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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Unemployment Rate Edges Down To 8.3 Percent

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 7:41 am

The nation's unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent in January from 8.5 percent the month before as private employers added 257,000 jobs to their payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. Overall, after a small drop at government agencies, employment grew by 243,000.

We'll add more from the report momentarily.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET. White House, Republican Reactions:

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The Two-Way
6:20 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Egypt Roiling: Deaths At Protests; Two Americans Reportedly Kidnapped

In Cairo earlier today, a masked Egyptian protester prepared to throw back a tear gas canister fired by security forces.
Mahmud Hams AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:23 am

The news from Egypt is grim again today:

-- "At least two people have been shot and killed in the Egyptian city of Suez, as police used live rounds to hold back crowds during a protest over security forces' failure to prevent a deadly football riot," al-Jazeera reports. And it adds that "one person was killed in Cairo just feet away from the Interior Ministry, as police in Cairo set off salvos of tear gas and fired birdshot."

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Freddie Mac's Regulator 'Completely Puzzled' By Allegations Of Conflict

Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco during testimony before Congress in December.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Edward DeMarco

Saying he is "completely puzzled by the notion that there was something immoral that went on here," the man at the top of the agency that regulates Freddie Mac has explained why he believes the taxpayer-owned mortgage company did nothing wrong when one of its arms, as NPR and ProPublica have reported, "placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Iran Defiant Amid Talk Of Israeli Attack On Its Nuclear Sites

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2009.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

"We have our own threats to impose at the right time" and "I have no fear of saying that we will back and help any nation or group that wants to confront and fight against the Zionist regime (Israel)," Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today after reports surfaced that Israel could soon mount air strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities.

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Around the Nation
4:47 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Wis. Woman Tried To Profit From Facebook IPO

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 10:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. OK, there's the graffiti artist who will make millions because he opted for stock over cash for painting murals at Facebook's offices. Then there's the contractor in Oshkosh who took Facebook stock for work on the home of Marianne Oleson. She claims she'd acquired the stock because her daughter knew Facebook's founder. But the stock is fake. Oleson is accused of fraud, and the contractor, not in for millions, but out thousands. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Latin America
4:14 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Man On Thin Ice For Allegedly Stealing 5 Tons Of Ice

Police have apprehended a man accused of stealing five tons of ice from a glacier in Chile. The Guardian reports police nabbed him with the illicit ice in his refrigerated truck. They believe he planned to sell it as designer ice cubes to the trendy bars of Santiago.

Remembrances
3:31 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Profound Poet Szymborska Carried Her Gravity Lightly

Poet Wislawa Szymborska of Poland died this week at the age of 88. Renee Montagne talks to Lawrence Weschler about her death. He covered Poland in the 1980s and '90s as a staff writer for The New Yorker. And Weschler has written about her in his books including his latest Uncanny Valley.

National Security
2:10 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Justice Department Lawyers Play Role In Guantanamo

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 10:57 am

Anyone watching the recent court proceedings in the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay couldn't have helped but notice that several of the lawyers sitting on the prosecution side of the courtroom were not in uniform. That's because two of the five lawyers prosecuting the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole attack aren't members of the military at all: They are lawyers from the Justice Department.

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All Tech Considered
1:16 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Facebook's Early Investors May Have Much To Like

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who famously created the site at his Harvard dorm room in 2004, owns 28.2 percent of the company. After the IPO, he could be worth $28 billion.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:03 am

Facebook filed to go public this week, and many analysts expect that it will be valued between $75 billion and $100 billion on the day of its initial public offering. That would make Facebook more valuable than GM, Ford and even Goldman Sachs.

What's most remarkable is that the company has barely 3,000 employees, and many of them are about to become very, very rich.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Addicts' Brains May Be Wired At Birth For Less Self-Control

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 3:37 pm

Many addicts inherit a brain that has trouble just saying no to drugs.

A study in Science finds that cocaine addicts have abnormalities in areas of the brain involved in self-control. And these abnormalities appear to predate any drug abuse.

The study, done by a team at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., looked at 50 pairs of siblings. One member of each pair was a cocaine addict. The other had no history of drug abuse.

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Your Money
10:01 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Cheap Chic: Couture Comes To Discount Retailers

A design by Jason Wu, who will launch a limited-edition line for Target on Feb. 5. Wu is among the latest high-end designers to work with a discount retailer.
Target

On Feb. 5, fashion designer Jason Wu is launching a limited-edition line for Target. Wu became famous for designing Michelle Obama's inaugural gown. He's the latest high-end designer to partner with a mainstream retailer and offer his chic couture at cheap prices for the masses.

On a bitterly cold morning in Washington, D.C., last November, hundreds of fashionistas flooded the street in front of the low-priced fashion chain H&M. Italian luxury label Versace was launching a collection there, and customers were waiting for the doors to open.

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Presidential Race
10:01 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Romney Again A Front-Runner, But At What Cost?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Brady Industries on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's decisive win over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida returned him to the front-runner's spot in the Republican presidential race. Romney emerged from that battle with his strengths, but also his weaknesses, on full display.

Sometimes hard-fought nominating contests produce a more formidable general-election candidate. That's what happened to Barack Obama in 2008. But Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist, thinks it's too soon to tell if this Republican primary battle will have the same effect.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:40 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

As Komen Defends Itself, Planned Parenthood Rakes In Substitute Funds

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 1:03 pm

Leaders of the breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure tried in vain Thursday to contain the controversy stemming from its decision to end its grants to Planned Parenthood.

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Fine Art
4:05 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

The Mona Lisa's Twin Painting Discovered

The original Mona Lisa is on permanent display at the the Musee du Louvre in Paris.
Jean-Pierre Muller Getty Images

The Mona Lisa is one of the most enigmatic and iconic pieces of Western art. It has inspired countless copies, but one replica at the Madrid's Museo del Prado is generating its own buzz: conservators say that it was painted at the same time as the original — and possibly by one of the master's pupils, perhaps even a lover.

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U.S.
3:50 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Families Suffer Through Chicago Morgue Backlog

Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens, south of Chicago, with remains from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which is now catching up on its backlog of indigent burials.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 5:08 pm

Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a painful experience, but for some families in Chicago, that pain is being compounded by what's been happening at the Cook County morgue in recent weeks. In the words of one observer, it's "a moral travesty."

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It's All Politics
3:04 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Axelrod Argues Obama Economic Policies Worked, Though There's More To Do

David Axelrod.
Brian Kersey AP

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 10:57 am

David Axelrod, President Obama's political strategist, has what appears to be — from outside the president's re-election campaign, at least — a problem.

Back in early 2009, when the Obama presidency was still brand new, the president gave that NBC News interview in which he talked about his administration being a "one-term proposition" if the economy didn't snap back in time for his re-election.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:02 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Baratunde, Stew, Leonard Cohen

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 8:24 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Middle East
10:41 am
Thu February 2, 2012

30 Years Later, Photos Emerge From Killings In Syria

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Hama massacre of 1982 in central Syria. According to Abu Aljude, who was 16 at the time, these images are documentation of the destruction by President Hafez Assad's regime. In this image, Aljude identifies a bombed Christian church.
Courtesy of Abu Jade

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:03 am

Syria's protest generation is obsessed with images.

Thousands of videos have been posted on YouTube during the 10-month revolt against President Bashar Assad's regime, even as regime snipers take deadly aim at the photographers.

The smugglers who carry critical medical supplies to underground clinics in protest cities also smuggle in cameras hidden in baseball caps and pocket pens. The obsession comes from the conviction that documenting the brutality will stop it — this time.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Is That CEO Being Honest? Tone Of Voice May Tell A Lot

  • Steve Inskeep talks with Shankar Vedantam

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The Two-Way
10:22 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Iran Warns That Major Currency Speculators Could Face Death Penalty

An Iranian man counts banknotes after exchanging a gold coin for cash in Tehran.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

In a sign that the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and those announced by the European Union are squeezing Iran, the chief of Iran's judiciary warned that major currency speculators could face the death penalty.

The AP quotes Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani as saying that "depending on the importance of their crimes, some of the economic corrupted can face execution."

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Energy
10:20 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Clean-Tech Industry Facing Lean Times After Solyndra

President Obama tours the headquarters of the Solyndra solar panel company in Freemont, Calif., on May 26, 2010.The company declared bankruptcy in August 2011.
Pool Getty Images

Three years ago, venture capitalists were pouring billions of dollars into technologies like solar power, wind power, biofuels and fuel cells. The federal government followed, directing some $44.5 billion into clean technology from late 2009 to late 2011 through loans, subsidies and tax incentives.

But now the clean-tech industry is facing leaner times, in part because of cheaper natural gas prices, the effects of the financial crisis and China's growing solar industry.

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Education
10:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Getting America's Dropouts Back On Track

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News.

Coming up, millions of eyes will be on Indianapolis this weekend as it hosts the Super Bowl for the first time. We'll check in with the city's mayor to see how the preparations are going for the big game.

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Sports
10:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Indy Mayor On The Big Game

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, there are changes in Google's privacy policy and they are causing a stir. We'll talk about that and we'll also talk about Facebook's new stock offering. That's coming up in a few minutes.

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Technology
10:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Changes In Store For Tech Giants And You

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 9:11 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to head now from the site of the Super Bowl to some of the world's biggest websites. Big changes are in store at Google and Facebook.

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Music Reviews
9:58 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Lana Del Rey: The Self-Made Pop Star As Target

Lana Del Ray
Nicole Nodland Shore Fire

Lana Del Rey appeared on Saturday Night Live recently, giving two rather tentative performances that, depending on your point of view, were awkward and amateurish or shrewdly restrained and vulnerable. Del Rey, in her mid-20s, attracts polarizing opinions.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Trump's Announcement Set For Midafternoon: Gingrich? Romney? Neither?

Donald Trump on April 16, 2011, in Boca Raton, Fla.
John W. Adkisson Getty Images

As the never-shy Donald Trump prepares for what he says will be "a major announcement ... pertaining to the presidential race" at 3:30 p.m. ET in Las Vegas, there's word from CNN that its sources say the Donald will endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

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The Salt
9:14 am
Thu February 2, 2012

A Butter Ad That Will Get You To Eat More Vegetables

Blink

Those northern Europeans are serious about their butter; many countries typically leave in more fat than we do in the U.S. Some would argue that makes for a better product.

But butter, and all that fat in it, is turning into enemy No. 1 in the fight against obesity. Denmark, for one, has become the first country in the world to tax butter and other sources of saturated fat.

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Television
9:04 am
Thu February 2, 2012

The Producers Behind NBC's Musical 'Smash'

Ivy Lynn (played by Megan Hilty) is one of two actresses vying for the coveted lead role in Smash, which premieres Monday on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 10:30 am

Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have been making musicals together for almost 20 years. They're the team behind movie musicals like Hairspray, Chicago and Annie, and the TV musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.

Now Meron and Zadan have teamed up once again on the new NBC series Smash, a drama that goes behind the scenes as a motley crew of creative types put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Angelo Dundee, 'Savvy Cornerman' For Ali And Others, Has Died

Angelo Dundee and boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), during a training session in 1966.
George Freston Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

We should pause to note the death of Angelo Dundee, the "genial trainer" of 15 world champion boxers, most notably Muhammad Ali.

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