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It's All Politics
4:36 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Fred Who? He's Republican, He's Gay, And He's Competing For Michigan Delegates

GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger hopes Michigan's primary rules will allow him to pick up a few delegates to the national convention. He's focusing on just one congressional district in the center of the state.
Rick Pluta for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 6:36 pm

As better-known candidates trod the landscape and crowd the airwaves, pleading for votes in Michigan's Republican primary, the first openly gay GOP presidential hopeful is plotting a minor upset.

Fred Karger hopes the state's primary rules will land him a mid-Michigan miracle and a handful of delegates to the national convention.

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Middle East
4:25 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Syrian Official Says Media Coverage Is Manipulated

Melissa Block talks to Zouheir Jabbour, Chief of Mission of the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC, about the call for a ceasefire in Homs and the allegations of atrocities by the Syrian regime.

The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

U.N. Report: Iran Has Ramped Up Production Of Enriched Uranium

A new report by the United Nations' nuclear agency claims that Iran has ramped up production of a purer form of enriched uranium over the past few months. The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency was obtained by The Associated Press and other news outlets and it's likely to further suspicions from Western countries that Iran might be working on a nuclear weapon.

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National Security
3:29 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Hezbollah Suspect May Face U.S. Military Commission

U.S. Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner speaks in Baghdad in July 2007 near a poster of Ali Musa Daqduq. Daqduq was captured in Iraq in March 2007, and is accused of orchestrating the killings of five U.S. soldiers. The U.S. left Daqduq in Iraqi custody when U.S. troops formally withdrew in December. But the Obama administration is seeking to try him before a military commission.
Wsthiq Khuzaie AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:18 pm

The Obama administration is seeking to try a Lebanese man linked to Hezbollah in a military commission, expanding the reach of the military tribunal beyond al-Qaida and Taliban suspects for the first time.

The man at the center of the case is Ali Musa Daqduq. He was the last detainee held by American forces in Iraq and had been turned over to Iraqi custody when U.S. forces formally withdrew from Iraq in December.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Syria: Red Cross Begins Evacuating Injured From Homs

The International Committee of the Red Cross said today that its crews had reached the restive city of Homs in Syria and they have begun evacuating some of those injured by the shelling.

The Telegraph reports that the Red Cross said two wounded Western journalists were were evacuated, as well as the body of two others. The Telegraph adds:

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Why Woody Allen Is Always MIA At Oscars

Filmmaker Woody Allen is notorious for not attending the Oscars each year, despite his numerous nominations.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

'Friends Of Syria' Group Calls For Ceasefire

Representatives from some 70 countries met in Tunis on Friday and issued an ultimatum to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, demanding an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access to cities like Homs that have been under bombardment by the Syrian army. Audie Cornish talks to Michele Kelemen about the news.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Correcting A National Record Literally Set In Stone

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial isn't the only monument in Washington, DC, that has grappled with how to make a correction. At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, there are more than 58,000 names inscribed on the wall. More than 100 of them have been misspelled, but 62 have been fixed. Memorial fund president Jan Scruggs explains how they've made the corrections.

Sports
3:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Braun Return The Biggest Story In Baseball Training

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 6:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another legal question: What do a urine test and FedEx have in common? Well, today at least, they both relate to one of Major League Baseball's best players, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, the National League MVP. Yesterday, an arbitrator overturned his 50-game suspension for violating the league's rules on performance-enhancing drugs. And today, Braun showed up for spring training in Phoenix and defended himself to the media.

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Middle East
3:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Some Evacuated From Syrian City Under Siege

In Syria, medics working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are evacuating the injured from a neighborhood of Homs. The area known as Baba Amr has been under a long and heavy bombardment from Syrian government forces. Melissa Block talks with Saleh Dabbakeh, a spokesman for the ICRC who is in Damascus.

Shots - Health Blog
2:11 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Chemical Used For Stripping Bathtubs Kills 13

Sure, gussy it up. But be careful.
iStockPhoto.com

We've all seen those bathtub refinishing ads that promise a glossy new surface on the dingy old tub.

But a solvent used to make that transformation has killed at least 13 people who used it to strip bathtubs from 2006 to 2011, according to a new study. The chemical, methylene chloride, is sold as a solvent and paint stripper both to professionals and in dozens of do-it-yourself products sold at home improvement stores.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

In Orlando, Another Melee Caused By Shoes

The shoes in question: Nike's Foamposite.
Nike

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 6:01 pm

Last night at midnight, Nike released a pair of expensive glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes. And as has happened before for big shoe releases, a melee broke out among the hundreds of people who waited outside of an Orlando, Fla. mall to buy them.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that the release of the shoes was timed with Orlando's hosting of the NBA All-Star Game and by 9:45 p.m., police in riot gear were called in to control the crowd.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Imagining A More Active Moon

The standard picture of the moon is of a long-dead object, geologically speaking. But using observations from cameras on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Thomas Watters and colleagues say in the journal Nature Geosciencesthat there are signs of more recent tectonic activity on the moon, within the last 50 million years.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Secret Life Of Ice

Photographer and videographer Edward Aites, of Seattle, submitted this time-lapse video to Science Friday. He looked at ice through a macro lens and cross-polarizing filters, and found a colorful, surprising landscape. This is ice like you've never seen it before.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Mild Winter May Be Keeping Flu Bugs At Bay

Flu season usually peaks around February. But this year it's missing in action, with the CDC reporting the slowest start to the flu season on record. Peter Palese, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses whether unseasonably warm winter weather may be to thank.

Technology
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Reaching For The Limits of Tiny Transistors

Computer chip makers have long struggled to build ever-smaller transistors to allow faster, more powerful computers. Writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists describes what may be the ultimate limit of that struggle — a transistor made of a single atom. Michelle Simmons, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia and leader of the project, discusses the work.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Genetic Test Reveals Unexpected Data

Bloomberg News reporter John Lauerman volunteered to have his DNA sequenced by Harvard researchers to demystify the process for the public. What he didn't expect to uncover was that he possessed two gene variants--one linked to rare blood disorders and the other to a higher risk of Alzheimer's.

Energy
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Powering Up...With A Microbial Fuel Cell

Reporting in Environmental Science and Technology, researchers write of harvesting electricity from microbe-rich river sediments--enough to power a small LED bulb. Grant Burgess, a marine biotechnologist at Newcastle University, discusses the hunt for electron-burping bugs.

Health
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Science Diction: The Origin Of 'Tuberculosis'

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:12 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The alphabet has only 26 letters. With these 26 magic symbols, however, millions of words are written every day.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And that music means it's time for Science Diction, where we talk about the origins of science words with my guest, Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, also director of the Center for the History of Medicine there. Welcome back to SCIENCE FRIDAY, Howard.

DR. HOWARD MARKEL: Hi, Ira, how are you?

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Technology
1:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Weaving Around Web Privacy Controls

Web browser manufactures often market their products to consumers with an emphasis on privacy, assuring users that their products can better control how personal information is used online. Carnegie Mellon privacy researcher Lorrie Cranor explains that many companies have developed quiet ways to step around some of that privacy-protecting code.

News
12:57 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

How Lawmakers Lost Their Sense Of Shame

Outside the state Capitol in Annapolis, Md., last year: Someone who'd had enough of what has been going on.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:01 pm

Connie Johnson is not afraid to be outrageous. The Democratic state senator from Oklahoma has watched in frustration for several years now as colleagues have rammed through bills limiting women's reproductive rights.

She tried debating and making speeches. Finally, earlier this month, she thought of something that made her point more clearly, or at least more graphically.

She introduced an amendment that would define life as beginning not at conception, but at "ejaculation."

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Television
12:24 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

25 Years Later, 'The Singing Detective' Still Shines

Gambon's character slips in and out of feverish dreams in which his doctors and nurses start to sing and dance.
BBC

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:15 pm

The Singing Detective is the story of a writer of pulp-fiction novels, hospitalized for a horrible skin condition that has his entire body flaking and raw, and his mind slipping in and out of fever dreams.

Some of those hallucinations have the people around him breaking into song, or shifting into other places and times and characters, or both. He tries to maintain his sanity by rewriting, in his head, one of his old novels into a Hollywood screenplay — and, in his mind, he's the healthy, good-looking protagonist — the singing detective.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Doesn't Endorse Philly Conference

Occupy Wall Street tells The Associated Press that a national conference being planned in Philadelphia this summer was not approved by its General Assembly, meaning the group does not endorse it.

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The Salt
12:19 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

In Rice, How Much Arsenic Is Too Much?

Brown rice syrup, which can be high in arsenic, is sometimes used in vegan recipes like this caramel corn.
iStockphoto.com

The news that some rice-based foods are surprisingly high in arsenic has left rice lovers wondering how the heck we're to know what's safe to eat.

Since Dartmouth College researchers reported last week that a toddler formula and energy bars sweetened with organic brown rice syrup tested high for arsenic, readers of The Salt have had lots of questions about how one might find out the arsenic content of rice-based foods, and figure out what's safe.

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Mitt Romney
12:02 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

From George Romney To Mitt, A Shrinking Tax Rate

Mitt Romney holds a poster of his father, given to him at a campaign rally in Spartanburg, S.C., in January.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:00 am

Mitt Romney gave a major economic speech Friday, in which he stressed his plan to lower personal income taxes.

Romney's own taxes became an issue last month, when he acknowledged paying a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.

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Law
12:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Court Takes Another Look At Affirmative Action

A new case taking on affirmative action in higher education is set to be heard in the Supreme Court this fall. In 2003, the court ruled that universities could consider racial diversity in admissions. But today the make-up of the court is very different. Host Michel Martin discusses the case with two law school deans.

Law
12:00 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

South Dakota Tribe Goes Up Against Big Brewers

The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a $500 million lawsuit against brewers and retailers, claiming they're responsible for the reservation's alcohol-related problems. The tribe lives on a dry reservation, but they claim nearby towns unlawfully sell alcohol to residents. Host Michel Martin speaks to a reporter and the tribe's attorney.

The Two-Way
11:45 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Remembering Marine Sgt. Oscar Canon, A 'Superstar'

Marine Sgt. Oscar Canon, and the tattered hat he was wearing the day he was injured.
Joseph Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 12:45 pm

After the explosion of the rocket-propelled grenade on a road in Fallujah, Oscar Canon saw the white of his own thigh bone. At the medical unit, the young Marine sergeant grabbed the doctor by his collar and yelled, "Don't cut off my f***ing leg." That was in October of 2004 and the first of dozens of surgeries — 72 separate operations, by a family member's count — that saved his leg.

Last week, Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon, 29, died. A Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Pendleton says the death is still being investigated.

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Movie Reviews
11:43 am
Fri February 24, 2012

'Wanderlust': A Zany Blast From The Communal Past

Orange You Glad We Wound Up Here? George (Paul Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston) play an unemployed Manhattan couple who stumble into a hippie farming commune whose denizens include characters played by Justin Theroux and Alan Alda.
Gemma La Mana Universal PIctures

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:15 pm

In sophisticated comedy, what's funny is the tension between proper manners and the nasty or sexy subtext. Whereas in low comedy, there are no manners, and the nasty or sexy subtext is right there on the surface.

And then there's Wanderlust, in which the subtext is blasted through megaphones — the characters say so insanely much you want to scream. The satire is as broad as a battleship and equally bombarding. But it takes guts to do a comedy this big without gross-out slapstick, and the writers and the actors are all in.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:39 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Study: Older Antipsychotics Shouldn't Be Used For Elderly

For patients in nursing homes, treatment with antipsychotic medicines is pretty much routine.

Though the drugs were developed to treat schizophrenia, they're also used to manage the dementia-related behavior of elderly patients. Up to a third of patients in nursing homes get the drugs, despite their risks.

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