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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

White House Dismisses Constitutional Challenge In Debt Ceiling Saga

White House spokesman Jay Carney briefs reporters Thursday at the White House. "This administration does not believe the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period," he said.
Charles Dharapak AP

White House spokesman Jay Carney put an end to intense speculation Thursday about whether President Obama would do an end run around Congress with one simple line: "This administration does not believe the 14th Amendment gives the president the power to ignore the debt ceiling — period."

Some Democrats had been urging Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit — a bold move that would take away Republican leverage in the ongoing negotiations over taxes and spending.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Nigeria Pressured To Clean Up Lead-Contaminated Villages

A boy works at an illegal gold mine in northern Nigeria. Lead from these mines has sickened thousands of children in the region.
David Gilkey NPR

The Nigerian government has been slow to fulfill a promise it made last spring. And, its sluggishness is putting kids at risk for lead poisoning, the advocacy group Humans Rights Watch says.

Last May, the Nigerian government pledged roughly $5 million to clean up lead contamination around illegal gold mines in northwest Nigeria. But so far, that money hasn't been released.

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Shots - Health News
3:57 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes

When researchers looked at the genetic sequences of 179 individuals, they found far more defects in the patterns of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs than they expected.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:19 pm

We all know that nobody's perfect. But now scientists have documented that fact on a genetic level.

Researchers discovered that normal, healthy people are walking around with a surprisingly large number of mutations in their genes.

It's been well known that everyone has flaws in their DNA, though, for the most part, the defects are harmless. It's been less clear, however, just how many mistakes are lurking in someone's genes.

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Around the Nation
3:32 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

To Trim Down, Spelman Trades Sports For Fitness

Spelman College has dropped NCAA athletics in favor of a comprehensive fitness program. The school now offers classes like Zumba to help encourage all students to exercise more.
Courtesy of Spelman College

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:40 pm

For the past decade, Spelman College, a historically black women's school in Atlanta, has fielded NCAA teams in basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball and other sports. But when its small Division III conference started dwindling, college President Beverly Tatum says the school decided it was time to change focus.

"We have to ask ourselves: What is the cost of the program and who is benefiting? How many people are benefiting? Is the benefit worth the cost?" Tatum asks.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Protests Erupt In Michigan Capitol, After Governor Unveils Right-To-Work Bill

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:22 pm

Police arrested several protesters and they sprayed irritants at a crowd gathered at the Michigan State House today.

As the Detroit Free Press reports, State Police used "chemical munitions" when the crowd tried to rush the Senate floor.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

With Looting, Syria's Army Isn't Winning Hearts And Minds

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. Syrian soldiers have been taking over private homes and apartments, and have sometimes looted and trashed them, according to Syrian civilians.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:35 pm

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country. In this report, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital, Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

As the Syrian military struggles against rebel fighters, it seems the army has not been paying a lot of attention to winning the hearts and minds of civilians.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

PHOTOS: In Washington, A Historic Day; Gay Marriage, Marijuana Are Legal

Jeri and Amy Andrews laugh as they wait in line outside of the King County Recorder's Office on Wednesday in Seattle, Washington.
David Ryder Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:26 pm

History was made at midnight in Washington on two fronts last night: Bans on both gay marriage and recreational marijuana use were lifted.

As you might expect, as the sun set and the clock struck 12, there were scenes of celebration across the state's biggest city. The pictures tell the story, so with that here are five photographs from Seattle.

The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

'Anonymous' Hacker Convicted For Attacks On PayPal, Mastercard

The "Anonymous" logo is seen on a tablet screen.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

A hacker associated with the collective Anonymous has been convicted in Britain today for attacks against the websites of PayPal, Mastercard and Visa.

Christopher Weatherhead was found guilty following the guilty pleas of three others — Jake Birchall, Ashley Rhodes and Peter Gibson. If you remember, the four were arrested for orchestrating denial of service attacks against the companies because they had stopped processing payments for WikiLeaks.

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The Salt
12:29 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Fruitfly Nose Says Steer Clear Of Deadly Food, Human Nose Not So Reliable

Now we know why we'll never see a common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) sitting on a beet.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:10 pm

The earthy smell of a fresh beet may spark delicious thoughts for us, but for a fruit fly, that smell screams danger.

Geosmin, a naturally occurring chemical that gives beets, fresh soil and corked wine their distinctive smell, is also cranked out by bacteria deadly to fruit flies. And it turns out that the tiny flies have a direct pathway from nose to brain made just to detect that smell — and avoid the toxic microbes that produce it.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Good Joke? Australian Leader Says End Of World Is Coming

She's a kidder: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Oh those wacky Australians.

Wednesday, it was two disc jockeys impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles to trick a nurse into telling them how the Duchess of Cambridge was coping with her morning sickness.

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The Two-Way
10:56 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Sen. Jim DeMint Leaving Congress To Run Heritage Foundation

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., speaks during to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 2:47 pm

One of the most consistently conservative voices in Congress and a favorite of Tea Party activists across the nation is leaving the Senate.

South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint is resigning to take over as president of the Heritage Foundation.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Hours After A Meal, It's The Memory That Matters

In an experiment, people who saw a picture of a big bowl of soup before eating lunch were less hungry a few hours later than those who saw a smaller bowl, regardless of how much they ate at the meal.
stuart burford photography iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 1:50 pm

It's no surprise that how much a person eats determines how full they feel right after a meal. But it's the memory of that meal, and not the meal itself, that matters a couple of hours later. So does this mean you trick yourself into thinness? Probably not. But it does tell us something about the role that manipulating memory may play in calorie intake.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Blogging On The Lam: McAfee Is Posting Updates From Guatemalan Jail

John McAfee, with a woman described as his girlfriend, on the way into the Supreme Court in Guatemala City on Tuesday.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 3:26 pm

Wanted for questioning in Belize about the murder of a neighbor, anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee is sitting in a Guatemalan jail — and blogging about the experience.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Alan Simpson Goes 'Gangnam Style'

The Can Kicks Back

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:05 am

How can you get young folks to press their elders to solve the debt and deficit crises?

Have 81-year-old former Sen. Alan Simpson go "Gangnam style," of course.

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Royal Watch: Kate Is Released From Hospital

Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as she was released from King Edward VII hospital in central London earlier today.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:59 am

Sorry, royal fans, we're not planning to follow every bit of news about the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy.

But we do want to note that Kate, "holding a bouquet of flowers, left King Edward VII hospital in central London on Thursday morning with her husband, Prince William," the BBC says. "Less than 12 weeks pregnant, she was admitted with acute morning sickness — hyperemesis gravidarum — on Monday."

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Panetta Warns Syria: 'Whole World Is Watching'

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:27 pm

In one of the sharpest warnings so far to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said today "the whole world is watching" and that if Assad uses chemical weapons against his people, "there will be consequences."

Without saying specifically that the U.S. and its allies would take military action, Panetta said it is "fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line."

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Around the Nation
7:14 am
Thu December 6, 2012

'Star Wars' Fan Builds Life-Size Millennium Falcon

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

World
7:09 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Perfume Evokes Smell Of Pizza Box Opening

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

In Cairo: Several Killed, Hundreds Injured, As President Calls For Dialogue

Egyptian policemen protect an opposition demonstrator after a scuffle with members of the Muslim Brotherhood outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
Mahmoud Khaled AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 6:26 pm

Update at 4:00 p.m. ET. Morsi Calls For National Dialogue:

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for national dialogue in a televised address today.

Morsi spoke amid escalating violence over a draft constitution and a presidential decree that granted him near-absolute power.

"I call for a full, productive dialogue with all figures and heads of parties, revolutionary youth and senior legal figures to meet this Saturday," Morsi said according to Al Arabiya.

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Around the Nation
5:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Post Sandy: Atlantic City Wants Its Tourists Back

Atlantic City's boardwalk, with its shops, restaurants, casinos and hotels, was mostly protected during Hurricane Sandy by a dune restoration project. But TV images of one small section that was damaged gave the impression that the whole thing was destroyed.
David Schaper/NPR

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:24 pm

A month after Hurricane Sandy pounded the New Jersey Shore, Atlantic City is back in business. Even though most of the casinos and restaurants sustained very little damage in the storm, they're now suffering from a lack of visitors. But the city has launched an effort to change that.

As three young boys roll their skateboards down the "World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk," it's proof that it is still here, fully in tact, and that rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated.

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Business
5:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 5:41 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is Trump versus Forbes. The Forbes we're talking about is a Scotsman named Michael Forbes. He has the misfortune of living right next to Donald Trump's new golf course in Scotland. Forbes has refused to sell his property to Trump; and what has ensued is the war of words that you probably would expect between the property magnet, and anyone who gets in his way.

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Around the Nation
5:12 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Satellite Colleges Setting Up Shop In Phoenix Suburbs

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:41 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's report, now, on the college scene in Phoenix, which is becoming more crowded. In Arizona, a private college education has long been hard to find. But that is changing now. Eight schools are setting up satellite campuses in the Phoenix suburbs. From member station KJZZ, Peter O'Dowd reports.

PETER O'DOWD, BYLINE: This is Trine University in Peoria, Arizona.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOOR OPENING)

O'DOWD: Not much, yet; just a door opening to an empty classroom, in an ordinary office park.

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Middle East
4:04 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Germans OK Patriot Missiles To Defend Turkey

Germany's Cabinet on Thursday approved sending German Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey to protect the NATO member against possible attacks from Syria, in a major step toward possible Western military role in the Syrian conflict.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters that two batteries with a total of 400 soldiers would be sent to the border area under NATO command for one year, although the deployment could be shortened.

The decision must be endorsed by the German Parliament, but approval is all but assured.

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Middle East
3:33 am
Thu December 6, 2012

'It's A Disaster': Life Inside A Syrian Refugee Camp

Mothers and their children sit among their washing in a refugee camp on the border between Syria and Turkey near the northern city of Azaz on Wednesday. The internally displaced faced further misery as heavy rain was followed by a drop in temperatures.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:20 pm

It's early afternoon when the sun is bright, and it's finally warm enough to come outside. This tent camp on a hill overlooking the Turkish border, near the Syrian town of Atma, houses more than 14,000 displaced Syrians.

The water here is trucked in, and it's the only source. Women line up with plastic jugs to haul the daily delivery back to the tents. What is striking are the children — in dirty clothes and summer shoes, faces red and raw from the cold.

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Shots - Health News
3:32 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Why It's Easier To Scam The Elderly

Fraud victims are more likely to have opened official-looking sweepstakes notices and other mailings. A new study says the elderly are more susceptible than the young to being swindled.
Allen Breed AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 4:23 pm

Lots of scams come by phone or by mail, but when the scam artist is right in front of you, researchers say the clues are in the face.

"A smile that is in the mouth but doesn't go up to the eyes, an averted gaze, a backward lean" are some of the ways deception may present itself, says Shelley Taylor, a psychologist at UCLA.

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