Tue January 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Wisconsin Democrats Exceed Million-Signature Mark For Walker Recall

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 5:48 pm

Jeremy Levinson, (l) a lawyer to the recall committees, talks about the petitions as Mike Tate (c) Wisconsin Democratic Party chair listens, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012.
Andy Manis AP

How badly do Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's opponents want him out of office? So badly they collected significantly more signatures than they needed to ensure a recall election for the governor. A lot more.

We're talking more than a million signatures, according to Wisconsin Democrats who, in order to meet the Tuesday deadline, were hauling boxes of documents to the state office responsible for reviewing them.

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

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Tue January 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

50 Killed in Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

Kentucky’s first sandhill crane hunting season is over, and only one-eighth of the state’s quota was met. Kentucky’s recent sandhill crane hunting season was the first time the birds have been legally hunted in Kentucky. It also marked the first time the eastern population of the birds had been hunted in over 100 years. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife set a quota of 400 birds for the inaugural season, but only 50 sandhill cranes were taken. Spokesman Mark Marraccini says the department considers the season a success.

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Tue January 17, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Opens Student Wellness Center

A new center dedicated to student wellness has opened at the University of Kentucky. The Promoting and Achieving Wellness for Students Center, or PAWS, is intended for students with broad questions about their health. Fadyia Lowe, Health Education Coordinator for the University Health Service, says the center, which will provide health screenings and guidance for students, has been in the works for some time.

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Tue January 17, 2012
The Two-Way

World's Time Keepers Will Decide The Fate Of The Leap Second

The International Telecommunication Union's Radiocommunication Assembly, otherwise known as the international authority that keeps close tabs on time, will debate a philosophical question this week: They will decide whether to eliminate the leap second and in doing so break its tie to astronomical time.

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Tue January 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Retail Labs Give Patients Information, But Needle Doctors

If there's a test for it, chances are a storefront lab is eager to help you have it done.

You could call Michael Brooks a supplement junkie. He pops exactly six pills a day, three times a day, not to mention powders and shakes and chews. "A multivitamin, vitamin C, omega-3s, alpha lipoic acid," he says. "I'm taking a digestive enzyme."

Brooks is a personal trainer in Birmingham, Ala. He's healthy and fit, but he almost obsessively wants to know more, which is why we find him here, a few doors down from a sandwich shop and a nail salon, at a storefront lab called Any Lab Test Now.

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Tue January 17, 2012
Middle East

'F' Is For Funding ... Which Palestinian Muppets Lack

Daoud Kuttab, executive producer of Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street, holds a Muppet at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah earlier this month. The producers say they have been forced to put production for the 2012 season on hold because of a funding freeze by the U.S. Congress.
Nasser Shiyoukhi AP

This used to be a busy time of year for Shara'a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street.

Producers and educators would be choosing the "words of the day" for the upcoming season. Writers would be brainstorming ideas around a large conference table. Project director Laila Sayegh says everyone would be working long days.

"From the morning, like 8 until 6 o'clock in the evening. And now as you can see, it's empty. We have nothing," she says.

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Tue January 17, 2012

From Mega Man To Final Fantasy, Live Video Game Music

Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 12:01 am

Nobuo Uematsu plays keyboard with Earthbound Papas, a rock band made up of video-game soundtrack composers.
Lindsay Totty NPR

Every year, thousands of video-game fans flock to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for a unique music festival called MAGFest. It's short for "Music and Gaming Festival," and it's designed to celebrate the music of video games.

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Tue January 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Listen Up, Walkers: Watch Out For Traffic When Wearing Headphones

Beware of tuning out while crossing the street.

By now we all know that distracted driving can kill you. But a new study suggests that distracted walking can be pretty deadly, too.

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Tue January 17, 2012

Gains In Afghan Health: Too Good To Be True?

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 7:19 pm

A nurse weighs an Afghan child at a U.S.-funded clinic in Farza, Afghanistan, in September. A new U.S.-sponsored survey shows dramatic gains in life expectancy and other aspects of health care in Afghanistan. But some experts are questioning the accuracy of the results.
John Moore Getty Images

A U.S.-sponsored mortality survey released last year announced huge improvements in health across Afghanistan. But the gains are so great that experts are still arguing about whether it's correct.

During three decades of war, Afghanistan remained a black hole of health information. The few mortality studies looked at a small slice of the population and then extrapolated.

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Tue January 17, 2012

High Court Lets Stand Trio Of First Amendment Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear a trio of cases involving free speech and religion.

In the first set of cases, the court declined to address the burgeoning legal debate over what powers school officials have to censor students who are at home, working on their personal computers, when they create parodies or personal attacks involving school officials or fellow students.

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