2:12pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Halfway Point for Bridge Repairs

One month after steel deliveries began, contractors have passed a halfway point with repairs to the I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge that connects Louisville and New Albany, Ind. More than half of the 2.4 million pounds of reinforcing steel plates needed have been delivered and are being installed. Hall Contracting of Kentucky has billed work already completed worth 62 percent of the contract’s $13.9 million value, according to a press release from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Under an agreement between the two states, Indiana is responsible for maintaining the Sherman Minton Bridge.

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2:10pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Middle East

The State Of Syria: Civil War Or Vicious Stalemate?

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 12:00 pm

Syrian army defectors wave the Syrian revolution flag Thursday, shortly after they defected to join the anti-regime protesters.
STR AP

One thing that's certain about the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad is that there is nothing romantic about it.

Unlike Egypt, there's no Tahrir Square filled with hundreds of thousands of people calling for democracy. Unlike Libya, there's no Mad Max warriors in the desert fighting a dictator with guns they've welded to the backs of their pickup trucks.

Instead, grim news seeps out piecemeal from unofficial sources. Most of the reports are little more than body counts, with most of the fatalities blamed on the Syrian security forces.

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2:09pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

To Shrink Budget, Pentagon Proposes Cutting 100,000 Ground Troops

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 3:18 pm

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the the Pentagon will propose a $33 billion cut in the military's budget, for the 2013 fiscal year.

The AP reports that will be achieved by reducing ground forces by 100,000 and by eliminating older aircraft.

The AP reports:

"Defense Secretary Leon Panetta tells a Pentagon news conference the administration will request a 2013 budget of $525 billion, plus another $88 billion for operations in Afghanistan. Combined, those totals are about $33 billion less than the Pentagon is spending this year.

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2:09pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Working Long Hours Can Be Depressing, Truly

Originally published on Fri February 3, 2012 1:12 pm

Working long hours may get you more than a paycheck.
iStockphoto.com

Putting in a lot of of overtime can make a person more vulnerable to depression.

You might have guessed that. But now there are some hard numbers, thanks to a study that tracked the health of civil service workers in Great Britain.

People who worked 11 hours a day or more, more than doubled their risk of major depression compared with colleagues putting in eight hours a day.

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2:05pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

At Penn State: Memorial Service Under Way For Joe Paterno

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 7:32 pm

Sue Paterno, widow of Joe Paterno, consoles one of her grandsons following the memorial service.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

An estimated 10,000 people are a memorial service for former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, on the school's campus in the Bryce Jordan Center this afternoon.

The Big Ten Digital Network is among several outlets that will be webcasting the service.

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2:04pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Salt

Gardening Map Of Warming U.S. Has Plant Zones Moving North

The new version of the map includes 13 zones, with the addition for the first time of zones 12 (50-60 degrees F) and 13 (60-70 degrees F).
U.S. Department of Agriculture

It's official: Gardeners and farmers can count on warmer weather. If that's you, it might be a good time to rethink those flower and vegetable beds for this year's growing season.

That's the word from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which released a new version of its "Plant Hardiness Zone Map" this week, the first update since 1990. The color-coded zones on this map of the United States are widely used as a guide for what perennial flowers will survive in a particular area, or when to plant your vegetables.

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1:30pm

Thu January 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Chávez's Daughter Poses With Dollar Bills, Unleashes Anger, Internet Meme

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:55 am

Hugo Chávez's daughter posted this picture on Instagram.
Instagram

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is known for railing against U.S. capitalism. And it's not just talk. Since 2003, his government has made it very hard for Venezuelans to trade foreign currency.

So you can just imagine the uproar in the country when his 14-year-old daughter Rosinés Chávez published a picture of herself covering half her face with a wad of dollar bills.

The Guardian reports:

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12:36pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Home Births Grow More Popular In U.S.

Shannon Earle holds her new baby Kiera Breen Earle, moments after she was born at their home last year.
Amanda Steen NPR

The number of women delivering babies at home in the United States has increased significantly, according to the latest government data released Thursday.

Home births increased by 29 percent between 2004 and 2009.

The upward trend is being welcomed by some advocates of home births and midwives, but it's also raising concern among some doctors.

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12:18pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Presidential Race

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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12:00pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Around the Nation

Chinese New Year Unique For Adoptive Families

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 10:50 am

A traditional dance troupe performs in New York's Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese New Year. For many children adopted from China, the holiday is a time to learn about their heritage.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Chinese New Year celebrations kicked off earlier this week to herald the Year of the Dragon. Like many Americans raising children adopted from China, David Youtz and his wife like to use the holiday to instill in their children the importance of their ethnic heritage.

"We want them to feel a lot of pride in where they came from," Youtz says. "I think that's especially important when you're an adopted person."

The Mandarin speaker is the father of four Chinese daughters, three of whom are 7-year-old triplets.

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