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Sales of new single-family homes rose 5.7 percent in September from August and at an annual rate of 389,000 hit the fastest pace since April 2010, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development say.

Sales were up 27.1 percent from September 2011.

Reuters calls the news "further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam."

Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base along California's central coast is closed after the death of a 39-year-old man who was attacked by a shark Tuesday while surfing.

The man's death came two years and a day after a shark killed a 19-year-old man along the same stretch of the coast.

Reuters and Fox News have obtained copies of an email sent about two hours after the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the White House, Pentagon and other agencies are told that the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia had "claimed responsibility."

Earlier ceasefire deals have quickly fallen apart in Syria this year, so this news should be viewed with some skepticism:

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The Justice Department and the town of East Haven, Connecticut have reached an agreement to reform the city's police. This after an investigation unveiled a widespread pattern of police misconduct and discrimination against the Latino community. Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports.

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Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Stop the presses. Clark Kent is quitting The Daily Planet. The mild-mannered reporter apparently decided to show a little steel after being scolded one time too many by Editor-in-Chief Perry White. Superman's alter ego goes out big. Before the entire staff, he rails against the newspaper's new emphasis on entertainment and scandals. After seven decades on the news desk, Clark is reportedly reinventing himself in new media. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

After saying during a debate Tuesday night that a pregnancy caused by rape is "something that God intended to happen," the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana is arguing that it is "twisted" to suggest he thinks God wants some women to be raped.

Google's Street View Goes Into The Wild

Oct 24, 2012

Google's Street View maps are headed into the backcountry. Earlier this week, two teams from Google strapped on sophisticated backpacks jammed with cameras, gyroscopes and other gadgets, and descended to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. But this is just the first step in the search giant's plan to digitally map and photograph the world's wild places.

Luc Vincent — who runs Google's Street View — met up with a small group of reporters on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon this week.

America's exit strategy in Afghanistan is to have Afghan forces take the lead in fighting for their country. But too often these days, the job still falls to U.S. troops.

A senior officer in Afghanistan tells NPR that Americans continue to coddle Afghan forces and that this must stop. Tough love is in, the officer says. He says the Afghan forces are far more capable than the U.S. estimates and have simply grown accustomed to the U.S. doing everything for them.

That pretty much sums up the situation in southern Afghanistan earlier this year.

The number of boys locked up for crimes has dropped over the past decade, but the number of young women detained in jails and residential centers has moved in the other direction.

On furlough from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this summer, 21-year-old Nick Staback lounges on his parents' back porch in Scranton, Pa., taking potshots at sparrows with a replica sniper rifle. The long plastic gun fires pellets that mostly just scare the birds away.

It's been a tough year for Staback since his last foot patrol in Afghanistan.

"We [were] just channeling down a beaten trail, of course, you just don't know what's on it," he says. "We had the mine sweepers out front and everything like that."

While sitting on a couch and gazing at a 50-inch TV remains a popular pastime in America, smaller screens have also edged their way into our lives. Phones, tablets and video game devices crowd pockets and coffee tables, offering access to what used to be called "TV," at any time of the day.

Despite its status as a device that defines the modern age, the television has its roots in the 19th century, when scientists found ways to transmit images and sound. Even the word "television," combining Greek and Latin roots to mean "far-sight," stems from the 1900 world's fair.

Senegal is awash with rams — stunning, immaculately groomed specimens, each with its own name and colorful, custom-made collar and tinkling sheep bell.

Everywhere you go, you hear "baa, baa" — sheep in their dozens, or alone, bleating from up above on a veranda or in a specially created enclosure in a backyard.

Many of the rams are bathed lovingly in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, on the fringes of the capital, Dakar. The sheep are fed the best of everything and proudly paraded up and down the beaches.

Two weeks after Matthew Spencer got a spinal injection for his chronic back pain, he felt "not quite right." Nothing too specific: worsening headache, nausea.

Then he saw a TV report on a recall of contaminated steroid medication used for back pain.

"I thought, well, I don't know if I had that medicine or not, but maybe I'd better go check it out," Spencer says.

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The news out of Syria these days is a barrage of images: destroyed buildings, gruesome casualties, weeping mothers. It's both disturbing and inspiring to a thriving movement of Syrian songwriters, rappers, poets, writers, graffiti artists and actors trying to cope with what's happening around them.

NPR's Kelly McEvers recently attended a performance by Syrian artists in Beirut and sent this report.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: It starts in a theater...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)

It's largely forgotten now — but there was a time when the mere mention of Brooklyn would produce a cascade of laughs. It was like saying "woman driver" — surefire guffaws. Everybody from Brooklyn was supposed to be a character.

Every platoon in every war movie had one wise guy from Brooklyn in it. Brooklyn natives spoke funny. They said, most famously, "youse guys." At a time when African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics barely existed — visibly — in movies or on radio or television, Brooklyn was the all-purpose stand-in for our great American ethnic diversity.

Wall Street's bad day — the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 240 points (1.8 percent) — has been followed by something unusual these days: good news about Facebook's shares.

Apple has unveiled a smaller, cheaper version of its popular iPad tablet. NPR's Laura Sydell attended the event Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., and got a hands-on look at the new iPad mini. Below are her first impressions.

An estimated 59.2 million people tuned in Monday night to watch President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in their third and final debate before the Nov. 6 election, The Nielsen Company reports.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined leadership in the animal kingdom.

Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

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I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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A big development today in the Justice Department's crackdown on national security leaks. A former CIA agent pleaded guilty to revealing the name of a covert operative to a reporter. John Kiriakou agreed to spend two and a half years in prison.

NPR's Carrie Johnson was in the courtroom in Virginia for the plea hearing and joins us now to talk about the case. Welcome, Carrie.

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