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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Tue March 12, 2013

General's Dismissal Of Sex Assault Conviction Sparks Anger, Review Of System

The Pentagon. New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wants a review of how sexual assault cases are adjudicated by the military.
Jason Reed Reuters /Landov

An Air Force general's decision to dismiss the charges against a lieutenant colonel who was convicted of sexual assault has outraged many members of Congress and led new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to say he's ordered a review of the case.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ahmadinejad Touched And Consoled Chávez's Mother, To Clerics' Dismay

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered his condolences to Elena Frias, mother of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chávez, last week. This image was provided to news services by the Miraflores Palace — the office of the Venezuelan president.
Reuters /Landov

A photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holding the hand of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's mother and appearing to brush his face against her cheek as they consoled each other last week has him "mired in a fresh controversy" in Iran, as the BBC writes:

"Conservative critics, already irked by Mr Ahmadinejad's effusive eulogy for the leftist leader, reminded him that he has not only committed a sin, but also behaved in a way inappropriate for the president of an Islamic state."

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Senate Committee Takes Up Expanded Gun Measures

Gun show in Chantilly, Va., last December.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:14 pm

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET: Senate Passes Measure:

The Associated Press reports that the committee cast a 10-8 party-line vote, with all Republicans opposed, on the measure to expand a requirement of background checks for gun sales between private parties.

The Associated Press reports:

"The bill's sponsor, New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer, said the measure will reduce gun crimes, and said he hopes he can strike a compromise on the measure with Republicans, which would enhance the measure's chances of passing in the full Senate.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Ryan Says His Budget Would Balance In 10 Years

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., when he was campaigning as the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee.
Michael Sears MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:32 am

(Note at 11:20 a.m. ET: Scroll down to see the GOP plan, which has now been released; new comments from Rep. Ryan; and White House reaction.)

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, unveiled his latest budget plan Tuesday morning — and as NPR's Tamara Keith told our Newscast Desk, he says it would bring the federal budget in balance by 2023.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Book News: Hippies Were Dirty And Liked Music By Satanists, Louisiana Textbook Claims

Paintings adorn the "Magic Bus" on display at a museum built on the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:00 am

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

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The Two-Way
6:32 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Smoke Is Black: No Pope After Cardinals' First Vote

As the black smoke rose from the Vatican chimney Tuesday, some of the nuns and others gathered in St. Peter's Square were singing.
Eric Gaillard Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:25 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli on the latest from Rome
  • Philip Reeves on the princes of the church

Update at 2:43 p.m. ET. No Pope Today:

Black smoke just poured from the chimney above the Vatican. That means, as was expected, the cardinals did not choose a pope on the first vote of their conclave to name a successor to the now-retired Pope Benedict XVI. As the cardinals' ballots are burned, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, chemicals are added to a fire in a second stove to turn the smoke black if there's no pope elected and white if there is.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America'

Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while The Cardboard Valise reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.

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Around the Nation
5:30 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona State's Mascot Gets A Makeover, And Backlash

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Arizona State never had much luck with sports mascots. When it was a normal, or a teacher's school, they were the Normals. Later they became the Arizona State Sun Devils. This mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil in a red costume with horns and a pitchfork. Now Disney has helped update Sparky, but some students find his big eyes and bulging muscles creepy. Students may vote on Sparky's future after the campus paper warned he'll scare kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Strange News
5:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Arizona Gator Gets $6,000 Prosthetic Tail

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

There's "The Six Million Dollar Man" and now there is the $6,000 alligator. He's called Mr. Stubbs because his tail was bitten off years ago. Mr. Stubbs was taken in by the Phoenix Herpetological Society, where, The Arizona Republic reports, an orthopedic care specialist realized a silicone tail could be designed for him. Mr. Stubbs now sports a $6,000 prosthetic, making him half gator, half rubber.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
4:33 am
Tue March 12, 2013

SEC Charges Illinois With Fraud Over Pensions

For only the second time ever, the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging a state with fraud, for allegedly misleading investors about the health of its pension funds. The SEC says the state of Illinois did not properly inform investors that its pension funds were significantly underfunded when selling bonds from 2005 to 2009. This is the latest fiscal black eye for a state with a pension shortfall approaching a whopping $100 billion. The state has agreed to settle the charges.

Business
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

SEC Nominee Faces Senate Panel In Confirmation Hearing

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the SEC nominee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Cruise Ship Leaders To Discuss Industry's Future

Leaders of several cruise lines are meeting in Miami on Tuesday to discuss the state of the industry. The conference comes after a series of setbacks, including a cruise ship losing power for days in the Gulf of Mexico.

Religion
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

What American Catholics Want From The Next Pontiff

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Awaiting the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel are many of the 75 million Catholics in the U.S., and the question comes up, what do American Catholics want to see in the next pope? The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life explored that question in recent surveys. Here with the findings is Pew senior researcher Greg Smith. Good morning.

GREG SMITH: Good morning.

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Latin America
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mexican President Shifts Focus From Drugs To Progress

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:48 am

Mexico's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been in office for three months, and despite his claims that he's fighting drug violence with a new strategy, there are no signs the situation is any better. The president prefers to focus on Mexico's economic potential and has been touring the country, giving pep talks wherever he goes.

Politics
4:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan To Release GOP Budget Plan

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You have made it to Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. This is a big week in Washington, D.C. for budget wonks. House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan unveiled his budget plan this morning. Tomorrow, Senate Democrats will do the same. Last night, Senate Democrats also introduced their version of a stopgap funding bill to keep the government open for the rest of the fiscal year.

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