It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Will Texas Become A Presidential Battleground?

Texas was decidedly red on the electoral map in NBC News' "Election Plaza" in New York's Rockefeller Center in 2008. Do Democrats really have a chance to turn it blue in the future?
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:11 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

With the two parties in Washington gridlocked on immigration, the budget and other issues, it's easy to forget that when it comes to winning presidential elections, one party has a distinct advantage.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Jury Acquits Man Who Wrote On Sidewalk With Chalk

Sidewalk chalk: A jury ruled Monday they aren't the tools of a criminal.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:03 am

Jeffrey Olson faced 13 years in jail for writing on a sidewalk with chalk. But a San Diego jury of two men and 10 women found him not guilty of criminal vandalism.

Olson, 40, was charged with 13 counts of vandalism for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. His messages, according to Gawker, included:

— "No Thanks, Big Banks"

— "Shame on Bank of America"

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The Two-Way
2:15 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The ZIP Code Turns 50 Today — Here Are 9 That Stand Out

Each black dot represents the geometric center of a ZIP code.
Matt Stiles U.S. Census Bureau

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:50 pm

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Zone Improvement Plan, the network of ZIP codes we use for everything from mail delivery to credit card security.

The U.S. Postal Service began using the five-digit codes on July 1, 1963, hoping they would improve the efficiency and speed of mail sorting. Since then, the codes have assumed a role in the identities of many Americans, helping to define where they live or work.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Calif. Judge Rules Yoga In Public Schools Not Religious

Third-graders at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in Encinitas, Calif., perform chair pose with instructor Kristen McCloskey in December 2012.
Kyla Calvert for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 2:39 pm

Earlier this year, we told you about some parents in the San Diego area who were suing the Encinitas Union School District to stop yoga classes because they believed the ancient Indian practice had religious overtones. Well, today we have a decision in that case: A judge ruled that the school district was not teaching religion when it offered elementary school students yoga classes.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Top Vatican Bank Officials Resign

Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican Bank Institute for Works of Religion, or IOR, talks with The Associated Press during an interview June 10 at his office in Vatican City. He was named the bank's interim director on Monday after the director and the deputy director both resigned.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 6:42 pm

Two top officials of the Vatican bank resigned Monday just days following the arrest of a senior cleric with ties to the institution after police caught him with the equivalent of about $26 million in cash that they say he was trying to bring into Italy from Switzerland.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Texas Teen Jailed For Sarcastic Facebook Comment

Justin Carter at home before his arrest. The 19-year-old has been in the Comal County, Texas, jail since March.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 3:33 pm

A Texas teen faces up to eight years in prison after making a comment on Facebook about shooting up "a school full of kids." Deputies in Comal County, Texas, charged then-18-year-old Justin Carter with making "terroristic threats" — a third-degree felony — in March. According to the Comal County Jail, he's been behind bars since March 27, unable to make his $500,000 bail. Austin-based KVUE-TV reports:

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Code Switch
12:32 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker'

Fun with homonyms!
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:21 am

As you might have gathered from our blog's title, the Code Switch team is kind of obsessed with the ways we speak to each other. Every Monday in "Word Watch," we'll dig into language that tells us something about the way race is lived in America today. (Interested in contributing? Holler at this form.)

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How To Turn A Red State Blue: California Edition

Republicans celebrated when California Gov. Pete Wilson was re-elected in 1994. But his divisive campaign led to a backlash, especially among the growing Latino population in the state.
Kevork Djansezian AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:11 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

Democrats who hope to turn Texas from red to blue are looking to California for inspiration.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Nelson Mandela Is In Critical But Stable Condition, In Latest Update

A family brings a message of good wishes for former South African President Nelson Mandela outside his house in Johannesburg Monday. Mandela, 94, is in critical but stable condition.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:07 am

The condition of former South African leader Nelson Mandela is "still critical but stable," according to the office of President Jacob Zuma. Mandela, 94, has been in a Pretoria hospital since June 8 with a lung infection.

In the first official update on Mandela's health since Thursday, the presidency also urged people to prepare for the beloved rights activist's birthday later this month.

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The Salt
12:22 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Experimental Treatment For Milk Allergy May Not Last

Researchers are learning more about how to treat milk allergy by giving kids a small amount of milk protein, but it needs further study.
MICHAEL PROBST ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 3:22 pm

One out of every 13 children has a food allergy, but the affliction still regularly stumps doctors. As Kari Nadeau, director of the Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research, told Terry Gross in April on Fresh Air, researchers still don't understand what "flips the switch between a food allergen versus a food nutrient in children."

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