4:08pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Planet Money

Trying To Save A Broke City

David Unkovic makes his case.
Christine Baker The Patriot-News

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

Harrisburg is broke.

The Pennsylvania city is deep in debt. It's still spending more than it takes in. And, as David Unkovic described it to me last week, there's a cash-flow problem.

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4:06pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

The Legal Wunderkind Challenging The Health Law

Former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement speaks during a forum at the Georgetown University Law Center on March 9. Clement will be arguing against President Obama's health care act in the Supreme Court next week.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Paul Clement is, quite simply, a walking superlative. A wunderkind who at age 34 became deputy solicitor general and then was promoted to the top spot, solicitor general of the United States, becoming the youngest person to hold that post in more than a century. Now 45, he has argued an astonishing 57 cases before the Supreme Court, more than any other lawyer since 2000. And next week, he will lead the challenge to the Obama health care overhaul, in the Supreme Court.

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4:05pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Education

Gear Up Grants Push Higher Education

Gear Up Logo
uwec.edu

Schools across the Commonwealth found out Friday whether they were selected for Gear Up grants. Gear Up is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. Jennifer Kendall, principal of Leestown Middle, the only school in Fayette County to receive a Gear Up grant, says the money enable schools to get a quick handle on how students might perform in a college setting.

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3:43pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Asia

For Hong Kong And Mainland, Distrust Only Grows

Originally published on Sun March 25, 2012 2:32 am

Joyce Wong, a pregnant 30-year-old, takes part in a January 15 protest against immigration laws that allow babies born in Hong Kong to mainland Chinese mothers to be eligible for residency, education and medical care in the territory. Hong Kong residents fear the influx of mainlanders will further burden overtaxed resources.
Joyce Woo AFP/Getty Images

A committee of Hong Kong's handpicked elite will select the territory's new leader this weekend after a hotly contested fight, which has left both the main front-runners tainted by scandal.

It's been 15 years since Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese sovereignty, yet tensions between local people and those from the mainland run deeper than ever.

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3:07pm

Fri March 23, 2012
U.S.

Suspect Silent As Slain Teen's Family Cries For Justice

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 8:12 pm

Homes sit along Retreat View Circle in Sanford, Fla., near where Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Roberto Gonzalez Getty Images

People across the country have had something to say about the death of Trayvon Martin, but the man at the center of the case — George Zimmerman — remains silent.

The neighborhood watch volunteer told police he was acting in self-defense when he shot Trayvon last month. Zimmerman has yet to be charged with a crime — or to speak publicly about what happened, leaving others to speak for him.

There's been a lot of scrutiny of the call Zimmerman made to 911 moments before his collision with Trayvon. But that was hardly Zimmerman's first call to the police in Sanford, Fla.

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3:01pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Sports

At 100, Cuban All-Star To Get A Pension At Last

Connie Marrero, age 100, was a major league all-star who struck out the likes of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. He returned to his native Cuba after his career ended. He's now the oldest living ex-major leaguer and is finally getting a pension payment. He's shown here at his apartment in Havana.
Nick Miroff NPR

The oldest living former major league baseball player doesn't live in the United States, but in Cuba.

His name is Conrado Marrero, but he was Connie Marrero when he pitched for the Washington Senators in the early 1950s. Today Marrero is blind and unable to walk, and next month he'll be 101 years old.

The man who once struck out Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle lives in a small, modest apartment in Havana with the family of his grandson, who is also his caretaker.

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3:00pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Monkey See

Niecy Nash Puts Her Blended Family In The Reality Spotlight

Niecy Nash is the star of the new family "docu-sitcom," Leave It To Niecy, on TLC.
Robert Ector TLC

If you know the actress and comedian Niecy Nash, you're probably either excited about her new reality show, Leave It To Niecy, or you're cringing just thinking about it. Nash does not do things halfway. Her new show starts Sunday, and it's intended to be something like a real-life Modern Family.

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2:53pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Business and the Economy

Tax Advice for Storm Damaged Farms

Floods in 20-11 and this year’s tornadoes could complicate the tax returns filed by Kentucky farmers.  For example, when farmers receive an insurance check for damaged crops, I-R-S spokesman Luis Garcia says they must claim that money as income.  And, if bad weather forces the early sale of livestock, Garcia says that income can sometimes be claimed on next year’s tax return.

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2:32pm

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Sgt. Bales Charged With 17 Counts Of Murder; Could Get Death Penalty

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 10:48 pm

This August 23, 2011 photograph obtained courtesy of the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) shows Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (right) at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. (Note at 10:50 p.m. ET: Earlier, we mistakenly said he was on the left.)
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been officially been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the March 11 killings of unarmed men, women and children in Southern Afghanistan, The Associated Press just reported from Kabul.

It adds that "premeditated murder is a capital offense and if convicted, Bales could be sentenced to death."

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2:26pm

Fri March 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Whooping Cough Bacteria May Be Changing Their Ways In Australia

The red dots are Bordatella pertussis bacteria, the cause of whooping cough.
CDC

Whooping cough has made a comeback lately, with big outbreaks in California and elsewhere.

One factor is spotty vaccination.

Now researchers in Australia think they've filled in another piece of the puzzle there.

They say the vaccine is better at targeting some strains of the bacterium responsible for whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, and that's allowing other strains to flourish.

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