8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Afghanistan

After The Surge, The Fight For Kandahar Goes On

Last year's U.S. troops surge in southern Afghanistan was aimed at ousting the Taliban from much of its home turf. So what does Kandahar province look like today? NPR's Quil Lawrence spent a week in the region and shares his impressions with host Audie Cornish.

8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Economy

Jobs, Wealth And The Racial Gap

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 11:41 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Roland Fryer studies economic disparities and race in America as an economics professor at Harvard University. Fryer is the recent winner of the MacArthur genius fellowship and he joins us from Concord, Massachusetts.

Roland, welcome to the program.

PROFESSOR ROLAND FRYER: Oh, thanks for having me.

CORNISH: How deep are the disparities between whites and other groups - blacks and Hispanics - when it comes to jobs and when it comes to wealth?

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8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Middle East

Prisoner Swap Undercuts Palestinian Authority

The release of more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is being trumpeted as a major victory by the Islamist Hamas faction that has held Shalit for five years. The boost for Hamas has sidelined the Palestinian Authority and President Mahmoud Abbas, who was just recently feted for his efforts to win Palestinian statehood recognition from the UN. The political shift leaves Palestinian supporters of a two-state solution feeling isolated. NPR's Peter Kenyon reports.

8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Politics

Two GOP Candidates Register Strong Financial Backing

The deadline for presidential candidates to file their third-quarter reports with the Federal Election Commission passed at midnight. The reports detail how much money the candidates have raised and spent. NPR's Peter Overby joins host Audie Cornish to talk about what he's learned.

8:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Politics

Obama Hops A Bus For Friendly Red States

President Barack Obama hits the road this week on a three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. Both states traditionally vote Republican, but Obama won them both in 2008. Host Audie Cornish talks with Rep. David Price, a Democrat from North Carolina, and former congressman Tom Perriello, a Democrat from Virginia, about the political climate and Democratic prospects for the 2012 race.

7:31am

Sun October 16, 2011
Space

Chance To Spot Rare Supernova Fading Fast

Highly sensitive cameras were set up outside the Yucca Valley Community Center in California recently to capture images from deep space. One of the brightest supernovas in the last century won't be visible to amateur stargazers within the next week.

Brian Hajek

Supernova 2011fe is bringing out the stargazers. It's one of the brightest supernovas in the last century and it's now visible. It's the kind of event amateur astronomers dream of.

The supernova will last for more than a decade, but it won't stay this bright. Within the next week, the light that took 21 million years to reach earth will fade out of view for amateur astronomers.

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6:07am

Sun October 16, 2011
Economy

Betting On Food Prices May Sell The Hungry Short

For speculators, food is a commodity to trade, not eat.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Speculators in the agricultural commodities markets are forcing grocery prices to rise too quickly and erratically, according to some top economists marking World Food Day on Sunday.

"Excessive financial speculation is contributing to increasing volatility and record food prices, exacerbating global hunger and poverty," wrote 461 economists, from more than 40 countries, in an open letter.

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4:39am

Sun October 16, 2011
Middle East

Syria Keeps Pressure On Protesters, Ignores Critics

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 6:00 pm

Mourners surround the hearse carrying the coffin of Kurdish opposition leader Meshaal al-Tammo during his funeral last Sunday in Amuda, in northern Syria. Supporters blamed the Syrian government for his death.

Reuters HO/Landov

From the outset of the Syrian uprising last spring, Syria's president, Bashar Assad, offered promises of reform. Activists, meanwhile, documented abuses by his security forces, including video footage of shootings against unarmed protesters.

Now, the Assad government appears to be relying exclusively on brutal repression, giving free reign to the security services to crush the revolt, according to analysts inside and outside the country.

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12:00am

Sun October 16, 2011
Election 2012

Campaign Finance Reports Reveal GOP Disparity

New campaign finance reports offer the first detailed look at the haves and the have-nots among the Republican presidential candidates, with just over a year left in the race for the White House.

In the reports released Saturday, two of the top Republican contenders, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, brought in more than $30 million combined. Meanwhile, businessman Herman Cain, who surged into the top tier of candidates in recent polls, raised significantly less.

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5:10pm

Sat October 15, 2011
Health

Eating Healthy: Whose Choice Should It Be?

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 6:16 am

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McDonald's says it introduced Happy Meals with apple slices to "help customers make nutrition-minded choices for their daily lifestyles."

Keith Srakocic AP

On a recent visit to McDonald's, Christie Coleman, a mother of two boys, was surprised to find that her kids' Happy Meals included fewer french fries and something new: apple slices.

Coleman says her boys are extremely picky eaters, so she was not happy with the change.

"When they do want to eat, they will eat all of their fries, and I don't think that they should get 15 or 20 less fries because McDonald's thinks that they need to eat apples as well," she says.

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