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Shots - Health Blog
2:35 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Vitamin E Pills May Raise, Not Lower, Prostate Cancer Risk

iStockphoto.com

Vitamins seem like such a good thing that drugstores have whole aisles devoted to them, including products that promise a healthy prostate.

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The Salt
2:25 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Cooking (Or Not Cooking) Broccoli To Protect Its Nutritional Riches

Broccoli eaten raw may be the best way to take advantage of its cancer-fighting compounds.

J. Scott Applewhite AP

Is there a right or a wrong way to cook a vegetable? If you want to unleash all its disease-fighting superpowers, then the answer is probably yes.

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National Security
2:15 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

U.S.: Iranians Paid Others To Kill Saudi Diplomat

The Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir, speaks to the press in Annapolis, Md., in 2007. The U.S. government said Tuesday that elements in the Iranian military plotted to kill the ambassador.

Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:08 pm

The Justice Department said Tuesday it had foiled a plot directed by elements in the Iranian government who sought to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

Attorney General Eric Holder said two men, Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, have been accused in connection with the alleged plot. Authorities said they had planned a bombing to kill the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:03 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Supplements Look Risky In Study Of Older Women

Daily supplements come under fire for a lack of proved benefits and mounting evidence about risks.

iStockphoto.com

Eating too much, rather than not enough, is the big health problem for most Americans. Yet, many of us take a supplement or vitamin in the hope of staving off illness with big doses of particular nutrients.

A new study shows that might not be such a great idea. Use of many common supplements — iron, in particular — appeared to increase the risk of dying, and only calcium supplements appeared to reduce mortality risk. The increased risk amounted to a few percentage points in most instances.

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Politics
1:17 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Jobs Bill Falters Despite Presidential Push

President Obama speaks about job creation and the economy at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local No. 5 Training Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Ever since President Obama proposed his $447 billion jobs bill in a joint address to Congress last month, he has been campaigning for it nonstop. He has whipped up crowds all across America who chant: "Pass this bill!"

It contains a variety of measures to fight unemployment — everything from tax breaks for businesses to extended benefits for the jobless. But despite the campaigning, the Senate is expected to kill the proposal Tuesday on a procedural vote.

Jonathan Cowan of the centrist Democratic group Third Way says that's no big deal — it was always a long shot.

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Education
12:55 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

No Child Left Behind Waivers Worry Some Advocates

Mill Creek Middle School Principal Rebecca Bowen says her school is "by no way, shape or form a failing school." But it is according to federal and state standards because its low-income, special education students were about 10 points behind the goals set on standardized tests.

Larry Abramson NPR

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 5:02 pm

The Obama administration wants states to focus more of their attention on the lowest-performing schools, where large numbers of students are failing state tests year after year.

So the Department of Education is inviting all states to apply for waivers from the No Child Left Behind law.

The waivers could win relief for schools where a small number of students are falling short of federal requirements.

But advocates for minority and special education students worry their students will be ignored.

The 'Failing School' Stigma

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The Two-Way
12:33 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Israel, Hamas Reach Prisoner-Swap Deal, Freeing Israeli Soldier Gilad Schalit

In this file image taken from a video released by Hamas in 2009, Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit is seen holding a newspaper in an unknown location.

Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 9:46 am

The AP, along with several other news sources including Al Arabiya and Haaretz, are reporting that Israel and Hamas have reached a prisoner-swap deal that will free Israeli Sgt. Gilad Schalit and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

Schalit, if you remember, was captured by Palestinian militants in 2006 and his father, Noam, has led a popular effort to free him.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:33 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Global Tuberculosis Cases Drop For First Time

A woman, left, cuts the hair of a fellow tuberculosis patient at a clinic in the township of Khayelitsha, on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, in March.

Schalk van Zuydam AP

Worldwide tuberculosis cases are declining annually for the first time, according to a report just out from the World Health Organization. Deaths from the disease have also sunk to the lowest level in a decade.

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It's All Politics
12:13 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Mitt Romney Gets Chris Christie's Endorsement

Back in 2009 when he campaigned to be New Jersey's chief executive, then former U.S. prosecutor Chris Christie got help from Mitt Romney who visited the Garden State to endorse his fellow Republican in that state's GOP primary.

So it wasn't particularly surprising that on Tuesday, now-Gov. Christie would return the favor by endorsing Romney's bid to be the Republican Party presidential nominee in an afternoon news conference.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

Report: 2004 Overseas Tax Break Was A 'Failed' Policy

Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI), looks at his papers while talking about U.S. companies recieving large tax breaks, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Mark Wilson Getty Images

A report (pdf) from the Senate's Governmental Affair's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that a 2004 tax break that was given to corporations repatriating profits made in foreign countries "did not produce any of the promised benefits of new jobs or increased research expenditures to spur economic growth." In fact, the report found that the corporations receiving the break cut 20,000 net jobs and cost the U.S.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Reports: Terrorist Plot Tied To Iran Disrupted

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (right) and FBI Director Robert Mueller announce a plot had been foiled involving men allegedly linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington at a news conference October 11, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee Getty Images
We're following this breaking news as it comes in. Scroll down for updates.

An Iranian-directed plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. and possibly attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington has been disrupted, Justice Department officials announced this afternoon.

Saying that the alleged "deadly plot ... [was] directed by factions of the Iranian government" and involved an attempt to hire killers from a Mexican drug cartel, Attorney General Eric Holder also said Iran will be held to account.

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National Security
11:49 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Prosecutor: Christmas Bomb Suspect Prepared To Die

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian suspect in a failed Christmas Day 2009 attack of a U.S.-bound airliner, prayed and perfumed himself in the plane's restroom moments before trying to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

"He was engaging in rituals. He was preparing to die and enter heaven," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel told a court in Detroit as Abdulmutallab's trial opened. "He purified himself. He washed. He brushed his teeth. He put on perfume. He was praying and perfuming himself to get ready to die."

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Tue October 11, 2011

For Those Who Aren't Fans Of The '99 Percent,' There's The '53 Percent'

Erick Erickson with his photo that started the "53 percent" countermeme.

the53.tumblr.com

The Occupy Wall Street movement, as we noted last week, has latched on to the idea that its supporters are the "99 percent" of Americans who aren't superrich and have been falling behind in recent years.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue October 11, 2011

UFO-Like Drone Makes First Cruise-Mode Flight

This was the first gear-up flight for the X47B.

Christian Turner Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman announced, yesterday, that the X-47B drone it is developing for the U.S. Navy had flown in cruise mode — with its landing gear retracted — for the first time during a test flight from Edwards Air Force Base.

The aerospace company called it a "major milestone," but what caught our attention were simply the pictures of this tail-less plane that looks like hybrid UFO and a B-2 bomber:

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Governing
11:00 am
Tue October 11, 2011

States Consider Drug Test Requirement For Benefits

Dozens of states are considering laws that would require drug testing for government benefit recipients. Those in favor say it would help ensure that tax dollars are used properly, but opponents say it would perpetuate stereotypes about the poor and withhold help from those who need it.

The Salt
10:58 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Listeria Outbreak: Why More Of Us Didn't Get Sick

Experts say it's likely that the number of people who ate cantaloupe contaminated with listeria far exceeds the number of illnesses and deaths reported so far.

Joe Raedle Getty Images

I ate a lot of cantaloupe in the weeks before a listeria outbreak led to a recall in September. And probably like many of you out there, I found myself wondering: Is there any chance that I ate some of the contaminated melons?

"Probably a lot of people ate this cantaloupe," Don Schaffner, a food scientist with Rutgers University, told me. "And a lot of people probably ate lots of (bacterial cells of) listeria."

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Smarter Deer? Smarter Drivers? Both? Fewer Being Killed On Roads

The news from State Farm Insurance that "for the third consecutive year, the number of deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. has dropped," is getting noticed in states where Buck vs. Buick encounters are common and usually don't end up well for either party.

But it was this passage in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story that really caught our eye:

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U.S.
8:53 am
Tue October 11, 2011

No Nukes: Bringing The Right And Left Together

The type of atomic bomb that was used in Japan in World War II, known as the "Fat Man," shown here in a 1960 photo released by the U.S. government. Liberals and conservatives are gathering at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday to call for efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

AP

Finally. Something the right and the left can agree on: nuclear disarmament.

On Tuesday, more than 70 notable people from around the world will convene at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. They will beseech international potentates and personages to seriously work toward eradicating nuclear weaponry from the face of the Earth.

To many observers, the idea of undoing what has been done is like trying to put shaving cream back in the can — or, more to the point, radiation back in the warhead.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Egyptian Blogger To Face Retrial; His Hunger Strike Approaches 50 Days

Maikel Nabil Sanad.

maikelnabil.com

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:32 am

An Egyptian military appeals court ruled today that blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad, who was sentenced to prison this spring for insulting government authorities, would receive a new military trial. The decision is regarded as a setback by his supporters, who were hoping for a reduced sentence or a retrial in a civilian court.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Seattle Superhero Phoenix Jones Arrested, Accused Of Assault

Self-proclaimed Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones has had a run-in of his own with the law.

The 23-year-old Jones (real name Benjamin John Francis Fodor) was arrested "on suspicion of fourth-degree assault" by Seattle police early Sunday, "after he allegedly doused a group of people with pepper spray," The Seattle Times reports.

Jones posted a $3,800 bail and is due back in court on Thursday.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:57 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Lung Cancer Leads List of Malignancies Linked With Bankruptcy

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 8:04 am

Cancer often takes a heavy toll not only on people's bodies but on their finances as well. And just as some types of cancer are more deadly than others, some types cause more financial pain, as recent research from Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Rain Reports For Duty: South Korean Pop Star Starts Military Service

Even this blogger isn't old enough (just barely, though) to have been around when Elvis Presley went into the Army in March, 1958.

But it's well known that was a huge deal.

Now there's this close comparison from Asia:

South Korean pop star Rain today reported for his mandatory 21-month tour of duty with his nation's army.

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U.S.
7:05 am
Tue October 11, 2011

'Underwear Bomber' Trial May Shed Light On Awlaki

This December 2009 file photo released by the U.S. Marshal's Service shows Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas 2009.

U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 11:44 am

Opening statements in the trial of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S.-bound airliner, begin Tuesday in Detroit. Besides the obvious issue of Abdulmutallab's guilt or innocence, questions remain about his ties to the American-born radical imam killed last month in a CIA drone strike.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Tue October 11, 2011

In Afghanistan: Opium Production Up; Prisoners Reportedly Tortured

June, 2011: U.S. Marines patrol with Afghan forces through a harvested poppy field in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

David Gilkey NPR

The seemingly intractable nature of the problems plaguing Afghanistan are being underscored yet again with two new reports from the United Nations:

-- Torture. Interviews of 273 detainees who were held at Afghan-government facilities in recent years show that at least 125 were tortured by authorities during interrogations, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Top Stories: Jobs Bill; Egyptian Violence; Liberian Election

Good morning.

The top story of the day so far, as we reported earlier, seems to be that "Obama's Jobs Bill Is Expected To Hit Roadblock Today In Senate."

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The Two-Way
6:08 am
Tue October 11, 2011

NBA Games Canceled: Anybody Care?

The NBA will rebound (pardon his pun) from any bad feelings generated among fans by the news that the first two weeks of the professional basketball league's season have been canceled because owners and players can't agree on a new labor deal, our colleague Mike Pesca says.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Obama's Jobs Bill Expected To Hit Roadblock Today In Senate

Job seekers waited in line to meet with recruiters at a job fair in Park Ridge, Ill., last month.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 5:34 am

The political debate over what to do about the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate and weak employment growth ratchets up again today when the Senate's expected to say no to President Obama's $447 billion jobs bill.

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Africa
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Peace Prize Winner Seeks Re-Election In Liberia

Liberians go to the polls Tuesday to elect a new president and lawmakers in the second key elections since the end of the civil war in 2003. The incumbent leader, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — Africa's first democratically elected female president — was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, but her opponents say she deserves neither the award nor re-election.

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Law
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Thomas Confirmation Hearings Had Ripple Effect

Clarence Thomas took his oath of office on Oct. 23, 1991.

J. David Ake AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:20 am

Twenty years ago Tuesday, the nation was spellbound by a political and sexual drama that played out before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Following an NPR report, the committee was forced to hold a second round of confirmation hearings to examine allegations it had previously ignored about Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Mon October 10, 2011

Recession Nips At The Heels Of A Slow-Poke Recovery

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 5:05 pm

The Labor Department announced last week that the U.S. economy grew by just 103,000 jobs in September. A number like that isn't even enough to keep up with population growth. The fact that the report was widely greeted as positive news suggests just how low expectations have sunk this year.

Since January, the U.S. economy has been hit by a series of external shocks that brought a modest recovery nearly to a halt. The slowdown, however, may have been under way even before the shocks took place.

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