12:08pm

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Panetta Reassures Afghans On U.S. Training Role, Possibly Beyond 2014

Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, far right, escorts Afghanistan's Minister of National Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak (center) and Minister of Interior Gen. Bismillah Khan Mohammadi (left) in the Pentagon.
Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo OASD/PA

The bulk of the U.S. military force in Afghanistan is slated to leave the country by 2014. But the Pentagon is willing to keep some Americans there to train Afghan forces, according to a report by NPR's Tom Bowman.

Here's Tom's report for NPR's Newscast:

"Afghan Defense Minister Adbul Rahim Wardak says his country is looking for an enduring long-term relationship with the United States. And part of the relationship centers on training and equipping Afghan soldiers and police."

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11:56am

Wed April 11, 2012
Asia

North Korea To Launch Rocket, And A New Power Play

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 6:51 pm

A North Korean soldier stands guard in front of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket on a launchpad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, during a guided media tour by North Korean authorities northwest of Pyongyang on April 8.
Bobby Yip Reuters/Landov

As North Korea gears up to launch a long-range rocket, political changes are afoot, too: Pyongyang has consolidated its succession process, giving a new title to its new leader, Kim Jong Un, who came to power in December after his father's death.

The rocket launch, which could come as early as Thursday in North Korea, has been condemned by the international community as being in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. So why now?

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11:30am

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

'Texts From Hillary' Gets Secretary Clinton's Endorsement

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 2:50 pm

Part of the contribution Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (or someone on her staff, of course) made to Texts from Hillary.
Texts from Hillary

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET. And With That, The Fun Is Over; Texts From Hillary Decides To Call It A Day:

Saying that "as far as memes go — it has gone as far as it can go," the Texts from Hillary guys have decided to stop adding to the blog.

As they say, "TTYL."

But we still suggest checking out our original post:

Seen Texts from Hillary yet?

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11:06am

Wed April 11, 2012
The Salt

Should 'Pink Slime' Be Labeled?

Beef cuts that are used to make "pink slime" or lean finely textured beef were on display during a tour in March of the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

The fallout from the consumer backlash to so-called "pink slime" continues to hurt meat sales. Now, some companies are taking steps to label the product they call "lean, finely textured beef" in hopes that they can earn back consumer trust.

Tyson and Cargill, two multinational firms that sell ground beef containing the processed trimmings, say they have submitted labeling requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes that some customers will feel better about buying ground beef containing LFTB if it's labeled.

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11:03am

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

A DJ Kit You Can Take For A Spin — On Your Bike

A cyclist uses a fader to manipulate music, on Cogoo's Turntable Rider kit that blends DJ and BMX culture.
NPR

10:17am

Wed April 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Fed Won't Raise Rates Soon, Reserve Bank President Says

The Federal Reserve's policymakers seem to be reluctant to consider any more efforts to inject a monetary stimulus into the U.S. economy — but that doesn't mean you should expect the central bank to raise interest rates any time soon.

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10:16am

Wed April 11, 2012
Book Reviews

'Present': For Nadine Gordimer, Politics Hit Home

Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Photo courtesy of the author

Nadine Gordimer's trademark characters live for politics, the Struggle. You get the feeling they would be sick to their collective stomachs if they ever even tried to bite into a gourmet cupcake.

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10:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
World

Fears Of Organ Failure For Hunger Strike Prisoner

In Bahrain, demonstrators are demanding the release of imprisoned activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja. He has been on hunger strike for more than two months and his family now fears for his health. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with his daughter, Zainab al-Khawaja and Middle East expert, Joshua Landis.

10:00am

Wed April 11, 2012
Election 2012

Can Romney Appeal To Women, Minority Voters?

Transcript

VIVIANA HURTADO, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. She's visiting Syracuse University and member station WRVO is Oswego, New York. Still to come, we take a look at some of the political upheaval in the Middle East. As another deadline has come and gone, the violence continues in Syria. More on that in a few minutes.

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9:58am

Wed April 11, 2012
Author Interviews

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:42 pm

Carole King initially found it extremely difficult to navigate the social hierarchies of high school. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was a few years younger than her fellow classmates and was often dismissed as being "cute."

"And it was like, no, I don't want to be cute, I want to be beautiful and smart," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And that wasn't happening, and then I connected through music. So music became a way of identifying my particular niche. How lucky for me."

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