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4:52pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Middle East

In A New Setback, Syrian Opposition Splits

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:59 pm

A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a Sunday demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib in northern Syria.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Monday was a rough day for the opposition in Syria. Senior officials in the main opposition group announced that they're forming a new organization. The development was the latest sign of the divisions within the Syrian opposition that's trying to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.

At the same time, Assad's government said that nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed constitutional reforms in a referendum a day earlier, even though the Syrian opposition and international critics called the balloting a farce.

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4:48pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

In Kentucky, 2015 Derby Winner Could Arrive Any Day Now

This picture has stayed in Noah Adams' mind.
Dr. Kim Sprayberry Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

The horse that wins the Kentucky Derby in 2015 may come into the world tonight in the Bluegrass State.

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4:47pm

Mon February 27, 2012
'Radio Diaries'

Straight Out Of Flint: Girl Boxer Aims For Olympics

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

"Before boxing, I wanted to have 10 kids by the time I was 25. Now, my goal is to get this gold medal, go pro and be a world champion," says aspiring Olympic boxer Claressa Shields, 16.
Sue Jaye Johnson

Sixteen-year-old Claressa Shields has a dream. She's in London, at the Olympic finals for women's boxing, when the announcer calls out, "The first woman Olympian at 165 pounds — Claressa Shields!"

Claressa, a high school student and middleweight boxer from Flint, Mich., is the youngest fighter competing for a place on the U.S. Olympic women's boxing team.

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4:38pm

Mon February 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Casting Himself As Outsider, Santorum Benefited From D.C. 'Revolving Door'

On the campaign trail, Rick Santorum portrays himself as a Washington outsider. But the former senator has made money from inside-the-Beltway pursuits.
Jeff Kowalsky EPA/Landov

Rick Santorum is trying to shake up the Republican primary by winning the primary Tuesday in Michigan — and many polls show him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. He's a former senator from Pennsylvania best known as a culture warrior. What's less well known is what he did after losing his re-election bid in 2006.

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4:36pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Pediatricians Recommend HPV Vaccination For Boys

Connor Perruccello-McClellan, a senior at Providence Country Day School in Rhode Island, has been vaccinated against HPV, something less than 1 percent of U.S. males can say.
Richard Knox NPR

The leading group of U.S. pediatricians says it's now time for boys, as well as girls, to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidance to parents and doctors in favor of routine immunization for boys against the virus.

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4:22pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Red Cross Reaches Hama, Homs, Delivers Food, Medical Aid

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross tells NPR's Newscast Unit that ambulances from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were able to evacuate three people from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, which have been heavily shelled in recent days.

One of the people evacuated was "a pregnant woman in urgent need of care," said Simon Schorno, who added the ambulances "also brought in emergency medical supplies to be distributed immediately."

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4:11pm

Mon February 27, 2012
All Tech Considered

To Get Out The Vote, Evangelicals Try Data Mining

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Kay Clymer spends hours each day urging fellow Christians to vote. She finds their phone numbers through a database created by the company United In Purpose.
Steve Brown WOSU

When Bill Dallas first heard that 15 to 20 million Christians in the U.S. are not registered to vote, he couldn't believe it.

"Initially, it surprised me. And then I thought to myself, 'Wait a minute, I'm not registered,' Dallas says. "Why wasn't I registered? Well, because I didn't think my vote made a difference."

Identifying Christians With Data Points

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3:52pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Latin America

Violence Exposes Crisis In Latin American Prisons

In Honduras, female relatives of inmates killed during a fire at a prison argue with soldiers as they try to enter the morgue in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, on Feb. 20. The fire at Comayagua prison on Feb. 14 killed more than 300 inmates.
Esteban Felix AP

A series of fatal riots inside Mexican prisons last week and a deadly blaze at a penitentiary in Honduras are prompting calls for major penal reform in Central America.

Violence at three different penitentiaries in Mexico last week left 48 inmates dead, while the inferno in Honduras earlier this month killed 360 prisoners.

These deadly events underscore the problems of corruption, overcrowding, prison gangs and crumbling infrastructure that prisons face throughout the region.

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3:38pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Planet Money

From Cell Phones To Cigarettes: The Long Arm Of The Chinese Government

How many government-owned businesses do you see in this picture?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Beijing and Shanghai feel like an entrepreneurial free-for-all, full of mom-and-pop stores and street vendors selling snacks and cheap toys.

But when you pull back the curtain, you see a different picture: a country where the government still controls huge swaths of the economy.

When you're in China, there's a good chance you're doing business with the government every time you:

  • make a call on your cellphone (the government owns the country's biggest cellphone network)
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3:24pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Cash Buyers Squeezing Out Traditional Home-Seekers

Dan Grohs (left) with real estate agent Pat Paulson in front of a foreclosed Minneapolis home. Grohs hopes to buy the house with cash.
Annie Baxter NPR

Not everyone wants to buy a mold-infested foreclosure, but Dan Grohs does.

He and his Realtor are walking through a three-bedroom house in Minneapolis. The copper pipes have been stolen by vandals and the heat doesn't work, but Grohs recently bid on the house — and he sees potential.

"It's got a nice flow to it," Grohs says as he moves through the home. "You walk in — living room, dining room, kitchen. Good spacious rooms."

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3:15pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Architecture

Chinese Architect Wang Shu Wins The Pritzker Prize

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

Wang Shu's design for the Ningbo History Museum came to him at 3 in the morning. He realized his job was to show people what their city used to look like, and the design recalls an ancient Chinese fortress.
Lv Hengzhong

For the first time, the Pritzker Architecture Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that sometimes seem forgotten in today's booming China. Wang says in the 1990s he had to get away from China's architectural "system" of demolition, megastructures and get-rich-quick — so he spent the decade working with common craftspeople building simple constructions.

"I go out of system," Wang says, "Because, finally I think, this system is too strong."

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3:06pm

Mon February 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Wealth 'Gaffes' Seem Less About Money, More About Him

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 4:34 pm

Mitt Romney walks with driver Brian Vickers at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

By this point, as virtually everyone knows, Mitt Romney has fed a stereotype of himself as an out-of-touch plutocrat through a series of comments the news media have labeled "gaffes."

The word gaffe, of course, as Michael Kinsley once observed, has at least two meanings: the generally used one of something that's a social faux pas, and the Washington one, which the journalist said was "someone telling the truth by accident."

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2:55pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Colombia's FARC Says It Will Halt Kidnappings

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 3:05 pm

Miriam Lasso, sister of police sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso who was kidnapped by the FARC in Nov. of 1998, holds a candle next to pictures of several police and military hostages of the FARC, in January in Cali.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The rebel group that has made kidnapping a central part of its operating procedure in Colombia says it is halting the practice and releasing 10 security force members it has held for as long as 14 years.

"From this day on we are halting the practice in our revolutionary activity," the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement released on its website.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a cautious message on Twitter.

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2:42pm

Mon February 27, 2012
National Security

U.S., Iran Eye Each Other Warily In Persian Gulf

An Iraqi jet fired missiles that hit the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf in 1987, killing 37 U.S. sailors. Iraq and Iran were at war at the time, and the U.S. wanted to keep open the regiion's vital oil shipping lanes. The current friction between the U.S. and Iran has again raised tension in the Gulf.
U.S Navy AP

History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.

As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.

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2:29pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Active Video Games Don't Keep Kids Moving

Just because it's an "active" video game, doesn't mean the kid stays active.
Jeff Gentner AP

Active video games like the Wii seem just the thing to lure children into getting more exercise. But in real life, giving a child active video games doesn't get them off the couch and moving.

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2:05pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Books

'Am I My Genes?': Fate, Family And Genetic Testing

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 2:13 pm

Advances in genetic testing have improved the prediction, diagnosis and treatment of disease. But having increased information about your genetic makeup can raise some difficult questions and decisions.

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1:31pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Salt

Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers' Case Against Monsanto

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 11:37 am

Farmer Alan Madison fills a seed hopper with Monsanto hybrid seed corn near Arlington, Illinois, U.S. A group of organic and other growers say they're concerned they'll be sued by Monsanto if pollen from seeds like these drift onto their fields.
Daniel Acker Landov

A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

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1:18pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

TransCanada To Begin Work On One Portion Of Keystone Pipeline

After a proposal to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas was denied by the Obama administration, TransCanada says it will start building the Oklahoma-to-Texas portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

If you remember back in January, the administration told TransCanada to reapply for a permit on the 1,700 mile pipeline when it had plans to avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills of Nebraska.

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1:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Education

Affirmative Action: Is It Still Necessary?

In a 2003 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold affirmative action and said it expected that in 25 years, "the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary." The court will hear a case involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas in the fall.

1:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Opinion

Op-Ed: It Seems Easier to Raise A Kid Alone

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:04 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

And now, The Opinion Page. Jessica Olien has neither a husband nor a child, but she would eventually like to have one without the other - meaning she wants to be a mom, but she does not want to be a wife. She intends when she has a child to raise it on her own, as her mother raised her without a man around. Her piece titled "I Want to be My Child's Only Parent" ran in the online magazine Slate. It was in response to new numbers that show that more than half of the children born to women under 30 are now born to single mothers.

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1:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Africa

The World's Options For Aid In Somalia

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

The Somali Civil War that began in 1991 destroyed the country's agriculture; that led to widespread starvation and poverty, thousands of people died, warlords took over clans. The United States and other countries tried to help, but all efforts have failed. Now 20 years have gone by. And with piracy and the threat of terrorism from the group al-Shabab becoming a global problem, the British government held a summit last week in London with 55 delegations from Somalia and the international community.

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12:28pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Costa Allegra, Concordia's Sister Ship, Adrift In Indian Ocean

After an engine room fire, the Costa Allegra is adrift in the Indian ocean. The Allegra is owned by Costa Concordia, the same company that owns the cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy and killed 25 people and left seven missing.

The AP reports the Costa Allegra is adrift in the area of the Indian Ocean where Somali pirates have been active.

The Guardian reports:

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12:20pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Gay Marine's Homecoming Kiss Is Lighting Up The Web

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

12:16pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Book Reviews

China On The Court: NBA Meets The 'Brave Dragons'

iStockPhoto.com

"Linsanity" is the magical byword of this basketball season. As anyone who is even semi-conscious knows, Jeremy Lin, the NBA's first Taiwanese-American player by way of Harvard, was passed over for college athletic scholarships and ignored in NBA drafts. Then, he landed with the New York Knicks and has since proved to everybody that athletic prejudice against Asians is Lincredibly stupid. Except, as journalist Jim Yardley points out in his new book on basketball fever in China, Chinese players and coaches happen to endorse that prejudice.

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12:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Economy

Gas Prices Put The Brakes On Economic Recovery?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Coming up, voters in the West African nation of Senegal took to the polls yesterday. But for the past month, election-related protests there have turned violent, something that has shocked this country with a tradition of peaceful and Democratic elections. We'll check in with NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton for a report on what is behind the violence and how the voting actually proceeded over the weekend. That conversation is coming up.

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12:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Africa

Controversial Election Shakes Once-Stable Senegal

Violent protests marked the run-up to Sunday's first round of presidential elections in Senegal. Unofficial vote counts indicate a possible run-off between incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade and a former prime minister. Critics say Wade's third term bid is unconstitutional, and they are concerned about corruption and the high cost of living. Host Michel Martin checks in with NPR's West Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

12:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Black History Month Memoirs

Black People: Naturally Cool?

A new collection of essays ponders the provocative question of whether black people are naturally cool or if they must work at it. Margo Jefferson and Helena Andrews share their thoughts in Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness. They speak with host Michel Martin.

12:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Oscars 2012: The 84th Academy Awards

'The Artist' The Right Pick For 'Best Picture'?

Host Michel Martin dishes on the wins, losses, and fashion faux pas of Sunday night's Academy Awards. She checks in with Wesley Morris, film critic for The Boston Globe, and Sheila Marikar, entertainment reporter and producer for ABCNews.Com.

12:00pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Music

'Man Or Muppet?' Tops Oscar Voter's Playlist

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are going to stay in Hollywood for this edition of the feature we call "In Your Ear." That's where we ask some of our guests to share the songs that keep them jamming.

Today, we hear from filmmaker Reginald Hudlin. He is a producer and director. He's also one of the few African-American voting members of the Academy Awards. And there's a bit of Oscar flavor to his playlist. Here it is.

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11:00am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Chechens Allegedly Planned To Attack Putin's Motorcade With Mines

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Alexey Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

Chechens who allegedly were hoping to kill Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin planned to hide landmines along a route his motorcade often uses in Moscow, according to Russian TV, the BBC reports.

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