NPR News

If you thought the 2008 election cycle was full of negative ads, just wait until 2012's campaign gets fully underway.

The upcoming presidential campaign, says journalist Joe Hagan, is expected to "be the most negative in the history of American politics."

"Skinny venti quad decaf latte" is not a household term in India. But that may be about to change, as Elliot Hannon reports from New Delhi on today's Morning Edition.

More Than A Million Condoms Recalled In South Africa

Jan 31, 2012

The party may be over, but the trouble may just be starting in South Africa.

The health department in Free State province is recalling 1.35 million condoms that may not be up to snuff.

The Occupy D.C. encampment received notice that as of noon yesterday, camping would not be allowed at McPherson Square, the downtown Washington, D.C. park they've occupied for months now.

But that deadline came and went and instead of heeding the warning from the National Park Service, the protesters erected an even bigger tent. The protesters draped a huge blue tarp emblazoned with the words "Tent of Dreams" over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the middle of the park.

CBO Estimates $1.1 Trillion Federal Deficit

Jan 31, 2012

Taking into account all the budget legislation passed in the last year, the Congressional Budget Office says the country will run a $1.1 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2012.

The CBO reports that is nearly 7 percent of the United States' GDP, but is "nearly 2 percentage points below the deficit recorded in 2011, but still higher than any deficit between 1947 and 2008."

Home prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index found a drop in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.

The AP reports:

"The biggest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase.

"The decline partly reflects the typical fall slowdown after the peak buying season.

Citing safety concerns, Italian officials said they were calling off the search for those still missing at the site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The AP reports:

"Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.

"I'm rolling seven digits deep!" is what Stephen Colbert told the Federal Election Commission in his superPAC's filing this morning.

The comedian said that as of January 30, his political action committee had collected $1,023,121.24 in donations.

VIDEO: Mitt Romney Sings 'America The Beautiful'

Jan 31, 2012

Maybe it's the latest poll numbers. Maybe it was being among a crowd of a few thousand supporters.

But Mitt Romney, long-known for being a little stiff, broke out into song during a campaign event at a retirement community in The Villages, Fla.

Odds are that today's Republican primary in Florida won't be nearly as dramatic as the previous contest in South Carolina. Polls have been predicting a comfortable win for Mitt Romney and, as The Washington Post reports, a Quinnipiac University poll released, yesterday, gave Romney a 14-point lead over Newt Gingrich.

For a long time, Los Angeles has been a Lakers town, but thanks to some of the NBA's brightest young stars, it's now the perennially ridiculed Clippers who have the better record — and much of the city's attention. That's especially gratifying for one die-hard Clippers fan.

Darrell Bailey, better known as "Clipper Darrell," has missed only one Clippers game in the past 11 seasons. "I was in the hospital," he says. "That's the only reason they kept me out."

Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?

Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.

If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.

When city folk think of lamb, they may think of very young sheep — perhaps 6 weeks old. But 6 months is the average age of spring lamb going to market these days.

Don Van Nostran has one in a holding pen in his barn at Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio. It soon will be butchered and sold in a local Kroger store.

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