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Politics
5:36 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Live Chat: State Of The Union

A U.S. flag flies Tuesday in front of the U.S. Capitol, where President Obama will give his annual State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress.
Alex Wong Getty Images

President Obama is expected to put specifics behind the vision he outlined in his inaugural address a few weeks ago. Get live updates from the speech and join NPR journalists in analyzing what it could mean for the future.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
5:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama To Focus On Job Creation, Economic Growth In State Of The Union

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And we turn now to the big political news of the day. In a matter of hours President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, the first of his second term. Tens of millions of Americans will be watching as the president lays out his agenda and picks up where he left off in his inaugural address last month. He's expected to focus on job creation and talk about how leveling the playing field to give everyone a fair shot will help the economy grow.

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Afghanistan
5:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34,000 U.S. Troops From Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. will bring home 34,000 troops from Afghanistan by this time next year. President Obama is expected to announce the news tonight in his State of the Union address. That will cut the force in half and set the stage for the pullout of most of the remaining U.S. troops by the end of 2014. The drawdown from Afghanistan is just one of several developments today on Capitol Hill that will have a big impact on the Pentagon.

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Politics
5:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Congressman Returning After 33 Years Says Congress Works And Cooperates Less Now

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan of Minnesota returned to Congress after more than 30 years away. He talks to Robert Siegel about what's changed.

Politics
5:28 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Obama's Record On Political Money One Of Ambivalence

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Something that President Obama is not likely to dwell on tonight is the feeble state of campaign finance laws. It was three years ago that he used the State of the Union to challenge the Supreme Court on its Citizens United decision, which encouraged more corporate money in politics. This year, though, he has his own tax-exempt social welfare group backed with corporate contributions to help advance his agenda. NPR's Peter Overby reports.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Alleged Calif. Gunman's Fate Unclear After Fire At Cabin

Police patrol a road block on Highway 38 into the Big Bear area where a shoot-out with suspected fugitive Christopher Dorner resulted in the death of one deputy in Angelus Oaks, Calif., on Tuesday.
Michael Nelson EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 6:55 am

(This post was last updated at 11:13 p.m. ET.)

The Los Angeles Police Department has rejected news reports that a body was discovered at a mountain cabin in California's Big Bear area where the fugitive accused of killing four people had engaged law enforcement in a hours-long standoff.

"Any reports of a body being found are not true," Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at a news conference Tuesday night.

He said the cabin was still too hot to enter.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Folic Acid For Pregnant Mothers Cuts Kids' Autism Risk

Despite public health campaigns urging women in the U.S. to take folic acid, many are still not taking the supplements when they become pregnant.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

A common vitamin supplement appears to dramatically reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.

A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking folic acid before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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It's All Politics
4:32 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

The History Lessons Obama Hopes We'll Learn

President Obama began last year's State of the Union address by recognizing recently returned Iraq War veterans, adding: "At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known." Expect more historical references in Obama's Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress.
Evan Vucci AP

Sometimes the best way to advance an argument is by looking back.

President Obama's second inaugural address was filled with historical allusions. His State of the Union address on Tuesday, which will lay out a long list of agenda items for the year and his second term, is likely to employ fewer references to the past.

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Asia
4:09 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Did North Korea Test A 'Miniature' Nuclear Bomb?

An official with the Korea Meteorological Administration shows a seismic image of a tremor caused by North Korea's nuclear test, in Seoul on Tuesday.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 1:19 pm

North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test is much more powerful than the previous two, according to estimates made by instruments that measure seismic waves from the blast. It's about the size of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in World War II.

But it's not so easy to verify the claim that the nuclear explosive has also been miniaturized. That's a critical claim because a small warhead would be essential if the rogue regime chose to threaten the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Big bombs are easier to make, but they aren't all that useful as a threat.

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The Salt
4:02 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

What To Serve At A State Of The Union Party: 'Sour Grapes And Whine'

For your State of the Union address nibbling pleasure, how about some American cheese?
Courtesy of Esteban Pulido

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Plenty of people are ready to offer advice on noshing options when it comes to the Super Bowl. But what do you serve when the occasion for gathering in front of our screens is President Obama's State of the Union address?

When NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro posed that question to his 125,000 Facebook followers earlier Tuesday, plenty of people jumped at the chance to toss off a bon mot.* Among our favorites:

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