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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Do You Ignore Your Phone While Driving?

Just put it in the cupholder.
Michael Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 1:32 pm

"No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life."

That's the message from the National Transportation Safety Board, which today recommended that states "ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers."

That means put the phone down and leave it there.

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Middle East
1:23 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

For Some Arab Revolutionaries, A Serbian Tutor

Srdja Popovic, who runs the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies, speaks in Belgrade in February. He played a prominent role in ousting Serbia's dictator in 2000, and has worked with Arabs involved in uprisings in their countries during the past year.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 5:21 pm

Srdja Popovic, a lanky biologist from Belgrade, helped overthrow a dictator in Serbia a decade ago. Since then, he's been teaching others what he learned, and his proteges include a host of Arab activists who have played key roles in ousting Arab autocrats over the past year.

"This is a bad year for bad guys," Popovic says with a broad grin in a New York cafe.

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Law
1:15 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Immigration Detainees Seek Prison-Rape Protection

Human rights advocates are calling on the Obama administration to do more to protect people in immigration detention centers from sexual assault. A new federal rule that will take effect next year covers inmates in jails and prisons, but some Homeland Security officials want an exemption for facilities that house illegal immigrants.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

You're Fired, Trump Tells Himself; He Won't Be Moderating Any Debate

Donald Trump on the FOX & Friends set last week.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 1:59 pm

He'd hinted that this might happen.

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Research News
12:58 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

No 'God Particle' Yet, But Scientists Say Stay Tuned

This image, from a sensor at the particle accelerator at CERN, is an example of the data signature a Higgs particle might generate. Researchers will spend into 2012 sifting through data in an attempt to find the Higgs.
CERN

Physicists have a grand theory that describes how tiny particles interact to form all the stuff we see in the universe — everything from planets to toasters to human beings.

But there is one particle predicted by this theory that has never been detected in experiments. It's called the Higgs boson. Scientists are dying to know if it really exists — and now researchers are closer to finding out than ever before.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:44 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Facebook Aims To Prevent Suicides With Online Help

iStockPhoto.com

If you're considering suicide, Facebook now stands ready to get you some help.

The gigantic social-networking site said Tuesday that if any of its 800 million users type a post saying they are contemplating suicide, the site will offer to connect them to a crisis counselor through the site's chat system.

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Newt Gingrich
12:37 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Analysis: Gingrich's Tax Plan Would Benefit The Rich

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, seen here during Saturday's ABC debate, is currently leading in GOP polls. His tax plan would introduce a 15 percent flat income tax.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

According to many polls, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is now leading the Republican pack. His plan to rewrite the nation's tax policy hasn't gotten as much attention as some of his other proposals, but, according to a new analysis, it would require sweeping changes to the government.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

Fed: Economy 'Expanding Moderately,' Policy Unchanged

Signs suggest "that the economy has been expanding moderately" in recent months, "notwithstanding some apparent slowing in global growth," Federal Reserve Policymakers just reported.

And, as expected, they announced no policy changes that would either add or subtract to the amount of help the central bank gives the economy.

In "Fed speak":

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Tue December 13, 2011

The Buck Stops: Treasury Suspends Production Of Presidential Dollars

The $1 George Washington coin.
U.S. Mint AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:05 pm

Saying it can save taxpayers $50 million a year, the Treasury Department announced today that it is suspending almost all production of presidential dollar coins.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Death Toll Rises In Syria, Adding To U.N. Estimate Of 5,000 Killed So Far

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Syrian mourners carrying the coffin of a woman who was reportedly killed in the al-Hula region of central Homs province on December 12, 2011.
YouTube AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 12:40 pm

One day after the United Nations said that more than 5,000 people have died in nine months of protests and clashes against the Syrian government, the AP quotes activists saying that at least 28 more people died Tuesday at the hands of Syrian security forces.

Fighting between the government and the opposition was heaviest along the country's northwestern border with Turkey.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Robocalls To Cellphones? States Marshal Opposition

"No, I don't want to renew my subscription." What if they could reach you anywhere?
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 12:51 pm

A bill before Congress that would allow some types of "robocalls" to be made to cellphones if consumers have given companies their numbers doesn't have many sponsors and wouldn't seem to be the kind of legislation that would stand much of a chance of passing when an election year looms.

But it's getting an increasing amount of attention this week thanks to something that's very rare these days — bipartisan opposition.

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Planet Money
11:09 am
Tue December 13, 2011

White House Kills Dollar Coin Program

Dollar coins gathering dust in the Fed's Baltimore brach.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 14, 2011 3:24 pm

The federal government will stop minting unwanted $1 coins, the White House said Tuesday. The move will save an estimated $50 million a year.

Earlier this year, we reported on the mountain of $1 coins sitting unused in government vaults. The pile-up — an estimated 1.4 billion coins — was caused by a 2005 law that ordered the minting of coins honoring each U.S. president.

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News
11:04 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

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The Salt
9:58 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Greeks Stomach Economic Crisis With Help Of 'Starvation Recipes'

Historian and cookbook author Eleni Nikolaidou with her book Starvation Recipes. Recession-hit Greeks are fascinated with the book's World War II-era survival tips and recipes.
Thanassis Stavrakis ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 1:53 pm

When Eleni Nikolaidou began studying the survival diets of World War II Greece a couple of years ago, she never expected to turn the research for her master's thesis into a cookbook.

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Television
9:39 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 10:37 am

In the FX TV series Louie, comic Louis C.K. plays a divorced father of two struggling to balance his comedy career with being a single dad. The show, which has just been picked up for a third season, is often based on events that have happened to C.K. in his own life.

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It's All Politics
9:34 am
Tue December 13, 2011

New Poll Suggests Latino Voters See 'Hostile' GOP

Nearly half of the Latino voters in a new survey said nominating Sen. Marco Rubio as a vice presidential candidate would have no effect on their votes.
Yuri Gripas Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 2:07 pm

The overwhelming majority of Latino voters believe that the Republican Party ignores them or is outright "hostile," and that nominating Hispanic Sen. Marco Rubio as a vice presidential candidate might do little to change it, according to a national poll released Monday.

The December survey, conducted by impreMedia and the polling group Latino Decisions, is the first to test the popularity of the freshman senator from Florida with America's Hispanics.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Tue December 13, 2011

White House's 'Promise Kept' Iraq Timeline Starts On Jan. 20, 2009

"Promise Kept," it says on the landing page of the Iraq War interactive timeline posted by the White House today.
WhiteHouse.gov

A message from the White House on its Twitter page popped up a few minutes ago saying:

"After nearly 9 years of sacrifice, America's war in Iraq is coming to an end. Experience the interactive timeline: wh.gov/iraq"

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Shots - Health Blog
9:05 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Dirty Little Secret: Almost Nobody Cleans Contacts Properly

Odds are that's a nasty dirty lens.
Marek Brzezinski iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:06 am

People who wear contact lenses say they're diligent about keeping them clean. But press them for details, and it turns out that hardly anyone is doing it the right way.

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Technology
8:54 am
Tue December 13, 2011

The Technology Helping Repressive Regimes Spy

Software allows repressive governments to track and monitor the movements of dissidents.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:43 pm

As protesters in the Middle East use social media to organize and communicate, the regimes they're battling are using sophisticated technology to intercept their emails, text messages and cellphone calls.

On Wednesday's Fresh Air, journalist Ben Elgin talks about a Bloomberg News series, "Wired for Repression," which details how Western companies are selling surveillance technology to regimes including Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Tue December 13, 2011

One Man Blamed In Grenade, Gun Attack That Kills Several In Belgium

Rescuers evacuate injured people in Liege, Belgium, today, after a grenade and gun attack that killed at least three and injured dozens.
Reuters /Landov

Authorities now say a lone attacker who had recently been in prison on weapons and drug charges appears to have been responsible for a harrowing grenade and gun attack today in Liege, Belgium.

As of now, it's being reported that the attacker killed three people and wounded more than 60 before taking his own life.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Buildings Design Sparks Anger Over 9/11 Similarity

An artist's rendering provided by Dutch architectural company MVRDV of its design for two skyscrapers in Seoul.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 10:48 am

A Dutch architectural firm says its designers didn't see the resemblance.

But many, many others certainly do think the two buildings — linked by a "cloud" of skybridges — that MVRDV has proposed for a project in Seoul look very much like the haunting images of the World Trade Center's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, after they were hit by high-jacked passenger planes.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:26 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Insurers Often Don't Pay For Teen Weight-Loss Surgery

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 9:12 am

Weight-loss surgery for morbidly obese teenagers is getting some traction, when diets and exercise fail.

Getting the procedure paid for is another matter, since many insurers and employers are still wary of covering it for children. The surgery costs upwards of $20,000, and it's still being evaluated to determine which adolescents would benefit most from it.

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World
7:00 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Captured Drone May Have Limited Benefit For Iran

This photo released by Iran's Revolutionary Guards purports to show the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone that went down earlier this month in Iran.
Sepahnews AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:12 am

Iranian officials have crowed they are mining "priceless technological information" from a CIA spy drone that went down days ago inside Iran's borders, broadcasting triumphant images of what they said was the craft on state TV.

But many experts say the loss of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone — like the U-2 spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960 — may have more value as propaganda than as a treasure trove of technological secrets.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Update: Progress, But No Success On Search For 'God Particle'

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:31 am

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET. Not Conclusive:

The presentation continues in Switzerland, where scientists are briefing their peers on the search for the Higgs boson — or so-called God particle — that gives matter mass. The bottomline: They've made progress, "but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the elusive Higgs."

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The Two-Way
5:45 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Report: Homelessness Among Children Up 38 Percent Since 2007

More than 1.6 million American children were homeless at some point in 2010, the nonprofit National Center on Family Homelessness reports today, adding that the number is about a 38 percent increase from 2007.

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Latin America
5:44 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Venezuela President Appears In Nativity Scene

A Nativity scene in Caracas features the traditional baby Jesus born in a manger. But those standing nearby include a figure of President Hugo Chavez. The scene also makes a case that Chavez should qualify as a wise man. It includes a miniature cable car, symbolizing infrastructure improvements for which the president wants to be known.

Animals
5:34 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Purrfection: $13 Million Will Buy A Lot Of Catnip

Tommaso began life as a stray cat on the streets of Rome until he was rescued by a wealthy widow. The 94 year old had no children, according to ABC News. So when she died last month, she left her entire fortune to the cat. That's $13 million.

The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Sandusky's Accusers May Testify Today In Hearing About Penn State Scandal

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky as he arrived this morning at the Centre County (Pa.) Courthouse.
Rob Carr Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 7:49 am

Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who faces more than 50 charges of sexually abusing at least 10 young boys over more than a decade, this morning waived his right to a preliminary hearing about the case against him.

The decision was a surprise. Before the court proceeding, it had been widely anticipated that at least some of Sandusky's accusers would be in court today and have to testify about what he allegedly did.

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Around the Nation
4:18 am
Tue December 13, 2011

Insecticide Destroys 2,300 Beehives In Florida

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 1:26 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In Florida, there's a different type of honey mystery. State and local authorities are investigating the loss of more than 2,300 beehives in Brevard County. There is a break in the case. Officials have identified an insecticide commonly used to kill roaches, ticks and fleas. It was found in a container used to feed the bees in the hives. The beekeeper says the loss has cost him more than half a million dollars. Now officials need to find the culprit who fed the bees the poison. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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