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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:28 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Persuading Banks To Give Homeowners A Break

Sara Millan (left) thanks Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks after NACA was able to reduce her family's mortgage during an event in Los Angeles in September 2010.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Over the past four years, Bruce Marks has been on a traveling road show to help people avoid foreclosure. His nonprofit, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, has held more than 80 events in cities around the country. So far, Marks says, NACA has helped 202,000 people get their payments lowered so they can afford to keep their homes.

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Africa
3:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

In South Sudan, Cows Are Cash And Source Of Friction

A man from the Mundari nomad tribe stands among cattle on Jan. 18, in Juba, South Sudan. Cattle raids, a common occurrence in the region, have grown increasingly violent in recent years.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

For the rural people of South Sudan, cattle are at the center of their culture. They use them as currency, treat them as objects of beauty, and fight tribal battles over them.

In recent years, traditional cattle raids have turned deadly. Tribesmen aren't just stealing cattle; they are slaughtering rivals, burning villages and abducting women and children.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Asked To Spy On Rebels, Syrian Soldier Becomes One

A Syrian soldier casts a shadow as he stands in the northwest city of Idlib in May. Growing numbers of Syrian soldiers are defecting and joining the rebels.
Khaled al-Hariri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has been stung by a string of prominent defections, from the prime minister to a leading general to a military aviator who was Syria's first man in space.

Ra'ed, a soldier from Syria's most prestigious military unit, the Republican Guard, is among the defectors.

The guard's chief duty is to protect the Syrian leadership. But Ra'ed says he never felt proud to serve after he was drafted in June 2010 at age 19.

Ra'ed, who is now living in Lebanon, asked that NPR use only his first name out of concern for his safety.

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It's All Politics
3:26 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Ryan's District Gains Despite His Positions

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at a campaign event on June 18 in Janesville, Wis. Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, has made sure his constituents haven't been left out of federal programs like the stimulus.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.

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Middle East
3:25 am
Thu August 16, 2012

'No Terrorists Here': Sinai Residents Fear Crackdown

A motorbike burns following a raid by Egyptian security forces on the village of El-Jurah in Egypt's North Sinai province on Aug. 12. Six gunmen were killed in the raid.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Egyptian security forces are conducting a major campaign in the Sinai Peninsula after an attack by masked gunmen on a border post earlier this month. While the government assures the nation and the world that it will deal with the threat, Sinai residents worry that they will be blamed, targeted and abused as a result of the assault that left 16 soldiers dead.

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Economy
3:24 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Amid Budget Squeeze N.Y. Sells Nursing Homes

Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., was sold in June, part of a wave of privatizations in rural counties across New York state.
Brian Mann for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:53 pm

The national recession may be over, but local governments around the country are still hurting. Core services and programs are being scaled back, cut or privatized. In Upstate New York, county officials are scrambling to sell off nursing homes that have been taxpayer-funded for generations.

Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., a modest brick building that sits a stone's throw from the village square, has 100 beds, and that's how many elderly people live here. There is always a waiting list.

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The Two-Way
7:19 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

27 Up, 27 Down: Mariners' Felix Hernandez Throws Perfect Game

Starting pitcher Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners was dowsed with water after throwing a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 9:15 pm

This is the face of perfection:

The Seattle Mariner's Felix Hernandez is now a part of baseball lore, joining 22 others when he threw a perfect game in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays, this afternoon.

That means Hernandez retired 27 batters in a row, throwing 113 pitches, 77 of them strikes. No one got on base.

What's incredible is that this is the third perfect game this season. USA Today reports:

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The Two-Way
6:41 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Arizona Gov. Issues Executive Order Limiting New Immigration Policy

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 8:23 am

Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is throwing more punches in her contentious relationship with the federal government.

Today, she issued an executive order that says young people granted a deportation deferral under President Obama's new policy will still be considered undocumented and won't be granted public benefits.

Obama's new policy went into effect today.

NPR's Ted Robbins sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Ecuador Says U.K. Threatened To Storm Embassy, If Assange Isn't Turned Over

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 7:55 pm

The diplomatic battle in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken a dramatic turn today: In an angry press conference streamed live on the Internet, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Britain threatened to storm their embassy in London if Assange was not handed over to police.

"Ecuador is not a British colony," Patiño said. "The days of colonialism are over."

He added that "such a threat is improper of a democratic and civilized country."

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It's All Politics
5:59 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Could Ryan Lure Younger Voters To GOP?

Rep. Paul Ryan greets supporters during a campaign rally Sunday in Waukesha, Wis.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 9:08 am

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the newly chosen vice presidential running mate for Republican Mitt Romney, was in Ohio on Wednesday to speak at his alma mater.

Ryan graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1992 with degrees in economics and political science. And his ascension to the GOP ticket thrills Rob Harrelson, a member of the school's College Republicans (as was Ryan, two decades earlier).

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