12:01am

Fri March 16, 2012
National Security

Defense Contractors See Hope In Homeland Security

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 10:24 am

A vendor talks to attendees at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix, Ariz., next to a display of sophisticated cameras and sensors painted to blend into the desert.
Ted Robbins NPR

The Defense Department is bracing for billions of dollars in budget cuts — and that has defense contractors looking for new markets. Homeland Security is one of the most promising, particularly border security, which hasn't suffered any big cuts. So companies are lining up in hopes of landing a contract.

At a border security trade show in Phoenix, Ariz., there's enough surveillance equipment on the floor of the convention center to spot a federal appropriation from 5 miles away.

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12:01am

Fri March 16, 2012
Digital Life

Petitions Are Going Viral, Sometimes To Great Success

Petition signatures sit in a box at a Sept. 21, 2011, news conference in Washington, D.C. The signatures, collected by Change.org and other groups, were delivered to congressional co-sponsors of legislation to ban hiring discrimination against unemployed workers.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Petitions have been a common form of protest throughout modern history, at times bringing attention to causes through little more than handwritten letters and word of mouth.

But like a lot of other things, petitions are going viral. And one website in particular has contributed to the phenomenon.

Change.org offers tools to let individuals start their own online campaigns, a way to bring instant awareness to issues that range from the environment to human rights.

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8:04pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Presidential Race

With New Film, Obama Hopes For Viral Video Boost

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 10:10 am

A screen shot of President Obama from the trailer for his campaign movie, The Road We've Traveled.
BarackObama.com/YouTube

There was a big movie premier Thursday — big in the political world, anyway. This movie is actually an ad of sorts, designed in hopes that it will go viral and help President Obama's re-election prospects.

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7:02pm

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Biden Calls Out Romney, Gingrich By Name For Opposing Auto Bailout

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 12:52 pm

Vice President Biden took on the traditional role that has been reserved to those who have previously served in his position as the political wing man for a president seeking re-election: he went on the attack.

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5:56pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Law

Report: Prosecutors Hid Evidence In Ted Stevens Case

Then-Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images

An extraordinary special investigation by a federal judge has concluded that two Justice Department prosecutors intentionally hid evidence in the case against Sen. Ted Stevens, one of the biggest political corruption cases in recent history.

A blistering report released Thursday found that the government team concealed documents that would have helped the late Stevens, a longtime Republican senator from Alaska, defend himself against false-statements charges in 2008. Stevens lost his Senate seat as the scandal played out, and he died in a plane crash two years later.

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5:51pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

Shell Picks Pittsburgh Area For Major Refinery

Shell Oil plans to open a major new oil refinery, which would convert ethane into more profitable chemicals, in the Pittsburgh area.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Shell Oil Co. has chosen a site near Pittsburgh for a major, multibillion-dollar petrochemical refinery that could provide a huge economic boost to the region.

Dan Carlson, Shell's general manager of new business development, said Thursday that the company signed a land option agreement with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site near Monaca, about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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5:51pm

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Southern Miss Band Hurls 'Where's Your Green Card?' Chant At Latino Player

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:54 pm

Kansas State's Angel Rodriguez (13) gets control of a loose ball in front of Southern Mississippi's Neil Watson during the first half of an East Regional NCAA tournament second-round college basketball game on Thursday.
Keith Srakocic AP

The president of the University of Southern Mississippi is apologizing today, after members of the school's band chanted "Where's your green card?" while a Latino player took a free throw during the NCAA tournament.

The incident happened during today's game between Southern Miss and Kansas State.

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5:36pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Law

N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

A forensic scientist processes DNA samples at the New York State Police lab in Albany.
Mike Groll AP

Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

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5:28pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

In Protest, Democrats Zero In On Men's Reproductive Health

Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat, has introduced legislation that would regulated men's use of reproductive health services.
Tony Dejak AP

For perhaps the first time in recent history, male reproductive health is at the forefront of political debate.

In at least six states, lawmakers — all women and all Democrats — have proposed bills or amendments in the last few weeks that aim to regulate a man's access to reproductive health care. It's their way of responding to the ongoing debate around contraception and abortion, said Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University.

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5:08pm

Thu March 15, 2012
Animals

Just How Big Are The Eyes Of A Giant Squid?

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:32 pm

This giant squid was caught about 10 miles off the shores of Oahu, Hawaii, in 1981. The pupil of its eye measured more than 3.5 inches across.
Current Biology

Giant and colossal squids can be more than 40 feet long, if you measure all the way out to the tip of their two long feeding tentacles. But it's their eyes that are truly huge — the size of basketballs.

Now, scientists say these squids may have the biggest eyes in the animal kingdom because they need to detect a major predator, the sperm whale, as it moves toward them through the underwater darkness.

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