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The Salt
2:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Farm-Fresh Food May Have Shaped The Modern Mouth

Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 8:04 am

Got a mouthful of metal and stack of orthodontic bills? You can thank your farmer ancestors for them.

That's according to an anthropologist who says the switch from chewing wild game to eating corn, rice and wheat could have shortened the human jaw so that teeth don't fit in it as well.

When agriculture took off in some parts of the world, it had a lot to offer people: Farmed foods are a more reliable source of calories, and are easier to chew and digest. But they also may have helped transform the jaw bone before the teeth could catch up.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

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Politics
2:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

With No 'Super' Deal, What's Next In Deficit Debate?

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the supercommittee co-chairwoman, arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. John Kerry with other members of the deficit reduction panel on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 5:30 pm

For the not-so-super debt reduction supercommittee, failure is clearly an option.

As the blame-gaming bipartisan congressional committee stumbled toward collapse Monday, washing out on even the most basic show of common purpose, the "what happens next" scenarios began to take shape.

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Middle East
2:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

In Iran, Secret Plans To Abolish The Presidency?

A power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left, in portrait) is growing. There are signs that Khamenei may want to eliminate the presidency and replace it with the less powerful position of prime minister.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:27 pm

The next presidential election in Iran is scheduled for 2013, but doubts are emerging about whether it will actually take place.

A conservative member of Iran's Parliament recently claimed that a secret committee convened by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been working on a plan to do away with the office of the presidency.

Meanwhile, the conflict between the supreme leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to sharpen.

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Three Books...
2:08 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Presidents And Pilgrims: 3 Boundary Pushing Books

Donna Neary flickr.com

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:27 pm

With Thanksgiving hard upon us, now is a good time to think about our past. History writers can tell the best stories from centuries of human achievement and folly, yet too often they produce recitations of one damned thing after another. A few, though, combine a respect for accuracy with a deep understanding of the longings, fears and triumphs of the people of our past. Such books make magic.

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Politics
2:03 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered remarks before signing legislation that will provide business tax credits to help put veterans back to work on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:03 pm

President Obama has kept his distance from the supercommittee. Unlike the budget battles earlier this year, there were no bargaining sessions at the White House. No presidential motorcades to Capitol Hill.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

California Republicans Quietly Embrace Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a very clear record on the Affordable Care Act. He has repeatedly called for its defeat and was one of the co-sponsors of the January repeal measure that easily passed the House but died in the Senate.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

VIDEO: Flour Children, Or What A Bag Of Flour Can Do To A House

We'll get back to the serious things in a just a moment. But first we wanted to share with you a video that's started to make some noise around the Internet.

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Performing Arts
1:44 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

At Pop-Up Magazine Shows, No Recordings Allowed

iStockphoto.com

Magazines, documentaries and art are usually meant to be preserved to live on in time. But a group in San Francisco has decided that art, if ephemeral, may be appreciated in a different way.

The group created Pop-Up Magazine, a live magazine that happens once onstage, in one place — and it's not recorded.

Editor Douglas McGray says the idea came from trying to get different kinds of artists in the same room.

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off

Spraying the Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence").
jockohomo.tumblr.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:56 am

When he walked down a line of seated Occupy protesters Friday at the University of California Davis and shot pepper spray directly at them, campus police Lt. John Pike likely never thought that video of the incident would go viral on the Web, that there would be outrage not only at the school but around the nation, or that "casually pepper spraying cop" would quickly become one of the year's top memes.

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Music Interviews
1:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma's Bluegrass-Inspired 'Goat Rodeo'

Yo-Yo Ma's latest Americana exploration features his work with mandolinist Chris Thile, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddler Stuart Duncan.
Jeremy Cowart

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 11:27 am

A sense of humor comes through The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest Americana exploration for the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Former AIG Exec Sues Federal Government For $25 Billion Over Takeover

The United States government takeover of American International Group saved the company from going under during the financial crisis of 2008. As The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, the government drove a hard bargain — tens of billions would get it an almost 80 percent stake of the company — but the government argued if AIG went down, so would the rest of the economy and AIG argued if the company wasn't pumped with money, it would collapse. The U.S.

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It's All Politics
12:02 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:06 pm

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Reports: Egyptian Cabinet Members Submit Resignations

From NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and The Associated Press, both in Cairo:

State TV in Egypt is reporting that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet have submitted their resignations to the nation's military council.

It isn't known, Soraya says, whether the interim government's resignations will be accepted.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Mon November 21, 2011

It's Still OK To Text 'Offensive' Words In Pakistan

Pakistani families walk past an advertisement for a cellular telephone company in Rawalpindi.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 11:40 am

You can still text the name "Jesus Christ" and the word "naked" if you're a Pakistani with a cellphone.

Also still safe for texting: damn, nude and poop.

Those are among more than 1,600 words and phrases that the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency had reportedly ordered mobile companies in the country to block by today.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:22 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Does Diabetes Need A Blue Circle To Establish Its Disease Cred?

Is there room for a blue diabetes button?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:54 am

Breast cancer has a pink ribbon. Cystic fibrosis has a purple ribbon. Heart disease has a red ribbon.

Would diabetes be easier for people to talk about if it had a blue circle?

Some advocates think so and have been pushing various diabetes groups to unite behind the color blue. The idea has a lot of traction outside the United States.

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The Salt
11:22 am
Mon November 21, 2011

For The Origins Of Pie, Look To The Humble Magpie

A drawing of a medieval pie baker, circa 1465-1475.
Courtesy of Institut für Realienkunde

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:26 pm

This is the month when the stately, voluptuous turkey takes a place of pride on most dinner tables. But when it comes to dessert, it's worth considering the relevance of another bird — the humble magpie.

That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" — defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry — may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.

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The Two-Way
11:19 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Israeli Defense Minister: 'Time Has Come' To Act On Iran

Israel's Minister Defence Ehud Barak responds to a reporters question as he takes part in a press conference with Canada's Minister of Defence Peter MacKay in Ottawa.
Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press

A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which concluded Iran was working on nuclear weapons, continues to reverberate internationally. Yesterday, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak was asked bluntly if Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Here's how Barak answered:

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Stocks Down Sharply At Midday

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:38 pm

The likely collapse of the so-called supercommittee's efforts to put together a deficit-reduction deal and continued concern about the debt crisis in Europe are pushing stocks lower on Wall Street.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Mon November 21, 2011

No Criminal Charges Against Justice Dept. Lawyers Who Prosecuted Stevens

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:59 am

The Justice Department lawyers who prosecuted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will not face criminal contempt charges for failing to share evidence that could have helped his defense team, a federal judge said Monday.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan and the special prosecutor he appointed, Washington lawyer Henry Schuelke, had tough words for the Justice Department, though.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Mon November 21, 2011

For Cairo Protesters, 'The Revolution Is Not Over'

Earlier today a protester stood on top of a burned car in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 12:38 pm

From Cairo's Tahrir Square, where three days of clashes between authorities and thousands of protesters have left more than 20 people dead and more than 1,700 injured, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the Egyptians who have taken to the streets again:

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Home Sales Are Up, But So Are 'Contract Failures'

There was a 1.4 percent increase in sales of existing homes in October from September, the National Association of Realtors reported this hour.

At its 4.97 million annual rate, the pace of sales was up 13.5 percent from October 2010.

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Penn State Taps Former FBI Director Freeh As 'Investigative Counsel'

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh has been brought in to be a "special investigative counsel" for Penn State's internal look into how its officials handled reports that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky might have been sexually abusing young boys.

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The Two-Way
8:06 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Speed Of Light Hasn't Been Broken, Second Set Of Scientists Says

Albert Einstein: His famous theory faces a challenge.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 3:40 pm

Full disclosure: We're not even close to being qualified to figure out who's right and who's wrong on this one.

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National Security
7:42 am
Mon November 21, 2011

The American Behind The 2008 Attack On Mumbai

In this courtroom drawing, David Coleman Headley is shown facing a federal judge.
Carol Renaud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:38 pm

American David Coleman Headley was one of the leading planners of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people over three days at two five-star hotels, a train station and a small Jewish community center.

Headley, the son of a Pakistani father and an American mother, had been chosen for the mission because he looked like a non-Muslim Westerner. He used those looks — and his U.S. passport — to plan logistics for several of the places attacked in Mumbai.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Top Stories: No Debt Deal Likely; Suspect Arrested In Alleged NYC Bomb Plot

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:23 am

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Mon November 21, 2011

UC Davis Pepper-Spraying: Police Chief Put On Leave, Chancellor To Speak

In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.
Thomas K. Fowler AP

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 7:56 am

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Seattle Mariners Outfielder Halman Stabbed To Death, Brother Arrested

"Dutch police say Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman has been stabbed to death and his brother has been arrested as a suspect," The Associated Press reports from Rotterdam. He died earlier today.

Halman, 24, is Dutch-born. In the past two years with the Mariners, he appeared in 44 games — hitting at a .207 average, with two home runs and nine runs batted in.

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Death Toll Rising In Cairo After Crackdown In Tahrir Square

An Egyptian protester prepares to hurl a tear gas canister back at security forces as others run for cover earlier today in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Mohammed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 6:26 am

The death toll from three days of clashes in Cairo's Tahrir Square has risen to at least 24, a morgue official tells The Associated Press. (Note at 8:25 a.m. ET: Earlier, the official told the AP that the toll was 35; now, he says 11 of the deaths were unrelated to the violence.)

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Strange News
5:39 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Boring Conference Tickets Are Hot Sellers

The second annual Boring Conference was held over the weekend in London. It began as a joke but tickets sold out this year. Organizer James Ward worried his event might be too interesting.

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