4:52am

Wed November 2, 2011
Law

Court To Decide If Texas Voting Maps Discriminate

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:56 pm

A sign in Spanish and English tells residents of El Paso, Texas, where to vote.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Lawyers for President Obama's Justice Department and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be squaring off in federal court in Washington on Wednesday.

The state has sued the federal government to try to win court approval for its new legislative maps. There are big stakes: Texas stands to gain four new seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. But minorities in Texas, with a boost from the Justice Department, say the new boundaries amount to a step backward for Latino voting power.

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4:51am

Wed November 2, 2011
Election 2012

Nonprofit Seeks To Be New Political Force

If you want to know just how unhappy Americans are with their two-party government, a group called Americans Elect is ready to tell you.

The nonprofit group has scheduled a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday in a bid to show the Democratic and Republican establishments that voters want a third choice in presidential candidates.

It's a choice Americans Elect hopes to provide. This might sound like a third political party taking the field, but the group says that's not what it is.

'A New Force'

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4:50am

Wed November 2, 2011
Law

Miss. Set To Vote On Measure Making Fetus A Person

An anti-abortion activist holds a sign at the annual March for Life event in Washington, D.C. Mississippi's statehood amendment would ban abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Alex Wong Getty Images

Next week Mississippi voters will decide whether to pass a constitutional amendment that redefines a person. Under the proposal, fertilized human eggs would be considered human beings, which would ban all abortions in the state. But abortion-rights activists say it would also limit contraception and threaten fertility treatments.

Les Riley has worked on the initiative for years, gathering signatures to get it on the ballot. Now, in northwest Mississippi, he's talking to voters and assembling yard signs that urge the passage of Amendment 26.

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4:50am

Wed November 2, 2011
7 Billion And Counting

In Karachi, New Aspirations To Be A Global Player

The population of Karachi, Pakistan, has been boosted by a new influx of young people. And now the city, seen here during a political rally in January, is making a bid to attract global elites.

Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

This week, we're asking what it really means to live in a world with 7 billion people. For some answers, we visit Karachi, Pakistan.

The grandest expression of the world's population growth is in the word "megacity." Dozens of these cities of more than 10 million now ring the globe, like a string of oversized pearls. In a megacity, people and ideas clash: The ancient collides with the modern; secular with religious; global with local. In Karachi, Pakistan, those forces can be seen in the story of a single piece of real estate.

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4:00am

Wed November 2, 2011
Europe

Greek Referendum Plan Sends Sarkozy Scrambling

Just a day before a meeting of the world's top 20 economies in France, Greece stunned the world by announcing it would put a hard-won bailout package agreed upon by Eurozone nations to the test in a popular referendum. The news went down like a lead balloon in European capitals and sent the markets reeling. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, host of the G20, is scrambling to repair the damage, summoning Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to France.

4:00am

Wed November 2, 2011
Sports

Deal To Sell Dodgers Sparks Celebration

Embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball reached an agreement late Tuesday to sell the storied franchise. Roger Arrieta of Los Angeles, who started a website calling on billionaire Mark Cuban to "Save the Dodgers," plans a rally at the stadium to celebrate the sale.

4:00am

Wed November 2, 2011
Politics

Head Of Ariz. Redistricting Commission Fired

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 2:52 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Arizona is one of a handful of states that hands the redistricting to an independent commission, instead of its legislature. At least that's what's supposed to happen. In a stunning move last night, though, the Arizona Senate and its governor ousted the head of the state's independent commission.

NPR's Ted Robbins joins us from our bureau in Tucson to explain. Good morning, Ted.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: What exactly happened?

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3:56am

Wed November 2, 2011
Asia

At IKEA In Shanghai, Do-It-Yourself Matchmaking

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:23 pm

An elderly Chinese man and woman chat at a park in Shanghai. Hundreds of elderly Shanghai residents make their way to IKEA twice a week for an informal lonely hearts club.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

If you're retired, single and looking for love in Shanghai, try IKEA.

Twice a week, hundreds of Shanghai residents who have formed an informal lonely hearts club of sorts gather at the cafeteria of the Swedish furniture megastore for free coffee and conversation.

The pensioners begin arriving around 1 in the afternoon and fill nearly 20 tables in the store cafeteria. They sit for hours drinking coffee, gossiping and subtly checking each other out.

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10:37pm

Tue November 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Lexington-Louisville Economic Connection

A move to create a more cohesive regional economy connecting Lexington with Louisville continues to churn along.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher are talking about ‘advanced manufacturing’ opportunities.  It’s called the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement.  Successful Lexington businessman Jim Host is project chair.  He offered his thoughts to members of the Urban County Council Tuesday.

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10:00pm

Tue November 1, 2011
Sweetness And Light

No Love For November, Sports' Drama-Free Month

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 9:03 am

The Presidents Cup, on display in front of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. It's unclear to Frank Deford exactly what the Presidents Cup is — he knows only that it's played in November.

Matt King Getty Images Sport

There's an awful lot of games played in November –– even with the NBA locked out –– but it's really just an in-between month in sports... and life. There are no May-and-November romances, no good November songs. It's sort of a semi-final of a month.

Why are they still playing tennis in November? Let the boys and girls rest up for the summer so they're not all hurt when it matters.

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