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Poetry
3:54 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

NewsPoet: Tracy K. Smith Writes The Day In Verse

Tracy K. Smith poses for a portrait outside of NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 1:40 pm

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

'Welcome Home Heroes' Parade For Iraq Vets Set For Saturday In St. Louis

Veterans of the war in Iraq will be honored Saturday morning in St. Louis in what organizers say is the first major welcome home parade in the nation.

Local KSDK-TV reports that "75 floats, two marching bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales" will be involved.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Romney's Unlikely And Persuasive Defense Of The 'Individual Mandate'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered a spirited defense of the individual mandate during Thursday night's GOP presidential candidate debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Matt Rourke AP

For a candidate who keeps vowing to repeal the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sure can make a convincing argument on its behalf.

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Education
3:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Higher Dropout Age May Not Lead To More Diplomas

President Obama delivers the commencement address for Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2007 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The state requires students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 4:19 pm

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.

The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.

For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.

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Planet Money
2:58 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Rethinking The Oreo For Chinese Consumers

Kraft Foods has reinvented the Oreo for Chinese consumers. It's latest offering in China: straw-shaped wafers with vanilla-flavored cream filling.
Kraft Foods

Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.

In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.

At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.

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It's All Politics
2:42 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Obama Revs Up House Democrats For Election-Year Fight

Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat., introduces President Obama at the House Democratic Issues Conference on Friday in Cambridge, Md.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 8:09 am

President Obama flew out to Maryland's Eastern Shore on Friday to fire up his rank and file in Congress.

House Democrats have spent the past few days in their annual retreat, regrouping and strategizing for the year to come. Lawmakers say their hopes for success — in the economy and in politics — depend on sticking together and sending the same message to Americans.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Multiple Views Add Perspective To Colten Moore's Extreme Crash At X Games

Colten Moore lost his hold on his snowmobile in mid-air.
X Games

The cable news networks have been replaying a pretty spectacular crash from Thursday's snowmobile freestyle event at the X Games in Aspen, Colo.

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Middle East
2:01 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

U.N. Atomic Agency To Visit Iran For New Probe

The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, is sending a team to Iran on Sunday to further look into the country's nuclear program. Here, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the agency, is shown at an IAEA meeting in Vienna on Nov. 18, 2011.
Ronald Zak AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 4:19 pm

A senior delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Iran on Sunday in a renewed attempt to probe aspects of Iran's nuclear program that could be connected to nuclear weapons work.

For years, the IAEA has been trying to get answers to some very uncomfortable questions about Iran's nuclear program.

Iran insists it has only a peaceful, civilian nuclear program, and so far it has refused to discuss evidence that it is engaging in some nuclear weapons work. But international pressure on Tehran is growing.

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It's All Politics
1:53 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Heading Into Final Fla. Swing., GOP Candidates Keep Courting Latino Voters

Fresh from a confident debate performance, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was jaunty as he campaigned at the Hispanic Leadership Network's lunch in Miami on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 4:19 pm

Fresh from Thursday night's debate, the two leading Republican presidential candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, traveled across Florida on Friday.

Gingrich and Romney spent the morning in Miami, where they are both looking to shore up support from Florida's Hispanic community.

Gingrich started the day talking to an influential business group, the Latin Builders Association. Later, he spoke before the Hispanic Leadership Network — a group devoted to building Republican support among Latinos.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

In Egypt: Charges, Trial Could Be Next, Says Sam LaHood

While he says it is "patently false" for anyone to say that the International Republican Institute offices he directs are in any way behind the anti-government protests in Egypt, American Sam LaHood told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon that he's been warned by the organization's attorney that he and others may soon be charged and brought to trial by authorities there.

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Movies
1:42 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Movie Titles That Might Have Been

'Tonight' Show: Playing an alcoholic, unpopular superhero, Will Smith rouses himself from a park bench pass-out to stare down a curious kid in 2008's Hancock — a movie almost titled Tonight, He Comes.
Relativity Media The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 4:19 pm

Shrek, Hitch, Gattaca: What's in a name? Shakespeare said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet — but for Hollywood the question is more like, "Would that rose, by any other name, sell as many tickets?"

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Scratching An Ankle Is Hard To Beat

Now that feels good.
Arman Zhenikeyev iStockphoto.com

There are few more sybaritic pleasures than scratching an itch.

But according to a study just out in the British Journal of Dermatology, the intensity of the scratching delight varies with the location of the itch.

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Winter Songs
1:19 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Shredding To Metallica, Dancing To 'Jump'

Daron Rahlves of the U.S. competes during the Men's Freestyle Ski Cross qualification at Cypress Mountain during the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

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It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Obama Vs. Gingrich? More Reasons GOP Fears The Matchup

Pundits say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had a mediocre performance in the Jacksonville, Fla., debate on Thursday.
Scott Audette Reuters /Landov

It's not that the panicked Republican establishment needed more fodder for its attack on GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as the wrong man to take on President Obama this fall.

They've managed quite nicely themselves over the past few days, piling on the pugnacious former House speaker, circa mid-1990s, in direct proportion to Gingrich's rise in the polls in Florida and nationwide.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Facebook's IPO Filing Could Come Next Week, 'Wall Street Journal' Says

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 1:17 pm

We've been hearing it would happen for quite a while, so keep that in mind when you read this scoop. The Wall Street Journal says:

"Facebook Inc. could file papers for an initial public offering as early as next week and is currently looking at a deal that would value the social network between $75 billion to $100 billion, said people familiar with the matter."

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

'Barefoot Bandit' Gets 6 1/2 Years On Federal Charges

Colton Harris-Moore, the "Barefoot Bandit."
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 12:55 pm

Colton Harris-Moore, who gained international fame for being the so-called Barefoot Bandit, was just sentenced by a federal judge to 6 1/2 years in prison.

But since the time is to be served while he finishes out the 7 years in prison that he was sentenced to by a state court last December, it looks like Harris-Moore won't actually be spending any additional time behind bars.

The Associated Press reminds us that in 2010:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:34 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Heavy Doctors Avoid Heavy Discussions About Weight

iStockphoto.com

Research already demonstrates that physicians are sometimes uncomfortable talking about weight with their obese patients. Now, a new study shows that the doctors' weight makes a difference too.

Physicians who pack on the pounds discuss weight loss less frequently with obese patients than doctors who have normal body mass indexes (18 percent versus 30 percent), according to the report published this week in the medical journal Obesity.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Why Could Romney's Father Run For President If He Was Born In Mexico?

George Romney, center, with his wife, Lenore, and teenage son Mitt, in 1962.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 12:29 pm

One of the more dramatic moments in Thursday night's Republican presidential debate was when Mitt Romney said it was "repulsive" of Newt Gingrich to suggest that Romney was the most "anti-immigrant" candidate among the GOP contenders.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Fitch Downgrades Credit Of 5 E.U. Countries, Including Spain, Italy

Fitch Ratings announced it was cutting the ratings of Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, and Cyprus.

Italy and Spain, two of the biggest eurozone economies, suffered a two-notch drop. Italy went from A+ to A- and Spain went from A to AA-.

Bloomberg reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
11:49 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Dengue Fever Cases Surge Worldwide

Not who you want to meet on your tropical vacation.
USDA AP

If winter has you daydreaming of a vacation to sunny lands, you might want to consider the risk of dengue fever in your plans.

The number of cases of the disease, a severe flu-like illness with excruciating headaches, joint and muscle pain, is soaring, according to an update from the World Health Organization.

Now more than 40 percent of the world's population is at risk — 2.5 billion people, according to the group. In 2010, there were 1.6 million cases in the Americas alone.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:50 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Study: 1 in 14 People Has Oral HPV Infection

So how many people have human papillomavirus in their mouths?

Quite a few, say researchers who got more than 5,000 volunteers across the country to spit into a cup and answer detailed questions about their sex lives.

The bottom line: 6.9 percent of people in the U.S. (ages 14 to 69) have oral infections with HPV. Some types of HPV are linked to cancer and genital warts.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Fri January 27, 2012

College Presidents Have Problems With Obama's Message On Tuition

President Obama making his case this morning at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 4:19 pm

Taking an issue he highlighted during his State of the Union address on the road, President Obama this morning told an audience at the University of Michigan that he is "putting colleges on notice" that the era of unabated tuition hikes is over, as The Associated Press reports.

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Africa
10:06 am
Fri January 27, 2012

After Bombings, An Exodus From A Nigerian City

Glory Ndudi, a Christian, and her five children board a bus headed out of town on Wednesday. The recent bomb attacks that have targeted churches in Kano, Nigeria, have led to an exodus of Christians from the city.
Grant Clark NPR

The New Road bus station in the heart of Kano is a scene of bedlam.

Men, women and children are milling around, with huge bundles and baggage in all shapes and sizes, waiting to be loaded onto half a dozen buses. Others are already onboard. They're in a desperate hurry to head south, leaving behind this troubled city in the north of Nigeria.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Pentagon's Spending On Key Injuries Isn't Being Tracked Well, Auditors Say

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:48 am

The Defense Department has spent close to $3 billion since 2007 to treat and study traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder — the leading injuries suffered by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. But a federal investigation finds that the department's programs are so disorganized that it's difficult to figure out how the money has been spent.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Spokesman Rejects Report That Ron Paul 'Signed Off' On Racist Newsletters

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, during Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 11:11 am

For more than a decade, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul has had to deal with questions about why a newsletter he published in the 1980s and '90s included some racist writings. He's said more than once that, while he takes responsibility for what was in the newsletters, he didn't pay enough attention to what was printed, wasn't aware of the racist messages at the time and rejects them.

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Presidential Race
8:53 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Why A Fight To The Finish May Not Be A Bad Thing

Lynn Coffin holds boxing hand puppets of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (left) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during a campaign event this week in Sarasota, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:53 am

In election season, conventional wisdom holds that a costly, drawn-out primary fight hurts a nominee in the general election.

It's a notion that appeals to common sense. After all, the thinking goes, if a boxer endures nine rounds with a formidable challenger and immediately steps back into the ring with a well-rested heavyweight, that can't be good.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Fri January 27, 2012

35 Pounds Of Cocaine Are Mailed To U.N. Headquarters

New York City Police officers stand guard in front of the United Nations buildings in 2005.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Somehow 35.5 pounds of cocaine wrapped in a fake diplomatic sack made it to the United Nations' headquarters in New York. The AFP reports that U.N. officials said on Thursday that the cocaine had been shipped from Mexico through DHL, which handles U.N. mail.

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Television
8:49 am
Fri January 27, 2012

HBO's 'Luck': A Winning TV Show, Set At The Track

Nick Nolte plays a horse owner who spent most of his career working as a horse trainer in Luck.
HBO

It isn't a long shot that David Milch's newest series for HBO, called Luck, will be on par with his HBO series Deadwood. It's a sure thing. HBO sent out all nine episodes of the show's first season for preview, so there's no guesswork here.

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Movie Interviews
8:31 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Woody Allen: Blending Real Life With Fiction

"Making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world," filmmaker Woody Allen told Fresh Air in 2009.
Brian Hamill/MGM PBS

This interview was originally broadcast on June 15, 2009.

For someone who has spent the majority of his career making comedies, Woody Allen sees the world — and his lifelong profession — through a surprisingly dark lens.

"Life is a terrible trial, and very harsh and very full of suffering ... [Film] is a different kind of pain. Making a movie is a great distraction from the real agonies of the world," Allen tells Terry Gross.

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The Salt
8:17 am
Fri January 27, 2012

From Health Food To Health Risk: Sprouts Slip Off The Menu

Fresh and green, yes. Clean, maybe not.
Jowita Stachowiak iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 10:55 am

At the rate they're going, those nutritious-looking sprouts may disappear from sandwiches and salads near you in not too long. And that may be a good thing.

This week, the Beaumont, Tex.-based Jason's Deli chain announced that it would no longer serve fresh sprouts, citing frequent recalls due to bacterial contamination.

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