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Presidential Race
3:22 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Does Regionalism Matter Anymore, Y'all?

The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.

The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...

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Election 2012
3:22 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

For South Carolina Voters, Jobs May Matter Most

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop at Seven Oaks Park this week in Irmol, S.C. Jobs are likely to be an important issue for South Carolina voters in Saturday's primary, with the state's unemployment rate at 9.9 percent.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:08 pm

In a presidential election that most expect will be all about the economy, South Carolina is a state where economic issues are front and center. The state's unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, well above the national rate. But even that number is deceptive. There are pockets around the state where the conditions are much more severe. In Lancaster County, for example, the rate is above 12 percent.

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Law
3:21 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

5 Questions, Answers About The Megaupload Case

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court Friday.
TV3 AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 4:30 pm

The arrests of four executives of Megaupload, a major Internet file-sharing site, have triggered an online backlash, and raised fresh questions about electronic piracy and copyright violations. What's behind the controversy? NPR asked two experts to help clarify the facts behind the arrests.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Wisconsin 'RecallCam': Boring, Beautiful Or Both?

Watch if you dare. You may get hooked.
State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board

As our friend Micki Maynard at Changing Gears says, "forget live streams watching the giant panda in Edinburgh, or the weather in Chicago. The newest Internet plaything is the Wisconsin Web Cam."

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Palestinian Women Behind The Wheel, And Ahead Of The Pack

Noor Daoud holds a trophy after she won third place in the first day of Formula Israel's women's race, in Eilat, Israel. Daoud went on to take the women's title at the event.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.

But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:08 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Researchers Agree To Temporary Halt For Bird Flu Experiments

H5N1 avian flu viruses (seen in gold) grow inside canine kidney cells (seen in green).
Cynthia Goldsmith CDC

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 3:41 pm

Scientists have said that they are voluntarily putting some controversial bird flu research on hold.

The move to suspend the work for 60 days comes in response to critics who say their work is dangerous.

People rarely get sick with bird flu, caused by the H5N1 virus, and when they do, they're generally not contagious.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:27 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

How Tears Go 'Pac-Man' To Beat Bacteria

Tears contain an enzyme that eats bacteria the way Pac-Man eats Power Pellets.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 3:39 pm

The mystical healing properties of tears are invoked in fairy tales and fantasies from Rapunzel to Harry Potter. So it may surprise you to hear that tears really are pretty powerful, on the microbial level at least.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Not A Record, But Audubon Set Still Sells For A Tidy $7.9 Million

We wouldn't want to say that $7,922,500 isn't an awful lot to pay for one set of four books.

But we do have to point out that it's not a record.

Thursday, we previewed the Christie's New York auction of a rare set of John James Audubon's Birds of America. As we reported, there was talk that it might fetch more than the record $11.5 million paid for another full set of the books in 2010.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Megaupload Is Trying To Go Back Online Even As Execs Sit In Jail

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, in an Auckland, New Zealand, court today.
TV3/ AFP/Getty Images

A judge in New Zealand today ordered that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and three others remain in custody at least until a bail hearing on Monday as the legal process of possibly extraditing them to the U.S. to face copyright infringement and conspiracy charges got underway.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Search Of Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Resumes After Third Delay

A coast guard boat passes the Costa Concordia, as the cruise liner lies aground in front of the harbor of Giglio Island.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.

BBC correspondent Luisa Baldini says the search has resumed, after being called off early Friday.

Here's a roundup of recent developments in the story:

From Italy, Sylvia Poggioli report for NPR's Newscast unit:

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Middle East
12:49 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Israeli And Arab Hackers Square Off In Cyberbattle

The websites of Israel's El Al airline and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange were knocked offline Monday, just hours after a Saudi Arabian hacker threatened to act against them. Israeli hackers responded by crashing the Saudi stock exchange. Here, a man walks past an El Al office in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 1:16 pm

An online battle is raging between Israelis and Arabs, with each side unveiling credit card and other personal information of thousands of private citizens, as well as temporarily disabling high-profile websites, like the Tel Aviv and Saudi Arabian stock exchanges.

So far, the recent Web assaults seem to be the work of bored young people venting frustration. But others worry that these actions could easily escalate into a much larger online fight.

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Planet Money
11:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Secret Document That Transformed China

Yen Jingchang was one of the signers of the secret document.
Jacob Goldstein NPR

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 9:03 pm

In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.

The contract was so risky — and such a big deal — because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.

"Back then, even one straw belonged to the group," says Yen Jingchang, who was a farmer in Xiaogang in 1978. "No one owned anything."

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Singer Etta James Has Died

Etta James in 2008.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images
  • Felix Contreras on Etta James

NPR confirms, and CNN reports that:

"Etta James, whose assertive, earthy voice lit up such hits as The Wallflower, Something's Got a Hold on Me, and the wedding favorite At Last, has died, according to her longtime friend and manager, Lupe De Leon. She was 73 and had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010."

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Music News
11:40 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Remembering Etta James, Stunning Singer

Etta James rehearses a song before recording at Fame Studios circa 1967 in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
House Of Fame LLC Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:03 pm

The "Matriarch of the Blues" has died. Music legend Etta James died Friday morning at Riverside Community Hospital in California of complications from leukemia. She was 73.

She was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles in 1938. Her first manager and promoter cut up Jamesetta's name and reversed it: Etta James.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Texas Redistricting Plan Tossed Out By Supreme Court

A plan for how to redraw Texas' congressional and state legislative districts that was put together by a three-judge federal court in San Antonio was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court this morning because, the justices ruled, the lower court should not have disregarded the Texas state legislature's wishes and should not have stepped into that legislature's shoes.

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The Salt
10:57 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Sustainable Seafood Swims To A Big-Box Store Near You

Sustainably caught fish are no longer found just at fancy fishmongers.
iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:58 pm

It's no longer just Whole Foods shoppers seeking out certified, sustainable seafood.

Increasingly, those of us who shop the big-box retailers including Costco, Target and Walmart are finding a blue label on seafood packages. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label signifies that the seafood comes from a fishery that's met a rigorous set of standards aimed at promoting responsible, sustainable catches.

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News
10:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Farmers Arm Themselves Against Pecan Thieves

Pecan farmers in New Mexico are paying security guards to watch over their land. Pecan prices have risen more than 365 percent in just two years and have led to a spate of thefts across the country.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 6:42 pm

The past two years have been good for pecans — so good, in fact, that there's been a spike in pecan theft from California to Georgia. And it's not people swiping a few nuts from a tree in someone else's backyard, but theft in amounts that could land someone in jail.

Greg Daviet's century-old family farm has harvested pecans in Las Cruces, New Mexico, since 1965. This year, Daviet tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, an increase in demand from Europe, the Middle East and India has led to a price hike, with China as the top importer.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Senate Vote Delayed On PIPA, Its Anti-Piracy Bill

Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.

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The Two-Way
8:35 am
Fri January 20, 2012

VIDEO: Obama Sings In Harlem; Channels A Little Al Green

President Obama at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem on Thursday (Jan. 19, 2012).
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:38 am

  • President Obama sings a little bit

Perhaps if things don't work out the way he hopes on Nov. 6, President Obama can be a backup singer someday.

Last night at a campaign fundraiser in Harlem's Apollo Theater, he briefly broke into song with a bit of Al Green's Let's Stay Together. The Associated Press has the video here.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Report: Killings Of U.S., Allied Troops By Afghan Soldiers Is On The Rise

U.S. troops and Afghan National Army soldiers on a joint security patrol in Kandahar province last August.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:22 am

"Four International Security Assistance Force service members were killed today in eastern Afghanistan by a member of the Afghan National Army," the NATO-led military command in Kabul reports.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Four Headlines From Thursday's GOP Debate

Newt Gingrich (right) responds to a question a question about things one of his ex-wives said about their marriage during last night's debate in South Carolina. Mitt Romney, looks on.
John Moore Getty Images

While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:

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Around the Nation
7:09 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Law Enforcement 'Tests' Accuracy Of Breathalyzer

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.

Europe
6:59 am
Fri January 20, 2012

British Judge Recruits Pedestrians For Jury Duty

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 5:03 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

(POST-BROADCAST CLARIFICATION: This story takes place in London, Ontario.] Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Londoners hoping to avoid jury duty ought not to walk too close to the courthouse. A frustrated judge there recently exercised a little-known power: sending police into the street to rustle up jurors.

Business
4:00 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 7:54 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with IKEA's success building.

The largest furniture maker in the world is ending the week with a bang. Sweden's IKEA posted, today, a record profit for its 2010, 2011 fiscal year. Net profit was up more than 10 percent to $3.8 billion. The company saw its biggest gains in China, in Russia and in Poland. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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