3:46pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Election 2012

Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum emerges from a cornfield during an August campaign stop in Dyersville, Iowa, at the farm where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed.
Scott Olson Getty Images

First in a series

Visiting a metal fabrication plant in Sioux City this December, Mitt Romney touted his successful business background, saying those qualifications are what America needs right now.

"I want to use the experience I have in the world of the free enterprise system to make sure that America gets working again. ... These are tough times," said the Republican presidential candidate. "You guys have jobs. Hope your spouses do. But I know these are tough times."

But not as tough in Iowa as in many other parts of the country.

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3:42pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Movie Interviews

Coming Out, Coming Of Age As A Teen 'Pariah'

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

Adepero Oduye planned to be a doctor, but after her father died suddenly, she decided to change course and pursue an acting career.
Focus Features

When the new film Pariah opens nationally, it's safe to say it will not be competing with any other movies about a black teenager coming of age as a lesbian in Brooklyn.

"It's not so much coming out, but coming into," clarifies director Dee Rees. "Alike, the main character, knows she loves women. That's not her struggle. Her struggle's more how to be in the world."

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3:18pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Europe

In Greece, A Muted Christmas Amid Tough Times

A homeless man begs for money during the launch of Christmas celebrations in Athens' central Syntagma Square, Dec. 9. Difficult economic times have meant subdued holiday activities — and even carolers, who traditionally receive money for their songs, are feeling the pinch.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

In Greece, caroling season runs through the Orthodox Christian holiday known as the Epiphany, celebrated on Jan. 6. Traditionally, children go door-to-door, playing the triangle and singing songs of the season. In return, people give them a few euros for presents.

But this Christmas, Greek retailers say sales fell 30 percent from last year. The unemployment rate is at record levels, crime is rising and austerity is dampening everyone's spirits.

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2:40pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 2:53 pm

Samoa: Would you argue with getting an extra day in a place like this?
D. Kirkland/Samoa Tourist Authority AP

What's happening in Samoa on Friday?

Nothing (sort of).

Officially, the day won't exist.

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2:32pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Health and Welfare

Perscription Drug Deaths on the Rise

The body count from prescription drug overdoses has risen in Kentucky, and narcotics officers face a daily dilemma in trying to find time to investigate prescription drug trafficking while also being ready to dismantle a methamphetamine lab on a moment's notice. From 2009 to 2010 in Kentucky, prescription drug overdose deaths climbed from 78 a month to 82. While this year's statewide overdose death numbers won't be available until the middle of 2012, the drug task force in Warren County has seen a 30 percent increase in prescription drug trafficking cases in 2011.

2:29pm

Wed December 28, 2011
All Politics are Local

Online Lottery Gaming Regulated by State

The Kentucky Lottery's current definition of an online game is one in which tickets are purchased through a network of computer terminals at retail outlets - games such as Pick 3, Mega Millions and Powerball. That definition, however, could change in light of a recent ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice, which puts the regulation of online gaming squarely in the hands of the states.

1:59pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Salt

Farmers Markets Flourish In Winter's Snows

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 am

Georgia O'Neal harvests winter greens at the Tree and Leaf Farm in Unionville, Va., on March 16, 2011.
Maggie Starbard NPR

If you're a fresh vegetable lover, it's hard to get excited about what's available in the supermarket produce section in the dead of winter. Whatever is there often has made a long journey from a field in a distant, sunny locale and been sprayed with something to keep it looking fresh. It's usually a little worse for the wear.

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1:25pm

Wed December 28, 2011
All Politics are Local

Lawmaker Wants Change in Governor's Race

A local state representative with some first-hand experience in gubernatorial politics has pre-filed a bill that would change the way slates are chosen for the state's top two offices. Rep. Mike Harmon's bill would allow candidates for governor to wait until the general election to name their lieutenant governor running mates instead of having to pick someone before the primary as is currently required. Candidates would have four weeks after the May primary to name a candidate.

1:25pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

In S.C.: Whether To Say 'It's A Great Day' Is Now A Political Issue

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:26 pm

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
Chris Keane Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has told her Cabinet agencies that all employees should answer their phones with this greeting:

"It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

But two Democratic members of the state House are sponsoring legislation that would prohibit any agency from ordering its staff to say that unless it truly is a "great day in South Carolina" (according to those legislators).

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1:21pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Could Obesity Change The Brain?

A fatty diet may trigger inflammation of the hypothalamus, deep inside the brain, and hinder weight loss.
Wikimedia Commons

The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese.

If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on.

Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight.

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