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Opinion
1:50 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Internet Exiles Stores On Main Street

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John Timmons, owner of ear X-tacy in Louisville, Ky., closed his record shop after 26 years of business because of the bad economy.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Open any children's book with a scene set downtown and you'll see a picture of basically the same row of shops. There's a bookstore, a pharmacy, a florist, a post office and a bank, and maybe a bakery where the kids can hope for a free cookie.

Nearly all those businesses are under threat from the Internet.

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World Cafe
1:43 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Primus On World Cafe

Primus.
Courtesy of the artist

Formed in 1984, Primus is best known for its irreverent funk-metal style, which came to dominate radio airwaves in the '90s. Since releasing its official debut in 1989, the band has experienced lineup changes over the years, but one important element has remained constant: the spiraling bass lines of lead singer and bassist Les Claypool. Throughout the '90s, Primus grew a cult following, then burst into the mainstream with releases like 1993's Pork Soda. The group also wrote the now-classic opening theme for South Park before going on hiatus in 2000.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

Obama Administration Will Ease Path To Legality For Some Immigrants

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 2:26 pm

The Obama administration said it is proposing a change for the way some apply to become legal, permanent residents of the United States. The change would affect American citizens whose children or spouses are in the country illegally.

The current rule mandates that in order to apply for legal status, a person must return to their country and wait there while the long process continues. The rule tweak would allow those family members to stay in the country while the application works its way through the bureaucracy.

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Economy
12:53 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

U.S. Economy: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

AndrewJohnson iStockphoto.com

When it comes to unemployment reports in an election year, it's not just the data — it's also the spin.

Friday's jobs report could be seen as good news — at 8.5 percent, it's the lowest in three years. Good news for President Obama? Not according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who lost no time in pointing out that the number is still above 8 percent — the figure that the president said would be the worst case under his 2009 stimulus package.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Fri January 6, 2012

U.S. Navy Reports Rescuing 13 Iranians From Somali Pirates

Thursday: The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responds to a distress call from the master of the Iranian-flagged fishing dhow Al Molai.
U.S. Navy photo

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Television
11:52 am
Fri January 6, 2012

This Weekend, Some New Shows (And Old Favorites)

Don Cheadle plays business consultant Marty Kaan in the new Showtime comedy House of Lies.
Jordin Althaus Showtime

The New Year brings with it new TV programming, and this Sunday is an especially busy one for television. Two new series premiere, while one miniseries and several other series return.

But because it's a new year, let's start with the new shows.

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Movie Reviews
11:46 am
Fri January 6, 2012

'Extremely Loud' And Incredibly Manipulative

A year after his father's death in the World Trade Center, 11-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) sets out on a citywide scavenger hunt to find a missing lock that he hopes will reveal a message from his dad.
Francois Duhamel Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:24 pm

Some critics are indignant over Stephen Daldry's film of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They say the appropriation of Sept. 11 for such a sentimental work is exploitation.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:46 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Middle-Aged Brains Are Already Past Their Prime

iStockphoto.com

You may want to read this twice if you're older than 45. In fact, you may have to.

That's because your mental abilities are already in decline, according to a study of 7,390 British civil servants just published in BMJ, the British Medical Journal.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Pained By Prices At The Pump? They're Likely To Go Even Higher

Don't spill any. It's expensive.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 11:26 am

This could be "the year of the gas-pocalypse" analysts tell the Los Angeles Times, "because gasoline prices are the highest ever for the start of the year, and they're on the rise, supercharged by expensive oil and changes in refinery operations."

Indeed, check out some of this reporting and analysis from GasBuddy.com:

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Crisis In The Housing Market
10:46 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Can Construction Help Build The Recovery?

A construction worker walks on the roof of a newly built home in Westport, Conn. The construction sector, which has been battered by the depressed housing sector, added 17,000 jobs in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 11:05 am

Of all the good news in the December unemployment report, perhaps the most encouraging sign for the 2012 labor market was the increase in construction jobs. That sector has lost more than 2 million jobs as the housing market imploded 5 years ago, but increases in construction hiring and spending could be cautious signs of a turnaround, analysts say.

Overall, employers created 200,000 jobs last month, sending the U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

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It's All Politics
10:38 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Taking New Hampshire's Temperature, On A Frozen Lake

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H.
John W. Pool NPR

Reporter Liz Halloran and I have been motoring around New Hampshire the past few days, chasing candidate events and taking the political temperature of the state.

On the way to a Santorum event Thursday we spotted a small lake dotted with ice fishing shelters — the first we'd seen all week. Apparently, the ice only became thick enough in the last two weeks or so.

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Business
10:37 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report Lifts Markets

The Labor Department announced Friday that 200,000 jobs were created in December, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent. The new hiring came largely in transportation and warehousing. Tens of thousands of other people found jobs in retail and manufacturing.

Remembrances
10:33 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Barbara Lea: Remembering A Versatile Cabaret Singer

Barbara Lea was a singer known for her straightforward interpretations, precise diction, and respect for the intentions of each song's composer and lyrist. She died December 26th at the age of 82, from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Lea got her start singing in clubs in the 1950s. Her first album, A Woman in Love, released in 1955, was named one of the finest recordings of the year. Though she dropped out of singing for a while, she made a comeback in New York's cabaret world in the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Report: Tiny Miscalculation Might Have Slightly Skewed Iowa Caucuses Count

Barb Hansen tallies votes during a GOP caucus in precinct 42 near Smithland, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 10:38 am

"Could Typo Rewrite Caucus History?"

That's the headline at the website of Des Moines' KCCI-TV, which reports that one Republican from Iowa's Appanoose County thinks a miscount at a caucus attended by 53 people there might have mistakenly contributed to Mitt Romney's reported eight-vote victory over Rick Santorum.

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The Salt
10:23 am
Fri January 6, 2012

What's In That Food? The SuperTracker Knows

The SuperTracker is an interactive tool that builds off of MyPlate.gov.
USDA

January is a giddy time for weight-loss companies, which usually rake in profits as New Year's resolutions shuttle earnest dieters to their doors. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would like to get in on the action, too. Not the money, mind you. The feds want us to use their new online food-and-exercise tracker, SuperTracker.

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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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