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The Two-Way
2:08 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Panetta Reassures Afghans On U.S. Training Role, Possibly Beyond 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo OASD/PA

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

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Asia
1:56 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

North Korea To Launch Rocket, And A New Power Play

A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 8:51 pm

As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.

The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

'Texts From Hillary' Gets Secretary Clinton's Endorsement

Part of the contribution Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (or someone on her staff, of course) made to Texts from Hillary.
Texts from Hillary

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 4:50 pm

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. And With That, The Fun Is Over; Texts From Hillary Decides To Call It A Day:

Saying that "as far as memes go — it has gone as far as it can go," the Texts from Hillary guys have decided to stop adding to the blog.

As they say, "TTYL."

But we still suggest checking out our original post:

Seen Texts from Hillary yet?

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Should 'Pink Slime' Be Labeled?

Beef cuts that are used to make "pink slime" or lean finely textured beef were on display during a tour in March of the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

The fallout from the consumer backlash to so-called "pink slime" continues to hurt meat sales. Now, some companies are taking steps to label the product they call "lean, finely textured beef" in hopes that they can earn back consumer trust.

Tyson and Cargill, two multinational firms that sell ground beef containing the processed trimmings, say they have submitted labeling requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes that some customers will feel better about buying ground beef containing LFTB if it's labeled.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

A DJ Kit You Can Take For A Spin — On Your Bike

A cyclist uses a fader to manipulate music, on Cogoo's Turntable Rider kit that blends DJ and BMX culture.
NPR

With sensors that translate the motions of a bike — turning the handlebars, spinning the wheels, etc. — into music, the Turntable Rider "is an epic bicycle accessory which converts a bicycle into a musical instrument," according to Cogoo, the company that created the device.

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Food
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Sometimes, Food Additives Are Pretty Innocuous

The uproar over what critics call "pink slime" in some ground beef refocused attention on what's in the food we eat. Most packaged foods contain at least one item you wouldn't recognize. But many food experts caution that just because you don't know an ingredient doesn't mean you shouldn't eat it.

Politics
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Momentum Shifts As Santorum Exits Race

Rick Santorum ended his presidential campaign Tuesday. It clears the way for Mitt Romney to capture the nomination, though many conservatives have yet to rally around the former Massachusetts governor. The Romney campaign now shifts into the general campaign, with a focus on President Obama.

Your Money
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

The Problems With Pennies

It's time to kill the penny. That's what Daniel Akst argues in a recent op-ed on Newsday.com. "Pennies," he writes, "are a pain in the neck, only more so because they're worthless." While the penny isn't quite worthless, it does cost more than two cents to create each one.

From Our Listeners
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Letters: Robots, Race And Retail

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on past Talk of the Nation shows, including the emergence of robots across the country, the racial history of Sanford, Florida, and the new balance of power in retail.

Your Money
1:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Tax-Time Procrastination, An American Tradition

People wait in line inside the Farley Post Office building on Tax Day 2009 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The April deadline comes around at about the same time every year. Still, with just a few days left before taxes are due, many people continue to put off filing.

The boxes of receipts, stacks of W-2s and 1099s are daunting enough. Add in row after row of fill-in boxes on the 1040, and it's no wonder so many people procrastinate.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Fed Won't Raise Rates Soon, Reserve Bank President Says

The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.

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Book Reviews
12:16 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

'Present': For Nadine Gordimer, Politics Hit Home

Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo courtesy of the author

Nadine Gordimer's trademark characters live for politics, the Struggle. You get the feeling they would be sick to their collective stomachs if they ever even tried to bite into a gourmet cupcake.

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Election 2012
12:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Can Romney Appeal To Women, Minority Voters?

Transcript

VIVIANA HURTADO, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. She's visiting Syracuse University and member station WRVO is Oswego, New York. Still to come, we take a look at some of the political upheaval in the Middle East. As another deadline has come and gone, the violence continues in Syria. More on that in a few minutes.

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World
12:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Fears Of Organ Failure For Hunger Strike Prisoner

In Bahrain, demonstrators are demanding the release of imprisoned activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months and his family now fears for his health. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with his daughter, Zainab al-Khawaja and Middle East expert, Joshua Landis.

Author Interviews
11:58 am
Wed April 11, 2012

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 2:42 pm

Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."

"And it was like, no, I don't want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And that wasn't happening, and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me."

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Coach Bobby Petrino Had To Be Fired, Arkansas Football Fans Say

Dismissed Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino at an April 3 news conference, following his release from a hospital where he was treated for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident. That mishap led to the revealing of his affair with a younger woman, payments he made to her and that he had arranged for her to get a job at the university.
Gareth Patterson AP

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:12 pm

After hearing that football coach Bobby Petrino had not only lied about who he was with when he had a motorcycle accident on April 1, but that he was also having an affair with that young woman, had paid her $20,000 and had arranged for her to get a job with the university, Arkansas Razorbacks fans are saying they agree with the decision to fire him.

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It's All Politics
11:41 am
Wed April 11, 2012

4 Reasons Obama Keeps Pushing Buffet Rule

President Obama, with millionaires and their assistants, makes a point on the "Buffett Rule" in Washington, DC, Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For President Obama, the Buffett Rule is the political equivalent of a Swiss army knife, a tool he clearly intends to use any number of ways as he fights to be re-elected and deny the White House to Republican Mitt Romney.

From the Democrats' perspective, the proposed rule, which would require that superwealthy taxpayers with at least $1 million in taxable income after deductions, pay taxes at a minimum 30 percent rate, has so much going for it, they can hardly stop talking about it.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Justice Dept. Accuses Apple And Others Of Fixing E-Book Prices

Reading a book on an iPad.
Manu Fernandez AP

Apple Inc. and other publishers have conspired to limit competition and fix the prices of e-books, the U.S. Justice Department alleges in a suit filed today.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

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Middle East
10:39 am
Wed April 11, 2012

At The Met: A Middle East Transition, Centuries Ago

The Met's exhibit examines Christian Byzantium and Islam as they first came into contact in the Middle East in the seventh to ninth centuries. This ivory carving is from what is known as the Grado Chair, a Christian artifact from the Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt in the seventh to eighth century.
Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

The yearlong tumult of the Arab Spring has reached all the way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

A stunning and timely new show, "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition," covers exactly the places caught up in modern day revolts, and many of the developments from more than a millennium ago are closely linked to the events of today.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:38 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Drive On Tax Day At Your Own Risk

Tax Day is bad enough. Don't make it worse with a traffic accident.
iStockphoto.com

If you need another reason to be wary of Tax Day, some Canadian researchers have found one.

Fatal car crashes rise on the deadline for filing federal taxes. That's April 17 this year, if you're making travel plans.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Wed April 11, 2012

VIDEO: Watch 'Snackman' Casually Break Up A Fight

That's Snackman in the middle, stepping in between the combatants to calm things down.
YouTube.com

Able to step over low couches with help from a friend? Faster than a football fan stretching for the remote? Ready to munch at a moment's notice?

It's Snackman.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Violence In Syria Reportedly Continues; Annan Seeks Help From Iran

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 11:09 am

As al-Jazeera and other news outlets report being told by activists that Syrian government forces are shelling the city of Homs and attacking and arresting opponents of President Bashar Assad in other places, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan continues to press for a true ceasefire to take effect on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Former Sheriff's Name Taken Off Jail Where He's Now An Inmate

Former Arapahoe County Sheriff Patrick Sullivan before a court hearing last month.
Ed Andrieski AP

Patrick Sullivan, the former sheriff in Arapahoe County, Colo., who's serving a 38-day sentence for trying to trade methamphetamine for sex with a man, isn't being held any longer in a jail that bears his name.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: Prosecutor Plans Announcement By Late Friday

Florida State Attorney Angela Corey.
Kelly Jordan The Florida Times-Union

Shortly after we learned Tuesday that George Zimmerman's lawyers said they had lost contact with their client and were withdrawing from the case, there was an announcement from special prosecutor Angela Corey's office that she would be making an announcement about the case within 72 hours

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed April 11, 2012

With Santorum Gone, What Next?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a campaign event Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 7:47 am

Some of the morning-after analyses of what Rick Santorum's exit from the Republican field means for the 2012 presidential campaign:

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Around the Nation
7:43 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Clinton Enjoys 'Texts From Hillary' Web Spoof

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Texts from Hillary went viral last week. That spoof site imagines the Secretary of State's cool, detached texts to the famous, from Jay Z to Joe Biden. One shows Lady Gaga texting from one influential woman to another, XO. Clinton's response: Who is this? Yesterday, the site heard from the real Clinton, who texted that she was ROFL, rolling on the floor laughing, signed Hillz. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Election 2012
7:33 am
Wed April 11, 2012

The GOP Also-Rans: Early Favorites, Long Shots And Anti-Romneys

Surrounded by members of his family, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announces he will suspend his campaign at the Gettysburg Hotel on Tuesday in Gettysburg, Pa.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

It may be hard to remember, but more than a dozen high-profile Republicans seriously explored 2012 presidential bids or actively entered the race. With Mitt Romney now the presumptive nominee, here's a look at how the field got winnowed to two.

The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

After Major Quake Near Indonesia, First Tsunami Is Relatively Small

Acehnese women hug each other shortly after the powerful earthquake hit the western coast of Sumatra in Banda Aceh.
Chaideer Mahyhuddin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 9:04 am

A powerful, 8.6-magnitude earthquake and an 8.2-magnitude aftershock off the west coast of Northern Sumatra today led authorities to warn that potentially devastating tsunamis might roar across the Indian Ocean.

But to the relief of millions who were immediately reminded of the devastating tsunami that rolled across that ocean in 2004, the waves generated by today's temblors were minor and the tsunami "watch" was canceled just before 9 a.m. ET.

The other welcome news: Initial reports indicated that damage from the quakes themselves may not have been extensive.

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Asia
6:17 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Strong Earthquake Strikes Off Indonesia's Coast

A huge earthquake shook the ocean floor off the coast of Indonesia Wednesday. Early measurements by the U.S. Geological Survey give it a strength of 8.7. Surrounding nations have issued tsunami warnings.

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