Author Interviews
9:20 am
Tue February 14, 2012

The History Of The FBI's Secret 'Enemies' List

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI. He introduced fingerprinting and forensic techniques to the crime-fighting agency, and pushed for stronger federal laws to punish criminals who strayed across state lines. He also kept secret files on more than 20,000 Americans he deemed "subversive."
Anonymous Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:16 am

Four years after Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Weiner published Legacy of Ashes, his detailed history of the CIA, he received a call from a lawyer in Washington, D.C.

"He said, 'I've just gotten my hands on a Freedom of Information Act request that's 26 years old for [FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover's intelligence files. Would you like them?' " Weiner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And after a stunned silence, I said, 'Yes, yes.' "

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It's All Politics
9:11 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Can Congress Ever Restore Payroll Taxes To Their Usual Levels?

House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner (right) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (left), said Monday they would vote to extend the payroll tax cut.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov

Republicans rarely meet a tax cut that they don't like. Now that they have found one, they are finding it politically impossible to stop it.

On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to extend a 2 percentage point reduction in payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The cut, enacted last year, is otherwise set to expire at the end of the month.

The current cut means a savings of about $20 a week to a worker who earns $50,000 a year and about $2,000 a year to someone making $100,000.

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The Salt
8:52 am
Tue February 14, 2012

DIY Willy Wonka Turns Home Into Chocolate Factory

Ben Rasmussen pours tempered chocolate into a tray, where it will harden into a finished bar.
Potomac Chocolate

Some people fill their workshops with sawdust and power tools; Ben Rasmussen built a chocolate factory in his.

Actually, "factory" might be too big a word for the Woodbridge, Va. operation, which Rasmussen says is "absurdly small." But it's a step up from his kitchen, where his Potomac Chocolate – one of the smallest chocolate companies in the U.S. – was born.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:37 am
Tue February 14, 2012

States Vary On What They Allow Midwives To Do

Midwife Erin Fullam, left, takes care of Shannon Earle and her new baby Kiera. Daughter Riana, the father, Patrick, and his mother, Ann Earle, look on at the family's home in Takoma Park, Md., in 2011.
Amanda Steen NPR

Women planning to have a baby at home will probably be helped by a midwife.

Doctors only deliver about 5 percent of babies born outside the hospital, according to figures released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Depending on where you live, though, finding a licensed midwife can be tough.

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The Two-Way
8:31 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Whitney Houston's Funeral Will Be Held At Her Childhood Church

Fans attend a Whitney Houston Leimert Park Vigil on Monday in Los Angeles.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Pop super star Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang as a little girl. Citing the owner of Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, the AP reports her funeral will take place at the New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Syrian Activist: 'Idea Of Safety Doesn't Exist Anymore'

Syrian rebels aim during a weapons training exercise outside Idlib, Syria on Tuesday. Syrian government forces renewed their assault on the rebellious city of Homs on Tuesday in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:03 am

A day after the United Nations' chief human rights official offered a tough rebuke of Syria, government forces continued their assault on the restive city of Homs. According to the AP, the city has sustained the heaviest shelling in days.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Drop In Auto Sales Leads To Smaller-Than-Expected Gain In U.S. Retail Sales

Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported today.

While that's better than December's flat number, it's less than the 0.8 percent expected by economists. The AP adds:

"When excluding autos and gasoline station sales, retail spending jumped 0.6 percent the best showing in three months.

"Consumers spent less on cars, the report showed, even though automakers have previously reported higher sales in January. That suggests dealers offered discounts in order to boost sales.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Rick Santorum Faces Off With Occupy Movement At Campaign Event

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rick Santorum speaks to the media on Monday at the state capitol in Olympia, Washington.
Stephen Brashear Getty Images

As has happened to many of the Republican presidential candidates before him, Rick Santorum was "mic checked" at a campaign rally in Washington, yesterday.

As the Bellingham Herald reports it, Santorum was speaking at a venue right next to the Occupy Tacoma encampment and was met with chants almost as soon as he started talking.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Tue February 14, 2012

USS Abraham Lincoln Clears The Strait Of Hormuz

This January 19, 2012 image provided by the US Navy, shows the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) transiting the Arabian Sea.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 6:12 am

For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.

Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.

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