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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.

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

Republican presidential candidates made a final push in Iowa hours ahead of Tuesday's first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.

Polls show the race in Iowa has narrowed to a three-man contest among former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

If you were listening carefully to NPR's Ted Robbins' report on Rick Santorum on Morning Edition yesterday, you heard some pretty controversial comments from the Republican presidential candidate.

No, The School Nurse Is Not In

Jan 3, 2012

More than half of American public schools don't have a full-time nurse, and the situation is getting worse as school systems further cut budgets. This year, 51 were laid off in Philadelphia's public schools, 20 in a Houston suburb, 15 in San Diego and dozens more in other school systems nationwide.

Other schools have reduced their school nurse staffing.

Making The Best Of A Hospital Stay By Quitting Smoking

Jan 3, 2012

When smokers are in the hospital, they typically have to give up cigarettes for as long as they're there.

Most hospitals make little effort to screen patients for tobacco use or to help them kick the habit permanently. That's a missed opportunity.

In Iowa, It's Decision Day At Last

Jan 3, 2012

After months of campaigning, it's finally caucus day in Iowa. Polls still show a fluid race, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum heading the pack.

The man police called "the most dangerous arsonist in Los Angeles County," may have been angered by the immigration hearing of a family member. The Los Angeles Times reports that Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old from Germany who was arrested and charged in connection to a string of arson fires in Los Angeles, went on an anti-American tirade recently.

The Times reports:

Scotch Whisky From A Can?

Jan 3, 2012

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's Caucus Day In Iowa

Jan 3, 2012

Today, Iowa kicks off the 2012 presidential race in earnest. As, you've no doubt heard by now, the Republican presidential contest is still very fluid: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum could all win the season's first contest.

As The Des Moines Register found in its poll, the race is so unsettled "41 percent of those who have a first choice could still be persuaded to change their minds."

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