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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri March 15, 2013

More Problems Aboard Carnival Cruise Ships

The Carnival Dream docked in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in December 2010.
Andy Newman AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:53 pm

For the past month, management at Carnival Cruise Lines has been in a nearly constant state of damage control.

In the past week alone, three of the cruise line's giant floating playgrounds have experienced embarrassing malfunctions that have at least inconvenienced, if not angered, many passengers.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Gasoline Pushed Consumer Prices Up Sharply In February

Handles on a gas pump in Brooklyn.
Jonathan Fickies Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:05 am

Consumer prices jumped 0.7 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The increase was fueled by a 9.1 percent surge in gasoline prices. Gas prices alone accounted for about two-thirds of the overall rise, MarketWatch says.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Son's Coming Out Leads Sen. Portman To Reverse On Same-Sex Marriage

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
Justin Lane EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 12:40 pm

Saying that he has reconsidered the issue in the two years since learning that his son is gay, Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced Thursday that he no longer opposes same-sex marriage.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Book News: Geithner Writing 'Behind The Scenes' Story Of The Financial Crisis

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book promises to give us the inside dope about reaction to the financial crisis.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:56 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Over A Year Or So' Before Iran Could Develop Nuclear Weapon, Obama Says

President Obama on Wednesday at the Organizing for Action dinner in Washington, D.C.
Aude Guerrucci DPA /LANDOV

Putting a more specific estimate that he has in the past on the issue of how long it might take Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, President Obama has told Israel's Channel 2 TV that it could happen in "over a year or so" if efforts to dissuade Iran do not succeed.

The president also said that while he wants to resolve the issue diplomatically, he is keeping "all options on the table."

For its part, Iran has long said its nuclear program is only aimed a peaceful uses for that energy source.

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Politics
5:15 am
Fri March 15, 2013

CPAC Kicks Off With Sobering Message For GOP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:31 am

The Conservative Political Action Conference is drawing a huge crowd of politicians, activists and Republican presidential hopefuls, all looking to break the Republican Party's recent string of presidential election losses. It kicked off Thursday with speeches by two young senators interested in the White House — Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Planet Money
5:10 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A Surprisingly Uncontroversial Program That Gives Money To Poor People

William Thomas Cain Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:58 am

Last year, a federal program called the Earned Income Tax Credit took about $60 billion from wealthier Americans and gave it to the working poor. And here's the surprising thing: This redistribution of wealth has been embraced by every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama.

"This program worked," says Richard Burkhauser, an economist at Cornell University and the American Enterprise Institute. "And there's not a hell of a lot of these programs where you can see the tremendous change in the behavior of people in exactly the way that all of us hoped it would happen."

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World
4:44 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Vladimir Putin Hobknobs With ... Steven Seagal

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:44 am

First, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to French actor Gerard Depardieu. Now, Putin is hobnobbing with the actor Steven Seagal. The star of Under Siege toured a new sports facility with Putin, who used the occasion to call for reviving a Soviet-era fitness program in which kids threw javelins, learned to ski and fired guns.

Around the Nation
4:41 am
Fri March 15, 2013

106-Year-Old Woman Finally Gets Her High School Diploma

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:42 am

Reba Williams of Columbus, Ohio, finished her last class back in 1925. But the 106-year-old didn't receive her high school diploma until Wednesday. Her daughter told the Mansfield News-Journal that young Reba, who was a good student for all 12 years, was headstrong. She refused to read a book assigned by her teacher that she'd already read and didn't like.

Law
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

50 Years After Key Case, Problems Defending The Poor Persist

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:50 am

Next week marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision in which the justices unanimously ruled that defendants facing substantial jail time deserved legal representation in state courts, even if they couldn't afford to pay for it.

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Author Interviews
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bankers' New Clothes' Leave Too Little Skin In The Game

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:50 am

At a hearing in Washington on March 6, Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to senators why it has been hard to go after big bank executives:

"It does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large."

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Pop Culture
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Angry Birds TV, Coming To A Mobile Screen Near You

A scene from the upcoming animated series based on the popular game Angry Birds. The show will be distributed to existing users of the digital game.
Rovio

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 10:57 am

People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.

The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.

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National Security
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Is All The Talk About Cyberwarfare Just Hype?

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the danger of a devastating cyberattack is the No. 1 threat facing the U.S. He made the assessment Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:00 am

U.S. government pronouncements about the danger of a major cyberattack can be confusing. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the head of the U.S. military's Cyber Command, Army Gen. Keith Alexander, delivered mixed messages this week while testifying on Capitol Hill.

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Energy
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Could Tapping Undersea Methane Lead To A New Gas Boom?

This photo from a Kyodo News helicopter shows a flame of natural gas from a Japanese deep-sea drilling ship on Tuesday. This successful extraction of methane from the seafloor was a world first.
Kyodo Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:38 am

The new boom in natural gas from shale has changed the energy economy of the United States. But there's another giant reservoir of natural gas that lies under the ocean floor that, theoretically, could dwarf the shale boom.

No one had tapped this gas from the seabed until this week, when Japanese engineers pulled some up through a well from under the Pacific. The gas at issue here is called methane hydrate. Methane is natural gas; hydrate means there's water in it. In this case, the molecules of gas are trapped inside a sort of cage of water molecules.

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The Salt
4:12 am
Fri March 15, 2013

A Daily Habit Of Green Tea Or Coffee Cuts Stroke Risk

Japanese women drink green tea during an outdoor tea ceremony in Kobe, Japan. Making the brew a daily habit may be protective against stroke.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Whether it's green tea that warms you up, or coffee that gives you that morning lift, a new study finds both can help cut the risk of suffering a stroke.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, included 82,369 men and women in Japan.

Researchers found that the more green tea a person drank, the more it reduced the risk of suffering a stroke.

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