Shots - Health Blog
9:25 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Nicotine Patches Up Early Memory Loss In Study

Franck Camhi iStockphoto.com

Slapping on a nicotine patch may not just be for smokers trying to kick the habit.

In an intriguing test, researchers tried nicotine patches as a memory booster for nonsmokers with mild declines in their thinking ability, a precursor to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

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Books
8:57 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Michelle And Barack Obama: A Powerful Partnership

Jodi Kantor spoke to over 200 sources, including White House aides and close friends of the President, while reseaching her new biography on the Obamas. Kantor is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times.
Juliana Sohn Courtesy of the author

In late 2006, Barack Obama held a meeting with his wife Michelle and his advisors to weigh whether he should run for President.

"And Michelle Obama, in front of everybody, asks her husband a very dramatic question," says New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor. "She says, 'What do you think you can bring to this that the other candidates can't?'"

Her husband paused for a second, and then responded, "I really think if I became President, it would inspire people all over the world to think of new possibilities."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Mine Disaster Settlement Talks Enter Fifth Day

The emotionally charged task of putting price tags on the lives of coal miners killed in the nation's deadliest mine disaster in 40 years continues for a fifth day in West Virginia.

Sources familiar with the mediation talks say the families of 13 Upper Big Branch mine explosion victims are still considering settlement of wrongful death claims with mine owner Alpha Natural Resources.

Six families settled yesterday in mediated negotiations that began Friday at a resort in Glade Springs, W. Va.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Marketplace Explosion Leaves At Least 30 Dead In Pakistan

At least 30 people were killed at a busy market in northwest Pakistan after a bomb was placed inside the car of a local militia group tasked with fighting against the Taliban.

CNN reports the explosion occurred in the Jamrud Market in the Khyber near the Afghan border. The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
7:55 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Don't Get Your Hopes Up Over This Political Coverage

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speaks to reporters before a campaign stop in Concord, N.H. In interviews, Huntsman has said that his goal in New Hampshire is to "beat market expectations."
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images

This may well be the worst story you've come across yet on politics.

Really, I beg you: You should have very, very low expectations for this story.

And this expectations thing is important stuff.

Pundits, reporters and the campaigns themselves have devoted a lot of energy to setting expectations for the candidates' performances.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Confirms She's Running For Parliament

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, center, at an campaign event on Tuesday.
Soe Than Win AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 7:26 am

Myanmar's upcoming special parliamentary elections just became more legitimate. Aung San Suu Kyi, a leading opposition figure in the country as well as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said she will mount a campaign for a seat in parliament.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Tue January 10, 2012

After Defeating LSU, Alabama Overwhelmingly Ranked No. 1 In AP Poll

After a 21-0 victory over LSU in the bowl championship game last night, a final AP poll crowned the Crimson Tide No. 1. Alabama received 55 first-place votes, while LSU got one.

As the AP reports, yesterday's victory easily erased Alabama's Nov. 5 loss against LSU.

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It's All Politics
6:01 am
Tue January 10, 2012

What GOP Candidates Need From New Hampshire

If the New Hampshire primary goes as widely expected, Mitt Romney should emerge the winner among the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. For weeks, polls in the state have shown him with a commanding lead.

But the 2012 campaign season has already delivered some surprises. Maybe New Hampshire will provide the latest in the series of unexpected twists?

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Middle East
5:36 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Syria's Assad Defies Pressure To Step Down

Syrian President Bashar Assad vowed to stay in power during a speech Tuesday, defying international pressure for him to step aside. He vowed to respond to threats against him with an "iron hand."

The Two-Way
5:36 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Defiant, Syria's Assad Says He'll Respond To Threats With An 'Iron Hand'

An image from Syrian state television shows Syrian President Bashar Assad delivering his speech Tuesday in Damascus.
- AFP/Getty Images

Speaking in public for the first time since June, embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad said he would not leave power. According to Reuters, Assad blamed "foreign planning" for the uprising that has engulfed his country. Calling the protesters terrorists, he vowed to respond to threats with an "iron hand."

The AP adds:

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