1:22pm

Sun October 7, 2012
World

Stateless And Stranded On American Samoa

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 9:14 am

Mikhail Sebastian lived in Los Angeles before his fateful trip to American Samoa.
Courtesy Mikhail Sebastian

For many of us, no matter where we go, we'll always have a home. We'll always be from somewhere. But what if that somewhere no longer existed?

That is the strange position in which Mikhail Sebastian finds himself. Officially, he is from nowhere and has nowhere to go. The 39-year-old is stateless and stranded on American Samoa, a U.S. territory in the South Pacific.

Sebastian is an ethnic Armenian born in what is now Azerbaijan, but back then was part of the Soviet Union. When war broke out in the late 1980s, Sebastian says his aunt was stoned to death and he fled.

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11:35am

Sun October 7, 2012
It's All Politics

What If They Held A Debate And Nobody Won?

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 1:06 pm

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney greet one another before Wednesday's debate in Denver.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For most people reacting to last week's presidential debate, their first thought was probably not about who made the best arguments or told the most truths. Rather it was likely deciding who won.

The answer this time around was unusually definitive: Mitt Romney, by virtually every account and measure.

But in presidential debates — and the vice presidential version, which takes place on Thursday — does there need to be a winner?

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10:22am

Sun October 7, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Spinal Surgery Company To Give Tissue Proceeds To Charity

The maker of a new product for spine surgeons wants to make a splash by donating proceeds to two charities.
Spinal Elements

When a California company developed a product to be used in spinal fusion surgeries, the firm's president said he knew it faced a new "ethical dilemma," even noting a recent NPR news investigation questioning the high profits some firms were making from donated human tissue.

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5:50am

Sun October 7, 2012
The Two-Way

The U.N.'s 'Superhero Man': A Rocking Tribute To A Humanitarian

A Norwegian comedy duo managed something rare: to get concert goers cheering for a U.N. official.
YouTube.com

5:10am

Sun October 7, 2012
Environment

Restore California Delta! To What, Exactly?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Wetlands are returning naturally at Liberty Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California. The state plans to restore more than 100,000 acres of habitat in the area.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

In California, state officials are planning a multibillion-dollar environmental restoration of the inland delta near San Francisco Bay. There's only one problem: No one knows what the landscape used to look like. Ninety-seven percent of the original wetlands are gone, so the state is turning to historians for help.

This detective story begins on a sunny day in a dry field of corn, about an hour east of San Francisco.

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5:06am

Sun October 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Massachusetts Senate Race Gives New Meaning To Gender Politics

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown (left) answers a question during a debate against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren on Monday at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, Mass.
Matt Stone AP

Despite its liberal reputation, the home of Jack Kennedy and Tip O'Neill has never elected a woman as governor or senator. And in Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's tight re-election race with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, gender could prove the difference.

When Brown won his Senate seat in a special election in 2010, he came away unscathed by something his female opponent at the time would have had a much harder time explaining away. He posed nude for Cosmopolitan when he was 22 to help pay for law school.

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5:06am

Sun October 7, 2012
Solve This

Afghanistan Deadline Awaits Next U.S. President

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Afghan children run to school on Sept. 24. Whoever takes over as the next U.S. president will have to determine how many troops will remain after the December 2014 deadline to help with long-term security.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

How does a president bring the war in Afghanistan to an end? There are 68,000 American troops serving in the country as the war enters its 12th year.

The war hasn't been a major issue in the presidential campaign, and polls show American voters are tiring of the war. But the next commander in chief will find the Afghan war among the most difficult of many foreign policy challenges.

Both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney appear to agree on a date: the last day of December 2014. That's when the Afghan security forces are scheduled to takeover.

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5:05am

Sun October 7, 2012
Economy

Reading Between The Candidates' Economic Lines

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 12:17 pm

A for-sale sign hangs in front of a Homestead, Fla., home. In terms of the housing market, the presidential candidates differ most on regulation.
J. Pat Carter AP

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about the candidates' policies on housing and taxes.

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5:04am

Sun October 7, 2012
Presidential Race

Taxes Are Certain, But What About Romney's Cuts?

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:24 pm

Supporters watch Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speak on Friday in Abingdon, Va. Romney started off his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but has backed off that somewhat.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Republican Mitt Romney started his campaign calling for big tax cuts, but now he has changed course. He's warning middle-class families not to raise their hopes too high.

Romney couldn't have been more emphatic than he was last November at a candidates' debate in Michigan.

"What I want to do is help the people who've been hurt the most, and that's the middle class," he said. "And so what I do is focus a substantial tax break on middle-income Americans."

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4:29pm

Sat October 6, 2012
Economy

Unemployment Numbers Are Kept Under Guard

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 5:44 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And undoubtedly, the president and Governor Romney were up early Friday morning reading and eagerly awaiting the unemployment numbers. Almost immediately after they were announced, theories began to circulate that maybe, just maybe, the Bureau of Labor Statistics was cooking the books to help the president's re-election.

Back in August, Caitlin Kenney of NPR's Planet Money team went to investigate just why those numbers are such a closely held secret.

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