Politics & Government

Afghanistan
2:21 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Afghans Seek A Homegrown Plan For Security

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

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:38 am

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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It's All Politics
6:25 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

The Undocumented Bus: In Charlotte, A Different Kind Of Coming Out

Maria Cruz Ramírez, 46, rode on the Undo-bus for six weeks.
Eyder Peralta NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 10:06 pm

The bus is always the center of attention. Partly because it's a hulking 1970s tour bus that somehow made it from Arizona all the way to Charlotte, but mostly because of what's inscribed on the side of it in thick, black letters.

"Sin Papeles, Sin Miedo," it reads in Spanish. "No papers, no fear."

Carrying a bunch of undocumented activists, the bus rolled through the country, through states like Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, and into Charlotte on the eve of the Democratic National Convention.

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It's All Politics
4:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Can Obama 'Reintroduce Hope' At Convention?

A delegate shows off her button on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 5:55 pm

It's been a rough four years since Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination during a celebratory Denver convention that launched the freshman Illinois senator to the White House.

Recovery from the worst economy since the Great Depression has been excruciatingly slow. The national unemployment rate has remained stubbornly above 8 percent.

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Middle East
3:53 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Under The Shadow Of Jets, A Syrian Town Presses On

Syrians gather by the rubble of a house destroyed by shelling in the northern town of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on Monday.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:12 am

Syrian air force jets bombed the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 18 people, according to Syrian activists.

Over the summer, the rebels gained control of a number of towns and villages along the Syrian-Turkish border. Now, those places are being bombarded from the air and from the ground by government forces.

Azaz, in northern Syria's Aleppo province, is one of these places. There, the tombstones in the old section of the town's cemetery are laid out in neat rows.

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NPR Story
3:40 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Social Media Advice: Do Politics Belong On Facebook?

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:16 pm

Social media experts Baratunde Thurston and Deanna Zandt answer questions about how to behave in the digital age. This week's topic: How should you address touchy subjects such as religion and politics on Facebook?

It's All Politics
1:58 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Political Analyst: N.C. Could Be Key, Regardless Of Electoral Outcome In State

Preparations continue Monday for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:51 pm

In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate in more than three decades to carry North Carolina.

This week, as President Obama heads back to North Carolina to accept his party's nomination, polls show that he may be hard-pressed to repeat his Tar Heel State success of four years ago.

But in the state lies an opportunity for Obama, political analyst Charlie Cook said Monday during a poll briefing in Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention opens Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
12:20 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Why I'm A Democrat: Marion Barry, Washington's Mayor For Life

Councilman Marion Barry in 2009.
Stephen Boitano AP

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 12:21 pm

Throughout the Republican National Convention, we asked people in Tampa why they were Republicans.

We're doing the same thing here in Charlotte, N.C. for the Democratic National Convention.

We started by asking Marion Barry, the former mayor of Washington, D.C. and current councilman.

He's always been a polarizing and controversial figure in politics.

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Asia
12:07 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

Pakistan's Transgenders In A Category Of Their Own

Malaika, 19, sits behind a friend while her makeup is applied at a friend's home in Rawalpindi. The transgender teenager got straight As in school before dropping out because of discrimination from her classmates. Now she dances at weddings and other parties for money.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:53 pm

Urban Pakistan assaults your senses: tangles of traffic; Pakistani pop competing with the mosque's call to prayer; pungent spices in the steamy air. And then there are the transvestites.

At traffic lights, you see people draped in elegant pink and red clothing, with sparkling makeup. They tap their painted fingernails on your car window, asking for money. And that's when you notice the stubble on their chins.

"Begging here in traffic is just a part-time job," says 32-year-old Mina Mehvish. "I really want to be a dancer."

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Mon September 3, 2012

'Now It's Our Turn': The Democratic National Convention Kicks Off In Charlotte

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 11:22 am

Unlike what Republicans did in Tampa last week, Democrats will lay out a clear plan to get the country back on sound footing, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during news briefing in Charlotte, N.C., moments ago.

Villaraigosa, who is the chair of the Democratic National Convention, said that by the time the convention wraps up Thursday night, the party will have crystalized its platform and explained that this election is about a stark choice.

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Politics & Government
6:41 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Severe Weather Possible in Ala on Labor Day

Forecasters say remnants of Hurricane Isaac could pose threat of severe weather for Central Alabama.
http://www.srh.noaa.gov National Weather Service

It might be a good Labor Day to be inside in parts of Alabama.


Forecasters say there's a chance of severe weather across the state on Monday as remnants of Hurricane Isaac move across the region.


The National Weather Service says central Alabama is at greatest risk, particularly in the afternoon. Damaging winds are the main threat.


Storms are predicted to continue drifting southeastward across the state through Tuesday.

Politics & Government
5:51 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Huntsville Gets First Brew Pub Under New Law

waaytv.com WAYY TV

The city of Huntsville is getting a taste of a new kind of beer, courtesy of a change in state law.


A new brewhouse called "Below the Radar" is now open in downtown Huntsville. It's the city's first such operation since legislators changed a state law that prohibited selling alcohol at the same location where it was made.


A group called "Free the Hops" lobbied lawmakers to amend the state law. Member Rich Vartain tells WAAY-TV (http://bit.ly/RAPs2J ) about a dozen breweries are now open statewide because of the change.

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Around the Nation
3:04 am
Mon September 3, 2012

Charlotte Braces For Democratic National Convention

A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 3:56 pm

Delegates, journalists and protesters are beginning to fill the streets of Charlotte, N.C. The city has a lot riding on the Democratic National Convention, which gets under way Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters paraded around the downtown area of Charlotte — which residents call Uptown — gathering in front of Bank of America headquarters.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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