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8:40am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Man Who Collected Ryan Braun's Sample Says He Didn't Tamper With It

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:41 am

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun waits for his turn to take batting practice at baseball spring training in Phoenix. The person who collected Braun's urine samples that tested positive for elevated testosterone levels says he followed the collection program's protocol.
Paul Connors AP

Dino Laurenzi Jr., the man who collected a urine sample from the Milwaukee Brewer's left fielder Ryan Braun, is defending himself for the first time.

Laurenzi was thrust into baseball's drug testing debate, when Braun questioned his integrity during a press conference on Friday.

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7:52am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

UPDATED: Ex-Mine Security Chief Sentenced To Three Years

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 2:59 pm

(The top of this post was updated at 1:45 p.m. ET with news of the prison sentence, and at 3 p.m. ET with the U.S. Attorney's reaction.)

A federal judge in West Virginia has sentenced Hughie Stover to three years in prison. Stover is the former security chief of the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died in a massive explosion in 2010.

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7:31am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

Man U.S. Calls A Top Al-Qaida Figure Is Arrested At Cairo Airport

Saif al-Adel.
FBI

A man the United States lists as one of its most wanted terrorists has been arrested in Cairo.

The AP reports that "security and airport officials" said Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi was arrested when he arrived in the country on Wednesday from Pakistan.

Makkawi, who the FBI says is also known as Saif Al-Aldel, is wanted in connection to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. Makkawi, the FBI says, is also suspected of being a high-ranking member of al-Qaida.

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7:26am

Wed February 29, 2012
Around the Nation

Ketchum Could Be First Female A&M Yell Leader

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:08am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Two-Way

UPDATED: At Least 12 People Killed In Deadly Midwest Storms

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

Sherry Cousins and her brother Bruce Wallace of Hollister, Mo., sit in the wreckage of their secondhand store in Branson, Mo, on February 29. A powerful storm system that produced multiple reports of tornadoes lashed the Midwest early today, roughing up the country music resort city of Branson.
Mark Schiefelbein AP

A line of severe storms moving across the Midwest left death and destruction in its wake early today.

The storms moved through Kansas and Missouri overnight, destroying one trailer park and leaving at least one dead in Buffalo, Mo.

The hardest hit area is Harrisburg, Ill., where authorities say at least six people have been killed after what is presumed to be a tornado raked the town before dawn. (Note: in situations such as this, details such as the number of people killed and injured change as more information comes in. We will be updating this post.)

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7:08am

Wed February 29, 2012
Around the Nation

Tow Truck Fishes Dozens Of Cars Out Of Wis. Lake

At this year's fishing contest on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, they weren't just fishing for sturgeon. People arriving to fish parked their cars too closely, and the ice gave way. No one was hurt but three dozen vehicles were pulled out of the lake.

7:05am

Wed February 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Can Win Outside Their 'Comfort Zones'?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Mitt Romney narrowly won in Michigan Tuesday night. For Super Tuesday, he'll set his sights on Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney notched two big wins Tuesday, upping his Republican presidential delegate count and taking modest-plus momentum into the week leading up to Super Tuesday on March 6.

With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in the history books as Romney's fifth and sixth victories, we're looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when presidential contests will be held in 10 states and 413 delegates will be up for grabs.

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5:30am

Wed February 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum & Co. Left To Mourn What Might Have Been in Michigan

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

Detroit native Mitt Romney greets supporters with wife Ann in Novi, Mich., after squeaking out a win in Tuesday's primary. He also won Arizona.
Gerald Herbert AP

Rick Santorum and his campaign will likely look back on Michigan's 2012 primary not only as a heartbreaking loss in the battle against Mitt Romney but also as a historic lost opportunity.

The upstart former senator from Pennsylvania was within a few percentage points of toppling the wobbly frontrunner in a state that really mattered.

Unlike his earlier wins in caucus states (Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota) and a nonbinding "beauty contest" (Missouri), a win in Michigan meant a real cache of committed delegates.

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4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Asia

Journalists Tracks Drone Strikes Near Afghan �"Pakistan Border

Pakistani journalist Pir Zubair Shah has been following drone strikes in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan for more than half a decade. He talks to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep about his recent article in Foreign Policy magazine titled "My Drone War."

4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an invitation from Apple.

Journalists were invited yesterday by Apple for a product event next month. And that was enough to send the company shares to another all-time high. There's wide speculation the event will introduce the next generation of its iPad tablet. The iPad 3 is expected to have a faster processor and a high definition display. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to our last word in business on this Leap Day: a rare proposal. Traditionally in many European countries Leap Day was considered the only day when a woman could propose to a man. And one restaurant in Swindon, England seems to be capitalizing on that.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Election 2012

Romney Scratches Out Close Victory In Michigan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. For Mitt Romney, this is a day to savor victory and feel a lot of relief. The former Massachusetts governor turned back former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in two states. Romney won an easy victory in Arizona. In Michigan, Romney had to scratch out a close win in the state where he was born.

Romney has reclaimed his status as clear front-runner one week before 10 more states vote on Super Tuesday.

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4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Election 2012

29 GOP Delegates In Arizona Go To Romney

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And while Mitt Romney was eking out that win in Michigan, he pretty much walked away with yesterday's Arizona primary. Romney was expected to win in Arizona, but he walloped his closest challenger - that would be Rick Santorum - by 20 percentage points. Helped, in part, by the support of the last Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain.

And while all the attention was on Michigan throughout the night, NPR's Ted Robbins reports that in the all-important delegate count, the Arizona win counts for nearly as much.

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4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Research News

Do NASCAR Races Contribute To Motorists' Wrecks?

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

New research indicates that five days after major NASCAR races, there is a measurable increase in traffic accidents caused by aggressive driving.

4:00am

Wed February 29, 2012
Afghanistan

After Quran Burnings, U.S. To Review Afghan Mission

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The deadly violence in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans by the U.S. military has brought the American-led NATO mission to a crossroads. Among the dead have been four Americans, two of them by an Afghan policeman inside what was thought to be a highly secure government ministry building. The U.S. pulled all of its advisors from those ministries. The entire international community is on virtual lockdown.

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3:31am

Wed February 29, 2012
Business

Identity Theft A Growing Concern For Businesses

Fake business listings and other forms of business identity theft are a growing concern, causing real business owners to worry about protecting reputations and losing customers.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

You've heard of identity theft — someone using a person's credit information or a Social Security number for ill-gotten gains. Well, experts say similar crimes are also affecting businesses.

Business identity theft involves posing as a legitimate business in order to get access to credit lines or steal customers. Experts believe that the practice has become more prevalent in the past two years.

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3:27am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Salt

Newfoundland Gives Whole New Meaning To Ice Cold Beer

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:31 am

Quidi Vidi's lager is brewed with 25,000-year-old water harvested from Newfoundland's icebergs.
Courtesy of Quidi Vidi

The year the Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. started brewing beer with iceberg water, a giant iceberg floated up against the cliffs around St. John's, Newfoundland.

"It was a big berg and it jammed right across the harbor here," says Charlie Rees, the brewery's tour guide.

Rees says Newfoundlanders have a curious relationship with icebergs. On the one hand, they're a fact of life. On the other, when that iceberg was in the harbor's mouth, hundreds of people came down to gawk. He took pictures.

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3:25am

Wed February 29, 2012
Economy

Record Low Interest Rates Raise Inflation Concerns

The Federal Reserve plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero until 2014, and some critics are concerned about the risk of inflation and the message it sends about the economy.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The goal of the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policy is to juice the economic recovery. The low rates should make it easier for people to borrow money, which they'll hopefully spend; the increased demand for goods and services is then supposed to translate into more hiring.

That's what the Fed is banking on. It hopes low interest rates will help with its mandate of achieving maximum employment, but it also has another mandate: to keep prices stable.

"In many cases, those two conflict," says economist Joe Gagnon of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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12:08am

Wed February 29, 2012
The Record

Music In Political Campaigns 101

Kid Rock performs during a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Michigan Monday night. Romney asked for, and was given, permission to use the Detroit rocker's song "Born Free" in his campaign.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

12:01am

Wed February 29, 2012
Sweetness And Light

100 Points, One Game: A Basketball Record Turns 50

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors poses in the dressing room after he scored 100 points in a game against the New York Knickerbockers on March 2, 1962.
Paul Vathis AP

Dave Zinkoff — or simply "The Zink" — was perhaps the most distinctive public address announcer in sports when, years ago, he called games in Philadelphia, especially for the city's NBA teams. Just his declaring that there were two minutes left in the quarter made you feel that, never mind that quarter, doomsday was but 120 seconds away.

But nothing The Zink cried out was so resounding as when Wilt Chamberlain would make an emphatic slam.

"Dipper dunk!" he would holler.

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12:01am

Wed February 29, 2012
All Tech Considered

Nailing Down The Appeal Of Pinterest

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

A visit to the Pinterest home page reveals images of what some say are stereotypically female interests, from women's fashions to recipes.
Pinterest

To the list of weird-sounding hybrid words of the digital age, like Googling and tweeting, we can now add "pinning." As in Pinterest. It's sort of an online scrapbook or bulletin board, and it's one of the fastest-growing websites in history.

Last month, more than 10 million unique visitors signed on to Pinterest. But some of them, like Billy Winburn, are still trying to get the hang of it. At an office in Alexandria, Va., Jennifer Folsom, who works a few desks away, is walking him through the process.

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12:01am

Wed February 29, 2012
Europe

For Leap Day Only, A Rare Newspaper Goes To Print

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:02 am

A man reads a copy of the satirical newspaper La Bougie du Sapeur (The Sapper's Candle), published every leap day, in a Parisian cafe on Feb. 29, 2008. The paper's tagline is "without reproach."
Patrick Hertzog AFP/Getty Images

At newsstands across France on Wednesday, readers will delight to a humorous broadsheet published every four years on leap day.

At news shops in Paris and around France, readers look forward to their copy of La Bougie du Sapeur every Feb. 29. Published since 1980, the satirical journal is now in its ninth edition. Its title, which translates as "sapper's candle," is taken from an old French comic-book figure who was born on that fateful last day of February.

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6:36pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Election 2012

'Real Jump Ball' In Romney's Native State Of Michigan

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:59 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney waves to supporters Tuesday during a primary night gathering at the Suburban Collections Showplace in Novi, Mich.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Mitt Romney won both states that held primaries on Tuesday. But his margin in his home state of Michigan appears narrow enough to keep the GOP nominating contest lively for some time to come.

NPR projected wins for the former Massachusetts governor in both Arizona, where he won comfortably, and in Michigan, where he led Rick Santorum, 41 to 38 percent, with 99 percent of precincts counted.

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6:20pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Leap Day: Any Plans?

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:26 pm

Something that only comes around once every four years and doesn't involve either politics or Olympic competition deserves its own mention:

Wednesday is Feb. 29.

Leap day, that is.

Our friend Linton Weeks has put together a handy list of 24 things you could do with the extra 24 hours. (And yes, we know that some of you have already started your day; but, hey, we're an East Coast-based blog.)

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6:15pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Dental Visits To ERs Are On The Rise

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:18 pm

Toothache? The ER doctor will see you now.
istockphoto.com

Americans who turn up in the emergency room to get dental care aren't lost, they're probably just running out of options.

According to a new report from the Pew Center on the States, more than 800,000 visits to the ER in 2009 were for toothaches and other avoidable dental ailments.

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6:05pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Politics

Found Time: How To Spend The 24 Hours Of Leap Day

Leap day is the perfect moment to contemplate time. Here a man looks at the Seine river through the giant clock of the Orsay Museum in Paris.
Pierre Verdy AFP/Getty Images

Found time! An extra day. How will you use it? Here are 24 ideas. None of them takes longer than an hour. Because time is tight, time is of the essence, time is money. And if you don't have time to get to everything on the list, don't worry. Maybe in 2016.

Feb. 29, 2012 Hour By Hour:

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6:03pm

Tue February 28, 2012
It's All Politics

Senate's Snowe To Retire, Boosting Democrats' Bid To Keep Control

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 6:43 pm

Sen. Olympia Snowe in Augusta, Maine, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012.
Joel Page AP

Virtually everyone expected Tuesday's big political news to come blowing out of Michigan, the big industrial state, where Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum were vying to win that state's GOP presidential primary.

But little Maine managed a national political bombshell of its own with the surprising news that Sen. Olympia Snowe, the 65-year old, three-term moderate Republican senator, won't seek re-election.

From a statement she issued, it appears Washington's partisan bickering just got kind of old for the senator.

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5:45pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Join Us For Live Blogging Of Today's Republican Primaries

Another Tuesday, another critical day for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders.

This time the locations are Michigan, where most polls close at 8 p.m. ET, and Arizona, where voting ends at 9 p.m. ET. The story political junkies are watching closest: Will former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, hold off a strong challenge there from former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum?

Also on the ballots, of course: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas.

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5:25pm

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Gay Marine's Kiss Was 'Four Years Of Pent-Up Emotion And Secret Love'

The kiss. That's Sgt. Brandon Morgan on the right. Dalan Wells on the left.
Gay Marines on Facebook

When he returned from Afghanistan and saw his partner waiting to welcome him home, "four years of pent-up emotion and secret love" just seemed to naturally lead to "what felt like an eternity kiss," Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan told NPR this afternoon.

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4:58pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Popular Cholesterol Drugs Get New Warnings About Memory, Blood Sugar

Lipitor, and other cholesterol-fighting drugs like it, will carry new instructions about risks.
Paul Sakuma AP

If you take a cholesterol-lowering drug called a statin, there's some new safety information you should know about.

A statin might be why you're having trouble remembering things or have been feeling confused, or at least that's what quite a few people taking the drugs have been saying.

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