4:01am

Fri March 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How The Health Law Could Survive Without A Mandate

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Sally Baptiste from Orlando, Fla., waits outside the U.S. Capitol for the vote on the health care bill on March 21, 2010.
Astrid Riecken Getty Images

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week on, among other things, whether the 2010 health law can require most Americans to have health insurance starting in 2014.

The so-called individual mandate is the centerpiece of the law, and the conventional wisdom says the rest of the law will crumble if it is found to be unconstitutional.

But many policy wonks say that's not necessarily the case.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Asia

N. Korea Tests U.S. Deal Ahead Of Nuclear Summit

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

North Korea agreed, last month, to freeze uranium enrichment and missile tests in exchange for large amounts of food aid from the United States. American officials thought they had an understanding, but then last week North Korea announced it would be launching a satellite using a long-range missile. As NPR's Mike Shuster reports from Seoul, all this is now threatening to overshadow next week's global nuclear security summit in Seoul, which President Obama is planning to attend.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
U.S.

'Stand Your Ground' Law In Focus After Teen's Death

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, even if the shooter, George Zimmerman, is arrested for the death of Trayvon Martin, a conviction could be hard to get because of the controversial law that Kathy mentioned in her report. Let's take a closer look at that law. It's called Stand Your Ground and it allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves when confronted with a threat of violence. It's been on the books in Florida for several years. And as NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami, it was a source of controversy long before the Martin shooting.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
U.S.

Outcry Grows As Fla. Shooter Remains Unprosecuted

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's go now to Florida, where late yesterday Governor Rick Scott announced that a new state attorney has been assigned to investigate the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The announcement came as thousands rallied in Sanford demanding justice for Martin. The teen was shot as he walked unarmed in Sanford, a suburb of Orlando. The shooter, George Zimmerman, is a volunteer neighborhood watch captain and he claims self-defense. He's also not been arrested. As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports, the cry is growing louder for an arrest to be made.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Politics

Obama: 'Brain Power' Key To Curbing Oil Dependency

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

As many of you know, prices at the gas pump are still rising. That can often spell trouble, politically, for a sitting president. And President Obama has spent much of this week touting different kinds of energy as the solution to price spikes. Out on the road, Mr. Obama has promoted a mix of fossil fuels, alternative energy and greater fuel efficiency. Along with solar and wind power, Mr. Obama says brain power can help to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Election 2012

GOP Hopefuls Court Louisianans Ahead Of Primary

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now, let's get down to the campaign trail. In the race for the Republican nomination, the scene has shifted to Louisiana which is holding its primary tomorrow. Today, all four of the remaining GOP candidates are campaigning in the state.

Most of the media focus is on Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Both men have won other southern primaries, and both have been in and out of Louisiana all week long, hoping a victory there will keep their slim chances of winning the GOP nomination alive. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Europe

Portuguese Struggle Amid Austerity Measures

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Thousands of Portuguese workers walked off the job yesterday. They were protesting austerity measures tied to the country's $100 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Let's go to Lisbon now. Lauren Frayer reports that among protesters a sense of despair and confusion are more prevalent than anger.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Europe

With Gunman Dead, France Probes For Answers

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. Good morning.

Mohamed Mehra, the self-confessed gunman who terrorized the French city of Toulouse, was killed yesterday in a shootout with French police. Authorities had hoped to bring him in alive, to find out what drove him to commit the attacks that left seven dead, including three children at a Jewish school. Now, France is left to wonder whether its intelligence services missed signs that could've prevented the tragedy. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report.

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3:06am

Fri March 23, 2012
Religion

Pope Expected To Address Drug Violence In Mexico

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Pope Benedict XVI is expected to speak out against drug violence during his visit to Mexico, which begins Friday. Here, an actor is shown in front of a poster announcing the pope's visit Wednesday in the Mexican city of Leon, Guanajuato state.
Hector Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI begins a visit Friday that takes him to Mexico, a country with around 100 million Catholics, and to Cuba, a place where church leaders have played an increasingly active role in seeking change.

There are sensitive issues in both countries that the pope is likely to address in some form. In Mexico, it's the brutal drug war that has claimed roughly 50,000 lives over the past five years.

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12:01am

Fri March 23, 2012
Monkey See

'Mad Men' Returns On Sunday, To The Delight Of Its Excitable Fans

Jon Hamm plays Don Draper on Mad Men, which returns this Sunday night.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

On Friday's Morning Edition, Elizabeth Blair investigates one of television's pressing questions: Why has Mad Men been off the air so long? It's returning this Sunday night with a two-hour season premiere, but it's still puzzled some viewers that it has been off for such a long time.

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