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It's All Politics
11:01 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Rivals Attack Romney's Record At Bain Capital

Mitt Romney, when he headed Bain Capital.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 10:49 pm

The central argument of Republican Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is that he understands how the economy works — thanks to his business background — in a way that President Obama does not.

Democrats have been challenging the former Massachusetts governor's claim that the private equity firm he founded helped to create more than 100,000 jobs. Now, some of Romney's Republican rivals are raising questions of their own.

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It's All Politics
11:01 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

$5M Check From Casino Magnate Gives Gingrich Boost

The South Carolina primary is a week from Saturday. Before then, voters there can expect to be inundated with ads attacking Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his role in Bain Capital.

"We made a $3.4 million ad buy in South Carolina, which is fairly significant," says Rick Tyler, senior adviser to the pro-Newt Gingrich SuperPAC Winning Our Future.

"Fairly significant" hardly does justice to the SuperPAC's plan.

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Business
11:01 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Hard Day's Delight: A School Of Rock, At The Office

Music educator Ivan Trevino (right) leads band practice for M5 Networks employees in Rochester, N.Y., who will play against other branches in a battle of the bands. The telecom company says it wants its employees to learn new things (and stay happy).
Zack Seward for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 6:38 am

It's 4 o'clock on a Thursday, and instead of sitting in front of computer screens, a group of software engineers and customer service reps from M5 Networks is in the middle of band practice.

M5 is a telecom company based in New York City that offers Internet phone services. But it offers something else for its employees: At the Rochester, N.Y., office of M5, workers are gearing up for a companywide battle of the bands against other branches.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:01 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Texas Asks Feds To Delay Health Insurance Rebate Plan

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 4:03 pm

Starting in 2012, health insurance plans in Texas — and most of the rest of the country — may have to cough up millions of dollars in rebates to customers.

The rebates will come from health plans that spend too much on administrative costs instead of medical care. The change is part of the national health overhaul law, the Affordable Care Act.

But state officials in Texas and 16 other states have asked to push back the requirement for a few years.

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Music Interviews
7:52 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

What Makes Newton-John Get 'Physical' At The Gym

Olivia Newton-John on the cover of Physical.
Courtesy of the artist

Aside from watching all the new shows on TV, many people in the New Year will hit the gym, and we're doing our part to help. For the next couple weeks, we're asking athletes, actors and others what music gets them moving.

"Physical" has been a gym-goer's favorite for decades, but Olivia Newton-John says it didn't start out that way.

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The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

News From CES: Some Ford Vehicles Will Give Drivers Voice Control Of NPR's App

A Ford dashboard as it would look when connected to the NPR News app.
Ford Motor Company

Amid a flurry of connected-auto news, NPR announced today that its mobile news application will now connect with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

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The Two-Way
5:43 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Career-Long Reds Shortstop Barry Larkin Elected To Cooperstown

Barry Larkin, who spent his entire career as a Cincinnati Reds shortstop, has been elected into the baseball Hall of Fame. He became the 48th hall of famer to play his entire career with one club.

Larkin received the vote of 86 percent of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in his third year on the ballott. A player needs 75 percent of the vote to be inducted.

The Hall reports:

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The Salt
5:29 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

The Forgotten, Fascinating Saga Of Crisco

It has been a long strange trip.
Tony Dejak ASSOCIATED PRESS

Our friends over at Planet Money produced a delightful podcast last Friday called "Who Killed Lard?" They finger a corporate perp: Proctor and Gamble's brilliant marketing campaign for the original Crisco, an alternative to lard that went on sale in 1911. "It's all vegetable! It's digestible!," it proclaimed.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

IRS Revives Amnesty Program For Offshore Tax Cheats

The Internal Revenue Service is brining back an amnesty program for Americans who have stashed money in offshore accounts in order to dodge taxes. IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman announced the program's renewal on Monday, saying the tax dodgers would have to pay back taxes and penalties but would not face any criminal charges.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

A TV That Watches You? Must Be Time For The Consumer Electronics Show

Lenovo's first television set that uses Google's operating system.
Lenovo

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 4:28 pm

Like every year, it seems like the entire tech world has decamped and headed to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicks off tomorrow. All Things Considered's Audie Cornish spoke to NPR's Steve Henn, who gave her a quick rundown of what we're expecting. Here are some highlights:

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Picture A Struggle: LSU And Alabama's Defenses Seen Deciding BCS Title

Not Giving An Inch: You can expect to see lots of close contact in Monday's BCS national title game. Here, Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers defends against Michael Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

The consensus among college football's fans and analysts seems to be that tonight's BCS championship game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 1 LSU will be a defensive struggle, similar to the touchdown-free game the two teams played on Nov. 5, when LSU won in overtime, 9-6.

"These are the two top defenses in the country," NPR's Tom Goldman told David Greene on today's Morning Edition. "Alabama allows under 9 points a game; LSU is right behind, allowing only 10.5 points a game."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:10 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Weak Economy Curbs U.S. Health Spending

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 7:47 am

No, it's not quite going down. But health care spending in 2010 rose at the second-slowest rate in the last half-century.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports that total health spending in the U.S. increased by 3.9 percent in 2010, just a notch above the slowest rate since the government started keeping track — 3.8 percent in 2009.

Overall, the U.S. spent $2.6 trillion on health care in 2010, or $8,402 per person. That's 17.9 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.

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Religion
3:50 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Has Obama Waged A War On Religion?

Some political and religious leaders say there is a White House-led war against religion.
Joe Drivas Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:35 pm

Americans' religious liberties are under attack — or at least that's what some conservatives say.

Newt Gingrich warns the U.S. is becoming a secular country, which would be a "nightmare." Rick Santorum says there's a clash between "man's laws and God's laws." And in a campaign ad, Rick Perry decried what he called "Obama's war on religion," saying there is "something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly ... pray in school."

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Jon Huntsman
3:43 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Huntsman's Long-Shot Bet: A Surprise In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman campaigns from the counter at the Bean Towne Coffee House & Cafe in Hampstead, N.H., on Jan. 8. Polls show Huntsman gaining on front-runner Mitt Romney ahead of Tuesday's primary.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images

Of the six major Republican candidates still in the race, five have either led or flirted with leading the polls. The exception is former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman bypassed Iowa's Jan. 3 primary in order to focus on the competition in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

NPR's Robert Siegel caught up with Huntsman on Sunday at the Bean Towne Coffee House & Cafe in Hampstead, N.H.

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Digital Life
3:31 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Seeking Female Founders In The Tech Startup Scene

The founders of startup accelerator Women Innovate Mobile (clockwise from top right: Deborah Jackson, Kelly Hoey and Veronika Sonsev) aim to boost the profile of tech companies founded by women.
Lisa Tanner Courtesy Women Innovate Mobile

More often than not, when we hear about hot tech companies, all the founders are male (see: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga). But in an effort to change that profile, a new funding source is targeting companies founded by women.

Kelly Hoey thinks a lot of investors may be missing some good business opportunities because they aren't coming from someone who looks like the next Mark Zuckerberg.

"You're looking for a white guy in a hoodie, and that next visionary is ... going to be wearing a skirt and a great pair of shoes," she says. "They're going to look different."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:21 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Diabetes' Economic Toll Goes Far Beyond Medical Bills

Sergey Lavrentev iStockphoto.com

By now most people have probably heard the dire predictions about how much the growing prevalence of diabetes will cost the U.S. health system in the coming years and decades.

But a new study from researchers at Yale suggests that the disease, which currently affects nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population, could have significant nonmedical costs to society as well.

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Celebrity Endorsements: What Happens When Reality TV And Politics Collide

Singer Kelly Clarkson took some heat from fans for endorsing Ron Paul. Clarkson's shown here performing at at Madison Square Garden on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 in New York.
Evan Agostini AP

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 12:46 pm

On a day where Newt Gingrich picked up the endorsement of former "first dude" Todd Palin of Alaska, there are plenty of other celebrity endorsements to go around.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Amid Tensions, Iran's Ahmadinejad Visits Venezuela

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the first leg of a Latin American tour in Venezuela, today. The visit with President Hugo Chávez came in middle of rising tensions between Iran and the United States. The tensions intensified even further, today, after Iran announced it had sentenced a former U.S. Marine to death.

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Health
3:02 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Controversy Swirls Around Harsh Anti-Obesity Ads

In one of the print ads in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Strong4Life campaign, a young girl says she doesn't like going to school, because "all the other kids pick on me. It hurts my feelings."
Courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 7:17 pm

Stark billboards and television commercials that feature overweight kids are part of a controversial anti-obesity campaign in Atlanta. The goal of the "Stop Sugarcoating It, Georgia" ads is to shock families into recognizing that obesity is a problem.

The campaign is making an impact, but the tactics are raising questions.

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Planet Money
3:01 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

People Want More Coins, That's A Good Sign For The Economy

Demand for quarter, dimes, nickels, and pennies was up this year.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 4:40 pm

All the instability in the global economy this year has been good for the United States Mint. People in search of a safe place to put their money have been buying gold and silver coins in record numbers.

"Precious metal coins were up $800 million dollars last year and that's approximately thirty some percent," says Richard Peterson, deputy director of the Mint.

According the the Mint's annual report, they sold 45.2 million ounces of gold and silver coins in 2011.

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It's All Politics
2:39 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

In New Hampshire, Serene Romney Rides Out Final Hours Before Primary

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks to the press after speaking at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, N.H., on Jan. 9.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 6:00 pm

As Mount Washington calmly reigns over much of New Hampshire's geography, Mount Romney smiles down on the last day before the state holds the nation's first presidential primary.

The front-running former governor of neighboring Massachusetts spent the day getting chummy with crowds in Nashua and Hudson and Bedford, reciting his favorite lines from "America the Beautiful" and engaging in other behaviors just as risky. He came out in favor of free enterprise and job creation and got really cross with the Chinese for currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

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World
2:39 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Iran Cultivates Friends In Washington's Backyard

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves as he is welcomed by Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua (at right, wearing glasses and tie) at the airport in Caracas on Sunday. Ahmadinejad is on a five-day tour aimed at shoring up ties in Latin America.
Juan Barret AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 4:47 pm

Isolated by the West because of Iran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is turning to close allies in the Americas for diplomatic support.

He kicked off his four-nation tour of Latin America on Monday in Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, accuses the U.S. of trying to dominate the world. Ahmadinejad's next stops are Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador — all sharply critical of Washington's foreign policy.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:25 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Why Millions Of Prescriptions Will No Longer Be Filled At Walgreens

A customer walks out of a Walgreens store in New York City.
Adam Rountree Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 5:29 pm

To life's many small irritations, you might add filling prescriptions.

Starting this year, many Americans may be surprised to find that their local Walgreens pharmacy is no longer in their network. That's because of a contract dispute between the nation's largest drugstore chain and a company that manages prescriptions for health insurance companies.

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Middle East
2:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Israel Cracks Down on Radical 'Hilltop Youth'

A Jewish settler wears his prayer shawl as he passes one of the structures demolished at the unauthorized Jewish settlement outpost in Ramat Migron, in the West Bank, on Sept. 5, 2011. Israel's radical Hilltop Youth have built numerous such outposts in recent years.
Abir Sultan EPA/Landov

Israel's Hilltop Youth movement has been active for years, establishing Jewish settlement outposts on barren West Bank hills without bothering to get permission from the Israeli government.

The Hilltop Youth occasionally received attention, usually when they damaged Palestinian property in the West Bank. But now they are in the headlines after a group of Hilltop Youth raided an Israeli military base.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:57 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

A Little Sugar And A Human Touch Can Ease Preemies' Pain

A little sugar can relieve preemies' pain in intensive care.
iStockphoto.com

Premature babies have to endure to a lot of painful medical procedures, from blood draws to throat suctioning. Something as simple as a few drops of sugar water can ease that pain, but many preemies don't get that help. And adding the comfort of touch helps, too.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

LISTEN: Jay-Z Confirms Birth Of Daughter In Song

Jay-Z
Jay Mohegan via Random House

We're taking a break from the serious news for a bit of baby news: Hip-hop has a new princess. Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles, who are arguably the genre's king and queen.

Now, that was one of the worst kept secrets, since friends and family were tweeting about the birth over the weekend. But, as the AP reports, the couple's reps "repeatedly declined requests for comment."

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

White House Chief Of Staff Daley Stepping Down

White House Chief of Staff William Daley.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 6:20 am

White House Chief of Staff William Daley is stepping down from his post and will be replaced by Budget Director Jack Lew, NPR's Scott Horsley has confirmed.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

20-Year Ban Put On Mining Claims Near Grand Canyon

A view into the Grand Canyon from the South Rim in Arizona.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 1:05 pm

The Obama administration just announced a 20-year federal ban "on new mining claims affecting a million acres near the Grand Canyon, an area known to be rich in high-grade uranium ore reserves," as The Associated Press writes.

And "in doing so," the wire service adds, "the administration brushed off pressure from congressional Republicans and mining industry figures who wanted a policy change."

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Just How Much Did Clinton Eat As President?

If you're not a fan of a little White House gossip don't keep reading. But if you like reading about the every-day details a of a presidency, you'll like this bit Washingtonian magazine reports in its current issue.

The magazine said that pastry chef Roland Mesnier, who worked at the White House for 26 years beginning with the Carter administration, said when President Bill Clinton came into the White House in 1993 he had a "scary" appetite. "He could eat five or six pork chops."

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Nigerians Stage Nationwide Strike After President Scraps Fuel Subsidies

A man carries a placard beside a bonfire during Monday's demonstration against soaring petrol prices following government's decision to abolish decades-old fuel subsidies.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan is facing a tumultuous backlash over his decision to scrap fuel subsidies. Reporting from Accra in Ghana, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports that major protests and a massive strike are putting pressure on him to reverse course. Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer.

Ofeibea filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Nigeria's capital, Abuja, and the commercial capital, Lagos, have come to a virtual standstill with similar reports of thousands joining the demonstrations in other parts of the country.

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