NPR News

In a sign that the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and those announced by the European Union are squeezing Iran, the chief of Iran's judiciary warned that major currency speculators could face the death penalty.

The AP quotes Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani as saying that "depending on the importance of their crimes, some of the economic corrupted can face execution."

Well, here we are starting February, with the single most important day in sports upon us.

No, of course I don't mean a silly little thing like Super Bowl Sunday. But today, the first Wednesday of the second month, is by some sort of — what, pagan lunar calendar? –– officially decreed National Signing Day, when all over America, high school seniors can officially plight their troth to a college football program.

Even in the dead of winter, the Russian city of St. Petersburg, with its church spires, palaces and waterways, is one of the world's truly beautiful cities. It was here that the Russian revolution began, and it's here where Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev cut their teeth politically.

Two senators who have taken the lead on legislation aimed to help homeowners refinance at historically low interest rates were blunt this morning about how concerned they are by the news NPR reported earlier this week that Freddie Mac "has placed multibillion-dollar bets against American homeowners being able to refinance to cheaper mortgages."

A snazzy new Communist Party poster shows two young, tech-savvy and attractive Russians. Both are smiling and dressed in red: The woman holds a red iPhone; the man holds a red laptop, his T-shirt emblazoned with a hammer and sickle.

The slogan: "For the victory of the majority."

According to a secret NATO report obtained by the BBC and The Times of London, Pakistan is actively supporting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

The leaked classified report further highlights the complicated relationship between the United States and Pakistan. If you remember, back in September the then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff accused Pakistan of using extremist organizations as proxies to attack U.S. troops.

The tech and business world are buzzing this morning with the expectation that Facebook, the world's largest social network, will take the first step toward going public today.

The big question coming off of Mitt Romney's decisive 14-point victory in Florida is, "What's next for Newt Gingrich?" If you go by what the former speaker said during interviews and his speech last night, the campaign will extend into the summer.

But as The New York Times sees it, Gingrich might have to recalibrate, and it may all come down to Super Tuesday.

The Times explains:

It was a great night for Mitt Romney, restoring the former Massachusetts governor's lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Storming from behind after his crashing fall in South Carolina 10 days earlier, Romney overtook rival Newt Gingrich and passed him in the course of a week. In the end, he won the far larger and more pivotal state of Florida by the same margin he had lost by in South Carolina.

He did it in two ways, both depending on the power of TV in a state too large for retail campaigning.

With his lopsided win in Florida, Mitt Romney displayed nearly all the skills and talents a front-runner might need.

He was able to decimate his leading opponent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, through a series of disciplined and sustained attacks, and he had the organizational capacity to press every tactical advantage.

The only thing he failed to do, some critics maintain, was present a convincing case that he's the best possible Republican candidate to take on President Obama.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum chose to characterize his distant third-place finish in Florida's Republican presidential primary as a victory, of sorts.

"Speaker Gingrich spent 5 or 6 million bucks in the state of Florida and walked away with no delegates," he told NPR after a packed primary night event at his Nevada headquarters in Las Vegas. "I didn't spend a penny."

"We are in a cash-positive position," he said, adding that his campaign on Tuesday raised $200,000 online.

Cystic Fibrosis Drug Wins Approval

Jan 31, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug that can treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.

The drug, known as Kalydeco, works by helping to fix one defect in the protein that causes the disease.

Any job that involves breaking up rock or concrete or brick can potentially expose workers to dangerous silica dust, and last year it looked like the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration was about to put stricter controls in place to limit this health hazard.

The last time the British did this, they had a king: George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth, was on the throne.

George was so often tongue-tied, yet he proclaimed open the 1948 London Olympics flawlessly.

It was late July. The sun shone down on London from a cloudless sky. The BBC had acquired the TV broadcasting rights for just $4,000 and made the most of them.

People packed Wembley Stadium, eager to forget the horrors of the second world war.

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