The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

More Pain In Spain As Economy Goes Down The Drain

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:40 am

There was more bad news for Europe's attempt to rebuild its economy: Standard & Poor announced Thursday that it was downgrading Spain's long-term sovereign credit rating by two notches – from "A" to "BBB+." The agency also lowered Spain's short-term sovereign credit rating to "A-2" from "A-1," and said the outlook on the long-term rating is negative.

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UPR Station News
4:14 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Strength and Peace

UPR listeners, please join us in wishing strength and peace for our Moab correspondent, Vicki Barker, as she faces a very immediate battle with cancer. She has brought Moab to life for us on the airwaves and the void of her voice will not soon be filled.

The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

If 'War And Peace' Was Less Than Exciting, Try A Union Between Dull And Boring

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Don't expect fireworks for this union: The city of Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland will become sister cities.

City leaders hope the union of two dim names will result in a blockbuster tourism campaign.

The Oregonian reports that the idea of becoming twin cities came after Elizabeth Leighton stumbled upon Boring and couldn't "wait to tell all her Dull friends."

The paper adds:

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Kate Wells is an award-winning reporter who covers politics, education, public policy and just about everything in between for Iowa Public Radio, and is based in Cedar Rapids. Her work has aired on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. She's also contributed coverage to WNYC in New York, Harvest Public Media, Austin Public Radio (KUT) and the Texas Tribune. Winner of the 2012 regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award and NBNA Eric Sevareid Award for investigative reporting, Kate came to Iowa Public Radio in 2010 from New England. Previously, she was a news intern for New Hampshire Public Radio.

Kate graduated with honors from Principia College in 2010, where she studied comparative religion and political science.

It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Biden Foreign-Policy Counterattack On Romney Highlights GOP Challenge

Vice President Joe Biden, March 2012.
Madalyn Ruggiero AP

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 2:24 pm

Foreign policy isn't expected to pave the path to the White House in 2012 though, of course, that could all change in a literal flash.

Still, a president seeking re-election against a backdrop of a lackluster economy would be remiss if he didn't stress his unique role as the nation's top policymaker in the international relations arena and the military's commander-in-chief.

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Election 2012
3:41 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

In Battleground Iowa, Even Office Space Up For Grabs

President Obama arrives to speak at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Wednesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

In Iowa, President Obama's re-election campaign is already in gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground.

The Obama campaign hopes its head start over the campaign of Republican Mitt Romney — who until recently had been focused on fending off GOP opponents — will make the difference in November in this swing state.

The Obama campaign headquarters in Des Moines is a former Blockbuster Video store, where this week a couple of dozen 20-somethings tapped away at laptops, painted signs by hand and worked the phones.

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Digital Life
3:30 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

What We Have Here: A Failure To Communicate

Commuters immersed in their smartphones ride the subway in Beijing.
Nelson Ching Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:45 am

It is the weirdest thing. There are more ways than ever to communicate with people, yet it sometimes seems like it is more difficult to connect — and stay connected — with anyone.

Should you shoot off an email? Tap out a text? Post a private message on Facebook? Write on their Facebook wall? Skype, poke, ping or conjure them up on a digital tin can phone?

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You Must Read This
3:14 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Something Wicked: A Haunting Must Read

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Matthew Rudenberg

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Unholy Night.

I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Countries Losing Steam On Climate Change Initiatives

Germany plans to take all of its nuclear power plants offline by 2022, which means coal-fired power plants like the Kraftwerk Westfalen, in Hamm, Germany, will be a key component of the country's energy infrastructure.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Energy ministers from around the world met in London this week and got a scolding. The International Energy Agency warned the ministers that they are falling way behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decades.

It turns out that right now, just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.

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Statewide Races
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

N.C. Gay Marriage Amendment Has Unlikely Foes

Jennifer Cockrham, a nurse from Walkertown, N.C., holds her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance during a rally supporting a constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday in Raleigh.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

North Carolina is the only Southern state without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. But that could change next month.

On May 8, voters will decide whether to change the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Leading Republican lawmakers think it's one of the most important issues facing voters.

But some conservatives worry that the measure goes too far.

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