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U.S.
5:50 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Families Suffer Through Chicago Morgue Backlog

Workers fill a pauper's grave at Homewood Memorial Gardens, south of Chicago, with remains from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, which is now catching up on its backlog of indigent burials.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 7:08 pm

Losing a loved one in any circumstance can be a painful experience, but for some families in Chicago, that pain is being compounded by what's been happening at the Cook County morgue in recent weeks. In the words of one observer, it's "a moral travesty."

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It's All Politics
5:04 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Axelrod Argues Obama Economic Policies Worked, Though There's More To Do

David Axelrod.
Brian Kersey AP

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 12:57 pm

David Axelrod, President Obama's political strategist, has what appears to be — from outside the president's re-election campaign, at least — a problem.

Back in early 2009, when the Obama presidency was still brand new, the president gave that NBC News interview in which he talked about his administration being a "one-term proposition" if the economy didn't snap back in time for his re-election.

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Fresh Air Weekend
2:02 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Baratunde, Stew, Leonard Cohen

Baratunde Thurston is an American comedian and the digital director of The Onion. He co-founded the black political blog Jack & Jill Politics. He is also a prolific tweeter.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat February 4, 2012 10:24 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Sports
1:00 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Mike Pesca's Guide To Super Bowl XLVI

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

After a few more days of escalating hoopla, the Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots kicks off on Sunday evening, but whether you've got a small financial interest in the game or if you're just waiting for the ads, there are stories on the field in Indianapolis - the Brady legacy, salsa dancer Victor Cruz, hometown boy Mathias Kiwanuka, and of course the medical epic of the high-ankle sprain. What story will you follow in Super Bowl XLVI?

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Books
1:00 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Celebrating The Legacy Of Langston Hughes

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. From the Harlem Renaissance to black power, Langston Hughes spoke to the life of African-Americans. The neglected son of a famous abolitionist family, he immersed himself in books. Eighteen years old and just out of high school, he saw sunset on the muddy Mississippi from a train and wrote the poem that introduced the world to Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers."

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Movies
1:00 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Anthony Mackie Makes His Mark In Hollywood

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 5:13 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

You may remember Anthony Mackie as the uptight sergeant who defused bombs in Baghdad with Jeremy Renner in the Oscar-winner "The Hurt Locker."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HURT LOCKER")

JEREMY RENNER: (as Sergeant First Class William James) That wasn't so bad. First time working together. What do you think?

ANTHONY MACKIE: (as Sergeant J.T. Sanborn) I think us working together means I talk to you and you talk to me.

RENNER: (as Sergeant First Class William James) We going on a date, Sanborn?

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Economy
1:00 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

The Future Of America's Manufacturing Jobs

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The good news, even in the recession, came from American manufacturing. Output is up one-third over the past decade. But over just about that same period of time, six million manufacturing jobs disappeared. About as many people work in manufacturing now as did at the end of the Depression, though our population has more than doubled.

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Energy
12:20 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Clean-Tech Industry Facing Lean Times After Solyndra

President Obama tours the headquarters of the Solyndra solar panel company in Freemont, Calif., on May 26, 2010.The company declared bankruptcy in August 2011.
Pool Getty Images

Three years ago, venture capitalists were pouring billions of dollars into technologies like solar power, wind power, biofuels and fuel cells. The federal government followed, directing some $44.5 billion into clean technology from late 2009 to late 2011 through loans, subsidies and tax incentives.

But now the clean-tech industry is facing leaner times, in part because of cheaper natural gas prices, the effects of the financial crisis and China's growing solar industry.

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Music Reviews
11:58 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Lana Del Rey: The Self-Made Pop Star As Target

Lana Del Ray
Nicole Nodland Shore Fire

Lana Del Rey appeared on Saturday Night Live recently, giving two rather tentative performances that, depending on your point of view, were awkward and amateurish or shrewdly restrained and vulnerable. Del Rey, in her mid-20s, attracts polarizing opinions.

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Television
11:04 am
Thu February 2, 2012

The Producers Behind NBC's Musical 'Smash'

Ivy Lynn (played by Megan Hilty) is one of two actresses vying for the coveted lead role in Smash, which premieres Monday on NBC.
Will Hart NBC

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 12:30 pm

Producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have been making musicals together for almost 20 years. They're the team behind movie musicals like Hairspray, Chicago and Annie, and the TV musicals Gypsy and The Music Man.

Now Meron and Zadan have teamed up once again on the new NBC series Smash, a drama that goes behind the scenes as a motley crew of creative types put together a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Angelo Dundee, 'Savvy Cornerman' For Ali And Others, Has Died

Angelo Dundee and boxer Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali), during a training session in 1966.
George Freston Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

We should pause to note the death of Angelo Dundee, the "genial trainer" of 15 world champion boxers, most notably Muhammad Ali.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:06 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Komen Says Efficiency, Not Politics, Drove Planned Parenthood Change

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 5:06 pm

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has rejected charges that its decision to discontinue funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was politically motivated.

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It's All Politics
9:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Obama Campaign Tries To One (Million) Up Romney's 'One-Term' Cash Effort

Screenshot of Romney campaign's "One-Term" web fundraiser.
MittRomney.com

Cue the song "Anything You Can Do," from the musical "Annie Get Your Gun." The Obama and Romney campaigns have for all practical purposes started waging their general-election campaigns against each other.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Jobless Claims Fell By 12,000 Last Week

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 12,000 last week, to 367,000 from 379,000 the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

The agency also said that "the 4-week moving average was 375,750, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised average of 377,750."

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Bill Easily Clears Key Hurdle In Washington State

Sen. Ed Murray, D,, left, and his partner Michael Shiosaka wave at spectators in the upper gallery after the Washington state Senate voted for a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.
Elaine Thompson AP

"In the end, it wasn't even close," The Seattle Times writes this morning.

By a 28-21 vote early Wednesday evening, the Washington State Senate approved a bill legalizing gay marriage in the state.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Anger, Blame And Protests In Egypt After Deadly Soccer Riot

Fans rushed on to the field Wednesday after the soccer match in Port Said, Egypt.
AFP/Getty Images

The tragic riot following a soccer game Wednesday in Port Said, Egypt, which left more than 70 people dead and at least 1,000 wounded, "highlights the problems with security in this country," NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson said earlier today in a conversation with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil Sees Six More Weeks Of Winter

Punxsutawney Phil and his buddies earlier today.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Breaking "news" at 7:27 a.m. ET: Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter. He saw "many shadows."

Our original post:

It's that time again.

Time for Americans to pause and watch as a Pennsylvania groundhog supposedly tells us whether we will or won't have six more weeks of winter.

Punxsutawney Phil is due to emerge from his "burrow" at 7:20 a.m ET.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Ferry Sinks Off Papua New Guinea: 200+ Rescued, But 100+ Missing

Two life rafts from the MV Rabaul Queen, seen from a helicopter, float in the open waters off Papua New Guinea's east coast, earlier today (Feb. 2, 2012).
AP

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 7:17 am

"Rescuers have plucked 238 survivors from waters off Papua New Guinea after a ferry carrying up to 350 people sank," officials tell The Australian. The newspaper adds that officials say it's too early to declare whether the vessel was overloaded and what caused the disaster.

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Report Blames ATF Agents For Botched Gun-Trafficking Operation

A report by congressional Republicans places new blame for the botched gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious at the feet of federal agents at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who failed to share information and coordinate with sister law enforcement agencies.

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Europe
7:26 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

The Mood Shifts For Russia's Putin In His Hometown

With the Russian presidential election set for next month, the heavily favored candidate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, visited the election center last week as it prepared for the polls.
Yana Lapikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 7:53 am

Even in the dead of winter, the Russian city of St. Petersburg, with its church spires, palaces and waterways, is one of the world's truly beautiful cities. It was here that the Russian revolution began, and it's here where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev cut their teeth politically.

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Book Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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Europe
11:50 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Russian Communists Court Discontented Youth

Communist Party activists in Moscow campaign on Dec. 2 for the party's candidates in parliamentary elections. The Russian Communist Party is hoping to capitalize on a wave of dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling United Russia party.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 6:54 pm

A snazzy new Communist Party poster shows two young, tech-savvy and attractive Russians. Both are smiling and dressed in red: The woman holds a red iPhone; the man holds a red laptop, his T-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.

The slogan: "For the victory of the majority."

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Sweetness And Light
10:16 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Signing Day: Like Christmas For College Sports

Ahead of signing day, wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham of Springfield, Mo., was the highest-ranking recruit who had yet to announce his college choice. Here, he visits a basketball game at the University of Missouri.
L.G. Patterson AP

Originally published on Thu February 2, 2012 12:03 am

Well, here we are starting February, with the single most important day in sports upon us.

No, of course I don't mean a silly little thing like Super Bowl Sunday. But today, the first Wednesday of the second month, is by some sort of — what, pagan lunar calendar? –– officially decreed National Signing Day, when all over America, high school seniors can officially plight their troth to a college football program.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:26 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Many In High-Risk Insurance Pools Face Lifetime Coverage Limits

iStockphoto.com

Thanks to the health care overhaul, most people no longer have to worry about getting sick and running out of health insurance coverage.

The law eliminated lifetime limits, which ran in many plans from $1 millon to $2 million.

Unfortunately, though, the change doesn't apply to plans that enroll some of the sickest people: those who buy coverage in so-called high-risk insurance pools because they have medical problems that make them uninsurable in the private market.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

VIDEO: A Bunny That Thinks It's A Sheepdog

A rabbit tries to herd a flock of sheep.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 2:01 pm

We'll get back to the serious news soon enough. But first, a video that, as The Awl tells us, is blowing up out on the Internet. We're not sure what it says about sheep, herding dogs or rabbits, but there's probably no need to over think this, so just watch:

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

U.S. Intelligence Chief: Iran Is More Willing To Launch Attack On U.S.

From left, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and CIA Director David Petraeus take their seats on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, prior to testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

As part of his yearly report to the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence, the United States' intelligence chief said that depending how threatened Iran feels, it may be more willing to launch an attack against the U.S.

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It's All Politics
12:47 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Florida GOP Primary Let Romney Show Skill In Political Knife Fight

Mitt Romney had reason to smile on Florida primary day, Jan. 31, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

With virtually all polls giving him a solid lead among Florida's Republican voters, Mitt Romney is expected to handily win the Sunshine State's GOP primary Tuesday, putting him back on course for his party's presidential nomination.

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Election 2012
12:28 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

How SuperPACs Are 'Gaming' The 2012 Campaign

Joe Hagan's cover story in the January 22, 2012 edition of New York Magazine details why the 2012 election will be the "most negative in the history of American politics."
New York Magazine

If you thought the 2008 election cycle was full of negative ads, just wait until 2012's campaign gets fully underway.

The upcoming presidential campaign, says journalist Joe Hagan, is expected to "be the most negative in the history of American politics."

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The Salt
11:55 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Beyond Cuppa Joe: Starbucks Embraces India, Lighter Roasts And Alcohol

In India, Starbucks will have to compete with this locally-owned coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day.
Aijaz Rahi AP

"Skinny venti quad decaf latte" is not a household term in India. But that may be about to change, as Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi on today's Morning Edition.

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