1:54pm

Fri November 11, 2011
Europe

Berlusconi's Days As 'Great Seducer' May Be At End

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 3:10 pm

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi delivers an address to Italy's Senate in December 2010. Berlusconi, whose political survival skills are legendary, promised to step down after the Senate approved an austerity package.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

The man known as Italy's Great Seducer may have finally lost his charm.

Silvio Berlusconi, the country's scandal-plagued prime minister, survivor of some 50 confidence motions over the years and twice thrown out of office, says he will exit from the Italian political scene now that the nation's parliament has passed an austerity package.

That resignation could come as early as this weekend, although there has been speculation that Berlusconi could hang on until as late as February, when new elections are expected to be held.

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1:42pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Mexico's Second-Highest Official Killed In Helicopter Crash

Mexican Interior Secretary Francisco Blake Mora.
Mexican Interior Ministry AFP/Getty Images

Mexican authorities say Secretary of the Interior Francisco Blake Mora, "the highest ranking official in the country after the president" and the person in charge of the fight against drug cartels, has been killed in a helicopter crash, The Associated Press reports from Mexico City. Seven other people also died, according to the Mexican government.

Reuters says that local media are reporting that the minister's helicopter went down south of Mexico City.

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1:40pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Commonwealth

Vote Indicates Public Support for Smoking Ban

Bowling Green City Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash said he believes voters sent a message in Tuesday’s election: Citizens are satisfied with the city’s smoking ban. Candidate Bill Goodwin emphasized during the campaign that he wants to revisit the city’s smoking ban and rewrite it. However, Goodwin garnered just 682 votes, or 8.6 percent.

1:33pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Salt

Man On A Mission: Create The World's Hottest Chile

Ed Currie's chilis are not for the faint of heart, tongue or stomach.
Tanner Latham WFAE

Look out, heat fiends. A chili pepper so outrageously hot that it makes 2 in 3 people who eat it throw up is about to hit online stores.

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1:21pm

Fri November 11, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Candlelight Tour Returns to Frankfort

Christmas lights were strung through the trees. Winter displays were set in most storefront windows. Horses pulling carriages clomped through downtown.This all can mean only one thing: The Candlelight Tour has returned. With families and friends bundled in winter garb, hundreds enjoyed the first night of the tour Thursday.

12:40pm

Fri November 11, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Tests Find Formaldehyde In More Hair Straighteners

A variety of hair-straightening products used in professional salons can expose both hairdressers and their customers to formaldehyde, an independent study finds. And the chemical can be really irritating, literally.

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12:25pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Two-Way

MF Global Fires All 1,066 Brokerage Employees

The spectacular collapse of the brokerage unit at MF Global has now cost all 1,066 employees their jobs.

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12:23pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Russia Running Out Of Time, As Mars Mission Seems Destined To Fail

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 3:58 pm

The Zenit-2SB rocket with Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-Soil) craft blasts off from its launch pad at the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Oleg Urusov AP

Russians are feeling pretty gloomy after spending days trying to contact a spacecraft aimlessly orbiting Earth.

The Phobos-Grunt spacecraft was destined for one of Mars' moons. As we reported earlier this week, it was supposed to scoop up some rocks and return home with its specimens, but one of its boosters failed to ignite and now it's stuck.

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12:10pm

Fri November 11, 2011
Movie Reviews

As The World Ends, A Certain 'Melancholia' Sets In

Kirsten Dunst's well-planned wedding takes place as a planet called Melancholia heads directly towards Earth.
Magnolia Pictures

Metaphors don't come balder than the one at the center of Lars von Trier's Melancholia. It's both the emotional state of the protagonist Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst, and also the name of a small planet on what might be a collision course with Earth. Actually, it does strike Earth in a lyrical, eight-minute, slow-motion prelude, but there's no way to know if that's real or a dream. Of course, the whole film can be taken as a dream, a bad but gorgeous one scored to the same few bars of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.

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12:09pm

Fri November 11, 2011
The Impact of War

Treating Soldiers With Severe Combat Wounds

David Wood is the senior military correspondent for The Huffington Post. He was previously a staff correspondent for Time Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The Baltimore Sun.

courtesy of David Wood

This interview was originally broadcast on October 13, 2011.

Improvements in medical care and equipment mean fewer troops are dying on the battlefield. But more troops are returning home severely wounded, with injuries that require lifelong care and cost millions of dollars in medical bills.

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