3:00pm

Wed January 18, 2012
NPR Story

Congress Backs Off Anti-Piracy Bill

Congress was poised to pass a bill restricting Internet transfer of copyrighted material but now seems to be backing off.

2:54pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Bath Salts Crackdown

Bhavika Sheth and her husband have owned Frankfort's Eastwood Shell for more than two years, and they say they oppose selling synthetic drugs – commonly known as bath salts and synthetic marijuana.  She said the money to be made off the drugs is not worth the potential cost.  “I know some places have made a killing off that stuff, but I know if I brought my kids into a store selling that, I wouldn’t feel safe, so we won’t have it here,” she said.  Eastwood Shell on Versailles Road was one of about 25 businesses that Frankfort and state police visited Tuesday with educational letters about synthetic drugs.

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2:53pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Porn Industry Faces Condom Requirement In Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, condoms could soon be mandatory on the sets of adult films.
Libby Chapman iStockphoto.com

Advocates for the mandatory use of condoms in the production of porn films moved a step closer to victory in Los Angeles.

The city council there voted 9-1 in favor of an ordinance that would require use of condoms to protect performers from sexually transmitted diseases.

Under the new rule, filmmakers wouldn't get a permit to make a movie unless they comply with the condom requirement. The measure is expected to be signed into law, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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2:53pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

TSA Backtracks, Says Screeners Were Wrong In Elderly Security Search

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents screen passengers at Los Angeles International Airport.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration now says security screeners at Kennedy Airport in New York were wrong when they asked two elderly women to show them medical devices that were under their clothing.

In a letter sent to state Sen. Michael Gianaris and acquired by the New York Daily News, the Department of Homeland Security said that there was no evidence the two women were strip-searched, as they claimed, but that their agents did go further than they should have.

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2:51pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Determining a Tornado

Officials from the National Weather Service will visit Franklin County today to determine if Tuesday’s downed power lines and roof damage were caused by straight-line winds or a tornado. About seven storage units at Ratliff’s Self Storage Center on U.S. 421 were damaged after strong winds tore through the area around noon Tuesday, said manager Leslie Driskell.  One of those units belongs to KB Construction, and the owner, Kevin Breeck, was inside when the storm came through. He said he was just leaving when the winds picked up.

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2:10pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

Mark Wahlberg: With Me Aboard, 9/11 Hijackers Would Have Been Stopped

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Mark Wahlberg.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Update at 9:45 p.m. ET. Wahlberg apologizes:

Saying his comments were "ridiculous ... irresponsible ... [and] insensitive," actor Mark Wahlberg has now apologized for saying he would have stopped 9/11 hijackers if he had been on one of the planes, Reuters reports.

Read what he's apologizing for in our original post:

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2:08pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

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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2:03pm

Wed January 18, 2012
Europe

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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1:20pm

Wed January 18, 2012
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 1:26 pm

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

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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1:18pm

Wed January 18, 2012
It's All Politics

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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