NPR News

A top official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation — which pushed for the defunding of Planned Parenthood — has resigned. Anti-abortion groups are also keeping up the drumbeat to take away Planned Parenthood's federal funding despite the charity's turnabout on supporting the group.

(Note: This is a post about obscenity. Proceed with caution if the subject bothers you.)

We've got one more thing to say about "the bird" and singer M.I.A.'s flipping of her middle finger on national TV during Sunday's halftime show at the Super Bowl.

The Obama administration's controversial decision to require religiously affiliated institutions like universities and medical centers to provide workers with health insurance that covers prescription birth control without a co-pay appears to have support from a majority of voters, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling.

The late conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr. once said that "idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive."

That seems to be the political calculation being made by President Obama and his campaign team when it comes to opposing superPACs.

California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today in a much-anticipated decision from the nation's most populous state. The judges upheld a lower court's ruling.

As you'd expect, the ruling has drawn praise from those who support same-sex marriage and condemnation from those who oppose it. Both sides acknowledge that the decision isn't the last word on the subject — an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is expected.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared California's same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, unconstitutional on Tuesday. This paves the way for a U.S. Supreme Court case that could have far-reaching implications for gay marriage around the country.

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Late last summer, Mary Elizabeth Williams got some devastating news: her cancer had returned. A year after recovering from malignant melanoma on her scalp, it had resurfaced, this time in her lungs and back. News can't get much worse than that, but then Williams learned that the FDA had recently approved clinical trials for first new melanoma drug in decades. She qualified for the trial several months ago and has been writing about her experiences for Salon. Mary Elizabeth Williams joins us in a moment.

St. Louis, Mo. held a parade for veterans of the Iraq War in January 2012 that drew an estimated 20,000 participants and 100,000 spectators. Fifteen other cities are considering similar parades, but some argue that such celebrations should not be held while the war in Afghanistan continues.

The claims airline passengers make about flights are often embellished. During turbulence, for example, passengers may think a plane is dropping hundreds of feet, when it's never typically more than 20. Airline pilot Patrick Smith, writes the Ask The Pilot column for Salon.com. He sets the record straight on common air travel myths.

Ah, the ticker-tape parade.

A celebration of heroes. A welcome home for champions. An outpouring of joy.

And since the late '60s, a ticker-tapeless affair.

As the NFL champion New York Giants parade Broadway's Canyon of Heroes today in the 200th-or-so "ticker-tape parade," let's take a moment to consider just what is floating down from buildings above.

There's been more than enough grim news this morning. How about something lighter?

The Los Angeles Times catches up with the every-12-years story that since it's the "Year of the Dragon" in the zodiac cycle that means "in Chinese, Vietnamese and other Asian communities across the world" this is thought to be an especially fortunate time to have a baby.

Controversial Komen Policy Official Resigns

Feb 7, 2012

A high-ranking official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has resigned amid fallout from the charity's move, since reversed, to halt funding for breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood.

Karen Handel, a former Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, resigned her job, effective immediately, as senior vice president for public policy. The Associated Press first reported the move. The Komen foundation confirmed the report in an email to Shots.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation just confirmed to NPR.org's Scott Hensley that Karen Handel has resigned from her post as the organization's senior vice president of public policy.

Scott will be posting about the news over at Shots.

Does it help or hurt children to know they have high cholesterol? We're about to find out.

New guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say every child should be screened for high cholesterol once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 21.

"Gulf Arab countries announced on Tuesday they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling Syrian envoys in response to worsening violence in Syria," Reuters says.

Sugar may be our favorite pick-me-up. I know I sometimes get the 4 p.m. urge for peanut M&Ms. But how much is too much?

The American Heart Association says women should not have more than 6 teaspoons, or 30 grams, a day, which is about 100 calories of added sugar (excluding fruit). And men should try not to exceed 9 teaspoons, or 45 grams.

But a lot of us are eating way more.

Republican voters in Colorado and Minnesota Tuesday will engage in the truly American political invention called the caw-cawaasough.

Make that the "caucus," the oft-maligned system in which party members gather to discuss and declare their preferences for a candidate by scribbling a name on a piece of paper for hand-count by party officials.

Why maligned?

Horrific details keep emerging about the deaths in Graham, Wash., on Sunday of Braden and Charlie Powell.

Among the disturbing news: Authorities now say it appears that before the boys died in a fire ignited by their father, Josh Powell, he struck his sons with a hatchet.

"In a dramatic move to quell parents' fears, Los Angeles school officials said they will temporarily replace the entire staff of an elementary school south of downtown Los Angeles, where two teachers have been accused of lewd acts against students," the Los Angeles Times writes.

On Sunday, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. The wife of defeated quarterback Tom Brady. supermodel Gisele Bundchen, complained about receivers dropping his passes.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With heavy machine gun fire in the background as he spoke from the Baba Amr section of Homs, Syrian citizen journalist and blogger Omar Shakir told Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne earlier today that "we are asking for [an] SOS" and help from the International Red Cross to stop what he said has been the deadly shelling of his city by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.

"There is no one with us," Shakir said.

Next to Mumbai's bustling international airport, a boy picks through refuse, looking for pieces he can recycle and sell to support his family of 11. He is a resident of Annawadi, a slum built on a patch of reclaimed swampland — now fringed by luxury hotels.

As economists and activists fret over increasing income inequality in America, scenes like this one from journalist Katherine Boo's new book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, are a forceful reminder of the extreme disparity of wealth that exist all over the world — and what people must do to survive.

Minnesota holds non-binding GOP caucuses Tuesday. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all campaigned in the state Monday. Each of front-runner Mitt Romney's rivals is looking at the state as a place where they can regain their footing.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It is estimated that more than 111 million people watched Sunday's Super Bowl. That is the biggest TV audience ever for the championship game. And with all the hype before and even after the match-up between the Giants and the Patriots, other sports were drowned out. NPR's Tom Goldman is going to help correct that. He's here to bring us up to date on some other sports news.

Hi, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning.

Greek Debt Talks Continue

Feb 7, 2012

Reporter Joanna Kakissis in Athens has the latest on the nail-biting negotiations over the Greek debt.

The Last Word In Business

Feb 7, 2012

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's move now, from paper promises, now, to plastic. That's our last word in business.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Citigroup says it has become the first Western bank with permission to issue credit cards under its own brand in China. Until now, China required western banks to co-brand with Chinese operators.

New research indicates excessive consumption of sugar leads to an increase in all kinds of chronic diseases. But how much sugar is too much? Would making sugary foods more expensive help to get consumers to cut back?

Amid Debt Crisis, A Trail Of Broken 'Promises'

Feb 7, 2012

Financial writer Philip Coggan traces the current global financial crisis to the 1970s, when the U.S. went off the gold standard.

"Up till then, every form of money had some link to precious metal: gold or silver," Coggan, author of a new book, Paper Promises: Debt, Money and the New World Order, tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne.

Pages