Steve Inskeep

Now that the election is over, Morning Edition is getting back in touch with some voters we met over the summer for our series First and Main. That's when we visited three political swing counties.

Steve Inskeep talks to Jim Meeks and his daughter-in-law Xiomara in Hillsborough County, Florida. Jim supported Governor Romney and Xiomara, President Obama.

David Greene spoke to voters in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. He catches up with farmer Charlie Knigge, who voted for Mitt Romney, and corrections officer Jason Menzel, who voted for Obama.

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Major League Baseball's regular season ended yesterday with the kind of day that would warm the commissioner's heart: fans cheering from coast to coast, a towering achievement for one very good hitter, and the promise of even more excitement to come as the playoffs begin. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been tracking this season. He's on the line.

Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hello.

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People are not getting much work done in parts of Europe. Last night, there were violent protests in Spain. They were protests against austerity measures, which is also the case in Greece, where a nationwide strike came today. It closed businesses and schools, and reporter Joanna Kakissis is following the story from Athens.

Joanna, what's been happening?

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Mitt Romney says he's standing by the substance of his comments about American voters. A recording first revealed by Mother Jones magazine captured Romney at a fundraiser. He said 47 percent of Americans are hopelessly lost to President Obama, that they pay no income taxes, quote, "think they are victims, that they're entitled," and that he can't make them take responsibility or care for their lives.

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And I'm Renee Montagne. All through the morning we've been getting more details about the attack against the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

In the city that was at the heart of the Libyan revolution, protesters killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. Here's Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Let's get the latest, now, from North Africa, in the wake of attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in both Libya and Egypt. In Cairo, as we saw yesterday, protesters went over a wall and took down an American flag. The far more serious attack was against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where we now know four Americans were killed, including the United States ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.

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Florida has so far been spared the worst of Tropical Storm Isaac. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana cannot be so sure. If the storm stays on its current course, it threatens to hit Louisiana seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina arrived in New Orleans. NPR's Greg Allen is tracking the storm. He's on the line from Florida this morning.

Greg, good morning.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: How much damage was there from Isaac in Florida?

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Today's shooting in New York City draws special attention because of the location: at the base of the Empire State Building, perhaps the most famous building in New York, one of the most famous buildings in the world. The gunman opened fire there. Several people were shot and wounded. We're getting conflicting accounts of how many, although news photographs from the scene do show a number of people down on the ground.

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And some other news on this eventful morning. Lance Armstrong says he is no longer fighting the doping case against him. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says as a result the cyclist will be stripped of his seven titles on the Tour de France. NPR's Mike Pesca joined us to talk about it. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this happen? Did Armstrong effectively admit guilt here by saying he's not fighting the charges?

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Let's go next to China, where the wife of a fallen Communist Party leader has received a sentence - a suspended death sentence for murdering a British businessman. Her accomplice, a family employee, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Gu Kailai came under suspicion after a scandal involving her husband, who was one of the rising stars of the Communist Party before he lost his job amid suspicions about his behavior. NPR's Frank Langfitt has been following this case from Shanghai.

Hi, Frank.

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

Sofia Martinez was a kid when she began what you could call her life on the road.

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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Now let's learn more about Wade Michael Page. He's the man police say opened fire at the temple and then opened fire on the police officer who finally killed him.

NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston has been talking with law enforcement officials. And Dina, over the last 24 hours you've given us different details about Mr. Page. Put it together here. Who was this man?

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Financial regulators in New York said yesterday they may bar a British bank from doing business in the state. They said that because the bank allegedly laundered some $250 billion in Iranian money through its branch in Manhattan. The bank is Standard Chartered Bank. It does much of its business in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. But like any global bank, it wants to have a foothold in the U.S. markets, and that foothold is now in danger. For more, we turn to NPR's Jim Zarroli in New York.

Jim, Good morning.

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

Near the corner of First and Main, in a trailer park in Hillsborough County, Fla., Gregory Brown sticks the key into the motorcycle he has for sale.

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We are covering other news today, including news out of Syria, where there have been some high-level defections. The prime minister of Syria fled to neighboring Jordan just two months after he was appointed. He says he has joined the opposition. Syrian rebels say that three other cabinet members also defected. These are the highest level departures from the government of Bashar al-Assad since the uprising began well over a year ago.

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Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran the 100 meters in 9.63 seconds last night. That is an Olympic record. It will take just a bit more than 9.63 seconds to talk about what it means. And NPR's Mike Pesca, the Usain Bolt of sports reporters is on the line.

Mike, good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Yes. If you saw me in person you'd know how untrue that was.

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INSKEEP: Well, Usain Bolt said he was only 95 percent healthy when he ran this race. What does it mean to be 95 percent healthy?

Let's take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what's on this country's mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

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