5:18pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Italian Elections Produce Murky Result, Financial Jitters

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:41 pm

Workers open ballots in a polling station in Rome on Tuesday following Italy's general elections. The initial results showed a close race with no clear-cut winner, a development that made financial markets jumpy.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

As Italy's elections results came in Monday, the country appeared headed toward political gridlock, a development that rattled financial markets hoping for a clear result.

A center-left coalition, headed by Pier Luigi Bersani and favored in pre-election polls, looked like it would win the lower house of Parliament, according to partial results.

But in a surprise, the center-right grouping, headed by the former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, appeared to be ahead in the upper house.

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5:07pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Brooklyn Assemblyman Defends Blackface Costume

Dov Hikind is in the middle.
Facebook

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind is facing a storm of criticism after he dressed as an African-American basketball player in blackface. Hikind wore the costume to a party at his house celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.

He posted a picture of himself on Facebook wearing an afro wig and an orange jersey.

The New York Times reports that some fellow Democrats criticized the costume. The Times adds:

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5:02pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

Most People Can Skip Calcium Supplements, Prevention Panel Says

Forgoing calcium supplements is a fine approach for most people, a preventive services panel says.
iStockphoto.com

Women have been told for years that if they don't take calcium supplements religiously, they're putting themselves at risk of crippling hip fractures in old age.

Now the word from a major government panel: Why bother?

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5:01pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Health

Increased Humidity From Climate Change Could Make It Harder To Tolerate Summers

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now, a story about heat, the sweaty, miserable kind. Heat plus humidity. Working outdoors or playing sports on a hot, muggy day can be dangerous, even deadly. And as the climate continues to warm, being outside will become even more challenging. Those are the findings of a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change.

NPR's Richard Harris tells us more.

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5:01pm

Mon February 25, 2013
U.S.

Alabama Divided As Court Prepares To Hear Voting Rights Challenge

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

A young demonstrator is attacked by a police dog in Birmingham, Ala., in May 1963. Scenes like these helped usher in the nation's landmark civil rights law, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over a key provision of the law.
Bill Hudson AP

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a challenge to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The law's future is to be decided in a case from Alabama, the very place the statute was born.

Shelby County, Ala., is fighting a section of the law that requires states and localities with a history of discrimination to seek federal approval for any changes to election rules.

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5:01pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Television

An Oprah-less Chicago Tries To Keep Talk Show Spirit Alive

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

Members of the studio audience wait outside Harpo Studios before the final taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Chicago in May 2011.
Paul Beaty AP

It's been nearly two years since Oprah ended her daily show, and Chicago's been adjusting to the loss of the daytime talk queen. Although she left a huge void, there's no need to write an obituary for the TV talk genre in Chicago.

In the lobby of Chicago's NBC Towers, the crowd of excited fans gathered for a TV taping is reminiscent of the Oprah days of old. But instead of Oprah, they're lined up to see veteran comedian Steve Harvey's show.

"I like Steve's energy. I like his shows. He's funny. He covers all topics," says fan Deloris Neal.

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4:32pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Africa

Fearing Election Turmoil, Kenyans Seek A Tech Solution

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 8:22 pm

Kenyan authorities are trying to guard against fraud and violence when they hold a presidential election on March 4. Here, voters register on biometric equipment last December in Nairobi.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

As Kenya prepares for a presidential election next Monday, it's trying to prevent a recurrence of the last such poll, in December 2007, when more than 1,000 people were killed in postelection violence.

Last time, technology helped incite that violence. This time, the hope is that technology will help prevent a similar outburst.

Last time around, a text message came on Dec. 31, 2007, four days after a presidential election that many people in the Kalenjin tribe thought was rigged.

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4:32pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Shots - Health News

To Spot Kids Who Will Overcome Poverty, Look At Babies

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:25 am

For some kids who grow up in poverty, the bond developed with Mom is especially important in dealing with stress.
iStockphoto.com

Why do some children who grow up in poverty do well, while others struggle?

To understand more about this, a group of psychologists recently did a study.

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4:15pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Salt

The Vaportini: A Cocktail Inhaled, Not Stirred

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:49 pm

A sip or a hit? Jack Faller sucks up a bourbon Vaportini at Red Kiva lounge in Chicago.
Courtesy of Andrew Nawrocki/Time Out Chicago

Here at The Salt, we've heard about some whacky cocktail trends swirling around the country recently — from bacon-infused mescals in Washington to liquid nitrogen martinis in San Francisco.

But why do you need to drink your cocktail when you could inhale it instead?

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3:24pm

Mon February 25, 2013
The Two-Way

Plains Will See Second 'Crippling, Historic Blizzard' In As Many Weeks

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:40 pm

Blizzard conditions persist in Lubbock, Texas, on Monday. The storm system packing snow and high winds has been tracking eastward across western Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.
Betsy Blaney AP

Just a week after a blizzard swept through an area from Western New Mexico to West Texas, another system is dumping record snowfall today.

The headline from the National Weather Service in Amarillo, Tex.? "Crippling, Historic Blizzard Ongoing."

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