The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

It's Caucus Day In Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a crowd during a campaign stop on Monday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 10:22 am

Today, Iowa kicks off the 2012 presidential race in earnest. As, you've no doubt heard by now, the Republican presidential contest is still very fluid: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum could all win the season's first contest.

As The Des Moines Register found in its poll, the race is so unsettled "41 percent of those who have a first choice could still be persuaded to change their minds."

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Remembrances
5:08 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Sought After Hollywood Sword Master Dies

Bob Anderson was an Olympic fencer, and was a major fight choreographer for saber-rattling movies including: The Princess Bride and The Lord of the Rings. He was nearly 60 when he did Darth Vader's light saber fighting. Anderson died Sunday at 89.

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

Movies
5:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

'Thin Blue Line' Piqued Mike Mills Movie Interest

Steve Inskeep talks to filmmaker Mike Mills for the latest in the Watch This series about recommended movies and television shows. Mills directed the film Beginners starring Christopher Plummer as an elderly father who comes out of the closet.

World
4:48 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Regime Changes May Lead To Dangerous New Year

Big changes in 2011 — from the Arab Spring to the death of North Korea's dictator — create opportunities for 2012. But change can be scary, even when the regimes to be replaced are unpopular or repressive, because there's never a guarantee the new regime will be better.

Political Junkie
4:45 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 11:57 am

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

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Middle East
4:39 am
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Sanctions Target Iran's Central Bank

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

For this new year, Congress gave President Obama the power to impose new sanctions on Iran.

WERTHEIMER: The sanctions would target Iran's central bank. Though the president has some flexibility on the timing, the mere threat escalated tensions. Iranians have spoken of stopping oil tankers passing through the vital straits of Hormuz.

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Sports
4:26 am
Tue January 3, 2012

College Football Bowl Games Cap 2011 Season

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The big bowls are underway. The five games in the Bowl Championship Series stand out in the crowded college football postseason. They command the largest national television audience and pay out the most money. They also generate the most controversy, although yesterday, the first two BCS bowl games generally created nothing but thrills.

Oregon beat Wisconsin 45 to 38 in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma State won a 41-38 nail-biter over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us with more.

Good morning, Tom.

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Mount Rainier Suspected Shooter Found Dead

An Iraq war veteran who is suspected of killing a park ranger has been found dead in a snowy stream at Washington's Mount Rainier National Park. The park had been closed since Sunday while authorities searched for Benjamin Barnes.

Around the Nation
2:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

LA Police Arrest Suspect In Arson String

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:39 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Authorities in Los Angeles are celebrating the arrest of a suspect in dozens of fires. L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told reporters that residents can finally get some rest.

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY: Our long, four-day nightmare is over. This has been, literally, a nightmare. I haven't had a good night's sleep since last week, and I'm looking forward to one tonight.

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