5:58am

Sun September 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Presidential Debates Can Be Great Theater, But How Much Do They Matter?

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 7:52 am

In a 1988 debate against George H.W. Bush, Michael Dukakis's answer to a question about whether he would support the death penalty if his wife were raped and murdered is considered a huge stumble.
LENNOX MCLENDON ASSOCIATED PRESS

Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.

These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.

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5:41am

Sun September 16, 2012
Around the Nation

Still Home Sweet Home More Than A Century Later

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:36 am

Lee and Shirley Wohler in the kitchen of their farmhouse south of Waterville, Kan.
Becky Sullivan NPR

This year, the Homestead Act of 1862 turned 150. That landmark piece of legislation opened up the Western territories to settlement. Almost anybody could receive up to 160 acres for free if they built a house and "improved" the land over the course of five years. Millions took part, and eventually, more than 10 percent of all U.S. land was given away.

A German peasant named Frederick Wohler was one of those early homesteaders. Wohler received the deed to 80 acres of farmland in north-central Kansas 138 years ago this weekend. And today, the Wohlers are still there.

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5:23am

Sun September 16, 2012
Around the Nation

Many Texans Bereaved Over 'Dead' Voter Purge

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:36 am

Quite a few Texas voters are seeing dead people in the mirror these days when they go to brush their teeth in the morning.

In Houston, high school nurse Terry Collins got a letter informing her that after 34 years of voting she was off the Harris County rolls. Sorry.

"Friday of last week, I got a letter saying that my voting registration would be revoked because I'm deceased, I'm dead. I was like, 'Oh, no I'm not!' " Collins says.

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5:21am

Sun September 16, 2012
Politics

Congress Bets On Post-Election Edge, Delaying Action

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 7:36 am

Congress roared into town last week after a five-week break. Lawmakers will be heading back home just as quickly this week. They're expected to complete exactly one big item before pulling the plug on this briefest of sessions: a stopgap spending measure that keeps the government from shutting down during the next six months.

Members of both parties prefer tackling the mountain of unfinished business they leave behind only after the November election.

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5:20am

Sun September 16, 2012
Africa

Rwanda's Economy: An Unlikely Success Story

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:52 am

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame at the International Fund for Agricultural Development headquarters in Rome in February. Changes in agriculture have been part of the country's economic growth.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

East Africa is a tough place to do business. Want to open shop in Kenya? Prepare for a month of paper work, surly officials and bribes. To the west, in Rwanda, it's a different story.

"Registering a business takes just a matter of hours. It no longer takes months, weeks, as it used to be," says Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

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4:48pm

Sat September 15, 2012
Music

In South Korea, K-Pop Gets New King

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 11:24 am

Korean rapper PSY is responsible for the song Gangam Style, whose flashy and humorous video has brought K-pop to new ears.
Courtesy of the artist

3:58pm

Sat September 15, 2012
Middle East

Does Middle East Unrest Go Beyond Film?

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 4:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Nearly two years ago, mass demonstrations against autocrats in Arab countries captivated the world. The Arab Spring would bring democracy, and in many countries, a form of it has come. So, too, has the freedom of assembly and protests, something previous rulers could quash. No longer, and much of that anger is directed towards the United States. Here's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.

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3:58pm

Sat September 15, 2012
Pop Culture

Meet 'The Most Interesting Man In The World'

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 2:50 am

Jonathan Goldsmith plays "The Most Interesting Man in the World" in beer company Dos Equis' ad campaign. The audition, he says, "was a cattle call."
Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations

3:40pm

Sat September 15, 2012
Author Interviews

Embracing Diversity In A 'Multi-Faith World'

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 4:48 pm

Adam Gryko iStockphoto.com

Time magazine named author and pastor Brian McLaren one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

McLaren has written more than 20 books, and he is a principal figure in the Emerging Church, a Christian movement that rejects the organized and institutional church in favor of a more modern, accepting community.

McLaren's new book is called Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.

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3:03pm

Sat September 15, 2012
Politics

Obama Polishes His 'Regular Guy' Image With Beer

Originally published on Sat September 15, 2012 4:48 pm

President Obama toasts others at the Dubliner Restaurant and Pub in Washington, D.C., on March 17.
Joshua Roberts Getty Images

There's an old shorthand for likeability in politics: "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?"

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