Afghanistan
4:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Afghan Attacks On Western Partners Rising Sharply

Afghan soldiers (right) patrol with U.S. troops in the Panjwai district of southern Afghanistan in May. The two armies have been working together for years, but Afghan attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have been rising recently.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

In the past two weeks, seven Afghans in uniform have opened fire on Western forces. The most recent incidents occurred Friday. First, a newly recruited policeman in western Afghanistan turned his gun on U.S. military trainers, killing two and wounding a third. A short time later in southern Kandahar province, an Afghan soldier shot and wounded two foreign troops.

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All Tech Considered
4:12 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

At This Camp, Kids Learn To Question Authority (And Hack It)

DefCon Kids camp co-founder Chris Hoff, with Conner Gilliam (from left), Conner Fine and Ethan Lai, work on a machine that draws designs on ping-pong balls. The camp is held in Las Vegas.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 7:54 pm

Some kids go to band camp; others go to swim camp. But for the children of the world's digital rabble-rousers, there is hacking camp. It's called DefCon Kids.

This camp, held in Las Vegas, encourages kids to take a hard, skeptical look at the machines that surround them, and teaches them to hack apart everything they can lay their hands on.

One of the most popular activities is lock-picking.

"I had fun with some of the harder locks," says 16-year-old Alaetheia Garrison Stuber.

But did she learn any new tricks?

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Law
3:58 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Jailed Young, Inmates Seek A New Day In Court

Ruth "Margo" Gee (left) is hopeful that her brother, Tyrone Jones, convicted of murder as a juvenile, will soon be freed from prison. Lawyer Charlotte Whitmore is helping her.
Emma Lee for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 6:03 pm

A recent Supreme Court decision striking down mandatory life terms for juveniles has touched off a flurry of activity across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where lawyers are advising about 500 prisoners to file requests for new sentencing hearings before the end of next week.

Bradley Bridge with the Defender Association of Philadelphia has received more than 200 letters from prisoners in the past two months asking about the Supreme Court ruling.

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Higher Education
3:46 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Decreased state funding, online institutions among challenges for NKU

NKU president Geoffrey Mearns speaks to the media

Classes begin Monday for students at Northern Kentucky University. Today the president had a message for the people who will teach them.


Nearly four months to the minute after being named president, Geoffrey Mearns stood before faculty and administrators at today's convocation and looked forward. His mission is not without challenges.


State funding is down and Mearns says for-profit online institutions, with increasingly aggressive recruiting tactics, are posing a major threat.

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Petra Mayer is an associate editor and resident nerd at NPR Books, focusing on genre fiction. She brings to the job passion, speed-reading skills, and a truly impressive collection of Doctor Who doodads.

Previously, she was an associate producer and director for the weekend editions of All Things Considered. She handled all of the show's books coverage, and she was also the person to ask if you wanted to know how much snow falls outside NPR's Washington headquarters on a Saturday, how to belly dance, or what pro wrestling looks like up close and personal.

The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Snickers And 5-Star Hotels: Report Details Top General's Wasteful Spending

Army Lt. Gen. William E. Kip Ward is adminstered the oath of four-star General, the Army's highest rank of general.
Caleb Jones AP

A report made public today by the Department of Defense finally gives us details on what caused the downfall of Four-Star Gen. William "Kip" Ward.

More than a year ago, Ward gave up his post as leader of U.S. Africa Command and Stars and Stripes reported in May that he would be stripped of two of his stars, pending an investigation. But the reasons why were kept quiet, as Stars And Stripes reported.

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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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