It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:06 pm

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Reports: Egyptian Cabinet Members Submit Resignations

From NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and The Associated Press, both in Cairo:

State TV in Egypt is reporting that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet have submitted their resignations to the nation's military council.

It isn't known, Soraya says, whether the interim government's resignations will be accepted.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

It's Still OK To Text 'Offensive' Words In Pakistan

Pakistani families walk past an advertisement for a cellular telephone company in Rawalpindi.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 12:40 pm

You can still text the name "Jesus Christ" and the word "naked" if you're a Pakistani with a cellphone.

Also still safe for texting: damn, nude and poop.

Those are among more than 1,600 words and phrases that the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency had reportedly ordered mobile companies in the country to block by today.

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Award-winning science journalist Alison Richards is deputy supervising senior editor for NPR's science desk.

On a daily basis, she manages the desk's output of science, environmental and technical stories; edits Robert Krulwich’s pieces; and helps bring highlights of WNYC's Radiolab to Morning Edition.

Richards initiates major science features and series for NPR. She was the architect and lead editor of the year long “Climate Connections” series with National Geographic. In 2008, this global series was a finalist for the prestigious Grantham Prize and the National Academies Communication Award. In addition, Richards shared the top award in 2009 from the National Academies for the digital and multimedia presentation of this series.

The Salt
12:22 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

For The Origins Of Pie, Look To The Humble Magpie

A drawing of a medieval pie baker, circa 1465-1475.
Courtesy of Institut für Realienkunde

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:26 pm

This is the month when the stately, voluptuous turkey takes a place of pride on most dinner tables. But when it comes to dessert, it's worth considering the relevance of another bird — the humble magpie.

That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" — defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry — may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:22 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Does Diabetes Need A Blue Circle To Establish Its Disease Cred?

Is there room for a blue diabetes button?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:54 am

Breast cancer has a pink ribbon. Cystic fibrosis has a purple ribbon. Heart disease has a red ribbon.

Would diabetes be easier for people to talk about if it had a blue circle?

Some advocates think so and have been pushing various diabetes groups to unite behind the color blue. The idea has a lot of traction outside the United States.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Israeli Defense Minister: 'Time Has Come' To Act On Iran

Israel's Minister Defence Ehud Barak responds to a reporters question as he takes part in a press conference with Canada's Minister of Defence Peter MacKay in Ottawa.
Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press

A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which concluded Iran was working on nuclear weapons, continues to reverberate internationally. Yesterday, in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak was asked bluntly if Israel would attack Iran's nuclear facilities.

Here's how Barak answered:

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Stocks Down Sharply At Midday

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 3:38 pm

The likely collapse of the so-called supercommittee's efforts to put together a deficit-reduction deal and continued concern about the debt crisis in Europe are pushing stocks lower on Wall Street.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Mon November 21, 2011

No Criminal Charges Against Justice Dept. Lawyers Who Prosecuted Stevens

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 11:59 am

The Justice Department lawyers who prosecuted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will not face criminal contempt charges for failing to share evidence that could have helped his defense team, a federal judge said Monday.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan and the special prosecutor he appointed, Washington lawyer Henry Schuelke, had tough words for the Justice Department, though.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Mon November 21, 2011

For Cairo Protesters, 'The Revolution Is Not Over'

Earlier today a protester stood on top of a burned car in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:38 pm

From Cairo's Tahrir Square, where three days of clashes between authorities and thousands of protesters have left more than 20 people dead and more than 1,700 injured, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says the Egyptians who have taken to the streets again:

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