The Salt
2:51 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Weird Winter Has Gardeners Itching To Plant, Despite The Risks

Plant now, and in a month your spinach might look like this. It's a hardy plant that can survive late frost.
iStockPhoto.com

Right about now, gardeners are aching to get out and plant. Usually, in the February dregs of winter, that desire is dashed by cold, wet, maybe even frozen soil. But this year is different.

Here in Washington, D.C., snowdrops came up almost a month ago, and the daffodils have been blooming for two weeks. It's tempting to think that if these harbingers of spring showed up three weeks ahead of schedule, it's safe to plant early, too.

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Law
2:47 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Is The Voting Rights Act Endangered? A Legal Primer

South Carolina is one state that requires special clearance from the Justice Department to change its election laws. Here Charles Monnich casts his vote in the GOP primary at Martin Luther King Memorial Park in Columbia, S.C. on Jan. 21.
Gerry Melendez MCT /Landov

The roiling legal battles over election laws passed in various states have potentially far-reaching consequences: the fate of a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The landmark legislation requires the Justice Department to "pre-clear" any changes to election laws in some or all parts of 16 states, mostly in the South, because of their histories of racially discriminatory voting practices. The Justice Department recently used the mandate to block a voter identification law in South Carolina on grounds that it would harm minority voter turnout.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Report: The Remains Of Some Sept. 11 Victims Were Dumped In Landfill

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 2:13 pm

In a report released by the Pentagon today, the government admits that a contractor dumped some of the remains of Sept. 11 victims in a landfill.

According to the report, the remains "that could neither be tested nor identified" from victims of the attack on the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pa. crash were first taken to Dover Air Force Base, cremated by a contractor, returned to the base, where they were handed over to a "biomedical waste disposal contractor," which incinerated the remains.

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It's All Politics
2:09 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Obama Gives Eventual GOP Nominee Taste Of Michigan Campaign Ahead

President Obama appears to check smartphone as he heads for the Oval Office after speaking to the UAW, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 9:03 pm

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

At UAW Conference, Obama Defends Auto Bailout

President Barack Obama alongside UAW President Bob King prior to his speech at the United Auto Workers conference in Washington, D.C.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

In a speech to a convention of United Auto Workers, President Obama vigorously defended his administration's bailout of the auto industry.

Without naming his Republican opponents, a combative President Obama took shots at their opposition to the bailout.

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Author Interviews
12:20 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Putin 101: Understanding Russia's 'Strongman'

Macmillan

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 12:36 pm

Russia's presidential election is on Saturday. The projected winner is current prime minister — and former president — Vladimir Putin, the subject of a new biography, The Strongman. Author Angus Roxburgh is a longtime journalist who served briefly as a public relations adviser to the Kremlin. He joined Morning Edition's David Greene to discuss the complicated figure who dominates and defines Russian politics.


Interview Highlights

On Putin's ability to manipulate others

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The Salt
10:41 am
Tue February 28, 2012

When Food Truck Horns Meet Wedding Bells

Many food trucks, like Carpe Donut, are finding new business catering weddings.
Courtesy of Jack Looney

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 2:02 pm

Owning a food truck may sound like fun – it's a free wheeling, superhip, and low-cost way to experiment with food service. But increasingly food truckers are finding that they're up against some unfriendly realities of city streets, namely a shortage of parking spots.

That's why many, like Nida Rodriguez, who steers the helm of The Slide Ride, a Chicago truck that dishes out gourmet mini sandwiches, are now focused on catering events from office parties to weddings.

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Tue February 28, 2012

As Bombardment Continues, Rebels Smuggle Journalist Out Of Syria

A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib, northern Syria, on Sunday.
Rodrigo Abd AP

A British photojournalist hurt during the government shelling of Homs is now safe in Lebanon, his employer told Reuters.

Reuters adds that The Sunday Times said Paul Conroy was in "good shape and good spirits."

Conroy was hurt in the same incident that killed two other journalists, including his colleague Marie Colvin and Frenchman Remi Ochlik. There is no word whether French journalist Edith Bouvier, who is also hurt, is still in Syria.

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It's All Politics
10:31 am
Tue February 28, 2012

A 'New Low'? Romney Has Admitted Voting In Other Party's Primary

Following a visit to his Michigan campaign headquarters on Feb. 28, Mitt Romney told reporters that Republican voters should choose the party's nominee.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In a final burst of campaigning in Michigan Tuesday, embattled GOP front-runner Mitt Romney complained that rival Rick Santorum was making automated phone calls to Democrats and urging them to vote against Romney in the Republican race. (Although only declared Republicans can vote in the party primary, voters can change their affiliation to cast a ballot.)

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Shots - Health Blog
10:17 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Coming To A Strip Mall Near You, A Health Insurance Store

Now you can add health coverage to your shopping list.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 10:47 am

Soon millions of people will shop for health insurance on their own.

The health care overhaul requires nearly everyone to have health insurance, after all, and employer coverage has been slowly, steadily declining.

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