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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Wed January 25, 2012

In Emotional Ceremony, Gabrielle Giffords Resigns From Congress

Retiring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington, prior to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.
Susan Walsh AP

In an emotional ceremony on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords handed her letter of resignation to Speaker John Boehner.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke on the Arizona congresswoman's behalf.

"This is only a pause in her public service," Schultz said with a shaky voice and with tears streaming down her face. Schultz then went on to read Giffords' resignation letter.

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Television
11:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

A Boy's Magical 'Touch' Predicts The Future

When Kiefer Sutherland ended his series of very long, very intense days as Jack Bauer on the Fox series 24, few people, including Sutherland himself, expected him to be starring in another TV series right away.
Fox

The new Fox series Touch stars Kiefer Sutherland as a father — a widower — raising a withdrawn preteen son with behavioral problems.

But it doesn't begin with Sutherland.

It begins, instead, with the son — Jake, played by David Mazouz — providing the narration that opens the series. By the time the opening narration is over, you already know you're watching something a little different.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Sales Contracts On Homes Slightly Down In December

After hitting a year and half year high in November, the number of contracts to buy homes fell a bit in December.

The AP reports:

"The National Association of Realtors says its index of sales agreements fell 3.5 percent last month to a reading of 96.6. That's down from November's reading of 100.1.

"But the reading is still the second highest since April 2010, the last month that buyers could qualify for a federal home-buying tax credit.

"A reading of 100 is considered healthy.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:51 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Shortage Of Research On When There's Too Much Health Care

There's little doubt that the U.S. wastes a lot of money on unnecessary health care. But pinning down the worst offenders isn't easy, as a fresh analysis of the scientific literature finds.

Published research on overuse is in pretty short supply, so rooting out waste by looking at the existing studies can be a little like limiting your late-night search for lost car keys to the spots right under streetlights.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Egyptians Take To The Streets To Mark First Anniversary Of Revolution

Egyptians wear face paint in the colors of the national flag in Tahrir Square as thousands gather to mark the one year anniversary of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.
Muhammed Muheisen AP

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 12:01 pm

It was a year ago today that Egyptians started a revolt that led to the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. Marking the day, tens of thousands of people took to the streets both in celebration and in protest of the military rulers that took Mubarak's place.

Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Google's New Privacy Policy Will Allow Tracking Across Services

Yesterday afternoon Google announced it was making sweeping changes to its privacy policy beginning March 1. Users can't opt out, so Google is beginning to send notice to its users via email and even on its homepage.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Marine Accused In Killing Of 24 Iraqis In Haditha Will Serve No Jail Time

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich (R) walking into court with his defense attorney Neal Puckette for opening statements in the Haditha murders trial at Camp Pendleton on Jan. 9.
Sandy Huffaker AFP/Getty Images

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who pleaded guilty of dereliction of duty in connection with the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Haditha, apologized during his sentencing hearing yesterday.

The AP reports:

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Space
7:21 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Northern Lights Could Disrupt Electrical Grid

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The earth is being hit right now by a storm full of fury and beauty. The biggest solar storm in years has lit up the skies with a show known as the Northern Lights. This big storm is treating stargazers as far south as Upstate New York to a spectacle of green and blue, which may well make up for the disruptions it could bring to the electrical grid and GPS signals. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:11 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Street Warning Misspelled In Front Of School

In New York City, the street in front of a high school was painted with big white letters that were supposed to read "school." But the word painted read "shcool." The city says a contractor made the mistake after some street repairs.

The Two-Way
7:04 am
Wed January 25, 2012

In Daring Raid, Navy SEALs Free 2 Aid Workers From Somali Kidnappers

Jessica Buchanan.
- AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 5:37 pm

In a daring raid reminiscent of the kind used to kill Osama bin Laden, U.S. Navy SEALs swooped into Somalia Wednesday morning and rescued two aid workers, who had been held by pirates for months.

The New York Times reports the soldiers came in by helicopter and engaged in a firefight that killed nine pirates. The SEALs left with Jessica Buchanan, a 32-year-old American, and a 60-year-old Dane, Poul Thisted, who were injury free and on their way home.

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World
7:03 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Felicity Aston Skied Antarctica Solo In 59 Days

British adventurer Felicity Aston this week became the first woman to ski solo across Antarctica, from one coast to another. It took her 59 days to cover more than 1,000 miles, dragging her supplies behind her on sleds. She talked to Steve Inskeep from the Union Glacier base camp in Antarctica while waiting to go home.

It's All Politics
7:02 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama's And Daniels' Speeches Follow Classic Party Lines

President Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the Capitol on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:48 am

This year's State of the Union address may have set a record for fewest surprises.

The usual elements were all in place, starting with the sergeant at arms shouting across the din of the chamber, quieting the crowd of worthies from both House and Senate, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court.

Then the president made his way down the center aisle, shaking hands with the members who had sent staff members to reserve these favored seats for hours for just this moment.

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NPR Story
6:52 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Tax Returns Show Romney's Complicated Fiances

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earned more than $42 million over the past two years — the bulk of it from an array of stocks and investment funds. And he paid about 15 percent of what he made in taxes. The release of some 500 pages of tax returns give a much fuller picture of how he made his money and what he did with it.

Politics
6:50 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Mixed Evidence Of Obama's Post-Partisan Presidency

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Africa
6:41 am
Wed January 25, 2012

U.S. Raid Frees American, Dane Held In Somalia

U.S. military forces helicoptered into Somalia in a raid Wednesday and freed two hostages. An American and a Dane had been kidnapped two months ago.

Africa
6:36 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Egyptians Look Back On 1 Year Since The Revolution

It was year ago Wednesday that Egyptians first rose against then President Hosni Mubarak in a tour de force that drove him from power. A lot has changed for Egyptians this past year. They elected their first free parliament in six decades. And Islamists, long banned by Mubarak, are now the country's main political force.

It's All Politics
6:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama, At Crossroads, Takes Different Route Than Clinton Chose In '96

In the final State of the Union address of his term, President Obama called for an economy "where everyone gets a fair shot."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 4:24 pm

As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?

He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."

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Business
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Federal Reserve To Publish Interest-Rate Projections

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today, the Federal Reserve is taking another step in its stated intention to become more transparent. The committee that sets interest rates ends a two-day meeting, and its usual post-meeting announcement will have some unusual information.

For a hint of what we're to learn, we called David Wessel; he's economics editor of the Wall Street Journal. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So what is the Fed going to announce today that's so remarkable?

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Politics
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama Speech Depicts Country At A Crossroads

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama wants to see more tax breaks for manufacturers and fewer tax breaks for millionaires. Those were among the ideas floated in the president's third State of the Union speech last night. Throughout the morning, we're getting reaction to that address.

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Business
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Business News

The company earned $13.1 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, a record. Sales of iPads were also up — soaring 111 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.

Business
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Japan Details First Trade Deficit Since 1980

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a turning point for Japan.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Tokyo today reported Japan's first trade deficit since 1980. For the last three decades, Japan has exported so many goods to the world, it's run trade surpluses. But last year, Japan imported more than it exported - $32 billion more. The shift in fortunes comes after last year's earthquake and tsunami and nuclear power plant shutdowns.

From Tokyo, Lucy Craft has more.

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Politics
2:24 am
Wed January 25, 2012

The Markup: Notes On The State Of The Union

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images
  • Obama: 'We Can Either Settle For A Country ...'
  • Melissa Block Talks To Mara Liasson About Obama's Themes Of Equality And Fairness
  • Obama: 'The State Of Our Union Is Getting Stronger ...'
  • Listen To The State Of The Union Address

The text of President Obama's State of the Union address, as delivered:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

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The Two-Way
1:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Wisconsin Student Says Athletic Official Reached Into His Pants At Rose Bowl Party

First came sexual-assault allegations against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State. Then, molestation accusations against Bernie Fine, an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse. And now, new details about what led John Chadima, an associate athletic director at Wisconsin, to resign earlier this month.

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Around the Nation
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Irene's Floods Dry Up Business In Vermont Town

When Waterbury, Vt., got walloped by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, the small town sustained an estimated $9 million in damages to personal property, and countless millions more in lost business revenue. Five months later, the waters have receded, but Waterbury's future remains uncertain.

On Main Street, a church bell still chimes every day, but daily life in Waterbury hasn't been the same since Irene.

"It's palpable," says Bill Shepeluk, Waterbury's municipal manager. "You can sense that it's not as vibrant as it was."

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Your Money
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

How To Avoid 'Bill Shock' From Smartphone Use

A woman uses her smartphone on a street in Seoul. New rules are on the way to protect consumers from expensive data roaming fees, but for now, phone owners can take steps to help themselves.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Americans who've been traveling abroad are all too often stunned by the size of their mobile phone bill. Even if they aren't actively using their phone, they can rack up hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in charges — resulting in what consumer advocates call "bill shock."

Los Angeles resident Lisa French thought she was being careful when she took her smartphone on a trip to Japan.

"I was advised not to make any phone calls, as phone calls oversees are very, very expensive," she says.

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Sweetness And Light
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

As A Coach, Paterno Was One Of A Kind

After former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's death was announced Sunday, fans paid their respects at a Paterno statue on campus. Paterno exerted a rare amount of control in his decades coaching football, says Frank Deford.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:20 am

Now that Joe Paterno has passed on from Happy Valley, we must ponder whether we will ever see his like again.

But please: I am now, you understand, talking about Coach Paterno. Let us, for the moment, put aside how the old citizen whose credo was "Success with Honor" acted with regard to pedophilia: so without sensitivity, so irresponsibly, so –– ultimately –– cold-bloodedly. That will sully Paterno's memory forever.

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Africa
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Nigeria's President Under Pressure To Quell Violence

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) walks with the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero during a one-day visit to the city that was rocked by recent attacks.
Aminu Abuabakar AFP/Getty Images

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling city of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the street remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.

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Energy
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Is The Booming Natural Gas Industry Overproducing?

Hydraulic fracturing wells have been producing a tremendous amount of natural gas — far more than the current demand. Above, a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill at a fracking site in South Montrose, Pa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 12:25 pm

The practice of hydraulic fracturing — pumping fluid into underground rock to push up natural gas — has its detractors, especially among environmentalists. But it's becoming clear that whatever its drawbacks, "fracking," as it's called, is producing a lot of gas — maybe too much gas.

Fracking was once a small part of the natural gas industry, a technique to get hard-to-reach deposits in underground shale. Then the technology improved, and the dinner bell rang. Everybody wanted in. Now there's so much gas on the market that the price is at a 10-year low.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Can Sanctions Alone Get Iran To Negotiate?

Fishing boats are seen in front of oil tankers on the Persian Gulf waters, south of the Strait of Hormuz. The European Union has announced plans to join U.S. efforts to slow the flow of oil from Iran, the world's third largest exporter.
Kamran Jebreili AP

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 10:44 am

In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program through economic pain, both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions that should make it harder for Iran to sell its oil. But the global oil business is unpredictable, and sanctions are no guarantee.

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