The Salt
3:42 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

FDA Weighs Federal Standard To Limit Exposure To Arsenic In Rice

A combine harvests rice near Tucker, Ark., as consumer groups pressure the FDA to set federal standards on arsenic in rice.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Scientists have known for a long time that rice — often babies' first food and the staple of much of the world's diet — is good at absorbing inorganic arsenic from soil during the growing process.

Two separate analyses, one by Consumer Reports and one by the Food and Drug Administration, have raised concerns that we might be getting too much of this known human carcinogen in our diets.

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Politics
3:32 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Deep South Democrats Seek Path Back To Relevance

Albert N. Gore Jr., a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, speaks at the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Miss., on Aug. 2. Gore is running against incumbent Republican Roger Wicker. He says there should have been younger people interested in taking on Wicker — "but they didn't want to fight."
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

It can be lonely being a Democrat in the Deep South. Just ask Steve Wilson.

The young lawyer was a first-time delegate at the Democratic National Convention, but it's not something he brags about back home in Meridian, Miss.

"I don't talk about it," he says. "It's the elephant in the room, so to speak. Most of my friends are Republican, I think, but I just don't bring it up."

That climate can make it hard to recruit viable Democratic candidates in the Deep South — once a solidly Democratic region that is now reliably Republican.

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U.S.
3:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 8:09 pm

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Obama Has 8-Point Lead In Pew Poll; Big Advantage With Women, Blacks, Young

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:02 pm

President Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney by 8 points nationally — 51 to 43 percent among likely voters — as the race heads into the final stretch, according to a new Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.

Obama's advantage, particularly among women, blacks and voters younger than 30, puts him "in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates," Pew reported.

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Sports
2:16 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Mets' Pitcher Makes 'Knuckleball!' His Own

Pitcher R.A. Dickey sits in the Mets' locker room in the film Knuckleball!
FilmBuff

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 1:48 pm

It's an exclusive club: Pitchers who rely on the knuckleball, and win, in Major League Baseball. It's one of the most difficult and unpredictable pitches in the game. Only about 80 players have ever used the knuckleball consistently in the major leagues. Even fewer have been successful.

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is one of the few active starting pitchers in professional baseball who use this slower, methodical pitch. He's chasing 20 wins, and a possible Cy Young Award, in the 2012 season.

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Education
2:08 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

What The Chicago Strike Taught Teachers Unions

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:59 pm

The strike in Chicago, the nation's third-largest school district, raises questions about teachers unions nationwide. Jane Hannaway, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, and Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education, explain how different teachers unions work.

Politics
2:07 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

The Inner Workings Of The Romney Campaign

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Forty-seven percent, the Palestinians have no interest in peace, and it would be easier to get elected president as a Latino. It's Wednesday and time for a...

MITT ROMNEY: Not elegantly stated...

CONAN: Edition of the political junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Speedskaters Step Up Abuse Allegations Against Coach

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:19 pm

The abuse allegations against U.S. Olympic short track speedskating coach Jae Su Chun have escalated with a demand for arbitration and an "open and ongoing investigation" by police.

But while a large group of skaters charge Chun with abuse, another set has issued a statement in support of the coach.

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Author Interviews
2:04 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Debunking The 'Myth Of The Muslim Tide'

Philippe Huguen Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 6:36 am

The violent protests that erupted in North Africa and the Middle East over a video insulting the Prophet Muhammad were in part a reflection of conflicting values — Islamic strictures on images of the prophet versus the Western principle of respect for free speech.

But journalist Doug Saunders says that the video itself reflects a troubling current in Western political discourse — an irrational fear of Muslim communities in Europe and the United States.

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Music Reviews
2:04 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Dwight Yoakam: Weary And Wary On '3 Pears'

Dwight Yoakam recently released his new record, titled 3 Pears.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:06 pm

Dwight Yoakam persists in mixing genres in a way that may leave him out of the country mainstream, but puts him in a good position to make a personal album with some of his best music.

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