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Around the Nation
6:36 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Vermont Troopers Stop Buses Returning From Quebec

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. It used to be easy to cross the border between the U.S. and Canada. Today, there's more scrutiny, as Boston area college students now know. Buses took the students on a ski trip in Quebec. On the way back, the buses were stopped. Vermont state troopers cited 26 students for alcohol. In their defense, the drinking age in Quebec is 18, compared with 21 in the United States. But it was harder to explain the drugs that were onboard the buses. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:31 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Dog Chases Mountain Lion Up A Tree

When California officials responded to a call in a wealthy Bay area suburb Tuesday, they found that an 85 lbs. German Shepherd named Cody had scared a mountain lion 30 feet up a tree. The dog is smaller than what big cats have been known to eat.

Around the Nation
6:25 am
Wed February 22, 2012

White House Hosts Blues Night

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now, to a less controversial collaboration. Last night, the president and first lady hosted a blues night at the White House. They were marking Black History Month, and guests included legends B.B. King, and also newcomers like Trombone Shorty.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Not to mention, Mick Jagger and Buddy Guy, who nudged the president to join the band for an impromptu guest vocal.

BUDDY GUY: I heard you singing Al Green. So you done started something. You gotta keep it up now.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Middle East
5:12 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Activist: 2 Foreign Journalists Killed In Syria

A Syrian activist said two foreign journalists were killed Wednesday by Syrian government forces shelling the restive central city of Homs. The report could not be immediately confirmed.

Omar Shaker said the two journalists were killed when several rockets hit a garden of a house used by activists and journalists in besieged Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Social Issues Matter In Mich. GOP Primary

One of the keys to success in next Tuesday's Michigan primary is appealing to blue-collar Republican voters. Jobs and the economy are important issues to those voters. But as Quinn Klinefelter of member station WDET reports, other issues are gaining traction too.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Santorum Tells Ariz. Voters Good Things Are Happening

A new poll of Arizona voters shows former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in a virtual tie with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Next week's Arizona primary is on the same day as Michigan, but has received less attention. Santorum campaigned yesterday in the Phoenix area ahead of tonight's debate in Mesa. Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ reports.

Author Interviews
2:58 am
Wed February 22, 2012

A 'Favored Daughter' Fights For Afghan Women

On the day she was born, Fawzia Koofi nearly died after being left outside in the unrelenting Afghan sun. But against all odds, Koofi survived and went on to become Afghanistan's first female deputy speaker of Parliament. Today, Koofi's name is floated in discussions about whether Afghanistan is ready for a first female president.

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The Record
12:01 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Rihanna And Chris Brown: The Saga Continues

Rihanna and Chris Brown perform together in December 2008.
Scott Gries Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:49 am

Just about three years after he violently assaulted her, R&B singer Chris Brown is back with pop star Rihanna — musically, at least. On Monday night, each released a new version of a previously released song. Both remixes feature the other party, and both are causing quite the stir.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Protesters: GOP Candidates Don't DREAM Halfway

Protesters demonstrate as Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney attends a Get Out the Vote Rally in Mesa, Ariz.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

The run-up to Wednesday's Republican presidential debate in Arizona has highlighted immigration issues including the so-called DREAM Act, which proposes paths to citizenship for some undocumented children of immigrants. Three of the top candidates have said they support only part of the proposal — an unpopular stance among the Latino voters the candidates are courting in the border state.

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U.S.
12:01 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Should Valets Be Responsible For Drunk Drivers Too?

Bars and restaurants are already legally on the hook for stopping would-be drunken drivers. Some in Boston say valet parking attendants should be, too.
Getty Images

That old public service announcement is pretty well ingrained these days: "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." But who else should be responsible for stopping would-be drunken drivers? Bars and restaurants are already legally on the hook. Some in Boston say valet parking attendants should be, too.

City Councilor Rob Consalvo says he decided something needed to be done after a 23-year-old on a scooter was mowed down by a drunken driver in Boston. The driver later said he was "blackout drunk" and couldn't believe that a valet guy actually handed him his car keys.

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Law
12:01 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Can 'I Won The Medal Of Honor' Get You Jailed?

The Medal of Honor is held by a military honor guard at the White House last September, when President Obama awarded the medal to Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, 23, from Greensburg, Ky., for his actions in Afghanistan. The Supreme Court is now deciding if those who falsely claim to have won such military awards can be prosecuted for lying.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 8:03 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case about lies, big and small, and when those lies can be a crime under the Constitution's guarantee of free speech. At issue is the constitutionality of a law making it a crime to lie about being the recipient of military medals.

At the center of the case is Xavier Alvarez, a man nobody disputes is a liar. He lied about being an ex-professional hockey player. He lied about being an engineer. He lied about rescuing the American ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis. He even lied about being a retired Marine.

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Business
12:01 am
Wed February 22, 2012

New Consumer Agency Eyes Bank Overdraft Fees

Customers use Bank of America ATMs in New York. The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it is looking into ways to help consumers limit their exposure to banks' overdraft fees.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 9:49 am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it's looking to overhaul rules on overdraft fees. The new agency will be seeking data from banks about how they handle overdrawn accounts, and how they assess fees. The agency plans to use this information to help consumers limit their exposure to these costly charges.

The CFPB estimates that last year, banks made between $15 billion and $22 billion from overdraft fees.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

When There's More To Winning Than Winning

Senior Cory Weissman (center) of Gettysburg College, takes his second free-throw shot in a Division III Centennial Conference game against Washington College.
Tommy Riggs Gettysburg College

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 1:28 pm

When last we left the NCAA, it was February madness, colleges were jumping conferences, suing each other, coaches were claiming rivals had cheated in recruiting — the usual nobility of college sports.

And then, in the midst of all this, the men's basketball team at Washington College of Chestertown, Md., journeyed to Pennsylvania to play Gettysburg College in a Division III Centennial Conference game.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Honduras Says Deadly Prison Fire Started By Cigarette

Honduran officials said last week's prison fire that killed 360 was started by accident, when an inmate fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Previous reports in local media had pinned the blame on a prison riot and there had also been reports that inmates were shot at by guards.

The BBC reports that chief prosecutor Luis Alberto Rubi said autopsies of 277 inmates showed no evidence of gunshot wounds and that gasoline did not start the fire.

The BBC adds:

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Middle East
5:45 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Yemen Election: One Person, One Vote, One Candidate

A man casts his vote during Yemen's presidential elections in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Only one person was on the ballot: Vice President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi.
Khaled Abdullah Reuters/Landov

Millions of people in Yemen turned out to vote Tuesday in an unusual presidential election. There was only one candidate and only one way to vote — yes.

That candidate, Abdrabu Mansour Hadi, was the vice president under Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades. Saleh finally agreed to step down and transfer power to his vice president after nearly a year of mass protests against his rule.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:36 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Lights, Action, Drinking: Movie Scenes Tempt Teens To Binge

Drinking on screen, even in a cautionary tale like The Hangover Part II, can encourage kids to try drinking, according to new research.
Melinda Sue Gordon Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

At the movies, life looks like the The Hangover, Part II — the wild and funny part, not the so-sick-you-wish-you-could-die-and-get-it-over-with part.

What 14-year-old out for adventure wouldn't be up for that?

Children who watch movies with drinking scenes are twice as likely to start drinking alcohol themselves, a new study finds. They're also more likely to move on to binge drinking, compared to teens who watch very few movies.

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Retired Massachusetts Judge Defends Forced Abortion Ruling

A retired Massachusetts judge is explaining and defending a controversial decision to order a mentally ill woman to have an abortion and be sterilized despite her objections.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

The Big Squeeze: Calif. Weight Loss Clinics Under Investigation

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:24 pm

A group of weight-loss clinics in Southern California is under fire for an aggressive advertising campaign and the death of five patients.

The 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaign and its affiliated surgical centers are being investigated by local, state and federal agencies, including Congress.

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The Picture Show
4:50 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

From Waterfall To Lavafall: Yosemite's Fleeting Phenomenon

Copyright Michael Frye

If you head to Yosemite National Park this time of year and stop by Horsetail Fall at just the right time, you might see something spectacular: As the sun sinks low in the sky, the waterfall glows with streaks of gold and yellow — and it looks just like molten lava.

Photographers like Michael Frye flock to the park every February to try to capture the phenomenon. Frye, author of The Photographer's Guide to Yosemite, describes the sight to NPR's Audie Cornish.

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Europe
4:48 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Rent-A-Crowds May Be Boosting Pro-Putin Campaign

Russians take part in a pro-Putin rally at a Moscow park on Feb. 4. Pro-Kremlin forces have been accused of paying people to attend campaign events ahead of the presidential election in March.
Alexey Sazonov AFP/Getty Images

With fewer than two weeks remaining before Russia's presidential elections, supporters and opponents of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are trying to show their strength with rallies and demonstrations.

After being stunned by the size of opposition rallies in December, pro-government forces bounced back with competing events of their own.

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All Tech Considered
4:21 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Twitter Diplomacy: State Department 2.0

Robert Ford (left), the U.S. ambassador to Syria, speaks to an unidentified U.S. military attache during a guided government tour in the northern Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughur last June. The U.S. has closed its embassy in Syria owing to security concerns, but Ford is using Facebook to stay involved in the country.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 8:13 pm

The U.S. evacuated the staff of its embassy in Damascus earlier this month owing to security issues. But that hasn't stopped Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, from using social media to keep in touch with events on the ground, and to try to shape them.

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Law
4:14 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Supreme Court Wades Into Affirmative Action Issue

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the 2003 Supreme Court opinion on affirmative action in college admissions. The newly energized conservative majority on the court could now change course.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will revisit the divisive issue of affirmative action in higher education. The court agreed to hear arguments next fall in a case that challenges the affirmative action program at the University of Texas. By re-entering the fray after more than 30 years of settled law on the issue, the newly energized conservative court majority has signaled that it may be willing to unsettle much of that law.

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Middle East
4:07 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Israel Agrees To Free Palestinian Hunger Striker

Khader Adnan, a senior member of the radical Islamic Jihad group, has been held by Israel without charge. Israel agreed Tuesday to release Adnan, 33, who was on a hunger strike for more than two months.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:51 pm

Thousands of Palestinians are in Israeli jails. But one case in particular — that of Khader Adnan, a member of the radical Islamic Jihad group — has been raising tensions between the two sides.

Israel's Justice Ministry agreed Tuesday to free Adnan, who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months and was apparently near death.

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The Road Back To Work
4:01 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Even When Employed, Health Care A Challenge

Casaundra Bronner, of Hazelwood, Mo., worked in marketing before being laid off in March 2010. She found a job again in March 2011 but is still uninsured and having trouble getting the health care she needs.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:24 pm

Part of an ongoing series

Zumba is a fitness craze; a high-energy dance and exercise program. You can find it in high-end gyms and even the community center in Hazelwood, Mo., where Casaundra Bronner, 40, lives.

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The Two-Way
3:43 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Require Surgery For New Lesion

President Hugo Chavez waves during a military parade in Caracas, Venezuela, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a failed coup attempt he led. After battling cancer last year, Chavez has returned to his high-profile, fiery ways.
Ariana Cubillos AP

With elections just months away, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said he will require surgery for a new lesion doctors found in the area where he had cancer surgery last year.

"It is a small lesion of about 2 centimeters [less than 1 inch] in diameter, very clearly visible," Chávez said on state TV, according to the AP.

The AP adds:

"The announcement throws new uncertainty over the country's politics because the socialist leader is seeking re-election this year, hoping to extend his more than 13 years in power.

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Music Reviews
3:28 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

A 'Giant Anthology' Of Profile Records, Rap's Early Champion

Profile Records never meant to get into the rap game, but the label launched the careers of rap groups like Run-D.M.C.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 12:59 am

Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.

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Music Interviews
3:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Galactic: A Funky Day In The Life Of Mardi Gras

The New Orleans funk band Galactic's latest album, Carnivale Electrico, takes listeners from Fat Tuesday to Ash Wednesday.
Zack Smith

Get ready to dance, because it's Mardi Gras — a day to cut loose before Lent begins. In New Orleans, that means a day of parades, costumes and music everywhere you turn.

For the members of Galactic, Mardi Gras actually started on Monday, with an "annual gig that goes until the sun comes up at local club Tipitina's," saxophonist and harmonica player Ben Ellman says. For the long-running New Orleans funk band, it's one of the biggest gigs of the year.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Seismic Activity May Mean Moon Is Not Dead Yet

Shallow graben that may have been formed in the past 50 million years.
NASA

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is casting doubts on the belief that the Moon is a lifeless piece of rock.

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Animals
2:54 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Cheers! Fruit Flies Drink To Their Health, Literally

Fruit flies will drink alcohol from fermenting fruit to kill off wasp parasites that can grow inside of them.
Jan Polabinski iStockphoto.com

As humans, we sometimes pay a price for drinking alcohol — in hangovers, or worse. But if you happen to be a young fruit fly, it turns out that alcohol can be just what the doctor ordered.

The pesky little fruit flies often show up when apples or bananas are left sitting around for too long on the kitchen counter. Most folks find them annoying, but Todd Schlenke can't get enough of them.

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The Two-Way
2:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Indiana Lawmaker Says Girl Scouts Are Destroying 'American Family Values'

Would Indiana Rep. Bob Morris approve of his fellow Republican's endorsement of this organization? 1997: Former President Reagan receives cookies from members of Girl Scout Troop #313 as a gift for his 86th birthday.
Mike Guastella AFP/Getty Images

Saying that the Girl Scouts is a "radicalized organization" that promotes "homosexual lifestyles" and is aligned with honorary president Michelle Obama's "pro-abortion" viewpoint, an Indiana state legislator has told his fellow Republicans he can't support a proclamation honoring the organization's 100th anniversary.

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