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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Report: Two U.S. Troops Killed In Afghanistan; Quran Burnings Backlash?

Demonstrators shouted anti-American slogans during a protest in Kabul today (Feb. 23, 2012).
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

"Two U.S. troops have been shot to death and four more wounded by an Afghan solider who turned his gun on his allies in apparent anger over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, an Afghan official tells CBS News."

Officially, the International Security Assistance Force says that:

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Ohio Church Makes Lenten Ashes Easy To Receive

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 6:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Europe
6:11 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Italian Cabinet Posts Finances, Website Crashes

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti wants more transparency so he made his cabinet disclose their finances. That sparked so much interest, the government website crashed. Ministers own real estate in New York, Brussels and Paris. One made $9 million last year.

The Two-Way
6:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Dozens Killed, Hundreds Wounded In Iraq; Attacks Blamed On Al-Qaida

An Iraqi policeman inspects a destroyed vehicle at the site of a blast in the northern city of Kirkuk earlier today (Feb. 23, 2012).
Marwan Ibrahim AFP/Getty Images

"A rapid series of attacks spread over a wide swath of Iraqi territory killed at least 50 people on Thursday, targeting mostly security forces in what appeared to be another strike by al-Qaida militants bent on destabilizing the country," The Associated Press reports.

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It's All Politics
5:53 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Desert Face-Off May Have Closed Out Debate Season. So What Did We Learn?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to the crowd as he is introduced at the start of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Ariz.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Ten months and a score of debates ago, the Republican Party and a slew of news organizations brought forth on our TV screens a new definition of a presidential nominating process — conceived in targeted marketing and dedicated to the proposition that no number of debates was too many for hardcore conservatives.

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Politics
5:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Budget Watchdog To Candidates: Back Up Tough Talk

Republican presidential hopefuls have had a field day attacking President Obama for the federal government's trillion-dollar deficits and promising things will be different when the GOP is in charge.

But while the candidates talk a good game about stemming the tide of red ink, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says their proposals don't necessarily add up.

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Middle East
3:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Syrian City Homs Besieged By Government Troops

Syrian government troops are continuing to bombard the central city of Homs. The United Nations says more than five thousand people have been killed during the 11-month uprising. Syrian activists say the number is much higher. Yesterday, two foreign journalists were among those killed.

Business
3:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Renee Montagne has the Last Word in business.

Africa
3:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

London Meeting To Focus On Somalia's Needs

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:31 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
2:52 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Egypt's Press Still Feels The Power Of The Military

An Egyptian stock trader reads a copy of the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper last November. Critics say the newspaper is reluctant to criticize the ruling military council and has engaged in self-censorship.
Amr Nabil AP

When Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power last February, many Egyptian journalists hoped for a new era of freedom of expression.

But many now say they've been disappointed. A year after the revolution, Egypt's independent media still face many challenges, mostly, but not exclusively, from the country's ruling military council.

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Election 2012
1:29 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Retired GOP Voters In Ariz. Unmoved By Mesa Debate

Back in October, a group of Republican voters in Arizona gathered at NPR's request to watch one of the early GOP presidential debates on TV. Wednesday night, they got together again. NPR's Ted Robbins watched with them in Saddlebrooke, a retirement community northwest of Tucson, and asked them to share their thoughts.

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Movie Interviews
11:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Private Screening: How Hollywood Watches Its Work

At the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room on Rodeo Drive, filmmakers can screen their works in progress for an invite-only audience in the small, 57-seat theater. The screening room is also rented to show films to members of the Academy and the press.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.

The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
11:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

With Banks As Landlords, Some Tenants Neglected

Luz Escamilla's bedroom walls are stained with the blood of bedbugs. She says she doesn't want to bleach them until reps from CW Capital, her landlord, pay an in-person visit to her Maryland home.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Across the country, big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties. They're not always model landlords, according to tenants and regulators. Some banks are failing to follow local and state housing codes, leaving tenants to live in squalor — without even a number to call in the most dire situations.

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Planet Money
11:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

How Mitt Romney's Firm Tried — And Failed — To Build A Paper Empire

Mitt Romney, shown here when he was president of Bain Capital.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:20 am

Mitt Romney is campaigning as a businessman who knows how to turn the economy around — a skill he says he learned during his time turning companies around, as president of the private equity firm Bain Capital.

So today, we're going to take a look at two deals that Bain did while Mitt Romney was heading the firm. This afternoon, we'll tell the story of one of Bain's successes.

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Law
5:56 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Is A Lie Just Free Speech, Or Is It A Crime?

The Supreme Court heard arguments over whether it should be a crime to lie about receiving military medals. Here large replicas of the Medals of Honor hang at the Medal of Honor Museum.
Bruce Smith ASSOCIATED PRESS

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the subject of lying on Wednesday.

Specifically at issue was the constitutionality of a 2006 law that makes it a crime to lie about having received a military medal. But the questions posed by the justices ranged far beyond that — from advertising puffery to dating lies.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

12.76-Carat Pink Diamond Unearthed In Australia Could Be Worth Millions

An undated handout photo released by mining giant Rio Tinto on Feb. 22 shows a 12.76 carat pink diamond — the largest of the rare and precious stones ever found in Australia.
Rio Tinto AFP/Getty Images

Take a look at this rock:

That's a 12.76-carat pink diamond that was found at Rio Tinto's Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia. The mine said it is the biggest of its kind found in the country, which is a big deal because that mine produces 90 percent of the global market diamond supply.

The Telegraph reports:

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The Salt
5:38 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

A Puff Of Controversy Over Inhalable Caffeine

A woman holds an AeroShot inhalable caffeine device in Boston.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 11:19 am

Since we introduced you to AeroShot, a product that delivers a blast of caffeine through an inhaler, a few months back, it seems a lot of folks — mostly around college campuses in New York and Boston — have tried the quick pick-me-up.

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All Tech Considered
5:21 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Troubled Sony Pins Hopes On PlayStation Vita

Sony's PlayStation Vita and its predecessor, The PlayStation Portable.
Reed Saxon AP

Sony launched the PlayStation Vita, its first hand-held gaming device in seven years, Wednesday. Vita, of course, is the Latin word for "life." And after suffering a series of tough blows — from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami to a relentlessly strong yen and a significant hacking attack — a bit of new life is just what the struggling company needs.

The Vita went on sale at a Best Buy in Los Angeles Wednesday morning. Despite the company's $50 million marketing campaign, only about a dozen gamers were on hand.

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Law
5:19 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Supreme Court Considers Case On Military Honors

The Supreme Court engaged in a lively debate Wednesday when it heard oral arguments in a case testing whether the 2006 Stolen Valor Act is constitutional. The law makes it a crime to lie about military honors.

Shots - Health Blog
4:59 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

High Court Punts On California Medicaid Ruling

A key legal case challenging cuts in Medicaid pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmacists is heading back to California.
Keith J. R. Binns iStockphoto.com

The Supreme Court has officially declined to decide one of its bigger cases of the term: whether or not doctors, hospitals and other health care providers can sue a state to challenge cuts in the Medicaid health program for the poor.

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News
4:53 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

A Long Time Coming: Glimpse Inside The Upcoming African American Museum

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:00 am

At the groundbreaking on the National Mall on Wednesday, President Obama said the newest Smithsonian museum has been has "a long time coming" and will serve "not just as a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life." The National Museum of African American History and Culture is expected to open in 2015.

Book Reviews
4:52 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

What Happened In 'Watergate': An Alternate Take

Getty Images

Nearly 40 years after the Watergate scandal, Watergate, Thomas Mallon's latest historical novel, captures both the metastasizing dishonesty and the ludicrousness of this great American tragedy of political ambition run amok.

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The Two-Way
4:42 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Mail Containing Harmless Powdery Substance Sent To Congressional Offices

Three different congressional offices have received mailings that contained a suspicious powdery substance.

Terrance W. Gainer, the Senate Sergeant at Arms, sent an email to congressional staff saying that a Senate State office and House District office received a mailing yesterday and a Senate State office received a letter today. Gainer said the letters were postmarked in Portland and the substance was found to be harmless.

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The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Is Einstein Right? Error Could Account For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

A 2010 light installation entitled 'Speed of Light' in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 4:25 pm

Remember last year, when we reported that Italian scientists claimed to have broken the speed of light? Remember the mystical implications of that? The possibility that Einstein was wrong? That our very basic idea of physics was challenged? The idea that you could be shot before a bullet left a gun?

Then you also remember that our friend and astrophysicist Adam Frank warned that these results should be looked at with great suspicion.

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Science
4:01 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Climate Scientist Admits To Lying, Leaking Documents

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:30 pm

Peter Gleick is not just any scientist. He got his doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley and won a MacArthur "genius" award. He is also an outspoken proponent of scientific evidence that humans are responsible for climate change.

And earlier this week, he confessed that he had lied to obtain internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a group that questions to what extent climate change is caused by humans.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:53 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Diet Drug Qnexa Gets Thumbs-Up From FDA Panel

A new weight-loss pill could be coming to the menu.
Luis Pedrosa iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 6:29 pm

A key federal panel Wednesday recommended the Food and Drug Administration approve the first new weight-loss drug in more than a decade.

At the conclusion of a day-long hearing, the FDA's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 20-2 to endorse a request from Vivus to approve the drug Qnexa. The same panel gave a thumbs-down to Qnexa in 2010.

Qnexa is a combination of two generic drugs that are already on the market:

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

In Speech, Top Pentagon Lawyer Defends Targeted Killing Program

The top lawyer at the Pentagon offered a strong defense of the Obama administration's targeted killing program Wednesday, arguing the use of lethal force against the enemy is a "long-standing and long-legal practice."

In a speech at Yale University's Law School, Jeh Johnson said there's no real difference between high tech strikes against members of al-Qaida today and the U.S. military decision to target an airplane carrying the commander of the Japanese Navy in 1943.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:18 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Whooping Cough Vaccine Recommended For Seniors

Nurse Susan Peel gives a whooping cough vaccination to a student at Inderkum High School in Sacramento, Calif., in 2011. Now it seems likely such shots will become routine for senior citizens, too.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Now just about everybody should be getting vaccinated against whooping cough.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending all adults 65 and older be immunized against whooping cough, or pertussis.

The panel is expanding an earlier recommendation that seniors be vaccinated if they have contact with very young infants. Adults and teens have been on the recommended list for years already.

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Reporter's Notebook
2:59 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

'We Crush The Cars': Inside The Monster Truck Arena

The Grave Digger team of monster trucks, considered to be one of the most influential monster trucks of all time, is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary and racing in the United States Hot Rod Association (USHRA) Monster Jam series.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:01 am

It's that time of year again — the time when the sports world starts to zone in on basketball's March Madness, hockey's playoff push, baseball's spring training ... and monster trucks. That's right, it's prime time for four-wheeled contraptions that specialize in crushing each other.

While it may be hard to get past the deafening radio ads, a funny thing can happen on the way to a Monster Jam show. It turns out that young fans' giddiness over the awesome destruction they're about to witness can be pretty contagious.

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It's All Politics
2:54 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Pro-Obama SuperPAC Hits Romney On Auto Bailout In Michigan Ad

Priorities USA Action, a superPAC backing President Obama, has unveiled a new ad running in Michigan in advance of that state's GOP primary next week. It takes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to task for opposing the auto industry bailout.

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