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Opinion
2:03 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

It's At The 20! The 10! Can The Flu Go All The Way?

Yes, H1N1 has been known to cause panic. But commentator Laura Lorson isn't afraid. With this powerful player, her fantasy flu team will be nearly unstoppable.
iStockphoto.com

Laura Lorson is an All Things Considered host for Kansas Public Radio as well as a director, producer and editor.

Another football season is winding down, college basketball is uninteresting until the tournament, pro basketball is rather dull. It will be a while before pitchers and catchers show up for spring training. But fortunately for all of us, we are smack in the middle of cold and flu season.

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All Tech Considered
1:58 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Who Are You? Google+ Really Wants To Know

On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. But your true identity is key to Google+.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Google will begin allowing users to add nicknames on Google+, Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google's social network said Tuesday.

True pseudonyms are still verboten on the network unless you go through an application process. To earn the right not to use your real name on Google+ you will have to prove you already have an online following that knows you that way.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

This January 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:13 pm

You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It's the biggest to hit us since 2005. You've also probably heard a few people say, "I didn't feel anything."

As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today's solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.

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Around the Nation
1:44 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:30 pm

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

After Last Year's Defeat, Kasich Pushes Forward

In just one year in office, Ohio Gov. John Kasich made some big changes in his state, based on his conservative, business-backed ideas. But he also suffered a massive defeat when the collective bargaining reform law he supported was overwhelmingly rejected by voters. But that's not stopping him from pushing forward with new ideas in his second year.

Presidential Race
1:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney Releases His Tax Returns

Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, after earlier suggesting he would wait until after winning the GOP nomination. While Romney's total tax bill was in the millions, his tax rate was actually lower than that of many middle-class Americans.

Asia
12:43 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

For China's 'Left-Behind Kids,' A Free Lunch

Students enjoy free meals on the inaugural day of the Free Lunch for Children program at Hujiaying primary school in Shaanxi province's Nanzheng county.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:06 am

For 10-year-old student Xie Xiaoyuan, just getting to school is an ordeal. On a recent day, her frostbitten ears are testament to just how difficult the trip is.

"I get up at five o'clock," she says, "then I comb my hair and start walking."

Xie navigates a mountain path in China's remote Shaanxi province in the dark, trudging through snowstorms and mudslides. Then she has to get a bus for about 10 miles. She hasn't time to eat breakfast.

"For lunch, I spend 15 cents on two pieces of bread and a drink," she says.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:37 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Your Brain On Psilocybin Might Be Less Depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food

A McDonald's breakfast meal in Villeurbanne, France includes fresh baguettes and jam spreads with coffee for $4.55.
Juste Philippe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:41 pm

Greetings from McDonald's, or "MacDo," as they call it here in Paris, where I am comfortably ensconced in a McCafé enjoying a croissant and a grand crème coffee. I'm surrounded by people of all ages who are talking with friends, reading, or typing away on their laptops like me.

The beauty of McDonald's in France is that it doesn't feel like a fast food joint, where hordes of people shuffle in and out and tables turn at a fast clip.

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The Two-Way
11:38 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Wesley Brown, Nation's Oldest Sitting Federal Judge, Dies At 104

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:50 am

Wesley Brown was appointed to the federal bench by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. When he passed the bar in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was president.

As the Kansas City Star puts it, during his time as federal district judge in Kansas, Brown saw a shift in civil rights, and women's rights. He presided over cases about women in the workplace and tackled privacy issues on the Internet.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue January 24, 2012

State Bill Outlaws Use Of Fetuses In Food Industry

A scientist holds a tray of stem cells in a lab, in this file photo from 2010.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:34 am

A bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature has some folks scratching their heads, as it prohibits "the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses."

Since the bill was introduced late last week by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican from Oklahoma City, corners of the Internet have been buzzing with the news, as people try to figure out two things: 1) is this real; and 2) is there any reason the bill might be needed?

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Business
10:32 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Davos: A Super Bowl For Smart, Rich People

A guard stands next to a logo of the World Economic Forum at the Congress Center in the Swiss resort of Davos.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

When winter reaches its dreariest depths each year, Americans cheer themselves by planning Super Bowl parties. They want to reconnect with friends, eat, drink and share observations about who is likely to win — or lose.

But if you are very smart or very rich or even better, both — then you break up the mid-winter blahs by going to Davos.

That's the Swiss town where the financially, intellectually and politically powerful convene each year to reconnect with friends, eat, drink and share observations about winning and losing.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Julian Assange Announces The Launch Of New TV Show

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is trying to take his web-based provocations to the TV screen. Wikileaks announced Assange will host a television series featuring interviews with "key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world."

Wikileaks, which has published a vast amount of classified data including video and secret government documents, promises to "draw together controversial voices from across the political spectrum."

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It's All Politics
10:09 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney Taxes May Be Legally Sound But They're Politically Dicey

Mitt Romney greets audience members at the National Gypsum Co. in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:30 pm

The income fairness debate has just gotten a lot more interesting. And it's taking place in anything but Mitt Romney's "quiet rooms."

Romney's release of his federal tax details for 2010 and 2011 came the morning that President Obama was preparing to deliver his State of the Union address, a speech in which he was expected to make the increasing gap between the superwealthy and everyone else a major topic of the evening.

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Business
8:57 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Shoe Company Practices Insourcing For The Sole

Keen's Portland, Ore., factory is equipped to build up to 1.5 million pairs of shoes a year.
Courtesy of Keen

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 4:01 pm

The American economy lost more than 5,000 jobs to offshore outsourcing in 2010, and in Tuesday's State of the Union address President Obama made it clear that he wants them back.

"We can't bring every job back that's left our shores," he said. "But right now, it's getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive."

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Author Interviews
8:47 am
Tue January 24, 2012

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 1:09 pm

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:22 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Hospitals Take Page From Frequent Traveler Programs

You might qualify for special benefits at the local hospital.
iStockphoto.com

These days, as hospitals elbow each other to attract your business, they're offering patients — and those who might become patients — a whole range of perks.

These loyalty programs can be as straightforward as free valet parking and discounts at the hospital gift shop. There are also educational sessions showcasing surgeons' prowess, just in case you're ever in the market for a new hip or a knee.

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Monkey See
8:01 am
Tue January 24, 2012

The Oscars: 'Hugo' Leads, But Expect An 'Extremely Loud' Outcry

Thomas Horn stars as a grieving boy in Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close — dismissed by many critics but nominated for Best Picture.
David Lee Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:12 am

In the end, there were nine nominees for Best Picture announced on Tuesday morning, and eight of them were entirely predictable: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, War Horse, The Tree Of Life, and Moneyball.

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Movies
7:59 am
Tue January 24, 2012

'Hugo,' 'The Artist' Lead Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and leading the pack with 11 nominations is the 3D movie "Hugo." It's about a Paris street urchin who befriends one of the inventors of cinema. "Hugo" was nominated for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, among others. NPR's Neda Ulaby joins us to talk about the Oscar nominations, and good morning.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: What else was nominated for best picture?

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Gulf Arab States Pull Monitors From Syria, Will Ask UN For Support

A Syrian boy stands in front of a damaged armored vehicle belonging to the Syrian army in a street in Homs on Monday.
Ahmed Jadallah Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 8:13 am

A day after Syria roundly rejected an Arab League proposal that it hoped would end the violence in the country, the Gulf Cooperation Council said it was ending its monitoring mission in the country.

The Arab League, which has a few monitors of its own in the country, said its monitors would remain, if Syria is OK with it.

The Telegraph reports:

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Scorsese's 'Hugo' Leads The Oscars With 11 Nominations

In the movie "Hugo," abandoned by an alcoholic uncle after the death of his father, Hugo services the train station tower clock by day and sleeps in it by night.
Jaap Buitendijk Paramount Pictures

The Academy Awards announced this morning that Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," a film about the adventure of an orphan in 1930s Paris, was nominated for 11 Oscars, including best picture and best director.

The mostly silent film "The Artist" came in second with 10 nominations.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama Adviser Plouffe: Expect A State Of The Union Heavy On The Economy

White House advisor David Plouffe.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 7:03 am

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

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The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns Show $43 Million Income In Past Two Years

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, seen at a weekend campaign event in Ormond Beach, Fla., released 2010 tax returns showing he is among the top 1 percent of taxpayers.
Charles Dharapak AP

In releasing details of his tax burden for the past two years, Mitt Romney offered a small window into a vast wealth. The tax records show that the former Massachusetts governor made $42.6 million over the past two years and because most of it came from capital gains, he paid $6.2 million in taxes.

That means that in 2010, his tax rate was 13.9 percent, and in 2011, it's expected to be 15.4 percent, lower than many Americans who pay taxes on wages.

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Around the Nation
5:10 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Disney Alters Facial Hair Policy At U.S. Theme Parks

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 8:00 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. At Disneyland and Disney World, everyone working there has a clean-cut image. It goes back to the 1950s, when Disneyland first opened and facial hair was banned. Even though Uncle Walt Disney had one, moustaches weren't even allowed until 2000. But starting next month, employees will finally be allowed to have beards, as long as they're kept short and trim, unless maybe you're one of the seven dwarves. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:01 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Competitive Eater Set Twinkie-Eating Record

Competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi is best known for eating hot dogs. He once ate 69 in 10 minutes. Now he's on to a different food. TV host Wendy Williams invited Kobayashi on her show to set the Guiness record for most Twinkies consumed in a minute. There was no previous record for Twinkie eating.

Politics
5:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:07 pm

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama Campaign To Focus On State Of The Union Address

The hotly-contested Republican primary has gotten a lot of attention lately. Tuesday night, President Obama has a chance to reclaim the spotlight. He's delivering his annual State of the Union address. It's a high-profile platform for the president as he tries to frame the choice facing voters in November.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Looks To Qualify For Olympics

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

You might remember, last summer, the U.S. women's soccer team caught the attention of the nation with its dramatic run to the final of the women's world cup in Germany. Well, this week, the team is playing in an all-important, Olympic-qualifying tournament in Vancouver. And Christine Brennan is there covering the event for USA Today.

Christine, good morning.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Good morning, David.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue January 24, 2012

U.S. Ambassador Accused Of Supporting Anti-Putin Forces

David Greene interviews Michael McFaul, the new U.S. Ambassador to Russia, about the future of U.S. Russia relations and the rocky reception he's been given by the pro-Putin media.

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