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3:03 am
Wed December 7, 2011

In Policing Fashion, Moms Find A New Power Online

After J.C. Penney advertised a shirt many people found sexist, Lauren Todd launched an online petition. This screengrab was taken from Change.org, after J.C. Penney removed the shirt from its inventory.
Change.org

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 6:36 am

Angry consumers have been turning to online petitions to try to change what retailers put on their store shelves. This fall, J.C. Penney had to scrap a shirt that read "I'm Too Pretty To Do Homework, So My Brother Has To Do It For Me," after an online backlash by consumers calling the shirt sexist. Other retailers are also feeling the pressure.

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Middle East
3:02 am
Wed December 7, 2011

On The Run, Under The Radar, With Syria's Rebels

Riad al-Asaad says he's the leader of the Free Syrian Army, a group of Syrian defectors who recently posted this video on the group's Facebook page.
Free Syrian Army AP

In Syria, the clashes between the opposition movement and the government's security forces are starting to look more and more like a civil war. Protests across the country still remain mostly peaceful, but soldiers who have defected are assembling a force called the Free Syrian Army, which has been launching attacks on government targets. NPR's Kelly McEvers recently met up with members of the Free Syrian Army when she crossed from Lebanon into Syria on a secret nighttime excursion.

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House & Senate Races
3:02 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Virginia Senate Race: Familiar Faces, Fresh Pressure

George Allen, a former U.S. senator and Virginia governor, speaks to employees of an auto parts manufacturing plant near Roanoke, Va., on Oct. 5. Allen is trying to recapture the Senate seat he lost in 2006.
Stephanie Klein-Davis AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 6:36 am

A debate in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday kicks off what promises to be one of the most closely watched and expensive U.S. Senate races in 2012.

The seat in question is being vacated by Democrat Jim Webb, who has chosen not to run for a second term. Running to replace him are two former Virginia governors: Republican George Allen, who held the Senate seat before Webb defeated him in 2006, and Democrat Tim Kaine, who recently served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

It's a race likely to revolve around two key issues: President Obama and the economy.

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Environment
3:01 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Can 'Carbon Ranching' Offset Emissions In Calif.?

Tall grasses in the San Joaquin valley in California suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it in the soil. It's one option that environmentalists are pursuing for greenhouse gas "offsets" that can be bought and sold in the state.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Second of a two-part series on California's climate policies. Read part 1.

Climate experts are exploring the concept of growing dense fields of weeds to help soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Just over a year from now, California will begin enforcing a set of laws that limit emissions of greenhouse gases from factories, power plants and, eventually, from vehicles.

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Environment
2:00 am
Wed December 7, 2011

At Climate Talks, Resistance From India, China, U.S.

Fundamental disagreements among the nations attending the U.N. climate conference in Durban, South Africa, may stall a possible deal.

Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

For Some Marching Bands, Hazing Means Brutality

The Marching 100, Florida A&M University's band, performs on the field before Super Bowl XLIV, Feb. 7, 2010. The band's director, Julian White, was fired in November after a band member died, allegedly from a hazing incident on a bus.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Every now and then, as a journalist, you want to think that you haven't just done a good "story," but maybe you've actually brought attention to something that can actually do good.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:55 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Snakebite Threat Gets Short Shrift

Snake handler Subhendu Malllik holds up an Indian baby cobra hatchling after it emerged from an egg on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, India, in June. The venomous snake is indigenous to South Asia.
Asit Kumar AFP/Getty Images

If you're poor and living in the Indian countryside, there's a life-threatening problem that can slither right into your life — a poisonous snake.

Snakebites in India are thought to have killed nearly 46,000 people alone in 2005. But the toll in India (the unfortunate leader of the snakebitten pack), Bangladesh and other countries that have lots of people and lots of poisonous snakes in close proximity hasn't been fully appreciated.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

After Drunk Driving Charge, FAA Administrator Resigns

Former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:25 pm

Jerome "Randy" Babbitt, the Federal Aviation Administration chief who was arrested on drunk driving charges, has tendered his resignation and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has accepted.

Babbitt issued a statement saying he was resigning because he was "unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA."

He added:

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It's All Politics
3:24 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Mitt Romney Declines Donald Trump's Debate Invite

Mitt Romney entertains a toddler in Paradise Valley, AZ, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 4:35 pm

Donald Trump's planned Republican presidential debate lost a major reason for tuning in: watching Mitt Romney contend with Newt Gingrich, the latest rival to claim frontrunner status.

Romney said Tuesday he planned to skip the debate to be moderated by Trump, the TV reality show star and real-estate developer.

The former Massachusetts governor told Fox News' Neil Cavuto of his decision to decline the invitation to the Trump debate being sponsored by NewsMax and ION TV.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Alabama's Attorney General Says Immigration Law Needs To Change

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 3:18 pm

Alabama's attorney general is calling for changes in the state's tough immigration law. The letter from Luther Strange comes weeks after a Mercedes-Benz executive was jailed, after he left his passport and license at his hotel. The incident embarrassed lawmakers and put the immigration law back in the national spotlight.

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U.S.
3:11 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Battle Cry: Occupy's Messaging Tactics Catch On

Many people who've joined the Occupy Wall Street movement say the months of communal living have been the experience of a lifetime. One of the movement's hallmarks — the "people's mic" — has come to represent the movement's collective spirit.

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Election 2012
3:08 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Gingerly, GOP Contenders Address Payroll Tax Cut

White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks Monday during his daily press briefing, as a clock counting down the expiration of the payroll tax cut benefit looms in the background.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 5:36 pm

At the end of this month, a payroll tax cut is set to expire that the White House says would result in a tax increase of about $1,000 per year on most middle-class families. The benefit is popular with the American people, which may be one reason President Obama has been relentlessly promoting it.

The president argues that extending the payroll tax "holiday" through 2012 is vital to the economy. Republicans in Congress are divided over that, but they strongly disagree with the president's plan to pay for it with a surtax on millionaires.

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It's All Politics
2:30 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Judicial Wars Flare As Senate Blocks Obama Nominee

Caitlin J. Halligan, then a lawyer for New York State, and attorney David Boies spoke in the Court of Appeals in Albany in 2005. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked Halligan's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Jim McKnight AP

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 4:23 pm

Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A Senate majority of 54 voted to break the filibuster, but that number falls short of the 60 votes needed under Senate rules.

Although Halligan won bipartisan praise from legal and law enforcement groups, Republicans portrayed her as a left-wing activist for positions she took while representing the state of New York as its chief appellate lawyer.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

U.S. Says It Will Use Foreign Aid To Promote Gay Rights

How a country treats its gay and lesbian citizens may now play a role in the foreign aid it receives from the United States.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration issued a memo telling agencies to find ways to deter countries from criminalizing homosexuality.

The Times adds:

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Opinion
1:55 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

The Magic Of Music And A Little Room To Groove

istockphoto.com

Alan Heathcock is the author of the collection Volt.

Last week, my wife suggested we have a dance floor installed in our family room. She was smiling ear-to-ear, wiping sweat from her eyes. Behind her, our three kids took turns showing off their moves as Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. blared over the speakers.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:53 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Feds Say HCG Diet Remedies Are 'Illegal'

Lay off the HCG diet, says the FDA.
iStockphoto.com

If you thought those HCG diet ads sounded too good to be true, the Food and Drug Administration agrees with you.

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Afghanistan
1:43 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Afghan Attacks Kill 60; Signs Of A Sectarian Shift?

Relatives comfort an Afghan man outside a Kabul hospital where victims of Tuesday's suicide bombing were taken. A suicide bomber struck a crowd of Shiite worshippers marking a holy day in the Afghan capital.
Ahmad Jamshid AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 3:02 pm

Deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan aimed at minority Shiite Muslims have experts wondering whether the war there could be taking a dangerous new sectarian turn.

Tuesday's twin attacks, in the capital of Kabul and the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killed at least 60 Shiite worshippers as they celebrated Ashura, one of their sect's holiest days. It was the first such large-scale attack against Shiites in Afghanistan in more than a decade.

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Music
1:36 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

The Roots: A Song Cycle For A Life Cycle

The Roots' 10th studio album, undun, is a concept record chronicling the downfall of its narrator.
Courtesy of the artist

The hip-hop band The Roots might currently be the hardest-working band in show business. Five nights a week, it's the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and is constantly collaborating with other artists. And this week, the band issued its 10th studio album.

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Monkey See
1:27 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

DVD Picks: 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

Acorn Media

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 5:36 pm

Time now for a home-viewing recommendation from our film critic, Bob Mondello. With a new movie version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opening this week, Bob's suggesting the TV original.

At some point in my youth, I must have known the nursery rhyme "Tinker, tailor/ soldier, sailor/ rich man, poor man/beggar man, thief," but since 1979, the instant someone says "Tinker Tailor," the next two words that occur to me are "Alec Guinness."

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It's All Politics
1:07 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Maryland Robocall Conviction Puts Political Dirty Tricksters On Notice

Election-day dirty tricksters be forewarned: getting caught trying in a voter-suppression scheme can draw you a prison term, at least in Maryland.

That's one take away message from Tuesday's conviction of the man who served as campaign manager for the effort of Maryland's former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr.'s to regain the governorship.

A Baltimore jury found Paul Schurick guilty of election fraud on state charges related to 2010 voter-suppression robocalls meant to keep some African American voters, predominantly Democrats, away from the polls on election day.

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U.S.
1:04 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

For Unions, Democratic Convention Means Business

Many local businesses fear they won't win contracts for the 2012 Democratic National Convention because they can't boast a "union bug," like the small blue oval above, that can be found on some material printed by Consolidated Press.
Courtesy of Consolidated Press

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:26 pm

Organizers of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., face a bit of a conundrum as they try to honor their party's deep ties to organized labor in a state with the lowest percentage of unionized workers in the nation. Local businesses worry they'll be passed over for unionized competitors, which are few and far between in the right-to-work state.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Obama: 'This Is A Make Or Break Moment For The Middle Class'

"This is a make or break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class," President Obama said in a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas. The speech threw the president in the middle of the conversation about economic inequality that's been central to the demands of the Occupy movement.

The speech also laid down some markers in preparation for the president's reelection battle and he did so with a big bow to Teddy Roosevelt, who delivered a speech calling for a "New Nationalism" in the same city more than 100 years ago.

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The Record
12:00 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Remembering Larry Levan, 'The Jimi Hendrix of Dance Music'

Larry Levan, who made the highlight of a new collection of DJ mixes recorded at London superclub Ministry of Sound. Levan's work at New York club Paradise Garage was the inspiration for the London club.
Unknown.

The audio link above is a radio story for All Things Considered about the late Larry Levan, the producer and DJ whose residency at New York's Paradise Garage between 1977 and 1987 remains the most storied in clubland.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Bio Takes Top Spot In Amazon's 2011 Best-Seller List

Walter Isaacson's biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was published in late October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

This piece of news is perhaps a testament to the mystery that was Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson's authorized biography of Jobs, a 656-page epic that has been well received critically, has just taken the top spot on Amazon's 2011 best-seller list.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Here Come The Food Trend Lists

A pawpaw ripe for the picking
Zac Visco for NPR

It's that time of year when media organizations, consultants and marketers try their hands at summarizing and forecasting the past year and the coming year's food trends. It's a tricky business, because it really depends who you're talking about and where they actually eat (home, work, out?).

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue December 6, 2011

U.S. Unveils Virtual 'Embassy' To Iran

Days after angry Iranian students overran the British embassy in Tehran, The U.S. has opened its new "embassy" for Iranian citizens. Senior U.S. diplomats haven't returned to Tehran after more than 30 years - this department is web only.

The front page features a welcome video from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the seal of the State Department, with the banner "Virtual Embassy of the United States, Tehran - Iran" set at the very top.

But as the welcome message reads,

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Next Muslim Radicalization Congressional Hearing Will Focus On Military

Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) listens during a hearing on Muslim radicalization before the House Homeland Security Committee in March.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Rep. Peter King is set to continue his series of controversial hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims with a fourth one tomorrow. King, a New York Republican along with Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, will explore how radicalization threatens the military.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Egypt And Tigerblood Top Twitter's List Of Hashtags This Year

Charlie Sheen turned #tigerblood into a hashtag of note.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 10:38 am

Yet another sign of the very diverse interests of the world's webizens:

Twitter says the top two hashtags this year have been #egypt and #tigerblood.

Egypt went to the top of words to search and post thanks to the Arab Spring and the uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. As for No. 2, its popularity is all due to actor Charlie Sheen and his famous claim to have "tiger blood."

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It's All Politics
10:10 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Give Immigration Reform A Chance, Say Nation's Most Conservative Voters

When new GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich recently advocated a "humane" approach to addressing illegal immigrants in America, some conservatives questioned whether it would fatally damage the former House Speaker's campaign.

After all, Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw his bid for the GOP nomination falter in part because of his support for a program that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:52 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Bedbug Infestations Are A Family Affair

Often times, bed bug infestations stem from a succession of inbreeding from one female's progeny.
Orkin, LLC PR NEWSWIRE

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 6:47 am

Bedbugs don't mind sleeping with their sisters and brothers, if you know what I mean.

And bedbugs' eagerness to mate with their kin is one reason their populations have taken off so dramatically. Inbreeding comes naturally to them, and it doesn't seem to hurt their offspring much, as is the case with most other creatures.

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