2:35am

Fri September 21, 2012
Europe

A Stiletto, A Lamppost And The Soul Of Berlin

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:09 pm

Berlin's lampposts bristle with fliers and notices, and Berliners read them avidly. For one resident, the lamps were a natural place to turn when she lost a beloved shoe.
Esme Nicholson NPR

Something horrible has happened in Berlin.

You won't see it on TV or in the newspaper, but I know about it. So do my neighbors.

That's because there's a lamppost on our street, festooned with a note that reads, "A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT HAS HAPPENED." And naturally, once you see a note like that, you have to find out more.

As it turns out, the note was written by 29-year-old Maira Becke. But before I reveal her calamity, I must first explain the significance of lamp posts here in Berlin.

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2:34am

Fri September 21, 2012
It's All Politics

You've Got Mail: Campaigns Still Rely On Snail Mail

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 4:08 pm

A collection of political direct-mail pamphlets produced by the Mammen Group.
Lauren Rock NPR

For those of you who feel you've had quite enough of the political ads airing every night on your TV screens, well, get ready for another sort of deluge.

In the coming weeks, candidates will bombard your mailboxes with ads. It may seem old-fashioned, but the consultants who devise direct-mail campaigns have become sophisticated about knowing whom to reach and what to say.

"It's almost because of the changing media landscape that direct mail remains relevant," says Anil Mammen, who runs a small direct-mail shop in Washington, D.C.

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5:59pm

Thu September 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In California

Space Shuttle Endeavour sits atop the shuttle aircraft carrier, flies over downtown Austin, Texas early Thursday.
Marco Hanson AP

The Space Shuttle Endeavour landed in the Mojave Desert today. In truth, tomorrow will be the spectacular day, when it flies across the California coast, and across the landmarks of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where it will find its new, permanent home at the California Science Center.

Still, the retired shuttle had a poignant day today, taking off from Houston, flying low through Austin and making a special flyover in Tucson, Arizona in honor of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose husband Mark Kelly was in command during its last mission in May 2011.

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5:07pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Africa

Libyan Militiaman Says He Warned U.S. Of Dangers

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:15 pm

U.S. officials and Libyan militiamen met to discuss the deteriorating security in Benghazi just two days before the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Stevens is shown here at the consulate in June.
John Poole NPR

Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.

In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.

Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.

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5:05pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Election 2012

Senate Race Tough To Call As Wisconsin Swings

Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin sits with state delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5.
David Goldman AP

Republicans hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate in November's elections are banking on Wisconsin where they want to flip the seat held by Democrat Herb Kohl, who's retiring.

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5:05pm

Thu September 20, 2012
The Two-Way

Senate Report: Multinationals, Including Microsoft, Avoided Billions In Taxes

Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Elaine Thompson AP

According to a Senate investigations subcommittee, Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and other multinational corporations took advantage of an ambiguous U.S. tax code to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Here's how Bloomberg wraps it up:

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5:04pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Election 2012

Parties Debate Meaning, Value Of 'Redistribution'

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:19 pm

Mitt Romney speaks in Miami on Wednesday.
J Pat Carter AP

Cuban-Americans know a thing or two about what can happen when a government seizes wealth and redistributes it, as Fidel Castro's regime did five decades ago in Cuba.

So Mitt Romney had an especially receptive audience Wednesday night at a rally of Cuban-Americans in Miami, when he launched his campaign's latest line of attack on President Obama.

"He said some years ago something which we're hearing about today on the Internet," Romney told the crowd. "He said that he believes in redistribution."

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4:46pm

Thu September 20, 2012
It's All Politics

Despite Obama's High Latino Support, Univision Puts Him On Hot Seat

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:46 pm

President Obama got few if any softball questions when he had his turn at a Univision forum for the two major-party presidential candidates.
Carolyn Kaster AP

President Obama may have the overwhelming support of Latino voters in his race against Republican Mitt Romney, but that didn't get him a free pass during his appearance Thursday at Univision's presidential candidate forum.

Obama faced repeated tough questions from the hosts of the forum on the Spanish-language channel, and from some in the audience, for his failure to deliver on his promise as a candidate in 2008 to push comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

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4:07pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Middle East

Mideast Violence Prompts Calls For New U.S. Policy

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 5:05 pm

Egyptians destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Sept. 11, during a protest over the film that insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.

But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.

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