3:15pm

Wed January 11, 2012
The Two-Way

How's The Economy? Federal Reserve Reports 'Ongoing Improvement'

As we've said before, to figure out what the Federal Reserve means when it reports about how the economy is doing and whether policymakers think it's doing better or worse, you need to carefully compare the central bank's latest words to what it has said in preceding months.

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3:12pm

Wed January 11, 2012
State Capitol

House Seat Redistricting

A plan to redraw all 100 Kentucky House districts is being pegged as unfair to Republicans because it forces up to nine GOP incumbents to run against each other.  The plan cleared the State Government Committee today despite complaints from Republicans.

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3:09pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Afghanistan

Afghan Announcements Annoy U.S., Hurt Relations

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, shown here during a press conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Kabul last month, has become increasingly combative toward the U.S. recently.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

U.S.-Pakistan ties are virtually frozen. And now, relations between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Washington are once again getting frosty.

Over the weekend Karzai surprised the Americans with the demand that the largest U.S.-run prison be turned over to Afghan control much sooner that planned.

It's the latest in a series of announcements by the Afghan government that sometimes appear designed to embarrass and annoy U.S. officials, as well as complicate American plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

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3:05pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Do Nicotine Patches And Gum Help Smokers Quit?

There are new questions about the value of nicotine patches and gum in helping people quit smoking.
Patrik Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Nicotine patches and gums have been helping smokers quit for decades. Right?

Even President Obama, once the Smoker in Chief, has kicked the habit with the help of nicotine replacement therapy, according to his doctor's latest report.

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3:05pm

Wed January 11, 2012
It's All Politics

Sign The End Is Nigh For Huntsman? In Hypothetical, Colbert Beats Him In S.C.

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 3:34 pm

Stephen Colbert.
Scott Gries PictureGroup

After a third-place finish in New Hampshire, the state he poured his heart and soul into and placed all his bets on, Jon Huntsman doesn't need any more bad news. Just a cursory look at the headlines, and you find they're mostly talking about the end. Even the Christian Science Monitor doesn't mince words, asking, "Is Jon Huntsman toast?"

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3:04pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Middle East

Death Of Iranian Nuclear Expert Adds To Tensions

Iranian security forces inspect the site where a magnetic bomb attached to a car by a motorcyclist exploded outside a university in Tehran on Jan. 11, 2012, killing nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
Sajad Safari AFP/Getty Images

An explosion in Tehran Wednesday killed an Iranian nuclear scientist while he was driving his car. It's the fifth such death in five years, and Iranian officials immediately blamed Israel. The attack is the latest manifestation of escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

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3:00pm

Wed January 11, 2012
NPR Story

GOP Debates The Meaning Of Capitalism

A funny thing has happened on the way to the GOP presidential nomination: A fight broke out over the meaning of capitalism. Former Speaker New Gingrich is drawing bright lines between private equity and industrialists — he sees it as the difference between looters and inventors.

2:59pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Latin America

Pope To Visit Cuba To Endorse Church's Growing Role

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 5:59 pm

Pope Benedict XVI will travel in March to Cuba, where he's expected to endorse the growing dialogue between the church and the state. Here, an employee from the Rome's Biopark zoo holds a rare Cuban crocodile Wednesday, as he meets the pontiff at the Vatican. The crocodile will be returned to Cuba around the time the pope visits the island.
Osservatore Romano AP

When Pope Benedict XVI goes to Latin America in March, Mexico is an obvious choice, with nearly 100 million Catholics.

But communist-run Cuba is also on his itinerary. The 84-year-old pontiff does not travel often, and this leg of his trip will be a strong show of support for Cuba's church leaders and their growing role in pushing President Raul Castro's government for change.

More than anywhere else in Cuba, the Santa Rita church in Havana's Miramar district is the place where religion and politics intersect.

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2:51pm

Wed January 11, 2012
Election 2012

Election 2012 Moves On, And America Yawns

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:45 am

A man walks past campaign workers touting their candidates during voting in the New Hampshire primary, at Webster Elementary School in Manchester on Tuesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Tuesday was an exciting night for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. In mid-Ohio, not so much.

By about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the bankruptcy of a local barbecue restaurant chain was one of several stories ranked higher in the "most popular stories" list on The Columbus Dispatch's website than anything coming out of the GOP primary.

For many people, the election so far just hasn't been that interesting — and it might be even less so if Romney again rakes in the chips in South Carolina next week, adding to the perception that his nomination is virtually a done deal.

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2:48pm

Wed January 11, 2012
All Tech Considered

Man And Machines: Beyond Touch

A demonstration of Oblong's g‑speak SOE (spatial operating environment), technology that was featured in the film Minority Report.
oblong.com

Computer chips and technology are invading all sorts of previously dumb devices. Phones are now smart. Cars are becoming connected computers on wheels. Call it the computerization of everything. But how we interact with these machines is bound to evolve.

At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, touch pads are everywhere — in phones, in tablets and laptop screens. And Brad Feld has had enough.

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