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2:36 am
Wed August 20, 2014

With Ferguson, Obama Forced To Confront Race Yet Again

President Barack Obama meets with Attorney General Eric Holder in the Oval Office of the White House on August 18, 2014.
Charles Dharapak AP

The tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, is another test for President Obama. He's struggled at times over how to navigate long-simmering tensions between police and the African-American community.

President Obama says he understands the passions and the anger that have engulfed Ferguson over the last week and a half, but he's carefully avoided taking sides. His warnings against violent confrontation have been directed equally at the protesters and the police.

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NPR Ed
2:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

LA Johnson/NPR

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll Number One, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33%. But Poll Number Two, released yesterday, puts it at 53%. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

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Around the Nation
2:33 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Gay Rights Movement Tackles Cultural Battle In The Deep South

Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, launched a grassroots effort to make the Deep South's culture more accepting of gays and lesbians. Brad Clark discusses their work in Mississippi.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Mercedes Ricks may be the perfect candidate to help launch a new cultural push in Magnolia, Miss.The 50-year-old native of Columbia ended up in this tiny south Mississippi town by way of New Orleans nine years ago.

"I met these ladies from here," Ricks says after greeting guests in the barroom next to her Mariposa restaurant. "They invited me to come spend the weekend in Magnolia. We were going to the river and drink beer and Katrina happened that weekend."

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Business
12:56 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer Steps Down From Company's Board

Steve Ballmer, the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, is stepping down from Microsoft's board. Ballmer, who recently resigned as Microsoft's CEO, is the largest individual shareholder of the company.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:00 am

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 58, has resigned from the company's board citing other time consuming commitments including his new ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Tuesday's announcement closes a chapter in Ballmer's 34 years with the software giant. He remains the largest individual shareholder in the company.

Ballmer spent $2 billion of his roughly $20 billion fortune on the Clippers purchase, which a judge confirmed last week.

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The Two-Way
6:26 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson Update: Holder Writes Op-Ed; City Calls For Nighttime Calm

Protesters walk on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., on Tuesday. Protests have been going on for more than a week after the police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.
Michael B. Thomas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:26 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder has made a pledge to Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Aug. 9.

"Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent," he wrote in an op-ed for the St. Louis Dispatch. He added, "Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community."

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