Around the Nation
11:44 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

N.H. GOP Moves To Revise State's Contraception Law

New Hampshire, one of the least religious states in the nation, has become the latest front in the political battle over contraception. State GOP leaders oppose the new federal rule compelling insurers to provide birth control to employees of religious organizations. They want to change a 12-year-old state law that requires contraceptive coverage under insurers' prescription drug policies.

It's hard to miss the politics fueling state House Speaker William O'Brien's push to carve out a religious exemption from the contraception mandate.

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Hollywood Jobs
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

The Extraordinary, Ordinary Life Of Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne's The Descendants has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editor and Best Actor. Payne co-wrote and directed the film, which stars George Clooney as an indifferent dad struggling to raise two daughters.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Alexander Payne watches a movie every day — or tries to, anyway. Lately, the writer and director of The Descendants has been busy going to nomination and awards dinners, in advance of Sunday's Oscar night — when the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes could be his.

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Media
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

With Sale, Phila. Reporters Fear Loss Of Integrity

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been accused of interfering with coverage of the newspapers' pending sale.
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:50 am

Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.

But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Portuguese Seeking Opportunities In Former Colonies

Protesters against government austerity measures march in front of the Finance Ministry in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this month. The country's debt crisis has prompted Portuguese workers to look to their country's former colonies for jobs.
Patricia de Melo Moreira AFP/Getty Images

Portugal is burdened with such big debts that some are calling it "the next Greece." Unemployment is soaring, and the debt continues to rise, despite draconian austerity measures.

But Portugal has something Greece doesn't have: former colonies, rich in natural resources and in need of labor, both skilled and unskilled. And in a type of role reversal, some Portuguese are now traveling to those places in hopes of improving their lives.

Antonio Valerio, who is studying pharmaceutical science at a university, is among those who see no future in Portugal.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

With President Leaving, Yemen Steps Into A New Era

A Yemeni man shows his ink-stained thumb after he voted in the presidential election in Yemen's capital on Feb. 21. The one-candidate election ends President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year hard-line rule.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Yemen has become the latest Arab country to depose its dictator.

On Monday, the country's longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is set to hand power to his vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, as part of an agreement reached late last year. The agreement was backed by the U.S., Europe and Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors. It was ratified by more than 60 percent of Yemen's voters earlier this week.

Now, the real work begins.

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Religion
8:41 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

How To Properly Dispose Of Sacred Texts

On Feb. 21 outside Bagram Airfield, Afghan demonstrators show copies of Qurans allegedly set on fire by U.S. soldiers at a NATO airbase outside Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 8:24 pm

The Quran is considered to be the speech of God to humankind — word for word — explains Imam Johari Abdul-Malik.

"The traditional way of disposing of used or damaged copies of the text of the Quran is by burning it," he says.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Man Gives U.S. Vets Two Things: Haircuts, And Hope

The barber shop run by Anthony Bravo Esparza — whom everyone knows as "Dreamer" — is a fixture at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System's West Los Angeles Campus.
Paula Berger

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 9:49 am

To help U.S. troops ease back into civilian life, veteran Anthony Bravo Esparza offers them a haircut, and a safe and friendly place to hang out. Esparza — known to his friends as "Dreamer" — sees it as a way to help former soldiers find their way.

Dreamer's barbershop is easy to find; it's set up inside a trailer in the parking lot of the West Los Angeles Medical Center campus of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

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Medicaid
6:16 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

House and Senate increased Medicaid funding

Members of the Wyoming legislature made a major change to the state budget.  

The House and Senate both supported adding 43 million dollars in the Medicaid program in the State Department of Health.  The money is provided with the understanding that the Department will look for ways to reduce its budget in the future. 

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AML Money
6:12 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

House AML spending bill would fund UW upgrade

University of Wyoming Arena Auditorium
Wyoming Athletics

The Wyoming House finished work on a bill that lines out how the state will spend Abandoned Mine Lands Money.  On the final day of debate, the House restored money to be used to rehabilitate the University of Wyoming’s Arena Auditorium.   The money was removed from a previous amendment that used the money to pay for upgrades at UW’s Engineering College.   Kemmerer Representative Kathy Davison expressed concern about the construction money being given to UW. “Every year we put a lot of money into UW, every single year.

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Water Pipeline
5:22 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Fed drop Flaming Gorge Pipeline application again

A federal agency has dismissed a permit application for a proposed project that sought to divert water from Western Wyoming to the southeastern portion of the stat and Colorado’s Front Range through a 500-mile pipeline.

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