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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
The battle over social issues in the Republican presidential primaries has extended through most of another week. This time the flashpoint was a remark by Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor said he opposed, and then clarified that he actually favors, legislation involving contraception.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports it was not what Romney intended to discuss in Ohio.
Campaigning in Tennessee Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum's camp took the opportunity to slam rival Mitt Romney for having a "liberal Record" on freedom of religion. At Nashville's Belmont University, Santorum spoke about his own views of religious freedom.
A federal appeals court hears arguments Thursday in legal challenges to tough new state immigration laws in Alabama and Georgia. The Justice Department and civil rights groups have sued. At issue are both civil rights violations, and whether states can constitutionally engage in immigration enforcement.
House Majority leader Eric Cantor is pushing a package of small business bills that also has the support of President Obama. The rare instance of cooperation could mark a change in strategy for the House following historically low approval numbers for Congress and rising poll numbers for the president.
Beginning Friday, the Bank of Greece will stop exchanging drachma notes for euros. The deadline comes at an uncertain time for Greeks, who worry that their country's debt crisis could eventually force it out of the eurozone.
NPR's business news starts with a prognosis from Ben Bernanke.
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INSKEEP: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is back on Capitol Hill today, for a second day of testimony. He's speaking to Senators one day after he told House members that the economic recovery is, quote, "uneven and modest." He showed no sign of what his predecessor once called irrational exuberance.
Los Angeles Police Department officers detain students in 2010 during a sweep for truants in the San Pedro neighborhood.
Credit Nick Ut / AP
Students rally against truancy policies on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles on Feb. 22. The city is relaxing its punitive truancy policies to focus on the reasons students skip class.
Credit Brad Graverson / Torrance Daily Breeze
A Los Angeles police officer detains a San Pedro High School student in 2010 for truancy. After years of following a more punitive approach, Los Angeles is reconsidering how it handles students who skip class.
Los Angeles is easing its stance on truancy. For the past decade, a tough city ordinance slapped huge fines on students for even one instance of skipping school or being late, but the Los Angeles City Council is changing that law to focus on helping students get to class because it turns out those harsh fines were backfiring.
Two years ago, Nabil Romero, a young Angeleno with a thin black mustache, was running late to his first period at a public high school on LA's Westside.
An Indian boy gets his eyes scanned for enrollment in a nationwide ID project in 2011. Many Indians, especially the poor, lack identification documents, which restricts their access to many government services.
Some 75,000 babies are born every day in India. The total population is 1.2 billion and climbing. That's a lot of people to keep track of, and the Indian government has struggled to keep up.
Many Indians, especially the poor, don't have any ID, which makes it increasingly difficult for them to be full participants in a society that is rapidly modernizing. But a new project aims to fix that.