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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Politics
3:44 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Santorum Wins Endorsement From Megadeth Singer

Dave Mustaine, the lead singer of Megadeth, says he was "completely oblivious" to Rick Santorum, but now likes the guy in the sweater vest. According to Rolling Stone, Mustaine dislikes Mitt Romney, and calls Newt Gingrich an "angry little man."

Around the Nation
3:31 am
Thu February 16, 2012

New York OKs Wallenda To Cross Niagara Falls

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 7:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a story of a childhood dream. And when you grew up in the family of the famous Flying Wallendas, that would be walking a two-inch tightrope across Niagara Falls. Nic Wallenda yesterday got special permission to attempt the kind of breathtaking feat that's been banned since the 19th century when daredevils rolled over the falls in barrels. He says his dream is to, quote, "walk down through the mist and walk back out." It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sports
2:09 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Knicks Star Jeremy Lin Capture's Big Apple's Heart

Jeremy Lin items are for sale before the basketball game between Lin's New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in New York.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 9:26 am

The New York Knicks have won seven games in a row after struggling all season — and some would say they've struggled for years.

Point guard Jeremy Lin, the man few knew a week and a half ago, scored a 3-pointer in the last seconds to win Tuesday's game against Toronto. Wednesday night, Linsanity returned to New York City and Madison Square Garden.

I confess, I had never heard of Jeremy Lin until three days ago. Yet watching this Taiwanese-American from Harvard during the last quarter of the Knicks game, I, like everyone else, was blown away.

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Around the Nation
1:00 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Iowa Honors China's Xi Jinping With Gala Dinner

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 7:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

China's Vice President Xi Jinping is hitting all the hotspots on his American tour. He's already been to Washington, D.C. and to the White House. Later today, he heads to Los Angeles. And, of course, yesterday he was in Iowa. He has a personal connection to that state, and Iowa farmers now have reason to be glad he does.

Iowa Public Radio's Sandhya Dirks reports.

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