8:25am

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Not Clear Yet Why Death Toll In Afghan Killings Has Risen To 17

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Along with the word that U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be formally charged with murder today for the deaths of unarmed Afghan men, women and children on March 11, was the news that the death toll had grown to 17. Until Thursday afternoon, U.S. military officials had consistently said that 16 people were killed.

As The Associated Press has reported, officials made the change without offering a public explanation for it.

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7:55am

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Michigan State Is First No. 1 Seed To Be Bounced

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 8:01 am

Chane Behanan of the Louisville Cardinals during Thursday's victory over Michigan State.
Jamie Squire Getty Images
  • Mike Pesca on 'Morning Edition'

Tough defense by Louisville led to the defeat Thursday night of Michigan State in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, NPR's Mike Pesca said earlier on Morning Edition.

The Spartans, who lost to Louisville 57-44, are the first of the four No. 1 regional seeds to be sent home.

Syracuse, another No. 1 seed, managed to hang on with a 64-63 win over Wisconsin. In Thursday's other two games, Florida beat Marquette 68-58 and Ohio State thumped Cincinnati, 81-66.

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7:30am

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Trayvon Martin Was 'Typical Teen,' George Zimmerman Is Hard To Categorize

A memorial to Trayvon Martin sits outside The Retreat at Twin Lakes community in Sanford, Fla., where the teenager was shot and killed by George Michael Zimmerman.
Gerardo Mora Getty Images

Trayvon Martin was "a typical teenager who would end up in a casket, buried in white suit with a powder blue vest," the Miami Herald writes.

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7:30am

Fri March 23, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Kentuckians, Appalachia Star in "Hunger Games"

With legions of fans eager for the next major film franchise, The Hunger Games promises to make big stars of the two Kentuckians in its lead roles: Lawrence, as resourceful heroine Katniss Everdeen, and Union native Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellar
Lexington Herald Leader

The set of blockbuster books known as “The Hunger Games” promises to be a blockbuster film.  Kentucky has strong ties to the movie.  Two natives are in lead roles and they battle in a futuristic Appalachia.  With a preview of “The Games,” a special performance of the Lexington Philharmonic and an art show that revives the daguerreotype is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader.

6:54am

Fri March 23, 2012
State Capitol

Senate Takes Budget Action

After hours of closed-door meetings, the Kentucky Senate approved budgets for the three branches of state government Thursday night.  The House previously approved its own versions of the budgets. The Senate kept the House's legislative plan intact but modified the executive and judicial budgets.  The two chambers must now form a conference committee to work out the differences.

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5:03am

Fri March 23, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Fannie, Freddie Press For Mortgage Write-Downs

A Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac mortgage services representative (left) helps a person register for mortgage help in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The two most powerful entities in the housing market — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — could be on the verge of a significant change regarding foreclosures. NPR and ProPublica have learned that both firms have concluded that giving homeowners a big break on their mortgages would make good financial sense in many cases.

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4:59am

Fri March 23, 2012
Religion

'Woodstock For Atheists': A Moment For Nonbelievers

Organizers expect about 30,000 people to attend the Reason Rally over the weekend, a celebration of atheists and nonbelievers.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Thousands of people are expect to descend on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to celebrate not believing in God. It's being called a sort of "Woodstock for Atheists," a chance for atheists to show their power in numbers and change their image.

The "Reason Rally" could attract up to 30,000 people; organizer David Silverman says it marks a coming-of-age for nonbelievers.

"We'll look back at the Reason Rally as one of the game-changing events when people started to look at atheism and look at atheists in a different light," Silverman says.

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4:58am

Fri March 23, 2012
Planet Money

How A City Goes Broke

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 5:35 pm

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg incinerator.
MLADEN ANTONOV AFP/Getty Images

This is the first of two stories we're doing on Harrisburg. Read the second story here.

Eric Papenfuse owns a bookstore in Harrisburg, Pa. He used to be on the city agency in charge of basic municipal services — sewer, water, trash.

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4:01am

Fri March 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How The Health Law Could Survive Without A Mandate

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Sally Baptiste from Orlando, Fla., waits outside the U.S. Capitol for the vote on the health care bill on March 21, 2010.
Astrid Riecken Getty Images

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next week on, among other things, whether the 2010 health law can require most Americans to have health insurance starting in 2014.

The so-called individual mandate is the centerpiece of the law, and the conventional wisdom says the rest of the law will crumble if it is found to be unconstitutional.

But many policy wonks say that's not necessarily the case.

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4:00am

Fri March 23, 2012
Asia

N. Korea Tests U.S. Deal Ahead Of Nuclear Summit

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

North Korea agreed, last month, to freeze uranium enrichment and missile tests in exchange for large amounts of food aid from the United States. American officials thought they had an understanding, but then last week North Korea announced it would be launching a satellite using a long-range missile. As NPR's Mike Shuster reports from Seoul, all this is now threatening to overshadow next week's global nuclear security summit in Seoul, which President Obama is planning to attend.

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