Politics & Government

Election 2012
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

In Convention Run-Up, Obama Targets Three States

President Obama waves as he walks on stage during a campaign stop on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder on Sunday.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:01 pm

President Obama holds a Labor Day campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Monday, and then flies to Louisiana to inspect the damage from Hurricane Isaac. The Toledo rally is part of a long weekend of campaigning, leading up to the Democratic National Convention, which starts Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C.

The president held a rally with thousands of students at the University of Colorado over the weekend. Just five days earlier, he'd been at Colorado State. Obama is hoping to harness the cross-state rivalry between the schools in the service of his re-election campaign.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:03 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Fears About Shariah Law Take Hold In Tennessee

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 7:53 am

It's getting tougher to be a Republican in some parts of the country while also fully accepting the practice of Islam.

In Tennessee, an incumbent in the U.S. House found herself on the defensive after being called soft on Shariah law, the code that guides Muslim beliefs and actions. And the state's governor has been forced to explain why he hired a Muslim.

Read more
Middle East
2:59 am
Mon September 3, 2012

With No End To Conflict In Sight, No Winners In Syria

Omm Ahmed, a refugee from Daraa, Syria, carries her infant near her tent at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, on Sunday. Syrian civilians have borne the greatest brunt of the conflict in their country.
Mohammad Hannon AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:15 am

The conflict in Syria is now nearly a year and a half old, and there appears to be no end in sight.

August was the deadliest month yet, with thousands of people, mostly civilians, killed in fighting around the country. While anti-government rebels are making advances, government troops are digging in their heels.

It started as a protest movement. Now, analysts in the U.S. and the region agree, the conflict in Syria is a civil war.

A Civil War

Even Syrian President Bashar Assad came close to acknowledging as much in a speech last week.

Read more
NPR Story
2:57 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Once Denied A Purple Heart, A Soldier Gets Her Medal

Retired Army Major Michelle Dyarman holds the Purple Heart medal she was awarded after suffering a severe concussion from an IED in Baghdad in 2005.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 8:11 am

In 2010, NPR reported that some Army commanders refused to award the Purple Heart to many troops who got concussions in combat because they didn't consider these "real" injuries. As a result of our story, the Army did its own investigation and put out new guidelines on Purple Hearts. Last week, the Army told NPR that under the new rules, they've finally awarded the medal to almost 1,000 soldiers, including Michelle Dyarman, whom we profiled in our original 2010 reports.

Read more
Politics
4:22 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.
Joe Caneva AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they're up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against "big government."

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

Read more
Election 2012
4:03 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

Some In Mo. Still Back Rep. Akin Despite Comments

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., confirms plans in Chesterfield, Mo., on Aug. 24 to stay in the U.S. Senate race.
Sid Hastings AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

Many people in Missouri are still backing GOP Rep. Todd Akin — some more strongly than before — after his controversial remarks about rape and pregnancy.

Akin was polling ahead of the incumbent, Democrat Claire McCaskill, in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, but his support fractured into several distinct camps after his comment that women's bodies can block pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape." (He has since apologized.)

Read more
The Two-Way
10:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Murder Charges Dropped Against South African Miners, For Now

The South African government is reversing its decision to charge 270 striking miners for the murder of their colleagues. Sort of.

Read more
Politics
8:42 am
Sun September 2, 2012

Occupy Plans Resurgence At Democratic Convention

Occupy Wall Street activist Jason Woody listens to a speaker during a rally before the start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Steve Nesius Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 12:07 pm

As President Obama reintroduces himself to America at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., next week, the Occupy movement will be there trying to do the same.

Remember Occupy Wall Street, originator of the "We are the 99 percent" slogan?

The group, which helped reshape the nation's political discourse last year before falling into disarray and uncertainty, plans to hold a demonstration outside the convention hall in an effort to recapture the spotlight. A Tampa, Fla., Occupy group protested at the Republican convention in there last week.

Read more
Afghanistan
5:24 am
Sun September 2, 2012

U.S. Drawdown Leaves Afghans With Mixed Feelings

U.S. soldiers still patrol in Afghanistan, like this one speaking with a young man in the eastern province of Khost in August. However, Afghan forces are taking on increased responsibility as the U.S. draws down and prepares for its troops to leave by the end of 2014.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:01 pm

Tens of thousands of American troops will be leaving Afghanistan as the NATO-led coalition enters its final two years in the country. Already, more security responsibility is being placed in the hands of the Afghan security forces, says U.S. Gen. John Allen, who heads the NATO-led coalition here.

"The insurgency is today confronted by a rapidly transforming and increasingly capable [Afghan army], which is bearing a larger share of the burden and a larger share of the sacrifice," Allen says.

Read more
Politics
5:37 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

GOP Looks To Amp African-American Support

Mia Love, the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, addresses the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 6:32 pm

Barack Obama won more than 95 percent of the black vote in the last presidential election, and Democrats are expected to have a huge advantage this November. Even so, Republicans looked for ways to appeal to those voters at their convention in Tampa, Fla.

Though the convention hall was packed with delegates this week, it wasn't until gospel star Bebe Winans and the Tampa Bay City Life Church Chorus came on stage that there was any sizable number of African-Americans around.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:04 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Buffalo Cleans Up From Dirty Industrial Past

City leaders are attempting to increase public access to Buffalo's waterways, long blocked by aging industrial ruins and polluted land.
Daniel Robison for NPR

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 5:37 pm

Along the shore of Lake Erie, the rusting relics of Buffalo, N.Y.'s industrial days have long blocked access to the water and posed risks to residents. Now, after decades of inaction, the city is finally clearing a path for the public to return to the waterfront.

Buffalo's approach has been dubbed "lighter, faster, cheaper." Tom Dee has led this effort as president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., a special state agency in charge of city waterfront property. He says years were wasted chasing grand redevelopment projects, but now the strategy is more homegrown.

Read more
Politics
4:04 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

How 'Government' Became A Dirty Word

President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy Reagan, in the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., in January 1981. In his speech after being sworn in, Reagan called government "the problem."
AP

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:01 pm

Read more
Election 2012
3:06 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

'Why I'm A Republican'

New Jersey delegate April Bengivenga says two words describe why she became a Republican: Ronald Reagan.
NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:10 am

Throughout the week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., NPR digital journalists asked delegates, politicians and other attendees to react to the statement: "Why I'm a Republican." Here are some of those responses. (And here's what we heard from Democrats in Charlotte.)

The Two-Way
11:44 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Lawyers Demand Release Of South African Miners Charged In Colleagues' Deaths

Lawyers for 270 miners in South Africa are threatening legal action if their clients are not released from prison today. The mine workers were charged with murdering their own colleagues after police opened fire on a crowd of about 3,000 striking workers two weeks ago, killing 34 people.

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton tells us the government charged the miners with murder using an obscure legal doctrine employed by the apartheid government.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:00 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Roy Moore Has 2nd Best Fundraising Month

http://www.facebook.com/JudgeRoyMoore

Republican chief justice candidate Roy Moore had his second best fundraising month so far in August.

Moore filed a campaign finance report Friday showing he raised more than $82,000 in August. That was topped only by his $102,000 in June.

Read more

Pages