It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Why New Swing State Of Virginia May Determine Presidency

President Obama clasps hands with Sen. Mark Warner (left), D-Va., and Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine during a campaign stop Friday in Virginia Beach, Va.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 5:30 pm

Yes, Virginia, you are this election year's Santa Claus.

And it could be your bag of 13 presidential electoral votes that will be the key to deciding who occupies the White House in January.

Proof of Virginia's gathering importance?

President Obama is in the midst of a two-day Virginia campaign swing. Republican candidate Mitt Romney dispatched former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to counterattack Friday.

The airwaves are awash in campaign ads, and there's a veritable who-has-more-campaign-offices arms race well under way.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Richard Zanuck, Producer Of 'Jaws' And 'Driving Miss Daisy,' Dies

Richard Zanuck at 29 in 1964.
AP

Richard Zanuck, the Oscar-winning producer of films like Jaws and Driving Miss Daisy, died today from a heart attack.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:09 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Governors Spar Over Medicaid And Health Exchanges

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says Medicaid should be overhauled before it's expanded.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:24 pm

The nation's governors — well, many of them, anyway — are gathering in Colonial Williamsburg, Va., for their annual summer meeting this weekend.

It's no easy trick for the National Governors Association to get Republican and Democratic chief executives on the same page, or even the same room.

This year, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, it's even harder.

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Opinion
3:55 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Wish You Were Here: The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

The Dolle's sign is part of the magic of the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware.
Steve Snodgrass Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:16 pm

David Rowell is an editor with The Washington Post. His first novel, The Train of Small Mercies, is just out in paperback.

When I was growing up in North Carolina, my family went to the same beach every year; it had the sand, the water and pretty much nothing else. Mostly that was OK, but the idea of a boardwalk, which I caught glimpses of on TV or in movies, seemed wondrous to me — like a carnival rolled out from a wooden carpet.

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It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Texas Voter ID Law Now In Hands Of Three-Judge Panel

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 4:05 pm

The fate of Texas' new voter ID law is now up to a three-judge federal panel in Washington, D.C.

Lawyers for Texas and the Justice Department wrapped up five days of arguments in U.S. District Court Friday, with each side accusing the other of using deeply "flawed" data to show whether minorities would be unfairly hurt by a photo ID requirement.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Germany's Merkel Pledges To Protect Religious Circumcision

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, right, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, gestures next to Rabbi Avichai Appel, left, a board member of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference of Germany, during a news conference in Berlin, Germany on Thursday.
Gero Breloer AP

In Germany, the past few weeks have been marked by an intense debate over religious liberties.

Today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel jumped into the fray saying her administration would work to protect religious circumcision.

"It is absolutely clear to the federal government that we want Jewish, we want Muslim religious life in Germany. Circumcisions carried out in a responsible way must not be subject to prosecution in this country," Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

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Poverty In America: The Struggle To Get Ahead
3:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Struggling Families Lift Themselves Out Of Poverty

Support group members Pamela Travis (from left), Dominique Martin, Yovanda Dixon, Shanna Chaney and Ramona Shewl hold a meeting as part of the Family Independence Initiative. The Oakland nonprofit encourages low-income families to form small groups to help each other get ahead.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:24 pm

It's been almost 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." But today, the poverty rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been in 17 years, affecting some 46 million people.

The economy is partly to blame, but even in good times, millions of Americans are poor.

That's been a longtime concern for Maurice Lim Miller. He ran social service programs in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Then one day, the painful truth hit.

"The very first kids I had trained back in the early '80s, I saw their kids now showing up in my programs," he says.

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World
2:45 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Al-Qaida: Now Vying For Hearts, Minds And Land

Militiamen from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, an al-Qaida affiliate, ride on a vehicle in northeastern Mali in June. Mali is one of the places where al-Qaida-linked groups are trying to take over territory and win over local residents to their cause.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 10:33 pm

Al-Qaida has been subtly testing a new strategy. In the past couple of years, the group's affiliates have been trying their hand at governing — actually taking over territory and then trying to win over citizens who live there. It happened with various degrees of success in Somalia and Yemen, and recently in the northern deserts of Mali.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Poll Finds Most Americans Believe The World Is Warming

In this Aug. 2, 2011 file photo, the bottom of the pond at the Gene Howe Wildlife Management Area is nearly dried up in Amarillo, Texas. A devastating drought across Texas turned rivers into sand, creeks into mud, springs into mere trickles and lakes into large puddles.
Michael Norris AP

A Washington Post-Stanford University poll released today finds that most Americans believe the world is warming.

Here's how the Post wraps up the findings:

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Federal Mine Agency Considering Tougher Response On Black Lung

Coal miner Lee Hipshire in 1976, shortly after emerging from a mine in Logan County, W.Va., at the end of his shift. A few years later, Lee took early retirement because of pneumoconiosis, or black lung disease. He died at 57.
Courtesy of Earl Dotter

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 8:54 am

NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) have learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the Labor Department are putting together a team of agency experts and lawyers to specifically consider how to bolster coal mine dust enforcement given the statutory and regulatory weaknesses detailed by NPR and CPI this week in stories about the resurgence of black lung.

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