The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

It's Not Your Imagination: Americans Are More Polarized, Says Pew

Linda Door of Laguna Beach, Calif. protests against the health care reform law as supporters file past the Supreme Court in Washington, last March.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

It's not just our politicians who are divided. According to a new report (pdf) from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans' values and "basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years."

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It's All Politics
5:42 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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Middle East
5:08 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Israel Presents Itself As Haven For Gay Community

Israel is now marketing itself internationally as welcoming to the gay community. Participants in the annual gay pride parade in Jerusalem are shown here on July 29, 2010.
Ronen Zvulun Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 8:56 am

The sun is setting, gay pride flags wave next to the water, same-sex couples kiss and cuddle on the beach. This is Tel Aviv — which the government of Israel is now pushing as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world — and gay tourism is booming.

"It's a place you have to go, good parties, nice people, beautiful people and just different from all the other tourist destinations you can go to," says Jorg Grosskopf, a German tourist who, together with his partner, Peter, is on his seventh vacation in Israel.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:53 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Mental Illness Is Up Close In One Actor's Family

Calen Pick, a nephew of actor Glenn Close, lives with schizo-affective disorder.
Courtesy of Jessie Close

Oscar-nominated actor Glenn Close is known for her roles in movies like Fatal Attraction and Air Force One and now the hit TV show Damages. But she's also playing a more prominent role raising awareness about mental illness.

She was inspired by her sister Jessie Close, who lives with bipolar disorder, as well as her nephew Calen Pick, who has schizo-affective disorder.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Syrian Rebels Say They No Longer Respect U.N.-Backed Truce

Syrian rebels said they are no longer holding their fire. Reuters reports that the rebels are walking away from the United-Nations-backed truce with the regime of Bashar Assad.

"We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire)," Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters. "We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities."

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American Dreams: Then And Now
3:54 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

After The Housing Bust, Revisiting Homeownership

Nationwide, home sales are up, mortgage rates are down and in many places, owning a home is as attractive as renting for the first time in years.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

For generations, owning a home has been a key part of the lifestyle most Americans aspire to. But when the mortgage crisis exploded in 2007, it brought down the U.S. housing market — and the entire economy along with it.

The ensuing recession was an assault on the American dream of homeownership itself. The tidal wave of foreclosures, the crash in home prices and tighter lending standards have left some Americans unable or simply too nervous to buy a house.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

California's Top-Two Primary System Faces First Statewide Test

Abel Maldonado, a former California state senator and current congressional candidate, pushed for the change to the top-two primary system. He says he thinks the system will lead to "more open-minded and more reasonable" officials.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:45 pm

When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.

Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.

In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:48 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Potty Talk For The Greater Good

A makeshift latrine hangs over the water at the edge of Cite de Dieu, a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John W. Poole / NPR

How do you get people interested in the difference something as simple as a toilet can make for health?

If you're the head of the World Toilet Organization (yes, there is one), or the author of a page-turner about sanitation, or you're part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you talk toilets up. A lot.

And, it turns out, if you're in Seattle, which considers itself the home for new ideas on global health, talking about poop and toilets will pack an 842-seat theater on a Friday night.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Supreme Court Backs Secret Service Agents In Dick Cheney Case

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a 2006 Republican rally in Idaho.
Jason Hunt AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:36 pm

In a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Service detail, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that agents accused of a politically motivated arrest are immune from suit. But the court's unanimous ruling did little more than resolve this particular case.

The decision stems from an incident in 2006 in the Colorado resort town of Beaver Creek, where Cheney was shaking hands at a shopping mall. Steven Howards got in line and when his turn came, he told the vice president that the Bush administration's Iraq policies were "disgusting."

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All Tech Considered
3:22 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Do These Pants Make Me Look ... ? Body Scans For A Better Fit

OptiTex creates digital models of clothes for department stores like Target and Kohl's. These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments.
OptiTex

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

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