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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum Sweeps 3 GOP Nominating Contests

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 5:08 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. Good morning.

Several factors may affect your thinking as you decide how important last night's voting was. Turnout was low, and no convention delegates were awarded as Missouri held a primary, and Minnesota and Colorado held caucuses.

MONTAGNE: Then again, nobody awarded delegates when Iowa voted, either. The fact is, people voted, and Rick Santorum won all three states.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

TV's King: Web Fails To Dominate Election Coverage

Supporters watch primary results in Manchester, N.H., in January. According to a Pew study, Americans continue to get much of their election news from cable television.
Allison Joyce Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 3:03 pm

The twists and turns of the Republican presidential campaign have been practically made for — and watched on — live television. And despite predictions of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook dominating election coverage, Americans are continuing to rely on an old standby: cable TV.

After coming in second in the Nevada caucuses, Newt Gingrich assured reporters that national news exposure would be a surefire remedy for catching up with Mitt Romney.

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Middle East
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Unrest Reaches Syrian Capital Damascus

As Western nations increasingly push to end the violence in Syria, tension has reached the capital Damascus. Last June, a woman there who blogs under the pseudonym "Jasmine Roman," described Damascus as a city removed from the demonstrations that were taking place elsewhere in the country. Renee Montagne talks with her again, to see how things have changed 11 months after the anti-government uprising began in Syria.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Tuesday's GOP Contests Set Romney's Campaign Back

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had expected to win at least one nominating contest Tuesday. Instead, rival Rick Santorum swept the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses plus the non-binding primary in in Missouri.

Middle East
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Talk Of War Against Iran Heats Up

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Syria's turmoil has overshadowed but not stopped talk about war in another country - Iran. The usual scenario is that Israel might strike Iranian nuclear facilities, with or without the approval of the United States. In The Daily Beast, historian Niall Ferguson dismissed concerns about a strike. In the Washington Post, David Ignatius wrote that U.S. officials oppose an Israeli strike but think it may come in the spring.

We put some basic questions to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Asia
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

India's Coffee Consumption Doubles Over Last Decade

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 6:34 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Sports
4:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Like Punk Rockers, Sabre Fencers Are 'Kind Of Crazy'

Mariel Zagunis during a recent training session in Portland, Ore. Zagunis won gold medals in women's sabre fencing at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.
Tom Goldman NPR

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 4:18 pm

There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil and sabre. Mariel Zagunis is the best woman in sabre — she won Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008.

To understand the world of Zagunis' weapon of choice, it may be more apt to consult the Sex Pistols rather than a fencing historian. That's because sabre fencers, Zagunis says, are the "punk rockers" of her sport.

"You have to be more aggressive and explosive and kind of crazy," she says. "I think that kind of plays into our personality."

Lesson For A Champion

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The Two-Way
1:48 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Rick Santorum Has Big Night; Sweeps All Three GOP Contests

Just for the record: Rick Santorum won all three non-binding primaries on Tuesday. The former Pennsylvania senator took the caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and won the "beauty contest" in Missouri.

We live blogged the action over at It's All Politics. Look there for analysis in the morning.

Religion
1:43 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Milestone At University Of Michigan: Muslim Chaplain

Mohammed Tayssir Safi began as the Muslim chaplain at the University of Michigan this semester. His position is the first endowed Muslim chaplaincy at a public university.
Courtesy of Mohammed Tayssir Safi

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 1:19 pm

Although the population of Muslim students is growing, there are only about 30 Muslim chaplains at colleges across the country. This semester, the University of Michigan became the first public university with an endowed position for a Muslim chaplain.

"Muslims need to rely on somebody through times of hardship," says Mohammed Tayssir Safi, who was recently hired for the chaplaincy. The university has an estimated 850 Muslim students on campus.

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All Tech Considered
1:41 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Facebook: Lots Of Friends, But Stock Offering Has Risks

Analysts say that to succeed, Facebook needs to figure out how to sell ads on mobile platforms.
Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

When a company files to go public it has to lay out in black and white the biggest risks that face the firm. What could kill it? What could undermine its business? Wipe out all its investors' money? Executives are required to reveal this by law.

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Europe
1:39 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Case In Britain Echoes Dilemma At Guantanamo

Omar Othman, better known as Abu Qatada, is seen at his North London home in October 2001. A British court ruled Monday that he should be released on bail. Although he was never charged with a crime, British officials say he's a "dangerous" supporter of radical Islam.
AP

A legal case in Britain involving a radical cleric has raised new questions about whether authorities can hold a suspected terrorist forever. An immigration judge ruled Monday that a longtime terrorism suspect and detainee in the U.K. should be released on bail.

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Afghanistan
12:01 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Afghans Hedge Bets Amid Mixed Messages From U.S.

Afghan men walk past American soldiers in Ghazni province on Thursday. U.S. and Afghan officials are in talks that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in 2014.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

After a long hiatus, the Afghan and U.S. governments this week reopened talks on a strategic partnership that will determine how many American troops stay in Afghanistan past the end of the NATO mission in 2014.

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Europe
12:01 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Labor Law Changes May Offer Relief For Spain's Youth

Spaniards march through the streets of Madrid, Nov. 27, 2011, to protest spending cuts, high unemployment and political corruption. The government is proposing an overhaul of the country's two-tier labor system, in order to close the gap between temporary and permanent workers.
Pedro Armestre Getty Images

For his age group, Spaniard Miguel Viada is one of the lucky ones. The 25-year-old has a temp job, at the help desk of a tech company in Madrid. But three out of his four roommates are unemployed.

They spend hours on the computer, sending out resumes, he says.

"It's impossible. They find jobs, but for one month, or something like that. And not in very good places or situations," says Viada, who has a master's degree.

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Afghanistan
12:01 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Afghans Worried About Early Exit Of French Troops

A French gunner mans a machine gun in a Puma helicopter as it flies over Afghanistan. French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently ordered the withdrawal of all French troops from the country a year ahead of schedule.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Uncertainties surrounding the future of the NATO mission in Afghanistan are of particular concern for an area near Kabul that French troops have controlled for the past decade. France now plans to withdraw its army a year ahead of schedule, sparking fears of a potential crisis in Kapisa province.

On a plateau amid the towering Hindu Kush mountains, Hukum Khan, a 31-year-old Afghan farmer, says the presence of French troops hasn't made much difference in his life in the past 10 years.

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The Record
12:00 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Bon Iver, 'Holocene'

Bon Iver in Fall Creek, Wisc., August 2010.
D.L. Anderson Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:31 pm

This Sunday the annual Grammy Award winners will be announced. One of the biggest categories is Song of the Year, which goes to a songwriter. Every day this week, we'll give you a little intel on one of the nominees. Today, Bon Iver's "Holocene."

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

For Love And The Game, A Star Shines In Delaware

Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, seen here during a game against Princeton, made headlines when she turned her back on the University of Connecticut.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 1:11 pm

Imagine being not only the best high school player in the country — probably the world — and signing to play for the best college program in the country, but then walking away from the sport. Why would any kid do that?

But, of course, Elena Delle Donne did exactly that, and the reason she did is simply that she did not want to be away from her older sister.

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Election 2012
6:26 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Obama Changes Tone On SuperPACS, Endorses Own

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:31 pm

As a candidate and as president, Barack Obama has disparaged the role of big money in politics. At his 2010 State of the Union address, he even called out the Supreme Court for a ruling that opened the door to unlimited personal and business contributions. But, faced with a Republican opposition that's raising millions from a handful of sources, President Obama let his fundraisers loose to play the game too.

The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Holding Source Code, Hackers Try To Extort $50K From Symantec

Symantec's pcAnywhere program.
Symantec

A case of what appears to be a high-tech extorsion came to an abrupt end last night, when hackers, which call themselves Lords of Dharmaraja, made good on their promise to release the source code of Symantec's PCAnywhere software, which allows a user to access their computers remotely.

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Health
6:00 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Poll: Many Catholics Support Birth Control Coverage

A new federal policy would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has joined the chorus criticizing President Obama over a controversial policy that would require most employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, to include birth control in their employees' health insurance.

Catholic opinion leaders have denounced the policy as an assault on their religious freedom.

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It's All Politics
5:59 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

South Carolina Sues Justice Department For Blocking Its Voter ID Law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks last month in Columbia, S.C. The state is now suing Holder over the Justice Department's decision to reject its new voter ID law.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:46 pm

In the escalating fight over voter identification laws, South Carolina has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn a Justice Department decision blocking the state's new photo ID requirement.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, representing his state in the case, said in the complaint filed Tuesday that the law "will not disenfranchise any potential South Carolina voter," as the Justice Department contends.

The lawsuit further argues:

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Opinion
5:46 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Cabaret Wanes As The Oak Room Is Felled

American comedy duo Jerry Lewis (left) and Dean Martin (right) with the English playwright and actor Noel Coward at an unknown location in 1953. Lewis and Martin were famous for their cabaret acts in the 1940s and 1950s.
R. Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 7:13 pm

One of New York City's most famous cabaret clubs, the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, is closing. At least one person will feel the loss — Murray Horwitz, the author of two Broadway musicals and numerous cabaret acts.

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It's All Politics
5:36 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

In South Carolina, Dead-Voter Fraud Seems Not To Live Up To Suspicions

South Carolina's suit against the Department of Justice over the state's new voter ID law comes amid a big to-do in the state over whether hundreds of "dead" voters cast ballots in past elections.

The issue has been used by ID supporters as evidence that voter fraud in the state is a serious problem. But it looks as though that's not going to turn out to be the case.

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Law
5:35 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Calif. Decision Puts Marriage Politics In Spotlight

Couple John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney celebrate the gay-marriage ruling outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 in San Francisco. The pair had married during the brief time in 2008 when same-sex unions were legal in California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The 9th Circuit Court's 2-1 decision Tuesday to strike down California's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional could propel the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It also promises to inject marriage politics into an election year during which states from New Jersey to Minnesota to Washington will grapple with the issue of gay citizens' right to legally marry.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:31 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Planned Parenthood Still In Cross Hairs

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

One of the driving forces behind the now-reversed decision to cancel funding to Planned Parenthood has stepped down from her executive position at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

But the resignation of Karen Handel, an outspoken opponent of the reproductive health group, hasn't slowed down foes of Planned Parenthood.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:59 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Rotavirus Vaccine Doesn't Boost Risk of Intestinal Problem

A baby is inoculated against rotavirus in Honduras in early 2009.
Orlando Sierra AFP/Getty Images

When a vaccine for rotavirus debuted in 1998, it was hailed as a huge plus for children's health. Before that, rotavirus killed more than 400,000 young children a year worldwide by causing severe diarrhea. Problem solved? Not quite.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Report: U.S. Could Cut Its Staff At Expansive Iraq Embassy By Up To Half

The New York Times is reporting that the United States is planning to cut its staff by as much as half at its 16,000-person strong embassy in Baghdad.

The $750 million embassy building is the largest of its kind in the world and the Times adds that a major cut in staffing just two months after American troops withdrew from the country signals a "declining American influence."

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Music Interviews
4:40 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Search For A Singer To Hit 'Low E' Spans Globe

Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.

It's All Politics
4:34 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Romney Campaign Preemptively Downplays MN, CO And MO Contests

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:36 pm

Mitt Romney's campaign had a message Tuesday for those who would try to stop his forward momentum to the Republican presidential nomination — he's got this.

Oh, and Tuesday's contests really don't add up to much of anything really.

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Africa
4:27 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

In Morocco, The Arab Spring's Mixed Bounty

Relatives of Abdelwahab Zaydoun, a 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment and died from his burns, react to his death in Casablanca last month. A year after street protests in Morocco prompted some reforms, Moroccans remain discontent with the gap between rich and poor, and the slow strides toward democracy.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

If you're looking for the reasons for unrest in Morocco, you can find some answers while zipping along in a golf cart at a resort in the historic town of Marrakech.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:15 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Controversy Over Stem-Cell Research Keeps Charities On Sidelines

There's a funding tempest in a cell culture.
Andrei Tchernov iStockphoto.com

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has been in the news because of its clash with Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

But another aspect of Komen's activities hasn't received much attention: Komen's position on research using human embryonic stem cells.

Despite raising millions of dollars for breast cancer research, Komen hasn't funded any of this work, prompting questions about whether that decision is rooted in politics.

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