7:23am

Tue September 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Are You Better Off? That's The Question As Democrats Gather

One of the many mementos for sale at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

That classic question — so famously asked by then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 — is again a topic of great debate as Democrats kick off their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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6:31am

Tue September 4, 2012
Economy

Democrats' Convention To Focus On Jobs, Economy

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, as you can hear from Scott's report, the economy is a top issue in this campaign.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So it's fitting that the Democratic Convention was preceded by Labor Day and will be followed by Friday's release of the latest employment numbers.

INSKEEP: NPR's Yuki Noguchi talked with voters about jobs on Labor Day.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: This year, Labor Day festivities came to Charlotte in the form of a huge street party.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

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6:23am

Tue September 4, 2012
Asia

Generators Power Through India's Blackouts

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 5:30 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The blackout that recently disrupted electricity across northern India is said to have affected more people than any previous power outage ever. It covered an area that's home to some 670 million people; that would be roughly 10 percent of the world's population. Still, large numbers of Indians living in the blackout zone barely noticed it happened. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy explains.

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6:07am

Tue September 4, 2012
NPR Story

On Campaign Break, Obama Tours Louisiana Storm Damage

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Having spent much of the summer hammering Mitt Romney, President Obama is working to sell his record this week. Yesterday, administration spokesmen insisted that Americans are better off than they were four years ago.

INSKEEP: That's a change from the previous day's message, when key Obama backers would not make that claim. Yesterday, the president himself pointed to a success story.

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6:07am

Tue September 4, 2012
NPR Story

Lakewood, Colo., Mayor Comments

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now here's something that's organic to our political discussion - the nation's economy. As the parties hold their national conventions, we're checking in with mayors in swing areas of the country.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:40am

Tue September 4, 2012
Election 2012

Mayor Castro, 1st Latino To Give DNC Keynote Speech

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (left) stands onstage with his twin, Joaquin, during preparations Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. The mayor will give the keynote address Tuesday night, introduced by his brother, a Texas legislator.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Julian Castro, the 37-year-old mayor of San Antonio, Texas, has been called the new face of the Democratic Party. And on Tuesday night, he'll become the first Latino to deliver the keynote speech at the party's national convention.

Over the weekend, parishioners at St. Paul Catholic Church in San Antonio sent off one of their own with a breakfast taco rally.

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3:22am

Tue September 4, 2012
The Salt

Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For You

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:13 pm

A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011.
AP

Yes, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. Something is pulling us toward those organic veggies that are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

But if you're thinking that organic produce will help you stay healthier, a new finding may come as a surprise. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds scant evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

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3:21am

Tue September 4, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghans Seek A Homegrown Plan For Security

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

An Afghan man inspects a motorcycle used in a suicide attack in a parking lot holding dozens of trucks supplying the NATO-run Kandahar Air Base in June. Bombings and assassinations are on the rise in Kandahar. Last month, a suicide bomber struck the convoy of the provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Raziq, who was severely injured.
AFP/Getty Images

For years, Kandahar province has been a key focus of NATO's efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. The volatile region is the birthplace of the Taliban, and its capital is the country's second-largest city.

American troops have begun leaving this area by the thousands and are handing security responsibilities over to Afghan forces. Afghan officials claim things are getting better.

But many residents don't trust Western forces or their own government's claims, and they are now turning to a third party for help.

A Dangerous City

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3:20am

Tue September 4, 2012
Author Interviews

'Children Succeed' With Character, Not Test Scores

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:38 pm

A child's success can't be measured in IQ scores, standardized tests or vocabulary quizzes, says author Paul Tough. Success, he argues, is about how young people build character. Tough explores this idea in his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.

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3:19am

Tue September 4, 2012
Environment

As Temps Rise, Cities Combat 'Heat Island' Effect

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 5:10 pm

An art installation of a melting fan sits on display in a subway station Thursday, June 9, 2011, in Atlanta.
David Goldman AP

More than 20,000 high-temperature records have been broken so far this year in the United States. And the heat is especially bad in cities, which are heating up about twice as fast as the rest of the planet.

High temperatures increase the risk of everything from asthma to allergies, and can even be deadly. But a researcher in Atlanta also sees this urban heat wave as an opportunity to do something about our warming planet.

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