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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei Gives Rare — If Brief — Praise For U.S.

A handout photo provided by the office of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shows him addressing a meeting with members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he welcomed President Obama's comments that attempted to cool off tensions between the West and Iran.

The Christian Science Monitor calls it an "unprecedented praise."

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Solar Storm Goes Easy On Earth — But More Are Sure To Come, NASA Says

SOHO spacecraft captured this image of filaments erupting off the sun's surface and magnetic plasma blasting into space. The field of view of this image, seen in ultraviolet light, extends some 1.243 million miles from the solar surface." href="/post/solar-storm-goes-easy-earth-%E2%80%94-more-are-sure-come-nasa-says" class="noexit lightbox">
The sun-orbiting SOHO spacecraft captured this image of filaments erupting off the sun's surface and magnetic plasma blasting into space. The field of view of this image, seen in ultraviolet light, extends some 1.243 million miles from the solar surface.
NASA/JPL

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 12:07 pm

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The Two-Way
12:53 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Pat Robertson: 'Treat Marijuana The Way We Treat Beverage Alcohol'

Rev. Pat Robertson.

Clem Britt AP

Those in favor of legalizing marijuana have gained an unlikely ally.

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World
12:00 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Senator Blumenthal Pushes President On Iran

The Associated Press reports that International Atomic Energy Agency officials are concerned that Iran may be trying to cover up evidence related to nuclear weapons. That could fuel the debate over U.S. options for addressing Iran. Host Michel Martin talks with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Salt
12:00 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Hundreds Battle For International Cheese Glory In Wisconsin

A judge smells a block of cheese at the World Championship Cheese Contest in Madison, Wis. Judges carefully appraise a cheese's look, smell and texture before they taste it and spit it out.
Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association

When over 50,000 pounds of cheese rolled this week into Wisconsin, a state clearly not suffering from cheese shortages, it could only mean one thing: The World Championship Cheese Contest was in town.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Inside Bin Laden's House, 'A Fading Splash Of Blood'

The compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was found and killed. (May 3, 2011, file photo.)
Getty Images

The New York Times writes this morning about a retired Pakistani Army brigadier's attempt to reconstruct what happened last May when U.S. Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden at the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Report: 'Explosive' Growth Of 'Patriot Movement' And Militias Continues

"Patriot movement groups" in red. Militias — armed wings of such organizations — in gray.
Southern Poverty Law Center

An enormous surge in the number of groups that "see the federal government as their primary enemy" and in some cases have militias as their "armed wings" continues, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports today.

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The Salt
9:49 am
Thu March 8, 2012

The Secret To Glowing (Yellow) Skin? Eat Your Fruits And Veggies

Carrots and other veggies give skin a slight yellow tone that people think looks healthy and attractive.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 11:01 am

We know that fruits and vegetables do us all kinds of good. But evidently they also give us a healthful glow — by tinting our skin yellow and red.

People's skin color changed in just six weeks when they increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, according to researchers in Scotland who compared eating habits to skin tone.

And while the cosmetics industry might have you believe that rouge is the ideal cheek color, this study found that another hue rated more healthful and attractive: yellow.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Jobless Claims Rise By 8,000

There were 362,000 first-time clams for unemployment insurance last week, up 8,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

That means the number of claims has moved up slightly, but remains around the lowest level since this time four years ago.

The Two-Way
7:45 am
Thu March 8, 2012

In Video, Man Said To Be Syrian Oil Ministry Official Says He's Defecting

  • Kelly McEvers on 'Morning Edition'

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Around the Nation
7:15 am
Thu March 8, 2012

California Teacher Moonlights As Porn Star

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:08 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Indiana Legislature Votes On Official State Gun

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

House Expected To OK Jobs Bill In 'Rare Agreement' With Obama

Sometimes bipartisanship does shine down on the Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:01 pm

Update at 1:55 p.m. ET. The House Passes JOBS Act:

Saying that it shows the federal legislature can work in a bipartisan fashion, the Republican-controlled House passed the JOBS Act, which was supported by President Obama.

"It is a welcome sign that we can put our differences aside and work together to produce results to help boost the economy and get people back to work," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said, according to the AP.

The bill was passed with a vote of 390-23.

Our Original Post Continues:

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Asia
4:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Japanese Businesses Post Tsunami

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here's a stunning fact we came across as the anniversary of Japan's tsunami and nuclear disaster approaches. Of Japan's nuclear plants, only two of 54 reactors are currently active one year after the disaster. To talk about the implications of this, we've called Kenneth Cukier. He is Tokyo correspondent for The Economist magazine. He's on the line.

Welcome to the program.

KENNETH CUKIER: Hi, there.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Business News

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with allegations of price fixing on e-books.

The Justice Department is threatening to sue Apple and five major U.S. publishers for allegedly colluding to raise the price of digital books. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple persuaded publishers, including Harper Collins, Penguin and Simon and Schuster, to change how they price their e-books before the launch of the first iPad in 2010.

Europe
4:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Creditors Face Deadline In Greek Bond Swap

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Private creditors holding Greek bonds have until the end of today to participate in the largest sovereign debt restructuring in history. This means creditors must exchange the Greek government bonds they now hold for new ones that are worth far less. Some creditors are balking, since it means up to a 70 percent loss on their returns.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Spanx Founder Makes 'Forbes' Billionaire List

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And we turn now to a group of people worth almost as much as a small country. Today's last word in business goes to Forbes magazine, which has released its 25th annual billionaires list.

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Middle East
4:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Syrian Rebels Regroup After Army Gains Upper Hand

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Western governments are still debating whether to help Syria's rebels. But as they debate, the rebels are finding ways to help themselves.

INSKEEP: Syrians continue arming themselves, even after they retreated from the battered city of Homs. This week, the United Nations' humanitarian chief finally toured that city, including a rebel neighborhood, now mostly abandoned.

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Middle East
3:05 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Egypt's Moves Leave Democracy Advocate Bewildered

Sam LaHood of the International Republican Institute is one of 19 American democracy promoters who face charges of fomenting unrest in Egypt. Here, he is shown last month at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.
Courtesy IRI

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 4:00 pm

Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood, spent four weeks holed up at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, sleeping on an air mattress part of the time and trying to fathom why the Egyptians wanted to prosecute him and his pro-democracy colleagues.

Eventually, LaHood's organization and others with employees facing prosecution paid more than $300,000 a person in bail to get them off the Egyptian travel ban, and the U.S. government flew most of them home.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

On HBO, A Bestselling Book Becomes A Movie About A 'Dynamic Moment'

Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in the HBO film Game Change.
Phillip V. Caruso HBO

There were a lot of good stories from the 2008 presidential election, including Hillary Clinton's serious run for the Democratic nomination, not to mention the election of the first African-American president. The whole story was covered in the bestselling — and controversial — book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

In Denver Taxis, Extra Eyes On The Street For Police

Longtime Denver taxi driver Teddy Johnson participates in the "Taxis on Patrol" program, and has made two reports of potential safety issues so far.
Kirk Siegler for NPR

Some days, it would be easy to mistake the Metro Taxi dispatch center in Denver for a police station. Traffic and crime incidents are recorded in a special logbook, as drivers call in descriptions and locations to police.

It's part of a program called Taxis on Patrol. Just a day after the program began, a cab driver helped police make an arrest for a fatal hit-and-run. In the months since, eyewitness calls from cabbies using a bulletin system similar to an Amber Alert have led to hundreds of arrests.

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Presidential Race
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

How Far Apart On Iran Are GOP Candidates, Obama?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in April 2008. Western governments suspect Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. How to handle the possible threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is a major foreign policy concern of the U.S.
AP

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 9:10 am

Republican presidential candidates this week — with the exception of Ron Paul — appeared to be trying to outdo each other in saying how tough they would be in dealing with Iran. Speaking before a pro-Israel group, they said President Obama has been weak — "feckless," in Mitt Romney's words.

Obama, meanwhile, was not impressed. He said he'd heard a lot of "bluster" and "big talk" about Iran, "but when you actually ask them specifically what they would do, it turns out they repeat the things that we've been doing over the last three years."

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

The European Central Bank, As Seen From A Bar On The Coast Of Spain

JOSE LUIS ROCA AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 2:14 pm

"I have a little bar. A drinks bar," says Chadd Ritenbaugh. His bar is called El Catalonia. It's in the port of Marbella, on the Spanish coast.

"Just sun, sand, and sea," he says. "It's just kind of empty at the moment."

Ritenbaugh bought the bar in 2009. Since then, business has gone downhill. He tried, and failed, to sell.

"Nobody's out buying bars right now," he says. "Banks in Spain are not lending a cent — a euro cent."

Chad himself tried and failed to get a bank loan. "Absolutely nothing," he says.

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