National News from NPR

Perry Hopes To Turn Medical Liability Record Into Votes

Aug 26, 2011

Just a few weeks into his campaign, Texas Gov. and presidential candidate Rick Perry isn't talking a whole lot about health care, except to criticize President Obama for last year's law. And he's not considered a health care expert. But he's is passionate on one point: Fixing the nation's health care system must include a major reform of the medical malpractice system.

Over the past decade or so, we've seen hurricanes pound the Gulf states. Of course foremost in the national consciousness is still Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall near New Orleans in 2005.

Not only that but if you exclude Florida, the last major hurricane — meaning category 3 or stronger — to make landfall in the Eastern Seaboard was Hurricane Fran, which made landfall in North Carolina in 1996. But during the past two decades, the Gulf Coast has seen Andrew in 1992, Opal in 1995, Bret in 1999, Charley and Ivan in 2004 and Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005.

More than 2 million residents along the Eastern Seaboard have been ordered to move to safer places as Hurricane Irene lumbers toward the Mid-Atlantic region.

President Obama is getting criticized from all sides lately, and the African-American community is no exception. In an op-ed piece in Friday's New York Times, Princeton professor Cornel West condemned the president for ignoring homeowners, workers and poor people and, instead, giving "us bailouts for banks, record profits for Wall Street and giant budget cuts on the backs of the vulnerable."

Vera Farmiga isn't one to shy away from a challenge. Her new film, Higher Ground, goes to risky territory. Farmiga stars as Corinne Walker, an evangelical woman struggling to deal with the faith that has let her down. And she takes on a second role, as a first-time director.

Imelda May: Devil May Care

Aug 26, 2011

Imelda May is an Irish singer whose music straddles the line between rockabilly and blues. That's an intriguing mix, though not the most natural fit for mainstream radio. May says that when she began her recording career, the advice she received was less than encouraging.

NYC To Shut Down Public Transit

Aug 26, 2011

Cities along the East Coast are bracing for Hurricane Irene. New York City's public transportation will shut down around noon on Saturday, says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Hurricane Irene Approaches N.C.

Aug 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene has spent the day churning toward the United States. While the eye of the storm is far offshore, rain bands from the tropical system are already lashing the Carolinas. NPR's Greg Allen speaks with Melissa Block with the latest from Virginia.

A Look At Dick Cheney's Unapologetic Memoir

Aug 26, 2011

Call it spin, score settling or setting the record straight: Former Vice President Dick Cheney's new memoir of his extraordinary political career is out next week. Robert Siegel talks with Charlie Savage of the New York Times, who got an early copy of the book, entitled "In My Time."

The difficulty Libyan rebels are having moving their leaders to Tripoli from their temporary capital in Benghazi pales in comparison to the daunting task they face trying to set up a new, post-Gadhafi government. Continued fighting in Tripoli and elsewhere in Libya are hampering efforts to set up an interim government in the next two weeks as planned. There's in-fighting between key leaders whose unity is cracking now that Moammar Gadhafi is gone. Libyans also have to build from scratch many institutions that are key to creating any meaningful democracy.

During a recent trip to Syria, I managed to sneak away from my minders one night and spend an evening with a man in the capital, Damascus, who's an IT engineer by day and an activist by night.

I was able to see up close that protesting in Syria is not just a matter of raising your fist. It's a matter of life and death.

Let's start this story with how I was able to meet the activist.

Why didn't Moammar Gadhafi choose a comfortable retirement in exile when he had the chance?

It's an age-old question for faltering dictators. When some are losing their grip on power, they are pragmatic and look for a cushy home abroad rather than face the wrath of their angry compatriots.

Weight training is touted as the cure for many ills. But if the goal is to lose belly fat, aerobic exercise is the only way to go, exercise scientists say.

We're not talking about muffin tops, the annoying bit of pudge that rolls over a woman's waistline and is featured in those strange Internet ads. Rather, this is gut fat lodged around internal organs, which could look like a beer belly from the outisde. It's considered a risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Few stories in the past week or so have touched more hearts that that of Hawkeye, the loyal Labrador retriever who lay down next to the flag-draped casket of his master, U.S. Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson.

One of the 30 U.S. military personnel killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter was hit by enemy fire on Aug. 6, Tumilson was remembered at a funeral service in Rockford, Iowa, on Aug. 19.

All residents of New York City who live in low-lying areas must evacuate their neighborhoods by 5 p.m. ET Saturday because Hurricane Irene is headed their way, Mayor Michael Bloomberg just announced.

Reuters says an estimated 250,000 people are affected. The city is opening shelters. Bloomberg said this has never been done before.

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