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Europe
3:13 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Tables Are Turned On Crusading Spanish Judge

Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon (center) arrives at the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain, on Jan. 24. The crusading human-rights judge is on trial for his attempt to investigate the more than 100,000 disappearances during Spain's civil war in the 1930s and the subsequent dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Juan Medina Reuters/Landov

Thousands marched in Spain on Sunday in support of Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish judge who became an icon for human-rights activists when he indicted former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

Now, Spain's most famous judge is on trial, after turning his investigations toward the country's own fascist past.

Garzon, 56, is a champion of universal jurisdiction — the idea that the most heinous crimes need to be prosecuted, no matter where or when.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Gingrich Calls For Panel To Look At Rules For In Vitro Clinics

While talking with the media outside the Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called for a commission to look at new rules for clinics that perform in vitro fertilization.
Matt Rourke AP

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich is changing another of his positions in an effort to woo socially conservative voters.

Over the weekend he told churchgoers in Florida that as president he'd work to ban research using stem cells derived from human embryos.

Gingrich has long been a strong backer of federal funding for scientific research. In 2001 his support extended to research on stem cells derived from human embryos left over from in vitro fertilization efforts.

But apparently that's no longer the case.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Lost In Translation: Because Of Twitter Joke, Brits Denied Entry To U.S.

Leigh Van Bryan.
Twitter

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm

Talk about lost in translation: Today's British press is buzzing with a story in the British tabloid The Daily Mail, which reports that two British travelers were denied entry into the U.S., after authorities uncovered two tweets.

In one Leigh Van Bryan quipped, "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." And in another Van Bryan said that he was going to "dig up Marilyn Monroe."

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Republicans, Democrats Aren't That Far Apart, Study Says

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, listening last week as President Obama (a Democrat) gave his State of the Union address.
Saul Loeb/pool Getty Images

If creatures from another planet are listening in on what our politicians and pundits have to say, they might think Democrats and Republicans are about as far apart politically as possible.

But there's new research that supports what many people already suspect: Most "real" Republicans and Democrats (that is, average Americans who have busy lives and aren't running for office or talking on TV), aren't that different when it comes to politics.

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It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Romney Had Testy Target In Gingrich; Will Obama Likewise Oblige?

Will Mitt Romney be able to get under President Obama's skin the way Gov. Jan Brewer says she did?
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:26 pm

With Mitt Romney poised to win the Florida Republican primary, and maybe by a significant margin if the latest polls are correct, it's worth asking: how did the former Massachusetts governor manage to stop Newt Gingrich's surge coming out of South Carolina?

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Secretary Clinton Heading To U.N. For Session Condemning Syrian Regime

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:56 pm

As reports come in about an escalation in fighting around Damascus and the deploying of army troops in the city's suburbs, the State Department just announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will go to the United Nations on Tuesday to join other nations in condemning the Assad regime's use of violence.

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The Salt
1:01 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Pacific Mackerel Stocks That Feed Farmed Salmon In Decline

A Chilean purse seiner catches jack mackerel.
NOAA

Farmed salmon, that ubiquitous pink fish decorated with ribbons of fat, can thank the forage fish of the southern Pacific ocean – like anchovy and jack mackerel – for their calorie-rich diet. Indeed, more than 5 pounds of jack mackerel typically can go towards raising one pound of farmed salmon.

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Middle East
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Syria's Uprising Escalates, World Mulls Options

Violence persists around Damascus as protesters continue to urge President Bashar al-Assad's to step down. The Arab League has suspended its monitoring mission and the United Nations Security Council is considering a resolution condemning al-Assad's regime.

Digital Life
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

How Online Paywalls Are Changing Journalism

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Paywall skeptic Clay Shirky long maintained that barriers to newspaper websites were counterproductive and self-defeating, that online readers accustomed to getting the news for free would find another way or another source of news.

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Opinion
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Op-Ed: Israel Will Attack Iran In 2012

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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Your Money
1:00 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

As Homeowners Struggle, Freddie Mac Benefits

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A report by NPR and ProPublica finds that Freddie Mac bet billions of dollars against homeowners' ability to refinance their mortgages. Public documents show Freddie Mac sought to make gains through complex securities which would make money for Freddie Mac, but homeowners with high-interest rate loans would not be able to qualify for refinancing. This is not illegal, but it does raise questions about a conflict of interest within a federally-owned company that is supposed to make getting a mortgage easier.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speak at a meeting at the European Council in Brussels ahead of the European Union leaders summit on Monday.
Getty Images

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.

The Times reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:43 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

A Bid To Replace Neglect For Tropical Diseases With Attention

An artist on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach puts the final touches on a sand sculpture of the assassin bug, which spreads Chagas disease. The sculpture was part of an event in 2009 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disease.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:31 pm

Tropical diseases that have long been overlooked are getting their due.

An ambitious new push to eradicate, eliminate or control 17 scourges over the next eight years was just unveiled in London. The initiative brings together some of the world's largest drugmakers, health-oriented foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Governments from the developed world and the countries most affected by the diseases are also on board.

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Animals
12:31 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze On Everglades' Animals

Nonnative pythons, like this one, are invading the Florida Everglades. As a top predator, the snakes have crippled the populations of rabbits, raccoons and other animals.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:02 am

Scientists are reporting that aliens are wiping out the animals in Florida's Everglades.

The aliens are Burmese pythons from Asia. They've been slithering around south Florida for decades. But scientists now say the constrictors are so bad, they're eating their way through the swamps. And the federal government has decided to take action to prevent their spread.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Intense Cold Kills 36 Across Eastern Europe

Bulgarian women walk during a snowfall in the village of Rakovski, northeast from capital Sofia.
Nikolay Doychinov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 11:30 am

While the United States has mostly escaped winter, the opposite has been true in Eastern Europe. The AP reports that an intense freeze has killed at least 36 people throughout eastern Europe. In some places, temperatures dropped to negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The AP adds:

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Book Reviews
10:48 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'An Available Man': Love After Loss

cover detail

In my family, we referred to them as "the brisket brigade" — those single ladies of a certain age who began bombarding my brother-in-law with casseroles and commiseration soon after my sister-in-law died. It's a cruel fact of life that nobody plies widows with months of home-cooked meals and baked goods; as Jonathan Swift might have modestly proposed, widows might as well eat each other — there's a surplus supply of them, anyway. But, a new widower gets the Crock-Pots and the romantic fantasies all fired up.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Megaupload Users May Lose Files Stored On Service

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom at a North Shore court in Auckland. Dotcom was denied bail in New Zealand with a judge saying he was concerned the Internet tycoon's vast wealth meant he could flee the country if released from custody.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 10:41 am

Many of the files stored by the millions of users of the cloud service Megaupload could begin losing their files on Thursday. The AP reports that federal prosecutors said Megaupload paid third parties to store data and now that authorities have freezed Megaupload's accounts, it can no longer pay those providers. The providers said they would begin deleting files as early as Thursday.

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The Fresh Air Interview
10:24 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Stew: 'Making It' After A Tough Breakup

Stew.
Courtesy of the artist

Stew's new album Making It is, in part, about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and songwriting partner, Heidi Rodewald.

The two musicians, who still work together professionally, dated each other for years. They collaborated on songs for their band The Negro Problem, as well as on orchestrations for Passing Strange, their semi-autobiographical Broadway musical about a young African-American trying to understand himself while traveling around Europe. But during Passing Strange's initial run in Berkeley, Calif., Stew and Rodewald broke up.

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The Two-Way
9:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'Like The End Of The World': Brush Fire Blamed For Car Pileup That Killed 10

Firemen rest after fighting fires that resulted from a pileup that killed at least 10 people on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Fla.
Phil Sandlin AP

Police say the combination of smoke from a brush fire and fog created a deadly environment with near-zero visibility early Saturday morning that caused a huge pileup that left at least 10 dead and 21 hospitalized on Florida's Interstate 75 near Gainesville.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Mon January 30, 2012

In December, Personal Income Saw Biggest Gain In 9 Months

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 8:45 am

In December, personal income climbed 0.5 percent, while disposable income rose 0.4 percent. New figures released today from the Commerce Department also show that consumer spending was flat, increasing 0.1 percent from the month before.

While the AP reports that rise in income was the most in nine months, the news is a mixed bag.

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Syrian Government Deploys Troops To Quell Rebel Army

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on Sunday shows armed men who are said to be members of the Free Syrian Army.
AFP/Getty Images

Fighting between government forces and army defectors has intensified in the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government sent a major deployment of troops to several suburbs and the defectors, who call themselves the Free Syrian Army, retreated.

The BBC reports:

"At least 26 people were reportedly killed this weekend in what activists say is the fiercest fighting around the capital during the 10 month-uprising.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

As Oakland Picks Up The Pieces, Washington To Evict Occupy Protesters

A defaced bust of former city councilmember Frank Ogawa sits outside Oakland, Calif., City Hall on Sunday.
Noah Berger AP

After a short respite, the Occupy movement had a resurgence this weekend. There was a mass protest in Oakland that extended through Saturday and Sunday and ended with the arrest of more than 400. In New York City, Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets last night in solidarity. Twelve were arrested

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Around the Nation
7:15 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Blood Center Rewards Donor With Super Bowl Tickets

Carol Sikler has spent years repaying a debt. Her husband needed blood during treatment before he died in 2003. Since then, she has donated more than 140 units. Now she gets a reward. The Indiana Blood Center gave her tickets to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

It's All Politics
7:08 am
Mon January 30, 2012

GOP Presidential Contest: Is It Over or Just Getting Started?

Over the weekend, we heard Newt Gingrich assuring Floridians that his campaign was going all the way to the GOP's August convention.

Once the delegates got to Tampa, he said, all those who opposed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would unite to deny him the nomination.

"My job is to convert that [anti-Romney majority] into a pro-Gingrich majority," the former House speaker said Sunday.

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Animals
7:06 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Doberman In 'Hugo' Snubbed For Dog Movie Award

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 7:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Martin Scorsese got 11 Oscar nods for his film "Hugo." Still, he's calling in the L.A. Times a write-in campaign for an actor he feels has been snubbed. Blackie, the Doberman in "Hugo," failed to get a nomination for a Golden Collar, awarded by Dog News Daily. The cute Jack Russell who starred in "The Artist" was nominated, but Blackie is an anti-hero. And just a few hundred Facebook votes will earn him a chance at top dog. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Your Money
5:01 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:53 am

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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Business
4:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:51 am

At the end of last week, an employee sent an email with a simple request: Please bring me a copy of the new directory. She accidentally copied every member of the legislature and all of their staff. The email went to some 4,000 people. Recipients then started to reply-all with many messages, and the system couldn't handle it.

Analysis
4:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Politics In The News

The Republican Party holds its fourth presidential nominating contest tomorrow in Florida. Renee Montagne talks to NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts about the week in politics.

Middle East
4:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Syrian Forces Storm Rebellious Areas Near Damascus

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:44 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Fighting in Syria has intensified within a few miles of the capital city. Damascus has remained under firm government control, but in the suburbs, the army has sent in tanks to retake areas that had been under the affective control of rebels. Activists inside Syria say more than 60 people have been killed in the past day. NPR's Kelly McEvers is monitoring the situation from Beirut. She's on the line. Hi Kelly.

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: Hello.

INSKEEP: How did this fighting develop in the suburbs?

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