The cacophony of hoots being directed at Mitt Romney Wednesday for his poor performances in Alabama and Mississippi primaries is somewhat curious, especially since it was the conventional wisdom as recently as last week that the Deep South was likely to be very tough going for him.
Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one."
Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing.
For many fourth-year medical students, the future arrives, sealed in an envelope, during the third week of March. On what's known as Match Day, med students find out where they'll spend their residencies. It's a nerve-wracking wait for many that has played out on med school campuses since 1952.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last October, Terry Thompson released 50 exotic animals on his farm in Ohio and then shot himself in the head. Neighbors soon reported lions, tigers, bears, leopards, monkeys and wolves on the loose, and sheriff's deputies from the city of Zanesville nearby hunted them down in the gathering darkness.
President Bashar Assad and his opposition continue to crack down on rebels in Syria. U.N. envoy Kofi Annan met with Assad to try to broker a cease fire, but failed. The U.N. Security Council is drafting another resolution to support the Arab League request to have Assad step down from power.
Rick Santorum swept the Mississippi and Alabama primaries on Tuesday, leaving Mitt Romney a distant third. Newt Gingrich maintains he'll carry on, and third-place finisher Mitt Romney faces renewed doubts about his ability to win over conservative Republicans, though he's leading the delegate race.
Cooling a person's hands while exercising can make for a better workout, especially for people who hate to exercise because it makes them all hot and sweaty.
This might help the many, many people who have a hard time keeping up with exercise because it's just plain uncomfortable.
Researchers tested the idea with obese women in their 30s and 40s who worked out on a treadmill. The women whose palms were cooled with a device that circulated ice water were able to exercise longer than the women whose palms were exposed to room temperature water.
There's a new record in the Iditarod: A 25 year old has become the youngest musher to win the approximately thousand-mile trans-Alaskan sled dog race.
Dallas Seavey slid into Nome, Alaska, at 7:29 p.m. yesterday with nine dogs, finishing the race in nine days, four hours, 29 minutes and 26 seconds.
"We went into this race with a dog team that I knew had the ability to win the Iditarod," Seavey said in a post-race press conference in Nome. "We spent most of the race building a monster – a dog team that couldn't be stopped."
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:07 pm
A year into the Syrian uprising, with the world community reluctant to intervene, one international group has taken a direct and risky role in Syria — even taking part in the high-profile rescue of Western journalists from the besieged city of Homs.
Avaaz, a global online pressure group based in New York, has given crucial support to the uprising and the Syrian activist networks that aim to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad.
When it comes to reality TV — and competitive cooking shows in particular — there are many reliable ways to create drama: menacing judges, preternaturally ticking clocks, the threat of elimination, and, of course, clever editing.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:16 pm
The U.S., Britain and their NATO allies cannot accelerate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan because it's critical that they not leave until that nation's security forces can stand on their own and ensure that al-Qaida never has a safe haven there again, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron said during a joint news conference this afternoon at the White House.
"We will not give up on this mission," Cameron said at one point. The plan, he and Obama said, remains to have most troops withdrawn by the end of 2014.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 11:03 am
After two years of going with the wrong team to win it all, President Obama is counting on North Carolina — the team he correctly picked to win the 2009 NCAA men's basketball championship — to end up No. 1 this year.
Some years ago I was visiting Disneyland and had a culture-clash encounter there with my one of fellow Americans. I was standing with my daughter on the miles-long meandering line for "It's a Small World After All" and I fell into a conversation with another mom; when this woman found out I was a native New Yorker, she treated me to her verdict on the city: "It's so dirty there!"
I was in my local independent bookstore last week, enjoying the endangered pleasure of wandering around and snuffling through interesting-looking books, when I overheard two women talking in front of the new releases section. "I need a new British novelist," one of them said. Ladies, I should have spoken up, but the moment passed and, besides, it was too awkward to explain that one of the best British novelists writing today was born in New Jersey.
Iran said Tuesday that it is unwilling to allow international nuclear inspectors to have complete access to a restricted military complex, called Parchin, which is near the capital Tehran. There are concerns that the complex may contain a facility designed to test explosives meant to trigger a nuclear chain reaction.
Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 1:50 pm
Rick Santorum won two Southern state GOP presidential primaries Tuesday, embarrassing Mitt Romney who had predicted he'd take one.
Second-place finisher Newt Gingrich vowed to fight on to Tampa, tag-teaming Romney along with Santorum. The "three-way dynamic," as he put it, is a winner for Gingrich and, perhaps, his dream of deal-making at the convention, and for Romney, too, whose Southern result could have been much worse if he'd been posting up against Santorum alone.
Repair crews are working this morning to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses in Boston's Back Bay district, "after two transformers caught fire Tuesday night, knocking out power" and sending think black smoke billowing over the area, our colleagues at WBUR report.
Judges at a war crimes tribunal convicted Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga of snatching children from the street and turning them into killers. A sentencing hearing will now be scheduled. Lubanga faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
At Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged U.S. military personnel to not be deterred from their mission and continue "to make life difficult" for the Taliban and al-Qaida, says NPR's Larry Abramson, who is travelling with Panetta.
March Madness has barely begun and a key figure in Georgetown basketball has suffered an injury. Team mascot Jack the Bulldog has torn the doggie version of his ACL. Jack's keeper tweeted the injury was likely from jumping on the couch.