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Law
4:36 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

A forensic scientist processes DNA samples at the New York State Police lab in Albany.
Mike Groll AP

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:28 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men's Reproductive Health

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would regulated men's use of reproductive health services.
Tony Dejak AP

For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.

In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man's access to reproductive health care. It's their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.

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Animals
4:08 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Just How Big Are The Eyes Of A Giant Squid?

This giant squid was caught about 10 miles off the shores of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1981. The pupil of its eye measured more than 3.5 inches across.
Current Biology

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:32 pm

Giant and colossal squids can be more than 40 feet long, if you measure all the way out to the tip of their two long feeding tentacles. But it's their eyes that are truly huge — the size of basketballs.

Now, scientists say these squids may have the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom because they need to detect a major predator, the sperm whale, as it moves toward them through the underwater darkness.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Arizona Telescope Sets New Standard For Optical Astronomy

Lab testing of the LBT adaptive secondary mirror system.
Large Binocular Telescope

A telescope in Arizona has taken some of the clearest pictures ever of distant celestial objects, including the first images of the innermost planet in a planetary system 127 light years from Earth. They achieved this astronomical tour de force using something called adaptive optics, a technique that eliminates the blurring caused by the Earth's atmosphere.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

For Fleeing Syrians, Jordan Offers Bare-Bones Refuge

A family of Syrian refugees in a camp set up near the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the Syrian border. Jordan has welcomed Syrian refugees, but has limited resources to help them.
Khalil Mazraawi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 9:39 am

If you're trying to escape the turmoil in Syria for the calm in Jordan, you have two choices.

You can go the legal way. Just get in a car and try to drive across the border. But that's not very easy these days. The Syrian government isn't letting many people out.

Or you can try the illegal way. Wait until nightfall, climb through a barbed-wire fence. It sounds dodgy, but if you make it over, you'll actually be welcomed by the Jordanian army. Troops will take your name, give you a drink of water, let you rest.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Sen. Lugar Declared Ineligible To Vote In His Home District

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Voting along party lines, the Marion County Election Board decided that Richard Lugar, the Republican senator from Indiana, was ineligible to vote in his home precinct.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the board agreed with its staff attorney that according to state law Lugar had abandoned his residency when he sold his house and moved to the Washington area.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Review: 15-To-1 Spending Advantage Netted Romney Two Third-Place Showings

Mitt Romney and the superPAC supporting him spent more than 15 times as much as Rick Santorum and the superPAC backing him on television ads in Alabama and Mississippi, according to an NPR analysis of data collected by Kantar Media's CMAG unit and reported by the Washington Post.

Santorum won both primaries on Tuesday; Romney finished third in both states.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

First Neutrino Message Sent Through Rock; Could One Travel Back In Time?

What if we could shoot a message through the center of the planet and back in time?
NASA

"Researchers from the University of Rochester and North Carolina State University have for the first time sent a message using a beam of neutrinos — nearly massless particles that travel at almost the speed of light," U of R reports.

And they pushed the message — which simply spelled out the world "Neutrino" — through "240 meters of stone" (787 feet).

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Asia
2:43 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Provocative Chinese Cartoonists Find An Outlet Online

In this illustration by a Chinese cartoonist who goes by the name Rebel Pepper, an anglerfish, representing the Chinese Communist Party, hypnotizes smaller fish, representing the Chinese people, with the glowing image of a famous, model soldier — with the implied intention of devouring them while they're distracted.
Courtesy Rebel Pepper

Originally published on Sat March 17, 2012 5:40 am

Chinese cartoonists have used the Internet in recent years to take aim at the Communist Party. Using Twitter-like microblogs, they try to slip past censors and skewer their government in ways that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.

One of their targets this month is an old-fashioned Communist propaganda campaign extolling the virtues of Lei Feng, a model People's Liberation Army soldier who was devoted to his fellow workers and China's leaders — and who has been dead for half a century.

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The Salt
2:37 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

USDA To Give Schools More Ground Beef Choices After Outcry Over 'Pink Slime'

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will give schools alternatives to ground beef made with what critics have called "pink slime."
mcnsonbrg@yahoo.com iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 2:16 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in on the use of so-called pink slime in beef served in the government's free and reduced-price school lunch program.

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Middle East
2:32 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Along Syrian Border, Turks Torn By Divided Loyalties

Syrians and Turks show their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in Turkey's southern city of Antakya on Feb. 19. Assad is a member of the minority Alawite religious sect, and many Alawites on both sides of the border support him.
Zohra Bensemra Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:59 pm

The Syrian regime's heavy crackdown on dissent has led to a sharp plunge in relations with neighboring Turkey. But the regime does have its Turkish supporters — mainly members of the Alawite minority, the same Islamic sect Syria's ruling Assad family comes from. And that has resulted in complicated loyalties among some Turks, especially those along the border in southeastern Turkey's Hatay province.

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Mitt Romney
2:07 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

For Appeal To Future, Romney's Rhetoric Looks Back

A homemade bumper sticker on the back of a car during a Tea Party rally in Concord, N.H., Romney appeared on Sept. 4.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Every good political campaign has a motif, from President Obama's "hope" to John McCain's "maverick."

Mitt Romney's brand is still taking shape, yet one word finds its way into nearly every speech he gives.

"I want to restore America to our founding principles," the former Massachusetts governor said in Iowa.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Blagojevich Arrives In Colorado, Reports To Prison

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, center, walks with attorneys as he arrives at the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., on Thursday.
Ed Andrieski AP

A day after delivering a defiant speech in which he proclaimed his innocence, disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich flew to Colorado and reported to prison to begin serving his 14-year sentence.

The AP reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:59 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Blackouts Predict Which Binge-Drinking Students Will End Up In ERs

Half of college students who drink say they have blackouts.
iStockphoto.com

Eighty percent of college students drink, and schools have had little success reducing those numbers, or the problems caused by excessive alcohol.

Targeting students who suffer blackouts from drinking may help, a new study says, because they are more likely to end up in the emergency room.

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It's All Politics
1:50 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Romney's Wins In Obama's 2008 Counties Doesn't Necessarily Mean Much

Mitt Romney shakes hands with hotel staffers in the Cleveland suburbs in February.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:20 pm

What does it mean that in 2012 Mitt Romney has, during the Republican presidential primaries, done well in some of the same Ohio and Michigan urban-suburban counties that President Obama won in 2008 — a pattern likely to be repeated in some upcoming primaries?

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

NAACP Takes Voter I.D. Laws To U.N. Rights Council

Like they've done in the past, the NAACP has argued before a United Nations panel that laws passed in some states that require voters to show identification suppress the votes of minorities.

Fox News reports the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made its case in Geneva yesterday:

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Afghanistan
12:55 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

U.S., Pakistan At Impasse Over Afghan Supply Routes

Oil tankers sit at a NATO supply terminal in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Feb. 9. In November, Pakistan's government shut down the main routes for bringing supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Masroor Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Nearly four months after Pakistan closed the main supply lines for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the shutdown is creating hardship for Pakistani truckers and is forcing the U.S. to turn to costly and less-efficient alternatives.

The Pakistani move came after an errant U.S. airstrike left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead along the Afghan frontier back in November.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Emails Reveal Syria's Assad Was Shopping, While Directing Bloody Crackdown

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

In someways regular life has gone on for Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family.

Despite the fact that over the past year, his government has led a bloody offensive that's killed more than 7,500 of his own people, the Syrian dictator still shopped for music and clothes as well as shared jokes and videos with friends.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Former Inmate Offers Advice For Blagojevich

Gov. Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence in a Colorado prison. Former Missouri state senator Jeff Smith served a year in federal prison on obstruction of justice charges. He offers sober advice to Blagojevich on what to expect, and what and what not to do behind bars.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Peace, Without Talks, For Israel and Palestine

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Israelis see Syria convulsed in violence to their north; uncertain relations with a much-changed Egypt to the south; and many fear a conflict with Iran could be just a matter of time. But as if to remind us of the central dispute in the region, Palestinians launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza last week. Israel responded with airstrikes. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The violence began when Israel assassinated a leader of a militant Palestinian faction in Gaza.]

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Parsing The Potential For Diplomacy In Iran

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

The Iranian government continues to deny U.N. nuclear inspectors access to a military base where some believe they tested atom bomb parts. But Iran also says it's willing to resume talks with the United States and five other big powers, though skeptics argue Tehran is just playing for time. At a news conference yesterday, President Obama stressed diplomacy but added time for talks is running out.

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Economy
12:00 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Optimism Driving The Economy, But Can It Last?

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 2:16 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. More good unemployment numbers today, oil prices tick down, positive news even about the housing market. Yes, many millions are still out of work, banks continue to process foreclosures, overall economic growth remains sluggish. But right now anyway, some sectors are doing better, a few are actually booming.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Thu March 15, 2012

U.S. Downplays Karzai's Call To Pull Back Troops By Next Year

A Pentagon official is downplaying the Afghan president's call for the United States to confine its troops to military bases by next year.

The AP says an unnamed "defense offical" told reporters the United States does not believe that's what President Hamid Karzai is seeking.

"We believe that this statement reflects President Karzai's strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman George Little said, according the AP.

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World
11:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

ICC Convicts Rebel For Recruiting Child Soldiers

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, she's been called China's Elizabeth Taylor and the honors keep on coming. Joan Chen is being recognized at the International Asian-American Film Festival, which wraps up this weekend in San Francisco. We'll speak with her in just a few minutes.

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Election 2012
11:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

NAACP Takes Case Against Voter ID Laws To UN

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, we want to turn to an important issue from this country that found the international spotlight this week. Yesterday, members of the NAACP, one of this country's oldest and most prominent civil rights organizations, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council about new voter ID laws. More than 30 states now have laws requiring people to show a government-issued ID in order to vote, that according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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World
11:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Is There A Moral Duty To Intervene In Syria?

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to check in on a number of important international stories today. In a few minutes, we will tell you about what could be a significant ruling by the International Criminal Court. The court issued the first conviction in its history. It was against a former Congolese rebel fighter who was found guilty yesterday, of forcing children to serve as soldiers. We'll take a closer look at the verdict and what it could mean in a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

On 'Decorah Eagle Cam:' This Year's Hatchings Likely Next Week

A close up view of mom, on the nest in Decorah, Iowa.
Raptor Resource Project

An alert for all those who were caught up in the excitement last year when the Decorah Eagle Cam was streaming as a pair of bald eagles in Iowa watched over their three eggs and as the eaglets hatched:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:54 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Feds To Pay For Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads

One of the graphic anti-smoking ads that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will run soon.
CDC

Federal health officials unveiled a graphic new anti-smoking campaign featuring testimonials from ex-smokers about the toll of tobacco on their health.

These aren't the usual public service announcements. The $54 million "Tips from Smokers" campaign marks the first time the federal government plans to pay to run anti-smoking ads nationwide, officials said.

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The Picture Show
10:33 am
Thu March 15, 2012

1940s Celebrities In Full Color

Louis Armstrong, 1947
Harry Warneckeby, Gus Schoenbaechler National Portrait Gallery

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:57 am

These are the kinds of black-and-white images we usually associate with past celebrities like Louis Armstrong, Orson Welles and Lucille Ball.

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Around the Nation
9:59 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Sonja Sohn: Changing Baltimore Long After 'The Wire'

Sonja Sohn is currently starring in the ABC drama Body of Proof. She is the founder of the Baltimore nonprofit ReWired for Change.
Peter Konerko Courtesy Sonja Sohn

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 10:40 am

For five seasons, actress Sonja Sohn played Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs on the critically acclaimed HBO series The Wire, which chronicled life — and death — on Baltimore's toughest streets.

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