Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:19 pm
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
In about an hour, Iowans will begin caucusing in the nation's first presidential contest of 2012. Republicans are gathering at sites representing more than 1,700 precincts. While voters can write in any name they like, six candidates leave the field. The top vote-getters will head into next week's New Hampshire primary with fresh momentum and while those at the bottom could find their campaigns on life support.
The results from Iowa suggest what has been clear for months: Republicans remain divided about their presidential choices.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney eked out an eight-vote win after he and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum swapped the slimmest of leads back and forth in Tuesday's caucuses. With returns complete, each had won the support of roughly 25 percent of caucusgoers.
Despite the near-tie, Iowa caucus rules do not allow for a recount. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was third at 21.5 percent, according to The Associated Press.
The third stage in Egypt's parliamentary elections got underway Tuesday. In upper Egypt, tensions between Muslims and Christians have intensified in the aftermath of the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. Qena is a stronghold of the ultra-conservative Salafi movement, and its members have clashed repeatedly with local Coptic Christians over the past year.
A Southwest Airlines passenger plane taxis on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport. Southwest and other smaller carriers have filed a lawsuit against new rules regarding airfare advertisements.
Credit Paul J. Richards / AFP/Getty Images
A police officer directs travelers arriving at Dulles International Airport. Some think the passenger experience hasn't been very good overall, and is unlikely to improve in the new year.
New rules will soon compel airlines and travel sites to disclose the total price of an airline ticket up front. But some airlines say the rules aren't fair and they're going to court to try to stop them.
Right now, some airlines and travel sites lure in customers with very low fares — and a tiny asterisk. Government taxes and fees — and perhaps a fuel surcharge — can be found in the fine print or on another screen.
Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 2:50 pm
Most patients who undergo bariatric surgery lose weight and experience other health benefits. They have less heart disease, diabetes and cancer than their obese counterparts who don't have the surgery.
Now, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden find bariatric surgery also reduces deaths from cardiovascular causes, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Supporters of Barack Obama hold signs as they listen to the then-candidate speak at an elementary school in Iowa in 2007. Crucial to his 2008 election, many young people have since grown disenchanted with the president.
Young voters came out in huge numbers to elect President Obama in 2008. This year, with no primary contest, Democrats are using their caucuses to test how much support they have in Iowa. But many young liberals have grown disenchanted with the president, and some have thrown their support behind Republican Ron Paul.
On Monday, 10 Obama for America volunteers made calls to registered Democrats from a Panera Bread turned phone bank just outside of Des Moines. The volunteers reminded Democrats when and where to show up to caucus.
There was a bit of progress made in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, today: Peace negotiators from both sides met for the first time in more than a year. While it did not seem that the two sides came to any agreement, they said they will continue to talk.
The AP reports the talks were hosted by Jordan under the auspices of The Quartet, a group of countries that includes the U.S. and the European Union. The AP adds:
If you, like me, order a tall coffee when you go to Starbucks, you'll be paying 10 cents more. The Seattle coffee chain is raising prices in the Northeast and across the Sunbelt with the exception of California and Florida.
Cities like Boston, New York, Atlanta and Dallas will also see an increase of about 1 percent on other drinks. Starbucks said its next bigger size, grande, will cost the same.
There are an estimated 37 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree — and Western Governors University is trying to change that. The nonprofit online school is challenging many traditional concepts about higher education with a new approach aimed to help adult students finish college.
And after 15 years in existence, the school is catching on.
Gingrich with one of the many pieces of farm equipment he encountered on a last-minute campaign swing through Iowa. This tractor was on display at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center on Jan. 2 in Independence, Iowa.
Newt Gingrich is making his closing arguments to voters in the Mississippi River towns of Muscatine and Burlington in advance of Tuesday's Republican party caucuses and that argument boils down to this: Gingrich is better, smarter and more experienced than the rest.
American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.
Melissa Block interviews John Armbruster, a seismologist with Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, part of Columbia University, about why he believes the waste from fracking in Ohio has led to the earthquakes there. He says the injection of waste water from the fracking process created pressure on nearby faults, and he expects the quakes to continue — even after the process is stopped.
The Taliban announces it will soon open a political office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move could set the stage for negotiations on an end to the Afghan war. But the State Department reiterated that the process will only succeed if the Taliban renounces violence, severs ties with al-Qaida and abides by the Afghan constitution.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. All of the attention that Iowa has gotten in the past year comes to a head tonight. Nearly 2000 precincts across that state will record the first votes in the presidential nominating contest. At most sites, Iowans will write a name on a blank piece of paper and put it in a box.
South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.
Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.
The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.
Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Credit Khin Maung Win / AP
People stand behind barricades as they wait for family members to be freed from Insein Prison in Yangon, Myanmar, on Tuesday. Myanmar's government announced Monday that it is reducing the sentences of many prisoners, but stopped short of declaring an amnesty for political prisoners that many people had expected.
A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.
The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.
We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.
Huntsman may refuse to be the 'goat' of the GOP race, but he and his wife, Mary Kaye, did meet one named Izak and his owner, Bill Higgins, on Monday night outside the McConnell Community Center in Dover, N.H.
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
Huntsman (at left in white shirt) listened to an introduction by his wife, Mary Kaye, before speaking in Dover, N.H. Monday night. On the right are his son-in-law, Jeffrey Livingston, and his daughters Abby and Mary Anne.
On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.
With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.
Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.
Republican presidential candidates prepared Tuesday for their first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops throughout Iowa in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.
Later tonight, Iowa Republicans will gather to cast ballots for the person they want to stand against President Obama in November. But after a bruising months-long campaign, more than a third of those participating in the caucuses say they still haven't made up their minds.