This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
Here is a sneak preview of what we can expect a lot more of in the next few months: President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney carrying on a long-distance debate over the economy. In this case, the distance was just 250 miles. Both men were in Ohio. Mr. Obama was in the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland, up along the Great Lakes. Romney was down in Cincinnati, near the Kentucky border.
We've got good news to pass along regarding the open heart surgery performed Thursday on seven-year-old Max Page, the child actor who captivated viewers as "Little Darth Vader" in a 2011 Volkswagen commercial.
I try my best to keep up on new sounds out of the Middle East and North Africa, but the name Youssra El Hawary was completely new to me until just a couple of weeks ago. But now, I'm totally hooked on music by this 28-year-old folkie-ish, indie-ish, chanson-ish singer/songwriter from Egypt armed not with a guitar, but ... an accordion.
In recent months, economic growth in China has not only slowed â it's slowed faster than most people expected. Last week, for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis, the government actually cut lending rates to try to spur growth. All of this has people wondering: Where is the world's star economy headed?
The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.
But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they're fakes â only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.
The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Some of the eeriest are stencils of human hands, apparently made by blowing a spray of pigment over a hand held up to a wall.
Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that people accused of a crime deserve the right to a defense lawyer, no matter whether they can afford to pay for one. But there's no such guarantee when it comes to civil disputes â like evictions and child custody cases â even though they have a huge impact on people's lives.
For decades, federal and state governments have pitched in to help. But money pressures mean the system for funding legal aid programs for the poor is headed toward a crisis.