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It's All Politics
7:41 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Friday's Political Grab Bag: Romney Leans On Bush's Economic Team Etc.

In a move that likely opens him up to some obvious Democratic attacks, Mitt Romney is turning to members of President George W. Bush's economic brain trust to craft what he hopes will be a winning economic message.

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It's All Politics
7:14 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Romney Reaches Out To Skeptical Tea Partiers In Michigan

Mitt Romney sings the national anthem before speaking at a Tea Party event at the Bakers of Milford Banquet Hall on Thursday in Milford, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 1:08 pm

  • Listen to the Story On Morning Edition

Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reached out to Tea Party voters — a segment of the party that he has had a hard time winning over in previous states this primary season.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

NPR Promotes Two Executives To Key Posts

Kinsey Wilson, NPR's executive vice president and chief content officer.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 12:03 pm

Slightly more than one year after a series of controversial events led to top leaders' depatures, NPR this morning announced "a new executive structure" and named two current managers to key posts.

NPR President and CEO Gary Knell said that:

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Shots - Health Blog
6:44 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Disease Sleuths Surf For Outbreaks Online

Adam Cole NPR

Most folks who wake up feeling crummy will sit down with a computer or smartphone before they sit down with a doctor.

They might search the Web for remedies or tweet about their symptoms. And that's why scientists who track disease are turning to the Internet for early warning signs of epidemics.

"Surveillance is one of the cornerstones of public health," says Philip Polgreen, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa. "It all depends on having not only accurate data, but timely data."

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

U.S., Other 'Friends Of Syria,' To Call On Syria's Assad To Step Aside

As Syrian security forces continue to pound the city of Homs and surrounding areas, "the United States, Europe and Arab countries were set Friday to back a proposal for Syria's president to step aside and allow in humanitarian assistance to end a brutal crackdown against opponents," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Obama's Tax Plan Is 'Step Forward,' But Not Enough, Key Republican Says

  • NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich.

President Obama's proposal to cut the top corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent to 28 percent (and in some cases, to 25 percent) is "a good step forward and I welcome looking at the details," the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said today on Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Fri February 24, 2012

From Palin's Emails: 'Are You Flipping Kidding???'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at a Tea Party event in Iowa last September.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Once again, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is in the news and the story is one of this morning's "talkers."

Another big batch of emails she wrote while in office has been released, and as The Associated Press writes:

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Around the Nation
4:54 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Man Arrested For Cooking His Own Meal At Denny's

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:42 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Cop Spied Emptying Police Fridge

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:43 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a story of a man caught in a sting operation. Somebody stole from an office fridge - drinks, lunches, 60 pounds of deer sausage disappeared. What made the fridge of special interest to police was its location in a police station in Deer Park, Texas. Police placed a hidden video camera in the ceiling and caught an officer - Kevin Yang. TV station KTRK says that when caught, Mr. Yang said he was just cleaning the fridge. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 5:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a sale at Sears.

Sears says it is spinning off outlet, hometown and hardware stores. The deal is expected to help the company raise up to $500 million. It's also selling some of its other properties in a separate deal.

This comes after Sears said in December it would close about 100 stores after an abysmal holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Observers Fear Violence-Marred Election In Senegal

With just two days left before Senegal's presidential election, mediation efforts are underway to try to calm a political standoff in the West African nation that has led to violent protests.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Rep. Camp On Corporate Tax Plan

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 5:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama put tax reform back on the table this week. He called for changes to the corporate tax system. Tax rates would go down for companies, deductions would go away - many of them, and companies with overseas operations would find it a little harder not to pay.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Baseball's Reigning MVP Wins Appeal On Positive Drug Test

Ryan Braun #8 of the Milwaukee Brewers reacts after hitting a double in Game Five of the National League Division Series, last year in Milwaukee.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Last year's National League MVP has just won an appeal on a positive drug test, which means he will not be suspended for the first 50 games of the 2012 season.

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Election 2012
4:14 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Ohio GOP Voters Could Hold Key On Super Tuesday

Prospective voters listen to Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, Feb. 7, 2012, at the Price Hill Chili Restaurant in Cincinnati.
Evan Vucci ASSOCIATED PRESS

Tuesday is the next big day for Republicans in choosing their presidential nominee, with primaries in Michigan and Arizona.

Then there's an even bigger day a week later: March 6 is this year's Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses. Possibly the most consequential one will be in the swing state of Ohio. It has 66 delegates at stake, and it will also be a key battleground in November.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Syrian Activist: 'I Could Be Killed At Any Moment'

A handout picture released by Local coordination Committees in Syria (LCC Syria) on Feb. 22 shows fire on the roof of a building in the Baba Amr neighborhood of the flashpoint city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

The situation in Syria is one of desperation, death and constant danger, a Syrian activist told All Things Considered's Melissa Block.

The activist, who goes by Abo Bakr, said he was in the house where journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik were killed.

"We were hearing so many explosions around us, but then the sounds got closer until one rocket hit the backyard of the house," Bakr said. "Then rockets started hitting the roof, and that resulted in the roof falling down completely."

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Afghanistan
3:51 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

U.S. Apology Fails To Stop Afghan Riots

Afghan demonstrators burn an effigy of President Obama and shout anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Afghans have been rioting for three days after word that several Qurans were desecrated at a NATO base. The U.S. says the burning of the Qurans was accidental.
Noorullah Shirzada AFP/Getty Images

President Obama apologized in a letter and Afghan President Hamid Karzai appealed for calm.

But that was not enough to keep Afghans from protesting violently for a third day following word that several copies of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, were burned at a large NATO base outside Kabul.

The latest incident resembled other cases in recent years, where rumors that a Quran was desecrated — even thousands of miles away in Florida or Guantanamo Bay — ignited deadly riots in Afghanistan.

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Books
3:49 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Enough Is Enough: 3 Books About Going Too Far

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:10 pm

It begins with a political leader or a businessman who hits on a powerful new idea, one that puts him miles ahead of everyone else. It could be a new innovation, like the financial derivative, or a new way of doing business, like Microsoft selling software. It could be something destructive, like Hitler's blitzkrieg, which ran over France in two months. No matter the specifics, it leaves everyone else flat-footed and looking foolish.

Our man (it's usually a man) is now indestructible and untouchable. With nothing in his way, he is, for a while, an irresistible force.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Monsanto Reaches Settlement On Agent Orange Class-Action Suit

A proposed settlement has been reached in a big class-action lawsuit against Monsanto. The case is connected to the company's production of the controversial herbicide "Agent Orange," the defoliant the military sprayed over Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.

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Middle East
3:13 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Syrian Forces Tightening Grip On Parts Of Homs

Flames rise from a house, the result of Syrian government shelling, in the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on Wednesday, in this image provided by citizen journalists to the Local Coordination Committees.
Local Coordination Committees in Syria AP

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:10 pm

The Syrian army has cut off all escape routes from a rebel-held neighborhood in Homs, the city that has seen the most intense fighting in recent days, according to opposition activists.

Syrian tanks were seen moving closer to the Baba Amr neighborhood Thursday, as efforts continued to negotiate a cease-fire to evacuate the wounded, including two Western journalists.

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Performing Arts
3:01 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

For One Man, The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen

Suzanne Gangi removes a six-inch nail from her husband Tony's nose.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Tony Gangi gave up a successful career in publishing in order to impale himself.

With his wife Suzanne's permission, he went from having a secure 9 to 5 job to following his dream of wowing audiences by doing shock-worthy things to his own body.

"Ladies and gentlemen, what I'm about to do is a 4,000-year-old art and it's known as sword swallowing," Gangi, also known as The Amazing Human Head, tells a crowd at a Salem, Mass., performance. "Oh no!" a child in the audience exclaims.

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Around the Nation
2:42 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Blue Angels Bring Winter Thrill To California Town

The Blue Angels practice above El Centro, Calif., last week.
Courtesy of Ted Gallinat

Fifteen miles from the border of Mexico, the city of El Centro in California's Imperial Valley has something most hard luck small towns don't: the Blue Angels.

For 45 years, the city has been the winter training home of the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. The "Blues," as the locals call them, have been an enduring source of pride for the desert community.

The "hay bales" is a dusty crop field a stone's throw from the runways of El Centro's Naval Air Facility. Lisa Gallinat has been watching the Blue Angels from here ever since she was a kid.

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