2:59pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Latin America

Pope To Visit Cuba To Endorse Church's Growing Role

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Pope Benedict XVI will travel in March to Cuba, where he's expected to endorse the growing dialogue between the church and the state. Here, an employee from the Rome's Biopark zoo holds a rare Cuban crocodile Wednesday, as he meets the pontiff at the Vatican. The crocodile will be returned to Cuba around the time the pope visits the island.
Osservatore Romano AP

When Pope Benedict XVI goes to Latin America in March, Mexico is an obvious choice, with nearly 100 million Catholics.

But communist-run Cuba is also on his itinerary. The 84-year-old pontiff does not travel often, and this leg of his trip will be a strong show of support for Cuba's church leaders and their growing role in pushing President Raul Castro's government for change.

More than anywhere else in Cuba, the Santa Rita church in Havana's Miramar district is the place where religion and politics intersect.

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2:51pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Election 2012

Election 2012 Moves On, And America Yawns

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:45 am

A man walks past campaign workers touting their candidates during voting in the New Hampshire primary, at Webster Elementary School in Manchester on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Tuesday was an exciting night for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. In mid-Ohio, not so much.

By about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the bankruptcy of a local barbecue restaurant chain was one of several stories ranked higher in the "most popular stories" list on The Columbus Dispatch's website than anything coming out of the GOP primary.

For many people, the election so far just hasn't been that interesting — and it might be even less so if Romney again rakes in the chips in South Carolina next week, adding to the perception that his nomination is virtually a done deal.

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2:48pm

Wed January 11, 2012
All Tech Considered

Man And Machines: Beyond Touch

A demonstration of Oblong's g‑speak SOE (spatial operating environment), technology that was featured in the film Minority Report.
oblong.com

Computer chips and technology are invading all sorts of previously dumb devices. Phones are now smart. Cars are becoming connected computers on wheels. Call it the computerization of everything. But how we interact with these machines is bound to evolve.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, touch pads are everywhere — in phones, in tablets and laptop screens. And Brad Feld has had enough.

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2:26pm

Wed January 11, 2012
It's All Politics

In South Carolina, Perry, Gingrich Go On The Attack

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 3:32 pm

Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign event at the Laurel Creek Club in Rock Hill, S.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As we noted earlier, all the candidates today are in South Carolina, and it did not take long before the gloves came off. As Ron previewed earlier, the hardest punches came in relation to Mitt Romney's business ventures.

We've looked around for what the candidates are saying at their different campaign stops. Here's a roundup, which we'll add to as the candidates make more stops:

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2:02pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Salt

FDA Cuts Off Orange Juice Imports Over Safety Concerns

Oranges for sale at a market in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
ANTONIO SCORZA AFP/Getty Images

When you think of your orange juice in its infancy, you probably envision neat rows of leafy green citrus trees in Florida or California — Tropicana and other companies' have helped seal that image in our minds.

But the reality is that a lot of our orange juice comes from Brazil — about 14 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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2:02pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Two-Way

'El Gordo,' Galaxy With Mass 2 Quadrillion Times The Sun's, Discovered

"El Gordo" — the "big" or "fat" one in Spanish — as seen in a composite image produced by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Hughes

Take the number 2. Put 15 zeroes behind it, as Space.com says:

2,000,000,000,000,000

Now, think about the news from this story at that website:

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1:42pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Commonwealth

Thefts at Walmart

Monday’s early morning theft of Apple iPads and other electronics from Winchester’s Walmart was not an isolated incident.  Police believe the suspects, a man and woman, have robbed four other Walmarts in the region in recent days.  The suspects, who have not been identified, entered Winchester’s store around 5 a.m. Monday, Winchester Police Detective Dennis Briscoe said. They went to the electronics section, opened one of the cases and took approximately $4,000 in merchandise including iPads, he said, but the exact list of what was taken has not been finalized.

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1:10pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Health and Welfare

Wellness Clinic Opens in Lexington

Lexington city employees and their families now have a place of their own to see a doctor or get healthy living advice.  This morning Mayor Jim Gray became the first official patient, by getting a blood test and having his blood pressure checked, at the new Dr. Samuel Brown Employee and Retiree Wellness Center. The mayor says the clinic will mean substantial savings for the entire community.

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1:08pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Hundreds Of Pardons, Some For Killers, Spark Outrage In Mississippi

Just before he left office this week, outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) issued more than 200 pardons or sentence reductions — including more than a dozen to persons convicted of murder, manslaughter or other death-related crimes. And that has sparked outrage and calls for changes in the law that gives the state's governor such authority.

The list of Barbour's executive orders in the last four days before his departure from office on Tuesday is posted here.

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12:50pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Google Tweaks Search To Boost Google+, And Rivals Get Angry

A screengrab shows Google's new search feature, in which results from a user's Google+ community are promoted at the top of the page.
NPR

Social media has become a huge part of how people experience the web. So it's not surprising that Google's move to integrate "personal results" into its web searches — drawing from a user's Google+ profile — wasn't praised by the folks who run rival social networks.

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