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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Congress Set For Another Debt Ceiling Vote, But This Time It's Merely Symbolic

The U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote today to disapprove of raising the debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. If you remember, the last time a vote of this kind went down, it was a dramatic showdown that rattled markets and was cited as one of the prime reasons S&P downgraded the United States' debt rating.

Today's vote however will be symbolic. The debt ceiling will likely be raised no matter how Congress votes.

Our Newscast desk spoke to NPR's Andrea Seabrook, who explained the vote like this:

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Politics
1:04 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Previewing Three 2012 Senate Races To Watch

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 1:09 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Huntsman hangs up his cleats, Wisconsin Dems step up to the plate, and Newt Gingrich swings for the fences in South Carolina. It is Wednesday and time for a...

NEWT GINGRICH: Paychecks versus food stamps...

DONVAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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Europe
1:03 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Italy's Cruise Crisis Spawns An Unlikely Star

Italian coast guard Capt. Gregorio De Falco (center) has become a national hero for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise liner to get back onboard and oversee the ship's evacuation. Here, De Falco arrives in court for a hearing on Tuesday.
Giacomo Aprili AP

Five days after a cruise liner slammed into rocks off Italy's Tuscan coast, the country is gripped by the contrasting profiles of two key figures in the drama — the captain charged with abandoning ship and the captain who demanded he get back onboard.

For many Italians, the accident has become a metaphor for a country that sees itself mired in economic and moral decline.

Francesco Schettino, the disgraced captain of the 1,000-foot-long floating palace known as the Costa Concordia, is under house arrest on suspicion of multiple manslaughter, shipwreck and abandoning ship.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Would You Burn Your Cash To Stay Warm And Alive? This Man Did

Yong Chun Kim, talking at his home about the experience of being lost in a blizzard for two days.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:26 pm

We saw stories earlier this week about a man who was lost for two nights in Mount Rainier National Park over the weekend, but survived in part because he burned the money he was carrying to keep warm as a blizzard blew through the area.

But a critical question wasn't answered until today. — how much money went up in flames?

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It's All Politics
12:18 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Newt Gingrich Says In 2010, He Paid 31 Percent In Taxes

Countering Mitt Romney's announcement that he paid 15 percent in taxes, Newt Gingrich said his bill came to 31 percent, more than most Americans pay and closer to the top rate of 35 percent.

The AP reports that Gingrich was careful not to criticize Romney for paying a lower tax rate than most Americans.

"My goal is not to raise Mitt Romney's taxes, but to let everyone pay Romney's rate," he said according to the AP.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Freedom Not 'Paradise' For 'West Memphis Three'

In 1994, three teens were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Ark. The trial drew national attention, due in part to the documentary series Paradise Lost. The "West Memphis Three" appealed their convictions and were released from prison in August 2011.

On Disabilities
12:00 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Learning To Love, And Be Loved, With Autism

Emotions can be hard to gauge in the beginning of any romantic relationship. But for people with autism, who often struggle to interpret social cues, romance can be particularly challenging to navigate. And for some, the prospect of loving and being loved seems out of reach.

It's All Politics
11:41 am
Wed January 18, 2012

A Family Of 'Boots For Newt' Hits The Ground In South Carolina

Alexandra Ziegler, age 9, leafletting for Gingrich in Greenville, S.C.
Melissa Block NPR

Sometimes it takes a family to campaign for a presidential candidate, and that's just what Melissa Block, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered, discovered while in South Carolina this week ahead of the state's Saturday primary.

Sondra Ziegler, a volunteer for GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign, is making herself useful any way she can — along with her three children and her mother.

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It's All Politics
11:29 am
Wed January 18, 2012

McCain's 2008 Anti-Mitt Romney Oppo Research Raised 2012 Themes

A document that purportedly represents opposition research targeting Mitt Romney from Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign was posted online by Buzzfeed reporter Andy Kaczynski.

Immediately noticeable is how many of criticisms of Romney by his rivals during the current race for the Republican presidential nomination could just have easily come from McCain's opposition research of four years ago.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Reports: Obama Will Reject Keystone Pipeline Proposal

Atkinson, Neb., rancher Bruce Boettcher, who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, kicks up sand on his land, to demonstrate the fragility of the sandhills near the planned route of the pipeline.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 3:20 pm

Saying it did not have sufficient time to properly vet the proposal, the State Department said it would recommend rejecting a proposal by TransCanada to build a 1,700 mile pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Homeless Teen Who's Up For Science Prize To Be At State Of The Union

Intel semifinalist Samantha Garvey, 17.
John Dunn AP

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:39 am

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The Salt
10:06 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Virtual Victuals: A Gamer Turns Video Game Food Into Real Food

Mushrooms are a staple in the Super Mario Bros. games.
Courtesy of Nintendo

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:07 am

Food can be transformative, especially if you're a character in a video game. When Mario ate mushrooms, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ate pizza and CJ from Grand Theft Auto ate fast food, they became better, stronger, sometimes even bigger.

But now one gamer has made that food even more enticing by putting the virtual food of video games onto her very real dinner table. That's right: Daniella Zelli, a 23-year-old gamer in Edinburgh, Scotland, cooks up dishes inspired by games and shares them on her blog.

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Around the Nation
9:11 am
Wed January 18, 2012

FBI Arrests 3 In Insider Trading Case

FBI agents arrested three hedge fund executives early Wednesday in connection with a massive ongoing insider trading investigation that has involved some of Wall Street's most prominent money managers.

Todd Newman, who formerly oversaw technology investments at Diamondback Capital Management, was arrested at about 6 a.m. in the Boston suburb of Needham on charges "related to stock fraud," according to a spokesman for the FBI's Boston office.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Wed January 18, 2012

In Snow-Weary Alaskan Towns, Sun And Smiles Emerge

Jan. 9: An Alaska National Guardsman clears a roof in Cordova.
Spc. Balinda O'Neal Alaska National Guard Public Affairs

"Life is back to normal for two towns deeply buried in snow along Alaska's Prince William Sound," The Associated Press says. "The National Weather Service said Tuesday the weather is supposed to remain clear in both Valdez and Cordova this week."

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It's All Politics
8:33 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Internet Blackout Puts Washington Online Piracy In Limelight

Screenshot of Wikipedia landing page.
Wikipedia screenshot

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:06 am

SOPA and PIPA (no, they're not the Duchess of Cambridge's sisters) will be on the minds of a lot more people Wednesday because of the online protests by Wikipedia, Google and other popular websites over the anti-piracy legislation with the catchy acronyms currently under consideration in Congress.

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