10:16am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Democrats Unveil Bill To Ban Assault-Style Weapons

Semi-automatic assault-style rifles on display at a gun show in Chantilly, Va., in 2009.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

As they said they would following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democrats today unveiled legislation that would ban assault-style weapons.

The lead lawmaker, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, has summed up the legislation's key points this way:

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9:38am

Thu January 24, 2013
Shots - Health News

If You Think You're Good At Multitasking, You Probably Aren't

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 2:54 pm

Take it easy, fella.
iStockphoto.com

Everybody complains that people shouldn't talk on cellphones while driving. And yet it seems pretty much everybody does it.

That may be because so many of us think we're multitasking ninjas, while the rest of the people nattering away while driving are idiots.

But scientists say that the better people think they are at multitasking, the worse they really are at juggling.

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9:38am

Thu January 24, 2013
It's All Politics

5 Things To Know About The Congressional Budget Fight

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:11 am

Sen. Dean Heller (left), R-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speak Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol about legislation to delay a potential clash over the debt ceiling until May — and to freeze the paychecks of lawmakers if they don't pass a budget resolution.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

As if the federal budget process isn't confusing enough, now we get the fog of partisan war created by the charges and countercharges flying between congressional Democrats and Republicans.

Republicans accuse the Democrats who control the Senate of shirking their duty by not producing "a budget" in recent years; Democrats accuse Republicans of not telling the whole truth.

What's going on? Here are five points to consider.

1) The Budget Control Act

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8:52am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Yikes! 15,000 Crocodiles Escape Farm In South Africa, Area Evacuated

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:44 pm

His cousins are on the loose. (2008 file photo taken at the Leopard Creek Country Club in Malelane, South Africa.)
Warren Little Getty Images

As flood waters rose Sunday, a South African crocodile farmer near the border with Botswana was forced to open his gates to prevent a storm surge from destroying the property.

And, no, this isn't the plot of some horror flick:

About 15,000 crocodiles escaped, according to the local newspaper, Beeld.

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8:30am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

In Syria, Two Opponents Of The Regime Fight Each Other

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:45 pm

A Syrian rebel fighter in the northeastern Syrian border town of Ras al-Ayn on Nov. 11. The rebels and a Kurdish militia in the town both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime, but they have been fighting each other in recent days.
Murad Seezer Reuters/Landov

In a small border town in northern Syria, there are two groups that both oppose President Bashar Assad's regime. But instead of working in tandem, the Syrian rebels and a Kurdish militia have been battling each other in the town of Ras al-Ayn.

Sally Ali, a 26-year-old resident of Ras al-Ayn, told NPR by phone that the streets are completely empty. "It's a ghost town," she says.

She estimates about half of the town's residents fled to nearby villages; the other half are trapped in their homes by the ongoing violence.

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8:04am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Salt

Small Meals, Big Payoff: Keeping Hunger And Calories In Check

Don't eat me all at once.
April Fulton NPR

When presented with a tempting buffet of French food, not overeating can be a challenge. But a new study by researchers in Lyon suggests there are strategies that will help people resist temptation.

People trying to keep off excess weight are frequently told that it's better to eat small amounts of food frequently during the day, rather than the typical breakfast, lunch and dinner. The idea is that more frequent eating will stave off hunger pangs that may lead to overeating.

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7:23am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Obama Chooses Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White To Head SEC

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 8:43 am

Mary Jo White, who President Obama wants to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. attorney in New York who prosecuted terrorists responsible for the bombings of the World Trade Center and U.S. embassies in Africa, will be nominated by President Obama to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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7:22am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

After Clinton's 'Outrage,' It's On To Kerry's Confirmation Hearing

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her testimony Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The post-hearing stories about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearances Wednesday on Capitol Hill are focusing on her strong response to Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson's charge that the Obama administration initially misled the nation about who was responsible for the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, last September.

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6:45am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Hold At Five-Year Low

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

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5:51am

Thu January 24, 2013
The Two-Way

Combat? Reaction Of Many Women In Military Is 'Been There, Done That'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:44 pm

Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley, with a Marine Corps. Female Engagement Team, in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images
  • Tom Bowman reporting for the NPR Newscast
  • From 'Morning Edition': The news on women in combat

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET: Saying that American men and women are "fighting and dying together and the time has come for our policies to recognize that reality," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed Thursday afternoon that the Pentagon's rule banning women from combat positions is being rescinded.

Panetta said that as the Pentagon works through how to implement the change, the goal will be to "eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service."

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