Tonight, Mitt Romney formally accepts the Republican Party's nomination to be president of the United States. The path to a presidential nomination is never smooth, but by Republican Party standards, this year's primary campaign was pretty choppy. NPR's Ari Shapiro has this look back.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Mitt Romney launched this campaign on June 2nd, 2011, at a farm in New Hampshire.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with Isaac. After pounding the Gulf Coast with high winds, nonstop rain and a powerful storm surge, Isaac is now churning through northern Louisiana. There, heavy rainfall brings a new threat, inland river flooding. Some of that flooding has strained a dam in Mississippi; 60,000 people downriver have been ordered to evacuate.
For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.
"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.
For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, he'll have to close the gender gap. Polls show female voters favor President Obama over Romney by wide margins. Robert Siegel sat down with Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to ask her about women and the GOP.
With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. This image zooms in on one small region of the WISE sky, covering an area about three times larger than the moon. The WISE quasar candidates are highlighted with yellow circles.
"In one study, astronomers used WISE to identify about 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes across the full sky, stretching back to distances more than 10 billion light-years away. About two-thirds of these objects never had been detected before because dust blocks their visible light. WISE easily sees these monsters because their powerful, accreting black holes warm the dust, causing it to glow in infrared light."
In the fall of 2008 my friend, TJ Anderson — a member of the University of Iowa's Herky the Hawk mascot squad — took note of an unused space in the southwest corner of Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. And the idea of "Herky's Nest" was born.
TJ envisioned creating Herky's Nest — a home for Herky — that also serves as a premium seating area for children and families from the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. The goodwill gesture brings the community together in a lighthearted and meaningful way.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:33 am
We've come to accept the baby-fication of our vegetables – baby spinach, baby lettuce, and baby squash prized for their tenderness and cute size have staked out territory in the produce section of many a grocery store.
Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.
"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."
The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 10:02 am
There are claims flying back and forth today over whether Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has falsely accused President Obama of breaking a promise to make sure a GM plant in Ryan's hometown stayed open.
My friend Erica Raggett is one of those rare individuals who, when she heard about something atrocious, didn't forget about it, feel sad about it, or throw money at it.
She did something about it.
The just-opened A 2nd Cup is Erica's vision of a non-profit coffee shop that seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking in the Houston community, partner with other anti-trafficking organizations and fund aftercare solutions for survivors.
"This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," CNN camerawoman Patricia Carroll, in an interview with an institute that promotes diversity in the news media, says of the ugly racial taunts directed her way Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
The aftermath of a truck bomb in Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, which wounded the provincial police chief and killed two civilians Monday. Taliban attacks against Afghan officials are up sharply this year.
Credit Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters via Landov
Afghans bury the mayor of Kandahar, Ghulam Haidar Hamidi, after he was killed in a suicide bombing in July 2011. Afghan officials have extensive security but are still vulnerable to attack.
Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.
Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:57 pm
Mitt Romney has a tough to-do list.
He has to walk an ideological tightrope. As he accepts the GOP presidential nomination tonight, Romney will try to fire up partisans in the convention hall and watching at home, without turning off moderates and independent voters.
He also has to convey certain intangible qualities. The former Massachusetts governor will want to appear presidential while also attempting to lift his low "likability" ratings.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, this country is facing history again this year. It's a chance to elect this country's first Mormon president. So we decided to ask a group of faith leaders representing different traditions to tell us what role they think religion plays or should play when it comes to choosing the next president. That's coming up later in the program.
As the Republican convention continues, the major political parties are defining their positions — and many are focused on faith. Host Michel Martin speaks with a diverse panel of religious leaders to weigh how they balance faith and politics.
Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh recently ordered the executions of all 47 prisoners on death row. Nine have been killed so far. The news comes decades after the last execution was ordered in that country. Host Michel Martin discusses the political situation in Gambia with Pa Nderry Mbai. He's a Gambian journalist living in exile in North Carolina.
Senior driver Preston Carter, 100, talks with police officers after police say his car went onto a sidewalk and plowed into a group of parents and children outside a South Los Angeles elementary school on Wednesday.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:16 am
Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.
"Many of the adults we tutor have lost their jobs, and now find themselves ill-equipped to find employment in today's job market," says Director Kim Payne. "Most of them are working toward a GED, but many of them have high school diplomas. However, the workplace has changed over the years, and now most jobs require not only higher reading and math levels, but computer skills as well."