State Integrity Investigation
3:25 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

JobsOhio: Economic boom or constitutional bust?

Ohio's 1851 Constitution
Online encyclopedia Ohio History Central

Supporters say it's a boost to job creation in Ohio. Critics went to court, saying JobsOhio is an unaccountable private group with access to taxpayer dollars. Lower courts dismissed the case brought by Progress Ohio and two Democratic lawmakers. Now a limited-government legal center has sided with them, saying the enforceability of the state's constitution is at stake. WVXU's Mark Heyne and Ann Thompson look at the controversy surrounding JobsOhio.

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Books
3:19 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

This Week's 5 Must-Read Stories From NPR Books

iStockphoto.com

1. The Healing Power Of Stories

Cambodian author Vaddey Ratner was just a child when the Khmer Rouge came banging on the doors of her aristocratic family's compound in Phnom Penh. She's fictionalized that experience — and the years of hardship that followed — in her new novel, In the Shadow of the Banyan.

She survived — and so does her heroine, Raami — in part because she remembered the poems and stories her father loved.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Study Supports Regulators' Effort To Limit Miners' Exposure To Coal Dust

A study released today by the Government Accountability Office says that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) used appropriate data and scientific methods in drafting new regulations aimed at limiting the amount of coal dust miners are exposed to at U.S. operations.

As NPR's Howard Berkes reported for us last month, some House Republicans had blocked implementation of the regulations until GAO issued its report.

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It's All Politics
2:26 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Obama Camp's DOA Tax Offer To Romney Keeps Issue Alive

The Friday offer from President Obama's campaign to Mitt Romney — that if the GOP presidential candidate releases his tax returns for the past five years, it won't attack him for not releasing more — was immediately rejected by the Romney campaign.

But the give-and-take keeps Romney on the defensive, and promises to keep the issue of Romney's taxes going for weeks to come.

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Author Interviews
1:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Donald Ray Pollock On Finding Fiction Late In Life

This interview was originally broadcast on July 26, 2011. Donald Ray Pollock's The Devil All the Time is now out in paperback.

Knockemstiff, Ohio, is a tiny hamlet in southern Ohio. In the 1950s, Knockemstiff had three stores, a bar and a population of about 450 people. Most of those people, says fiction writer Donald Ray Pollock, were "connected by blood through one godforsaken calamity or another."

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

New Syrian Envoy Brahimi Takes On 'Crucial Task'

Longtime troubleshooter Lakhdar Brahimi has, as expected, taken on the extremely difficult challenge of being the "joint special representative for Syria" who will try to broker a peace plan for that nation on behalf of the United Nations and the League of Arab States.

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Steve Jobs' Stolen iPad Ends Up In The Hands Of A Clown

Kenny the Clown.
@kennytheclown via Twitter

You may have heard that the house of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was burglarized, back in July. Among the stolen items, was a 64 GB silver iPad.

Today, there's news from the San Jose Mercury News that the iPad was recovered from an unlikely source: It was in the hands of Kenny the Clown, who used it to entertain kids and tourists in the Bay Area.

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Participation Nation
12:33 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

A Middle Way In Bloomington, Ind.

Indiana University student volunteers participate at the Middle Way House fundraising events held in spring 2012.
Courtesy of Indiana University

Each year hundreds of students from Indiana University volunteer at Middle Way House, a haven for victims of domestic violence.

Volunteers conduct crisis interventions and act as personal counselors and advocates. A new on-campus chapter makes it easier for student volunteers to promote the mission of MWH.

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It's All Politics
12:30 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Twitter And The New Mom: Keeping Up With Politics, 140 Characters At A Time

Twitter.com

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 12:46 pm

Note: We've asked NPR journalists to share their top five (or so) political Twitter accounts, and we're featuring the series on #FollowFriday. Here are recommendations from Tamara Keith (@tamarakeithNPR), an NPR congressional reporter.

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Movie Interviews
12:22 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Sacha Baron Cohen: The Fresh Air Interview

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:12 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 21, 2012. Sacha Baron Cohen's The Dictator is now out on DVD.

Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.

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