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The Salt
2:51 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Coop D'Etat: Farmers, Humane Society Partner On Chicken-Cage Revolution

At the JS West egg farm, south of Modesto, Calif., one chicken house has the new, spacious cages that egg producers and animal welfare advocates say keep chickens happier.
Big Dutchman

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 8:45 am

When I first saw the press release, I figured it had to be an April Fools' joke. The Humane Society of the United States, a voice of outrage against all heartless exploitation of animals, joining hands with the United Egg Producers, which represents an industry that keeps 200 million chickens in cages?

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Presidential Race
2:44 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republican Debates Become Must-See TV

This election cycle, one factor stands above all others in driving the dynamics of the race for the Republican presidential nomination: televised debates.

All Tech Considered
2:38 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Apple Continues To Be Plagued By Reports On Labor Conditions

A new iPhone 4S at Apple's Beijing flagship store.
Feng Li Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 4:05 pm

Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for working conditions at plants making its products in China.

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The Picture Show
2:30 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

A Lens On Life In The Kentucky Hollows

Frankie
Shelby Lee Adams Courtesy of Candela Books

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:08 am

"A lot of my work is visiting," says photographer Shelby Lee Adams. "A quarter is actually photographing."

In fact, Adams has spent some 30 years visiting and building relationships with the people in and around Hazard, a small city in eastern Kentucky where he was born.

The visits started well before he was a photographer. As a young boy, Adams would tag along with his uncle, a country doctor, tending to families tucked up in mountain hollows, or "hollers."

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It's All Politics
2:29 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Candidates Campaign On An Economic Silver Bullet: Worker Retraining

President Barack Obama waves after speaking at a UPS facility in Las Vegas on Thursday. Nevada is one stop on the president's latest road trip focusing on the economy.
Julie Jacobson AP

There are not many things that Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney agree on, but when it comes to job training there is common ground.

"It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system that puts people to work," President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Earlier in the week, Newt Gingrich offered a similar solution for helping those facing long-term unemployment.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

An Emotional Moment: Sen. Mitch McConnell Meets Myanmar's Suu Kyi

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell talks as Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi listens during a press conference after their meeting at her home in Yangon, Myanmar on Monday.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 4:21 pm

Mitch McConnell, the senate Republican leader from Kentucky, was the original author of the United States' sanctions on Myanmar.

So these last six months have been astounding for him. Myanmar, which is also known as Burma, has gone through an amazing transformation. Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's leading opposition figure, has announced she will seek public office and the U.S. has reestablished diplomatic ties with Myanmar.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Americans Barred From Leaving Egypt Include Secretary LaHood's Son

Egyptian authorities' efforts to prevent organizations that promote democracy from freely working inside their country have now ensnared the son of a U.S. cabinet secretary.

Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and at least five other Americans have been barred from leaving Egypt.

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It's All Politics
1:42 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Romney To Highlight Olympic 'Rescue' At 10th Anniversary Of Salt Lake Games

Mitt Romney, then the president of the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee, greets attendees at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Utah.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

The Romney campaign has confirmed that the Republican presidential hopeful will attend an event in Salt Lake City next month commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Olympics.

The event gives the struggling campaign the chance to underscore one of Mitt Romney's signature accomplishments. "I worked at one company, Bain, for 25 years," Romney said in a debate and campaign ad. "And I left that to go off and help save the Olympic Games."

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Shots - Health Blog
1:39 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

How Health Care Dropped Out Of The Presidential Conversation

Courtesy of The Advisory Board Co.

Health wonks were miffed about the lack of attention their beloved issue got in President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

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Theater
1:33 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In Broadway's 'Wit,' A Documentary Of Our Demise

In a revival of Wit on Broadway, Cynthia Nixon plays Vivan Bearing, a brilliant John Donne scholar forced to consider her own mortality when she's diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Manhattan Theatre Club

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 4:35 pm

In her dressing room at the Friedman Theatre, Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon has a nightly ritual: She rubs Nivea cream all over her scalp to soothe the razor burns.

Being completely bald is just one of the many demands of the character she plays in Wit -- a brilliant college professor named Vivian Bearing, who's battling ovarian cancer.

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Energy
1:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Obama Discusses Details From His Energy Agenda

The Obama administration released more details Thursday about the energy plan he previewed at the State of the Union this week. He announced an oil-and-gas-lease sale on nearly 38 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico — and proposals for new incentives to increase the use of natural gas in heavy trucks and buses.

Politics
12:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

The Public Respects Civility, But Rewards Rudeness

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer points at President Obama after he arrived at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport on Wednesday.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

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Middle East
12:10 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

The State Of Syria: Civil War Or Vicious Stalemate?

Syrian army defectors wave the Syrian revolution flag Thursday, shortly after they defected to join the anti-regime protesters.
STR AP

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:00 am

One thing that's certain about the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad is that there is nothing romantic about it.

Unlike Egypt, there's no Tahrir Square filled with hundreds of thousands of people calling for democracy. Unlike Libya, there's no Mad Max warriors in the desert fighting a dictator with guns they've welded to the backs of their pickup trucks.

Instead, grim news seeps out piecemeal from unofficial sources. Most of the reports are little more than body counts, with most of the fatalities blamed on the Syrian security forces.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

To Shrink Budget, Pentagon Proposes Cutting 100,000 Ground Troops

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:18 pm

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the the Pentagon will propose a $33 billion cut in the military's budget, for the 2013 fiscal year.

The AP reports that will be achieved by reducing ground forces by 100,000 and by eliminating older aircraft.

The AP reports:

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tells a Pentagon news conference the administration will request a 2013 budget of $525 billion, plus another $88 billion for operations in Afghanistan. Combined, those totals are about $33 billion less than the Pentagon is spending this year.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:09 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Working Long Hours Can Be Depressing, Truly

Working long hours may get you more than a paycheck.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 11:12 am

Putting in a lot of of overtime can make a person more vulnerable to depression.

You might have guessed that. But now there are some hard numbers, thanks to a study that tracked the health of civil service workers in Great Britain.

People who worked 11 hours a day or more, more than doubled their risk of major depression compared with colleagues putting in eight hours a day.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

At Penn State: Memorial Service Under Way For Joe Paterno

Sue Paterno, widow of Joe Paterno, consoles one of her grandsons following the memorial service.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:32 pm

An estimated 10,000 people are a memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, on the school's campus in the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

The Big Ten Digital Network is among several outlets that will be webcasting the service.

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The Salt
12:04 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Gardening Map Of Warming U.S. Has Plant Zones Moving North

The new version of the map includes 13 zones, with the addition for the first time of zones 12 (50-60 degrees F) and 13 (60-70 degrees F).
U.S. Department of Agriculture

It's official: Gardeners and farmers can count on warmer weather. If that's you, it might be a good time to rethink those flower and vegetable beds for this year's growing season.

That's the word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which released a new version of its "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" this week, the first update since 1990. The color-coded zones on this map of the United States are widely used as a guide for what perennial flowers will survive in a particular area, or when to plant your vegetables.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Chávez's Daughter Poses With Dollar Bills, Unleashes Anger, Internet Meme

Hugo Chávez's daughter posted this picture on Instagram.
Instagram

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 7:55 am

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is known for railing against U.S. capitalism. And it's not just talk. Since 2003, his government has made it very hard for Venezuelans to trade foreign currency.

So you can just imagine the uproar in the country when his 14-year-old daughter Rosinés Chávez published a picture of herself covering half her face with a wad of dollar bills.

The Guardian reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:36 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Home Births Grow More Popular In U.S.

Shannon Earle holds her new baby Kiera Breen Earle, moments after she was born at their home last year.
Amanda Steen NPR

The number of women delivering babies at home in the United States has increased significantly, according to the latest government data released Thursday.

Home births increased by 29 percent between 2004 and 2009.

The upward trend is being welcomed by some advocates of home births and midwives, but it's also raising concern among some doctors.

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Presidential Race
10:18 am
Thu January 26, 2012

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:38 am

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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Election 2012
10:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Republicans Fight For The Latino Vote

More than 4.2 million Latinos live in the Sunshine State, and that population is in the spotlight as Republican presidential candidates battle to win Florida's upcoming primary. Host Michel Martin discusses this crucial voting bloc with Gary Segura of Latino Decisions, and the Associated Press's Hispanic Affairs reporter Laura Wides-Munoz.

Around the Nation
10:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Chinese New Year Unique For Adoptive Families

A traditional dance troupe performs in New York's Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. For many children adopted from China, the holiday is a time to learn about their heritage.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 8:50 am

Chinese New Year celebrations kicked off earlier this week to herald the Year of the Dragon. Like many Americans raising children adopted from China, David Youtz and his wife like to use the holiday to instill in their children the importance of their ethnic heritage.

"We want them to feel a lot of pride in where they came from," Youtz says. "I think that's especially important when you're an adopted person."

The Mandarin speaker is the father of four Chinese daughters, three of whom are 7-year-old triplets.

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National Security
9:48 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Obama's Military Tactics: Risky Missions, Elite Units

President Obama has called on small, elite military units to carry out several risky operations in the past year, like the hostage rescue this week in Somalia. Here, Navy SEALs are shown during a training exercise at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
John Scorza U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 12:51 pm

President Obama has authorized several risky military missions in the past year and can claim major successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan; the airstrike that killed terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan.

The latest operation, a hostage rescue in Somalia carried out by Navy SEALs, is part of a pattern established by a commander in chief who has shown a clear preference for limited, small-scale military action.

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Music Reviews
9:46 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Jimmy Owens Navigates Monk's 'Brilliant Corners'

Jimmy Owens mostly dresses Monk's tunes for uptown wear — Monk the Harlem jam session swinger.
Stephanie Myers

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:27 pm

In 1974, trumpeter Jimmy Owens helped prepare and played on a Carnegie Hall concert of Thelonious Monk's music. On the night in question, the orchestra featured a surprise soloist: Monk himself. It was one of the pianist's last public performances.

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Author Interviews
9:39 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Was The Stimulus Package 'Money Well Spent?'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:39 am

No issue will be more important in the upcoming presidential election than President Obama's handling of the nation's economy. Critical to that debate is an assessment of the Obama administration's economic stimulus program. Republicans claim it was a costly failure. Supporters maintain it saved the U.S. from a depression.

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The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Judge Tosses Conviction Of Texas Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Infant

Ernie Lopez is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a crime he, and medical experts, say he didn't commit.
Courtesy of Frontline

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:30 am

A Texas man whose conviction for sexually assaulting a 6-month-old girl raised questions about the science behind determining how children die has won a key legal battle. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday threw out the conviction of Ernie Lopez, ruling that the Amarillo man's original attorneys failed him by not calling potentially important medical experts as witnesses.

Now the Amarillo district attorney must decide whether to retry Lopez, who has been in prison for nine years. Lopez is serving a 60-year sentence.

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Movie Reviews
9:23 am
Thu January 26, 2012

In 'Albert Nobbs,' Glenn Close Does More Than Pass

Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) and Helen (Mia Wasikowska) go on a series of awkward dates in Albert Nobbs, a film based on a 1918 George Moore story.
Patrick Redmond Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:39 am

As Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close has hair that's cropped and orangey, and a voice that rarely rises above a nasal croak. She lives and works as a waiter in a high-toned hotel, where she stands with lips pressed together, tight yet tremulous, her searching eyes her only naturally moving parts. She resembles no man I've seen, but no woman, either. She's the personification of fear — fear of being discovered to be a woman. Because hers is a society that treats all poor people badly, but poor women worse.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Capping Worst Year On Record, Sales Of New Homes Drop In December

2011 was the worst year on record for sales of new homes. The dismal year was capped by a drop in home sales in December.

The AP reports:

"The Commerce Department said Thursday new-home sales fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy.

"About 302,000 homes were sold last year. That's less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making 2011 the worst year on records dating back to 1963.

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The Salt
8:31 am
Thu January 26, 2012

The (Un)usual Suspect: Why Organic Spices Aren't Always Safe

These celery seeds look safe, but could be tainted. Even if they're organic.
iStockphoto.com

The new food safety recall for salt really got our attention. How could salt be contaminated with salmonella?

If your blog's named The Salt, you've just got to find out. So we dug into the story, and found that it's a collision of two distressing trends: contamination of herbs and spices, and safety issues with organic products.

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