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Joseph Shapiro is a NPR News Investigations correspondent.

In this role, Shapiro takes on long-term reporting projects and covers breaking news stories for NPR's news shows.

Shapiro's major investigative stories include his reports on the failure of colleges and universities to punish for on-campus sexual assaults; the inadequacy of civil rights laws designed to get the elderly and people with disabilities out of nursing homes, and the little-known profits involved in the production of medical products from donated human cadavers.

The Two-Way
9:29 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Judge Tosses Conviction Of Texas Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Infant

Ernie Lopez is serving a 60-year prison sentence for a crime he, and medical experts, say he didn't commit.
Courtesy of Frontline

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:30 am

A Texas man whose conviction for sexually assaulting a 6-month-old girl raised questions about the science behind determining how children die has won a key legal battle. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday threw out the conviction of Ernie Lopez, ruling that the Amarillo man's original attorneys failed him by not calling potentially important medical experts as witnesses.

Now the Amarillo district attorney must decide whether to retry Lopez, who has been in prison for nine years. Lopez is serving a 60-year sentence.

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Movie Reviews
9:23 am
Thu January 26, 2012

In 'Albert Nobbs,' Glenn Close Does More Than Pass

Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) and Helen (Mia Wasikowska) go on a series of awkward dates in Albert Nobbs, a film based on a 1918 George Moore story.
Patrick Redmond Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 11:39 am

As Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close has hair that's cropped and orangey, and a voice that rarely rises above a nasal croak. She lives and works as a waiter in a high-toned hotel, where she stands with lips pressed together, tight yet tremulous, her searching eyes her only naturally moving parts. She resembles no man I've seen, but no woman, either. She's the personification of fear — fear of being discovered to be a woman. Because hers is a society that treats all poor people badly, but poor women worse.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Capping Worst Year On Record, Sales Of New Homes Drop In December

2011 was the worst year on record for sales of new homes. The dismal year was capped by a drop in home sales in December.

The AP reports:

"The Commerce Department said Thursday new-home sales fell last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 307,000. The pace is less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold in a healthy economy.

"About 302,000 homes were sold last year. That's less than the 323,000 sold in 2010, making 2011 the worst year on records dating back to 1963.

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The Salt
8:31 am
Thu January 26, 2012

The (Un)usual Suspect: Why Organic Spices Aren't Always Safe

These celery seeds look safe, but could be tainted. Even if they're organic.
iStockphoto.com

The new food safety recall for salt really got our attention. How could salt be contaminated with salmonella?

If your blog's named The Salt, you've just got to find out. So we dug into the story, and found that it's a collision of two distressing trends: contamination of herbs and spices, and safety issues with organic products.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Australian Prime Minister Rescued From Angry Protesters

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is bundled out of a restaurant by security service agents after it was surrounded by furious Aboriginal rights protesters in Canberra on Thursday.
Lukas Coch AFP/Getty Images

Australia Day ended with a tense showdown between aboriginal protesters and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Thursday.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Unemployment Claims Up Slightly; Business Spending Increased

Over the past week, 21,000 more Americans claimed unemployment benefits, the Labor Department reports. Like most economic news, that's the bad news. The good news, reports the AP, is the that the four-week average is down 2,500, which "still signals a healthier job market."

The Commerce Department also has some good news on the economy: Orders for durable goods rose 3 percent, last month.

The AP reports that this marks a gain for the second straight month. The AP adds:

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It's All Politics
6:44 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Could The Crowd At The Final GOP Debate Make The Difference In Florida Vote?

Newt Gingrich greets supporters during a rally at Wings Plus in Coral Springs, Fla. on Jan. 25. The GOP candidates meet in Jacksonville Thursday night for a final debate before Tuesday's primary.
CARLINE JEAN MCT /Landov

As the Republican presidential hopefuls head into their final televised confrontation Thursday night at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville (at 8 p.m. ET on CNN), NPR's Ari Shapiro reports that the debate could sway the outcome of the close race.

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The Two-Way
6:26 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Ahmadinejad: Iran Is Ready For Nuclear Talks

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks to the press prior upon his arrival at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Jan. 14.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that his country is ready to talk with the West about its nuclear programs.

"They have this excuse that Iran is dodging negotiations while it is not the case," he said. "Why should we run away from the negotiations?"

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