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It's All Politics
9:11 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Under Media Glare, Santorum's Record Draws Closer Look

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum talks with a customer while surrounded by news crews as he pays a visit to customers at the Tilt 'n Diner in Tilton, NH, on Jan. 5.
ROD LAMKEY JR The Washington Times /Landov

Now that he's getting his moment at the front of the GOP pack, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is drawing the kind of scrutiny he's escaped during all those lonely months at the bottom of the polls.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Jobless Rate Dips To 8.5 Percent, 200,000 Jobs Added To Payrolls

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.5 percent — its lowest level in nearly three years — as 200,000 jobs were were added to payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

We'll add more details from the report shortly, so hit your "refresh" button to see our latest updates.

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. Looking Back:

At 8.5 percent, the jobless rate is the lowest since February 2009's 8.3 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Coming Up: December Jobs And Unemployment Report

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:57 am

The most-anticipated story of the morning seems to be the December jobs and unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is due for release at 8:30 a.m. ET.

We'll post on the news as soon as possible after it's available.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Penn State Ready To Name New Football Coach, ESPN Says

Bill O'Brien, offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 7:42 am

Penn State University has chosen New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to be its next head football coach and the man who will try to rebuild a program that was rocked last fall by a scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno the job, ESPN reports. The sports network says an announcement is expected to be made Saturday.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Bomb Wreaks Death, Destruction In Damascus

Syria's official news agency distributed this photo of a bus said to have been damaged by today's explosion in Damascus.
AFP/Getty Images

There's been an explosion in central Damascus today and there are reports of multiple deaths and dozens of injuries.

As always in Syria, where the regime of President Bashar Assad tries to control the news, it's difficult to get an accurate sense of just what is going on. The regime is blaming its opponents, who have been protesting against Assad since last spring. Activists are questioning whether the attack was staged by supporters of the regime to make the opposition look bad.

Here's some of what's being reported:

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Strange News
6:58 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Sweden Recognizes File-Sharing Group As Religion

The Church of Kopimisms received approval last month form the Swedish government. The church opposes copyrights in all forms and encourages piracy of all types.

Shots - Health Blog
6:50 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Monkey Experiments Boost Hope For Human AIDS Vaccine

A rendering of a key protein the simian immunodeficiency virus uses to reproduce.
Wikimedia Commons

Researchers trudging down the long and twisted path toward an AIDS vaccine are encouraged by new studies that show an experimental vaccine protects monkeys against infection with a virus that is very similar to HIV.

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Around the Nation
6:50 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Stolen Car Lands Perfectly On Calif. House Roof

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
6:45 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Winter Wonderland? Not In New England

Unseasonable temperatures and lack of snow have a lot of New Englanders singing the blues. In Maine, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and Nordic skiing are a big part of the winter economy. Downhill ski areas are making due with man-made snow, but those other industries have no choice but to wait for Mother Nature.

Around the Nation
6:40 am
Fri January 6, 2012

After 48 Years, Pa. Detective Retires

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're staying in Norristown, Pennsylvania for a workplace story about Oscar Vance. In two weeks he's retiring from the area district attorney's office where he's worked for nearly half a century. He is leaving as chief detective for Montgomery County, overseeing all investigations that come through the D.A.'s office.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Ceremonies Commemorate Tuscon Shooting

In Tucson, Ariz., this weekend, ceremonies will mark the shooting one year ago that killed six people and wounded 13 others including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords will be in town for the events.

Asia
5:38 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Nations Want Korean Peninsula To Remain Stable

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The death of Kim Jong Il in North Korea and the rise of his son Kim Jong Un have threatened to undermine the delicate balance of political forces in northeast Asia. It's a complicated part of the world, involving the interests of a still-divided Korean peninsula along with China, the U.S., as well as Japan and Russia. NPR's Mike Shuster has more from Seoul.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with predictions for 2012.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Director of the International Monetary Fund says this year will not be the end of the euro currency, despite the debt crisis in Europe. Christine Lagarde said during a visit to South Africa today that sovereign debt is a concern for many European countries, obviously. But the euro currency, she said, is solid.

Business
4:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Linda Wertheimer has the Last Word in business.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Fri January 6, 2012

N.H. Primary Is GOP's Next Nominating Contest

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been a favorite in New Hampshire, but Rick Santorum is now getting a second look by conservative voters. Steve Inskeep and Linda Wertheimer talk to NPR's Mara Liasson and Ken Rudin about the GOP presidential race.

The Arab Spring: One Year Later
12:01 am
Fri January 6, 2012

The Turkish Model: Can It Be Replicated?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) has been enthusiastically received by Arab Spring countries that look to Turkey as a potential model. Here, Erdogan hosts Mustafa Abdul Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council of Libya, in Istanbul, last month.
Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 11:09 am

In the Arab states that have ousted dictators and begun building new political and economic systems, many are looking to Turkey as an example of a modern, moderate Muslim state that works. Perhaps no country has seen its image in the Arab world soar as quickly as Turkey, a secular state that's run by a party with roots in political Islam. As part of our series on the Arab Spring and where it stands today, NPR's Peter Kenyon examines whether the "Turkish model" can be exported.

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It's All Politics
12:01 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Rick Santorum: The Underdog With A Loud Bark

Rick Santorum receives a call at his campaign headquarters during his Senate re-election bid in 2006. The former senator was attempting to keep his Pennsylvania Senate seat, which he later lost to Democrat Bob Casey, Jr.
Jeff Swensen Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is campaigning in New Hampshire after finishing a very close second in the Iowa caucuses. His success in the Hawkeye State was a surprise because Santorum was polling in the single digits there just a few weeks back.

For Santorum, surprising the political establishment is nothing new. Since he was first elected to Congress in 1990 — at 32 years old — Santorum has made a career out of being the underdog and usually winning.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Forget Stocks Or Bonds, Invest In A Lobbyist

Money goes in. More money comes out.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 12:17 pm

Corporations don't lobby Congress for fun. They lobby because it helps their bottom line. Getting a regulation gutted or a tax loophole created means extra cash for the corporation. But getting laws changed can be very expensive. How much money does a corporation get back from investing in a good lobbyist?

It's a messy, secretive system so it was always hard to study. But in 2004, economists found a bill so simple, so lucrative, that they could finally track the return on lobbying investment.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Tinker, Tailor, Actor, 'Spy'

istockphoto.com

In author Thomas Caplan's new novel, The Spy Who Jumped Off The Screen, the president asks movie star Ty Hunter to return to action as a secret agent.

Caplan himself is personally acquainted with a former commander in chief. President Clinton and he were once roommates.

"I was a student at Georgetown University. When we arrived as heady freshmen in 1964, because of the alphabet, I was assigned a room next to Bill Clinton," Caplan tells Morning Edition host Linda Wertheimer. "And we've remained friends ever since."

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