10:31am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Orders To U.S. Factories Increased By 1.8 Percent In November

The United States saw an 1.8 percent uptick in orders to factories in November, marking a four-month high and signaling continued economic recovery. The Commerce Department also revised the data for Ocotber, which recorded a 0.2 percent drop.

Bloomberg reports:

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10:14am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan President Says He Supports Talks With Taliban

Afghanistan's president said his country would back a deal, which might allow the Taliban to open an office in Qatar where they could hold peace talks with the United States and Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan agrees with negotiations between United States of America and the Taliban which will result in the establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar," President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.

The AP adds:

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10:13am

Wed January 4, 2012
All Politics are Local

Perennial Gubernatorial Candidate Dead at 64

Lexington Herald Leader

Kentucky political figure and perennial gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith has died, according to Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn.Dea Riley, Galbraith's running mate in the 2011 gubernatorial election, posted the following message on her Facebook page Wednesday morning."Dear Friends, I have just been notified that Gatewood passed away last night. I am heading to Lexington to be with his family. Please say a prayer for his family and friends and all those who loved him."Galbraith, 64, ran unsuccessfully for governor 7 times. He was a Lexington criminal defense attorney. Dea Riley told Kentucky Public Radio's Brenna Angel she would to carry-on in his place.

10:10am

Wed January 4, 2012
Election 2012

Confident Romney, Bolstered Santorum Head To N.H.

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 12:33 pm

Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, attend a rally Tuesday night in Johnston, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The photo finish in Iowa — officially, Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum by only eight votes — has catapulted Santorum into the front ranks of Republican presidential hopefuls.

"This is huge news for Santorum," says Charlie Arlinghaus, who directs a conservative think tank in New Hampshire. "I don't think there's a way to spin the results without saying he's the big winner tonight."

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10:04am

Wed January 4, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

18 Alleged Dealers Charged in Pike Raid

Kentucky State Police Trooper Michael Webb escorts Bobby Bowling, 26, of Elkhorn City, into the Pike County Detention Center following a drug roundup on Tuesday. Bowling and several others were arrested in the bust, which targeted 18 people.
Chris Anderson Appalachian News-Express

A drug roundup in Pike County resulted in the arrest of nearly a dozen people on Tuesday. According to a statement from Operation UNITE, 10 people were arrested in Tuesday’s round-up which sought the arrest of 18 people suspected of drug trafficking.

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10:00am

Wed January 4, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Kentuckian Returns to Kabul for Wife, Son

Anyone who has eaten lunch at the Bread of Life Café in Liberty has no doubt been greeted by a young man who buses tables and always has a smile on his face. But what’s remarkable about the man is not his pleasant disposition but the fact that he does the work without any hands. Abdul Samad, 35, a refugee from Kabul, Afghanistan, lost both hands and his left eye when, as a teen, he picked up what he thought was a toy but turned out to be a landmine left by the Russians during the war.

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10:00am

Wed January 4, 2012
The Two-Way

Chinese Year Of The Dragon Postage Stamp Deemed 'Too Ferocious'

What A Difference A Year Makes: China's Year of the Dragon stamp, left, is decidedly more fearsome than last year's model, of a rabbit.
Webo/China Post

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, China's postal service plans to release commemorative postage stamps featuring the fabled beast. But many customers are finding the image to be a little over the top.

Here are some reactions cited by China's Xinhua news agency:

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9:58am

Wed January 4, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Neighbors Describe Terror of Estill Blast

Estill County resident H.D. Conrad, center, who said that "as the crow flies, I live about 11/2 miles away" from the scene of Monday night's gas pipeline explosion, talked to technicians from Columbia Gulf Transmission on Tuesday.
Lexington Herald Leader

Lingering flames stopped shooting from a broken gas transmissions pipeline in Estill County on Tuesday, leaving authorities with the task of determining what caused the Monday night explosion that wrecked the line. The blast frightened residents across Estill County, some fearing the nearby Blue Grass Army Depot, which stores large quantities of nerve gas, near Richmond had exploded. No injuries were reported, and most of the 30 to 35 families evacuated after the blast had returned to their homes by late Tuesday, according to the Estill County Emergency Management Agency. But a few homes near the gas line sustained damage such as broken windows or seared siding, officials said.

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9:57am

Wed January 4, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Calories Trump Protein For Weight Loss

A high-protein diet, without a reduction in calories, isn't a recipe for weight-loss success.
iStockphoto.com

When it comes to keeping off fat, protein sounds to some like a magic bullet.

For decades, people have been making the case that eating a lot more of it, as in the Atkins diet, or lots less of it, will change the body's metabolism, spurring weight loss.

But alas, it ain't so easy.

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9:35am

Wed January 4, 2012
Education

Rise In Spanish Speakers Has School Trying To Adapt

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 8:52 pm

Fifth-graders Miquel Vasquez, Luis Hernandez, Erica Medrano and Victor Vasquez are part of Vardaman Elementary School's growing Hispanic student population.
Annie Gilberson for NPR

Year over year, the number of Spanish-speaking kindergarteners at Vardaman Elementary School in northeast Mississippi has been on the rise.

Census numbers show the South has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country. Now, Vardaman Elementary is about to become Mississippi's first predominantly Latino primary school, and that's posing special challenges when it comes to finding teachers who can help Spanish-speaking students adapt to the American classroom.

Vardaman Takes Its Own Approach

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