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The Two-Way
5:05 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Gingrich Slashes Staff, Pins Hopes On GOP Delegates Turning To Him

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who wants to the the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, during a campaign event in Camp Hill, Pa., on Saturday (March 24, 2012).
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 12:58 pm

  • Don Gonyea, on the NPR Newscast

As he slashes his campaign schedule and lays off about one-third of his staff, 2012 Republican presidential Newt Gingrich is mounting a "big-choice convention strategy" that he hopes will end with Republicans turning to him to be their nominee, NPR's Don Gonyea tells our Newscast Desk.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Bill Maher's Obama SuperPAC Donation Causes Stir

Bill Maher, shown here at a 2011 event in Los Angeles, gave $1 million to the superPAC supporting President Obama's re-election bid.
Chris Pizzello AP

Comedian Bill Maher's $1 million check to the superPAC supporting President Obama's re-election is the first seven-figure donation to the group since Obama tacitly endorsed the fundraising strategy in early February.

And it has brought new focus to some of Maher's statements about women — specifically Republican women — and led to calls for the White House to disavow the HBO host and his money.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Auction House To Sell Titanic Collection

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Business News

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with new owners for the L.A. Dodgers.

One of the more legendary athletes here in Los Angeles, basketball's Magic Johnson is leading a consortium of investors to buy the Major League baseball team.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is a $2 billion deal. And that shatters the record for the most money paid for a North American sports franchise. The NFL's Miami Dolphins went for $1.1 billion three years ago.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is lost and found.

For nearly 60 years, the whereabouts of a painting by Paul Cezanne remained a mystery. Some art experts feared his 19th century painting was lost forever. The watercolor is a study for a famous series of oil paintings Cezanne called "The Card Players."

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Law
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Justices Hear Arguments On Individual Mandate

The nation's capital is focused on the Supreme Court this week, and that includes members of Congress. Wednesday is the third day justices will hear arguments considering the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul.

Law
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Justices To Hear Arguments Over Heart Of Health Law

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

It's the third and final day for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the Obama health care overhaul. The justices hear arguments today on what parts could remain in effect if the court rules the individual mandate of the health care law is unconstitutional. After yesterday's arguments, that seemed more likely than most experts had expected.

NPR's legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg reports.

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Health
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Organ Harvesters Blur Line Between Life And Death

Backed by the federal government, doctors in Michigan are trying to expand the use of a controversial form of organ donation that raises disturbing ethical concerns, including questions about whether the donors are really dead. Defining dead turns out to be pretty complicated. There are two ways to declare someone dead.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Gingrich Pares Down Presidential Campaign

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, if the health care law survives constitutional scrutiny, the Republicans who are running for president have vowed to repeal the law if elected. One GOP candidate now appears less likely to have that opportunity. Newt Gingrich is short on victories and low on cash, and he is dramatically shrinking his campaign for president.

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Religion
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Pope To Officiate Open-Air Mass In Cuban Capital

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Pope Benedict stuck to mostly spiritual themes on a visit to communist Cuba's most sacred shrine. This morning, the pontiff leads a mass in Havana's Plaza of the Revolution. As Nick Miroff reports from Havana, so far even Benedict's gentle push for greater religious and political freedoms for Cubans has been rejected by the government.

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Around the Nation
2:00 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Slain Teen's Parents Appear On Capitol Hill

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Florida state investigators are continuing to look into the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. His family has been part of a widespread campaign calling for the arrest of the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old high school student. Yesterday, the parents of Trayvon Martin were up on Capitol Hill attending a forum on hate crimes and racial profiling. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from the Capitol.

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The Record
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Alan Lomax's Massive Archive Goes Online

Alan Lomax (right) with musician Wade Ward during the Southern Journey recordings, 1959-1960.
Shirley Collins Courtesy of Alan Lomax Archive

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:53 pm

Folklorist Alan Lomax spent his career documenting folk music traditions from around the world. Now thousands of the songs and interviews he recorded are available for free online, many for the first time. It's part of what Lomax envisioned for the collection — long before the age of the Internet.

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Law
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

In Southern States, Immigration Law Battle Rages On

A protester blocks an Atlanta street during a rally protesting Georgia's new immigration law in June 2011. Now, the state's lawmakers are considering a bill that would also ban students here illegally from attending all public colleges.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 6:21 pm

Last year, several states passed strict laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Those laws are now being challenged in federal court, and next month the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Arizona's immigration law — but that hasn't stopped some Southern states from moving forward with more restrictions.

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Health Care
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Texas, Feds Face Off Over Planned Parenthood

Rene Resendez, a 24-year-old uninsured graduate student, used to be a client at the Planned Parenthood in Odessa, Texas, which closed earlier this month because of state budget cuts.
John Burnett NPR

Texas and the federal government are going at each other again, this time over Planned Parenthood.

The Texas Legislature cut off all Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood because of its involvement in abortions; in response, the federal government has suspended funding for the state's reproductive health program.

Now, Texas is suing the Obama administration.

Closed For Business

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Sweetness And Light
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Watching College Basketball's Slump Into Anonymity

Duke freshman Austin Rivers, seen here in the Blue Devils' loss to Lehigh in the NCAA tournament, is leaving school for the NBA draft. The trend of athletes spending only one year in college has hurt the sport, says Frank Deford.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 8:31 am

This year's Final Four seems more like Best in Show at the Westminster. Such pedigree: Kentucky, Kansas, Ohio State and Louisville –– four of the very top dogs in the history of the sport. Well, it's a Meryl Streep kind of year, isn't it?

But if the Final Four might delight fans by giving them aristocracy in its teams, unfortunately the whole of college basketball is plagued by anonymity in its players, and external issues that have diminished the popularity of the game.

Good grief. This year, there has been more buzz about Mad Men than about March Madness.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Supreme Court's Medicaid Decision Could Reach Far Beyond Health Care

The final argument the Supreme Court will hear about the new health care law is whether its Medicaid expansion unfairly forces states to participate.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 8:56 am

After Tuesday's judicial fireworks, the Supreme Court wraps up arguments on the new health care law Wednesday by focusing on two questions. The first involves what would happen if the "individual mandate" — the core of the law that requires most people to have health insurance — is struck down. Would the rest of the law fall, too, or could some provisions stay?

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Movies
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

In Japan, 'Sliced-Up Actors' Are A Dying Breed

Fukumoto in one of the numerous period costume dramas he has acted in for the Toei Company's film studios since he began work there in 1959.
Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Japan is home to Asia's oldest and largest motion-picture industry, with its own unique genres and traditions. While every film industry has stuntmen, only Japan has a class of actors whose main job is to be sliced and diced by samurai sword-wielding protagonists. But the decline of period dramas means that this class of actors is literally a dying breed.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Court Looks At Whether Mandate Can Separate From Rest Of Health Law

If the Supreme Court rules that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, does that invalidate the rest of the law?
Adam Cole NPR

In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ponders a what-if.

Specifically, if the justices decide that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down?

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The Two-Way
5:26 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Mine Agency To Congress: Don't Blame Us For Deadly Disaster

As we reported last week, an independent panel reviewing the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster found that the agency "possibly could have prevented" the explosion that took 29 lives.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Pope Arrives In Havana, Where He's Expected To Meet Raúl Castro

Pope Benedictus XVI arrives at Jose Marti airport in Havana on Tuesday.
Marcelino Vazquez AFP/Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI landed in Havana today and he's expected meet Cuban President Raúl Castro.

The pontiff's visit has put Cuba's dictatorship in the spotlight, because during his speeches the Pope has been taking subtle shots at the regime. The Los Angeles Times reports:

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Activists Say Americans Support Labeling Genetically Modified Food

People march demanding labels for genetically modified food near the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16, 2011.
Ren Haijun Xinhua /Landov

Activists who want genetically modified food to be labeled in the U.S. say there's more support than ever for their cause. As evidence, a coalition calling itself Just Label It released the results today of a survey it commissioned from The Mellman Group, a national pollster. The survey found that 91 percent of voters favor the labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

British Student Jailed For Racist Tweets About Collapsed Soccer Player

Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba is obscured by medical staff trying to resuscitate him after collapsing. His teammate Ryo Miyaichi, right, and Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe, center top, watch.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 7:09 am

A British student has been sentenced to 56 days in jail for posting racist tweets about a soccer player who collapsed on the pitch.

Liam Stacey pleaded guilty to "incitement to racial hatred," after he let loose a barrage of tweets that contained the n-word and crude sexual references. It all started earlier this month, when Fabrice Muamba, a soccer player, collapsed on the pitch and Stacey tweeted that he was dead, followed by "#Haha."

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Ex-Clinton Solicitor General, Colorado AG React To SCOTUS Arguments

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:12 pm

It was a question that seemed to be one of the most difficult for the current solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., to answer persuasively, at least to the obvious satisfaction of the conservative justices: If the individual mandate for the purchase of health insurance was found constitutional, what would limit Congress from passing other laws requiring people to buy products from broccoli to cellphones?

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The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

After 'Hunger Games,' U.S. Archer Shoots For Olympic Games

Archer Khatuna Lorig, seen here during the London Archery Classic last October, helped actress Jennifer Lawrence prepare for her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 28, 2012 8:31 am

This summer, U.S. archer Khatuna Lorig hopes to return to the Olympic Games. But she's already helped put archery into The Hunger Games this spring — by training the film's star, Jennifer Lawrence, to shoot.

In the kill-or-be-killed competition in the film drawn from Suzanne Collins' book, Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, relies on her ability with a bow. And Lorig worked with the actress to ensure she had proper form.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Buddy Roemer: All Americans In November Could Have A Third Choice

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, shown here last summer in Bedford, N.H., is now seeking the presidential nomination of two third parties.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 5:58 pm

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, a onetime Republican candidate for president now seeking the nomination of both the Reform Party and Americans Elect, said he could be a problem in November for Barack Obama and the eventual GOP nominee.

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National Security
3:13 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Romney, GOP Pounce On Obama's Russia Comment

President Obama's remarks about missile defense to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev were meant for his ears only. But they were picked up by a microphone, and have drawn sharp criticism from Mitt Romeny and other Republicans. Obama and Medvedev are shown here on Monday at a nuclear summit in Seoul, South Korea.
Jewel Samad Getty Images

President Obama went to South Korea to talk about nuclear security, only to find that the presidential campaign followed him there.

Obama is now facing sharp criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other GOP figures following comments he made Monday, in seeming confidence, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

As reporters gathered for a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, Obama leaned over to his Russian counterpart. Without realizing a microphone was open, he said:

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It's All Politics
2:52 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

As Court Gets To Heart Of Health Arguments, Protests Grow

An activist dressed as the Statue of Liberty participates in a protest on the second day of oral arguments over President Obama's health care law on Tuesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:11 pm

The talent show outside the U.S. Supreme Court continued Tuesday as activists for and against President Obama's health care law sought to outdo each other with ever more artistic forms of protest.

At one point a middle-aged group of women started singing in harmony with a young drummer at their side. "Health care for everyone, I'm gonna let it shine," they sang soulfully to the tune of the hymn "This Little Light of Mine."

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

U.S. Soccer: Does The National Team Draw Against El Salvador Matter?

Terrence Boyd of the United States lies on the field after the United States tied 3-3 with El Salvador in a CONCACAF Olympic qualifying soccer match on Monday.
Mark Humphrey AP

Last night in what is being billed as a heartbreaking late draw against El Salvador, the United States Under-23 soccer team missed their opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

"A nightmare loss," says USA Today.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Mitt Romney Rival Digs Up Details On GOP Front-Runner's New Man Cave

Mitt Romney at his beach house in La Jolla, Calif., in 2008.
Denis Poroy AP

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 4:21 pm

Presumably, most people who've been paying attention know by now that Mitt Romney is very, very rich.

But to say that he possesses a fortune estimated at up to $250 million can be too abstract for most people. From an opposing campaign's point of view, better to provide voters with a concrete example of how Romney differs from most people.

And it's hard to find a more concrete example, literally and figuratively, than a supersized basement.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:10 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Supreme Court Cheat Sheet: A Quick Guide To The Day Two Arguments

Opponents and supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul rallied outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Bob Mason shows support for the Tea Party by dressing in costume as one of the Founding Fathers.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 6:11 pm

A clearly divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the centerpiece of President Obama's health care law: its requirement that by 2014 individuals have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

In contrast to Monday's dense and technical arguments, Tuesday's session was filled with sharp rhetorical volleys and clever analogies. Here are some of the more telling exchanges between the lawyers and the high court justices.

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