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Election 2012
11:20 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Just How Independent Are Independent Voters?

Voters cast ballots in Dearborn, Mich. Some political analysts say truly independent voters account for just 10 percent to 15 percent of the electorate.
Paul Sancya AP

Lester Wilson doesn't think of himself as a Republican or a Democrat. He's not a card-carrying Libertarian or Green, either.

The one group he does belong to is the 40 percent of Americans who identify as independents — a group now larger than any single political party, according to a recent Gallup survey.

"I like my independent status. I think voting for just one party is a betrayal of my civic duty," says the 38-year-old maintenance worker from Asheville, N.C.

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Media
11:09 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow hosts the nightly news talk show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.
Bill Phelps Courtesy of the author

For much of the past decade, journalist Rachel Maddow has hosted her own radio and TV shows. And for much of that time, the popular MSNBC host has been thinking about how the United States uses military force — and how it starts and end wars.

Maddow's new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power traces how U.S. national intelligence agencies have taken over duties that were once assigned to the military, and how this shift has increased the public disconnect from the consequences of war.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Protest By Fire: Why Some Tibetans Choose Self-Immolation

A Tibetan Buddhist monk holds up a candle with other Tibetan exiles during a candlelight vigil for Tibetan Janphel Yeshi, who set himself on fire earlier in New Delhi.
Strdel/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:55 am

The number of Tibetans who have set themselves on fire in the past year to protest Chinese rule over Tibet is now estimated to be at 30. Most have died.

And more self-immolations are likely.

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The Salt
10:46 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Shad Are Angling To Once Again Be The Tasty Harbinger of Spring

This hickory shad is fun to catch, but its cousin the American shad is the tastiest.
iStockphoto.com

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:41 am
Tue March 27, 2012

Bypass Surgery Edges Stents For Heart Treatment

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 11:09 am

The debate over coronary bypass surgery versus stenting goes back decades.

Studies have been inconclusive, but doctors and patients have voted with their feet in favor of the less-invasive procedure — clearing clogged arteries and propping them open with tiny scaffolds called stents.

U.S. doctors do at least two stenting procedures these days for every coronary bypass operation.

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