3:05am

Thu March 7, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Looks For A Spring Thaw With Congress To Start Melting Deficit

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:44 pm

President Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday following a meeting with congressional leaders.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama is hoping for a spring thaw in White House-congressional relations.

The president had dinner Wednesday night with a small group of Republican lawmakers. He's also planning rare visits to Capitol Hill next week to discuss his agenda with both Democrats and Republicans.

Aides say Obama is trying to locate what he calls a "caucus of common sense" in Congress to tackle the country's long-term budget challenges.

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3:04am

Thu March 7, 2013
Law

Challenge To Michigan's Gay Marriage Ban Grows From Adoption Case

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:36 pm

April DeBoer (second from left) sits with her adopted daughter Ryanne, 3, and Jayne Rowse and her adopted sons Jacob, 3, and Nolan, 4, at their home in Hazel Park, Mich., on Tuesday.
Paul Sancya AP

A federal judge in Michigan could rule as soon as Thursday on a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. The challenge comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases dealing with gay marriage later this month.

In the Michigan case, a lesbian couple sued not because they want to be married, but because they want to be parents.

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3:02am

Thu March 7, 2013
Africa

In Post-Revolution Egypt, Fears Of Police Abuse Deepening

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:29 am

An Egyptian military police officer argues with protesters during a demonstration on June 14, 2012, outside the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's police force was the underpinning of former President Hosni Mubarak's iron-fisted regime, and it quickly became the enemy of Egypt's 2011 revolution.

Yet there has been little to no reform of the police force to date. Human rights groups say the police have begun to act like armed gangs, laying down collective punishment in restive areas across the country. But the police say they are the victims, under constant attack by anti-government protesters.

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3:02am

Thu March 7, 2013
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences

With Budget Cuts For Ports, Produce May Perish

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:48 pm

Border security agents stop a truck at a checkpoint on the way to Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters the U.S. at the border crossing than at any other point of entry in the country.
Qi Heng Xinhua/Landov

Budget-cutting from the government sequester that began March 1 could affect U.S. exports and imports, including what we eat.

Customs and Border Protection officers regulate trade at the nation's 329 ports of entry, in harbors, airports and on land.

One by one, drivers approach booths with Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters here than at any other place in the U.S. Semis filled with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers headed to grocery stores around the country.

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3:01am

Thu March 7, 2013
Planet Money

Andrew Sullivan Is Doing Fine

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:24 am

Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Two months ago, the popular political blogger Andrew Sullivan left the comfortable world of big media and struck out on his own. His bold new plan: Ask readers to pay $19.99 a year or more to subscribe to his blog.

"It was either quit blogging, or suck it up and become a businessman," he told me.

The usual way bloggers make money (if they make money at all) is to sell advertising. But Sullivan figured he could get his devoted reader base to pay. Within the first week, he'd raised half a million dollars. By the end of about two months, the total had crept up to $625,000.

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2:59am

Thu March 7, 2013
The Salt

In A Grain Of Golden Rice, A World Of Controversy Over GMO Foods

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:44 am

Genetically modified to be enriched with beta-carotene, golden rice grains (left) are a deep yellow. At right, white rice grains.
Isagani Serrano International Rice Research Institute

There's a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that's unlike any rice ever seen before. It's yellow. Its backers call it "golden rice." It's been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.

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7:38pm

Wed March 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Law Targets Sexual Violence On College Campuses

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:30 am

When President Obama signs an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday afternoon, the law will include new requirements for how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault.

Laura Dunn, who's been invited by the White House to attend, plans to be there.

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6:13pm

Wed March 6, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Spent Too Much In Iraq, Got Little In Return, Watchdog Report Says

Ten years and $60 billion in taxpayer funds later, Iraq is still so unstable and broken that even its leaders question whether U.S. efforts to rebuild it were worth the cost. That's the finding of a report to Congress by Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
Evan Vucci AP

A decade and $60 billion later what does the U.S. have to show for the reconstruction efforts in Iraq? That's the question being answered by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction in his final report to Congress.

The report by Stuart Bowen was based upon audits and inspections, as well as interviews with Iraqi and U.S. officials and politicians. Here's the crux of what happened to that money, according to the report:

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5:57pm

Wed March 6, 2013
The Two-Way

House Gives OK To $982 Billion Short-Term Spending Bill

The House has approved a bill to fund the federal government through the end of September. The $982 billion continuing resolution introduced by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), who heads the Appropriations Committee, would avoid a potential government shutdown on March 27.

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5:36pm

Wed March 6, 2013
The Two-Way

Fossils Suggest Giant Relatives Of Modern Camels Roamed The Canadian Arctic

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Illustration of the High Arctic camel on Ellesmere Island during the Pliocene warm period, aboutthree-and-a-half million years ago. The camels lived in a boreal-type forest. The habitat includeslarch trees and the depiction is based on records of plant fossils found at nearby fossil deposits.
Julius Csotonyi

Camels belong in the desert. That's what we've learned since grade school.

Today, NPR's Melissa Block talked to Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, who tells Melissa that fossils she has unearthed tell a different story.

The fossils, found on a frigid ridge in Canada's High Arctic, show that modern camels actually come from giant relatives that roamed the forests of Ellesmere Island 3.5 million years ago.

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