8:31am

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Thursday Political Grab Bag: Obama And UK's Cameron Showcase Unity

The Obamas and Camerons at the White House before a state dinner for the British prime minister.
Susan Walsh AP

In the wake of the alleged killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he wants all NATO troops moved onto existing large bases and a faster handover of security responsibilities to his nation's forces. This dovetails with growing opinion in the U.S. that the withdrawal of American troops happen sooner than scheduled.

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7:58am

Thu March 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Mississippi Builds Insurance Exchange, Even As It Fights Health Law

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 8:24 am

Mississippi, unlike some of its neighbors, is moving ahead with an insurance exchange.
iStockphoto.com

Mississippi, a deeply red Southern state that is part of the Supreme Court case against the health law, is moving full speed ahead with one of the key provisions of that law: an online health insurance exchange.

Unlike Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and other conservative states in the South, Mississippi is well on its way to having an insurance exchange ready for operation by the 2014 deadline laid out by the health overhaul law.

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7:42am

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama's Unofficial Ambassador To The Middle Class — V.P. Biden — Hits Ohio

Vice President Joe Biden poses with an uncooperative baby at a speech in Tallahassee, Fla., on Feb. 6. On Thursday, he's in Ohio to begin a series of speeches aimed at framing the presidential race.
Phil Sears AP

Vice President Joe Biden wears a lot of different hats in the Obama administration. He's a longtime Senate insider who can negotiate with Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell. He's a foreign policy veteran who helped to lead the transition in Iraq.

And one other thing to keep in mind, whenever there's idle political gossip about replacing Biden on the ticket with Hillary Cinton: He serves as a kind of White House ambassador to the middle class.

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7:38am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Fell By 15,000 Last Week

There was a 14,000 decline in the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported:

"In the week ending March 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 351,000, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 365,000. The 4-week moving average was 355,750, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 355,750."

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7:31am

Thu March 15, 2012
Afghanistan

Panetta, Karzai Meet After Villagers Are Massacred

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is in Afghanistan on a long-planned trip that has turned into something of a fence-mending mission. A U.S. soldier is accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. That attack is the latest in a series of negative events involving U.S. forces.

7:25am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Priest Defends Denying Communion To Lesbian Mourner

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 8:35 am

Saeed Khan AFP/Getty Images

The priest who was put on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Washington following a much-talked-about incident in which he denied communion to a lesbian woman attending her mother's funeral, has issued a long defense of his action and has said the church isn't being candid about the reason for its decision to put him on leave.

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6:49am

Thu March 15, 2012
Around the Nation

'Downton Abbey' Actors Attend State Dinner

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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6:43am

Thu March 15, 2012
Around the Nation

Bottles Of Tide Turn Up In Drug Bust

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:25am

Thu March 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghans Object, U.S. Officials Defend Decision To Move Massacre Suspect

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 9:35 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, with Col. John Shafer, at Foward Operating Base Shukvani in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Scott Olson Getty Images
  • Tom Bowman
  • Larry Abramson speaks with Renee Montagne

The news that the U.S. Army staff sergeant who is suspected of murdering 16 Afghan civilians has been moved to a detention facility in Kuwait is sparking some small protests in Afghanistan.

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3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Television

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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3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Asia

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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3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Business

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.

3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Election 2012

Biden Speeches To Frame Election Debate

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Afghanistan

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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3:00am

Thu March 15, 2012
Around the Nation

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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