'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
12:04 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

It's All Politics, July 19, 2012

J.D. Pooley Getty Images
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Mitt Romney, under attack over taxes, Bain and outsourcing, is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month. But he's still tied with President Obama in nearly every poll. Plus, we weigh in on potential veeps, Ron Paul and Sarah Palin await their convention invites, Harry Reid complains, and Anthony Weiner mulls a comeback. Really.

Join NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving in the latest installment of the It's All Politics podcast.

Middle East
12:04 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

'Shadow War' Between Israel And Iran Creeps Wider

An Israeli survivor is carried on a wheelchair to an ambulance as he leaves a hospital in Burgas, Bulgaria, on Thursday. A suicide bomb attacker killed eight people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists at a Bulgarian airport, the country's interior minister said, and Israel pointed its finger at Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants.
Stoyan Nenov Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 9:44 am

At the core of the Israel-Iran dispute is the latter's nuclear program. But it's been playing out in a strange way, in a shadow war that stretches across continents.

Almost immediately after a bomb killed several Israeli tourists and wounded more than 30 on a Bulgarian bus Wednesday, Israel blamed Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:48 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Abortion Back On The Front Burner For Congress

It's not just states where abortion is heating up as an issue this election year. Congress is getting back into the fray, too.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Fri July 20, 2012

President Obama: 'Such Violence, Such Evil is Senseless; It's Beyond Reason'

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 3:22 pm

In a speech from Fort Myers, Fla., President Obama said today was "a day for prayer and reflection."

The President cancelled a planned campaign event and instead addressed the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. He asked those gathered to pause for a moment of silence to remember the victims.

"Even as we learn how this happened and who's responsible, we may never understand what leads anyone to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," Obama said. "Such violence, such evil is senseless; it's beyond reason."

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Real-Life Horror: Many Killed, Dozens Wounded At Colorado Movie Theater

Two women mourn near the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire during the opening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 1:17 am

  • Witness talks to 'The Today Show'
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with witness Chayyiel Jackson

A midnight screening of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises turned into a horribly real scene of death and destruction in Aurora, Colo., early Friday when a gunman opened fire on the audience killing 12.

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Planet Money
3:44 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Public Pensions Are About To Look Less Healthy

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 11:06 am

The health of public pension plans — the retirement plans for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other state and local governments — has gotten plenty of attention lately.

Some plans are hurting, and numbers from state and local governments suggest their public pension plans are underfunded by about $1 trillion.

But that gap between what they owe and what they have on hand today is about to look bigger — much bigger, in some cases.

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The Veepstakes
3:41 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Jindal's Story Intrigues, But Can It Get Him A VP Nod?

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Mention Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and a lot of people still remember his 2009 Republican response to President Obama's first address to Congress. In a voice often compared to Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock, Jindal addressed viewers across the nation as if they were primary school students.

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U.S.
3:40 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Rain Over Texas Quenches Dry Lone Star State

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 pm

While severe drought is taking hold in the Midwest, Texas is doing better. At this time last year, the state was on fire, crops were desiccated in the field and livestock were slowly starving. But recent rains have almost ended more than a year of record drought.

"If you look at the way we were thinking and feeling on the last July 16, that was desperation. That was despair," says Gene Hall, public relations director for the Texas Farm Bureau.

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London 2012: The Summer Olympics
3:35 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Olympians' Dilemma: 'Starve My Soul' For Ramadan?

Mohammed Ahmed runs at the NCAA championships in June in Des Moines, Iowa. He's representing Canada at the Olympics and had to decide whether to fast for Ramadan this year.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:12 am

Mazen Aziz, representing Egypt in the 2012 Summer Olympics, has trained for the 10,000-meter, open-water swim for years. It's a grueling race that can take upwards of 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the waves, current or water temperature.

But Aziz is Muslim, and with the Olympics falling during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the 22-year-old athlete had to make a choice: be in top physical condition or maintain a primary tenet of his faith.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:25 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Activists Fear Brazil's Triumph Over HIV Has Fizzled

Drag queens at an outdoor restaurant in Copacabana incorporate safe sex messages into a show of lip-synced songs and risque jokes.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Brazil's HIV/AIDS program — which has been praised as a model for developing nations — is now under strain.

When HIV first emerged in the 1980s, Brazil responded quickly to the epidemic. The South American country launched large-scale safe-sex drives and gave away millions of condoms. It offered free treatment to anyone who was infected. The Brazilian government took on international pharmaceutical companies and even broke patents to cut medication costs.

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