5:46pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Music Interviews

Gretchen Peters: Personal Pain As Universal Truth

Gretchen Peters' new album is Hello Cruel World.
Gina Binkley

Country Music Award winner Gretchen Peters had an eventful 2010: The BP oil spill washed up on her doorstep, a good friend committed suicide, and her son announced that he's transgender. The last of those in particular, she says, got her thinking about personal conflict.

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5:41pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Let Them Eat Funnel Cake: A Napoleon-Based Theme Park for France

A dark cloud passes over a statue of Napoleon in Vienna.
Joe Klamar AFP/Getty Images

No celebrity can be truly world renown unless they have their own theme park. Mickey Mouse and Disney have theirs. Now, Napoleon might get his chance too.

Christian Mantei the head of Atout France, the tourism group supporting the endeavor, once told the The Economist that "bosses at Disneyland Paris once said that only Napoleon had the stature to take on Mickey Mouse".

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5:27pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Music Interviews

Roberta Flack's Long And Winding Road

Roberta Flack's new album, Let It Be Roberta, is a collection of reworked Beatles favorites.
Brian T. Silak Courtesy of the artist

Roberta Flack has been singing in a way that plucks at the heartstrings since 1969, when she recorded the breakthrough song "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." She followed that hit with many, many more, including, "Killing Me Softly with His Song," "Where Is the Love" and "The Closer I Get to You."

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5:02pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Two-Way

N.J. Gov. Christie Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers a question in Trenton, N.J., on Jan. 30.
Mel Evans AP

As he had promised, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have allowed gay marriage in his state.

The governor issued his veto just a day after the state's legislature passed the bill. According to The Star-Ledger, Christie said that he was, however, appointing an "ombudsman to address complaints of same-sex couples and strengthen New Jersey's civil union's law."

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4:34pm

Fri February 17, 2012
History

Hail To The Veep: America's Executive Underdog

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:01 am

Charles G. Dawes served under Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929. Dawes is the only vice president to have both a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in World War I and a Billboard Top 10 hit, and neither had anything to do with his tenure as vice president.
Keystone Getty Images

Forty-seven men have been vice president. John Adams was the first, and he ascended to the presidency after George Washington's second term. But only 13 other vice presidents did that.

With Presidents Day just around the corner, we want to salute the rest of them — the overlooked vice presidents who never rose higher than that office, and then quietly shrank from the national stage.

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4:25pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Postal Service Seeks 5 Cent Hike For First-Class Stamps

In a letter, the postmaster general told Congress, yesterday, that in order to mitigate losses the United States Postal Service needed to raise the price of stamps by as much as 5 cents.

That means stamps could cost 50 cents.

The New York Times reports that Patrick Donahoe also said that if it didn't raise postage prices and slow first-class mail by one day, the service could lose up to $18.2 billion a year by 2015.

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3:35pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Salt

Sprouts Growers Say They Need FDA To Set New Safety Rules

Originally published on Wed February 22, 2012 1:34 pm

Clover sprouts look to be the source of the latest e. coli outbreak.
Stephanie Phillips iStockPhoto.com

Another week, another outbreak of illness caused by sprouts. The latest troubles come to people who ate sandwiches from Jimmy John's restaurants in five Midwestern states.

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3:20pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Fight Over Contraceptive Coverage Heats Up In Court

iStockphoto.com

The fight over who pays for birth control isn't confined to Congress or the campaign trail. It's burning in federal court, too.

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3:16pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Around the Nation

Crumbs May Soon Dry Up For New York Subway Rats

A New York lawmaker wants to put the brakes on eating donuts, and anything else for that matter, in the city's subway system. State Sen. Bill Perkins of Harlem says an eating ban would help combat rats and litter. But, the issue is stirring somewhat of a food fight among subway riders.

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2:58pm

Fri February 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Celebration As Improv: In Libya 'We Don't Know How To Celebrate'

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 5:01 pm

An elderly man shouts religous slogans as Libyans celebrate the 1st anniversary marking the start of the Libyan uprising against Moammar Gadhafi in Freedom Square in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

I've spent the day in the company of Malik L, a Benghazi-based hip hop artist who seems to get stopped every 100 feet by either a friend or a fan. In between these conversations, I asked Malik about what celebrations were scheduled for tonight.

"I have no idea," he replied. "No one does. Libya has never done this before. We don't know how to celebrate an anniversary."

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