Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 6:15 am
Good morning, fellow political junkies.
This week, the political headlines are expected to be dominated by several important off-year elections whose outcomes seem a foregone conclusion, if you believe the polls.
Democrat Terry McAulliffe in Virginia and Republican Chris Christie in New Jersey have significant polling leads in their governor's races. In New York City, Democrat and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio appears poised to win in a blowout.
On patrol: A Los Angeles Police Department officer and her dog were among the security forces on duty over the weekend in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport. A gunman opened fire there Friday, killing a TSA officer and wounding several other people.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Senator Rand Paul is not happy to be accused of plagiarism. He told ABC if dueling was legal, he might challenge one of his critics and seemed to refer to TV host Rachel Maddow. There's just one complication - under all dueling customs, if he challenges Maddow she gets to choose the weapon. Abe Lincoln was once challenged to a duel and chose broadswords, letting the long-armed Lincoln reach his opponent first. That duel was called off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Something fishy is going on in Michigan. A 20-pound carp is campaigning as a write-in candidate for the city council in Ann Arbor. The fish was removed from a pond last year and released into a nearby river. That's the biography, as we understand it. From the candidate's Twitter feed, the fish describes himself as a politician and bottom-feeder. He tweets: Since I have no actual feet, I don't have to stand for anything. People in Michigan cast their votes tomorrow.
Amy Tan's latest novel, <em>The Valley of Amazement</em>, will be published on Tuesday.
Credit Rick Smolanagainst / Against All Odds Productions
Amy Tan's grandmother (right) poses with a friend against a painted backdrop. Her outfit was an ensemble traditionally reserved for courtesans — although it could have been a costume borrowed for this portrait.
Amy Tan was 200 pages into a new novel when she attended a large exhibition on Shanghai life in the early 1900s. While there, she bought a book she thought might help her as she researched details on life in the Old City. She stopped turning pages when she came upon a group portrait.
Now, during the government shutdown, many House Republicans said the policy was unwise, but persisted for weeks in voting with their speaker, John Boehner. One reason was party loyalty. Another reason, according to analysts, was fear. Lawmakers did not want to run the risk of a challenge in a Republican primary from candidates saying they weren't trying hard enough.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
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And I'm David Greene.
Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.
Let's talk about smartphones. And for iPhone users, an important decision: when to upgrade. Apple's latest iPhones, the 5S and 5C, have been out for a couple months now. But some people are resisting temptation. They're perfectly happy with their older iPhones, except for one thing, when they upgrade to Apple's new operating system, things slow down.
To talk about how to manage this decision, we're joined - as we often are - by Bloomberg technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky. Hey, Rich.
When Teddy Roosevelt was president, reporter Lincoln Steffens came to him with a request: "Mr. President," he said, "I want to investigate corruption in the federal government." And Roosevelt responded in a rather astonishing way, as presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.
A Syrian fighter from the Islamist rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra inspects a resident's identification papers at a checkpoint in Aleppo on Oct. 26. Syria's Islamist fighters are generally better funded than their more moderate counterparts.
Like many Syrian exiles, Murhaf Jouejati, a professor at National Defense University, is frustrated by U.S. policy toward Syria. He says there's been only a trickle of U.S. aid to the secular, nationalist opposition in Syria, while the Islamists have no trouble raising money through their networks in the Arab world.
Sir Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best-selling authors. His science-fiction series Discworld has sold millions of copies worldwide. Pratchett is incredibly prolific — since his first novel was published in 1971, he has written on average two books every year.
But in 2007, 59-year-old Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. As a result, Pratchett can no longer read.
Small flickering oil lamps known as diyas are lighting up Indian homes in South Asian communities around the globe on Sunday as hundreds of millions of people observe Diwali.
Otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, it's a religious celebration of self-awareness and reflection. Diwali is a public holiday in a number of other nations, but it's not nearly so well-known in the U.S., where families must rely on themselves to keep the tradition alive.