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Afghanistan
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

On Afghan Trip, Panetta Meets With Karzai

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan. It's a long-planned trip that's turned into something of a fence-mending mission. Yesterday, Panetta met with U.S. Marines and Afghan troops in the southern province of Helmand.

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Around the Nation
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Gas Prices Force More People To Take Rural Transit

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There is little question that rising gas prices are making life miserable for lots of motorists. But for small rural transit systems, it's both good and bad news. Good because it brings more riders on board. Bad because the cost of transporting them is busting budgets. Charlotte Albright from Vermont Public Radio has this report.

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Business
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Oil, Gas Drillers In Ohio Face Higher Taxes

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 4:22 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Tax hikes and tighter regulations are in store for gas and oil drillers in Ohio, if the governor has his way.

Yesterday, Republican John Kasich called for sweeping changes and stricter controls in handling the state's shale gas boom.

Tim Rudell, of member station WKSU, reports Kasich is normally anti-regulation but is making an exception.

TIM RUDELL, BYLINE: Governor John Kasich told oil and gas companies to show him the money.

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Television
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

TV Networks Roll Out Spring Replacement Shows

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A new ABC series, called "Missing," debuts tonight. It features Ashley Judd as a woman tracking her teen son in Europe who's mysteriously disappeared. TV critic Eric Deggans says the series is part of a new TV trend this spring: shows that are more experimental and edgy.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Would you believe Ashley Judd as a mom who works as a florist, but also used to be a deadly CIA operative?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MISSING")

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Asia
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

China Removes Flamboyant Politician From Post

Chongqing Municipality Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai leaves after the third plenary meeting of the National People's Congress at The Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 9. Bo had been seen as a leading contender to access the top rungs of power in China, but in a dramatic reversal of fortune, he was sacked Thursday amid a rare public scandal.
Feng Li Getty Images

In a moment of high political drama, China has removed flamboyant politician Bo Xilai from his post as party secretary of the major southern city of Chongqing. The sacking comes as Beijing approaches a once-in-a-decade power transition this fall, offering a glimpse of the Machiavellian political struggle behind the scenes.

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Business
3:00 am
Thu March 15, 2012

When A Normal Job Resignation Won't Do

When Greg Smith quit his job at Goldman Sachs, he slammed his former employer in a blistering newspaper essay. People don't often quit with such a public display of vitriol. But when they do, it certainly gets attention.

Author Interviews
11:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

The Wild And Crazy 'Tweets Of Steve Martin'

Steve Martin has won two Grammys for his comedy albums. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood and The Spanish Prisoner.

After 40 years on the stand-up stage, countless comedy albums and iconic movies, Steve Martin is still finding new ways to make people laugh.

The comedian got on Twitter in 2010, and by now he has attracted nearly 2.5 million followers with his funny and slightly demented tweets.

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Race
11:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Voters May Break Up Fight Over 'Fighting Sioux'

The University of North Dakota's Brad Eidsness makes a save during a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Since 2005, there have been a series of lawsuits and legislative actions over the nickname for the school's athletic teams, the "Fighting Sioux."
Josh Holmberg AP

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 7:34 am

The state Supreme Court in North Dakota is about to consider this question: Can lawmakers require a college to name its sports teams after a Native American tribe?

For decades, University of North Dakota teams have been known as the "Fighting Sioux." It's a name some see as an honor and others find demeaning. Now, the long fight over the Fighting Sioux may be settled in a courtroom.

2,400 Logos And A 'Vexing' Dispute

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The Salt
11:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

In France, Politicians Make Halal Meat A Campaign Issue

French President Nicolas Sarkozy listens to a butcher during a visit to the butchery pavilion at the Rungis international food market, near Paris, in February.
Anna Maria Jakub Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:29 pm

A provocative comment by an extreme right presidential candidate has started a debate that is dominating the French presidential campaign. France may be in the middle of an economic crisis, but politicians seem more interested in talking about halal meat and religious dietary rules.

It all began when National Front Party presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that non-Muslims in Paris were unwittingly eating halal meat.

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Planet Money
11:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

China's Giant Pool Of Dollars

There is an advantage to strengthening the currency for people in China: It makes their imports cheaper. A clerk counts bank notes in a bank in Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province.
Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 10:08 am

China's central bank is sitting on a giant pool of U.S. dollars. It's the world's biggest holder of foreign reserves, worth over $3 trillion at last count.

All that money has piled up because every year, China exports more than it imports; it runs a trade surplus.

There are lots of reasons for China's trade surplus. In the past few decades, China has built an amazing manufacturing ecosystem. It's become the factory to the world.

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