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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Dozens Killed By More Bombings In Iraq; 'Deadliest Day' In A Month

The scene in Ramadi, capital of Iraq's Anbar province, after a bomb exploded there today.
Azhar Shallal AFP/Getty Images

Another wave of bombings in Iraq killed dozens of people today and wounded about 200 in more than a dozen cities and towns.

According to The Associated Press, it's the kind of violence "officials had dreaded in the run-up to a Baghdad meeting of the Arab world's top leaders, which the government hoped would showcase the nation's stability." That summit is scheduled for next week. As the AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
4:27 am
Tue March 20, 2012

How Do Racial Attitudes Affect Opinions About The Health Care Overhaul?

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. Data suggest that racial attitudes of ordinary Americans shape both how they feel about the health care overhaul and how intense those feelings are.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear a case involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul, social scientists are asking a disturbing — and controversial — question: Do the intense feelings about the health care overhaul among ordinary Americans stem from their philosophical views about the appropriate role of government, or from their racial attitudes about the signature policy of the country's first black president?

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Law
4:14 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Do Juvenile Killers Deserve Life Behind Bars?

Raphael Johnson shot and killed a classmate when he was 17. After his release from prison, he got bachelor's and master's degrees and started a community policing program in Detroit.
Courtesy of Equal Justice Initiative

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 3:18 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in two homicide cases testing whether it is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a 14-year-old to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

There are currently 79 of these juvenile killers who will die in prison. What's more, in many states, the penalty is mandatory, meaning neither judge nor jury is allowed to consider the youngster's age or background in meting out the sentence.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Settlement Is Latest Blow For Cash-Strapped Mets

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It was two outs, bottom of the ninth for the New York Mets. Facing a civil trial in federal court this week, they managed to pull off a clutch out of court settlement with a price tag of $162 million, the value of a long-term contract for a star player. The team's owners reached that deal with the trustee recovering money for victims of imprisoned financier Bernie Madoff.

But as WNYC's Janet Babin reports, any relief is tempered by the team's long-term financial struggles.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

U.K. Considering Long-Term Bonds

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, one way governments raise money is by issuing bonds: you or your pension fund lend them the money, and they then pay a set amount of interest for a set amount of time, say 10 or 20 years. Well, Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, is reportedly ready to announce that the UK plans to issue a bond that only your great-grandchildren will be able to cash in. It matures in a hundred years.

Vicki Barker has this report from London.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Business News

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Italy's next step in a crisis is at the top of NPR's business news.

Italian prime minister Mario Monti is trying to restructure the economy so his country has a better shot at paying its debts. Today, he sits down to negotiate with the country's powerful trade union leaders. Monti hopes to weaken legal protections that make it almost impossible to fire employees. He blames these rules for slow economic growth and high unemployment in Italy.

U.S.
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

House Republicans To Unveil Budget Plan

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 8:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This morning, House Republicans unveiled a new budget plan on Capitol Hill. And like President Obama's budget document last month, the GOP's version is as much a political statement as an actual road map. NPR's Tamara Keith has that story.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In some ways, this budget is a sequel. This time last year, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a controversial budget document that passed the House with strong GOP support.

(SOUNDBITE OF WEB VIDEO)

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U.S.
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Florida Teen's Shooter Faces FBI Scrutiny

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We're following up now on the fatal shooting of a black teenager by an Hispanic neighborhood watch leader. That shooting took place three weeks ago in the central Florida town of Sanford. So far, no charges have been filed against George Zimmerman, who says he was acting in self-defense when he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The African-American community is frustrated. And yesterday student protestors were out in Sanford demanding the shooter be arrested. Mark Simpson of member station WMFE in Orlando has this report.

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Afghanistan
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Afghan Farmer Lost 11 Relatives In Shooting Rampage

Afghans gather outside a military base in the Panjwai district in Afghanistan on March 11, after 16 civilians were killed in a massacre allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 5:49 pm

Afghans say they're so inured to civilians killed in wars that they bury their dead and move on. That's not so easy for Muhammad Wazir. He lost his mother, his wife, a sister-in-law, a brother, a nephew, his four daughters and two of his sons in last week's mass shooting in two villages.

"My little boy, Habib Shah, is the only one left alive, and I love him very much," says Wazir.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Romney Drilled On Social Issues At Illinois Rally

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

When it comes to politics in this election cycle, Illinois is a place for grand themes.

INSKEEP: It's the home state of Abraham Lincoln, where several Republican candidates now seek to be the leader of the party of Lincoln.

GREENE: Illinois is also the home state of President Obama, the man Republicans desperately want to replace.

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