7:41pm

Tue June 19, 2012
All Politics are Local

Democrats Focus on State House Campaigns

With no statewide races on the ballot this year, the Kentucky Democratic Party is focusing its efforts on the General Assembly. Republicans have made taking over the state House a priority and have pledged to raise one million dollars to do so. But KDP spokesman Matt Erwin says Democrats have already raised near that amount and they plan to do more than protect incumbents.

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7:14pm

Tue June 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Senate's Top Republican Seeks A Cue From Romney On Immigration

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:42 am

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to the media on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

President Obama has certainly put Republicans in a tricky spot with his action to essentially activate parts of the DREAM Act that would defer deportations for certain young illegal immigrants.

Come out against the president's stance, popular with many Latino voters but not exclusively so, and Republicans run the risk of further alienating many of those voters.

But come out in support of the president's act, and many conservatives in the Republican base could get angry.

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6:59pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Education

Board Member Resigns After U.Va. President Fired

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block at NPR West, in California.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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6:59pm

Tue June 19, 2012
U.S.

Senators Get Time In Solitary Confinement

An exercise area for inmates in solitary confinement in California's Pelican Bay prison. Inmates are allowed to leave their windowless cells for 2 1/2 hours daily to exercise and bathe.
Michael Montgomery Center for Investigative Reporting

At any given moment, about 15,000 men and women are living in solitary confinement in the federal prison system, housed in tiny cells not much larger than a king-sized bed.

"It is hard to describe in words what such a small space begins to look like, feel like and smell like when someone is required to live virtually their entire life in it," says Craig Haney, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

But Tuesday, Haney, who has studied life inside prisons for three decades, had an opportunity to paint that picture.

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6:44pm

Tue June 19, 2012
The Salt

Surviving A Food Festival Without Getting A Tummy Ache

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 8:07 pm

The Fancy Food Show floor in 2011.
Embajada del Ecuador en Estados Unidos Flickr.com

I've never in my life desired a low-sodium biscuit, but I let the well-groomed woman at the Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C. this week goad me into eating one.

"They're soooo good, I swear," she says.

It's perfectly fluffy and edible, this low-sodium biscuit, but seconds after it's gone I'm regretting having just wolfed down the whole thing. That's precious space in my stomach that I've just forfeited for an unremarkable food I'd never be interested in eating again.

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6:20pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Law

Senate Holds First Hearing On Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:31 pm

Advocates for prisoners rights say too many inmates spend years in solitary confinement — in violation of the constitutional bar against cruel and unusual punishment. Today, they persuaded the U.S. Senate to hold the first hearing on the issue, as state and federal prison systems fend off new lawsuits over the practice.

6:15pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Opponents Won The Health Care Messaging War

OK, so it's not exactly news that the Obama administration hasn't done the best job in the world selling the Affordable Care Act to the American public.

But now the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has some statistics to demonstrate just how sorry that job has been. And it suggests that the media gets at least some of the blame.

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6:11pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Energy

Shell Faces Pushback As Alaska Drilling Nears

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

Shell says it hopes to never need to use its new 300-foot-long, $100 million oil recovery ship named Nanuq for anything other than drills and training.
Richard Harris NPR

The federal government could soon give the final go-ahead for Royal Dutch Shell to begin drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Shell has spent $4 billion since 2007 to prepare for this work, and is hoping to tap into vast new deposits of oil.

But the plan to drill exploratory wells is controversial — opposed by environmental groups and some indigenous people as well.

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5:23pm

Tue June 19, 2012
It's All Politics

With Polka Band And Pie, Romney Wraps Up Small-Town Tour In Michigan

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 4:00 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney makes a pie shell with store owner Linda Hundt during a campaign stop Tuesday in DeWitt, Mich.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a five-day, six-state tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

Each of the states he visited was won by President Obama in the 2008 election. Each is also shaping up as a potential battleground this year.

In Michigan, the state where Romney was born, he avoided big cities and stayed in places friendly to the GOP. As he traveled east to west across central Michigan by bus, there were some pockets of protesters, but mostly at a distance.

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5:20pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Environment

As Tsunami Debris Crosses Pacific, Dangers Emerge

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:59 pm

A nearly 70-foot dock that was torn loose from a fishing port in northern Japan by last year's tsunami washed ashore on Agate Beach in Oregon. Marine scientists have found potentially invasive species among the 100 tons of marine life that traveled aboard the dock.
Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation AP

Beaches on the West Coast are getting a regular dose of debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. The first few items were curiosities — a boat here, a soccer ball there — but as the litter accumulates, officials such as Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire have acknowledged the scale of the problem.

"We are in for a steady dribble of tsunami debris over the next few years, so any response by us must be well-planned — and it will be," she said.

Beyond the obvious problem of litter, officials are on the lookout for hidden dangers.

Debris 'Everywhere'

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