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Heart Of A Hawk In Iowa City, Iowa

Aug 30, 2012

In the fall of 2008 my friend, TJ Anderson — a member of the University of Iowa's Herky the Hawk mascot squad — took note of an unused space in the southwest corner of Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. And the idea of "Herky's Nest" was born.

TJ envisioned creating Herky's Nest — a home for Herky — that also serves as a premium seating area for children and families from the University of Iowa Children's Hospital. The goodwill gesture brings the community together in a lighthearted and meaningful way.

If CNN's John King is right, Dirty Harry is indeed tonight's "mystery speaker":

"Clint Eastwood is the #gop mystery speaker for Thurs night. #cnnelections"

We've come to accept the baby-fication of our vegetables – baby spinach, baby lettuce, and baby squash prized for their tenderness and cute size have staked out territory in the produce section of many a grocery store.

Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.

"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."

The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.

There are claims flying back and forth today over whether Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has falsely accused President Obama of breaking a promise to make sure a GM plant in Ryan's hometown stayed open.

We posted earlier about Ryan's words in his acceptance speech Wednesday and the "false" rating they got from PolitiFact.com.

Anti-Trafficking Barista In Houston, Texas

Aug 30, 2012

My friend Erica Raggett is one of those rare individuals who, when she heard about something atrocious, didn't forget about it, feel sad about it, or throw money at it.

She did something about it.

The just-opened A 2nd Cup is Erica's vision of a non-profit coffee shop that seeks to raise awareness of human trafficking in the Houston community, partner with other anti-trafficking organizations and fund aftercare solutions for survivors.

"This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," CNN camerawoman Patricia Carroll, in an interview with an institute that promotes diversity in the news media, says of the ugly racial taunts directed her way Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.

On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.

Mitt Romney has a tough to-do list.

He has to walk an ideological tightrope. As he accepts the GOP presidential nomination tonight, Romney will try to fire up partisans in the convention hall and watching at home, without turning off moderates and independent voters.

He also has to convey certain intangible qualities. The former Massachusetts governor will want to appear presidential while also attempting to lift his low "likability" ratings.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, this country is facing history again this year. It's a chance to elect this country's first Mormon president. So we decided to ask a group of faith leaders representing different traditions to tell us what role they think religion plays or should play when it comes to choosing the next president. That's coming up later in the program.

Is Your Candidate Keeping The Faith?

Aug 30, 2012

As the Republican convention continues, the major political parties are defining their positions — and many are focused on faith. Host Michel Martin speaks with a diverse panel of religious leaders to weigh how they balance faith and politics.

A 100-year-old driver accidentally backed up his car onto a sidewalk full of children in south Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reports nine children and two adults ranging in age from 14 months to 48 years old were injured seriously but were in stable condition.

Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.

So far this year 21 tutors — under the aegis of Literacy Volunteers of Harrison County — have helped 80 students in and around Clarksburg and Harrison County.

"Many of the adults we tutor have lost their jobs, and now find themselves ill-equipped to find employment in today's job market," says Director Kim Payne. "Most of them are working toward a GED, but many of them have high school diplomas. However, the workplace has changed over the years, and now most jobs require not only higher reading and math levels, but computer skills as well."

With Election Day drawing closer, each presidential candidate is pushing harder to make the case that he would be a better leader for the economy.

And voters are listening to the pitches. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll showed that nearly 3 in 4 Americans say the candidate's approach to the economy will be a "major factor" in deciding between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

A secret service agent accidentally left her gun inside the lavatory of Mitt Romney's campaign plane.

CBS News reports that the loaded gun was found by one of its reporters who was travelling with the Republican presidential nominee from Tampa to Indianapolis, Ind., where Romney was scheduled to deliver a speech.

Cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis are increasing around the globe, and at a faster rate than previously thought. And if that weren't enough, TB is quickly building resistance to more and more of the drugs commonly used to fight it.

The troubling picture emerged in a study just published in The Lancet.

The 120-nation Nonaligned Movement meeting happening in Iran started in controversy, when both Egypt and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon defied the United States, announcing they would attend.

Today, Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first post-revolution president, ignited new diplomatic sparks when he pointedly criticized Iran's position on Syria.

The AP reports:

Rep. Paul Ryan stretched some truths Wednesday night when he accepted the Republican Party's 2012 vice presidential nomination, according to the fact checkers who parse politicians' words for news outlets and independent watchdogs:

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment remained flat, last week, the Employment and Training Administration reports. In the week that ended Aug. 25, a seasonally adjusted 374,000 claims were filed, matching the previous week's total, which was revised up.

For those who like word clouds, here is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's speech Wednesday night at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, during which he accepted his party's vice presidential nomination.

This picture of how often he said something drew our eyes to:

-- "Obama." That would be the president, of course, who Ryan said has failed the American people.

The Latest At 10:01 p.m. ET:

-- Isaac, now a tropical depression, is still drenching parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. Forecasters say it will eventually move into Arkansas and Missouri.

-- Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has added 14 additional counties and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to the federal disaster declaration issued Friday.

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Our Original Post Continues:

The second night of the Republican convention was an orchestrated buildup for Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.

Ryan emerged at the evening's end to deliver the payoff speech and introduce himself to a national audience. He did a rousing job of it, delivering the session's most memorable material with stark intensity.

This week, Americans have been remembering Neil Armstrong. But before he walked on the moon, he had to solve a much more prosaic problem.

"You're about to embark on a mission that's more dangerous than anything any human has ever done before," Robert Pearlman, a space historian and collector with collectspace.com, told me. "And you have a family that you're leaving behind on Earth, and there's a real chance you will not be returning."

Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.

But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.

The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.

On a placid summer morning last month, before the Virginia heat could hit them, a former U.S. Marine and his partner lifted their rowing scull into the glassy water of the Rivanna River, near Charlottesville.

"First thing I do is take these legs off," said Rob Jones, who like his rowing partner, Oksana Masters, is a double, above-the-knee amputee. They're the U.S. team for mixed-doubles rowing at the 2012 London Paralympics, which started Wednesday.

In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel?

Aug 30, 2012

Standing outside the Central Minnesota Ethanol Co-Op in Little Falls, Minn., there's not a lot going on. The pungent smell of fermentation that typically hangs in the air here is absent. And trucks piled high with corn are nowhere to be seen.

They're idled in part because of high corn prices. And it's unclear when that will change.

"Most of the industry is just breaking even in terms of profitability or actually running at slightly negative margins," says Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association.

With a jutting chin and growing fearlessness, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan delivered a GOP convention takedown of President Obama Wednesday night, catapulting an already ugly campaign to a whole new level.

At times pugnacious, at times seemingly emotional (he wiped away tears when talking about his mother), Ryan, 42, a Wisconsin congressman, used his well-crafted speech to characterize the nation's president and his bright promise as old, played out.

Dave Ballard got the idea of a wacky charity race while watching a YouTube video of someone slip-sliding through a slough of foam. The first 5K Foam Fest was held in the fall of 2011 in Idaho.

A year and more than a dozen events later, Ballard says his group has raised more than $10,000 for charity, with most of those funds being donated to Shared Hope International, an organization that combats human trafficking.

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