Politics & Government

Latin America
2:01 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Cuban Missile Crisis Passes Quietly, 50 Years Later

Cuban President Fidel Castro replies to President Kennedy's naval blockade via Cuban radio and television on October 23, 1962. Kennedy enacted the blockade in response to the deployment of Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 9:45 am

The small town of Bejucal, 20 miles south of Havana, looks much as it did in October 1962. Horse carts carry passengers and fresh-cut green bananas through narrow streets lined with pastel-colored homes.

The sleepy town doesn't seem like the kind of place to put an arsenal of nuclear weapons. But a military bunker here was the biggest storage depot on the island for the Soviet nuclear weapons 50 years ago.

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State Employees Retirement
5:37 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Gov. Bentley Reveals Retirement Incentive Plan Details

Governor Bentley Bentley will ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire.
State of Alabama

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire.

The governor announced details of the plan at a news conference Monday in Huntsville. He said it would either pay 100 percent of monthly premiums for health insurance for five years or offer $15,000 in cash payments.

He said the program would help retiring workers while at the same time saving taxpayers between $18 million and $26 million a year.

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Racist Language Amendment
5:10 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Voters Can Remove Language From Constitution

Alabama voters on Nov. 6 will get another chance to remove racist sections of the Alabama Constitution.
Khara Persad News 21

Alabama voters on Nov. 6 will get another chance to remove racist sections of the Alabama Constitution.

Amendment No. 4 on the ballot would remove language from the 1901 Alabama Constitution that includes providing for separate schools for black and white students and levying a poll tax.

Supporters say this amendment is different from one narrowly rejected by voters in 2004. That one removed the same sections, but also removed language that says there is no right to a public education at taxpayer's expense.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:33 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Energy Perception And Policy Reality

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:13 pm

As the election nears, energy policy remains a regular topic on the campaign trail. Controversial subjects like arctic drilling and hydraulic fracturing continue making headlines as the political class debate our nation's changing energy mix. But let's not deceive ourselves, or the public at large, about a president's real role and reach.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Report: Probe Of Rep. Jesse Jackson Focuses On Use Of Campaign Funds

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in December 2011.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

The Chicago Sun-Times broke the news late last week that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., is "the target of a federal investigation into 'suspicious activity' into his congressional finances."

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It's All Politics
11:33 am
Mon October 15, 2012

The Not-So-Great Communicator: Is Obama Overrated As A Speaker?

President Obama speaks to supporters last month during a campaign stop in Las Vegas.
Isaac Brekken Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:41 am

For a man who was elected president partly on his ability to give a great speech, Barack Obama has been at times a surprisingly poor communicator in office and on the campaign trail.

That may have been most evident earlier this month during the first presidential debate. But Obama generally hasn't been as impressive at getting his message across in his four years in the White House as he was during the campaign that put him there.

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Politics
10:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Chicano Activist Sees Dream Live On In Her Sons

Rosie Castro was a Mexican-American civil rights activist during the 1970s. She passed down her passion for change to her children: Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. For Hispanic Heritage Month, Rosie Castro speaks with host Michel Martin about the Chicano movement and raising her twin sons.

Around the Nation
10:53 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Finding Documents After Years Living Under Radar

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And speaking of dreams, the Obama Administration says its high profile immigration initiative is intended to preserve the dreams of a large group of young immigrants. The program is called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Initiative.

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It's All Politics
10:28 am
Mon October 15, 2012

What They're Saying In Swing Counties

Voting stickers at the Miami-Dade County elections office on Oct. 10. A study of online conversations finds that voters in the large, diverse county are discussing issues differently from those in other parts of Florida.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:46 am

Last week, we discussed state-by-state differences in online conversations around the issue of unemployment. That analysis of millions of words from news posts, blogs and user comments showed how the conversation in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia varies greatly because of cultural and socioeconomic factors.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Scotland Set To Vote On Independence In 2014

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron shake hands after signing an Independence Referendum deal in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ian MacNicol Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:31 am

In what's being called a "historic agreement," Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond have hammered out a deal will allow Scotland to decide if it wants to secede from the United Kingdom. The question will be settled in a 2014 referendum.

The AP reports:

"Officials from London and Edinburgh have been meeting for weeks to hammer out details of a vote on Scottish independence. Sticking points included the date and the wording of the question. ...

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Malala, 15-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban, Airlifted To Britain

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Malala, the 15-year-old shot in the head by the Taliban, has been airlifted to Britain, the Pakistani government said in a press release today.

The government said that they were "pleased with her present condition, which has been described as optimal."

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It's All Politics
6:56 am
Mon October 15, 2012

A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy

Sen. Arlen Specter speaks to the media at the base of Air Force One in Maryland in 2010. Specter died Sunday at the age of 82.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:39 am

Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.

Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.

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Election 2012
4:38 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Volunteers Labor To Get Early Voters Out In Iowa

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 6:59 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

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Middle East
4:38 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Video From Syria Alerts Activist To His Father's Death

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:48 am

The numbers coming out of Syria these days are staggering: hundreds of thousands of refugees, tens of thousands dead. The struggle, and the death, is being captured regularly on social media. The documentation not only serves as a bulletin for foreigners, but also as an alert for those with family members who become victims.

When Syrians first started protesting in March of last year, Fadi Zeidan was there. He and his friends thought the Syrian uprising would be fast, like the ones in Tunisia and Egypt.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

On The Campaign Trail, Regulations Dominate The Environmental Debate

Smoke rises from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kan. President Obama's regulation of the coal industry has come under fire from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:02 pm

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.

Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.

Environmental Rules

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