Education Law
6:39 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Wash. Requests No Child Left Behind Waiver

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia, Wash.
Photo credit: Wikimedia User Visitor7 Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington State will apply for a waiver to the federal No Child Left Behind education law. Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn says the state will ask to set its own standards for student achievement. From KUOW in Seattle, Ann Dornfeld reports.

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Wildlife
6:36 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Ringing The Dinner Bell For Wintering Elk

An elk herd seen in late autumn.
Photo credit Wikimedia User Anayst Wikimedia Commons

WildWilTHORP, Wash. – As snow blankets the mountains around Ellensburg, Washington, elk herds traditionally make their way to the valley below. Now that farmers have planted their roots near the Yakima River, elk are not able to graze there during winter months.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Thai Police Say Iranian Bomb Suspects Targeted Israeli Diplomats

Thai immigration officers escort detained Iranian Mohammad Kharzei, center, at the immigration headquarters in Bangkok on Thursday.
AFP/Getty Images

After days of accusations from Israel, Thai police confirmed that three Iranians suspected of setting off explosives in Bangkok were targeting Israeli diplomats.

Gen. Prewpan Dhamapong, Thailand's top policeman, said they "know for certain" the explosives were meant for Israeli diplomats.

The AP reports:

"'This issue was about individuals and the targets were specific,' he said. 'This was something personal.'"

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Silver Valley Cleanup
6:30 am
Thu February 16, 2012

EPA Scales Back North Idaho Clean-Up

SILVER VALLEY, Idaho -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to scale back plans for cleaning up Idaho’s Silver Valley. The region has been the site of a Superfund clean-up of mining waste since the 1980s. Steve Jackson has more on the story.

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It's All Politics
6:30 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Record GM Profits Could Make Romney's Anti-Bailout Message A Harder Sell

Mitt Romney laughs with supporters at a rally in Kentwood, MI, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012.
Gerald Herbert AP

Mitt Romney has worn his opposition to the Obama administration's bailout of GM and Chrysler into Michigan as a badge of honor in the lead up to the state's Republican presidential primary at the end of the month.

But that message may be a harder sell for him against the backdrop of GM reporting Thursday that it posted record profits in 2011 of $7.6 billion, 62 percent higher than the previous year's.

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Presidential Race
6:26 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Delegate Selection

Republican congressional candidate and Maine Senate President Kevin Raye speaks during the Kennebec County Super Caucus in Augusta, Me., on Feb. 4.
Joel Page AP

To win the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, a candidate must secure 1,144 delegates, a simple majority of those available. But how delegates are chosen differs state by state.

On Thursday's Fresh Air, political scientist Josh Putnam, author of the blog Frontloading HQ, explains how delegates are chosen, why the process varies by state, and how reforms instituted since the 1968 Democratic National Convention have changed the process of delegate selection.

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The Two-Way
5:43 am
Thu February 16, 2012

The Economy: Housing Starts Up; Unemployment Claims Decline

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 5:55 am

We have a slew of economic data out today and the big picture is that the economy is on the rebound. So, let's get to the numbers:

-- The Labor Department said the number of people seeking jobless benefits dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. The AP reports "it was the fourth drop in five weeks and the fewest number of claims since March 2008."

-- Led by a surge in apartments, housing starts were up 1.5 percent.

-- In January producer prices rose 0.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu February 16, 2012

U.N. Chief Says Syria May Be Committing 'Crimes Against Humanity'

A handout picture from a Syrian opposition activist taken on Feb. 13 shows damages in the Baba Amro neighborhood in the flashpoint Syrian city of Homs.
AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations' Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Syria's crackdown on protesters was almost certain to amount to crimes against humanity.

Ban was echoing what U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said during a speech to the General Assembly Monday. Pillay painted a grim picture of Syria and of a government that has increasingly turned its weapons against its own people.

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The Two-Way
4:22 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Honduras Prison Fire: Most In Comayagua Jail Had Not Been Convicted

Inmates bodies are loaded in a trailer truck at the National Prison in Comayagua, north of Tegucigalpa.
Jose Cabezas AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:26 am

According to an internal government report sent to the United Nations and seen by the Associated Press, more than half the prisoners at the Comayagua jail in Honduras had not been convicted.

A late night fire on Tuesday, killed at least 356 people and left the country in mourning and the government grappling with a prison system that has long been criticized for its deplorable conditions.

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