Tue February 14, 2012
Author Interviews

The History Of The FBI's Secret 'Enemies' List

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:16 pm

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI. He introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines. He also kept secret files on more than 20,000 Americans he deemed "subversive."
Anonymous Library of Congress

Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "

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Tue February 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Can Congress Ever Restore Payroll Taxes To Their Usual Levels?

House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner (right) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), said Monday they would vote to extend the payroll tax cut.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

Republicans rarely meet a tax cut that they don't like. Now that they have found one, they are finding it politically impossible to stop it.

On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to extend a 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The cut, enacted last year, is otherwise set to expire at the end of the month.

The current cut means a savings of about $20 a week to a worker who earns $50,000 a year and about $2,000 a year to someone making $100,000.

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Tue February 14, 2012
The Salt

DIY Willy Wonka Turns Home Into Chocolate Factory

Ben Rasmussen pours tempered chocolate into a tray, where it will harden into a finished bar.
Potomac Chocolate

Some people fill their workshops with sawdust and power tools; Ben Rasmussen built a chocolate factory in his.

Actually, "factory" might be too big a word for the Woodbridge, Va. operation, which Rasmussen says is "absurdly small." But it's a step up from his kitchen, where his Potomac Chocolate – one of the smallest chocolate companies in the U.S. – was born.

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Tue February 14, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

States Vary On What They Allow Midwives To Do

Midwife Erin Fullam, left, takes care of Shannon Earle and her new baby Kiera. Daughter Riana, the father, Patrick, and his mother, Ann Earle, look on at the family's home in Takoma Park, Md., in 2011.
Amanda Steen NPR

Women planning to have a baby at home will probably be helped by a midwife.

Doctors only deliver about 5 percent of babies born outside the hospital, according to figures released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Depending on where you live, though, finding a licensed midwife can be tough.

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Tue February 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Whitney Houston's Funeral Will Be Held At Her Childhood Church

Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Pop super star Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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Tue February 14, 2012
State Capitol

"First Audit" Uncovers Military, Horse Park Waste

The first statewide audit from new Auditor Adam Edelen has uncovered some familiar problems. Edelen is required to conduct an audit of all state agencies every year. His first report was released this morning. In it, Edelen takes many state agencies to task. That includes the Department of Military Affairs and the Kentucky Horse Park, which the report says incurred expensive and unnecessary fees for paying invoices too late.

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Tue February 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Activist: 'Idea Of Safety Doesn't Exist Anymore'

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:03 am

Syrian rebels aim during a weapons training exercise outside Idlib, Syria on Tuesday. Syrian government forces renewed their assault on the rebellious city of Homs on Tuesday in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days.
Anonymous AP

A day after the United Nations' chief human rights official offered a tough rebuke of Syria, government forces continued their assault on the restive city of Homs. According to the AP, the city has sustained the heaviest shelling in days.

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Tue February 14, 2012
The Commonwealth

Burglars Target Five Hardin County Churches

Five Hardin County churches, three in the Eastview and two in Radcliff, were broken into overnight, and church officials say the suspects lifted several pieces of electronic equipment, including PA systems, computers and a guitar. St. Christopher Catholic Church and Gloryland Harvest Church in Radcliff were burglarized between 10 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday, said Bryce Shumate, public information officer with Radcliff Police Department. The suspect entered through church doors.

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Tue February 14, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Lancaster Mayor Refuses to Resign

Brenda Powers
Tyler Lane Lexington Herald Leader

Lancaster Mayor Brenda Powers refused to resign Monday and asked for a full public hearing to answer allegations made against her last week by members of the Lancaster City Council. In addition, Powers accused city council members of violating the state Open Meetings Act and said she would ask the state attorney general's office to investigate. Last week, members of the city council presented Powers with a memorandum outlining more than 20 allegations of misconduct, willful neglect of duties and incapacity. The memorandum, signed by five of the six council members, sought her resignation by Monday.

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Tue February 14, 2012
State Capitol

Court Battle over Redistricting Costly

The battle over Kentucky's newly-drawn legislative districts went to the state Supreme Court on Monday at a potential cost of $220,000 in legal fees, most of that to be footed by taxpayers. The Legislative Research Commission, which represents House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate President David Williams in defending the districts from a constitutional challenge, has budgeted $95,000 for Louisville attorney Sheryl Snyder, although it may end up paying less depending on how much work is necessary.

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