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Election 2012
9:28 am
Sun March 4, 2012

Mitt Romney Tops Washington Caucuses

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 8:03 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pulled ahead of his rivals in Washington State's presidential straw poll on Saturday, with more than one-third of the votes. Romney finished well ahead of Ron Paul, who himself squeaked past Rick Santorum by just over 500 votes. Newt Gingrich had to settle for about one vote in 10.

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Around the Nation
1:59 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Settlement Only The First Step In BP's Legal Woes

A cross with the words "Promises Made"-- referring to statements from BP and government officials — stands in front of a pile of crosses symbolizing things that were impacted by the spill, in a front yard in Grand Isle, La.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 2:09 pm

Oil giant BP has agreed to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from its well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal was announced late Friday and prompted a federal judge in New Orleans to postpone a Monday trial, but the proposed settlement solves only one piece of BP's legal exposure from the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
12:26 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Actor Alec Baldwin Plays Not My Job

Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:45 am

We love to encourage people who are just getting their start in public radio, so we're happy welcome our guest today, the host of WNYC's Here's the Thing, a new podcast that features interviews with artists, writers and thinkers. The host, Alec Baldwin, has also done a bit of acting of his own.

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Monkey See
12:25 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Kristin Chenoweth On God, Comedy And Dolly Parton

Kristen Chenoweth stars in the new ABC series GCB.
Karen Neal ABC

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 12:00 pm

Kristin Chenoweth talks to Jacki Lyden on today's Weekends on All Things Considered, and if the only thing you got from the interview was Chenoweth warbling a bit of the first solo she ever did in church, it would be well worth it.

The Emmy-winning actress stars on ABC's new GCB, a sort of Desperate-Housewives-ish dishy, soapy comedy-drama premiering Sunday night at 10. She's come quite a long way since, as she explains, her father negotiated her first contract.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Sat March 3, 2012

Mormon Leaders Warn Followers To Stop Controversial Baptisms

The sun sets behind the Mormon Temple, the centerpiece of Temple Square, in Salt Lake City.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Sun March 4, 2012 10:00 am

Mormons around the world are getting this warning Sunday: Stop posthumous baptisms of "unauthorized groups, such as celebrities and Jewish Holocaust victims."

"Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors," says a letter to be read in every Mormon congregation. "Those whose names are submitted for proxy [baptisms] should be related to the submitter."

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Around the Nation
8:52 am
Sat March 3, 2012

NPR national: Deadly storms 'worst case Sscenario' in Indiana

A woman salvages belongings from her Henryville, Ind., home, which was destroyed Friday after a series of tornadoes tore through the south of the state.
Chris Bergin AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 7:58 am

Across the Midwest and South, residents are cleaning up from Friday's outbreak of late winter storms.

A seemingly nonstop barrage of tornadoes roared across rural farmland and cities all day and all night. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia all sustained damage. At least 28 people died, and that number is expected to rise.

Destroyed Homes

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protesting wall street
8:26 am
Sat March 3, 2012

Occupy may seem to be receding, but look closer

Occupy Wall Street protesters shout during a "Shut Down the Corporations" demonstration in New York on Wednesday.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 9:45 am

For people who watch TV news or read newspapers, the Occupy movement might seem to be in hibernation.

Most of the encampments are gone, and diminished numbers take part in protests.

But there's a lot of ferment behind the scenes — at least at Occupy Wall Street.

Check the Occupy Wall Street website and you'll see at least 15 events every day: meetings by working groups on arts and culture, alternative banking, media, security.

'Pop-Up' Protests

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Washington State Legislature
5:33 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

GOP senators take control of Washington Senate

The Senate gallery was packed as Republican Senators took over the chamber from Democrats. Photo by Austin Jenkins.

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 12:00 am

GOP Senators Take Control Of Washington Senate

copy for now March 2, 2012 Austin Jenkins/cf

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It's been a day of high drama in the Washington state Senate. Republicans took control of the chamber with the help of three Democratic colleagues. Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt told reporters that GOP Senators, in his words, "unlocked the gridlock" over the state budget. Earlier, Democratic budget writers said they were one vote shy of passing their proposal to plug a gap in the state's two year spending plan.

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The Salt
12:17 pm
Fri March 2, 2012

Bloggers Replace Mom's Recipe Box As Source Of Food Knowledge

The laptop is replacing the recipe box in many American kitchens.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 11:36 am

We're going to venture that just by nature of the fact that you're reading this blog, you count yourself as a member of the social mediarati.

If so, you, and a lot of other people, may sooner turn to Epicurious or Facebook to plan your next meal than your grandmother's recipe box or the Nestlé Toll House bag of chocolate chips in the cupboard. That's the word from the Hartman Group, a consumer research firm, and Publicis Consultants USA, a marketing agency.

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News
4:09 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Public Radio Report Prompts Mine Agency To Change Procedures

A statue of a miner stands outside Hecla Mining's headquarters in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The company owns the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho. Photo by Jessica Robinson

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 12:00 am

The federal agency that oversees the nation’s mines says it’s changing how it handles key documents designed to improve mine safety. The move was prompted in part by a public radio investigation on a fatal mine accident in north Idaho.

Last fall, we reported that a federal geologist wrote a report on unstable rock conditions back in 2008. It was at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.

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The Salt
3:46 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Seattle's First Urban Food Forest Will Be Open To Foragers

Designers of a food forest in Seattle want to make blueberry picking a neighborly activity.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:41 pm

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

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Election 2012
6:44 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Why we fight: The psychology of political differences

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 4:00 am

Americans, it seems, have never been more polarized about religion and politics. With minds made up and combat-ready, we have a hard time bridging the chasms that divide us.

In The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, explains why. A moral perspective, he argues, is a feature of our evolutionary design. Morality has made it possible for human beings — unlike any other creatures — to forge large, cohesive, cooperative groups. Morality also blinds as it binds, producing conflicts between groups, tribes and countries.

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Digital Life
11:22 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Google wins - he's giving up on privacy

Google new privacy rules, which are set to take effect Thursday, have drawn scrutiny from privacy advocates and state officials.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 11:08 am

That's it. They win. He's giving up his privacy.

Trying to maintain privacy in contemporary America is just too time consuming, too complicated, too exhausting. He can't tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore. He doesn't know whom to trust.

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Research News
10:20 am
Wed February 29, 2012

NPR science: The man working to reverse engineer your brain

A map of neurons of the mouse retina, reconstructed automatically by artificial intelligence from electron microscopic images.
A. Zlateski based on data from K. Briggman, M. Helmstaedter, and W. Denk MIT/Seung

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:28 am

Our brains are filled with billions of neurons, entangled like a dense canopy of tropical forest branches. When we think of a concept or a memory — or have a perception or feeling — our brain's neurons quickly fire and talk to each other across connections called synapses.

How these neurons interact with each other — and what the wiring is like between them — is key to understanding our identity, says Sebastian Seung, a professor of computational neuroscience at MIT.

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Digital Life
10:09 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Protecting your privacy amid Google policy changes

A sign for Google is displayed behind the Google android robot, at the National Retail Federation, in New York. Google is planning to roll out a new privacy policy on March 1.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 9:00 am

Many Google users are nervous about the tech giant's changes to its privacy policy, set to take effect on Thursday.

Google has already been collecting bits of personal information from its various services, but soon it will combine it all to produce more targeted ads.

So let's say you are signed into Gmail and you decide to watch a video on YouTube. And then you also check out your friend's vacation photos on Picasa. Well, Google will now combine all of that data to create a single, fuller portrait of you for advertisers.

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