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Middle East
1:00 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Assad: Syria Not To Blame For Protester Deaths

In an interview with ABC News, Syrian President Bashar Assad says that he has not ordered his military to kill anti-government protesters there. Lynn Neary and Robert Siegel play some of the interview.

It's All Politics
12:57 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

New Mitt Romney Iowa Ad Makes Claim Newt Gingrich Can't: One Marriage

Mitt Romney had a handy counterargument for all those who have called him a political flip flopper: his apparent steadfastness in all his personal commitments, like his 42-year marriage to his wife Anne.

Turns out, that argument can do double duty since it helps Romney draw a contrast with Newt Gingrich who is on his third marriage.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Italy Arrests Major Mafia Boss Who Was Hiding In Underground Bunker

Italian policemen escort fugitive mobster Michele Zagaria, center, at the police headquarters in Naples.
Salvatore Laporta AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 1:14 pm

Italian police had to drill into a concrete bunker underground to get to Michele Zagaria. As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli tells our Newscast unit, the arrest of the mob boss is "huge."

Sylvia adds that Michele Zagaria "is the head of one of the bloodiest clans of the Neapolitan mafia called the Camorra and they've been involved in an enormous number of illegal activity. Probably the most prominent is the illegal transport and disposal of toxic waste, which has become a huge problem in the whole Naples area."

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NPR Story
12:36 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

The 'Codebreaker' Who Made Midway Victory Possible

The attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago this December set in motion a series of battles in the Pacific between the Japanese and the United States. The turning point in the Pacific came in June of 1942, when the U.S. surprised and defeated the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Midway.

That decisive victory was possible, in large part, because of the work of a little-known naval codebreaker named Joe Rochefort. His work deciphering codes revealed the details of when and how the Japanese planned to attack and handed a tremendous advantage to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Senator Calls For Justice's Criminal Division Chief To Step Down

Iowa Republican Charles Grassley took to the Senate floor Wednesday to declare that a senior Justice Department official "needs to go immediately" for allegedly misleading Congress in its 11-month-old investigation of a gun trafficking operation gone bad.

"It's past time for accountability at the senior levels of the Justice Department," Grassley said. "That accountability needs to start with the head of the criminal division, Lanny Breuer."

In a 15-minute speech, Grassley set out two main reasons for demanding Breuer's ouster.

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Newt Gingrich
12:06 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Gingrich's Most Important Adviser: Himself

Newt Gingrich, whose run for president nearly derailed earlier this year when many of his top staffers quit, now sits atop the polls. As a result, his campaign organization is growing. Here, he arrives at a town hall meeting last week in Staten Island, N.Y.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:29 pm

Back in June, the news out of the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign was dire.

Top staffers quit over differences about strategy, with some citing doubts about the candidate's seriousness — especially when he and his wife went on a cruise to the Greek Islands while his rivals stumped through New Hampshire and Iowa.

But now it's December, and Gingrich suddenly sits atop the polls. As a result, his organization is growing — as is the campaign brain trust. But Gingrich's most important adviser remains himself.

A Front-Runner's Staffing Needs

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It's All Politics
12:01 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Rick Perry Wears Faith On (Barn Coat) Sleeve In New Iowa Ad

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 12:48 pm

In the latest reminder that he's still in the race (if apparently not in the hunt) for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a new TV ad in Iowa in which he makes a naked appeal to the state's religious conservatives who are expected to play an important role in the upcoming caucuses.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Ex-Penn State Coach Sandusky Arrested On New Charges

Jerry Sandusky.
Pennsylvania Attorney General

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 2:29 pm

Multiple media outlets, including the AP and CNN, are reporting that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky has been arrested again, as new charges of sexual molestation have emerged.

Sandusky is already facing 40 counts related to the sexual assault of children. Sandusky has said repeatedly that he is innocent, but the case has engulfed the Penn State football program in controversy.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Wed December 7, 2011

'Col. Potter' Has Died: Actor Harry Morgan Was 96

Harry Morgan, as Col. Potter.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 12:01 pm

Harry Morgan, who came into our living rooms as Col. Potter in M*A*S*-H, as Officer Bill Gannon in Dragnet and in guest star roles on other TV series from Murder, She Wrote to The Love Boat, has died. He was 96.

The Associated Press reports that the actor's daughter-in-law, Beth Morgan, said he died at his home in Brentwood, Calif., after a bout with pneumonia.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:10 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Teenage Girls Will Still Need A Prescription For 'Plan B'

In a surprising twist, the Obama administration has overruled the Food and Drug Administration and will not allow teenage girls to buy the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step without a prescription.

The decision punctuates one of the longest-running public health sagas in recent memory. The FDA had decided that a version of the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill could be sold without a prescription regardless of the age of the buyer.

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