Thu August 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Iowa GOP Debate: What To Expect

Based on everything we've seen so far in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination, what should we expect from the candidates at Thursday's debate at Iowa State University in Ames?

In the two-hour Fox News/Iowa GOP debate to start at 9 pm ET, Mitt Romney, the frontrunner, will likely stick tightly to his message, which is that President Obama has failed to lead, and his approach, which is to play it safe.

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Thu August 11, 2011
All Politics are Local

Change in Williams' Campaign Staff

The campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is stepping down to pursue other professional opportunities, leaving the GOP nominee without anyone to run his day-to-day operations.

Luke Marchant joined the campaign in May to replace Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, who stayed on as a consultant.

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Thu August 11, 2011

School on the Farm

Principal Joe Norman in a brand new lab setting at Locust Trace farm
Stu Johnson Weku

More than 200 Fayette County students had the opportunity on their first day of school to get a ‘little closer to nature.’

Plant and land science, environmental bio-technology, and agriculture power systems are all areas of study at the new Locust Trace Agri-Science Farm.  The educational complex off Leestown road also includes a heavy emphasis in solar power.  In fact,  principal  Joe Norman says the solar paneled structures could help to power area homes

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Thu August 11, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Appropriate and Safe Digging

Deep digging in backyards across Kentucky continues to cause problems for utility companies.    Today is designated as Kentucky 8-1-1 Underground Facility Protection Day.  State public service commission spokesman,  Andrew Melnykovych says ‘cutting buried utility lines’ is still a problem on a daily basis.  He says losing ‘land line’ telephone access can present health and safety issues

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Thu August 11, 2011
Planet Money

Drug Dealing, Counterfeiting, Smuggling: How North Korea Makes Money

An idle North Korean factory, seen from the Chinese border.
AFP Getty Images

North Korea used to be an industrial powerhouse. Not anymore. Today, the country can't feed its own people. Its cities go dark every night for lack of electricity.

Yet helplessness wasn't the original plan. The original plan for the country's economy had a name. It was called "juche," or self-reliance. The idea was that all North Korean problems should be solved by North Koreans.

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Thu August 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Sesame Workshop: Bert And Ernie Just Friends, Have No Sexual Orientation

This week, an online petition concerning Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie started making the rounds. The Facebook petition asked that Sesame Street allow the two male Muppets, who share a house and a bedroom, to be married on the show.

"We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful," the petition read. "Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way."

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Thu August 11, 2011
'Radio Diaries'

The Last Man On The Mountain

Jimmy Weekley, 71, shown here with a friend, says that when he was a kid, there were more than two dozen homes in Pigeonroost Hollow, W.Va. "But right now no one else lives in this hollow except me, James Weekley, and the coal company."
Andrew Lichtenstein

James "Jimmy" Weekley has lived in Pigeonroost Hollow in West Virginia for 70 years. He grew up surrounded by family and friends, part of a tight-knit community in the state's southern mountain valley. Like his grandfather, father, uncles and sons, Weekley worked as a coal miner. And like most West Virginians, Weekley saw coal as the economic lifeblood of his community.

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Thu August 11, 2011
Conflict In Libya

In Libya, A Father And Son's Brief War

Mabruk Eshnuk (left) and his son Malik left their home in Pittsburgh to volunteer and fight with rebels in western Libya's Nafusa Mountains.
Ayman Oghanna for NPR

About a month ago, I met Mabruk and Malik Eshnuk, a father and son who had traveled from Pittsburgh to western Libya to help rebels battling forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The family originally hails from the Libyan coastal city of Zawiya, but left years ago.

Mabruk and Malik were filled with optimism when I spoke to them. Mabruk, the father, had a ready smile and a voluble manner — he spoke so quickly it was often hard to follow him.

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Thu August 11, 2011

Volatile Markets Could Dry Up Funds For Start-Ups

The turmoil in the stock market could curb the spending spree that's been underway in the tech industry, making it for start-ups to raise capital.

Money was on the mind of a group of about two dozen, carefully selected entrepreneurs gathered in Seattle this week.

They're all participants in TechStars, a boot camp and incubator for start-ups. By the end of the three-month program, most of them will be looking for funding from angel investors or venture capitalists.

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Thu August 11, 2011

In Current Crisis, It's Not Just The Economy

Three years ago, the global economy was brought to the brink by a near meltdown of the international banking system. Now we're in trouble again, but this time our economic woes stem largely from the actions of governments. Escaping from this crisis is more of a political challenge than a financial one.

That doesn't necessarily mean it will be any easier.

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