Inside Rebel-Held Syria
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

In Syrian Conflict, Both Sides Vie To Control Message

Most civilians have fled the Syrian town of Derat Azza after protracted shelling by Syrian troops. Shops are closed, and rebels are trying to tightly control any information flowing out of the town.
Bunny Coleman for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 7:17 pm

Last of five parts

The most striking thing you see when you drive into the Syrian town of Derat Azza is that it's devoid of ordinary people. Shops are closed, shuttered.

The only people you see seem to be rebels.

It seems like the only difference between this town and others in the area is that the regime made up its mind to target it. And once the regime did, there was nothing the people could do.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

GOP Says Coverage For The Uninsured Is No Longer The Priority

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says covering the uninsured shouldn't be Republicans' top health priority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

For decades, the primary goal of those who would fix the U.S. health system has been to help people without insurance get coverage. Now, it seems, all that may be changing. At least some top Republicans are trying to steer the health debate away from the problem of the uninsured.

The shift in emphasis is a subtle one, but it's noticeable.

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Around the Nation
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

L.A. Council Bans Pot Shops After Regulation Struggle

Pedestrians walk past a medical marijuana dispensary in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles Tuesday. The City Council voted that day to ban marijuana shops outright.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to shut down all of the medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. That's no easy task. There are more than 800 of them — more than the number of Starbucks coffee shops in Los Angeles. But after years of struggling to regulate pot shops, city officials have decided to prohibit them altogether.

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The Torch
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

'Tremendous Honor': Dancing For The World At Olympics Opener

Sasha Feachem (right) will be performing in an urban street dance during the London Olympics' opening ceremony Friday.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 10:44 am

The London Summer Olympics officially begin today with the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire has put together the latest Olympic kickoff spectacle. As NPR's Philip Reeves reported yesterday, a preview video has been released.

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It's All Politics
12:13 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Obama Would Pay More — Romney, A Lot More — If Bush-Era Tax Cuts End

President George W. Bush signs tax cut legislation on June 7, 2001. The cuts from this and a subsequent bill are set to expire at the end of 2012.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 27, 2012 2:42 pm

An occasional series, Fiscal Cliff Notes breaks down the looming "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and deep automatic spending cuts set to hit around the first of year.


About 80 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up if all the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush were to expire as scheduled at the end of this year. And nearly 100 percent of the highest income earners would have to pay more — including both the Obamas and the Romneys.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Picking Up The Pieces: Family Remembers Shooting Victim Micayla Medek

Grandma Marlene Kenobbe (L) comforts consoles Kailyn Vigil during Micayla Medek's funeral at the New Hope Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 8:12 pm

The families of the Aurora, Colo. shooting victims continued to pick up the pieces today.

The Denver ABC affiliate reports that the family of Micayla Medek, 23, who was killed in the theater, held a funeral service today.

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The Veepstakes
5:42 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

As A VP Option, Christie's Star May Burn Too Hot

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:52 pm

What people in New Jersey like about Gov. Chris Christie is his candor — the sense that he's speaking from his heart, instead of a script.

Last summer, as Hurricane Irene barreled toward the Jersey shore, the Republican governor offered a particularly memorable moment during a press conference: "Get the hell off the beach in Asbury Park and get out," he said. "You're done. It's 4:30. You've maximized your tan. Get off the beach."

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World
4:58 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Latest Target For Palestinians' Protest? Their Leader

Abbas attends a meeting of his Fatah movement at its headquarters in Ramallah on Jan. 29.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 8:20 am

The Kalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank is best known as a flashpoint between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces. Images of masked youths throwing rocks by the painted concrete wall here are ubiquitous.

Protesters gathered at Kalandia again last week, but their focus wasn't Israeli soldiers: It was Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Ohio Valley, Northeast Brace For Severe Weather

Radar image of the United States at 5:44 p.m. ET.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 10:46 pm

Severe thunderstorms are moving east, this hour. As the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center says, parts of the Ohio Valley and interior southern New England can expect some wild weather this evening, including "widespread damaging winds."

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It's All Politics
4:38 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Romney In London: Not A Smashing Success So Far

Mitt Romney leaves London's 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:27 pm

The first stop — Britain — in Mitt Romney's foreign tour certainly is starting out rockier than nearly anyone expected.

First there was the kerfuffle over remarks, attributed by a British newspaper to an anonymous campaign adviser, that Romney understood the shared "Anglo-Saxon heritage" between the U.S. and Britain in a way President Obama didn't. Those comments were viewed as racist by some and were disowned by the Romney campaign.

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