2:30am

Sat March 31, 2012
Politics

'Obamacare' Sounds Different When Supporters Say It

Originally published on Sat March 31, 2012 1:21 pm

Supporters of the health care law have recently embraced the term "Obamacare," a word they once recoiled from.
Charles Dharapak AP

Until recently, "Obamacare" was a word mostly used by opponents of President Obama's health care law. Now, supporters of the law are attempting to claim it as their own.

During the three days of health care hearings, protesters outside of the Supreme Court in favor of the law returned to one chant more than any other: "We love Obamacare."

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6:20pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Middle East

To Keep Protesters Away, Egypt's Police Put Up Walls

After clashes between protesters and security forces, Cairo's police erected walls to keep demonstrators away from the Interior Ministry. Street artists then painted this wall across Sheik Rihan Street.
Mohammed Hossam AFP/Getty Images

Egypt's revolution has brought with it unrest, including clashes in Cairo in the areas around the Interior Ministry, a hated symbol of the former regime.

After five days of skirmishes in early February, Cairo's police chiefs ordered the construction of a series of 10-foot walls, seven of them in all, to block off access to the ministry.

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5:07pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Middle East

Israel, West Bank Settlers Brace For Showdown

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:33 pm

Israel's Supreme Court has ruled the West Bank Jewish settlement outpost of Migron must be destroyed by August 2012.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Just two months ago, Aviela Deitch was proud to show off what residents had built on the hilltop outpost of Migron, just a few miles away from the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank.

At that time, the Israeli Supreme Court had already ruled that Migron was sitting on private Palestinian property and had ordered Migron settlers to evacuate.

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3:49pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Scientific Journals Plan To Publish Contentious Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:12 pm

A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret.

Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a contentious debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.

In response, the editors of two journals immediately said they planned to publish the research soon.

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3:26pm

Fri March 30, 2012
The Salt

Is That A Crushed Bug In Your Frothy Starbucks Drink?

The tiny white insects that feed on cactus turn into red cochineal when crushed. Starbucks uses the dye in some of its products.
Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

Call it the tempest in the Frappuccino. Some Starbucks patrons have been distressed to learn that the chain's Strawberry and Creme Frappuccino owes its pink coloring to crushed insects.

The coloring in question, cochineal, is made from a tiny white insect, Dactylopius coccus. When crushed, its body exudes a brilliant red color. Cochineal has been used as a coloring for foods and makeup for centuries.

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3:18pm

Fri March 30, 2012
The Two-Way

Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann hosted a commentary show on Current TV.
Current TV

Less than a year after he was hired, Current TV said it was ending its contract with lead anchor Keith Olbermann. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who had an ill-fated run on CNN, will replace him.

Current announced the move in an open letter to its viewers from Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, Current's founders.

The letter reads in part:

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2:50pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Asia

Myanmar Hurriedly Prepares For An Election

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:33 pm

A man holds a portrait of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a rally for a candidate of her National League for Democracy party on Friday. The country is holding elections for some parliamentary seats on Sunday.
Christophe Archambault AFP/Getty Images

In Myanmar's capital, Yangon, there's an unremarkable old building that's drawing people from around the world.

It's the headquarters of the National League for Democracy, the political opposition party headed by pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. This weekend, she is running for elective office for the first time, and the humble house has become the focus of even greater attention.

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2:49pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Planet Money

On Tour With Nancy Pelosi, Fundraising Rock Star

Nancy Pelosi has raised $300 million for Democrats.
J. Scott Applewhite ASSOCIATED PRESS

This story is part of a Planet Money series on money in politics. Also see our story, "Senator By Day, Telemarketer By Night, and listen to us this weekend on This American Life.

Democrats love Nancy Pelosi. Republicans hate Nancy Pelosi.

One key reason for both the love and the hate: Nancy Pelosi is incredibly good at her job. And a huge part of that job is raising money.

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2:28pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Latin America

Venezuelans Tune In For Scoops On Chavez's Health

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:08 pm

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears at an event in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday, after returning from radiation therapy in Cuba.
Ariana Cubillos AP

For nearly a year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been treated for cancer, but little is known about his health beyond the information he himself provides.

That has led to speculation about his health swirling in the president's oil-rich country, particularly over whether he can withstand a grueling campaign as he seeks a third presidential term.

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2:19pm

Fri March 30, 2012
Middle East

Diplomats Gather, But Syrian Truce Remains Elusive

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 3:40 pm

Syrian opposition groups gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, as the factions attempt to form a more unified front. This Sunday, the opposition factions, including the main Syrian National Council, will be joined by diplomats in a meeting of the "Friends of Syria."
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan says the Syrian government should be the first to enact a cease-fire, but there was no sign of that on Friday. More violence erupted in several Syrian cities as diplomats prepared for Sunday's meeting of the "Friends of Syria" in Istanbul, Turkey.

The gathering comes at a time of growing disaffection with diplomatic efforts and an increase in attacks by Syrian opposition fighters.

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