4:47pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Law

Controversial Arizona Law Reaches Supreme Court

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 6:10 am

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies check the shoes of a suspect arrested during a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix in 2010. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration and crime sweep came after hundreds of immigrant-rights supporters delayed the effort with a rally at a downtown jail, in opposition to Arizona's immigration law SB 1070.
Ross D. Franklin AP

The U.S. Supreme Court takes up yet another incendiary election issue Wednesday when it hears arguments on a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants.

As with last month's test of the Obama health care overhaul, the case pits the federal government's assertion of power against some states, and with some exceptions, it pits Democrats against Republicans.

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4:30pm

Tue April 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Syria Envoy Kofi Annan Says Situation In Syria 'Bleak'

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the situation in the country is "bleak." That's according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the closed briefing.

"He echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in calling the current situation 'unacceptable' and called on the Syrian government to immediately implement his six-point peace-plan," the AP added.

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3:23pm

Tue April 24, 2012
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Northern Lights Seen In Minnesota

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:02 am

The Northern Lights in Minnesota.
YouTube

Last night was pretty spectacular in some parts of Minnesota.

Fergus Falls, for example, got a rare showing of the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. Douglas Kiesling, of Storm Chasing Video, posted this video of them on YouTube:

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3:20pm

Tue April 24, 2012
It's All Politics

As The Campaign Hits Cruising Altitude, Critics Again Target Presidential Travel

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

President Obama boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, en route to Florida, on April 10. Whenever a president runs for re-election, his travel tends to become a political issue.
Cliff Owen AP

The White House has been fielding questions lately about President Obama's travel — what's official, what's political and whether taxpayers are getting stuck with the bill. It's the same issue that rolls around every time a president runs for re-election.

Take President Obama's trip to Florida earlier this month. It featured an official presidential speech on the economy at Florida Atlantic University. On the same trip, the president hit two fundraisers.

How do you sort that out?

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3:14pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Space

Tech Entrepreneurs Bet Big On Asteroid Mining

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Today, a group of entrepreneurs unveiled a new company that aims to mine precious metals and other resources from asteroids. The idea of exploiting the natural resources on asteroids has been around for more than a century, and this is not the first company to lay out such grand plans.

But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, this one does have the financial backing of some big names in high tech.

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2:54pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Animals

A Bug's Life: Store Caters To Collectors Of Crawly Pets

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:49 pm

The Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula that reflects a metallic blue color. It is just one of many tarantulas for sale in Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil's pet store. Price: $200.
Kenthebugguy.com

If you're the kind of person who screams at the sight of an insect or spider — or worse, steps on it — then a new store in Tucson, Ariz., might not be the best place for you to pick up a new family pet.

Owner Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil says his store is the only retail pet shop in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods. Judging from the recent opening day crowd at the store, plenty of people think the critters make great pets.

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2:52pm

Tue April 24, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Olympian's Arc: From 'Ninja Turtles' To London

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Terrence Jennings (right) lands a kick during a taekwondo match last fall. Jennings, who says his love of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drew him to the sport, will compete in his first Olympics this summer.
Martin Mejia AP

Taekwondo is fairly new to the Olympics; it was first officially included in 2000. But in just a few years, the Olympics have become the pinnacle event of the Korean martial art. And the odds of earning a spot competing on that stage are incredibly slim. There are only four slots for Americans — two for men, and two for women.

Terrence Jennings has beaten those odds, by defeating opponents over months of qualifying matches. In July, he'll head to London for his first Olympics.

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2:50pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Newt Gingrich

Through Debt And Derision, Gingrich Keeps Running

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is expected to win all five of the Republican presidential primaries being held Tuesday. The GOP front-runner hasn't had to worry about real competition since Rick Santorum dropped out of the race earlier this month.

But former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is still running for president, even though he's short on money and lagging far back in the polls.

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2:26pm

Tue April 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama Calls Secret Service Employees In Prostitution Scandal 'Knuckleheads'

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:42 pm

President Barack Obama laughs with Jimmy Fallon during commercial break as he participates in a taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.

"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."

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2:25pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Technology

Robot Eyes As Good As Humans When Grading Essays

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

A new study has determined that some automated essay graders can do as good of a job as humans. Melissa Block talks with New York Times education columnist Michael Winerip about the study and the weaknesses of automatic essay readers.

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