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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Ex-Student Convicted In Rutgers Spying Case: 'I'm Very Sorry About Tyler'

Dharun Ravi leaves the courtroom in March.
Jerry Mccrea AP

"I'm very sorry about Tyler," Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers student convicted of a crime for spying on his roommate, tells The New Jersey Star-Ledger this morning. "I have parents and a little brother, and I can only try to imagine how they feel. But I want the Clementis to know I had no problem with their son. I didn't hate Tyler and I knew he was okay with me. I wanted to talk to his parents, but I was afraid. I didn't know what to say."

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Shots - Health Blog
12:13 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Bloomberg And Allen Boost Their Health Giving

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during a trip to Singapore this week that he would give even more of his personal fortune to fight smoking.
Nicky Loh Getty Images

A couple of really rich guys have decided to give even more money to health causes they care about deeply.

New York Mayor, media magnate and public health zealot Michael Bloomberg said he will give $220 million to fight smoking in the developing world. Bloomberg's charitable foundation has targeted tobacco use.

And the latest chunk of money, which is part of a four-year commitment, will bring Bloomberg Philanthropies' support of anti-smoking efforts around the globe to more than $600 million.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Four More Booms In Wisconsin City Troubled By Mysterious Sounds

Jordan Pfeiler of Clintonville says she's heard the booms.
Carrie Antlfinger AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 12:06 pm

Things were not quiet again in Clintonville, Wis., early today.

As we reported Wednesday, folks there have been hearing booms and feeling vibrations this week and no one has yet been able to explain what's causing them. One of the latest theories is that unusually warm temperatures are causing underground ice to crack. A few homeowners think they've suffered some damages (cracked floors, for example).

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Law
12:00 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Is Health Law A 'Breathtaking Assertion' Of Power?

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the life of legendary athlete Jim Thorpe was full of dramatic ups and downs, from Olympic triumph to all kinds of personal struggles. But the twist and turns of fate did not end with his death. We'll hear more about a fascinating controversy over his final resting place. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.

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Judging The Health Care Law
11:05 am
Thu March 22, 2012

The Man Behind The Defense Of Obama's Health Law

Solicitor General Don Verrilli grew up in Connecticut and received his law degree from Columbia Law School.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 5:05 pm

At 54, Don Verrilli Jr. stands tall and calm in the Supreme Court chamber, his salt and pepper mustache the only thing about him that bristles. His deep, baritone voice suggests to the justices that he is the essence of reasonableness. There are no histrionics. Indeed, if he gets backed into a corner, his voice just gets deeper. Only the occasional, needless throat-clearing betrays any nerves at all.

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Africa
11:05 am
Thu March 22, 2012

To Be Heard, Egypt's Bedouin Take Tourists Hostage

A Bedouin guide makes his way down from Mount Sinai to the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. The Bedouins depend on tourism, but have been kidnapping visitors in recent months in an attempt to pressure Egypt's government.
Mike Nelson EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 4:05 pm

Bedouin tribesmen on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula rely on tourists for their livelihood — taking them on safaris, selling them trinkets, renting them huts at no-frills resorts on the Red Sea.

But these days, some Bedouins are using tourists for something completely different: as hostages in their political battle with the Egyptian government. In one recent incident, the tribesmen kidnapped two Brazilian tourists to secure the release of imprisoned relatives. The kidnappers released the women unharmed a few hours later.

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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Looks Like That Post-Rapture Pet-Walking Company Was A Hoax

It was all a joke, the man behind Eternal Earth-Bound Pets now says.
EE-BP

A New Hampshire man who claimed last year that for a fee of $135 he would arrange to have your dog walked if the Rapture did indeed begin last May 21 and you got taken up to heaven, is now saying that his business venture was a hoax.

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Media
10:56 am
Thu March 22, 2012

As 'Murdoch's Scandal' Unravels, Many Implicated

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, testifying alongside his son James, said his July appearance before a British parliamentary inquiry in London was "the most humble day of my life."
Parbul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 12:14 pm

Allegations of phone hacking and bribery brought down Rupert Murdoch's tabloid News of the World. Criminal and parliamentary investigations are now under way in the U.K., and dozens of journalists and top executives from Murdoch's paper have been arrested.

Scotland Yard has been investigating the scandal, but several police officials from that iconic institution have also been implicated; they're accused of accepting bribes from reporters at Murdoch's papers.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Video Of Copter Crash In Afghanistan Goes Viral; Army Investigating

From video of the incident, as the helicopter swooped low over a snowy base in Afghanistan moments before crashing in the distance.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 10:31 am

If you haven't seen it yet, you probably will soon if you're watching the cable news networks:

Video of what appears to be a U.S. Army helicopter swooping low over a snowy base in Afghanistan last month before taking several dramatic twists, bouncing off the ground and crashing in the distance.

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U.S.
10:17 am
Thu March 22, 2012

An Open Letter ... About Open Letters

Anneke Schram iStockphoto.com

Dear Open Letter Writers,

Are you open to the idea that the open letter has become the victim of its own success?

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Religion
10:16 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Vanderbilt Rule Rankles Faith-Based Student Groups

Vanderbilt administrators and faculty field questions at a January 2012 town hall meeting on the school's controversial "all comers" rule. Many campus religious groups say aspects of the policy are discriminatory.
Kevin Barnett InsideVandy

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Administrators at Vanderbilt University are beginning to enforce a long-held nondiscrimination policy for student groups. The policy is forcing a dilemma for faith-based organizations: Either drop requirements that their leaders hold certain beliefs, or forfeit school funding and move off campus.

Members of Christian student groups say Vanderbilt's nondiscrimination policy has them feeling more like victims of discrimination. They include the school's star quarterback, junior Jordan Rogers.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:56 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Medicare Board Draws Fire Before It Even Meets

IPAB sounds like a new Apple product, but it's actually a controversial board that is at the heart of House Republicans' efforts to upend the 2010 federal health law.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board, created by the health law, is supposed to help hold down costs in Medicare, the federal health program for seniors and the disabled.

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Murray Lender, Who Introduced Many Americans To Bagels, Has Died

From a Connecticut bakery to the nation.
Mike Derer AP

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 11:37 am

If you were young in the 1960s or '70s and like many of us didn't live around New York City, the first bagel you ever saw and enjoyed was probably a Lender's.

So it's with a sense of sadness and nostalgia that we pass along this, from The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Jobless Claims Dropped By 5,000 Last Week

There were 348,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

At that level, weekly claims remain the lowest they've been since March 2008.

The agency also said "the 4-week moving average was 355,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's revised average of 356,250."

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Thu March 22, 2012

After Trayvon Martin's Death, We're All Having 'The Talk'

When he was killed on Feb. 26, Trayvon Martin was said to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt. In New York City on Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered for a "Million Hoodies" march to call attention to his death.
Mario Tama Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition,' on 'The Talk'

A national discussion about race continues in the wake of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's death last month in Sanford, Fla.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Explosions, Gunfire At Sight Of Standoff With Murder Suspect In France

Members of a special police force unit at the site of the standoff in Toulouse, France, today.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images
  • French Interior Minister Claude Guéant (translated)

After a massive manhunt and a two-day standoff at an apartment building in Toulouse, French authorities say a man who claimed to be a member of al-Qaida and to have killed seven people in recent weeks is now dead himself.

According to French Interior Minister Claude Guéant, in the hour before 7 a.m. ET there was a dramatic conclusion to the saga that had gripped France and gotten the attention of people around the world.

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Energy
5:04 am
Thu March 22, 2012

What's Making Americans Less Thirsty For Gasoline?

Growing demand for more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, like these 2009 Dodge Journey crossover vehicles, has helped drive down gasoline consumption in the U.S.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

The price of gasoline keeps rising for Americans, but it's not because of rising demand from consumers.

Since the first Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, the U.S. has struggled to quench a growing appetite for oil and gasoline. Now, that trend is changing.

"When you look at the U.S. oil market, you see that there's actually no growth," says Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

He says gasoline demand peaked in 2007 and has fallen each year since, even though the economy has begun to recover.

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Planet Money
4:56 am
Thu March 22, 2012

From Abe Lincoln To Donald Duck: History Of The Income Tax

U.S. Treasury Department/Walt Disney

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 9:02 am

The story of how the U.S. wound up with the income tax is the story of two wars, a Supreme Court justice on his death bed, and Donald Duck.

It's also the story of how the government overcame three obstacles.

Obstacle No. 1: Logistics

How do you make sure people pay?

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National Security
4:40 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Cybersecurity Bill: Vital Need Or Just More Rules?

The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities in Idaho Falls, Idaho, are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. U.S. security officials and members of Congress are convinced a new law may be needed to promote improved cyberdefenses at critical facilities.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

Consider what Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans, and you get an idea of the consequences of a cyberattack on critical U.S. infrastructure: No electricity. No water. No transportation. Terrorists or enemy adversaries with computer skills could conceivably take down a power grid, a nuclear station, a water treatment center or a chemical manufacturing plant.

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Business
4:01 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Airlines, Fliers Seek To Fit More In Overhead

International airline travelers wait for their luggage at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Airlines started charging fees for checked bags a few years ago. Now passengers are testing the limits of what they can carry onto planes. Some flight attendants say it's getting out of hand. But airlines are trying to address the problem with bigger overhead bins.

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Politics
4:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Obama Showcases His Energy Policy On 2-Day Tour

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

President Obama visits Oklahoma today, talking of speeding construction for a major oil pipeline. Yesterday, he visited a solar panel farm in Nevada. Those were just two of the stops on a presidential effort to defend his energy policies. He's under pressure from Republicans because of rising gas prices.

And we start our coverage with NPR's Scott Horsley.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Army Health Care In Spotlight After Afghan Shooting

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The lawyer for the soldier suspected of killing unarmed Afghan civilians last week says his client may have suffered from diminished capacity - or, in other words, a mental breakdown. That possibility has focused attention on the Army's ability to detect and treat psychological problems among soldiers. NPR's Martin Kaste reports on how the Army's system works in theory and in practice.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

Crowds Join Slain Youth's Parents In 'Hoodie March'

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, Justice Department officials meet with family of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed African-American teen was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Last night, Martin's parents joined a rally in New York's Union Square, and NPR's Margot Adler attended.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was rage, sadness and also the feeling of a prayerful community gathering. When the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke, the crowds pushed closer to get a look and shouted words of encouragement. Tracy Martin, the teenager's father, spoke first.

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Sports
4:00 am
Thu March 22, 2012

NFL Shake-Ups: 'Bounty' Suspension, Tebow Trade

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

March Madness is supposed to be all about basketball. But it was the NFL that produced a dizzying day of news yesterday. The NFL came down like a ton of bricks on the New Orleans Saints. The league suspended head coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season. That was punishment for the team's bounty system, which paid players for injuring opponents.

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