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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

After Failed R-Rating Appeal, Bullying Documentary Will Be Released Unrated

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.
Lee Hirsch The Weinstein Company

The documentary Bully will be released unrated.

The decision from the Weinstein Company comes after a very public appeal for the Motion Picture Association of America to overturn its decision to give the bullying documentary an R-rating, which meant anyone younger than 17 would not be permitted without a parent.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Does A Chocolate Habit Help Keep You Lean?

Researchers say some compounds in cocoa may help us fend off fat.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 12:05 pm

A new study finds that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don't eat chocolate regularly.

Really, we asked? Last time we checked chocolate was loaded with fat and sugar. But this new research, along with some prior studies, suggests chocolate may favorably influence metabolism.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Santorum Would Consider VP Offer From Romney, Man He Daily Derides

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:26 am

If on winning the Republican presidential nomination Mitt Romney needs a vice presidential running mate with the proven ability to use a New York Times correspondent as a rhetorical punching bag, Rick Santorum could be available.

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All Tech Considered
3:03 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Wanted: Digital Bloodhounds For The Hotel Industry

Kelsey Blodget of Oyster.com photographs the lobby of New York's Trump SoHo hotel. The website relies on tech-savvy workers to create online reviews and track hotel bookings.
Oyster.com

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:35 pm

These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.

One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Sarkozy Says France Will Bar Some Muslim Clerics

In the aftermath of the Toulouse shootings, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said his country would bar some Muslim clerics from entering the country.

According to Al Arabiya, Sarkozy said he spoke to the Emir of Qatar to request that Yousef Al-Qarwadi, an Egyptian who is considered one of the most prominent Sunni Muslim clerics, not be allowed to travel to France.

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Middle East
2:33 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Saudi Institute Seeks To Build A Bridge To The West

Under King Abdullah's rule, Saudi Arabia has gradually opened up to the West. The country recently established its first institute to study the West. Here, the king is shown at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Dec. 19.
EPA/Landov

When Fahad A. Alhomoudi was studying for his doctorate in Islamic studies at Canada's McGill University in 2000, he discovered something that bothered him.

"There is, in almost every American and European university, a center for Middle Eastern or Islamic or Arab studies," the Saudi professor recalled in a recent interview in his office in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. "But there was not a single center with a focus on the West in the Middle East."

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Shots - Health Blog
2:28 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Reading Between The Lines Of Monday's Supreme Court Arguments

Demonstrators in support of President Obama's health care overhaul march outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday.
John Rose NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.

The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?

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Shots - Health Blog
2:25 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Weight-Loss Surgery May Help Treat, Even Reverse, Diabetes

Cristina Iaboni, a diabetic, underwent gastric bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the fall of 2009 as part of a study. After losing 50 pounds, her blood sugar was nearly normal. She is pictured here in June 2010. " href="/post/weight-loss-surgery-may-help-treat-even-reverse-diabetes" class="noexit lightbox">
Cristina Iaboni, a diabetic, underwent gastric bypass surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell in the fall of 2009 as part of a study. After losing 50 pounds, her blood sugar was nearly normal. She is pictured here in June 2010.
Thomas Cain AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 1:33 pm

Surgical procedures that are commonly used to help obese people lose weight can also dramatically improve — even reverse — diabetes, according to two studies released Monday.

Tim Ferree of Macedonia, Ohio, struggled with his weight for years. He knew his out-of-control blood sugar would eventually cause serious problems.

"You're looking at losing your vision, losing your feet, having problems with your kidneys, going blind — you know, heart disease, strokes," Ferree said.

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The Salt
2:07 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

'Pink Slime' Maker Halts Production, But Ground Beef Will Still Contain Trimmings

Beef Products Inc., which turns fatty beef trimmings into a lean beef product that ends up in ground beef, announced today it is suspending operations at three of its four plants. But a company spokesman says the fatty trimmings that safety experts admit can harbor pathogens will still end up in the ground beef supply.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:57 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Cat And Dog Take Supreme Court Arguments In Stride

Katherine Prather, a first year medical student at Georgetown University, and her dog, Ellie, showed their support for the health care overhaul law at rally outside the Supreme Court Monday.
Jessica Marcy Kaiser Health News

No circus would be complete without a few animals.

So wouldn't you know the big crowd outside the U.S. Supreme Court today included a cat on a leash and an adorable chihuahua mix with health insurance.

Kaiser Health News' Jessica Marcy snapped the shot of the cat, stretched out on the steps leading to the courthouse, as she was rushing to cover the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Did Corzine Know Money Transfer Came From Customer Account?

Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D).
Mario Tama Getty Images

On Friday, we reported that former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine directly ordered $200 million transfered from a segregated customer account to an MF Global account in London, according to a memo from the House Committee on Financial Services.

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It's All Politics
1:09 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

GOP Seizes On Obama Open-Mic Comment To Russian Leader

President Obama unwittingly made some not-so-private comments to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a Seoul, South Korea security summit.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:26 am

When your political opponent hands you a gift, take it.

That's precisely what Republicans did Monday after President Obama's comment to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, captured on open microphones at a security summit in South Korea s, that Obama's would have more negotiating room on missile defense after the U.S.'s November elections than before.

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Law
1:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Protesters Rally Outside Supreme Court

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

If you were expecting three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health care law to kick off with a bang, think again. Today's arguments began like this.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Anti-Injunction Act imposes a pay-first-litigate-later rule that is central to federal tax assessment and collection.

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Europe
1:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

New Scandal Haunts Britain's Conservatives

A new political scandal has hit Britain's ruling Conservative Party. A senior official has resigned over an influence-peddling scheme uncovered by a British newspaper.

Law
1:00 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Amicus Briefs Examined

The Supreme Court has received more than 100 amicus briefs in the health care cases. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel explain what they are, what's involved and what impact they have.

All Tech Considered
11:58 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Finding Cheaper Gas With Your Smartphone

The GasBuddy app and website rely on crowdsourcing — people across the country sending in gas prices.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Gasoline prices seem to be going up every day, and motorists are looking to squeeze every penny of savings out of each fill-up. Well, as it turns out with so many things these days, smartphone apps can help.

Companies have applications for most smartphones out there to help people find the cheapest gas in town. I tried out six applications on an iPhone and narrowed the selection to two that I found the easiest to use: GasBuddy and Fuel Finder.

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Judging The Health Care Law
11:42 am
Mon March 26, 2012

TRANSCRIPT: Supreme Court: The Health Care Overhaul Law And The Anti-Injunction Act

  • Listen to the Supreme Court Arguments

The Supreme Court on Monday heard the first of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Monday's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.


CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will hear argument this morning in Case Number 11-398, Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida.

Mr. Long.

ORAL ARGUMENT OF ROBERT A. LONG ON BEHALF OF THE COURT-APPOINTED AMICUS CURIAE MR. LONG: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Police: George Zimmerman Said He Was Knocked To Ground And Beaten

George Zimmerman, in a 2005 mug shot provided by the Orange County (Fla.) jail, via The Miami Herald. He had been accused of pushing a state alcohol agent, who was arresting a friend of Zimmerman's. He entered a "pretrial-diversion program."
AP

The man who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in an incident that has reignited the national conversation about race relations told police that the younger man knocked him to the ground and slammed his head into the sidewalk, the Orlando Sentinel just reported.

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Asia
11:33 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Obama Asks China To Help Halt N. Korean Rocket

President Obama greets Chinese President Hu Jintao at the start of their meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on Monday. The U.S. president asked the Chinese leader to use his influence with North Korean to discourage that country from launching a rocket next month.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama came to South Korea to talk about global nuclear security with world leaders, but found himself trying to build a unified front against North Korea's planned rocket launch next month.

Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak strenuously warned North Korea not to go ahead with the launch. In a speech Monday at the summit in Seoul, Obama used some of the toughest language he has ever used addressed to the leaders of North Korea.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon March 26, 2012

New Black Panther Party Offers $10K Bounty For George Zimmerman

Mikhail Muhammad of the New Black Panther Party speaks to the media next to a memorial to Trayvon Martin outside The Retreat at Twin Lakes community where Trayvon was shot and killed by George Michael Zimmerman.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Over the weekend, members of the New Black Panther Party showed just how tense the situation in the Trayvon Martin shooting has gotten: They offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed teenager.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:43 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Supreme Court Justices Hear Opening Arguments Over Health Care Law

Members of the public line up Monday morning as the Supreme Court begins three days of arguments on the health care overhaul law signed by President Obama in Washington.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:09 pm

  • Listen to Nina Totenberg and Ari Shapiro talk about Monday's arguments


Does a federal law stretching back to 1867 bar the Supreme Court from deciding on the merits of the administration's health law right now?

The court on Monday heard the first arguments in a historic three-day session that could decide the fate of the Obama administration's signature domestic achievement.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Filmmaker James Cameron Completes Solo Dive To Bottom Of The Ocean

Explorer James Cameron emerges from the Deepsea Challenger submersible after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench.
Mark Thiessen AFP/Getty Images

The filmmaker James Cameron just completed the first solo dive to the deepest part of the ocean.

As we reported, the Challenger Deep, near Guam, is 6.83 miles underneath the water's surface and had only been visited once before in 1960.

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Around the Nation
10:30 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Car Guru: Stop Downshift In Manual Transmissions

Fewer people are buying cars with manual transmissions, and most young people now learn how to drive an automatic only.
Ian Kobylanski via Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 5:17 pm

Seventy years ago, 70 percent of U.S.-made cars came with a stick shift. The number is less than 9 percent today.

But at least one man is on a quest to reverse that slide.

Eddie Alterman loves automobiles. He's a gear head. He's the top editor at Car and Driver magazine. His whole career, he has watched the sales of cars with stick shifts decline. And when Ferrari failed to offer a manual option for the new 458 Italia, he said, enough's enough. Basta.

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Health Care
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

A Red State Embraces Part Of Health Care Overhaul

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 9:41 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michele Martin is away this week. Coming up, spring hails all sorts of lovely flowers and in Washington it brings cherry blossoms on the trees that ring the city's tidal basin. We'll share the story behind the famed cherry blossoms in a few minutes. But first, the Supreme Court opens a three-day hearing today about the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act.

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Health Care
10:00 am
Mon March 26, 2012

A Florida Lawmaker Critiques Health Care Law

As the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments on the Affordable Care Act, Tell Me More continues the conversation about state reactions to the law. Guest host Jacki Lyden speaks with Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, about opposition to the Affordable Care Act in his state.

The Two-Way
9:45 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Evidence Builds Of Schools Cheating To Boost Students' Test Scores

"Suspicious test scores in roughly 200 school districts resemble those that entangled Atlanta in the biggest cheating scandal in American history," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported over the weekend.

It examined data from 50 states and the District of Columbia, covering 69,000 schools in 14,743 districts and found that:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:15 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Study Finds Female Condoms Are Cost-Effective For HIV Prevention

A bus in Washington, D.C., displays an advertisement for a female condom in July 2010. To encourage their use, community groups distributed more than 500,000 of the female condoms, flexible pouches that are wider than a male condom but similar in length, during instruction sessions at beauty salons, barber shops, churches and restaurants.
Drew Angerer AP

Condoms aren't just for men.

A second generation of female condoms, which was approved in 2009, is cheaper than the first version. Still, the condoms for women are a lot more expensive than those for males. And female condoms remain pretty unfamiliar to most people.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Mon March 26, 2012

No Rabbits Were Harmed, But Herman Cain's Latest Video 'Blasts' A Bunny

Don't worry, the rabbit's OK, says Herman Cain. It's taxes on businesses that he thinks are too painful.
CainConnections

During his brief run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Herman Cain became well known for his 9-9-9 tax plan, the allegations of sexual harassment that threatened to drown out his message and his highly unusual videos.

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Television
8:46 am
Mon March 26, 2012

'Mad Men' Creator On What's Next For Don Draper

Matthew Weiner has received nine Emmy Awards for his work on Mad Men and The Sopranos.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

The fourth season of the AMC drama Mad Men ended in a dramatically big way.

Protagonist Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, seemed happy. So happy, in fact, that he surprised his secretary, Megan, with an engagement ring on a Disneyland vacation with his children. The last shot of the episode showed Megan happily asleep in bed with Don, as he remained awake, staring up at the ceiling, before turning his head and staring out the window.

What did it mean?

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Judging The Health Care Law
8:40 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Protesters, Spectators Gather Outside Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court begin hearing oral arguments on the health care law Monday. Outside the court, protesters and counter-protesters gathered with signs and chants. Also, people hoping to get in to witness the proceedings started lining up Friday morning.

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