8:04am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Report: Obama To Announce Withdrawal Of 34K Troops From Afghanistan

Soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, earlier in February.
Andrew Burton Reuters /Landov

What will likely be a day-long drip of leaks about tonight's State of the Union address begins with this:

"President Barack Obama will announce in his State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be home from Afghanistan within a year, two people familiar with his remarks said Tuesday." (From The Associated Press)

The wire service adds: "That's about half the U.S. forces currently serving there, and marks the next phase in the administration's plans to formally finish the war by the end of 2014."

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7:22am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:07 am

Pope Benedict XVI (left) and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan in 2011. Scola is among those seen as a likely successor to Benedict.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': Sylvia Poggioli reports

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

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6:52am

Tue February 12, 2013
It's All Politics

4 Things To Expect In Obama's State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 7:32 am

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address last year. On Tuesday night, he will be back at the Capitol for another address to a joint session of Congress.
Getty Images

President Obama's second inaugural address was widely perceived as a throwing down of the gauntlet in how it framed his progressive faith in government and challenged his Republican political opponents in any number of ways.

Given that, expect to see more glove-throwing Tuesday as the president delivers the first State of the Union speech of his second term.

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6:37am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Salt

Why Russia Is Saying 'Nyet' To U.S. Meat Imports

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:36 am

A man buys meat at a butcher's stand in Moscow's Dorogomilovsky market in 2011. On Monday, Russia began blocking U.S. meat imports until those imports are ractopamine-free.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Chances are, you've never heard of ractopamine. But as of Monday, U.S. meat exports to Russia — worth $500 million dollars a year — have been suspended, all because of this obscure chemical.

Russian officials say American meat products won't be allowed into their country unless the meat is certified free of ractopamine.

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6:23am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: Anger Over 'Superman' Author Who Condemns Homosexuality

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:06 am

An image from the cover of the first issue of Superman.
DC Comics AP
  • Former POW John Borling talks with Renee Montagne

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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5:29am

Tue February 12, 2013
Asia

Haute Tokyo Restaurant Serves Up: Dirt

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. For Valentine's Day dinner, consider Ne Quittez Pas. The haute Tokyo restaurant has patrons digging deep in their wallets for an apparently chic ingredient - dirt. For $110 each you can dine in four courses of favorites like the soil surprise, a dirt-dusted potato ball with a truffle center. Or if you're feeling gritty, try the soil sorbet. I say go for the fish soup. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

5:27am

Tue February 12, 2013
The Two-Way

North Korean Nuke Test Seems Timed To Upstage Obama's State Of The Union

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 8:06 am

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Kyodo /Landov

Not only might North Korea's third underground explosion of an atomic device be a sign that it is closer to having a weapon that's light enough to be put on a missile, it seems to be a not-so-subtle message aimed at the U.S.

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5:17am

Tue February 12, 2013
Around the Nation

Montana TV Station Warns Of Attacking Zombies

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

KRTV viewers in Great Falls, Montana were interrupted by a bizarre emergency message yesterday: Zombies On The Attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF EMERGENCY MESSAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living...

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3:00am

Tue February 12, 2013
Asia

North Korea Admits It Carried Out Nuclear Test

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 4:06 am

North Korea confirmed on Tuesday that it had successfully conducted a third nuclear test. It's an important step toward North Korea's goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile that could reach United States.

3:00am

Tue February 12, 2013
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's talk about another high-profile job vacancy - this one for pontiff. Now that Pope Benedict has said he'll step down, everyone is wondering who will replace him. Our last word in business today: holy bookmakers.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Gambling houses have placed odds on who might become the next leader of the Catholic world. At the top of the list of frontrunners are men not from Europe. Names like Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson and Canada's Cardinal Marc Ouellette, both popular choices among the bookmakers.

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