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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Wed January 18, 2012

If You Really Need Wikipedia Today, You Can Get To It

Wikipedia's blackout.
Wikipedia.org

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:57 am

Just to be clear:

Wikipedia's English pages have indeed "gone black" until midnight ET tonight — part of an organized protest by it and many other websites over pending anti-online piracy legislation in Congress.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed January 18, 2012

In Italy, Search Of Stricken Cruise Ship Suspended

"Divers searching the capsized Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia suspended work on Wednesday after the vast wreck shifted slightly but officials said they are hoping to resume as soon as possible," Reuters reports.

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Election 2012
7:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Hate Politics, Love TV, Live In S.C.? Not Your Week

A political ad airs on a TV at Tommy's Country Ham House in Greenville, S.C., where Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was preparing to hold a campaign event.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Scott Sanders will be eating lunch at his desk again. Sanders is the general sales manager for the NBC affiliate in Columbia — South Carolina's capital — so all his time is devoted these days to handling ad traffic ahead of Saturday's Republican primary.

"It's been crazy this week," Sanders says. "It will be hard to watch TV, because there are so many ads."

All five major GOP candidates have ads running during the station's nightly news programs. Their messages are also being amplified and augmented by supportive superPACs.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Romney Says His Tax Burden Is About 15 Percent

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 6:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Even if Wikipedia was working, you couldn't use it to locate information about Mitt Romney's most recent tax filings. He has yet to make that tax information public.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Under pressure from his opponents, Romney says he will release information in April.

MONTAGNE: But yesterday, Romney did let slip a provocative tax detail. He acknowledged he's probably paying an effective tax rate of around 15 percent. And that's well below the rate that many middle-class families pay.

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Asia
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Ambassador Locke Shares His Impressions Of China

Gary Locke is Washington's ambassador to Beijing. He took over the post after Jon Huntsman left. Locke is the first U.S. ambassador to China to have roots in that country — his ancestors hail from a village in southern China. He serves at a time of enormous change, a time when many Americans see China as a threat. Ambassador Locke talks to Steve Inskeep about his impressions of China and its government.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Calif. Gov. Brown's Speech To Outline More Cuts

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The economy may be improving but state governments are still working to repair the damage to their books. We're keeping track with a series of reports, and we go this morning to the nation's most populous state, which has some of the nation's largest problems.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here in California today, Governor Jerry Brown gives the State of the State address. He'll outline more cuts to government programs while asking voters to approve a measure to raise taxes. Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.

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Afghanistan
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Exploring Peace Talks With The Taliban

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 6:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Middle East
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Resolve Of Syria's Pro-Government Forces Hardens

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When President Obama met yesterday with the king of Jordan, much of their talk focused on Jordan's neighbor, Syria. Both governments are trying to figure out how to pressure Syria's president to step down. So far, 10 months of protest by Syria's own people hasn't convinced Bashar al-Assad to do that. Instead, he's cracked down.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Business News

It's the latest salvo in the two companies' global patent war, according to Bloomberg News. This time Apple is trying to ban sales of 10 Samsung smartphone models, claiming the Korean company copied Apple's design. It's also suing Samsung claiming it copied the iPad.

Business
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Co-Founder Jerry Yang To Leave Yahoo!

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's stay with Internet news for a moment. Yahoo is undergoing another big management shakeup. Yesterday, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO, said he is stepping down from the company's board of directors.

NPR's Steve Henn has more from Silicon Valley.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: For months late last year, Yahoo's board of directors was mulling a deal that could have sold the Internet company or broken it apart.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

China Advertises Red Pad Which Looks Like An iPad

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today's last word in business comes from China, and the word is: Red Pad.

It's a device that looks a lot like an iPad, except it's red in color and in ideological purity.

The Wall Street Journal picked up on the device, which was advertised briefly in China's state media. It offered Web content for the party faithful, like quick access to the Communist Party's mouthpiece, the People's Daily. The device however, was apparently priced at more than $1,500 - good deal more than an iPad.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Websites Shut Down To Protest Anti-Piracy Bills

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 6:22 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

We should fully explain this next report, because if we miss something, you won't be able to find more information on Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia is blacked-out today, at least on personal computers. It's only available if you take extra steps or use a mobile device.

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Governing
3:39 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Secretaries Of State At Center Of Election Battles

Scott Gessler gives a victory speech on Nov. 2, 2010, after being elected secretary of state in Colorado.
Jack Dempsey AP

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:30 pm

In his first year as Colorado's secretary of state, Republican Scott Gessler has been sued eight times.

He has outraged Democrats by rewriting the state's campaign finance rules, tangled with counties over which voters they can send mail-in ballots to, and attracted national attention for participating in a fundraiser to pay off a campaign finance fine levied by his office.

"We've definitely shaken up the status quo, and I think that's happened a bit in some other states, too," he says.

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It's All Politics
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

South Carolina: Gingrich's Last Stand

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich addresses the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday in Columbia, S.C. The state holds its primary on Saturday.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

In South Carolina, the race to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney is hitting a fever pitch. The state is seen by many as the last stop before inevitability in the GOP primary.

In campaign stops Tuesday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich laid out what sounded like an ultimatum.

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Energy
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Blocking Keystone Won't Stop Oil Sands Production

Oil storage tanks at the Chevron Burnaby Oil Refinery on the shores of Burrard Inlet, east of Vancouver, B.C.
Andy Clark Reuters/Landov

President Obama is feeling election-year pressure on the pending decision over the Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans say the Canadian project would provide the U.S. with oil and new jobs, but environmentalists want him to block it. They say Alberta's oil sands generate more greenhouse gases than other kinds of oil, and Americans must not become dependent on such a dirty source of energy. But it may already be too late to change that.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

New Recycling Company Springs From Old Mattresses

Old mattresses lie on the street outside abandoned homes in Las Vegas, in this 2010 photo. Used mattresses present a unique problem to landfills and recycling firms alike.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 1, 2012 11:23 am

Old mattresses are among the worst kinds of household waste: Most recycling companies won't touch them, and landfills would rather not. But a new business in Nashville that started as a college project hopes to move mattress recycling into the mainstream — and employ former convicts in the process.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Cruise Ship Disaster Puts Focus On Safety Concerns

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy. One maritime workers union called the disaster a "wake-up call" highlighting long-standing safety concerns and what it sees as lax regulation.
Gregorio Borgia AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 7:50 am

The dramatic Costa Concordia accident off the coast of Italy is calling attention to the regulation of the cruise line industry. Experts say there are plenty of rules, but enforcement can be spotty.

Some of the survivors of last week's disaster described the rescue effort as chaotic and disorganized. The crew had not yet conducted a required emergency drill during the cruise.

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Europe
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

French Dilemma: How To Burn Off All That Overtime?

France's 35-hour work week has resulted in some workers accumulating vast amounts of overtime that they are required to use this year. The problem is particularly acute at some hospitals. Here a woman speaks with a doctor at the Conception Hospital in Marseille on Tuesday.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:32 am

France's 35-hour work week has plenty of critics who say it has sapped the country of its competitiveness and is tying companies in knots. And to make their case, a leading example is the current state of overtime at French hospitals.

Along with five weeks of annual leave, French employees get time off if they work more than 35 hours in a week. At the Hopital Vaugirard, a public hospital in central Paris, employees have accumulated more than 2 million days off in the past decade.

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Europe
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Hungary Faces EU Action Over New Constitution

People gather to protest against Hungary's new constitution outside the Opera House in Budapest on Jan. 2. Critics say the document curbs democracy.
Ferenenc Isza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 11:03 am

Veteran Hungarian broadcaster Gyorgy Bolgar, who hosts a popular daily news/talk call-in show on Klubradio, gets a daily earful from ordinary Hungarians upset with Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Many here fear that Orban, a dissident during the communist era, and his conservative Fidesz party are pushing the country backward.

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Environment
12:01 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Cleaner Air In L.A. Ports Comes At A Cost To Truckers

A truck passes shipping containers at China Shipping at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the U.S., near Long Beach, Calif. Stricter emissions standards have cut down on air pollution from the trucks, which has been one of the most significant sources of air pollution in California for many years.
David McNew Getty Images

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest in the nation. They also have some of the dirtiest air, thanks to thousands of cargo trucks that pass through each day.

But this month marks the beginning of a new era, as tighter emissions standards go into effect.

'100 Percent Clean Energy'

A common trope in environmental stories is to put things in terms of jobs vs. the environment. But that's not what happened in the case of the ports.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Take Your Ball And Go Home? How Dare You!

"It's not that I've fallen out of love; I've actually never liked sports, and I never understood how I became an athlete," Serena Williams said recently, according to TennisNow.com. "I don't like working out; I don't like anything that has to do with working physically."
Tertius Pickard AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 8:11 am

Now that Tim Tebow is out of hearts and minds, and we can actually turn our attention to other things, let us go clear to the other side of the world. There, a short while ago, while preparing for the Australian Open, Serena Williams said: "I don't love tennis today, but ... I've actually never liked sports."

While her confession might have surprised some, I suspect that even more were irritated, actually angered, that an athlete — a great champion! — could utter such blasphemy.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Indian Lit Festival Invitation To Author Salman Rushdie Stirs Controversy

Salman Rushdie.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

There's a controversy brewing in India over an invitation extended to Booker Prize-winning novelist Salman Rushdie by the organizers of the Jaipur Literary Festival.

Rushdie, the author of Midnight's Children, angered Muslims with his 1988 novel Satanic Verses. The novel, which many Muslims say insults the Prophet Muhammad, led to Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declaring a fatwa against Rushdie. The writer spent much of the next few years in hiding.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

The Social Reference Desk: A Band-Aid For The Wikipedia Blackout

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia on Jan. 17.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Mark told you earlier that Wikipedia is going black for 24 hours beginning at midnight tonight. While Wikipedia's reason for shutting down is to protest anti-piracy legislation making its way through the United States Congress, another interesting question is going to be what happens to all those web surfers seeking answers to can't-wait questions?

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News
6:12 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

PHOTOS: Images From The Disaster

The Costa Concordia lies stranded in the Giglio harbor on Tuesday.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Images from Italian luxury cruise ship accident.

Economy
5:17 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

States' Fiscal Future Starts To Look A Bit Brighter

In 2010, Arizona sold 22 buildings in its state capitol complex to help deal with budget deficits. Gov. Jan Brewer recently asked representatives to buy back three of the buildings, including the State House of Representatives (right), as the state's financial situation has improved. The Old Arizona Capitol Building (left) was not part of the deal.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

As the U.S. economy struggled to get back on its feet over the past few years, a lot of states found themselves contending with big budget deficits. They responded by firing workers, raising taxes and cutting spending. Now the fiscal picture for a lot of states is brightening a bit — but many still face enormous challenges.

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