12:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
Around the Nation

China's Heir Apparent Rekindles Early Ties To Iowa

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 3:47 am

During his pending trip to the United States, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping hopes to reunite with Iowans he met back in 1985, during an agricultural mission to America. Here, Xi attends a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden last August.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

China's Vice President Xi Jinping is coming to America. Next week, he'll meet with President Obama at the White House. He'll lead a trade delegation to California. And he also plans to make a stop in Muscatine, Iowa.

Why Muscatine? It turns out that Xi wants to catch up with old acquaintances — he first visited the town (population 22,886) in the 1980s, as part of an agricultural mission.

Back then, the man who is likely to soon become China's president had dinner with Sarah Lande and her husband.

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12:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Brings Up Religion To Attract Social Conservatives

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 8:52 am

GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is reaching out to social conservatives in a new way. At a rally in the gym at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., Monday night, Romney rolled out some new material: the rights given to people by God.

"I am just distressed as I watch, as I watch our president try and infringe upon those rights," Romney said to the capacity crowd. "The first amendment of the Constitution provides the right to worship in the way of our own choice."

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12:01am

Tue February 7, 2012
Latin America

United Opposition A Challenge To Venezuela's Chavez

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:51 am

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles (center) waves to supporters on Oct. 12, 2011. Capriles is the front-runner in the opposition primary election to pick a candidate to run against President Hugo Chavez. The primary is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Ariana Cubillos AP

The opposition to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has tried everything to end his long rule: huge protests, a coup and an oil strike. Nothing has worked, but now opposition leaders have coalesced into a united and focused movement that is preparing to choose one candidate to run against the president, posing the strongest electoral challenge to Chavez's populist rule.

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6:44pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Remembering Roger Boisjoly: He Tried To Stop Shuttle Challenger Launch

Engineer Roger Boisjoly examines a model of the O-Rings, used to bring the Space Shuttle into orbit, at a meeting of senior executives and academic representatives in Rye, New York in Sept. 1991.
AP

Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.

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6:13pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Heartbreak And Victory, Kyle Stanley's Week In The PGA

Professional golfer Kyle Stanley will forever remember Super Bowl Sunday 2012. And not because he's an over-the-top New York Giants — or Madonna — fan.

But because he won the unglamorously-named Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday. And for Stanley, there was nothing trashy about his final round 65 that secured a one-shot victory and his first on the PGA tour.

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6:02pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Business and the Economy

Mammoth Cave has Positive Economic Impact

Mammoth Cave National Park pumps $62 million a year into southcentral Kentucky's economy, according to a recent study for the National Park Service. "It affirms what we did think - that Mammoth Cave has a very positive impact, particularly in southcentral Kentucky, if not statewide, as a tourist destination," Superintendent Pat Reed said. The study based its finding on an average of 500,000 visitors a year, how much those visitors spend, the jobs they support and the ripple effect of those jobs in the economy.

5:48pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Education

CEO Training for Principals

Budget cuts and education reforms are putting pressure on teachers and principals to improve student performance. And the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is reaching out to help them. The chamber’s Leadership Institute program gives Kentucky’s principals the same training many corporate CEOs go through. The program costs $9,000 per principal, but is paid for with donations raised by the chamber.

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5:39pm

Mon February 6, 2012
All Politics are Local

Legislative Leaders Support Drug Bills

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday joined Attorney General Jack Conway, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, Sen. Jimmy Higdon and other legislators to highlight broad prescription drug legislation designed to reduce the destructive impact of prescription drug abuse on Kentucky families. Multiple legislators have joined the effort by sponsoring legislation, all of which is targeted to help fight prescription drug abuse.

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5:31pm

Mon February 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Greece Delays Decision On Terms Of Bailout

IMF representative Bob Traa is seen inside an elevator as he arrives a government office building before meeting Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens on Monday.
Petros Giannakouris AP

Much to the dismay of the economic world, Greece said it was delaying negotiations on the terms of its bailout package today. Basically, Greece's political leaders could not agree on accepting tough, new austerity measures that are tied to receiving the 130 billion euro bailout.

The Guardian reports:

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5:25pm

Mon February 6, 2012
Election 2012

In Battleground Colorado, Independents On The Rise

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 7:33 pm

An attendee holds American flags during a rally Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The rally was for Republican Mitt Romney, but a new study says the number of newly declared independents is outpacing new registration for either Republicans or Democrats in the state.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

At the upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Scott Kardos, 24, said he's not interested in being either a Democrat or a Republican.

"I don't really identify with either party," said Kardos, a recent college graduate with an electrical engineering degree, who was shopping with his girlfriend and her parents. "A lot of the things I agree with the Republican side, and a lot of things I agree on the Democrat side. So, can't really decide on either one, and I flip-flop pretty much every other election on who I'd rather vote for."

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