2:53pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

TSA Backtracks, Says Screeners Were Wrong In Elderly Security Search

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents screen passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.

In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.

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2:10pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Mark Wahlberg: With Me Aboard, 9/11 Hijackers Would Have Been Stopped

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Mark Wahlberg.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:

Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.

Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:

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2:08pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Congress Set For Another Debt Ceiling Vote, But This Time It's Merely Symbolic

The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today to disapprove of raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. If you remember, the last time a vote of this kind went down, it was a dramatic showdown that rattled markets and was cited as one of the prime reasons S&P downgraded the United States' debt rating.

Today's vote however will be symbolic. The debt ceiling will likely be raised no matter how Congress votes.

Our Newscast desk spoke to NPR's Andrea Seabrook, who explained the vote like this:

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2:04pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Politics

Previewing Three 2012 Senate Races To Watch

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 2:09 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Huntsman hangs up his cleats, Wisconsin Dems step up to the plate, and Newt Gingrich swings for the fences in South Carolina. It is Wednesday and time for a...

NEWT GINGRICH: Paychecks versus food stamps...

DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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2:03pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Europe

Italy's Cruise Crisis Spawns An Unlikely Star

Italian coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) has become a national hero for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise liner to get back onboard and oversee the ship's evacuation. Here, De Falco arrives in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
Giacomo Aprili AP

Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.

For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.

Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

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1:20pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Would You Burn Your Cash To Stay Warm And Alive? This Man Did

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 1:26 pm

Yong Chun Kim, talking at his home about the experience of being lost in a blizzard for two days.
Ted S. Warren AP

We saw stories earlier this week about a man who was lost for two nights in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend, but survived in part because he burned the money he was carrying to keep warm as a blizzard blew through the area.

But a critical question wasn't answered until today. — how much money went up in flames?

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1:18pm

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Newt Gingrich Says In 2010, He Paid 31 Percent In Taxes

Countering Mitt Romney's announcement that he paid 15 percent in taxes, Newt Gingrich said his bill came to 31 percent, more than most Americans pay and closer to the top rate of 35 percent.

The AP reports that Gingrich was careful not to criticize Romney for paying a lower tax rate than most Americans.

"My goal is not to raise Mitt Romney's taxes, but to let everyone pay Romney's rate," he said according to the AP.

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1:00pm

Wed January 18, 2012
On Disabilities

Learning To Love, And Be Loved, With Autism

Emotions can be hard to gauge in the beginning of any romantic relationship. But for people with autism, who often struggle to interpret social cues, romance can be particularly challenging to navigate. And for some, the prospect of loving and being loved seems out of reach.

1:00pm

Wed January 18, 2012
NPR Story

Freedom Not 'Paradise' For 'West Memphis Three'

In 1994, three teens were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Ark. The trial drew national attention, due in part to the documentary series Paradise Lost. The "West Memphis Three" appealed their convictions and were released from prison in August 2011.

12:41pm

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

A Family Of 'Boots For Newt' Hits The Ground In South Carolina

Alexandra Ziegler, age 9, leafletting for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Melissa Block NPR

Sometimes it takes a family to campaign for a presidential candidate, and that's just what Melissa Block, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, discovered while in South Carolina this week ahead of the state's Saturday primary.

Sondra Ziegler, a volunteer for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign, is making herself useful any way she can — along with her three children and her mother.

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