3:01pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Latin America

In Mexico, Tourism Survives Bloody Drug War

Mexico has launched a publicity blitz to attract more tourists. The vast majority of tourists travel to just one of a half-dozen destinations in Mexico — including Cancun, shown here last year — far from the drug violence.

Gustavo Graf Bloomberg via Getty Images

Yes, the drug war has created an image problem. But Mexico has launched an aggressive publicity blitz to try to attract more tourists, and it seems to be succeeding.

Even President Felipe Calderon is involved in the full court press to tout the wonders, delicacies and marvels of Mexico to potential visitors.

On the PBS program The Royal Tour of Mexico, Calderon serves as the on-camera guide for TV host Peter Greenberg. The president leads a zip-line tour across a rain forest, rappels into a cave, climbs Mayan ruins and snorkels along a coral reef.

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3:00pm

Tue October 18, 2011
NPR Story

Voters Pass Initiative Aimed At Stopping Alaska Mine

Voters in southwest Alaska have narrowly passed an initiative aimed at stopping an open pit copper and gold mine. The proposed Pebble Mine in near one of the largest sockeye salmon spawning areas. But whether digging continues will likely be decided in the Alaska State Supreme Court.

3:00pm

Tue October 18, 2011
NPR Story

Dan Wheldon Remembered By Fellow Driver

Sunday's fiery crash on a Las Vegas speedway, which killed driver Dan Wheldon, is sparking debate about the safety of Indy Car racing. Melissa Block talks with Will Power, who was in that race on Sunday. He also crashed and was hospitalized for injuries. He's now home in North Carolina.

2:57pm

Tue October 18, 2011
It's All Politics

GOP Las Vegas Debate Finds Focus On Cain As Romney Cruises

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Mitt Romney and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (r) take photos with supporters as Romney opens his state headquarters in Las Vegas, October 17, 2011.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

As Republican presidential candidates gird for their eighth debate, this one in Las Vegas, Nev., Tuesday evening, a central question is: how will the Herman Cain phenomenon shape the event?

With the one-time pizza company CEO near or at the top of the GOP field depending on which poll you consult, he's likely to draw more attention from the other candidates at the debate than was true in any of their previous meetings. The two-hour debate will be carried by CNN at 8 pm ET.

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2:50pm

Tue October 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Police: BlackBerry Outage Led To Fewer Traffic Accidents In Abu Dhabi

Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

As Mark has reported, BlackBerry users faced a text messaging outage for three days straight last week. Yesterday, BlackBerry offered some customers $100 in free apps as an apology.

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2:09pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Around the Nation

Maine Strained By Use Of Cocaine-Like 'Bath Salts'

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 10:48 pm

Although Shane Heathers was warned about the dangers of using synthetic stimulants known as bath salts, he said he wanted to try the drug anyway. He injected it day and night for a week before he ended up at the hospital. Several more bath salts binges followed.

Jay Field for NPR

States across the country continue to fight the spread of a dangerous new drug: bath salts.

They aren't anything like those soothing crystals you pour into the tub — they're synthetic stimulants, so-called designer drugs that cause paranoid, psychotic, often violent behavior in users.

Bath salts can still be purchased legally in some states and, in some cases, over the Internet.

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2:01pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Law

Businesses Push Back On Foreign Bribery Law

One of the federal government's few success stories when it comes to policing corporate crime in recent years comes from a post-Watergate law called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA.

Prosecutors have used the law to get more than $1 billion in bribery fines out of huge companies like Siemens and DaimlerChrysler.

But now the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pushing back: It has hired former Justice Department leaders to make the case that the law is out of date.

Critics: Law Has Huge Consequences

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1:46pm

Tue October 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Policy Reversed: Marines May Wear 'KIA Bracelets' Honoring The Fallen

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 2:10 pm

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Nolen, a corpsman with Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, wears a memorial bracelet or KIA (killed in action) bracelet in honor of his fallen squad leader Cpl. Michael W. Ouellette, who was killed during a patrol in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes marines.mil

"The Marine Corps is ending its controversial ban on bracelets honoring U.S. troops killed in combat," Marine Corps Times is reporting.

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1:42pm

Tue October 18, 2011
The Two-Way

For The First Time, 50 Percent Of Americans Say U.S. Should Legalize Pot

Gallup

Since Gallup started asking Americans in 1969 whether use of marijuana should be legal, most have said no. But in a Gallup poll released yesterday, half of Americans said the government should legalize pot use.

That is a record high.

Here's Gallup's historical chart for the question:

And here's how they characterize the shift in public opinion:

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1:32pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Science/Health

Florida Docs can now Check Patients' Pill Use

Florida has finally implemented an electronic database where the state's doctors can check their patients' prescription drug history. It's hoped the information will curb doctor shopping and other pain pill abuses.  The Palm Beach Post reported that the Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation system went online Monday. The bill establishing the system was nearly killed by Florida's Republican governor and other influential GOP lawmakers.

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