2:11pm

Mon February 27, 2012
All Tech Considered

To Get Out The Vote, Evangelicals Try Data Mining

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 5:36 pm

Kay Clymer spends hours each day urging fellow Christians to vote. She finds their phone numbers through a database created by the company United In Purpose.
Steve Brown WOSU

When Bill Dallas first heard that 15 to 20 million Christians in the U.S. are not registered to vote, he couldn't believe it.

"Initially, it surprised me. And then I thought to myself, 'Wait a minute, I'm not registered,' Dallas says. "Why wasn't I registered? Well, because I didn't think my vote made a difference."

Identifying Christians With Data Points

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1:52pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Latin America

Violence Exposes Crisis In Latin American Prisons

In Honduras, female relatives of inmates killed during a fire at a prison argue with soldiers as they try to enter the morgue in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, on Feb. 20. The fire at Comayagua prison on Feb. 14 killed more than 300 inmates.
Esteban Felix AP

A series of fatal riots inside Mexican prisons last week and a deadly blaze at a penitentiary in Honduras are prompting calls for major penal reform in Central America.

Violence at three different penitentiaries in Mexico last week left 48 inmates dead, while the inferno in Honduras earlier this month killed 360 prisoners.

These deadly events underscore the problems of corruption, overcrowding, prison gangs and crumbling infrastructure that prisons face throughout the region.

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1:38pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Planet Money

From Cell Phones To Cigarettes: The Long Arm Of The Chinese Government

How many government-owned businesses do you see in this picture?
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

The streets of Beijing and Shanghai feel like an entrepreneurial free-for-all, full of mom-and-pop stores and street vendors selling snacks and cheap toys.

But when you pull back the curtain, you see a different picture: a country where the government still controls huge swaths of the economy.

When you're in China, there's a good chance you're doing business with the government every time you:

  • make a call on your cellphone (the government owns the country's biggest cellphone network)
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1:24pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Cash Buyers Squeezing Out Traditional Home-Seekers

Dan Grohs (left) with real estate agent Pat Paulson in front of a foreclosed Minneapolis home. Grohs hopes to buy the house with cash.
Annie Baxter NPR

Not everyone wants to buy a mold-infested foreclosure, but Dan Grohs does.

He and his Realtor are walking through a three-bedroom house in Minneapolis. The copper pipes have been stolen by vandals and the heat doesn't work, but Grohs recently bid on the house — and he sees potential.

"It's got a nice flow to it," Grohs says as he moves through the home. "You walk in — living room, dining room, kitchen. Good spacious rooms."

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1:15pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Architecture

Chinese Architect Wang Shu Wins The Pritzker Prize

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 am

Wang Shu's design for the Ningbo History Museum came to him at 3 in the morning. He realized his job was to show people what their city used to look like, and the design recalls an ancient Chinese fortress.
Lv Hengzhong

For the first time, the Pritzker Architecture Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that sometimes seem forgotten in today's booming China. Wang says in the 1990s he had to get away from China's architectural "system" of demolition, megastructures and get-rich-quick — so he spent the decade working with common craftspeople building simple constructions.

"I go out of system," Wang says, "Because, finally I think, this system is too strong."

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1:06pm

Mon February 27, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Wealth 'Gaffes' Seem Less About Money, More About Him

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 2:34 pm

Mitt Romney walks with driver Brian Vickers at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

By this point, as virtually everyone knows, Mitt Romney has fed a stereotype of himself as an out-of-touch plutocrat through a series of comments the news media have labeled "gaffes."

The word gaffe, of course, as Michael Kinsley once observed, has at least two meanings: the generally used one of something that's a social faux pas, and the Washington one, which the journalist said was "someone telling the truth by accident."

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12:55pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Colombia's FARC Says It Will Halt Kidnappings

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 1:05 pm

Miriam Lasso, sister of police sergeant Cesar Augusto Lasso who was kidnapped by the FARC in Nov. of 1998, holds a candle next to pictures of several police and military hostages of the FARC, in January in Cali.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The rebel group that has made kidnapping a central part of its operating procedure in Colombia says it is halting the practice and releasing 10 security force members it has held for as long as 14 years.

"From this day on we are halting the practice in our revolutionary activity," the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said in a statement released on its website.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a cautious message on Twitter.

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12:42pm

Mon February 27, 2012
National Security

U.S., Iran Eye Each Other Warily In Persian Gulf

An Iraqi jet fired missiles that hit the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf in 1987, killing 37 U.S. sailors. Iraq and Iran were at war at the time, and the U.S. wanted to keep open the regiion's vital oil shipping lanes. The current friction between the U.S. and Iran has again raised tension in the Gulf.
U.S Navy AP

History never repeats itself exactly. But the current escalation in tension and rhetoric between the United States and Iran has revived memories of the Persian Gulf tanker war of the 1980s.

As an offshoot of the war taking place back then between Iran and Iraq, the U.S. offered protection to Kuwaiti ships carrying oil through the Straits of Hormuz. This led to attacks on multiple military and civilian ships. In addition, the U.S. Navy in 1988 shot down an Iranian airliner that was mistaken for a jet fighter.

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12:29pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Active Video Games Don't Keep Kids Moving

Just because it's an "active" video game, doesn't mean the kid stays active.
Jeff Gentner AP

Active video games like the Wii seem just the thing to lure children into getting more exercise. But in real life, giving a child active video games doesn't get them off the couch and moving.

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11:31am

Mon February 27, 2012
The Salt

Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers' Case Against Monsanto

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 9:37 am

Farmer Alan Madison fills a seed hopper with Monsanto hybrid seed corn near Arlington, Illinois, U.S. A group of organic and other growers say they're concerned they'll be sued by Monsanto if pollen from seeds like these drift onto their fields.
Daniel Acker Landov

A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

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