2:07pm

Sun October 14, 2012
History

How Kennedy Stepped Back From The Brink Of War

Kennedy with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Jan. 15, 1962.
Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs/JFK Library and Museum, Boston

Fifty years ago, the United States stood on the brink of nuclear war.

On Oct. 16, 1962, the national security adviser handed President John F. Kennedy black-and-white photos of Cuba taken by an American spy plane. Kennedy asked what he was looking at. He was told it was Soviet missile construction.

The sites were close enough — just 90 miles from the U.S. — and the missiles launched from there could reach major American cities in mere minutes.

The Cold War was heating up to a near-boiling point.

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2:02pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Sports

Lady Arm Wrestlers Bring Their Brawn And Bawdy

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:07 am

SuperCLAW is one part church bake-sale, one part roller derby, and one part striptease. The audience gives money to their favorite characters, which is then donated to women-centered charities.
Brad Horn for NPR

The universe of great theatrical sports is rather small. There's roller derby and wrestling, but that's about as far as it goes.

But there's a new addition to this little corner of the sports world: women's arm wrestling. Jayme Dyer didn't know what to expect when she signed up for her first event in Durham, N.C., two years ago.

The sport seems to combine all the right ingredients — promising empowering, women-centered bawdiness that raises money for good causes. Not to mention some suggestive outfits.

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2:02pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Politics

More Asian Americans Seeking Higher Political Office

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:03 am

Republican Ricky Gill, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in September, is just one of many candidates this election with Asian-American backgrounds.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

More Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for Congress than ever before. A total of 36, including incumbents, launched campaigns this year — more than double the number from a record set just two years ago, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

Of those, a record 21 contenders — 18 Democrats and three Republicans — claimed victories in their primaries and are now vying to represent districts across the nation.

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1:09pm

Sun October 14, 2012
It's All Politics

On The Campaign Trail, Regulations Dominate The Environmental Debate

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 2:02 pm

Smoke rises from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kan. President Obama's regulation of the coal industry has come under fire from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Charlie Riedel AP

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.

Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.

Environmental Rules

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11:03am

Sun October 14, 2012
Remembrances

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:16 am

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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10:36am

Sun October 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies at 82

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:47 am

Arlen Specter, the five-term senator from Pennsylvania, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son, Shanin. He was 82 years old.
Matt Rourke AP

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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9:21am

Sun October 14, 2012
Middle East

A Defection Hints At Cracks Among Syria's Alawites

In a new YouTube video, a Syrian colonel defects from the army, denounces President Bashar Assad and publicly joins the rebels of the Free Syrian Army.

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9:14am

Sun October 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Forces Using Cluster Bombs, Rights Group Says

Syrians deliver an injured civilian to a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on Saturday, following shelling by government forces.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian government indiscriminately used cluster bombs in last week's attacks on civilian areas, according to a Human Rights Watch report released Sunday.

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3:45am

Sun October 14, 2012
Science

A Human-Powered Helicopter: Straight Up Difficult

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:00 am

Kyle Glusenkamp pilots Gamera, a human-powered helicopter.
Maggie Starbard NPR

"I grew up wanting to fly," says Graham Bowen-Davies. "I guess I just settled for being an engineer."

He's standing on an indoor track in southern Maryland, watching a giant helicopter take flight. At the end of each of its four spindly arms — arms he helped design and build — a giant rotor churns the air. In the cockpit sits the engine: a 0.7-horsepower, 135-pound graduate student named Kyle Gluesenkamp.

Gluesenkamp is pedaling like crazy to keep the rotors spinning and the craft aloft.

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3:45am

Sun October 14, 2012
Election 2012

Strict Private School Prepped Romney To 'Aim High'

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 11:14 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lived in Stevens Hall while he was attending Cranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

From now until November, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Romney's time at Cranbrook, an all-boys prep school in Michigan.

Cranbrook has been coed since the mid-1980s, its overall diversity is quite evident and the dress code is casual. None of that was true when Mitt Romney, class of 1965, was a student there.

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