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The Two-Way
10:05 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Nevermore? Mysterious Visits To Edgar Allan Poe's Grave Declared Over

For decades, until 2010, someone appeared at Edgar Allan Poe's grave site in Baltimore before dawn on Jan. 19 — his birthday.

The mysterious visitor, who was never identified, would leave behind three roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac as a tribute to the man who wrote The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher and other classic poems and tales.

Last night, there was no visit.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:05 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Stories About High Health Care Costs Win Prizes

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 10:39 am

If you're bugged by cost problems you find in health care, you can draw attention to them (and blow off a little steam) by writing about them. And if you're really lucky your work might help change things.

Who knows? You might even make a little cash. Essays from four people just won them $1,000 each in the second annual Costs of Care contest.

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It's All Politics
9:57 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Reports: Gingrich's Ex-Wife Says He Wanted An 'Open Marriage'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his then-wife, Marianne, leave their home on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 1997. At the time, Gingrich was in the midst of an investigation over congressional ethics violations.
MARK WILSON ASSOCIATED PRESS

If Newt Gingrich got a boost for his prospects in South Carolina on Thursday with rising poll numbers and an endorsement from rival Rick Perry, his second ex-wife, Marianne, seemed to be doing her best to dampen his prospects with an ill-timed interview on ABC's Nightline Thursday night.

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World Cafe
9:57 am
Thu January 19, 2012

The Little Willies On World Cafe

The Little Willies.
Courtesy of the artist

The informal nature of The Little Willies speaks to its members' chemistry and love of country-music classics; after all, their moniker is a tribute to country-music legend Willie Nelson.

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Movie Reviews
9:52 am
Thu January 19, 2012

In 'Miss Bala,' Bullets And Beauty Pageants Collide

Stephanie Sigman plays Laura, a beauty queen drawn into the world of Mexican drug cartels, in the film Miss Bala.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 11:57 am

If you read the headlines, you know that the Mexican government is engaged in a long, deadly battle against the country's astonishingly powerful drug dealers, known as narcotraficantes or simply narcos. Hardly a day goes by without news of another shootout or massacre. Nearly 50,000 people have died in the 5-year-old drug war, the majority of them innocent citizens.

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It's All Politics
9:46 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Perry Sees 'No Viable Path Forward': The Fall Of A Once Promising Front-Runner

Perry prepares to speak with voters attending the West Des Moines caucus in Iowa on Jan. 3.
Jonathan Gibby Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:40 pm

Like the saying goes in his home state, everything about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign was big.

From the start of his candidacy, when he garnered instant front-runner status in some polls, to his embarrassing debate performances and his slide to the back of the pack, Perry's bid for the Republican nomination seemed outsized. So, too, were the expectations.

On Thursday, Perry left the GOP race and strongly endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, citing his "heart of a conservative reformer."

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Middle East
8:57 am
Thu January 19, 2012

U.S. To Israel: Give Iranian Sanctions A Chance

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey (left), is in Israel to talk about the growing tension with Iran. Here, Dempsey speaks with Israel's top military officer, Lt. Gen. Benjamin Gantz, during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 8:22 am

The nation's top military officer, Gen. Martin Dempsey, is in Israel where he's expected to send a clear message: Don't attack Iran, and let the tougher sanctions take hold.

Dempsey's trip to Israel was scheduled weeks ago, but it comes at a particularly sensitive time. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, the key route for oil shipments, and has stepped up its naval activities.

An Iranian nuclear scientist was recently killed by a drive-by assassin, and Iran is blaming Israel.

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Politics
8:55 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Q&A: Why Such A Low Tax Rate For Romney?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:16 pm

Mitt Romney's tax returns and the tax rate he paid on his income have been hot issues in the recent Republican primaries.

"What's the effective rate that I've been paying? It's probably closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last 10 years, my income comes overwhelmingly from investments," the GOP front-runner recently told reporters.

So why does a multimillionaire pay just 15 percent on his income? After all, the top income tax rate is 35 percent and many middle-class people pay over 20 percent.

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Election 2012
7:54 am
Thu January 19, 2012

GOP Presidential Race: Perry's Status, Iowa Results

There are reports Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will leave the GOP presidential race, and Iowa officials announced final results of the state's Republican presidential nominating caucuses held earlier this month.

The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Rick Perry Quits GOP Presidential Race, Endorses Gingrich

Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes after announcing that he is suspending his campaign as a Republican presidential candidate.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:18 pm

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:18 a.m. ET.)

Saying that "there is no viable path forward for me," Texas Gov. Rick Perry just confirmed that he is leaving the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Then, he went on to endorse the bid of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — just two days before South Carolina Republicans go to the polls in a primary that could either cement former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's lead in the race for the GOP nomination or give new life to someone else's; perhaps Gingrich's.

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It's All Politics
6:54 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Iowa 'Split Decision' Ominous Sign For Romney As Gingrich Gains Ground

Mitt Romney greets supporters at a rally at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., on Wednesday.
KEVIN DIETSCH UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 12:29 pm

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 11:04 a.m.)

With the South Carolina primary just two days away, Mitt Romney woke up to some troubling news on Thursday: The Iowa Republican Party revisited his Jan. 3 victory in the caucuses.

Party officials announced that a final certification of the votes actually put Rick Santorum ahead by 34 votes. Because some of the results from eight precincts are missing, the Iowa GOP declared the outcome a split decision.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop, Inflation At 3 Percent, Housing Starts Cool

A trio of economic indicators were just released:

-- First-time claims for jobless benefits plunged by 50,000 last week from the week before, to 352,000, the Employment and Training Administration says. You have to go back to Spring 2008 to find a lower number. Reuters says the news signals "continued improvement in the labor market."

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Search Resumes At Stricken Italian Cruise Ship

Searchers climbing on to the Costa Concordia earlier today (Jan. 19, 2012).
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

"Rescue efforts have resumed aboard the wrecked Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, off the coast of Tuscany," the BBC reports. "Operations were suspended on Wednesday as the vessel shifted its position. More than 20 people are still missing."

The ship, with about 4,200 passengers and crew aboard, ran into rocks on Friday and listed over to its starboard side. Eleven people are confirmed dead.

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Business
5:28 am
Thu January 19, 2012

So, Um, What Is A Private Equity Firm?

Before entering politics in the 1990s, Romney co-founded Bain Capital, one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds.
David L. Ryan Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 1:57 pm

In the run-up to Saturday's GOP presidential primary in South Carolina, candidates have clashed over the role of Bain Capital — a firm that either creates or kills jobs, depending upon whom you believe.

Front-runner Mitt Romney sees the bright side. Before entering politics in the 1990s, he co-founded Boston-based Bain Capital, one of the nation's largest and most profitable private equity funds. He has said he created 100,000 jobs while at Bain.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Kodak Calls Bankruptcy Filing 'Necessary Step'

Eastman Kodak Co.'s corporate headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.
Guy Solimano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 5:36 am

"Running short of cash and unable to sell 1,100 digital imaging patents that could have rescued it," as Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle writes, Eastman Kodak Co. today took the long-expected but still painful step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Iowa GOP Puts Santorum Ahead By 34 Votes, But Result 'Unresolved'

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum (left) and Mitt Romney during a debate in South Carolina on Monday.
Charles Dharapa/pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:37 am

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 9:35 a.m ET.)

The first-in-the-nation Iowa Republican presidential caucuses produced no clear winner, the Iowa Republican Party has confirmed.

While its recanvassing of the nearly 1,774 precincts where ballots were cast on Jan. 3 has put former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum 34 votes ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a reversal of what we thought were their finishes — the party says it can't definitively say who won because it can't find the results from eight of the precincts.

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Europe
10:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

A Look Back At Bosnia, Through Angelina Jolie's Eyes

NPR's Tom Gjelten joined Angelina Jolie (right) on a panel about the film In the Land of Blood and Money. Also seen are Vanesa Glodjo (left) and Goran Kostic, who act in the film.
Courtesy of FilmDistrict

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:36 am

Angelina Jolie was just 16 when the war in Bosnia began, and she acknowledges now that she paid little heed to it at the time. But as her awareness of international issues later took shape, her attention was drawn back to that Balkan conflict.

"I wanted to understand," she says. "I was so young, and I felt that this was my generation; how do I not know more?" Now, that war is the subject of In the Land of Blood and Honey, her debut film as a writer and director.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Rejected Pipeline Becomes Hot-Button Election Issue

The Syncrude tar sands mine in Alberta, Canada. Alberta's tar sands would supply the oil for the prospective Keystone XL pipeline.
Todd Korol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 6:17 pm

President Obama rejected an application to build the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast on Wednesday. He blamed congressional Republicans, who had set a 60-day deadline for his administration to complete its review of the project.

Just minutes after Obama issued a statement denying the permit, Republican members of Congress lined up before TV cameras.

"I'm deeply, deeply disappointed that our president decided to put his politics above the nation," said Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska.

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Iraq
10:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

After 20 Years, An Iraqi Returns To A Changed Land

After a 20-year absence, Aseel Albanna returned to her native Iraq and found a very different country. Here, she poses with the statue of King Shahryar, a character in The Thousand and One Nights, near the Tigris River in Baghdad. The area used to be extremely popular, but many of the fish restaurants that once lined the streets have been torn down.
Sean Carberry NPR

In September 1991, Aseel Albanna was about to finish her last year of architecture school in Baghdad. Wanting a break from the years of war and hardship, she took a trip to the U.S. But a planned four-week visit turned into a 20-year stay.

Family members in Kentucky arranged for her to complete her architecture degree at the University of Kentucky. She then lived and worked in Louisville until she moved to Washington, D.C., in 2005.

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Energy
10:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Cheap Chinese Panels Spark Solar Power Trade War

Contractors with SunEdison install more than 1,000 Chinese-made solar panels on top of a Kohl's Department Store in Hamilton Township, N.J., in 2010. Energy generated by the solar system will cut the store's usage, on average, by 25 to 30 percent.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 8:36 am

There's a solar trade war going on inside the U.S., sparked by an invasion of inexpensive imports from China.

The U.S. solar industry is divided over these imports: Panel-makers say their business is suffering and want a tariff slapped on the imports. But other parts of the industry say these cheap panels are driving a solar boom in the U.S.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
10:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Silicon Valley Homebuilder Finds A Profitable Niche

James Witt stands next to the foundation of a house he is building in Palo Alto. Witt has built a successful business by tearing down and rebuilding houses in Silicon Valley. His business has survived four recessions, including the most recent one.
Cindy Carpien NPR

The U.S. housing market may be singing the blues, but there are pockets where home sales are rising. James Witt, a homebuilder in California's Silicon Valley is surviving and thriving thanks to his luck, location, and knowledge of the local market.

Witt is a tall lanky man whose graying long hair suggests an actor in a Western movie. He's standing on his 3-acre property in Palo Alto, which includes an updated old farmhouse and a yard with a pair of donkeys. One, named Perry, has an interesting pedigree.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:30 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Many Older Women May Not Need Frequent Bone Scans

NPR journalist Gisele Grayson got her hip bone scanned a couple of years ago and discovered she has osteopenia.
NPR

The bone-thinning disease called osteoporosis is a big problem for women past menopause. It causes painful spine fractures and broken hips that plunge many women into a final downward spiral.

So it seemed to make sense to monitor older women's bones on a regular basis to see when they need to start taking drugs that prevent bone loss and fractures. Since Medicare will pay for a bone-density scan every two years, that's what many women have been getting.

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The Two-Way
4:13 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Tarahumaras, Known For Running Great Distances, Are Facing A Food Crisis

This week, reports have started to filter out of the remote northern mountains of Mexico that the Tarahumara indians are facing hunger. The indians were immortalized by the book Born To Run, in which writer Christopher McDougall paints a portrait of a proud tribe that thrives on long distance running — a tribe that with little in their stomachs and even less on their feet, puts to shame even the best American ultra-marathoners.

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House & Senate Races
3:30 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Two Democratic Allies Battle For One House Seat

Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur on Sept 20, 2011, in Solon, Ohio. The state's new congressional district map has the two veteran Democrats now competing for the same congressional seat.
Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 4:15 pm

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is most in his element when he's fighting against social injustice.

Wherever he sees an outrage against the little guy, you'll find the Ohio Democrat railing against it — like at a recent public meeting about a new trash-to-energy facility Cleveland wants to install in a west side neighborhood.

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It's All Politics
3:28 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Keystone: Dead Pipeline Lives On As Election-Year Issue

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:47 pm

Now that President Obama has made his decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, an obvious question is what will it mean for the 2012 presidential election?

Obviously, no one really knows the answer to that though that won't stop weeks if not months of speculation.

The key to Keystone is, which side will have the most success in framing its case to enough voters for it to make a difference?

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Goldman Sachs Post $1 Billion 4th Quarter Profit

The up and down markets from last year, took its toll even on Goldman Sachs, which is thought of as the rock star of investment banks.

Goldman posted a billion dollar profit during the last quarter of 2011. And while that may seem like a lot, it's 58 percent down. The AP reports that the profit follows a third quarter in which Goldman lost money for only the third time since it went public in 1999.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

In Former Steel Town, Residents Question GOP Candidates' 'Entitlement Society' Talk

Almost every office building in downtown McKeesport, Pa., is abandoned or boarded up. Since the departure of the steel industry, the city's population has dropped from 55,000 to 19,000.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 5:27 pm

Republican presidential candidates have had some harsh words about the role of government aid in the Obama administration.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich calls President Obama the "food stamp president" and says more people are on food stamps than ever before because of his policies.

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Food
2:56 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

4,258 Miles Of Meat: Chef, Dad On A Quest For BBQ

Before setting off on her road trip, Molly Baz worked in the kitchen of Manhattan's Picholine restaurant. She says one of the things she'll miss most from her trip is the Southern hospitality — and the free snacks that came with it.
Douglas Baz

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:06 am

Until this fall, chef Molly Baz was working at an upscale Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. But she decided to give that up to go on a road trip.

Molly wanted to learn everything she could about variations in American barbecue, so she planned a tour of the country's most renowned barbecue regions and invited her father, photographer Doug Baz, along for the ride. The pair documented their travels on their blog, Adventures in BBQ.

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World Cafe
2:20 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Crooked Fingers On World Cafe

Matt Yelton, Eric Bachmann and Liz Durrett of Crooked Fingers.
Justin Evans

Eric Bachmann can't seem to stay away from music. The talented singer-songwriter first attracted mainstream and underground attention in the '90s with Archers of Loaf before introducing a new project called Crooked Fingers in 2000.

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