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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Defiant As Iran Threatens Its Aircraft Carrier

Iran claims the USS John C. Stennis has entered a zone near the Strait of Hormuz, which is being used by the Iranian navy for wargames.
Ronald Reeves AFP/Getty Images

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Construction Spending Increases, Signaling Continued Economic Growth

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

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Politics
8:18 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Candidates Make Last Push Before Iowa Voting Begins

Supporters of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul rally for their candidate during a campaign stop Monday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates prepared Tuesday for their first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops throughout Iowa in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.

Later tonight, Iowa Republicans will gather to cast ballots for the person they want to stand against President Obama in November. But after a bruising months-long campaign, more than a third of those participating in the caucuses say they still haven't made up their minds.

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It's All Politics
8:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Santorum Explains His Comments About Black People And Entitlements

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign event at the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Boone, Iowa on Monday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

If you were listening carefully to NPR's Ted Robbin's report on Rick Santorum on Morning Edition, yesterday, you heard some pretty controversial comments from the Republican presidential candidate.

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Around the Nation
8:06 am
Tue January 3, 2012

No, The School Nurse Is Not In

More than half of American public schools don't have a full-time nurse, and the situation is getting worse as school systems further cut budgets. This year, 51 were laid off in Philadelphia's public schools, 20 in a Houston suburb, 15 in San Diego and dozens more in other school systems nationwide.

Other schools have reduced their school nurse staffing.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:55 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Making The Best Of A Hospital Stay By Quitting Smoking

A hospital stay may be the right time to quit smoking.
iStockphoto.com

When smokers are in the hospital, they typically have to give up cigarettes for as long as they're there.

Most hospitals make little effort to screen patients for tobacco use or to help them kick the habit permanently. That's a missed opportunity.

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It's All Politics
6:50 am
Tue January 3, 2012

In Iowa, It's Decision Day At Last

A supporter of Texas governor Rick Perry places campaign signs outside the Hotel Pattee before an event on Monday in Perry, Iowa.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

After months of campaigning, it's finally caucus day in Iowa. Polls still show a fluid race, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum heading the pack.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Reports: L.A. Arson Suspect Went On Tirade At Recent Immigration Hearing

An apartment complex that was burned in a spree of arson fires lies in ruins on Monday in Los Angeles.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 8:21 am

The man police called "the most dangerous arsonist in Los Angeles County," may have been angered by the immigration hearing of a family member. The Los Angeles Times reports that Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old from Germany who was arrested and charged in connection to a string of arson fires in Los Angeles, went on an anti-American tirade recently.

The Times reports:

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Strange News
5:16 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Scotch Wiskey From A Can?

A maker of Scotch whiskey plans to start selling its product in a can. You can buy a 12 ounce can — 80 shots of 80 proof whiskey — in a container that cannot be re-sealed. The company says it hopes to eventually develop a can you can close.

The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

It's Caucus Day In Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a crowd during a campaign stop on Monday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 10:22 am

Today, Iowa kicks off the 2012 presidential race in earnest. As, you've no doubt heard by now, the Republican presidential contest is still very fluid: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum could all win the season's first contest.

As The Des Moines Register found in its poll, the race is so unsettled "41 percent of those who have a first choice could still be persuaded to change their minds."

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Remembrances
5:08 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Sought After Hollywood Sword Master Dies

Bob Anderson was an Olympic fencer, and was a major fight choreographer for saber-rattling movies including: The Princess Bride and The Lord of the Rings. He was nearly 60 when he did Darth Vader's light saber fighting. Anderson died Sunday at 89.

Movies
5:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

'Thin Blue Line' Piqued Mike Mills Movie Interest

Steve Inskeep talks to filmmaker Mike Mills for the latest in the Watch This series about recommended movies and television shows. Mills directed the film Beginners starring Christopher Plummer as an elderly father who comes out of the closet.

World
4:48 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Regime Changes May Lead To Dangerous New Year

Big changes in 2011 — from the Arab Spring to the death of North Korea's dictator — create opportunities for 2012. But change can be scary, even when the regimes to be replaced are unpopular or repressive, because there's never a guarantee the new regime will be better.

Political Junkie
4:45 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 11:57 am

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

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Middle East
4:39 am
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Sanctions Target Iran's Central Bank

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

For this new year, Congress gave President Obama the power to impose new sanctions on Iran.

WERTHEIMER: The sanctions would target Iran's central bank. Though the president has some flexibility on the timing, the mere threat escalated tensions. Iranians have spoken of stopping oil tankers passing through the vital straits of Hormuz.

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Sports
4:26 am
Tue January 3, 2012

College Football Bowl Games Cap 2011 Season

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The big bowls are underway. The five games in the Bowl Championship Series stand out in the crowded college football postseason. They command the largest national television audience and pay out the most money. They also generate the most controversy, although yesterday, the first two BCS bowl games generally created nothing but thrills.

Oregon beat Wisconsin 45 to 38 in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma State won a 41-38 nail-biter over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us with more.

Good morning, Tom.

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Mount Rainier Suspected Shooter Found Dead

An Iraq war veteran who is suspected of killing a park ranger has been found dead in a snowy stream at Washington's Mount Rainier National Park. The park had been closed since Sunday while authorities searched for Benjamin Barnes.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Set To Begin 2012 Presidential Voting

The voting in the Iowa GOP caucuses begins Tuesday night. On the last day before the caucuses, Republican presidential candidates campaigned across the state Monday. Their goal was the same — motivating supporters to leave their homes on a cold evening, go to their precinct meeting places and vote.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

LA Police Arrest Suspect In Arson String

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:39 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Authorities in Los Angeles are celebrating the arrest of a suspect in dozens of fires. L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky told reporters that residents can finally get some rest.

ZEV YAROSLAVSKY: Our long, four-day nightmare is over. This has been, literally, a nightmare. I haven't had a good night's sleep since last week, and I'm looking forward to one tonight.

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Business
2:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Business News

Steve Inskeep and Linda Wertheimer have business news.

Asia
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

India's Economic Battle: Development Vs. Tradition

Villagers in the southeastern Indian state of Orissa are opposed to a large steel mill, though it would bring thousands of jobs. The villagers, shown here in October, say they want to keep their land and their lifestyle. Such conflicts have become more common as India's economy expands.
Courtesy of Diana Derby

As India's economy rapidly expands, there is a recurring theme that plays out across the country: Plans for major development projects come into conflict with traditional ways of life centered around farming.

One of those showdowns has been dragging on for years in the eastern Indian state of Orissa. A proposed $12 billion steel plant has been facing resistance from local farmers and fishermen, but an endgame may be at hand.

The project is being promoted by the South Korea-based firm POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steel producer.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

In Post-Gadhafi Libya, Islamists Start To Rise

One year ago, protesters across the Arab World began to rise up against autocratic rulers, forcing several from power. These revolutions have led to the region's biggest upheaval in decades. It's still not clear how these seismic changes will play out, and so far, the results have been mixed. In a six-part series, NPR is taking a look at where the region stands today. In the second installment, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports on how Islamists in Libya, long suppressed during Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year rule, are now able to operate freely.

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Election 2012
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Modern Campaigning At Odds With Iowa Tradition

Former Massachusetts Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Weber Paper Company Monday in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is a fierce advocate for the Iowa caucuses. At times over the past four months, he has seemed frustrated that candidates have not been in the state as much as in past years.

Branstad's message over and over to the candidates was not to ignore the voters of Iowa, because they take it personally.

"They want to see the candidates, and they take their responsibility very seriously," Branstad says.

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Iraq
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Marine Sergeant On Trial For 2005 Deaths In Iraq

Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich talks to the media with his attorney Neal Puckett (left) watching on after a 2010 pretrial hearing at Camp Pendleton in California. Wuterich is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.
Chris Carlson AP

One of the more controversial episodes of the Iraq war will be revisited in a military courtroom in California this week.

In November of 2005, a Marine squad killed 24 Iraqis, some of them women and children in the village of Haditha. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich led the squad of Marines, and on Wednesday he'll face voluntary manslaughter charges at Camp Pendleton.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Raising The Minimum Wage: Whom Does It Help?

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:33 pm

For some of America's lowest-paid workers, the new year means a pay raise. Some states set their own minimum wages, above the federal rate of $7.25 an hour, and that rekindles an old debate over whether minimum wages make sense — especially at a time of high unemployment.

Like several other states, Washington state's minimum wage is indexed to the cost of living. This year, the formula has raised the statewide minimum from $8.67 to $9.04 an hour, making it the nation's highest statewide rate.

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Middle East
3:42 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Saudi Arabia Enforces Gender Law In Lingerie Shops

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 7:17 pm

Saudi Arabia said Monday that it will enforce a law that allows only females to work in women's lingerie and apparel stores, despite disapproval from the country's top cleric.

The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly because of the views of hard-liners in the religious establishment, who oppose the whole idea of women working in places where men and women congregate, such as malls.

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Health Care
3:16 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Physicians Group: Weigh Costs In Treating Patients

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There's a lot of debate these days about the cost of medical care and the risks. Is a drug for breast cancer patients worth the $100,000 price tag if it only adds a few months to a woman's life? Or should men routinely get blood tests for prostate cancer when the exam could cause more suffering than it prevents?

Well, today, a major medical group issued new ethical guidelines on whether doctors should consider cost when deciding how to treat patients. As NPR's Rob Stein reports, the group takes a provocative position.

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It's All Politics
3:15 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Iowa's Cold Doesn't Stop Campaigns From Heating Up Ahead Of Caucuses

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses supporters during a campaign rally at the Weber Paper Company Monday in Dubuque, Iowa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Blustery winds and freezing cold temperatures today didn't slow down the Republican presidential candidates' campaigning on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

Six GOP candidates — most with family members in tow — shook voters' hands and made their final arguments.

Here's a look at what our reporters are finding on the campaign trail:

-- Mitt Romney, who has edged into the lead in recent polls, is looking to deepen — not broaden — his statewide map in the final stretch, campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom tells NPR's Ari Shapiro.

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Technology
1:59 pm
Mon January 2, 2012

Driving And Phoning: What's New In 2012

Even though more than 30 states have banned or restricted cellphone use, it hasn't been easy to convince drivers to stop.
iStockphoto.com

States have long sought to restrict cellphone use by drivers because of safety concerns, and as the new year begins, several states are toughening their laws.

It turns out it's a hard habit to break; and for government officials, it's not easy to stay ahead of tech advances.

'Cognitive Distraction'

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