goon featured the Syrian president on the left, a member of the security forces on the right, and a photo of the former president, Hafez Assad, who is the father of the current leader.
YouTube

"I'm not crazy," the figure says, standing alone in a dark room, as if trying to convince himself.

"I'm not crazy?" almost a question this time.

"I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy!" he yells, finally making up his mind.

And, of course, he sounds crazy.

Meet Beeshu, an avatar of the embattled president of Syria, Bashar Assad, rendered in papier-mache and mounted on someone's finger. He's the star of the show Top Goon and the inspiration for its title.

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4:58pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Impact of War

Iraq Vet Seeks Atonement For Early War Tragedy

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 5:09 pm

A scene from the early days of the fighting in Iraq in the spring of 2003. In one incident, three members of an Iraqi family were killed. A U.S. Marine involved in the shooting recently tracked down the family to ask for forgiveness.
Laurent Rebours AP

On April 8, 2003, in the early days of the Iraq War, the Kachadoorian family found themselves in the middle of a firefight at a major intersection in Baghdad.

They had approached the intersection in three cars and didn't respond to Marines' warnings to stop and turn around; so the Marines opened fire, killing three men and shooting a young woman in the shoulder, not realizing that the people in the car were civilians.

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4:24pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

The Race To 270: A Swing State Scorecard

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 10:11 am

From now until Election Day, the U.S. might as well consist of just eight or so states, not 50.

Those are the battleground states where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, their running mates and spouses will be spending much of their time in what remains of the 2012 race for the White House.

It's all about amassing the 270 electoral votes required to be elected president. NPR's analysis of the race at this point suggests the eight states that are most in play are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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4:22pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

During Debates, Silence On Some Issues Was Deafening

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:13 pm

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Max Gyselinck AFP/Getty Images

It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.

Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.

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4:00pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 6:11 pm

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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3:58pm

Tue October 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Horses, Bayonets And The Modern Military

U.S. Army Special Forces ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001.
AP

President Obama said during Monday night's debate that the U.S. Army has fewer horses and bayonets than in the past.

That's true. Although Army Special Forces were on horseback in Afghanistan when they helped defeat the Taliban in 2001, the Army's horses are now used only for ceremonial occasions.

As for bayonets? The last bayonet charge was during the Korean War in 1951.

The bayonet has somewhat gone the way of the horse cavalry, as far as the Army is concerned (although Marines still use bayonets in training).

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3:11pm

Tue October 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

Headlines and Links

The Common Council's finance committee asked for answers about how the city pays the employees who are on SURA's payroll in a meeting on Monday.
Joseph A Flickr

Here's a round up of regional news from WRVO:

Canonization of Marianne Cope brings changes to Syracuse motherhouse

Cuomo to start campaigning on behalf of other candidates

New bridge to provide year-round access to Montezuma Wildlife Management area

Former Governor Eliot Spitzer talks politics in Albany

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3:04pm

Tue October 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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