The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

House Committee Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:46 pm

Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.

And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.

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Around the Nation
4:14 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Saving Calif. State Parks: The End Of Public Funding?

Brad Beadell (right) takes his 11-year-old son, William, on his first backpacking trip through Henry W. Coe State Park in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 6:23 pm

On July 1, 15 California state parks are slated to be closed permanently to the public — the first such closures in the state's history. They're the victim of budget cuts in a state with a $16 billion shortfall.

Over the past year, park enthusiasts have scrambled to save dozens of parks from closure, including Henry W. Coe State Park, California's second-biggest state park, located about 30 miles south of San Jose.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Death Toll In Nigeria Reaches 98 After Church Attacks, Reprisals

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:11 pm

Reprisals after three church bombings on Sunday have continued in Nigeria, and The Associated Press reports the death toll has reached 98.

The AP adds:

"A rescue services official said more than 98 people have died since Sunday after a trio of church bombings sparked reprisals in Kaduna state. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

No iPads Or iPhones For You, Apple Store Clerk Tells Iranians

The scene at an Apple store.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:51 pm

Sahar Sabet of Alpharetta, Ga., says that when she was in an Apple store at the local North Pointe Mall last week to buy an iPad and an iPhone, she and her uncle were overheard by a clerk.

The sales rep asked what language they were speaking and where they were from. When they said they were speaking Farsi and originally from Iran, Sabet tells Atlanta's WSB-TV, the clerk's response was a shock:

"I can't sell this to you."

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The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Bernanke: Federal Reserve Expects 'Slow Progress' On Unemployment

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference on Wednesday in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:51 pm

The Federal Reserve is ready to take further action — including the purchase of Treasury bonds — "to provide support for the economy," the Chairman of the Fed Ben Bernanke said during a press conference.

Bernanke also said that the members of the Federal Open Market Committee had "marked down" their outlooks on the economy.

Most expect there to be little change in the unemployment rate through the end of the year. The consensus, said Bernanke, is that the Fed expects "slow progress" on unemployment and most opinions are "weighted toward slower growth" on the GDP.

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It's All Politics
1:16 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

In Vice Presidential Buzz, Pawlenty Is Up While Rubio's Status Is Muddled

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stands with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty during a campaign stop Saturday in Cornwall, Pa.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 5:07 pm

Back in April when NPR looked at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's potential running-mate picks, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and GOP Govs. Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia were on our short list.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Survey: Insiders Think Supreme Court Will Strike Healthcare Mandate

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, DC on June 18.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:17 pm

A new survey of 38 former clerks of current Supreme Court justices and 18 attorneys who have argued cases before the high court found that most of them think the court will rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The mandate is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's signature health care law and it is unknown whether the law can survive without that piece.

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The Salt
12:58 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Seattle Forager Inspires Others To Learn About Wild, Forgotten Foods

Langdon Cook shows off the morel and porcini mushrooms he's foraged and stored in the trunk of his car.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 9:17 pm

For Langdon Cook, a walk in the woods isn't that different from a walk through the produce section of the supermarket. He's a writer, blogger and all-around outdoorsy type, but in outdoorsy Seattle, he's made his name primarily as a forager.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:39 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

A Few Drinks While Pregnant May Be OK

How risky is a drink during pregnancy?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 7:15 pm

When a woman drinks heavily during pregnancy, it can cause profound damage to her unborn child.

Nobody knows how much alcohol, if any, is safe, so the U.S. surgeon general and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise women to abstain from drinking throughout pregnancy to avoid physical and mental birth defects.

But here and elsewhere, even conscientious pregnant women have been known to have an occasional beer or glass of wine while carrying a child. How risky is that?

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Will The Fed Take Extra Steps To Stimulate Economy?

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 1:33 pm

Update at 12:33 p.m. ET. Fed Extends 'Operation Twist':

The Federal Reserve said it was extending its "Operation Twist" through the end of year. It will add $267 billion more to the program in which the Fed sells some of its medium-term bonds in order to buy longer-term ones. In theory, that pushes down the interest rate on longer-term loans, especially mortgages.

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