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It rarely happens to a reporter that a major story breaks in her own neighborhood. And well, it's not really a neighborhood, but the Tuscan archipelago, where a cruise ship crashed last month. It's an area I know very well.

I spend summers there, and just last August I was boating a few yards from Le Scole, a rocky reef near Giglio island that is the scene of the disaster.

For the past three weeks, the half-submerged Costa Concordia has dominated the landscape of Giglio and looms ominously over the island's future as a haven for nature lovers and scuba divers.

There was no 11th-hour surprise in the Nevada caucuses Saturday night. The first state in the West to vote in the Republican presidential race chose Mitt Romney, who won with support from a broad base and left his rivals trailing behind.

No Thanks To You, Mr. President

Nevada has been Romney country since at least 2008. That year, he took about half the vote in the caucuses but lost the Republican nomination to John McCain.

This year, he has his sights set higher.

The number of Greeks who are out of work has doubled in the past two years, as Greece has suffered its worst debt crisis in recent memory and a crippling recession. But the economy is so bad that even Greeks with jobs haven't been paid for months. It's a widespread problem that's left thousands in a desperate limbo.

One is Dimitris Perakis, the foreign news editor at ALTER Channel, a small private television station in Athens. He's 37 and has worked at the station for 15 years — his entire career in journalism.

Imagine this: You're the Super Bowl host city, and you've gone to a lot of trouble to get the big game in your town. Now everyone's watching as the game comes to an end, and you can't get the scoreboard to work. Suddenly no one's sure who's ahead or how much time is left to play.

That nightmare scenario probably could not happen. But we have seen some highly improbable events lately that embarrassed the host states in the presidential nominating process.

Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.

"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."

With his big win in the Florida primary and an expected solid showing in Saturday's Nevada caucus, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is regaining his front-runner status for the Republican presidential nomination.

Despite his time as governor, his previous presidential run and quite a few years in the spotlight, a question still remains: Who is Mitt Romney?

To some, Romney personifies the corporate raider; the cold, calculating chief executive. But people who have worked with Romney speak much differently of him.

And now the final preparations for Super Bowl Sunday. Chips and salsa? Check. Buffalo wings and beer? Got 'em. Recliner? Wait, what?

Sales of reclining chairs and sofas are as hot as New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz's touchdown dance. Or, for you New England Patriots fans, as popular as star tight end Rob Gronkowski's sprained ankle.

It might seem an odd connection, but retailers say the Super Bowl, America's most watched sporting event, sends football fans bursting into showrooms like a bruising running back.

In Nev., Solid Showing Expected For Romney

Feb 4, 2012

Transcript

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It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

Republican voters in Nevada have begun caucusing. It's the first state in the West to weigh in on the presidential nominating contest. And as we mentioned earlier, Mitt Romney is the overwhelming favorite to win. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning in the state. Rick Santorum is looking ahead to contests in the Midwest next week.

Russia, China Veto UN Resolution On Syria

Feb 4, 2012

The U.N. Security Council failed again Saturday to take decisive action to stop the escalating violence in Syria as Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the veto drew intense criticism from the U.S.

Boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard remembers the trainer who stood in his corner through some of his greatest fights ever. Along with Leonard, Angelo Dundee trained a long list of boxing champions including George Foreman and the great boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The renowned trainer and cornerman died this week at age 90 at his home in Tampa, Fla.

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Turning now to Russia. In Moscow, tens of thousands of people took to the streets today in dueling demonstrations for and against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin is seeking to return to the presidency in next month's elections.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from the Russian capital.

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NPR's Kelly McEvers has been following events in Syria from neighboring Lebanon, and she joins me now from Beirut. Kelly, as we just heard, the UN Security Council has failed to agree on a resolution condemning Bashar Assad. Any reaction from Syria?

Occupy D.C. Dismantled Quietly By Park Police

Feb 4, 2012

Since the early a.m., U.S. Park Police have been moving into a park near the White House where the Occupy D.C. movement has been encamped for months. Some officers are on horseback and dressed in riot gear, but there haven't been any major clashes so far.

If there are, you'll likely see it on this Washington Post live video stream.

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In Syria, the death toll is rising after what activists and opposition leaders are calling a massive offensive by pro-government troops in the city of Homs. Activists say at least 250 have been killed in what may be the single most violent day since Syria's anti-government uprising began in March.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Sturgeon Scarcity Affects More Than Caviar

Feb 4, 2012

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What The People Want Out West

Feb 4, 2012

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As the Republican primary season pushes westward, potential voters in Nevada, Colorado and Arizona tell us about the issues that matter most to them.

JOHN THORNTON: My name is John Thornton. I live in Parker, Colorado. Individual rights - state's rights, smaller government.

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Houseboat Company Floats Back To Business

Feb 4, 2012

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Protesters Flood The Streets In Moscow

Feb 4, 2012

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This Sunday will mark the 16th annual installment of "Chicken Bowl," my Super Bowl party, which doubles as a grand fried-chicken-eating contest. As many as 80 friends, coworkers, enablers and hangers-on will cram into my long-suffering house for this noble occasion.

But even with all the extravagances I've cobbled together to keep them happy — large TVs, vintage arcade machines, working toilets — there has never been a shred of doubt that chicken is king.

Evgeniya Tymoshenko has her mother's looks — minus the trademark blond braid that makes her mother, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, quickly recognizable.

But the younger Tymoshenko says she's not a politician. She never imagined herself testifying on Capitol Hill, getting face time with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a prayer breakfast, or speaking to reporters at a K Street lobbying firm.

It turns out January was a surprisingly good month in the job market. U.S. employers added 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent.

That better-than-expected news from the Labor Department triggered a rally in the stock market Friday, with the Dow climbing more than 150 points. The news could also help the stock of President Obama.

Saturday is caucus day in Nevada, the first state in the West to vote as Republicans go about choosing their presidential candidate.

Mitt Romney is counting on another win here to keep him on the path to the nomination. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning across the state, while Rick Santorum is in the Midwest looking ahead to later contests next week.

Believe it or not, Nevada leads the country in unemployment, home foreclosures and bankruptcy.

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