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It's All Politics
10:54 am
Wed February 1, 2012

In Vegas, Political Race Is Just Another Sport To The Oddsmakers

Mitt Romney arrives in Nevada on Wednesday with more than the favor of Florida voters — the oddsmakers in Vegas like his chances, too. The online sports book Bovada has him as the favorite to win the GOP nomination at 1-15.

That means if you bet $15 on a Romney nomination, you'd only get $1 back if it happened. Before the Florida primary, Romney was at 1-9. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, slipped from 6-1 odds Monday; he now stands at 9-1.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Indiana Governor Poised To Sign 'Right To Work' Bill

Union members protesting the right-to-work legislation wait to enter the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
Michael Conroy AP

Update at 3:09 p.m. ET. With a signature, Gov. Mitch Daniels has turned Indianapolis into a right to work state. The governor signed into a law a controversial bill that would prohibit labor contracts from requiring workers to pay union dues, according to the AP.

Our Original Post Continues:

The controversial "right to work" bill was approved by the state Senate today with a 28 to 22 vote. Once Daniels signs the bill into law, which he is expected to do later today, Indiana will be the first state in a decade to pass a right to work law.

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Around the Nation
10:46 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Occupying The Nation's Attention, If Not Its Cities

A protester at the Occupy D.C. encampment in Freedom Plaza packed up his belongings Monday ahead of a National Park Service deadline to clear out.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Most of the tents are gone, the parks are empty and nearly 99 percent of Occupy Wall Street's 99 percenters have gone home.

But even as the occupation enters a denouement, the nationwide movement sparked in September can claim a huge victory in the battle of ideas. Occupy has spoken, and Americans have listened.

Subjects that were largely taboo on Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just six months ago have moved to center stage. Higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Capping the cost of higher education. Corporate greed.

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Steve Jobs Listened To Vinyl At Home, Neil Young Says

Neil Young last month in Park City, Utah.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Steve Jobs, the "pioneer of digital music" who brought us the iPod, listened to vinyl records when he was at home because the quality of the sound is better than current digital formats can produce, rock 'n' roll legend Neil Young said Tuesday.

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Election 2012
10:00 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Romney Rivals Are In It For The Long Haul

Florida primary voters handed Mitt Romney a resounding victory on Tuesday. But other GOP candidates declared that they are staying in the race. And President Obama has been busy raising money and trying to energize his base. Host Michel Martin talks about the latest election news with politicos Corey Ealons and Mario Loyola.

Election 2012
10:00 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Why Millions of Americans Have No Government ID

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 9:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we'd like to focus on another political battle that could influence the general elections in November. Voter ID laws. Thirty-one states have either introduced or tightened voter requirements in recent months. Fifteen of those states have made it mandatory to show government-issued photo ID before casting a ballot. So what's the big deal, you say?

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Europe
9:50 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Russian Communists Court Discontented Youth

Communist Party activists in Moscow campaign on Dec. 2 for the party's candidates in parliamentary elections. The Russian Communist Party is hoping to capitalize on a wave of dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 4:54 pm

A snazzy new Communist Party poster shows two young, tech-savvy and attractive Russians. Both are smiling and dressed in red: The woman holds a red iPhone; the man holds a red laptop, his T-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.

The slogan: "For the victory of the majority."

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Around the Nation
9:35 am
Wed February 1, 2012

How Much English Is Enough To Hold Office?

An Arizona judge has deemed Alejandrina Cabrera's English language skills to be inadequate, and has struck her name from the ballot for the city council. Host Michel Martin takes a look at the election controversy in the small border town of San Luis, Arizona. She speaks with Mayor Juan Carlos Escamilla and KAWC reporter Michelle Faust.

It's All Politics
9:13 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Romney's Line That He's 'Not Concerned About Very Poor' Will Linger

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney celebrates his Florida primary election win at the Tampa Convention Center on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Mitt Romney's comment Wednesday about the social safety net has already been boiled down to a quick shorthand: "I'm not concerned about the very poor." It adds to a growing collection of statements that fuel charges that he has, if nothing else, a very tin ear and is an out-of-touch member of the .01 percent.

In a CNN interview with Soledad O'Brien, Romney said in part:

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Construction Spending Rises To Highest Annual Rate In 20 Months

For the fifth consecutive month, builders increased spending in December, the Commerce Department said today. The figures tempered yesterday's news that home prices in most markets tracked by the S&P/Case-Shiller index had slipped 1.3 percent in November.

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Election 2012
3:53 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

How Romney Gained The Advantage In Florida

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves to supporters after winning the Florida primary on Tuesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

With his impressive Florida win on Tuesday, Mitt Romney has re-established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But he continues to face fervent opposition from some quarters, and a number of hurdles remain before he can claim the nomination.

Romney took just over 46 percent of the vote, while second-place finisher Newt Gingrich had nearly 32 percent.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had about 13 percent, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 7 percent.

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Join NPR For Live Blogging And Latest Results From The Florida Primary

Starting at 6 p.m. ET, we'll be helping out the NPR Elections Desk with some more live blogging — this time on the news from Florida, which holds its Republican presidential primary today.

Will former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney come in first as pre-primary polls suggested? How well will former House Speaker Newt Gingrich do?

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Shots - Health Blog
3:20 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

A Computer Beats A Pen For Getting Prescriptions Right

A study at two Australian hospitals finds computerized prescribing systems cut errors with drugs.
iStockphoto.com

Drug errors inside hospitals remain a big problem.

By one estimate, 1 in 7 hospitalized patients suffers some form of error in care. Nearly a third of those mistakes are related to drugs. And those mix-ups can lead to longer hospital stays, unnecessary suffering, permanent damage or death.

One way to reduce mistakes is to have doctors enter the prescriptions on a computer instead of with pen and paper. After the switch, hospitals can see error rates drop by a whopping 60 percent.

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Middle East
3:20 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

In Israel, A Nonstop Debate On Possible Iran Strike

Israeli soldiers take part in an exercise at the Shizafon army base, in the Negev Desert north of the southern city of Eilat, on Tuesday. There are growing signs that Israel may be planning a strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

In Israel, there is daily speculation over whether Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities in the near future. The debate is not only over whether Israel should strike Iran, but what the costs and benefits might be from such a strike.

Israel believes that Iran is working to build a nuclear bomb, and dismisses Iran's assertion that its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Campaign Finance Reports Show Ups And Downs For Candidates, SuperPACs

A new disclosure report documents how Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry lost his fundraising base. Donors gave up long before Perry dropped out two weeks ago.

The Texas governor Perry launched his campaign back in August with a gusher of cash from conservative allies, especially in his home state.

He gathered up nearly $7 million in the first three weeks, which turned out to be more than double what he got over the past three months.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Secret To Being Married 78 Years? Say 'Honey, I Still Love You'

Wilbur Faiss, who's been married more than 78 years.
Fox5Vegas

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 2:48 pm

Wilbur and Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas have been married for more than 78 years — an accomplishment that's generating headlines this week about them being the nation's "longest-married couple."

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Clinton Calls On Security Council To 'Stand With The People Of Syria'

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her address to the U.N. Security Council this afternoon.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Saying "we all have a choice — stand with the people of Syria and the region or become complicit in the continuing violence there," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just urged the U.N. Security Council to support an Arab League call for "a negotiated, peaceful political solution to this crisis and a responsible, democratic transition in Syria" that would lead to the end of President Bashar Assad's regime.

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Europe
1:54 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

For Hungarian Borrowers, A Mortgage Nightmare

A woman passes by a real estate agency in Budapest, Hungary, in January. As the Hungarian currency plunges to new lows, ordinary citizens are struggling to repay foreign-denominated loans.
Laszlo Balogh Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 6:16 pm

Since the U.S. housing bubble burst, many Americans have found themselves struggling to pay off mortgages that are worth more than their homes.

Now, imagine if those mortgages were in a foreign currency that has soared in value compared with the domestic currency — the one in which paychecks are issued.

As Hungary's currency plummets to record lows, this is exactly the plight of some 1 million Hungarians, who, during better financial times, took out mortgages and consumer loans in Swiss francs.

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Election 2012
1:22 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Photos: Florida Voters Head To The Polls

Marjorie Reddick, of Micanopy, Fla., leaves a polling location after voting in the state's Republican party primary on Tuesday.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

After a decisive South Carolina win, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has risen and fallen in the polls and trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by double digits going into Florida's primary.

National Security
12:51 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

U.S. Officials Point To Iran As Growing Threat

FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director David Petraeus appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Iran is moving toward a nuclear capability but its intentions are unclear. Al-Qaida is weakened but remains dangerous. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are a determined adversary, but it may make sense to negotiate with them.

These were the highlights of the annual assessment of threats to U.S. security, delivered Tuesday on Capitol Hill by the nation's intelligence agencies.

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, was also able list some accomplishments, beginning with the big triumph — tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Many In High-Risk Insurance Pools Face Lifetime Coverage Limits

iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the health care overhaul, most people no longer have to worry about getting sick and running out of health insurance coverage.

The law eliminated lifetime limits, which ran in many plans from $1 millon to $2 million.

Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Tue January 31, 2012

VIDEO: A Bunny That Thinks It's A Sheepdog

A rabbit tries to herd a flock of sheep.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:01 pm

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue January 31, 2012

U.S. Intelligence Chief: Iran Is More Willing To Launch Attack On U.S.

From left, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director David Petraeus take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As part of his yearly report to the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, the United States' intelligence chief said that depending how threatened Iran feels, it may be more willing to launch an attack against the U.S.

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It's All Politics
10:47 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Florida GOP Primary Let Romney Show Skill In Political Knife Fight

Mitt Romney had reason to smile on Florida primary day, Jan. 31, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

With virtually all polls giving him a solid lead among Florida's Republican voters, Mitt Romney is expected to handily win the Sunshine State's GOP primary Tuesday, putting him back on course for his party's presidential nomination.

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Election 2012
10:28 am
Tue January 31, 2012

How SuperPACs Are 'Gaming' The 2012 Campaign

cover story in the January 22, 2012 edition of New York Magazine details why the 2012 election will be the "most negative in the history of American politics."" href="/post/how-superpacs-are-gaming-2012-campaign" class="noexit lightbox">
Joe Hagan's cover story in the January 22, 2012 edition of New York Magazine details why the 2012 election will be the "most negative in the history of American politics."
New York Magazine

If you thought the 2008 election cycle was full of negative ads, just wait until 2012's campaign gets fully underway.

The upcoming presidential campaign, says journalist Joe Hagan, is expected to "be the most negative in the history of American politics."

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The Salt
9:55 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Beyond Cuppa Joe: Starbucks Embraces India, Lighter Roasts And Alcohol

In India, Starbucks will have to compete with this locally-owned coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day.
Aijaz Rahi AP

"Skinny venti quad decaf latte" is not a household term in India. But that may be about to change, as Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi on today's Morning Edition.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:36 am
Tue January 31, 2012

More Than A Million Condoms Recalled In South Africa

Condoms like this one were given out during the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in early Now a South African health official says that 1.35 million of them are being recalled amid charges some broke during sex.
Denis Farrell AP

The party may be over, but the trouble may just be starting in South Africa.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Defying Camping Ban, Occupy D.C. Protesters Remain In Place

Occupy D.C. protesters shout slogans after erecting a tent over the statue of Civil War Maj. Gen. James Birdseye McPherson at McPherson Square in Washington.
KAren Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:21 am

The Occupy D.C. encampment received notice that as of noon yesterday, camping would not be allowed at McPherson Square, the downtown Washington, D.C. park they've occupied for months now.

But that deadline came and went and instead of heeding the warning from the National Park Service, the protesters erected an even bigger tent. The protesters draped a huge blue tarp emblazoned with the words "Tent of Dreams" over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the middle of the park.

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The Two-Way
8:42 am
Tue January 31, 2012

CBO Estimates $1.1 Trillion Federal Deficit

CBO

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:43 am

Taking into account all the budget legislation passed in the last year, the Congressional Budget Office says the country will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2012.

The CBO reports that is nearly 7 percent of the United States' GDP, but is "nearly 2 percentage points below the deficit recorded in 2011, but still higher than any deficit between 1947 and 2008."

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