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2:20pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Gordon Hirabayashi Has Died; He Refused To Go To WWII Internment Camp

"This order for the mass evacuation of all persons of Japanese descent denies them the right to live," Seattle native Gordon Hirabayashi wrote in 1942. "I consider it my duty to maintain the democratic standards for which this nation lives. Therefore, I must refuse this order of evacuation."

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1:53pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Carmakers, VW, Report Big Gains In Auto Sales For 2011

A Jeep Wrangler is seen at a dealership in Chicago. Powered by a newly designed fleet of vehicles, the brand saw a sharp rise in sales in 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

America's big three automakers all experienced double-digit sales growth in 2011, helping the U.S. market continue its rebound from a dismal 2009. With annual reports out today, Chrysler says its sales were up 26 percent, while General Motors and Ford Motor Co. reporting gains of 13 and 11 percent, respectively.

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1:50pm

Wed January 4, 2012
It's All Politics

McCain Endorses Romney

Saying he's there "to make sure we make Mitt Romney the next president of the United States of America," 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain just returned to New Hampshire to endorse the White House bid of his one-time rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

McCain and Romney fought a hard battle for the GOP nomination n 2008, after which Romney endorsed the Arizona senator.

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1:38pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Number Of Twins Soars As Older Moms Turn To Fertility Treatments

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 1:40 pm

iStockphoto.com

The number of twins born each year in the United States has more than doubled since 1980, federal health officials reported Wednesday.

For most of the last century the rate at which American women gave birth to twins remained steady at about 2 percent of all births.

But the rate increased steadily between 1980 and 2009, according to the latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics. And by 2009, more than 3 percent of all births produced twins.

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1:33pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

As EU Mulls Oil Embargo, Iran Remains Defiant

Reuters and Bloomberg are both reporting that the European Union is close to imposing an embargo on Iranian oil. The Wall Street Journal goes a step further, saying that now that Greece has dropped objections to the ban, the EU has reached a preliminary agreement.

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1:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Iraq

Uncertainty For Iraqi Translator After Withdrawal

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 2:24 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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1:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Politics

What The Close Race In Iowa Means For N.H.

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Concord, New Hampshire. But in Iowa, Romney ekes out an eyelash gold. Ron Paul settles for bronze, and a sweet silver for Santorum. It's Wednesday and time for a...

RICK SANTORUM: Game on.

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

SENATOR BARRY GOLDWATER: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

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1:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Politics

The Back Of The Republican Pack Weighs Options

Rep. Michele Bachmann suspended her campaign. Texas Gov. Rick Perry headed home to reassess his bid after Iowa. And while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul carry the momentum into New Hampshire and South Carolina, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman promise to continue their campaigns.

12:47pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Boeing Says It Will Close Wichita Plant That Employs 2,160 Workers

Boeing plans to close its Wichita plant, where in 2005 members of the Machinists Union voted to go on strike, seen in this file photo.
Larry W. Smith Getty Images

Boeing Co. says it will shut down its Wichita facility, which specializes in maintaining and modifying the company's planes for military or government use. The plant is slated to close by the end of 2013.

The closure could devastate a portion of the local economy, according to The Wichita Eagle:

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12:41pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Opinion

Will Charlie Rose Rise And Shine For CBS?

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 5:19 pm

TV personality, and new CBS anchor Charlie Rose poses on Oct. 22, 2009, in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Andrew Wallenstein is an editor at Variety.

Charlie Rose may very well be the best interviewer on the planet. If there's something important in the news, chances are he has left his mark on the story — from the events unfolding in North Korea to the modern relevance of Shakespeare.

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12:40pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

How Close Was It? Iowa Result Was .003 Tighter Than Bush-Gore In Fla.

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 1:15 pm

Some of the caucus ballots from a GOP gathering Tuesday night in Des Moines.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to close political races, the recent Gold Standard in the U.S. is the 2000 presidential vote in Florida.

So we were wondering how last night's result in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses compares to that famous hanging-chad contest between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Let's walk through the math:

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12:20pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Presidential Race

U.S. Politics: Hurrah For The Red, White And Screwy

Voters register to cast their ballots during Republican caucuses at a school in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.

It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.

But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.

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12:18pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa A Virtual Tie For Romney, Decisive For Bachmann

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished virtually even in Iowa's caucuses Tuesday, but after Rep. Michele Bachmann's sixth-place finish, she announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign. For more on the GOP race and the next contest — Tuesday's New Hampshire primary — Linda Wertheimer talks with NPR's Brian Naylor, who's in the city of Manchester.

12:15pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Bishop Resigns After He Acknowledges Fathering Two Children

San Gabriel Region Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala leads a mass in this file photo from 2005. Zavala resigned from the ministry in December, after revealing that he fathered two children.
David McNew Getty Images

A Catholic bishop in California has resigned his post after revealing in December that he has two children.

"The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons," reports the Catholic News Service from Vatican City.

Pope Benedict reportedly accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, in December.

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12:10pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

In US, Hospital Round Trips More Common For Heart Attack Patients

In the U.S., hospitalized heart attack patients go home sooner than in other countries. They are more likely to return to the hospital within a month of being discharged.
iStockphoto.com

If a heart attack sends you to an American hospital, you'll probably go home after only two or three nights. That's faster than virtually anyplace else in the world.

But your chances of needing to go back into the hospital within the next month are also higher than they are for heart attack patients in 16 other countries. That's the finding from a Duke University-led study in this week's JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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12:06pm

Wed January 4, 2012
The Salt

When 'Budget' Foods Start To Eat Away At The Wallet

Ground beef used to be a cheap, go-to dinner meat, but no longer.
iStockphoto.com

If the grocery bill hurts more now than it used to, you're not alone. The cost of staples like ground beef, chicken, eggs and potatoes has spiked over 10 percent in the past year, three times the cost of inflation overall.

Ironically, if you were trying to be thrifty by eating at home instead of eating out, you probably felt it most.

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12:01pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Business

To Climb In U.S., Volkswagen Gets Less German

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

Jonathan Browning, president of Volkswagen Group of America, attends the U.S. unveiling of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, a new version of the iconic car. Volkswagen saw a 26.3 percent increase in U.S. sales in 2011, and has its sights on becoming the world's No. 1 carmaker.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images

Last year was a very good year for the German automaker Volkswagen, but 2012 could be even better.

Sales for Volkswagen Group's brands — including Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini — increased by 20 percent in the U.S. last year. For the Volkswagen brand itself, sales rose 26.3 percent. And if things continue to go Volkswagen's way, it could become the No. 1 carmaker in the world.

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12:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Politics

Republicans' Road Ahead, After Close Iowa Caucuses

Tuesday's Iowa caucuses shook up the GOP field as Mitt Romney won by just eight votes and Rick Santorum took second. Michele Bachmann finished sixth, then withdrew from the race on Wednesday. Host Michel Martin discusses the results and looks ahead with journalism professor Cynthia Tucker and contributing editor of The Weekly Standard Matthew Continetti.

12:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
NPR Story

Beauty Shop: Virginia Ballot, Bachmann Quits Race

Host Michel Martin and the Beauty Shop ladies discuss controversial requirements for Virginia's presidential primary ballot, Michele Bachmann's suspension of her presidential bid, sports-related concussions, and black divas hawking weight-loss products.

12:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Technology

Outsmarting Your Spying Smartphone

That shiny new smartphone you got for Christmas boasts cool features and games, but buried deep in the software are tools that collect personal information. What exactly is being collected, and how should you take caution? Host Michel Martin speaks with John Verdi, senior counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

12:00pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Music

The Tuba Takes Its Spotlight In Mexican Bandas

Traditional Mexican music, known as 'banda,' has been popular in Southern California for decades. And now, the tuba has gone from carrying the bass line in the back of the band, to stepping out front and leading dance trains. Host Michel Martin speaks with musician Jesse Tucker and Sam Quinones, who's been reporting on the so-called tuba revolution.

11:46am

Wed January 4, 2012
It's All Politics

After Bruising Loss In Iowa, Bachmann Bows Out

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 12:09 pm

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, joined by husband Marcus (left) and family and friends, announces that she will end her campaign for president in West Des Moines on Wednesday.
Chris Carlson AP

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. The conservative provocateur finished a disappointing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa, with just 5 percent of the vote.

"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice," Bachmann said at a mid-morning news conference in West Des Moines. "So I have decided to stand aside."

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11:40am

Wed January 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Gov. Perry: 'Here we come South Carolina!!!'

Though he said last night that he would go home to reassess his bid for the presidency — a signal that he might drop out of the race — this message just popped up on the personal Twitter page of Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!"

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11:09am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Bucking GOP, Obama Will Recess Appoint Consumer Agency Chief

Richard Cordray testifies during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in September. His nomination to head the consumer watchdog agency was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama will use what's known as a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the head of the country's new consumer watchdog agency.

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10:59am

Wed January 4, 2012
Television

Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication'

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 11:51 am

Pamela Adlon plays Marcy Runkle on Showtime's Californication. This season, her character is going through what she describes as a "sexual renaissance."
Jordin Althaus Showtime

When Pamela Adlon meets her daughters' middle-school-aged friends, she asks them nicely not to watch Californication, the show she's starred in for the past five seasons.

"I say, 'I'd appreciate if you don't watch my show and you don't Google me,' " she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

But Adlon, who plays the brash, unapologetic, sexually charged Marcy Runkle on the Showtime series, says she knows that's not going to stop anyone.

"I am not embarrassed," she says. "I know they Google me."

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10:56am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Man Uses iPad, Not Passport, To Gain Entry To U.S.

A Canadian man has been making headlines because he used an image of his passport saved on his iPad — instead of the official document itself — to cross the U.S.-Canadian border two times.

Martin Reisch, 33, says he forgot his passport when he left for a car trip across the border in Quebec. But he had an iPad with him, and it contained a scan of his passport. So Reisch gave the device to the U.S. border officer, along with his drivers' license, and the explanation that he was merely driving to Vermont, to drop off some Christmas presents.

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10:35am

Wed January 4, 2012
Election 2012

Not Everyone Is Basking In Iowa's Afterglow

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 4:33 pm

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who got just 5 percent of the vote in Iowa's caucuses, referred to herself Tuesday as the "true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012." On Wednesday, she bowed out of the race.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Iowa proved a road to victory for Mitt Romney, but it was a road to nowhere for Michele Bachmann.

"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann said Wednesday at a West Des Moines news conference. The Minnesota congresswoman decided to end her 2012 presidential bid after finishing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa — the state where she was born and where, just five months ago, she won a Republican straw poll in Ames.

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10:31am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Orders To U.S. Factories Increased By 1.8 Percent In November

The United States saw an 1.8 percent uptick in orders to factories in November, marking a four-month high and signaling continued economic recovery. The Commerce Department also revised the data for Ocotber, which recorded a 0.2 percent drop.

Bloomberg reports:

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10:14am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan President Says He Supports Talks With Taliban

Afghanistan's president said his country would back a deal, which might allow the Taliban to open an office in Qatar where they could hold peace talks with the United States and Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan agrees with negotiations between United States of America and the Taliban which will result in the establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar," President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.

The AP adds:

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10:10am

Wed January 4, 2012
Election 2012

Confident Romney, Bolstered Santorum Head To N.H.

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 12:33 pm

Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, attend a rally Tuesday night in Johnston, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The photo finish in Iowa — officially, Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum by only eight votes — has catapulted Santorum into the front ranks of Republican presidential hopefuls.

"This is huge news for Santorum," says Charlie Arlinghaus, who directs a conservative think tank in New Hampshire. "I don't think there's a way to spin the results without saying he's the big winner tonight."

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