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Ticks may be most notorious for spreading Lyme disease, but the tiny arachnids pass around plenty of other nasty diseases. Now they've got a new sickening hitchhiker to boast about — a just-discovered species of the ehrlichia bacterium that's making people ill in the Upper Midwest.

Republicans Seek Uber-Volunteers To Woo Voters

Aug 4, 2011

In Iowa, the Ames straw poll is just over a week away, which means the Republican presidential candidates are spending as much time there as they can.

But when they're off wooing voters in other states, it's up to their staffs to generate buzz in their absence.

So attracting the best talent could make a difference in turnout next week. But it's not just who they hire — it's also who they recruit as volunteers.

The Uber-Volunteer

Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.

The Oklahoma woman who sparked renewed interest in the 1971 D.B. Cooper skyjacking continues to provide new details about the uncle she identifies as the famous hijacker.

Marla Cooper also revealed plans to write and publish a book for release in November in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the skyjacking.

We're a bit late to this story, but it's too good not to pass along: A Swedish man was arrested late last month, after he tried to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen.

The AP reported, yesterday:

Richard Handl said he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his flat in southern Sweden when the police showed up.

Japan is firing three top nuclear energy officials, nearly five months after the country suffered the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident of 1986. And Banri Kaieda, the industry minister in charge of energy policy, said that he will resign as soon as he replaces the officials.

"I'm planning to breathe fresh air into the ministry with a large-scale reshuffle," Kaieda said at a news conference. "I'll have new people rebuild the ministry."

Antidepressants have become some of the most commonly used drugs in the United States, yet most of them aren't prescribed by psychiatrists.

And what's more, almost three-quarters of the prescriptions are written without a specific diagnosis, according to a new study, raising the question of whether antidepressants are being prescribed too often.

Fifty years after it was brought back from extinction, a Southern flower has taken another step toward survival, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to take it off its Threatened and Endangered Species list.

The Tennessee purple coneflower is only the fifth plant ever to be removed from the list owing to a recovery. The move, announced Wednesday, will become official on Sept. 2.

The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who had served longer than any other ruler of Egypt in modern times, began Wednesday in Cairo. He is charged with ordering the killings of hundreds of protesters, and could receive the death penalty if convicted.

Host Michel Martin speaks with young Egyptian activist Wessam el-Deweny about seeing the once mighty Mubarak wheeled into the courtroom in a cage.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Update at 4:09 p.m. ET. Dow Plunges 513 Points:

At closing, the Dow finished 513 points lower. The AP reports today was the worst day for markets since the financial crisis:

Major stock indexes fell more than 4 percent. The Dow is closing with a loss of 513 points, or 4.3 percent, to 11,384. It was the worst day for the Dow since October 22, 2008.

The S&P 500 is down 60, or 4.8 percent, to 1,200. The Nasdaq is down 137, or 5.1 percent, to 2,556.

Update at 2:57 p.m. ET. University Lifts Alert:

Virginia Tech has lifted an alert that had the campus on lockdown for hours, after police received reports of a gunman. In an update on its website, the university said police searched the large campus and had "not received nor discovered additional information about a person possibly carrying a weapon beyond that reported this morning."

Our Original Post:

There are two main issues dividing Republicans and Democrats, and the House and Senate, from reaching agreement on reauthorizing funding for the Federal Aviation Administration: a policy on forming unions; and subsidized flights at smaller regional airports.

In an interview with The New York Times, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, said his father's government was aligning itself with radical Islamists among the rebels.

The Times reports:

A land crisis is gripping India. The country's growing prosperity has created a rapidly expanding middle class that is demanding modern housing and has the money to pay for it.

But building millions of new houses and apartments isn't easy, especially in a country where land is hard to come by.

A land battle on the outskirts of New Delhi illustrates the point.

The property, in an area known as Greater Noida, is undergoing the transition from cropland to towering apartment blocks. Right now, though, it's a visual and legal mess.

When it comes to food recalls, Cargill's decision to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market is a big one — a really big one.

The food giant's taking the action for turkey produced at a plant in Springdale, Ark., because the poultry may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration

David Schenker is the Aufzien fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

During the early morning hours, Japan sold yen and bought dollars in order to stop the yen from strengthening. Dow Jones estimates that Japan may have spent as much as $20 billion to $30 billion in the transactions, pushing the yen 3.8 percent lower against the dollar.

The AP reports:

Jay Cost is a staff writer for The Weekly Standard.

Froma Harrop wrote a column this week, arguing that Democrats should primary Obama:

"Ed Rendell, do you have plans for 2012? Hillary Clinton? If you, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, or you, the secretary of state, are free next year and wouldn't mind, would you please launch a primary challenge against President Obama?"

Ari Berman is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and an Investigative Journalism Fellow at The Nation.

Politics in Turkey have just undergone a profound shift.

For decades, Turkey's military leaders repeatedly launched coups and other interventions to bring about an end to civilian governments they felt were straying too far from the country's secular traditions.

But with the resignations last week of the top Turkish commanders — including the chiefs of staff of each service branch — civilian authorities have, for the first time in the nation's history, clearly gained the upper hand.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced last night that comedian Jerry Lewis will no longer serve as the organization's chairman, nor as the host of its annual Labor Day telethon. Lewis has hosted the telethons since 1966.

Over the last four years of the Mexican drug war, the country's northern border has become one of the most violent parts of the country. Yet recently that same part of Mexico has been booming economically.

The duty-free maquiladora assembly plants along the border are rapidly adding jobs, and exports to the United States are reaching record levels.

Part 5 of a 6-part series

Let's say you're the mayor. It's your city, it's where you wake up. But are you thinking about Washington each morning, or do you zip out of the house in your mayor's outfit with your smartphone, and see what you can get done yourself?

If you're Wayne Seybold, the mayor of Marion, Ind., it's a bit of both.

Bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta was a long shot. Athens, Greece, was the sentimental favorite to host the centennial games, and tension was palpable as IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch made the announcement back on Sept. 18, 1990.

"The International Olympic Committee has awarded the 1996 Olympic Games to the city of ... Atlanta," Samaranch revealed.

During Washington's heated debate over the debt ceiling, President Obama and others in the administration canceled several campaign fundraisers as work on a compromise dragged on. But on Wednesday night, the eve of his 50th birthday, Obama went out to raise money at a pair of birthday-themed events in Chicago. The election is a long way off, but the country's long-term financial obligations seem certain to become a prime issue.

When it comes to this White House and judges, there's a string of firsts. The first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. The first openly gay man on a federal district court. And the first women nominees who are Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Obama administration officials say that's by design.

Alarm is spreading through international markets as Italy, the eurozone's third largest economy, risks being sucked into the debt crisis. After a long silence, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi addressed Parliament — and insisted that the country's economy is strong, while rebuffing opposition calls for his resignation.

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