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Afghanistan
1:15 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Snowstorms Take A Toll In Afghan Refugee Camps

Aw Muhammad, a resident of a refugee camp in western Kabul, pulls back a shade as one of his six surviving children looks out on the snow. Afghanistan is suffering one of its harshest winters in many years.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Kabul's fourth snowstorm in the past month brought children out to play across the city, including those in the Charahi Qambar refugee camp in the western part of the capital.

Many of the children in the camp don't remember any other life outside of this mud-brick shantytown. Most of their parents fled the southern province of Helmand when the war heated up there four years ago.

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Middle East
1:13 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Iran Can Disrupt Key Waterway — But For How Long?

The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday. This photo was taken from the bridge of the aircraft carrier and shows U.S. aircraft parked on its flight deck. In the background, a U.S. destroyer patrols.
Hassan Ammar AP

The dispute over Iran's nuclear program has again rocked oil markets. And Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, which is just 34 miles wide yet serves as the passageway for 20 percent of the world's oil.

This is not a new drama. In fact, it was a recurring issue in the 1980s. Still, there's been relatively little activity among Gulf oil producers to find alternative routes to get their oil to market.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Westminster Set To Name Top Dog; Out West, A Dog's Star Rises

Miu Miu, a Chihuahua, poses for photographers at a fashion show held before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is under way, and that means dogs are being pampered, brushed and cajoled to walk before the event's judges. First held in 1877, the Westminster show claims to be second only to the Kentucky Derby in terms of continuously held sporting events.

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Winter Songs
1:02 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

A Skating Rink's 'Ribbon In The Sky'

hey.kiddo via Flickr

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 4:16 pm

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The Salt
12:31 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

McDonald's Teams Up With Humane Society To Phase Out Pig Crates

Score one for the pigs. The news that McDonald's will require its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestational crates should add a lot more momentum to efforts to end the practice of confining sows while pregnant.

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It's All Politics
12:16 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Romney's Hard Line On U.S. Auto Industry Good For Primary But Trouble Beyond

Mitt Romney is sticking by his position, first taken in 2008, that the Obama administration should have let GM and Chrysler file for bankruptcy.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Mitt Romney, self-proclaimed "son of Detroit," appears to be in serious trouble in Michigan, falling behind to rival Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in new polls.

Despite that, he's standing firm on his position that the Obama administration should have allowed two iconic car companies — GM and Chrysler — to enter the regular corporate bankruptcy process three years ago.

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World Cafe
12:14 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Kathleen Edwards On World Cafe

Kathleen Edwards' new album is titled Voyageur.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:49 pm

Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards is enjoying a huge career boost with her new fourth album, Voyageur. Produced in part by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Voyageur sounds deeply personal and genuine: Edwards sings of failed marriages, life in the spotlight and the delicate happiness that comes with new beginnings.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:10 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Family Acceptance Key In Preventing Gay Youths From Considering Suicide

A new study pinpoints signs that an LGBT teens may be at risk for suicide and suggests how to intervene.
Ben Goode iStockphoto.com

Chances are you've seen a YouTube video featuring _______ (fill in a celebrity's name) telling America's gay teens that "it gets better."

There are a slew of them promising that the bullying will eventually subside and that life will improve, if teens can just hang in there.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Fans, Senators Ask FCC To Scrap Sports Blackout Rule

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:05 pm

A coalition of fans and five U.S. senators are urging the Federal Communications Commission to scrap its so called Sports Blackout Rule. The policy allows the NFL to block local broadcasts of games that don't sell out.

The rule has been in place since 1975, and the Sports Fan Coalition says it is outdated and "fan-unfriendly."

Broadcasting & Cable reports on the filing, which was entered with the FCC on Monday:

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Tue February 14, 2012

In France, Drivers Face Gas Prices Of $8 A Gallon

Gas prices in France have topped more than $8 a gallon in some areas. In this photo from January, a woman rides her bike past a gas station in Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Prices for gasoline are hitting record highs in France, where a gallon now costs more than $8 in some areas. That's the word from Eleanor Beardsley, who filed a report for our Newscast unit:

"Prices are up because of problems with two of France's main oil suppliers. Nigeria is racked by civil unrest, and European Union sanctions bar France from importing oil from Iran."

"A lower euro has also raised the price of gasoline because crude oil prices are denominated in dollars."

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Derided As 'Alien,' Government 'Cancels' Valentine's Day In Uzbekistan

Babur, der Gründer des Mogulreiches.
Wikipedia

If you believe the Uzbek government, today is not a day for love and friendship. Nope.

It is a day to celebrate the Moghul emperor Babur, who celebrates his birthday on Feb. 14. Now this hasn't always been case in the Central Asian country. The BBC reports that in years past, lovers celebrated Valentine's Day by listening to the songs of Rayhan, "a popular singer whose music mixes Eastern melodies with Western pop."

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Boeing Closes $22.4 Billion Deal With Lion Air

An artist rendering depicts a Boeing 737 MAX 9. Lion Air of Indonesia has agreed to become the first commercial customer for the plane.
Boeing

When your products sell for more than $80 million, selling one of them is a big deal. Selling hundreds of them in one deal means they're probably feeling pretty good over at Boeing right now. The aircraft company has finalized a deal to sell 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, with a total list price of $22.4 billion — a record for Chicago-based Boeing.

The deal, which was first announced in November during President Obama's multi-country tour of Asia, includes 201 737 MAX jets and 29 of Boeing's extended range 737-900ERs.

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Author Interviews
9:20 am
Tue February 14, 2012

The History Of The FBI's Secret 'Enemies' List

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI. He introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines. He also kept secret files on more than 20,000 Americans he deemed "subversive."
Anonymous Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:16 am

Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "

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It's All Politics
9:11 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Can Congress Ever Restore Payroll Taxes To Their Usual Levels?

House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner (right) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), said Monday they would vote to extend the payroll tax cut.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

Republicans rarely meet a tax cut that they don't like. Now that they have found one, they are finding it politically impossible to stop it.

On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to extend a 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The cut, enacted last year, is otherwise set to expire at the end of the month.

The current cut means a savings of about $20 a week to a worker who earns $50,000 a year and about $2,000 a year to someone making $100,000.

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The Salt
8:52 am
Tue February 14, 2012

DIY Willy Wonka Turns Home Into Chocolate Factory

Ben Rasmussen pours tempered chocolate into a tray, where it will harden into a finished bar.
Potomac Chocolate

Some people fill their workshops with sawdust and power tools; Ben Rasmussen built a chocolate factory in his.

Actually, "factory" might be too big a word for the Woodbridge, Va. operation, which Rasmussen says is "absurdly small." But it's a step up from his kitchen, where his Potomac Chocolate – one of the smallest chocolate companies in the U.S. – was born.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:37 am
Tue February 14, 2012

States Vary On What They Allow Midwives To Do

Midwife Erin Fullam, left, takes care of Shannon Earle and her new baby Kiera. Daughter Riana, the father, Patrick, and his mother, Ann Earle, look on at the family's home in Takoma Park, Md., in 2011.
Amanda Steen NPR

Women planning to have a baby at home will probably be helped by a midwife.

Doctors only deliver about 5 percent of babies born outside the hospital, according to figures released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Depending on where you live, though, finding a licensed midwife can be tough.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Whitney Houston's Funeral Will Be Held At Her Childhood Church

Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Pop super star Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Syrian Activist: 'Idea Of Safety Doesn't Exist Anymore'

Syrian rebels aim during a weapons training exercise outside Idlib, Syria on Tuesday. Syrian government forces renewed their assault on the rebellious city of Homs on Tuesday in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:03 am

A day after the United Nations' chief human rights official offered a tough rebuke of Syria, government forces continued their assault on the restive city of Homs. According to the AP, the city has sustained the heaviest shelling in days.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Drop In Auto Sales Leads To Smaller-Than-Expected Gain In U.S. Retail Sales

Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported today.

While that's better than December's flat number, it's less than the 0.8 percent expected by economists. The AP adds:

"When excluding autos and gasoline station sales, retail spending jumped 0.6 percent the best showing in three months.

"Consumers spent less on cars, the report showed, even though automakers have previously reported higher sales in January. That suggests dealers offered discounts in order to boost sales.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Rick Santorum Faces Off With Occupy Movement At Campaign Event

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to the media on Monday at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

As has happened to many of the Republican presidential candidates before him, Rick Santorum was "mic checked" at a campaign rally in Washington, yesterday.

As the Bellingham Herald reports it, Santorum was speaking at a venue right next to the Occupy Tacoma encampment and was met with chants almost as soon as he started talking.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue February 14, 2012

USS Abraham Lincoln Clears The Strait Of Hormuz

This January 19, 2012 image provided by the US Navy, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Arabian Sea.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:12 am

For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.

Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Iranian Is Suspected In Bangkok Explosions

A Thai Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) official examines a backpack that was left on the bomb site by a suspect bomber in Bangkok on Tuesday.
Apichart Weerawong AP

A man thought to be Iranian blew off his legs, when he tried to lob an explosive at police in Bangkok. Shortly before that happened, two other explosions were reported in the commercial district of the city.

The AP reports police found a passport that identified the man as Saeid Moradi from Iran.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Mormon Baptism Of Wiesenthal Kin Sparks Jewish Outrage

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 9:08 am

Two decades of anger, apologies and agreements have failed to keep the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from ending posthumous Mormon baptisms of prominent Jews and holocaust victims.

In the latest incident, the parents of the late Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of a Nazi death camp and an advocate for holocaust victims, were baptized in a Mormon ceremony.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Tue February 14, 2012

A Year After Uprising, Bahrain Sees Protests Quelled By Teargas

Bahraini anti-government protesters react to tear gas fired by riot police on Monday.
Hasan Jamali AP

Today marks a year since an uprising started in the Gulf Nation of Bahrain. And over the course of the year, we saw lots of protests, and we saw the Gulf Cooperation Council send troops into the country to quash the rebellion. We saw the monarchy dismantle the Pearl Roundabout, which had become symbolic of the uprising and later commission a report about what went wrong at the height of the protests last February.

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Around the Nation
4:49 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Remembering Jackie Kennedy's White House Tour

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 4:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. On this day 50 years ago, the first lady offered a Valentine to America, a televised tour of the newly restored White House. Jacqueline Kennedy had been shocked at how little of the past was in the White House, so she threw her heart into bringing that history back. Teddy Roosevelt's rugs, an oak desk given by Queen Victoria, a rare portrait of Benjamin Franklin. And Americans loved it, with a record number tuning into her TV tour. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
4:43 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Croatia's Museum Of Broken Relationships

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Asia
2:27 am
Tue February 14, 2012

White House Welcomes Chinese Official Xi Jinping

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:28 am

The man who is expected to become China's next president begins highly anticipated meetings in Washington on Tuesday. The trip comes as the Obama administration seeks to shift the emphasis of U.S. strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region — including changes the Chinese aren't sure they like.

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Election 2012
10:05 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Study: 1.8 Million Dead People Still Registered To Vote

A sign at the Feb. 4 Nevada caucuses in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:46 am

Democrats and Republicans don't agree on much. But they do agree that voter registration lists across the country are a mess.

A new report by the Pew Center on the States finds that more than 1.8 million dead people are currently registered to vote. And 24 million registrations are either invalid or inaccurate.

There's little evidence that this has led to widespread voter fraud, but it has raised concerns that the system is vulnerable.

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The Impact of War
10:01 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Building Better Houses For Wounded Soldiers

The Wounded Warrior Home Project is an inventive approach to military housing, serving the needs of wounded soldiers and their families as they continue to serve on active duty at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:02 am

All wars bring innovations — in weapons, and also in ways to repair the damage done. Penicillin is one of the more famous examples: It came into use as a treatment for troops in World War II.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought their own breakthroughs, none more dramatic than the prosthetics that come close to giving back what has been lost. And big advances in treating grievous injuries have meant many more troops coming home alive.

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