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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Report: Mine Safety Agency 'Could Have Prevented' Deadly Disaster

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 4:40 pm

An independent review of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) enforcement at the Upper Big Branch (UBB) coal mine in West Virginia says the agency failed to spot "a number of enforcement deficiencies" at the mine which were major factors in the April 2010 explosion that took 29 lives.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:53 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Why Getting Grimy As A Child Can Make For A Healthier Life

Maybe the kids would be healthier if Mom skipped this sometimes.
iStockphoto.com

We've known for a while that people who grow up on farms are less likely to have ailments related to the immune system than people who grow up in cities. Those include asthma, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Europe's Mixed Record On Animal Antibiotics

Pigs take a mud bath at the De Jofrahoeve pig farm in Esch, Netherlands. Dutch farmers treat their animals with almost three times the antibiotics that their Danish neighbors use.
Robin Utrecht AFP/Getty Images

If Danish pigs can live with fewer antibiotics, why can't their American cousins?

It's a hot topic, especially today. Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a 1977 plan to outlaw the use of certain antibiotics as growth promotion drugs.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

U.S. Census Show Asians Are Fastest Growing Racial Group

Growth of Asian Population
NPR Using Census Data

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:37 am

Asians are the fastest growing racial group according to a recent report released by the U.S. Census Bureau analyzing 2000 and 2010 census figures.

For those following the nation's changing demographics that may sound surprising because we've also been hearing that Hispanics are the "fastest growing minority group."

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Asia
2:34 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Along Korea's DMZ, No Sign That Tensions Are Easing

With a new leader in North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea are watching for clues of his policies. But so far tensions have not eased along the demilitarized zone. Here, two North Korean soldiers look across at a South Korean soldier on Dec. 2.
Lee Jae-Won Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 3:35 pm

Cold winds blow through pine trees and across nearby mountains. On the horizon are guard posts and cameras. There's little movement, except for wildlife.

U.S. Lt. Col. Ed Taylor, lives and works on the Korean armistice line that has divided North and South for almost six decades. He even sleeps in a bed right next to North Korea.

"I cannot compare it to anything I've ever done. And I say that with 23 years in the Army and two deployments to Iraq," Taylor says.

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Planet Money
2:08 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Trying To Save A Broke City

David Unkovic makes his case.
Christine Baker The Patriot-News

This is the second of two stories we're doing today about Harrisburg. Read the first story here.

Harrisburg is broke.

The Pennsylvania city is deep in debt. It's still spending more than it takes in. And, as David Unkovic described it to me last week, there's a cash-flow problem.

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It's All Politics
2:08 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Trayvon Martin Tragedy Edges Onto Presidential Campaign Trail

President Obama heading to the White House Rose Garden, on Friday, March 23, 2012, where he made his first public comments about the Trayvon Martin.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 3:44 pm

Pressure had been building on President Obama for days to say something about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, and on Friday the president finally did.

And almost as soon as he did, some people suspected him of a cynical election-year attempt to appeal to black voters, judging by the reaction by some on social media and conservative sites. Martin was African American, his killer of mixed white and Hispanic parentage.

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Judging The Health Care Law
2:06 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

The Legal Wunderkind Challenging The Health Law

Former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement speaks during a forum at the Georgetown University Law Center on March 9. Clement will be arguing against President Obama's health care act in the Supreme Court next week.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Paul Clement is, quite simply, a walking superlative. A wunderkind who at age 34 became deputy solicitor general and then was promoted to the top spot, solicitor general of the United States, becoming the youngest person to hold that post in more than a century. Now 45, he has argued an astonishing 57 cases before the Supreme Court, more than any other lawyer since 2000. And next week, he will lead the challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, in the Supreme Court.

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Asia
1:43 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

For Hong Kong And Mainland, Distrust Only Grows

Joyce Wong, a pregnant 30-year-old, takes part in a January 15 protest against immigration laws that allow babies born in Hong Kong to mainland Chinese mothers to be eligible for residency, education and medical care in the territory. Hong Kong residents fear the influx of mainlanders will further burden overtaxed resources.
Joyce Woo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 12:32 am

A committee of Hong Kong's handpicked elite will select the territory's new leader this weekend after a hotly contested fight, which has left both the main front-runners tainted by scandal.

It's been 15 years since Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese sovereignty, yet tensions between local people and those from the mainland run deeper than ever.

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U.S.
1:07 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Suspect Silent As Slain Teen's Family Cries For Justice

Homes sit along Retreat View Circle in Sanford, Fla., near where Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 6:12 pm

People across the country have had something to say about the death of Trayvon Martin, but the man at the center of the case — George Zimmerman — remains silent.

The neighborhood watch volunteer told police he was acting in self-defense when he shot Trayvon last month. Zimmerman has yet to be charged with a crime — or to speak publicly about what happened, leaving others to speak for him.

There's been a lot of scrutiny of the call Zimmerman made to 911 moments before his collision with Trayvon. But that was hardly Zimmerman's first call to the police in Sanford, Fla.

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Sports
1:01 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

At 100, Cuban All-Star To Get A Pension At Last

Connie Marrero, age 100, was a major league all-star who struck out the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He returned to his native Cuba after his career ended. He's now the oldest living ex-major leaguer and is finally getting a pension payment. He's shown here at his apartment in Havana.
Nick Miroff NPR

The oldest living former major league baseball player doesn't live in the United States, but in Cuba.

His name is Conrado Marrero, but he was Connie Marrero when he pitched for the Washington Senators in the early 1950s. Today Marrero is blind and unable to walk, and next month he'll be 101 years old.

The man who once struck out Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle lives in a small, modest apartment in Havana with the family of his grandson, who is also his caretaker.

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Monkey See
1:00 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Niecy Nash Puts Her Blended Family In The Reality Spotlight

Leave It To Niecy, on TLC." href="/post/niecy-nash-puts-her-blended-family-reality-spotlight" class="noexit lightbox">
Niecy Nash is the star of the new family "docu-sitcom," Leave It To Niecy, on TLC.
Robert Ector TLC

If you know the actress and comedian Niecy Nash, you're probably either excited about her new reality show, Leave It To Niecy, or you're cringing just thinking about it. Nash does not do things halfway. Her new show starts Sunday, and it's intended to be something like a real-life Modern Family.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Sgt. Bales Charged With 17 Counts Of Murder; Could Get Death Penalty

This August 23, 2011 photograph obtained courtesy of the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) shows Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (right) at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. (Note at 10:50 p.m. ET: Earlier, we mistakenly said he was on the left.)
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 8:48 pm

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been officially been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the March 11 killings of unarmed men, women and children in Southern Afghanistan, The Associated Press just reported from Kabul.

It adds that "premeditated murder is a capital offense and if convicted, Bales could be sentenced to death."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Whooping Cough Bacteria May Be Changing Their Ways In Australia

The red dots are Bordatella pertussis bacteria, the cause of whooping cough.
CDC

Whooping cough has made a comeback lately, with big outbreaks in California and elsewhere.

One factor is spotty vaccination.

Now researchers in Australia think they've filled in another piece of the puzzle there.

They say the vaccine is better at targeting some strains of the bacterium responsible for whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, and that's allowing other strains to flourish.

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The Salt
12:05 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

How Homegrown Charcoal May Get Your Garden Through A Drought

Scientists say biochar can help dry, sandy soils, like the one pictured here, retain water and nutrients.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 2:07 pm

You've probably heard of compost – that thick chocolate-colored stuff that's an organic gardener's best friend and supplies plants with all kinds of succulent nutrients.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

While Santorum Shoots Gun, Woman Shouts, 'Pretend It's Obama'

Republican presidential candidate, former Sen. Rick Santorum, speaks at a campaign rally in West Monroe, La. on Friday.
Ben Corda AP

During a campaign stop at a Louisiana firing range, Rick Santorum took the opportunity to shoot some rounds at a target.

But as he took one shot, a supporter yelled, "Pretend it's Obama."

The GOP presidential candidate said he did not hear the remarks, but media travelling with the former Pennsylvania senator caught it on tape.

Here's ABC News video of it:

Santorum very quickly disavowed the remarks.

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All Tech Considered
11:54 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Wanted: Digital Bloodhounds For The Hotel Industry

Kelsey Blodget of Oyster.com photographs the lobby of New York's Trump SoHo hotel. The website relies on tech-savvy workers to create online reviews and track hotel bookings.
Oyster.com

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:35 pm

These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.

One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Fri March 23, 2012

VIDEO: World Bank Nominee Channels Will-I-Am

Jim Yong Kim having fun.
YouTube

Earlier, today, President Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank.

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Africa
11:09 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Mali's Coup A Setback For A Young African Democracy

The leader of the junta that seized power in Mali, Army Capt. Amadou Sanogo, announces a curfew in the capital, Bamako, on Thursday, in this photo taken from television.The coup ousted an elected president who was due to step down after a new election next month in the West African nation.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:50 pm

The scene in Mali's capital, Bamako, shows what used to be a familiar sight: an African capital in chaos, with drunken soldiers firing into the air and looting government buildings in the wake of a coup.

Military coups were dishearteningly common for people in Africa and Latin America during the 1960s and '70s, as governments fell to opportunistic military men.

But that trend had been slowing in the past two decades, as more and more governments began to hold regular elections.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:56 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Where Implementation Of Health Overhaul Stands

iStockphoto.com

The complexity, scale and sliding timetable for implementation of the federal health overhaul make it tough to figure out exactly what's happened so far. To help you sort through some key provisions, here's a scorecard.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Fri March 23, 2012

European Union Slaps More Sanctions On Assad Family

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma.
AFP/Getty Images

In effort to add pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad, the European Union has announced new sanctions on a dozen Syrians, including Assad's wife, his mother, sister and sister-in-law.

"I cannot say to you in strong enough terms how much we are concerned about what's going on in Syria," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, according to CNN. "I'm really worried about the escalating spiral of violence there.

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U.S.
10:19 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Obama Announces Pick For World Bank Post

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The White House has made its choice for who should lead the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth University. He's a physician and a global health expert and something of a surprise to people who've been watching this process.

Here is President Obama at the White House this morning.

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Health Care
10:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Defending The Affordable Care Act

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the health care law. Continuing Tell Me More's preview of the case, host Michel Martin sits down with Neal Katyal. He is former Acting Solicitor General and defended the Affordable Care Act in lower courts.

The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Why Gas Prices Are Rising Even As Demand Is Down

The prices at a gas station in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

On Morning Edition this week we looked at "What's Making Americans Less Thirsty for Gasoline?"

Now let's examine another important question: "If our demand for gasoline is falling, why are prices in the U.S. rising?"

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
9:06 am
Fri March 23, 2012

It's All Politics, March 22, 2012

Bill Haber AP
  • Listen to the Roundup

Mitt Romney has an impressive victory in Illinois, gets Jeb Bush's backing, revives the inevitability argument and then gets bogged down in an Etch A Sketch distraction. Plus: Illinois primary results, and Barbara Mikulski breaks a record. NPR's Ken Rudin and Ron Elving have this week's political roundup.

The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Why We Love The P.R. Guy For Etch A Sketch

Etch A Sketch: The two with knobs on both sides.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Martin Killgallon, marketing director for Ohio Arts, we salute you:

"We have a left knob and a right knob," he said of his company's Etch A Sketch, The Associated Press reports, "so we neutrally speak to both parties."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Mystery Solved? 'Microquakes' Blamed For Wisconsin Booms

There's a new explanation for why the citizens of Clintonville, Wis., have been hearing booms this week:

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Existing Home Sales Dipped In February, But Ran Well Above Pace Of Year Ago

There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of existing homes in February from January, the National Association of Realtors reports. But, at an annualized rate of 4.59 million they were still up 8.8 percent from February 2011.

"The market is trending up unevenly," NAR chief economist Lawarence Yun concludes in a statement from the association.

It's All Politics
7:46 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Friday Political Grab Bag: Obama Picks Dartmouth President For World Bank...

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 8:28 am

President Obama will nominate Dartmouth College president, Jim Yong Kim, to head the World Bank. A physician and anthropologist by training and global-health expert, Kim's background makes him an out-of-the-box choice. He would become the first Asian American to head the important international funding organization.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Chaos Feared When New Zealand Changes Road Rules Sunday

Starting on Sunday, it's the red car that has to yield on New Zealand's roads.
New Zealand Transport Agency

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:42 am

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