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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Tue March 27, 2012

At Supreme Court: Health Care Ruling Still Too Close To Call?

Here's some of the early word about today's Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of the nation's new health care overhaul law:

-- Five Justices Were Tough: Five members of the court "beat him up pretty hard," NPR's Nina Totenberg says of how the justices treated the counsel representing the government. But she also says, "I don't think you can call this," when asked about whether the court will or won't strike down the so-called individual mandate in the law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy "seem to be in play," Nina reports.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

High Court Justices Appear Split On Insurance Mandate

Supporters and opponents of the health care law rallied in front of the Supreme Court Tuesday, as the court considered the constitutionality of the insurance mandate.
John Rose NPR

Today's arguments hit the core of the Affordable Care Act: the mandate that requires just about everyone to have health insurance starting in 2014.

And the U.S. Supreme Court's justices appeared split on whether the federal government can force people to buy health insurance. The court's conservatives appeared skeptical and unmoved by the government's arguments in favor of the mandate.

"The government had a hard time, and if they win, they win narrowly," NPR's Nina Totenberg reported from outside the court. "I don't think you can call this."

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News
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

New Reports Emerge In Trayvon Martin Case

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, some people say that having an African-American president has changed the way the country talks about race, but has that change been for the better? One columnist doesn't think so. That's in a moment. First we want to get an update on a case that has sparked a passionate debate about race and ethnicity.

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Race
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

With A Black President, Harder To Discuss Race?

The Trayvon Martin case is bringing conversations about race to the front pages, the airwaves, and dinner tables. Even the president weighed in on the shooting last week. But freelance journalist Reniqua Allen writes in The Washington Post that having a black president is making those conversations harder to have, not easier.

World
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Visiting Cuba, Pope Hopes To Renew Vatican Ties

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 10:04 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away this week. Coming up, after a successful presidential runoff in Senegal and a military overthrow in Mali, we'll talk about questions of leadership in West Africa. That's coming up.

But, first, we turn our attention to Cuba, where Pope Benedict is continuing his tour of Latin America. He's in the midst of a three day visit to the island. Tens of thousands of people greeted him in Santiago last night.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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World
10:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Unrest Seen In Once-Stable West African Countries

Senegal and Mali have experienced recent upheaval. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's West Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the rebellion and coup d'etat in Mali, as well as the recent news that the Senegalese president conceded a very controversial election.

All Tech Considered
9:31 am
Tue March 27, 2012

To Keep Customers, Brick-And-Mortar Stores Look To Smartphones

A shopper searches on her BlackBerry for coupons inside a Target store. Consumers with smartphones are changing the way stores set prices and track customer tastes.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:23 pm

Best Buy must live in fear of shoppers like Ave Lising. He and a group of friends walk through the Stanford mall in Palo Alto, Calif., their cellphones clutched in their hands.

Lising visited the electronics retailer recently, shopping for a video game.

"I went to Best Buy [and] looked at the price," Lising says. "I was like, 'Ehh — I'm sure I can find this cheaper online.' "

So he whipped out his smartphone and scanned the barcode, found it cheaper and ... no sale for Best Buy.

There's a word for that kind of in-store comparison shopping: "showrooming."

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Election 2012
9:20 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Just How Independent Are Independent Voters?

Voters cast ballots in Dearborn, Mich. Some political analysts say truly independent voters account for just 10 percent to 15 percent of the electorate.
Paul Sancya AP

Lester Wilson doesn't think of himself as a Republican or a Democrat. He's not a card-carrying Libertarian or Green, either.

The one group he does belong to is the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independents — a group now larger than any single political party, according to a recent Gallup survey.

"I like my independent status. I think voting for just one party is a betrayal of my civic duty," says the 38-year-old maintenance worker from Asheville, N.C.

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Media
9:09 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow hosts the nightly news talk show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Bill Phelps Courtesy of the author

For much of the past decade, journalist Rachel Maddow has hosted her own radio and TV shows. And for much of that time, the popular MSNBC host has been thinking about how the United States uses military force — and how it starts and end wars.

Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power traces how U.S. national intelligence agencies have taken over duties that were once assigned to the military, and how this shift has increased the public disconnect from the consequences of war.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Protest By Fire: Why Some Tibetans Choose Self-Immolation

A Tibetan Buddhist monk holds up a candle with other Tibetan exiles during a candlelight vigil for Tibetan Janphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire earlier in New Delhi.
Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:55 am

The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese rule over Tibet is now estimated to be at 30. Most have died.

And more self-immolations are likely.

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The Salt
8:46 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Shad Are Angling To Once Again Be The Tasty Harbinger of Spring

This hickory shad is fun to catch, but its cousin the American shad is the tastiest.
iStockphoto.com

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:41 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Bypass Surgery Edges Stents For Heart Treatment

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 9:09 am

The debate over coronary bypass surgery versus stenting goes back decades.

Studies have been inconclusive, but doctors and patients have voted with their feet in favor of the less-invasive procedure — clearing clogged arteries and propping them open with tiny scaffolds called stents.

U.S. doctors do at least two stenting procedures these days for every coronary bypass operation.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Justice Department's Handling Of Sen. Stevens Case To Be Aired On Capitol Hill

Former Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 7:54 am

The Justice Department's 'systematic concealment" of evidence that might have helped the late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, defend himself in a corruption case will get a fresh airing Wednesday, when special prosecutor Henry Schuelke offers Senate testimony about his blistering 500-page report.

He's due to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. ET.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Home Prices Dipped Again In Most Cities, Report Shows

Home prices fell in most major metropolitan areas again in January, according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Suicide Vests Found Inside Afghan Defense Ministry, Soldiers Arrested

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:51 am

There are fresh fears about the infiltration of Afghan security forces by anti-government and anti-American insurgents after the discovery of 10 or 11 (depending on the media report) suicide vests inside the headquarters of that country's defense ministry and the arrest of more than a dozen soldiers.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:48 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Insurers Try Rebates To Lead Consumers To Cheaper Care

Would you shop around for a CT scan if you could pocket some of the savings?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 8:16 am

The way Colin Cooper sees it, people are willing to drive miles out of their way to save a few bucks on gas. Why wouldn't they do the same for health care?

So the CEO of Eastford, Conn.-based Whitcraft, an aerospace component manufacturer, figures his 500 employees will probably be willing to go to a hospital, radiology practice or lab recommended by their health plan if they can take home an extra $50 or $100 for doing so.

In the process, he hopes his company will trim its health care costs.

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It's All Politics
6:27 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Tuesday Political Grab Bag: Supreme Court Gets To Nub Of Healthcare Issue

Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act entered their second day Tuesday, with the justices moving from the technicalities of the first day to exploring the legal issues at the heart of whether the law is constitutional or not.

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The Two-Way
6:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin's Life Looking Much Like Many Teens'

This photo of Trayvon Martin was held by a supporter during a recent rally in the Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford, Fla.
Brian Blanco EPA /Landov

While this morning's Miami Herald concludes that emerging details about Trayvon Martin's life paint "a complicated portrait" of a boy with "a spotty school record," anyone who has guided their child through the teenage years may be more likely to see a fairly typical kid who had some brushes with authority and lots of dreams about the future.

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Art & Design
5:36 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Semi-Nude Painting Smuggled Into Canadian Museum

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Today At The Supreme Court: 'The Heart Of Health Care Arguments'

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:49 pm

  • Nina Totenberg on 'Morning Edition'

On Day Two of three days focused on the health care overhaul law, the Supreme Court this morning will get to the heart of the arguments over the legislation's constitutionality, NPR's Nina Totenberg reported on Morning Edition and at the Shots blog.

As she says:

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Around the Nation
5:25 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Misbehaving Parents Ruin Easter Egg Hunt

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Syria Has Accepted Peace Plan, Annan's Spokesman Says

"A spokesman for U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says Syria has accepted his plan to end the bloodshed in the country," The Associated Press reports.

Ahmad Fawzi said the news came in a letter from President Bashar Assad's government to Annan, the former U.N. secretary general who has been trying to broker an end to the Assad regime's crackdown on dissent — which the U.N. estimates has led to the deaths of more than 8,000 people in the past year.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Business News

Apple CEO Tim Cook has flown in to China to meet with government leaders. He's trying to work out issues ranging from trademark concerns to treatment of local factory workers who make Apple products.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

21st Century Vietnam Leaves War In The Past

Hanoi, Hue, Danang and Saigon, were city names that were stamped on the American psyche a half-century ago, when the U.S. waged war in Vietnam. The once war-torn, Southeast Asian nation has made great strides to leave its troubled past behind.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Jobs Act Could Expand Funding For Start-Ups

Lawmakers in the House are expected to vote on a jobs act Tuesday. Part of the legislation would allow the public to make investments in start-up companies and small businesses. These companies could raise money online or through social networks. The bill would lift SEC regulations that restrict soliciting investors.

Business
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Harrisburg Residents May Foot Police Bill

The Pennsylvania capital Harrisburg is more than $300 million in debt. The budget is controlled by a state-appointed custodian. City and law enforcement services are under strain and residents worry violent crime may be growing.

Business
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:20 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: billion euro real estate. That's how much artist Frank Buckley's Dublin apartment cost. In theory, he actually got the materials for free from Ireland's central bank.

The walls, furniture and detailing in his apartment are all made from bricks of shredded euro notes. Buckley estimates each brick contains 40 or 50,000 euro's worth.

FRANK BUCKLEY: I collected two trailer-fulls of shredded notes - 1.4 billion euro.

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Law
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

High Court Delves Into More Health Care Questions

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: The three-day marathon at the U.S. Supreme Court continues today. The court will hold its second day of hearings on President Obama's health care law. Today, the lawyers and justices will spar over whether the individual mandate is constitutional. That's a requirement that everyone carry health insurance, and it's a central tenant of the law.

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Asia
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Obama Praises Global Nuclear Summit

More than 50 international leaders wrapped up talks Tuesday in Seoul, South Korea, on what needs to be done to secure vulnerable stockpiles of plutonium and highly enriched uranium. President Obama hosted the first such summit two years ago. He praised the achievements since then, but said much more needs to be done.

Around the Nation
2:00 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Koch Brothers Move To Control Cato Institute

Libertarians say it's like watching dear friends in an ugly divorce, as the billionaire Koch brothers try to take control of the highly regarded Cato Institute. The head of Cato says the Kochs are out to politicize the think tank.

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