NPR News & Stories Via WUNC

There's a lot of glory in switching parties, but often not much future.

Both major parties are giving prominent speaking roles to political apostates at their conventions. On Tuesday, Artur Davis — a former Democrat and a former congressman from Alabama — condemned President Obama during a speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Awww:

Bradley Thompson, a production manager at the Republican National Convention here in Tampa, took the opportunity this morning to propose to his girlfriend, Laura Bowman. He popped the question right in front of the big on-stage screen — on which were the words "Laura Bowman, will you marry me" and some lovely photos.

From the kiss he got in return, it appears she said yes.

There is growing international criticism over plans by Gambia's hard-line president to execute all of the country's death-row inmates within the next couple of weeks.

Gambia's leader, President Yahya Jammeh, has long faced criticism for his human rights record. In a recent speech marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, the president vowed to put to death all prisoners facing the death penalty by mid-September, as a way to curb crime.

More than 4,000 athletes from 147 countries will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where the opening ceremony is being held today. The games, which conclude on Sept. 9, include 20 sports such as cycling, judo and swimming — three sports that will hold medal events when competition begins in earnest Thursday.

Reuniting Siblings In Lincoln, Neb.

Aug 29, 2012

Camp Catch-Up, hosted by the publicly and privately supported Nebraska Children & Families Foundation, enables children separated by foster care and adoption to spend a fun-filled weekend with their brothers and sisters — at no cost to the families.

Whether campers haven't seen their siblings in a week or a year, they bond at camp as only siblings can, through activities structured to bring them together.

Thanks to Townhall.com's Guy Benson, one of the hotter stories of the morning here in Tampa seems to be that actor/director/American icon Clint Eastwood is reportedly coming to the Republican National Convention and may be the "to be announced" speaker on Thursday night's schedule.

For a bit of perspective on just how big Isaac is, NASA has released a video taken from the International Space Station, yesterday.

It shows the tropical cyclone churning slowly, its outer bands stretching for 200 miles:

Update at 12:47 p.m. ET. Isaac At Night:

GOP Platform Aims To Garner Female Votes

Aug 29, 2012

In her convention speech, Ann Romney talked about the role of women in America. Host Michel Martin caught up with Rep. Marsha Blackburn before the speech. Blackburn says the concerns of women voters were key in drafting the Republican platform. She co-chairs the GOP platform committee, and heads the Women's Policy Committee in the House.

Reading For Life In South Bend, Ind.

Aug 29, 2012

Seven years ago, Alesha Seroczynski became a central character in an incredible story about second chances for juvenile offenders in South Bend. With the University of Notre Dame, she developed Reading for Life, a program that combines reading literature, studying seven classic virtues — Justice, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Fidelity, Hope, Charity — and being mentored to help students make better life choices.

Alesha and more than 30 volunteer mentors have graduated 150 juveniles from the program — 97 percent have not re-offended.

The Associated Press and The Huffington Post have gotten their hands on early copies of No Easy Day. As Mark wrote earlier this month, the book is a firsthand account of the secret military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Flu is most deadly for children with neurologic problems and disorders, an analysis of swine flu fatalities finds.

The results come from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers who looked at childhood fatalities during the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, when there were five times the usual number of deaths.

In all, 43 percent of the deaths occurred in children who had neurologic diseases, such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy, or developmental disorders.

It's become a perennial problem for Republicans, but not one that the party yet knows how to solve.

The eye of Isaac made its first landfall at Plaquemines Parish, a stretch of thin land southeast of New Orleans that extends into the Gulf from Louisiana.

According to the parish president, the damage there is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than what happened during Katrina.

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Billy Nungesser said the parish's levee had been overtopped and parts of the parish that had never flooded during a hurricane were under 5 feet of water.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its GDP numbers today, saying that during the second quarter of this year, the United States economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

That's up from its original estimate of 1.5 percent.

The BEA reports:

When we arrived in Tampa for the Republican convention, much of the buzz centered on vice presidential pick, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Finding A Home In Arlington, Va.

Aug 29, 2012

Who: A family looking for a dog and a black dog named Phillip

What: Lucky Dog Animal Rescue adoption event

When: Sat., Aug. 18, 2012

Where: Dogma Dog Bakery, Arlington Va.

Why: Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is an all-volunteer, non-profit animal rescue organization devoted to saving the lives of homeless animals and spreading the word about responsible pet ownership.

Caroline Lacey is a photographer in suburban Washington. She listens to WAMU.

The Latest at 10:20 p.m. ET. More Than 650,000 Power Outages In La.

That tidbit emerged in a letter from gov. Bobby Jindal to President Obama in which he requested expedited major disaster declaration for the state as a result of damage caused by Isaac.

Here's more from the letter:

Like a lot of Republicans, Jane Jech is excited about Paul Ryan. Maybe even more excited than she is about Mitt Romney.

Ryan, a seven-term representative from Wisconsin and the chairman of the House Budget Committee, will formally accept the Republican Party's nomination for vice president on Wednesday.

His speech is expected to touch on all the hallmarks he's emphasized since getting the nod as running mate on Aug. 11, including the need to get the federal deficit under control, in part by curbing entitlement programs like Medicare.

In case you missed it, the theme here in Tampa at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday was: "We Built It." Intended as a reference to building a business, the three words also suggested another construction project under way — a bridge to female voters.

Certain forms of art are performed in private. The painter is alone when he paints, the writer likewise.

But the most pertinent aspect of the performing arts is that they are watched. Dance, music, drama and sport are most challenging — and most thrilling — precisely because they are real, before our eyes.

When women go on a diet, we tend to avoid our favorite restaurants because they are filled with temptations — bread, booze and desserts. But are we doomed to sit in our kitchens eating salad alone while everyone else is headed out on the town if we want to keep the weight off?

Take heart, ladies. A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds they could eat out and still succeed at long-term weight loss.

Mitt Romney's speech to the Republican National Convention on Thursday will be his chance to tell his story to the world. Perhaps the most unique part of that story is his devout Mormon faith.

Romney comes from a prominent Mormon family. He's held important leadership positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But he rarely talks about his faith. When he does, he seems uncomfortable.

A soft murmur of familiarity rippled through the packed GOP convention hall Tuesday night when Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, spoke not of their "storybook marriage" but of one touched by cancer, multiple sclerosis and the trials of raising five sometimes screaming children.

"A storybook marriage? Not at all," she said, during her much anticipated prime-time speech. "What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage."

It was that moment that encapsulated the job that Ann Romney had to do, and how well she managed it.

If you missed some of Tuesday's action at the Republican National Convention, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us:

Alexander Reber may not be the youngest delegate at the Republican convention — that honor goes to his fellow Virginia delegate, 17-year-old high school senior Evan Draim.

But Reber, 21, who is an alternate, is certainly doing his part to lower the average age in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the convention opened Tuesday.

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