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It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

The Race To 270: A Swing State Scorecard

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:11 am

From now until Election Day, the U.S. might as well consist of just eight or so states, not 50.

Those are the battleground states where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, their running mates and spouses will be spending much of their time in what remains of the 2012 race for the White House.

It's all about amassing the 270 electoral votes required to be elected president. NPR's analysis of the race at this point suggests the eight states that are most in play are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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The Impact of War
2:41 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Iraq Vet Seeks Atonement For Early War Tragedy

A scene from the early days of the fighting in Iraq in the spring of 2003. In one incident, three members of an Iraqi family were killed. A U.S. Marine involved in the shooting recently tracked down the family to ask for forgiveness.
Laurent Rebours AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:09 pm

On April 8, 2003, in the early days of the Iraq War, the Kachadoorian family found themselves in the middle of a firefight at a major intersection in Baghdad.

They had approached the intersection in three cars and didn't respond to Marines' warnings to stop and turn around; so the Marines opened fire, killing three men and shooting a young woman in the shoulder, not realizing that the people in the car were civilians.

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It's All Politics
2:07 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

During Debates, Silence On Some Issues Was Deafening

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Max Gyselinck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:13 pm

It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.

But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.

Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Update: USAID Says Figures On Flood Aid In Pakistan Misinterpreted

Aug. 28: A flooded road in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Umar Qayyum Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 4:11 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET:

Our original headline on this post was "U.S. Pledges Exceed Pakistan's Spending On Its Own Flood Relief." As we reported, the Christian Science Monitor has looked into the details of a Congressional Research Service report and concluded that U.S. aid to Pakistan for flood relief exceeded that country's own spending.

But Ben Edwards, a spokesman at the U.S. Agency for International Development, tells us in an email that:

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All Songs Considered
1:46 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

CMJ 2012: Hundred Waters, Turbo Fruits, Foxygen And More

Clockwise from upper left: Hundred Waters, Turbo Fruits, Brick + Mortar, Foxygen, People Get Ready.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:59 pm

Each fall, hundreds of little-known bands descend on New York City for the annual CMJ Music Marathon. As festivals go, it's one of the best for surprises, since so many of the acts are new and emerging. For the artists, it's a chance to be seen and heard and, hopefully, loved. For the rabid music fan or journalist, it's an overwhelming flood of musical discoveries.

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It's All Politics
1:40 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Horses, Bayonets And The Modern Military

U.S. Army Special Forces ride horseback as they work with members of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001.
AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:58 pm

President Obama said during Monday night's debate that the U.S. Army has fewer horses and bayonets than in the past.

That's true. Although Army Special Forces were on horseback in Afghanistan when they helped defeat the Taliban in 2001, the Army's horses are now used only for ceremonial occasions.

As for bayonets? The last bayonet charge was during the Korean War in 1951.

The bayonet has somewhat gone the way of the horse cavalry, as far as the Army is concerned (although Marines still use bayonets in training).

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The Two-Way
1:04 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Court Lays Bare Strip Club's Argument That Lap Dances Are Art

In New York State, she's not an artist.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

No, the Nite Moves strip club in Latham, N.Y., can't claim that lap dances, pole performances and other moves in its ladies' repertoire are "art" and therefore exempt from sales taxes, New York State's highest court ruled today in a 4-3 decision.

According to The Associated Press:

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Favorite Sessions
12:48 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Calexico: A Beautiful Breakup Song

Calexico's Joey Burns performs on The Current.
Nate Ryan The Current

The Tuscon, Ariz., band Calexico has made a career out of warping genres and musical traditions together into an eclectic, clever, original mix. Drawing upon jazz, alt-country, post-rock and a wide-ranging variety of Latin styles from mariachi to cumbia to Tex-Mex, Joey Burns and John Convertino (along with an ever-rotating cast of supporting players) have crafted a uniquely inclusive vision of indie-rock Americana.

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World Cafe
12:26 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Alt-J On World Cafe

Jory Cordy

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 1:26 pm

Alt-J (stylized as ∆) may be the most successful new British band of 2012 — a favorite to win the Mercury Music Prize in November and a Top 20 chart phenomenon in the U.K. The group, which chose its name from the mathematical symbol for change, made a splash with its debut album, An Awesome Wave, which came out in September. The record mixes upbeat indie rock and brooding synths with vocals that sound like no one else's in music today.

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The Salt
12:26 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Buying Food Past Its Sell-By Date Tough To Swallow For Greeks

Bargain-hunting Greek shoppers may soon have more options at the grocery store. The government is asking retailers to discount expired nonperishable products in response to rising food prices.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 8:00 am

Austerity measures continue in Greece as the country sinks deeper into a recession. Incomes have dropped nearly 50 percent in some cases, but food prices are at record highs. The Greek newspaper Ekathimerini recently reported that the country has some of the most expensive food and the costliest dairy products in the entire European Union.

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