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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Report: U.S. Could Cut Its Staff At Expansive Iraq Embassy By Up To Half

The New York Times is reporting that the United States is planning to cut its staff by as much as half at its 16,000-person strong embassy in Baghdad.

The $750 million embassy building is the largest of its kind in the world and the Times adds that a major cut in staffing just two months after American troops withdrew from the country signals a "declining American influence."

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Music Interviews
4:40 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Search For A Singer To Hit 'Low E' Spans Globe

Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who scored the music for Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding, has a new composition in the works. For it, he's seeking a rich and low singing voice — one capable of reaching the "low E" note. And as he's learning, reaching the low E is no easy feat. To find a singer up to the task, Mealor has had to embark on an international search. Robert Siegel catches up with Mealor to hear how his search is going.

It's All Politics
4:34 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Romney Campaign Preemptively Downplays MN, CO And MO Contests

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:36 pm

Mitt Romney's campaign had a message Tuesday for those who would try to stop his forward momentum to the Republican presidential nomination — he's got this.

Oh, and Tuesday's contests really don't add up to much of anything really.

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Africa
4:27 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

In Morocco, The Arab Spring's Mixed Bounty

Relatives of Abdelwahab Zaydoun, a 27-year-old Moroccan who set himself on fire to protest his unemployment and died from his burns, react to his death in Casablanca last month. A year after street protests in Morocco prompted some reforms, Moroccans remain discontent with the gap between rich and poor, and the slow strides toward democracy.
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

If you're looking for the reasons for unrest in Morocco, you can find some answers while zipping along in a golf cart at a resort in the historic town of Marrakech.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:15 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Controversy Over Stem-Cell Research Keeps Charities On Sidelines

There's a funding tempest in a cell culture.
Andrei Tchernov iStockphoto.com

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has been in the news because of its clash with Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

But another aspect of Komen's activities hasn't received much attention: Komen's position on research using human embryonic stem cells.

Despite raising millions of dollars for breast cancer research, Komen hasn't funded any of this work, prompting questions about whether that decision is rooted in politics.

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The Salt
3:58 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

To Hold The Salt, It's Time To Hold The Bread

Sodium content can vary widely even between two sandwiches that look the same.
CDC

It's no secret that some of the tastiest snacks around — potato chips, french fries, and processed deli meats — are terrific vehicles for salt. Without salt, they'd be bland, too starchy, or just plain dull.

But would you guess that the white bread on your turkey sandwich could be delivering as much or more than the turkey — up to 400 mg of sodium, or about one-third of the daily recommended limit for 6 of every 10 adults?

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Religion
3:42 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

A Pulpit For The Masses: YouTube, Christians Click

Created by liberal Christians, the YouTube video "Tea Party Jesus" is a spoof on conservative politics.
AmericanValuesNet/YouTube

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 6:26 pm

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U.S.
3:37 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Rhode Island District Weighs Student's Prayer Lawsuit

A banner hanging in the auditorium at Cranston High School West. After a federal judge ordered it removed, the school covered the banner with plywood and a school flag.
Steven Senne AP

There are not many 16-year-olds who take a police escort to school, but until recently, Jessica Ahlquist was one of them.

An atheist, Ahlquist sued the city of Cranston, R.I., over a banner hanging in the auditorium of her high school, Cranston High School West. Printed on the banner, a longtime feature at the school, is a prayer to "Our Heavenly Father."

In January, a federal judge ordered the banner removed. The school board is expected to decide Thursday whether to appeal.

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Education
3:22 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Meaningless In Missouri? Not In Santorum's View

A sign supporting former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum outside the O'Fallon, Mo., city hall on Tuesday, as the state's Republican primary was under way.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 11:31 am

For an election that shouldn't matter on paper, Missouri's primary on Tuesday may carry a lot of weight.

The state's Republican electorate tends to be both populist and conservative. That could give former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who has campaigned in Missouri the most — and the most recently — among GOP presidential candidates, the chance for a strong showing.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:16 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

A Fresh Look At Antidepressants Finds Low Risk Of Youth Suicide

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 5:35 pm

In 2004, after an extensive review, the Food and Drug Administration issued a strong warning to doctors who prescribed antidepressants to teens and children.

Antidepressants, the FDA said, appeared to increase suicide among kids and teens. Doctors needed to be careful. The FDA even mandated that a "black-box warning," the strongest type, be placed on antidepressant packaging.

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