1:33pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Liberal SuperPAC Under Fire For Tweets About McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife Elaine Chao at last summer's Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Mike Thelier UPI /Landov

From NPR member station WFPL:

"A Democratic group is under sharp criticism for controversial online messages about Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's wife.

"For months, the liberal superPAC Progress Kentucky has attacked McConnell and held demonstrations at his offices and home.

"Recently, the group turned its attention to McConnell's wife, former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, with a focus on her race.

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1:10pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Pastagate: Quebec Agency Criticized For Targeting Foreign Words On Menus

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 4:15 pm

In Quebec, a restaurant's use of the word "pasta" on its menu sparked a government agency into action. Officials who enforce rules that guard French as the official language now say "exotic" words can be allowed in some cases.
Timothy Hiatt Getty Images

A government agency in Quebec, Canada, has come under intense criticism after attempting to get pasta stricken from a restaurant's menu. The move had nothing to do with the food: Officials said Italian words such as pasta, calamari, and antipasto should be replaced with French words to conform with the law.

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1:05pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Commentary

Historical Vocab: When We Get It Wrong, Does It Matter?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:12 pm

Linguist Geoff Nunberg finds that in the film Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner oscillates between old and modern meanings of "equality."
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Has there ever been an age that was so grudging about suspending its disbelief? The groundlings at the Globe Theatre didn't giggle when Shakespeare had a clock chime in Julius Caesar. The Victorians didn't take Dickens to task for having the characters in A Tale of Two Cities ride the Dover mail coach 10 years before it was established. But Shakespeare and Dickens weren't writing in the age of the Internet, when every historical detail is scrutinized for chronological correctness, and when no "Gotcha!" remains unposted for long.

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12:33pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

John Kerry To German Students: Americans Have 'Right To Be Stupid'

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:58 pm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

In his first foreign trip as Secretary of State, John Kerry defended America's civil liberties during his talk with German students.

Kerry said that the United States' tradition of freedom of speech — even if it includes offensive speech — is a virtue.

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12:23pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Salt

How The Food Industry Manipulates Taste Buds With 'Salt Sugar Fat'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:46 am

iStockphoto.com

Dealing Coke to customers called "heavy users." Selling to teens in an attempt to hook them for life. Scientifically tweaking ratios of salt, sugar and fat to optimize consumer bliss.

In his new book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss goes inside the world of processed and packaged foods.

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12:08pm

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's Sequester Gamble: What If Nobody Notices?

President Obama speaks about the sequester on Feb. 19.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama has for weeks warned congressional Republicans and the American public of the dangers facing the nation from the sequester budget cuts.

Failing to reach a deal between the White House and Congress by Friday could lead to some young children being dropped from Head Start, the FBI furloughing agents and fewer food inspectors, according to the president.

If the cuts unleash these and other harms, like longer lines at airports, Congress and voters won't be able to say they weren't warned.

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11:57am

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Sending Mixed Signals On Sequester

The various Republican messaging machines may want to consider getting on the same page regarding the March 1 sequestration deadline.

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11:47am

Tue February 26, 2013
All Tech Considered

Among Oscars Fanfare, Visual Effects Industry Faces Difficult Times

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:37 pm

Bill Westenhofer, winner of best visual effects for Life of Pi, said backstage that the business model of the visual effects industry needs to change.
Vince Bucci AP

In a business where effects-laden movies helped Hollywood make a record-setting $10.8 billion last year, many of the studios that create those effects are barely staying afloat.

Visual effects have been a part of the movie industry ever since Georges Melies went on his famous Trip to the Moon in 1902. These days, VFX studios do everything from putting a tiger in a lifeboat on an ocean voyage to choreographing the destruction of a New York City being defended by Earth's mightiest heroes.

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11:02am

Tue February 26, 2013
Shots - Health News

Women To See Higher Prices For Long-Term Care Insurance

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:24 am

The country's largest long-term care insurer is making it tougher for people — especially women — to buy its policy.

Genworth Financial has announced that starting this spring it will begin taking gender into account when setting premiums on new policies. The reason: Women account for two out of every three dollars spent on claims, says Thomas Topinka, a company spokesman.

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10:40am

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Along Party Lines, Senate Confirms Chuck Hagel As The Next Secretary Of Defense

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:17 pm

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

Update at 5:10 p.m. ET. Hagel Confirmed:

After an unprecedented filibuster by Republicans, the nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense prevailed, Tuesday afternoon.

With a vote of 58 to 41, the Senate acted mostly along party lines to confirm Hagel.

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