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Shots - Health Blog
8:26 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Screening Kids For Cholesterol Can Raise Awareness And Anxiety

The latest subject in standardized tests for kids: cholesterol.
iStockphoto.com

Does it help or hurt children to know they have high cholesterol? We're about to find out.

New guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say every child should be screened for high cholesterol once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 21.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Gulf Arab Nations Recall Ambassadors From Syria, Expel Syrian Diplomats

"Gulf Arab countries announced on Tuesday they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling Syrian envoys in response to worsening violence in Syria," Reuters says.

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The Salt
7:04 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Could Taxes Or Food Stamp Restrictions Tame America's Sweet Tooth?

Sugar may be our favorite pick-me-up. I know I sometimes get the 4 p.m. urge for peanut M&Ms. But how much is too much?

The American Heart Association says women should not have more than 6 teaspoons, or 30 grams, a day, which is about 100 calories of added sugar (excluding fruit). And men should try not to exceed 9 teaspoons, or 45 grams.

But a lot of us are eating way more.

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It's All Politics
7:01 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Why Bother With Caucuses?

Caucuses have been plagued by embarrassing problems this election season, but they're an American tradition. Here, a ballot from Nevada precinct 3726 shows a vote for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
David Becker Getty Images

Republican voters in Colorado and Minnesota Tuesday will engage in the truly American political invention called the caw-cawaasough.

Make that the "caucus," the oft-maligned system in which party members gather to discuss and declare their preferences for a candidate by scribbling a name on a piece of paper for hand-count by party officials.

Why maligned?

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Before Dying In Inferno, Little Boys Were Struck

Toys and flowers have been left outside the Puyallup, Wash., home of Chuck and Judy Cox, the grandparents of Charlie and Braden Powell.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:57 am

Horrific details keep emerging about the deaths in Graham, Wash., on Sunday of Braden and Charlie Powell.

Among the disturbing news: Authorities now say it appears that before the boys died in a fire ignited by their father, Josh Powell, he struck his sons with a hatchet.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

As L.A. Probes Sex Abuse Charges, Staff Replaced At Elementary School

Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Krista Kennell AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:26 pm

"In a dramatic move to quell parents' fears, Los Angeles school officials said they will temporarily replace the entire staff of an elementary school south of downtown Los Angeles, where two teachers have been accused of lewd acts against students," the Los Angeles Times writes.

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Sports
5:42 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Supermodel Wife Defends Brady's Passing Skills

On Sunday, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. The wife of defeated quarterback Tom Brady. supermodel Gisele Bundchen, complained about receivers dropping his passes.

Asia
5:31 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Australian Toddler Beats Machine At Its Own Game

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Tue February 7, 2012

As Gunfire Echoes Inside Syria, A Cry For Help From A City Under Attack

With heavy machine gun fire in the background as he spoke from the Baba Amr section of Homs, Syrian citizen journalist and blogger Omar Shakir told Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne earlier today that "we are asking for [an] SOS" and help from the International Red Cross to stop what he said has been the deadly shelling of his city by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

"There is no one with us," Shakir said.

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Author Interviews
4:03 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Mumbai Slum Exists 'Behind The Beautiful Forevers'

Katherine Boo won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on abuse and neglect in group homes. A staff writer for The New Yorker, she is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship.
Heleen Welvaart

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:29 am

Next to Mumbai's bustling international airport, a boy picks through refuse, looking for pieces he can recycle and sell to support his family of 11. He is a resident of Annawadi, a slum built on a patch of reclaimed swampland — now fringed by luxury hotels.

As economists and activists fret over increasing income inequality in America, scenes like this one from journalist Katherine Boo's new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, are a forceful reminder of the extreme disparity of wealth that exist all over the world — and what people must do to survive.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Romney Rivals Campaign In Minnesota Ahead Of Caucuses

Minnesota holds non-binding GOP caucuses Tuesday. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all campaigned in the state Monday. Each of front-runner Mitt Romney's rivals is looking at the state as a place where they can regain their footing.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

States Propose Taxing Sugar To Aid In Nutrition Warning

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 7:16 am

New research indicates excessive consumption of sugar leads to an increase in all kinds of chronic diseases. But how much sugar is too much? Would making sugary foods more expensive help to get consumers to cut back?

Business
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's move now, from paper promises, now, to plastic. That's our last word in business.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Citigroup says it has become the first Western bank with permission to issue credit cards under its own brand in China. Until now, China required western banks to co-brand with Chinese operators.

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Middle East
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Syrian Violence Continues In Homs

Activists say dozens of people were killed yesterday in the Syrian town of Homs when government troops opened fire with tanks and machine guns. More than a dozen others were killed elsewhere. Renee Montagne talks to Omar Shakir, a human rights activist, who is in Homs.

Sports
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Sports News The Super Bowl May Have Overshadowed

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is estimated that more than 111 million people watched Sunday's Super Bowl. That is the biggest TV audience ever for the championship game. And with all the hype before and even after the match-up between the Giants and the Patriots, other sports were drowned out. NPR's Tom Goldman is going to help correct that. He's here to bring us up to date on some other sports news.

Hi, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning.

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Business
2:00 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Greek Debt Talks Continue

Reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens has the latest on the nail-biting negotiations over the Greek debt.

Books
1:56 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Amid Debt Crisis, A Trail Of Broken 'Promises'

Philip Coggan
Nephi Niven Public Affairs Books

Financial writer Philip Coggan traces the current global financial crisis to the 1970s, when the U.S. went off the gold standard.

"Up till then, every form of money had some link to precious metal: gold or silver," Coggan, author of a new book, Paper Promises: Debt, Money and the New World Order, tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne.

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Around the Nation
1:47 am
Tue February 7, 2012

China's Heir Apparent Rekindles Early Ties To Iowa

During his pending trip to the United States, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hopes to reunite with Iowans he met back in 1985, during an agricultural mission to America. Here, Xi attends a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden last August.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

China's Vice President Xi Jinping is coming to America. Next week, he'll meet with President Obama at the White House. He'll lead a trade delegation to California. And he also plans to make a stop in Muscatine, Iowa.

Why Muscatine? It turns out that Xi wants to catch up with old acquaintances — he first visited the town (population 22,886) in the 1980s, as part of an agricultural mission.

Back then, the man who is likely to soon become China's president had dinner with Sarah Lande and her husband.

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It's All Politics
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Romney Brings Up Religion To Attract Social Conservatives

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:52 am

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is reaching out to social conservatives in a new way. At a rally in the gym at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday night, Romney rolled out some new material: the rights given to people by God.

"I am just distressed as I watch, as I watch our president try and infringe upon those rights," Romney said to the capacity crowd. "The first amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice."

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Latin America
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Drought Ravages Farms Across Wide Swath Of Mexico

A vulture picks at a dead steer. Ranchers say many cattle have died because of the drought that has ravaged much of Mexico.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 2:51 am

In the central Mexican state of Zacatecas, 76-year-old Genaro Rodarte Huizar rides his donkey along a dry riverbed. On his left is a dried out pasture; on his right is what used to be a cornfield; now it's just long furrows of gray, dusty dirt.

Rodarte says that for the past two years, the crops that he's planted here have failed. Normally, he plants beans and corn to feed his family, and oats to sell. He says he hasn't harvested anything because the land is too dry and there's no water.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Jews With Ties To Iran And Israel Feel Conflicted

Iranian-born Menashe Amir (shown here in 2006) hosts a call-in show on Israel Radio's Farsi service, one of the few forums for direct discourse between Iranians and Israelis.
Gali Tibbon Getty Images

As tensions between Israel and Iran ratchet up, one community is caught in the middle: Iranian Jews living in Israel. There are some 250,000 people of Persian descent living in Israel, and they maintain strong ties with their homeland.

As a result, they are uniquely conflicted over the possibility of war between the two countries.

In a small cluttered apartment in Jerusalem, Naheet Yacoubi cooks a traditional Persian meal for her Shabbat dinner. Originally from Tehran, she came to Israel when she was a child.

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Latin America
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

United Opposition A Challenge To Venezuela's Chavez

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles (center) waves to supporters on Oct. 12, 2011. Capriles is the front-runner in the opposition primary election to pick a candidate to run against President Hugo Chavez. The primary is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Ariana Cubillos AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 2:51 am

The opposition to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tried everything to end his long rule: huge protests, a coup and an oil strike. Nothing has worked, but now opposition leaders have coalesced into a united and focused movement that is preparing to choose one candidate to run against the president, posing the strongest electoral challenge to Chavez's populist rule.

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Education
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

UC Students Propose Alternative To Tuition Increases

A student prepares to speak in opposition to proposed tuition increases at a University of California Board of Regents meeting in July 2011.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Chris LoCascio, a junior at UC Riverside, feared that there was no end in sight for tuition increases at the University of California. The state kept cutting subsidies, students kept protesting, but no one had any answers. So he and other students decided to turn the discussion on its head.

What if, he says, "instead of charging students upfront for their education, students would attend the UC with no upfront costs whatsoever"?

Under the Fix UC proposal, the bill would not come due until students graduate and start making money.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Alabama's Immigration Law May Get A Second Look

Protesters march outside Alabama's Capitol in Montgomery on Nov. 15 during a demonstration against the state's immigration law.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 11:00 am

Whoever said "all P.R. is good P.R." probably never had dozens of protesters gathered in front of the office calling them "Hitler."

That's what happened during a recent lunchtime in the Birmingham, Ala., business district, as students from several local colleges held a mock funeral in front of a bank. They accuse the company of funding private detention centers where they claim illegal immigrants have died.

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Middle East
4:55 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

As Syrian Violence Worsens, U.S. Diplomats Leave

Syrians attend a Feb. 4 burial ceremony of what activists say are victims of shelling by the Syrian army in the central city of Homs. The city has been the scene of the bloodiest fighting in Syria in recent days.
Handout Reuters/Landov

President Obama says it's time for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Yet Monday's decision to shut down the U.S. Embassy in Damascus reflected the deteriorating conditions in a country that appears locked in a protracted conflict with no end in sight.

"The closing of the U.S. Embassy is a clear signal to the international community that it's not safe for diplomats in Syria," says Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Remembering Roger Boisjoly: He Tried To Stop Shuttle Challenger Launch

Engineer Roger Boisjoly examines a model of the O-Rings, used to bring the Space Shuttle into orbit, at a meeting of senior executives and academic representatives in Rye, New York in Sept. 1991.
AP

Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Heartbreak And Victory: Kyle Stanley's Week On The PGA Tour

Professional golfer Kyle Stanley will forever remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012. And not because he's an over-the-top New York Giants — or Madonna — fan.

But because he won the unglamorously-named Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. And for Stanley, there was nothing trashy about his final round 65 that secured a one-shot victory and his first on the PGA tour.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Greece Delays Decision On Terms Of Bailout

IMF representative Bob Traa is seen inside an elevator as he arrives a government office building before meeting Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens on Monday.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Much to the dismay of the economic world, Greece said it was delaying negotiations on the terms of its bailout package today. Basically, Greece's political leaders could not agree on accepting tough, new austerity measures that are tied to receiving the 130 billion euro bailout.

The Guardian reports:

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Election 2012
3:25 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

In Battleground Colorado, Independents On The Rise

An attendee holds American flags during a rally Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The rally was for Republican Mitt Romney, but a new study says the number of newly declared independents is outpacing new registration for either Republicans or Democrats in the state.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 5:33 pm

At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos, 24, said he's not interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.

"I don't really identify with either party," said Kardos, a recent college graduate with an electrical engineering degree, who was shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. "A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side, and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one, and I flip-flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for."

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