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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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Shots - Health Blog
11:36 am
Tue January 31, 2012

More Than A Million Condoms Recalled In South Africa

Condoms like this one were given out during the African National Congress party's centenary celebrations in early Now a South African health official says that 1.35 million of them are being recalled amid charges some broke during sex.
Denis Farrell AP

The party may be over, but the trouble may just be starting in South Africa.

The health department in Free State province is recalling 1.35 million condoms that may not be up to snuff.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Defying Camping Ban, Occupy D.C. Protesters Remain In Place

Occupy D.C. protesters shout slogans after erecting a tent over the statue of Civil War Maj. Gen. James Birdseye McPherson at McPherson Square in Washington.
KAren Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 11:21 am

The Occupy D.C. encampment received notice that as of noon yesterday, camping would not be allowed at McPherson Square, the downtown Washington, D.C. park they've occupied for months now.

But that deadline came and went and instead of heeding the warning from the National Park Service, the protesters erected an even bigger tent. The protesters draped a huge blue tarp emblazoned with the words "Tent of Dreams" over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the middle of the park.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Tue January 31, 2012

CBO Estimates $1.1 Trillion Federal Deficit

CBO

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 11:43 am

Taking into account all the budget legislation passed in the last year, the Congressional Budget Office says the country will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2012.

The CBO reports that is nearly 7 percent of the United States' GDP, but is "nearly 2 percentage points below the deficit recorded in 2011, but still higher than any deficit between 1947 and 2008."

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Tue January 31, 2012

For Third Straight Month, Home Prices Dropped In November

Home prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index found a drop in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.

The AP reports:

"The biggest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase.

"The decline partly reflects the typical fall slowdown after the peak buying season.

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Presidential Race
9:40 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Italian Authorities Call Off Search For Missing In Costa Shipwreck

Italian firefighters scuba divers approach the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy on Friday.
Pier Paolo Cito AP

Citing safety concerns, Italian officials said they were calling off the search for those still missing at the site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The AP reports:

"Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Stephen Colbert Says His SuperPAC Raised $1 Million

Comedian Stephen Colbert at a campaign stop in Charleston, South Carolina.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:44 am

"I'm rolling seven digits deep!" is what Stephen Colbert told the Federal Election Commission in his superPAC's filing this morning.

The comedian said that as of January 30, his political action committee had collected $1,023,121.24 in donations.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue January 31, 2012

VIDEO: Mitt Romney Sings 'America The Beautiful'

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at The Villages, Fla. on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Maybe it's the latest poll numbers. Maybe it was being among a crowd of a few thousand supporters.

But Mitt Romney, long-known for being a little stiff, broke out into song during a campaign event at a retirement community in The Villages, Fla.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue January 31, 2012

As Florida Votes, Polls Put Mitt Romney Comfortably Ahead

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets people during a grassroots rally with supporters at Lake Sumter Landing on Monday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Odds are that today's Republican primary in Florida won't be nearly as dramatic as the previous contest in South Carolina. Polls have been predicting a comfortable win for Mitt Romney and, as The Washington Post reports, a Quinnipiac University poll released, yesterday, gave Romney a 14-point lead over Newt Gingrich.

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Around the Nation
7:06 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Air Travelers In San Francisco Can Relax With Yoga

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Where else would it start but San Francisco? Yoga has joined the food courts and massage stations as a pre-flight experience. San Francisco International Airport is now offering a yoga room. Travelers can stretch and de-stress before squeezing into those painfully crowded planes. It's equipped with mats, warm lights kept low and walls painted a serene blue. But if that's not what relaxes you, there is always the bar. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Business
4:35 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Sotol Maker Tries To Break Into U.S. Spirits Market

Americans drank more than 100 million liters of tequila in 2010. It's no wonder then, that a little-known spirit from Mexico is trying to make its name in the United States. Introducing Sotol — a smoky smooth liquor distilled in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Europe
4:00 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Most EU Nations To Sign Pact To Stop Overspending

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In a few minutes, we're going to hear about how wealth and debt in Europe flowed from the invention of banks. In Florence, Italy, merchants came up with the banking system that encouraged international trade at the dawn of the Renaissance.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

These days, of course, a debt crisis has wiped out many European banks, forced countries to seek bailouts, and toppled governments.

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Sports
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

It's A Good Time To Be An LA Clippers 'Superfan'

"Clipper Darrell" dances with the "Clipper Spirit" during a game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in 2002.
Lisa Blumenfeld Getty Images

For a long time, Los Angeles has been a Lakers town, but thanks to some of the NBA's brightest young stars it's now the perennially-ridiculed Clippers that have the better record, and much of the city's attention. That's especially gratifying for one die-hard Clippers fan.

Darrell Bailey, better known as "Clipper Darrell," has missed only one Clipper game in the past 11 seasons. "I was in the hospital," he says. "That's the only reason they kept me out."

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The Salt
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Lamb Boom Has Sheep Farmers Flocking Together

A holding pen for lamb at the Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio.
Meta Van Nostran

When city folk think of lamb, they may think of very young sheep — perhaps six weeks old. But six months is the average age of spring lamb going to market these days.

Don Van Nostran has one in a holding pen in his barn at Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio. It soon will be butchered and sold in a local Kroger store.

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Europe
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking

Oil painting by Marinus van Reymerswaele.
Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.

The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.

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Law
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

GOP Seeks Big Changes In Federal Prison Sentences

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:25 am

Every year, federal judges sentence more than 80,000 criminals. Those punishments are supposed to be fair — and predictable. But seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw a wrench into the system by ruling that the guidelines that judges use to figure out a prison sentence are only suggestions.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

'I Wanted To Live': New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases

Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life."
Lianne Milton for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:52 am

A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

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