Afghanistan
9:13 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Dreams Of A Mining Future On Hold In Afghanistan

Afghan miners in a makeshift emerald mine in the Panjshir Valley in 2010. Reports suggest that Afghanistan is sitting on significant deposits of oil, gas, copper, iron, gold and coal, as well as a range of precious gems like emeralds and rubies. Currently these minerals are largely untapped and are still being mapped.
Majid Saeedi Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 3:27 pm

Afghanistan faces the daunting prospect of a drastic reduction in foreign aid, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the country's revenue. Some have seen an economic life raft in geological surveys that indicate huge deposits of copper, iron, uranium and lithium in various parts of the country. But multinational mining firms have been slow to invest in Afghanistan — not least because of questions about stability after American troops draw down.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu March 29, 2012

West Virginia Mine Superintendent Pleads Guilty To Fraud

"The former superintendent of a southern West Virginia mine where an explosion killed 29 workers in April 2010 pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal fraud charge," The Associated Press reports. "Gary May of Bloomingrose, the highest-ranking Massey Energy official charged in connection with the blast, faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Aug. 9."

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The Fresh Air Interview
8:00 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Paul McCartney Blows 'Kisses' To His Father's Era

Paul McCartney.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 3:52 pm

When Paul McCartney was a little boy, he always looked forward to New Year's Eve — the biggest social event of the year in Liverpool.

"The family would all gather, my dad was the pianist, and ... drinks would appear and people would start singing," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And apparently never stop until we all ran out for New Year's."

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Today On The Campaign Trail: George H.W. Bush To Endorse Romney

Mitt Romney (left) and former President George H.W. Bush in 2007.
Ben Sklar Getty Images
  • Wade Goodwyn reporting

In case you're keeping track of high-profile endorsements in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination:

Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up the support of Florida Sen. Mark Rubio. This afternoon in Houston, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn tells our Newscast Desk, former President George H.W. Bush will endorse Romney. Bush's wife Barbara and son Jeb (a former Florida governor) have already said Romney's their candidate.

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The Two-Way
6:42 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Jobless Claims Dipped Again Last Week

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 6:43 am

There were 359,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down 5,000 from the week before and a pace that continues to be the lowest since April 2008, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Maryland's Batman Looks Like A Real Hero

The Caped Crusader, about to get into his Batmobile.
Facebook.com

After the news broke that police in Montgomery County, Md., last week stopped Batman for not having the correct plates on his Batmobile, many naturally wanted to know more about the man behind that mask.

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Animals
5:37 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Owner Optimistic Stolen Parrot Will Be Returned

The owner of an African grey parrot says he believes the thieves will soon return the bird that was taken recently in England. It seems Chico loves to squawk a song by Queen. The parrot's owner says the thieves will soon tire of hearing "We are the Champions."

Around the Nation
5:30 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Original Picasso Discovered At Ohio Thrift Store

An Ohio man was strolling through a thrift store when he saw a framed poster with Picasso scribbled on it. He bought it for $14.14. The Columbus Dispatch reports an auction house confirmed it was an original design carved by Picasso making the poster worth $6,000.

The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Death: Police Video Shows No Signs Of Zimmerman's Injuries

George Zimmerman, in the red jacket, as he was led through a police station in Sanford, Fla., after the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
ABC News

A police video of George Zimmerman in the hours after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 does not show any obvious evidence of the injuries Zimmerman reportedly received during what he says was an altercation that ended with him firing his handgun in self defense.

ABC News obtained the footage and aired it Wednesday evening. As it reports:

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It's All Politics
5:14 am
Thu March 29, 2012

How Collapse Of Health-Care Law Could Help Democrats

Amy Brighton from Medina, Ohio, who opposes the new health care law, rallies in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu March 29, 2012 8:12 am

We probably won't know until June what the Supreme Court justices will decide regarding the health overhaul law known as Obamacare. The questions this week from the conservative majority seemed skeptical of the "individual mandate" at the center of the law, yet dubious of the law's survival without it.

(A line of questioning may not be a perfect guide to a justice's thinking, but right now it appears to be the way to bet.)

So let's say it's June and the high court has laid low the whole law. That's terrible news for President Obama and the Democrats, right?

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