It's All Politics
9:23 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Santorum Tax Returns Draw Critics Of His Low Charitable Giving

Rick Santorum speaks to the media Feb. 13, 2012 at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

Rick Santorum released four years' worth of tax returns Wednesday evening which showed that he is wealthy by any measure.

But his returns may also allow his critics, both those aligned with Mitt Romney, his chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination and those who aren't, to attack the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania for not giving as much to charity as many others at his income level.

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The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Iranian, Afghan Leaders Arrive In Pakistan

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (R) and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrive for a meeting at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad on Thursday.
Aamir Qureshi AFP/Getty Images

The world of international relations seems to have focused on Pakistan today: The president of Iran and the president of Afghanistan both made their way to the country just as tensions between Iran and Israel made the news and just as reports emerged that the U.S. and the Taliban were beginning secret talks.

The official agenda of the meetings is to discuss counter-terrorism and transnational organized crimes at a regional conference tomorrow in Islamabad.

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Sports
8:53 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Lin Vs. Tebow

The meteoric rise of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin has echoes of Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback who caused such a stir last fall.

Business
8:52 am
Thu February 16, 2012

General Motors Reports Record $7.6 B Profit In 2011

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 8:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A record rebound for General Motors is at the top of NPR's business news.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Let's remember the carmaker almost collapsed two years ago and needed a government bailout. Today, GM announced it earned its largest profit ever in 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Santorum Releases Four Years Of Tax Returns

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum works the crowd at the Tioga Public School on Wednesday in Tioga, N.D.
Will Kincaid AP

Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum saw his income rise after he lost a Senate reelection bid in 2007.

According to records released to Politico late yesterday by the Santorum campaign, the former Pennsylvania senator earned $659,000 in 2007; $952,000 in 2008; $1.1 million in 2009 and $923,000 in 2010.

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Thai Police Say Iranian Bomb Suspects Targeted Israeli Diplomats

Thai immigration officers escort detained Iranian Mohammad Kharzei, center, at the immigration headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

After days of accusations from Israel, Thai police confirmed that three Iranians suspected of setting off explosives in Bangkok were targeting Israeli diplomats.

Gen. Prewpan Dhamapong, Thailand's top policeman, said they "know for certain" the explosives were meant for Israeli diplomats.

The AP reports:

"'This issue was about individuals and the targets were specific,' he said. 'This was something personal.'"

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It's All Politics
7:30 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Record GM Profits Could Make Romney's Anti-Bailout Message A Harder Sell

Mitt Romney laughs with supporters at a rally in Kentwood, MI, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.
Gerald Herbert AP

Mitt Romney has worn his opposition to the Obama administration's bailout of GM and Chrysler into Michigan as a badge of honor in the lead up to the state's Republican presidential primary at the end of the month.

But that message may be a harder sell for him against the backdrop of GM reporting Thursday that it posted record profits in 2011 of $7.6 billion, 62 percent higher than the previous year's.

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Presidential Race
7:26 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Delegate Selection

Republican congressional candidate and Maine Senate President Kevin Raye speaks during the Kennebec County Super Caucus in Augusta, Me., on Feb. 4.
Joel Page AP

To win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a candidate must secure 1,144 delegates, a simple majority of those available. But how delegates are chosen differs state by state.

On Thursday's Fresh Air, political scientist Josh Putnam, author of the blog Frontloading HQ, explains how delegates are chosen, why the process varies by state, and how reforms instituted since the 1968 Democratic National Convention have changed the process of delegate selection.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Thu February 16, 2012

The Economy: Housing Starts Up; Unemployment Claims Decline

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 6:55 am

We have a slew of economic data out today and the big picture is that the economy is on the rebound. So, let's get to the numbers:

-- The Labor Department said the number of people seeking jobless benefits dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. The AP reports "it was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008."

-- Led by a surge in apartments, housing starts were up 1.5 percent.

-- In January producer prices rose 0.1 percent.

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