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The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

On Last Day As A Free Man, Blagojevich Will Hold News Conference

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in December.
Scott Olson Getty Images

A day before he begins serving his prison sentence, former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich will give one final press conference. As The Chicago Tribune puts it, talking into a microphone was, after all, one of his favorite things to do as governor.

The disgraced governor was sentenced to 14 years in prison back in December, after he was convicted of, among other things, trying to sell President Obama's vacated Senate seat.

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Africa
3:00 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Thousands Of Workers Strike In South Africa

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. In South Africa last week, tens of thousands of people took to the streets. It was a one-day workers' strike, one of the largest protests since the end of Apartheid. The strike, organized by South African unions, included 32 cities that caused large sectors of the economy to shut down.

As Anders Kelto reports, protesters were demanding the government do more to help South Africa's poor and working class.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Commentators Consider Solutions In Syria

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Time is of the essence. Those words about Syria today from a United Nations spokesman as tanks and armored vehicles launched new attacks on the city of Daraa. Syrian forces are also bombarding the city of Idlib. The U.N. says nearly 8,000 people have been killed so far during the uprising against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Global Warming Could Cause More Frequent Flooding For 3.7 Million In U.S.

According to the report, by 2050, there is a 1 in 6 chance a storm could force water above the 4 foot level. That would mean most of South Florida would be under water.
Climate Centeral

According to new research, 3.7 million Americans who live at elevations close to high tide could face more frequent flooding because of the sea rise caused by global warming.

The New York Times reports:

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It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Pew Poll: Good News, Bad News For Romney

The cacophony of hoots being directed at Mitt Romney Wednesday for his poor performances in Alabama and Mississippi primaries is somewhat curious, especially since it was the conventional wisdom as recently as last week that the Deep South was likely to be very tough going for him.

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Afghanistan
1:19 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

For Afghans, Two Outrages, Two Different Reactions

The Afghan response to Sunday's shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians has been limited compared with the recent outrage over the burning of Qurans. In one of the few protests, demonstrators chanted anti-U.S. slogans in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday.
Rahmat Gul AP

After U.S. troops inadvertently burned Qurans in Afghanistan last month, Afghans staged nationwide riots that left 40 dead and hundreds injured in unrest that lasted days.

In the days since 16 Afghan civilians were shot dead on Sunday, apparently by a lone U.S. soldier, the Afghan reaction has been relatively restrained so far.

Why such different responses? It can seem especially confounding to Americans, who consider the shooting a far graver offense than the Quran burnings.

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U.S.
1:08 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Please Read This Story, Thank You

Politeness seems to be falling by the wayside these days, with phrases like "you're welcome" replaced by the more casual "you bet" or "no problem." Good manners were more the norm in 1960, when these kids at a junior theatrical school learned how to curtsy and bow.
Chris Ware Keystone Features/Getty Images

Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one."

Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Vehicle Explodes On Airfield In Afghanistan, Where Panetta Landed

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, center, is greeted by Col. John Shafer, left, with RTC 6 Wednesday at Foward Operating Base Shukvani, Afghanistan. As Panetta was landing at another base, an Afghan drove a truck onto the airfield until it crashed and exploded.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 4:31 pm

The Pentagon says an Afghan drove a stolen truck onto the airfield of a British base in southern Afghanistan at high speeds until it crashed into a ditch and exploded into flames.

The incident at Camp Bastion happened around the same time that U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta landed in the country.

"At no point was the Secretary or anyone on the aircraft in any danger from this incident," the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:31 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Chill Out For A Better Workout

This would be a lot more fun on the rocks.
iStockphoto.com

Cooling a person's hands while exercising can make for a better workout, especially for people who hate to exercise because it makes them all hot and sweaty.

This might help the many, many people who have a hard time keeping up with exercise because it's just plain uncomfortable.

Researchers tested the idea with obese women in their 30s and 40s who worked out on a treadmill. The women whose palms were cooled with a device that circulated ice water were able to exercise longer than the women whose palms were exposed to room temperature water.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

25-Year-Old Sets Record As Iditarod's Youngest Winner

Dallas Seavey holds his leaders, Diesel, left, and Guiness, after he arrived at the finish line to claim victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012.
Marc Lester Anchorage Daily News/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

There's a new record in the Iditarod: A 25 year old has become the youngest musher to win the approximately thousand-mile trans-Alaskan sled dog race.

Dallas Seavey slid into Nome, Alaska, at 7:29 p.m. yesterday with nine dogs, finishing the race in nine days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.

"We went into this race with a dog team that I knew had the ability to win the Iditarod," Seavey said in a post-race press conference in Nome. "We spent most of the race building a monster – a dog team that couldn't be stopped."

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Goldman Sachs Starts To Fire Back At Exec Who Quit In Scathing Op-Ed

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 2:25 pm

Greg Smith is a fairly ordinary name — but it's now one that's all the talk of Wall Street after he quit his position at Goldman Sachs today in one of the most amazingly public ways:

With an essay in The New York Times that accuses Goldman Sachs of having a money-is-everything culture that is "toxic and destructive."

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Middle East
11:36 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Aid Group's Role In Syria Pushes Limits

Campaigners from the international advocacy group Avaaz protest Russian arms sales to the Syrian government during a demonstration in front of the Russian Embassy in Berlin on Nov. 2.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:07 pm

A year into the Syrian uprising, with the world community reluctant to intervene, one international group has taken a direct and risky role in Syria — even taking part in the high-profile rescue of Western journalists from the besieged city of Homs.

Avaaz, a global online pressure group based in New York, has given crucial support to the uprising and the Syrian activist networks that aim to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Wed March 14, 2012

'Foodistan' Takes India-Pakistan Rivalry To The Kitchen

Lahori Fish with Imli Pesto, a Pakistani dish.
Courtesy of NDTV

When it comes to reality TV — and competitive cooking shows in particular — there are many reliable ways to create drama: menacing judges, preternaturally ticking clocks, the threat of elimination, and, of course, clever editing.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Obama, Cameron Say Afghan Mission Remains Unchanged

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron during their news conference this afternoon in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:16 pm

The U.S., Britain and their NATO allies cannot accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan because it's critical that they not leave until that nation's security forces can stand on their own and ensure that al-Qaida never has a safe haven there again, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said during a joint news conference this afternoon at the White House.

"We will not give up on this mission," Cameron said at one point. The plan, he and Obama said, remains to have most troops withdrawn by the end of 2014.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Obama Picks North Carolina To Win Men's Basketball Championship

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron were courtside in Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday at the "play in" game between Western Kentucky and Mississippi Valley State. Western Kentucky won, 59-58.
Gregory Shamus Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:03 am

After two years of going with the wrong team to win it all, President Obama is counting on North Carolina — the team he correctly picked to win the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship — to end up No. 1 this year.

As he has each year since taking office, the president spent time with ESPN going over his bracket for the tournament.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Editor's Obituary Takes Tawdry Twist

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 9:51 am

After Oregonian editorial page editor Bob Caldwell died Saturday, the report from the newspaper on Sunday said he had suffered a heart attack.

That does appear to be the 63-year-old journalist's cause of death. But the circumstances surrounding his last moments were considerably more complicated.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:45 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Fatty Foods Bad For Sperm

Eating foods high in saturated fat may increase fertility problems in men, a preliminary study finds.
Robert Byron iStockphoto.com

Men who eat a lot of fatty foods have lower quality sperm than men who avoid them, a new study found.

Saturated fat, the stuff in meat and dairy foods, was associated with lower sperm counts. The men eating the most saturated fat had 35 percent fewer sperm than men eating the least.

On the bright side, the men who ate more omega-3 fats — the kind found in fish and some plants — had slightly more sperm that were correctly formed than their brethren who ate less.

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The Challenges Of A Nuclear Iran
9:37 am
Wed March 14, 2012

The Debate Over Bombing Nuclear Facilities In Iran

This Aug. 13, 2004, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, about 19 miles southeast of Tehran.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Iran said Tuesday that it is unwilling to allow international nuclear inspectors to have complete access to a restricted military complex, called Parchin, which is near the capital Tehran. There are concerns that the complex may contain a facility designed to test explosives meant to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.

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It's All Politics
9:01 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Santorum Gains Momentum As GOP Slog Continues

After Rick Santorum won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi on Tuesday, he addressed supporters in Louisiana, which holds its primary on March 24.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:50 pm

Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.

Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Boston's Back Bay Slowly Recovering After Smoky Fire Causes Chaos

The smoke over Boston from Tuesday's electrical fire.
Bianca Vazquez Toness WBUR
  • WBUR's Bianca Vazquez Toness
  • NPR's Tovia Smith

Repair crews are working this morning to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Boston's Back Bay district, "after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power" and sending think black smoke billowing over the area, our colleagues at WBUR report.

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Africa
8:16 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Congo Warlord Convicted Of Recruiting Child Soldiers

Judges at a war crimes tribunal convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga of snatching children from the street and turning them into killers. A sentencing hearing will now be scheduled. Lubanga faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed March 14, 2012

'Tragic Day For All Of Belgium': 22 Children Killed In Bus Crash

The mangled front of the bus. The crash happened in a tunnel in Sierre, in the Swiss canton of Valais.
Sebastien Feval AFP/Getty Images

There's been a horrible traffic accident inside a Swiss tunnel. At least 28 people — 22 of them children mostly around the age of 12 — were killed Tuesday night when the bus they were in crashed.

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Presidential Race
7:58 am
Wed March 14, 2012

After Santorum Wins, Romney Hopes To Regain Edge

After a series of losses, Mitt Romney returns to more favorable ground as the GOP race heads to Illinois and Missouri. He spoke about jobs and the economy in Kirkwood, Mo., on Tuesday.
Sarah Conard Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:02 pm

For Mitt Romney, the string of victories that would lock up the Republican nomination for president remains elusive.

Last week, Romney looked more or less inevitable to many political observers, thanks to his victories in six of the 10 states that voted on Super Tuesday.

But since then, the former Massachusetts governor has gone on a losing streak. He lost caucuses in Kansas, which voted on Saturday, and primaries in both Alabama and Mississippi, which voted Tuesday.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum won all three of those races.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed March 14, 2012

In Afghanistan, Panetta Says Mission Continues

  • Larry Abramson, reporting from Afghanistan

At Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged U.S. military personnel to not be deterred from their mission and continue "to make life difficult" for the Taliban and al-Qaida, says NPR's Larry Abramson, who is travelling with Panetta.

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