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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Fri February 17, 2012

German President Resigns Amid Scandal

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:59 am

German President Chritian Wulff has resigned amid questions about possible corruption, a move that leaves Chancellor Angela Merkel - already under pressure from the eurozone debt crisis - scrambling for a replacement.

Wulff stepped down from the largely ceremonial post two months after the German newpaper Bild published a story alleging that while he was premier of Lower Saxony, he had failed to disclose his links to powerful businessman Egon Geerkens.

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Economy
5:11 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Does The Strengthening Economy Still Need Congress?

Employment has been rising in recent months, but most economists say Congress should keep trying to boost consumer spending.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 10:25 am

Congress on Friday approved legislation to continue a payroll tax holiday and extend benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The goal is to make sure Americans have enough spending money to keep the recovery from faltering. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

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Remembrances
5:05 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Remembering 'Intrepid Storyteller' Anthony Shadid

New York Times journalist Anthony Shadid (second from right) reported from Embaba, a neighborhood in Cairo, in February 2011 during the revolution that toppled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Ed Ou Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:01 am

I met Anthony Shadid on a ruined airstrip in western Afghanistan in the winter of 2001-'02. He was sporting a beard and longer hair in those days that made him look a little like a crusading Arab warrior. We spoke briefly and exchanged a few bits of useful news about the place. As I recall his face now, I realize Anthony's secret: His sincerity was piercing, disarming and infectious.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Mount Vernon Display Honors Washington's Kitchen

This President's Day weekend, a new exhibition opens at George Washington's Mt. Vernon. It's called Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington. It displays Mrs. Washington's hand-written recipes along with her pots and pans. It honors the labor-intensive role slaves had in the kitchen.

Around the Nation
4:36 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Mall In 'Blues Brothers' To Be Demolished

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Despite its iconic place in film history, demolition has begun on the Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, Illinois. It was the setting for a famous scene in the movie, "The Blues Brothers." The heroes escaped from police by driving their blues mobile through the mall, destroying stores, mannequins flying in the air. The high speed chase in the 1980 film was the most action the mall has seen in a long time. It's been closed since '79. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
4:28 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Donahoe Proposes Major Changes To Postal Service

In a letter addressed to Congress, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe calls for slashing 150,000 jobs - mostly through retirements. The most significant savings Donahoe suggests would come from the Postal Service breaking away from the federal health benefits plan.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Romney Campaigns In Michigan

Symbolically speaking, this month's Michigan's primary may be the most important of the GOP presidential race to date. It's the state where Mitt Romney grew up, and his father was a beloved government and business leader. And now, Romney seems to have a real chance of losing the state to Rick Santorum.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Santorum Campaigns In Michigan

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And at his stops in Michigan yesterday, Rick Santorum spoke of economic revival through low taxes, fewer regulations and his commitment to conservative family values.

Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Rick Santorum can't outspend Romney in Michigan, and he's facing a barrage of ads on radio and TV paid for by the pro-Romney superPAC Restore Our Future. The ads attack Santorum's U.S. Senate record.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL ADVERTISEMENT)

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Television
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

How Friday Night TV Started Producing Hits

Fridays used to be infamous as the worst night for TV ratings. It was where shows went to die. Now, between DVRs and people not going out because of the lousy economy, Friday has become a perfectly respectful night to have a certain kind of show on TV and even become a hit.

Business
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's go to a very different reality for one student. Our last word in business today: beyond opulent.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Business News

Renee Montagne has business news.

All Tech Considered
1:06 am
Fri February 17, 2012

When The Car Is The Driver

Chris Urmson (right) and Anthony Levandowski, one of the leaders of Google's self-driving car project, get into the driverless car.
Steve Henn NPR

This week the state of Nevada finalized new rules that will make it possible for robotic self-driving cars to receive their own special driving permits. It's not quite driver's licenses for robots — but it's close.

The other day I went for a spin in a robotic car. This car has an $80,000 cone-shaped laser mounted on its roof. There are radars on the front, back and sides. Detailed maps help it navigate.

Do people notice it's a self-driving car and gawk?

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Shots - Health Blog
1:05 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Questions About Bird Flu Research Swirl Around Private WHO Meeting

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 8:37 am

A closed-door meeting to discuss controversial bird flu research is drawing to a close at the World Health Organization in Geneva, and the WHO plans to publicly report on what happened once it's officially over.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:59 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Weight-Loss Drugs Face High Hurdles At FDA

The FDA hasn't approved a new weight-loss drug since 1999. In the meantime, Americans' waistlines have continued to grow.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:52 pm

Tammy Wade knew she had to try something else to lose weight when she stepped on the scale and saw the number: 203 pounds.

Wade, 50, of McCalla, Ala., is only 5 feet 3 inches tall. She had tried everything. Nothing worked.

"I had problems with my feet and ankles, and they were saying I was borderline diabetic," Wade says. "I'm like, well, I gotta do something, you know. So, I needed, really did need to lose the weight."

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Business
10:01 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Big Bucks Attract High School Grads To Mining

The Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho's Silver Valley, shown in 2007, was temporarily shut down in January while it complies with safety regulations, according to the mine's operator, Hecla Mining.
Nick Geranios AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 1:25 pm

This spring, some high school grads in Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Nevada may see some good job prospects.

The recent spike in metal prices, combined with a shortage of miners, means mining companies are hiring. So some teens are opting not to go to college, and instead are heading underground.

But these high-paying jobs also come at a high cost.

An Educator Questions His Own Path

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Planet Money
10:01 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

What It Feels Like In China When Europe Comes Asking For Help

Help.
ED JONES AFP/Getty Images

Jiang Shixue is describing to me one of the most exciting moments of his life: The moment earlier this month when one of the most important people in Europe — German Chancellor Angela Merkel — came to visit his workplace.

"She said that the EU would be happy to see if China can offer a kind of helping hand," says Jiang, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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Money & Politics
10:01 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

White House And SuperPAC: How Close Is Too Close?

Bill Burton, shown during a news briefing at the White House in January, is now with pro-Obama superPAC Priorities USA Action. He says the superPAC is "careful to make sure that we are in compliance with the rules."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

President Obama's decision to have White House officials and Cabinet secretaries help raise money for a pro-Obama superPAC is raising questions.

The superPAC, Priorities USA Action — which is supposed to be independent of the president's re-election campaign — is launching a new effort to bring in six- and seven-figure contributions.

By law, it cannot coordinate its messaging with Obama's re-election campaign committee. But coordinating other things? That's possible.

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StoryCorps
8:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Professor Hits A Wall And Falls In Love

Gwendolyn Diaz and her husband, Henry Flores, at StoryCorps in San Antonio.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 7:34 am

Henry Flores was walking down the hallway at St. Mary's University in San Antonio when he noticed that the last office in the hallway's door was open.

"I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blond hair, and I went smack-dab into the wall," says Flores, who is now a professor of political science and dean of the graduate school at St. Mary's.

It was the mid-1980s and Gwendolyn Diaz, who had just joined the university faculty, was sitting in the office.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Gary Carter, Hall Of Famer And Mets Hero, Dies Of Brain Cancer At 57

Gary Carter of the New York Mets looks on during a game in the 1989 season. The star of the Mets' 1986 World Series win died Thursday, after a fight with brain cancer.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

Gary Carter, the former Major League Baseball catcher who helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series, has died of brain cancer at 57. In a career marked by tenacity — and the ability to hit homeruns — Carter was chosen for 11 All Star teams.

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Law
3:33 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Pa. Priest Faces Trial On Child Abuse Cover-Up Charges

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:25 pm

Between 1992 and 2004, Monsignor William Lynn was the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's point person for allegations of clerical abuse. When he heard a claim, he was supposed to investigate and, if warranted, remove or turn the priest over to police.

But as two grand juries reported in 2005 and 2011, that often didn't happen.

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It's All Politics
2:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Glitter Bombing: A Sparkly Weapon Of Disapproval On The Campaign Trail

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum brushes off glitter after being "glitter-bombed" before a campaign rally on Feb. 7 in Blaine, Minn.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Earlier this week, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was glitter-bombed by Occupy protesters in Tacoma, Wash., during a rally.

It wasn't the first time for Santorum. In fact, all of the Republican presidential candidates still in the race have faced off with glitter bombers. Unlike a ticker-tape parade or a burst of celebratory confetti, glitter-bombing is a form of protest — it tells candidates that someone thinks they're wrong on an issue.

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Middle East
2:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

The Woman Behind Egypt's Crackdown On Aid Groups

Egyptian Planning and International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga (shown here in Washington, D.C., last April) has repeatedly warned Egyptians about the alleged danger foreigners pose to their country. She is the driving force behind recent efforts to prosecute 43 people, including American and other foreign democracy activists, for operating illegally in Egypt.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:39 pm

In Egypt, a female Cabinet minister has emerged as the driving force behind a crackdown on U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups.

The attacks of Faiza Aboul Naga — a holdover from the regime of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak — have made her a hero to many Egyptians who believe she is defending their country's honor. But the threat she poses to billions of dollars in U.S. aid and international loans could make her power short-lived.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:59 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Birth Control: Latest Collision Between Individual Conscience And Society

A House panel heard testimony about conscience and religious freedom Thursday from (left) Rev. William E. Lori, Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, Conn.; Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president, The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod; C. Ben Mitchell, Union University; Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Yeshiva University; and Craig Mitchell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:00 pm

President Obama's controversial decision to require Catholic employers to provide free contraceptives to their employees is still reverberating.

A new New York Times/CBS News poll out this week shows 60 percent of the public supports the president, including 58 percent of all Catholics.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:31 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Doctors 'Disgruntled' And Frustrated By Looming Medicare Cuts

A looming 27.4 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements likely won't happen. But next year, any cuts could be greater.
iStockphoto.com

The good news for the nation's doctors — and the millions of Medicare patients they care for — is that assuming everything goes as planned, the 27.4 percent cut in reimbursements that would have taken effect March 1 won't.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Halt In 'Colbert Report' Production Reportedly Due To Family Emergency

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:46 pm

Provocateur comedian Stephen Colbert is known for many things. Silence has not been among them — until now. An abrupt suspension in his Colbert Report's production schedule sparked rumors online Thursday, after Comedy Central said it would air reruns for three days this week.

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It's All Politics
2:19 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Santorum Ally Friess Praises Old-School 'Contraceptive': Aspirin Between Knees

Foster Friess got somewhat off message during an MSNBC interview Thursday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 8:01 am

Foster Friess, Rick Santorum's billionaire supporter, drew some attention from his candidate Thursday with a comment about contraception that was, to say the least, unusual and surefire fodder for late-night TV comedians .

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Election 2012
2:18 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

In Arizona, Romney Can't Take Mormons For Granted

Karen Johnson, from Linden, Ariz., supports the candidacy of Ron Paul. She says Mitt Romney shares her faith, but not her politics.
Peter O'Dowd For NPR

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:41 pm

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

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Election 2012
2:13 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

In One Maine County, Every Caucus Vote May Count

Washington County, Maine, is not a place for unhardy souls.

It's the easternmost county in all of New England, and one of the poorest. And at this time of year, people in Down East Maine do anything they can to eke out a living.

"I get about six months out of it," county resident Hartley Goston said, referring to his lobster boat, The Darian Sue. "I get a few odd jobs here and there to help tie up some loose ends."

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Movie Reviews
2:08 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

A Veteran's 'Return' To The Front Lines Of Home

Linda Cardellini plays a vet who returns from overseas with no way to make sense of where she was and what it meant in director Liza Johnson's new drama Return.
Dada Films

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 11:36 am

The coming-home genre is so rife with stock ingredients that first I'd like to tell you what Liza Johnson's very fine drama Return doesn't do. The camera doesn't move in on returning-veteran Kelli, played by Linda Cardellini, as the sound of battle rises and she's back in her head on the front lines. The film doesn't give you what I call the "psychodrama striptease," in which a past trauma is revealed piece by piece until you're finally, at the end, shown the essential bit.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:56 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Doctors Cheer As Feds Delay New Disease Codes, Again

Dolphin bite? There's a medical code for that.
Simone Di Tonno - Annachiara Fig iStockphoto.com

Poking fun at a complex new system for classification of diseases is surprisingly easy and enjoyable.

Yes, there are codes your doctor will be able to use someday to submit bills for treatment of a dolphin bite (W5601XA), being struck by a dolphin (W5602XA) or "other contact" with a dolphin (W5603XA). And that's just the start.

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