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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Consumer Confidence Drops; All Of 2012's Gains Gone

Though there have been other signs to indicate that the economy is on the upswing, many Americans aren't feeling all that good about how things are going.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Home Prices Continue To Rise; Housing Is Now Economic 'Bright Spot'

A sign of the times in Boca Raton, Fla. (November 2012 file photo.)
Joe Raedle Getty Images

There's more good news about the housing market this morning.

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Shots - Health News
7:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Payment Can Be Elusive For Medicare Beneficiaries In Personal Injury Cases

If you're covered by Medicare and win or settle a personal injury case, the battle for compensation isn't over.
iStockphoto.com

Medicare beneficiaries who win a settlement in a personal injury liability case sometimes find their efforts are for naught because the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ends up getting the money they thought would be theirs.

A new law is expected to fix problems with the system so seniors can get what's coming to them.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Reports: Dozens Of Bodies Found In Syria; Young Men Apparently Executed

CIA World Factbook

Activists and rebels in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are reporting today that "the bodies of dozens of young men, all apparently summarily executed" have been found in and around the Quwaiq River, the BBC writes.

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Around the Nation
5:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Virginia To Repeal 'Living In Sin' Law

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
5:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Two Is A Coincidence, Three Is A Trend

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. That's why an Oklahoma City house has been dubbed The Twin House, after a third consecutive couple living there had twins - a boy and a girl each. Current tenants, Brady and Chelsea Smith, said they didn't believe in the twin mojo when they moved in. Then an ultrasound showed she was expecting twins. New father Brady Smith told the Oklahoman, now his friends won't even drive down the block.

It's All Politics
5:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Immigration Opponents Remain Adamant, Despite Political Risk

A woman takes the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the district office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Newark, N.J.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 6:32 am

After years of inaction, immigration policy changes suddenly have notable momentum in Washington.

President Obama will address the issue in a speech Tuesday in Las Vegas — a day after a bipartisan group of senators outlined their ideas for a bill that could move through the chamber as early as this spring.

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The Two-Way
5:26 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama Says He Enjoys Skeet Shooting; Doubtful Lawmaker Challenges Him

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who thinks she's a better shot than the president.
Roger L. Wollenberg UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 9:09 am

One short exchange in a long New Republic interview of President Obama has gotten much attention:

New Republic: "Have you ever fired a gun?

Obama: "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time."

The president went on to say he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations."

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The Two-Way
4:35 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Obama: Immigration Debate Not Just Policy, 'It's About People'

A U.S. Border Patrol Agent in September 2011, along the Mexico-Arizona border.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:35 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Mara Liasson reports
  • On 'Morning Edition': Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

Update at 3:06 p.m. ET. 'Now Is The Time':

Talking to an audience in Las Vegas, an upbeat President Obama said that "now is the time" for "common sense comprehensive immigration reform."

While Obama echoed the pillars of immigration reform presented by a bipartisan group of senators on Monday, he also made an emotional plea for reform.

"What makes somebody American," he said, "is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles."

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Africa
2:21 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Timbuktu Freed From Islamist Fighters

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The city of Timbuktu is free...

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Mali, Mali, Mali, Mali...

INSKEEP: ...and residents cheered as French and Malian forces entered the city. Those forces swept aside Islamist rebels who'd controlled the place for months. The Islamists rule included amputations and the destroyed ancient tombs. It ended with the burning of a library housing priceless manuscripts.

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Politics
2:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Sen. Flake Comments On Immigration Overhaul

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

An immigration plan announced Monday by a bipartisan group of senators would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and overhaul legal immigration. It also calls for improved border security and better tracking of individuals in the U.S. on visas. Steve Inskeep talks with one of the senators behind the plan, Republican Jeff Flake from Arizona.

Law
1:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Armed 'Good Guys' And The Realities Of Facing A Gunman

The NRA and some concealed-carry activists say the best defense against gun violence is armed "good guys." Here, a man fires his pistol at an indoor range in Aurora, Colo., last summer.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:18 pm

As the nation ponders how to stop the next mass shooting, the gun rights movement offers a straight-forward formula, laid out famously by NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said last month, as his group responded to the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

One Man's Story

In Washington state, one such "good guy" — a private citizen who drew his gun in defense of others — paid a heavy price.

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The Record
12:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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Research News
12:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Africa
12:32 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Tunisia's Salafis: 'A Danger' Or Preachers Of God's Law?

A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans as he stands in front of the Justice Ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Nov. 6, 2012, as part of a demonstration by radical Salafi Muslims protesting against the imprisonment of hundreds of Salafist militants.
Amine Landoulsi AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

The uprisings of the Arab Spring unleashed a new political force in the region — Salafis, ultraconservative Muslims who aspire to a society ruled entirely by a rigid form of Islamic law. Their models are the salaf, or ancestors, referring to the earliest Muslims who lived during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Asia
12:30 am
Tue January 29, 2013

In China, Beware: A Camera May Be Watching You

The use of security cameras such as these, looking out over Tiananmen Square in Beijing, is on the rise in China. Critics say the government is using them to discourage dissidents.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:16 pm

The first of two reports

China is becoming a surveillance state. In recent years, the government has installed more than 20 million cameras across a country where a decade ago there weren't many.

Today, in Chinese cities, cameras are everywhere: on highways, in public parks, on balconies, in elevators, in taxis, even in the stands at sporting events.

Officials say the cameras help combat crime and maintain "social stability" — a euphemism for shutting up critics.

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

In New Immigration Plan, A Fraught Phrase Is Mostly Sidelined

Crowd members seek help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles last August.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:27 pm

Here's one thing that was hard to find in the "Gang of Eight's" Senate proposal to overhaul the country's immigration system: the term "illegal immigrant."

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Watchdog Says Treasury OK'd Excessive Executive Pay At Bailed-Out Firms

A man walks by an American International Group (AIG) building in 2009.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The special watchdog overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program says the United States Treasury failed to rein in executive pay at companies that received a government bailout.

The AP reports, for example, that the Treasury approved all 18 requests for raises it received from executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial.

The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
2:22 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Group Kick-Starts Immigration Battle

Five of the eight senators who proposed a bipartisan plan for an immigration overhaul attend a Capitol Hill news conference Monday. From left are John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Schumer of New York, Marco Rubio of Florida, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:41 pm

A bipartisan Senate plan unveiled Monday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system frames a pitched debate expected in Congress around the areas of border enforcement, a path to citizenship for those already in the country and the future flow of new arrivals.

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Around the Nation
2:16 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 3:23 pm

Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon and college basketball. And if a couple of creative advertising professionals have any say in the matter, the Bluegrass State will be world renowned for something else.

They want the state to replace its current slogan, Unbridled Spirit, with a new one — Kentucky Kicks Ass.

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