7:42am

Wed August 1, 2012
Participation Nation

(W)E Pluribus Unum

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:58 pm

iStockphoto.com

With your help, NPR is writing a story across America. About the good things that Americans are doing.

You already know that our country is split by political partisanship, socioeconomic disparities, religious differences, geographical inequities and other factors.

Surely you have noticed: We are living in disunited states.

Sometimes it's hard to focus on the ways we work together, the similarities among us.

So that is what we will try to write about. Together.

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7:18am

Wed August 1, 2012
Strange News

London Cabbie Offers His Car As Olympics Lodging

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Rent is notoriously high in London and especially so during the Olympic Games. That's why David Weeks stuffed his cab with a mattress, radio, mini-fridge and teddy bear. The cabbie is parking it outside his flat to rent out to tourists for about 80 bucks a night, much cheaper than most hotels, but there's still rules - no smoking and no pets. The vacancy sign is still on, but he's calling it the Hail-a-Hotel. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

7:18am

Wed August 1, 2012
Strange News

Utah Town, Pop. 2 Llamas, For Sale: $3.9 Million

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. This might test the strength of the real estate recovery. A town is for sale - Woodside, a ghost town, a former railroad stop outside Salt Lake City. For $3.9 million you could own a dead gold mine, a geyser, and old buildings. The town is said to be near a former hideout of Butch Cassidy's gang, not the actual hideout, but near it. The buyer even gets the town's two current residents - a pair of free-range llamas. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

7:18am

Wed August 1, 2012
Sports

Phelps' 19th Medal Breaks 48-Year-Old Record

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Nobody was booing when American swimmer Michael Phelps is now the most decorated Olympian ever. Two medals yesterday in London broke a 48-year-old record. Phelps has now has 19 Olympic medals, total.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports from London.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: Michael Phelps was a little sloppy on his way to breaking one of the most enduring records of the Olympics.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Take your mark.

(SOUNDBITE OF AN ALARM AND CHEERING)

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7:18am

Wed August 1, 2012
Politics

Lawmakers Face Off On Pentagon Spending Cuts

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And members of Congress, this week, are head-lining rallies meant to inspire public outrage, outrage over potential cuts to Pentagon spending. Military contractors say they could lose a million jobs if Congress goes ahead with across-the-board spending reductions known as sequestration. As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, the fuss is about budget cuts that were never intended to actually happen.

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7:16am

Wed August 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Gore Vidal, In Words

Gore Vidal in 1991. He died Tuesday, at the age of 86.
Central Press Getty Images

The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:

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5:12am

Wed August 1, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Four Sports Superstars, Four Years Later

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 4:34 pm

Michael Phelps reacts after winning silver in the men's 200-meter butterfly final at the Aquatics Centre on Tuesday. South Africa's Chad le Clos took home the gold.
Matt Slocum AP

Let us go back an Olympiad, to August of 2008. Incredibly, then, in all four of the world's most popular men's individual sports, we were at a time when, quite possibly, the four greatest champions ever in each of those sports was at or near his peak.

There they were, as the Beijing Olympics began:

  • Tiger Woods, 32 years old, still a prime age for a golfer, winner of his 14th major, the U.S. Open, only a few weeks ago — gloriously alone at the top.
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4:59am

Wed August 1, 2012
Africa

As Islamists Gain, Mali's Tradition Under Threat

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

A soldier wears a button bearing the image of coup leader Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo with the words 'President, CNRDRE,' the French acronym of the ruling junta, as he stands guard at junta headquarters in Kati, outside Bamako, Mali.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

Hard-line Islamists in northern Mali stoned a reportedly unmarried couple to death for adultery last Sunday. Analysts worry this is growing evidence of the rebel fighters' avowed intention to impose strict Islamic law in the vast territory under their control.

Another version of the story put about by an al-Qaida-linked militant group is that the couple was married but engaging in extramarital affairs.

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4:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Under Health Law, 'No-Cost' Birth Control Starts Today

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joins Democratic senators at a news conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to announce new preventive health coverage for women that takes effect Wednesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Beginning today, most new and renewing health insurance plans must begin offering a broad array of women's preventive health services, most notably coverage of birth control, at no upfront cost.

But even as they take effect, the new rules remain the subject of legal challenges.

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4:56am

Wed August 1, 2012
Dead Stop

The Ghostly Grandeur Of A Desert Graveyard

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 7:31 am

A couple celebrates Dia de los Muertos at the Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas.
Stacy Kendrick Concordia Cemetery

It's a raggedy moonscape; no lush green grass or tranquil arbors here. Concordia Cemetery in El Paso, Texas, just a few blocks from the Mexican border, is stark and dusty. It's overrun with crumbling concrete markers and old wooden crosses gone askew. And it goes on ... and on ... and on.

"It's 52 acres," says Bernie Sargent, chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. "Sixty thousand people buried here. And they're all dead."

The Grave Of A Wild West Legend

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