A Russian Army officer walks past Defence Ministry offices in Moscow, on Tuesday. Putin fired defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov over a corruption scandal, the most dramatic change to the government since he returned to the Kremlin for a third term.
Passengers wait to board the Gautrain, Africa's first high-speed train, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug. 2, 2011. The train travels at speeds of up to 100 mph and makes commuting much easier for South Africans accustomed to congested roads and traffic jams.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
Despite some people's grumbling about ticket prices, the Gautrain is operating at full capacity during peak hours. Passengers praise the cleanliness of the trains as well as the speed. Here is the Gautrain station in Pretoria, South Africa's capital.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
Refilwe Edith Seabi (left) and her sister Girlie are taking the Gautrain from Pretoria to go shopping in Johannesburg. Seabi is pleased when the ride clocks in at 30 minutes — compared with a drive that sometimes takes her two hours.
Talk of the Nation's favorite film buff Murray Horwitz lobbies for his picks for the best Election Day movies of all time. From Reese Witherspoon's Tracy Flick running for student council president in Election, to Chris Rock playing a fictional first black president in Head of State, cast your vote.
The most expensive election in U.S. history could be decided by one a tight margin. As results begin to roll in, all eyes are on Ohio, Florida and other swing states that are still too close to call. And both campaigns have lawyers at the ready in case of recounts or problems at polling places.
The candidates' speechwriters are busy crafting two different sets of remarks for two different outcomes: A victory speech and a concession speech. Former Clinton White House speech writer Paul Glastris and former Reagan White House speech writer Peter Robinson talk about the art of the speech.
In Oliver Sacks' book The Mind's Eye, the neurologist included an interesting footnote in a chapter about losing vision in one eye because of cancer that said: "In the '60s, during a period of experimenting with large doses of amphetamines, I experienced a different sort of vivid mental imagery."
He expands on this footnote in his new book, Hallucinations, where he writes about various types of hallucinations — visions triggered by grief, brain injury, migraines, medications and neurological disorders.
When we think of ready-to-eat meals, we usually think of those packets of nutrient-dense soldiers' rations, like the Army sandwich that stays fresh for two years. These pouches of food are typically deployed in the field, and are consequently designed to withstand the abuses of temperature and time that would destroy fresh fare.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 2:18 pm
As the voting day has progressed, we've seen some reports of irregularities.. Throughout the day, we'll be surveying our reporters and other news organizations and keep track of significant irregularities in this post.
So far, the big problem has been long lines. Some voters have had to wait hours in line to cast their ballot in battleground states like Florida and Virginia and those affected by Superstorm Sandy like New York.
Here we are on election morning, and in the swing state of Nevada, most of the work is already done. Most of the ballots were cast in early voting. Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston has been keeping close track of the tallies. He's on the line.
Welcome to the program, sir.
JON RALSTON: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: So, in recent days, what have you been seeing?
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:15 pm
Whether you're fighting to hold onto your youth or wear your age proudly, visible signs of aging are pretty much inevitable. But if you're looking particularly ragged before your time, researchers say it could be a reason to check with a cardiologist.
A 35-year study involving 11,000 people in Denmark suggests that the presence of several telltale signs of aging, like baldness and receding hairline, may flag a person's risk for a heart attack or heart disease.
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation about the big issues missing on the campaign trail. Issues like crime, caregiving, poverty and climate change might affect millions of people, but they may not win a lot of votes. Martin speaks with a panel of journalists about whether these issues will enter the conversation over the next four years.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:03 am
Severe weather could be headed for regions hard hit by superstorm Sandy, so many homeowners are scrambling to make repairs. The rush might make them vulnerable to so-called storm chasers — con artists posing as contractors. Host Michel Martin speaks with Angie Hicks, founder of the website Angie's List, for tips on how to avoid home repair scams.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:03 am
A lot of kids hate homework, and studies show they're getting more of it than ever. But experts are questioning whether the work is worth it. Host Michel Martin discusses the debate over homework with a panel of parents, including regular contributor Jolene Ivey, psychologist Kenneth Goldberg and educator Stephen Jones.
Voters have been bombarded by political ads, but some topics have gotten very little attention this election season. Host Michel Martin speaks with a panel of journalists about some of this election's hidden issues. She speaks with NPR's Marilyn Geewax, Jennifer Ludden, and David Schaper, as well as The Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger.
Next, we go to Des Moines, Iowa where Sadhya Dirks of Iowa Public Radio joins us. Good morning.
SADHYA DIRKS, BYLINE: Morning.
MONTAGNE: And where did you start out this morning? I gather it wasn't Des Moines.
DIRKS: I was in a suburb of Des Moines. It's a more conservative part of Des Moines. It's Johnston, Iowa and I was at the Evangelical Free Church there, just talking to some voters and seeing what the turnout was like.
Depression is the most costly among 10 common risk factors linked to higher health spending on employees, according to a new study drawn from the experience at seven companies.
The analysis, published in the journal Health Affairs, found that these factors — which also included obesity, high blood sugar and high blood pressure — were associated with nearly a quarter of the money spent on the health care of more than 92,000 workers.
Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan cast his vote in his home state of Wisconsin this morning. To learn more about voting in that battleground state on this Election Day, we reached Shawn Johnson of Wisconsin Public Radio. He's in the town of Middleton, just outside the state capital, Madison. Good morning.
SHAWN JOHNSON, BYLINE: Good morning.
MONTAGNE: Well, tell us a little about Middleton - partly what the scene is there, but also what kind of place is it?
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. People have been joking for weeks that the candidates are actually running for president of Ohio. That's how vital the state is, but here's a reminder about the electoral map. It is at least theoretically possible for either candidate to lose Ohio and still reach 270 electoral votes by winning some combination of other states. Many of those combinations include Florida.
It's at least theoretically possible for either candidate to lose the vital state of Ohio and still reach 270 electoral votes by winning some combination of other states. Many of those combinations include Florida — infamous for voting irregularities in 2000.
Renee Montagne talks to Josh Rogers of New Hampshire Public Radio about voting in rural and urban parts of the state. Election Day starts early, at 5 a.m., in much of the state, and there's a new voter ID law.
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 8:17 am
For most of us, Election Day marks a welcome end to months of relentless political ads and partisan bickering. You show up at your polling place, run the gantlet of sign-wielding campaign volunteers, and join your fellow Americans in long lines that inch toward the voting booth.
It's finally here! It's Election Day. After months of campaigning and some $2 billion spent by both campaigns, it means political junkies will finally get some answers and those who aren't too enamored with Washington, will stop seeing ads on TV.
With that, here are 10 headlines that tell today's story:
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie finally met his state's favorite son. He attended more than 100 Bruce Springsteen concerts without meeting the devoted Democrat. But after the Republican governor toured storm damage with President Obama, the two embraced. Campaigning with Springsteen, the president later put the two men on the phone, matching the Boss with the governor who once sang Springsteen music in a TV appearance.