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7:49am

Thu March 15, 2012
Around the Nation

'Downton Abbey' Actors Attend State Dinner

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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7:43am

Thu March 15, 2012
Around the Nation

Bottles Of Tide Turn Up In Drug Bust

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:25am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghans Object, U.S. Officials Defend Decision To Move Massacre Suspect

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 10:35 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, with Col. John Shafer, at Foward Operating Base Shukvani in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • Tom Bowman
  • Larry Abramson speaks with Renee Montagne

The news that the U.S. Army staff sergeant who is suspected of murdering 16 Afghan civilians has been moved to a detention facility in Kuwait is sparking some small protests in Afghanistan.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
NPR Story

Oil, Gas Drillers In Ohio Face Higher Taxes

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:22 pm

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tax hikes and tighter regulations are in store for gas and oil drillers in Ohio, if the governor has his way.

Yesterday, Republican John Kasich called for sweeping changes and stricter controls in handling the state's shale gas boom.

Tim Rudell, of member station WKSU, reports Kasich is normally anti-regulation but is making an exception.

TIM RUDELL, BYLINE: Governor John Kasich told oil and gas companies to show him the money.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: barbershop battle.

Barbers and beauticians are splitting hairs over the swirling red, white and blue striped pole that traditionally stands outside a barber shop. Barbers in several states are pushing legislation to prevent shops without a licensed barber from using the striped pole.

Many hair stylists say that they offer the same services as a licensed barber. But barbers say there are differences. For instance, only they can give shaves with a straight razor.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
NPR Story

Biden Speeches To Frame Election Debate

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Afghanistan

On Afghan Trip, Panetta Meets With Karzai

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan. It's a long-planned trip that's turned into something of a fence-mending mission. Yesterday, Panetta met with U.S. Marines and Afghan troops in the southern province of Helmand.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

When A Normal Job Resignation Won't Do

When Greg Smith quit his job at Goldman Sachs, he slammed his former employer in a blistering newspaper essay. People don't often quit with such a public display of vitriol. But when they do, it certainly gets attention.

4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

Business News

India must cut back its imports on Iranian oil by June 28 or face U.S sanctions. A new law targets Iran's central bank, which is used for oil transactions, and it penalizes foreign countries that ignore the sanctions.

4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

Spain Granted Time To Comply With EU Budget Rules

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And after the latest financial bailout of Greece, Europe is now worried more about Spain. That country has also been overspending for years, in violation of EU budget rules.

To look at the implications, Lauren Frayer brings us this report from Madrid.

LAUREN FRAYER, BYLINE: Before the ink was dry on a new European fiscal pact, Spain was already asking for a pass. Its deficit last year was nearly triple what EU rules allow.

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Television

TV Networks Roll Out Spring Replacement Shows

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new ABC series, called "Missing," debuts tonight. It features Ashley Judd as a woman tracking her teen son in Europe who's mysteriously disappeared. TV critic Eric Deggans says the series is part of a new TV trend this spring: shows that are more experimental and edgy.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Would you believe Ashley Judd as a mom who works as a florist, but also used to be a deadly CIA operative?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MISSING")

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4:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Asia

China Removes Flamboyant Politician From Post

Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai leaves after the third plenary meeting of the National People's Congress at The Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 9. Bo had been seen as a leading contender to access the top rungs of power in China, but in a dramatic reversal of fortune, he was sacked Thursday amid a rare public scandal.
Feng Li Getty Images

In a moment of high political drama, China has removed flamboyant politician Bo Xilai from his post as party secretary of the major southern city of Chongqing. The sacking comes as Beijing approaches a once-in-a-decade power transition this fall, offering a glimpse of the Machiavellian political struggle behind the scenes.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Author Interviews

The Wild And Crazy 'Tweets Of Steve Martin'

Steve Martin has won two Grammys for his comedy albums. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood and The Spanish Prisoner.

After 40 years on the stand-up stage, countless comedy albums and iconic movies, Steve Martin is still finding new ways to make people laugh.

The comedian got on Twitter in 2010, and by now he has attracted nearly 2.5 million followers with his funny and slightly demented tweets.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Race

Voters May Break Up Fight Over 'Fighting Sioux'

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

The University of North Dakota's Brad Eidsness makes a save during a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Since 2005, there have been a series of lawsuits and legislative actions over the nickname for the school's athletic teams, the "Fighting Sioux."
Josh Holmberg AP

The state Supreme Court in North Dakota is about to consider this question: Can lawmakers require a college to name its sports teams after a Native American tribe?

For decades, University of North Dakota teams have been known as the "Fighting Sioux." It's a name some see as an honor and others find demeaning. Now, the long fight over the Fighting Sioux may be settled in a courtroom.

2,400 Logos And A 'Vexing' Dispute

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Salt

In France, Politicians Make Halal Meat A Campaign Issue

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:29 pm

French President Nicolas Sarkozy listens to a butcher during a visit to the butchery pavilion at the Rungis international food market, near Paris, in February.
Anna Maria Jakub Getty Images

A provocative comment by an extreme right presidential candidate has started a debate that is dominating the French presidential campaign. France may be in the middle of an economic crisis, but politicians seem more interested in talking about halal meat and religious dietary rules.

It all began when National Front Party presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that non-Muslims in Paris were unwittingly eating halal meat.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Planet Money

China's Giant Pool Of Dollars

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 11:08 am

There is an advantage to strengthening the currency for people in China: It makes their imports cheaper. A clerk counts bank notes in a bank in Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province.
Xinhua /Landov

China's central bank is sitting on a giant pool of U.S. dollars. It's the world's biggest holder of foreign reserves, worth over $3 trillion at last count.

All that money has piled up because every year, China exports more than it imports; it runs a trade surplus.

There are lots of reasons for China's trade surplus. In the past few decades, China has built an amazing manufacturing ecosystem. It's become the factory to the world.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Energy

Surging Gas Prices Have Drivers Fuming

A driver pumps gas in Los Angeles, where prices are among the highest in the country, topping $4 a gallon.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Gasoline prices have risen about 50 cents a gallon since January. The national average for regular gas stands at just above $3.80 per gallon.

Pity the drivers on the West Coast. Prices there have been much higher. At a Chevron station in Culver City, Calif., the price on Tuesday was $4.45 a gallon.

"I do building maintenance," Ursula Matthews said as she filled her tank. "I do a lot of driving from place to place. It's hurting me. I cannot raise the prices [of my services] with the economy what it is."

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Middle East

Iranians Feel The Bite Of Tougher Sanctions

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:42 am

Iranians wait to enter a currency exchange shop in Tehran on Jan. 3. The Iranian rial fell to a record low against the dollar in early January after President Obama signed a bill imposing fresh sanctions on the country's central bank.
Morteza Nikoubazl Reuters/Landov

No nation has been sanctioned so frequently, and so thoroughly, as the Islamic Republic of Iran. For more than 30 years, the country has been under some kind of punitive economic measure.

The goal has been to prevent Iran from receiving and using the billions of dollars in oil profits that finance its nuclear program.

But none have been tougher, according to President Obama, than the sanctions his administration has imposed on Iran's banking system.

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12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Presidential Race

Campaign Videos: A Time-Tested Election Tactic

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:34 am

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

12:01am

Thu March 15, 2012
Sports

Murray State Racers Fans Revved Up Over NCAA

Murray State fans celebrate a 3-point shot by Murray State's Donte Poole during the first half of a game St. Mary's on Feb. 18. Since January, every Racers home game has sold out.
Stephen Lance Dennee AP

On the Murray State University campus in Kentucky, warm weather has arrived. Students are out on the quad skateboarding, riding bikes, playing Frisbee and listening to music. But what are they talking about? Basketball.

"I think Murray State can go to the Final Four," one student says.

The MSU Racers have been in the tournament before, but with just a single loss this season and the highest tournament seed in the program's history, expectations are greater than ever.

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6:08pm

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Santorum: Puerto Rico Must Adopt English If It Wants Statehood

Carlos Diaz, 84, reads local newspaper "El Vocero" with a front page depicting both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and a headline reading, "The National Battle Arrives on the Island."
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Rick Santorum waded into a controversial issue today when he gave an interview to El Vocero, one of the biggest newspapers in Puerto Rico.

The issue? The island's primary language.

The paper asked the former Pennsylvania senator if he would back Puerto Rican statehood if Spanish along with English remained its official languages.

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5:29pm

Wed March 14, 2012
House & Senate Races

King Returns: Ex-Gov. Fights For Snowe's Senate Seat

Former Maine Gov. Angus King has been out of office since 2003. He currently teaches at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Joel Page AP

5:05pm

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Might Like The View From Peoria

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Peoria, Ill., as seen from across the Illinois River.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

Mississippi and Alabama were big wins for Rick Santorum in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination.

While never considered strong for Mitt Romney, those states further revealed the vulnerabilities of his campaign, specifically, problems identifying with many elements of the Republican base.

The next big contest is Tuesday in Illinois.

It's a state rich in delegates (69) and in something else that should be good news for Romney: more moderate Republicans. But he still needs to connect with even those voters.

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5:03pm

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

'Whitey' Bulger's Girlfriend Pleads Guilty Of Helping Him Evade Police

This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of Whitey Bulger.
AP

In a deal with prosecutors, the longtime girlfriend of mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger pleaded guilty to helping him evade capture from police.

Bulger, if you remember, was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last June. He is the most notorious mob boss in Boston and was wanted for his alleged role in 19 murders.

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5:01pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Doctors Revamp Guidelines For Pap Smears

Cells gathered during a Pap test. Those on the left are normal, and those on the right are infected with human papillomavirus.
Ed Uthman Wikimedia Commons

Women should get screened for cervical cancer far less frequently than doctors have long recommended, according to new guidelines released Wednesday.

More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the United States, and more than 4,000 die from the disease.

For years, doctors have recommended that women start getting Pap smears every year or two to try to catch signs of cancer early, when it's easiest to prevent and treat.

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4:56pm

Wed March 14, 2012
The Salt

Fish And Spices Top List of Imported Foods That Make Us Sick

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 4:58 pm

More than 75 percent of the fish consumed in the U.S. is imported.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Disease outbreaks with imported foods are on the rise, and fish and spices are the foods most likely to cause problems.

It's not that imported foods are any nastier than home-grown, according to a presentation today from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's that we're eating a lot more of them.

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4:39pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Mississippi Builds Insurance Exchange, Even As It Fights Health Law

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 9:24 am

Mississippi, unlike some of its neighbors, is moving ahead with an insurance exchange.
iStockphoto.com

Mississippi, a deeply red Southern state that is part of the Supreme Court case against the health law, is moving full speed ahead with one of the key provisions of that law: an online health insurance exchange.

Unlike Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other conservative states in the South, Mississippi is well on its way to having an insurance exchange ready for operation by the 2014 deadline laid out by the health overhaul law.

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4:34pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Looking Up: Pockets Of Economic Strength

Optimism Rising Along With The Number of New Jobs

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Economists say job growth plays a big role in how consumers are feeling about the U.S. economy.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Part of a series

As 2011 was winding down, consumer spirits were starting to rise. Now the momentum has carried into the new year, with polls showing consumer sentiment continuing to improve.

Economists say that negative factors, such as falling home values or rising meat prices, are nowhere near as important as the growth in jobs.

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4:28pm

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Gingrich's SuperPAC Ally Tells How His Candidate Can Still Be Nominee

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 6:02 pm

Newt Gingrich could still be his party's salvation, according to a former aide who advises a pro-Gingrich superPAC.
David Goldman AP

Time for a few unconventional thoughts:

  • Newt Gingrich is still in good enough shape to win the Republican presidential nomination at a brokered convention in Tampa.
  • By staying in the race, Gingrich actually helps, not hurts, his rival Rick Santorum.
  • Gingrich's situation resembles Abraham Lincoln's in 1860.
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4:16pm

Wed March 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Reports: New York Knicks Head Coach D'Antoni Resigns

Head coach Mike D'Antoni of the New York Knicks during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at in January.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Several news organizations are reporting that what had at one point been a story-book run by the New York Knicks is crashing back to reality: With the return of star Carmelo Anthony and a six-game losing streak behind him, head coach Mike D'Antoni has resigned.

Yahoo! Sports, which first reported the story, says D'Antoni has clashed with Anthony in the past. They report:

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