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Planet Money
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Jack Abramoff Explains The 'Lobbyist Safecracker Method'

Jack Abramoff in 2004. He's the one on the right.
Dennis Cook AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:39 am

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff has been making the rounds lately. He's out of prison. He has a new book. He's in a talkative mood. So I figured it was a good time to ask him about the business of lobbying — not about what he did that was illegal, but about the ordinary, legal stuff.

The firm he worked for was called Greenberg Traurig. I chose a year at random when Abramoff was working there, and picked a client I hoped would be fairly typical. I chose Tyco International, a multinational corporation that in 2003 gave Abramoff's firm $1.3 million.

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Latin America
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

State-Of-The-Art Hospital Offers Hope For Haiti

A worker pushes a wheelbarrow past the new National Teaching Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti, on Jan. 10. When it opens this summer, the 320-bed facility will be Haiti's largest hospital and provide services and a level of care well beyond what's currently available.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:04 am

Even before the devastating earthquake in 2010, Haiti's public health care system was perhaps the worst in the Western Hemisphere. Then the quake knocked down clinics, killed medical workers and severely damaged the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, the capital.

Now, the Boston-based group Partners in Health has set out to build a world-class teaching hospital in what used to be a rice field in the Haitian countryside.

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Business
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Other File-Sharing Sites: 'We're Not Megaupload'

Folder background.
alengo iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:50 pm

A week has passed since the landing of an indictment that shut down the website Megaupload for copyright infringement and racketeering. But it seems like it's still easy for people like college student Bobby Azarbayejani to find whatever music he wants.

He has used Megaupload before, but because that site is gone, he is using MediaFire. It's one of the many sites on the Internet where people share all types of files.

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Latin America
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Reading The Tea Leaves: Cuba's Communists Convene

Fidel Castro made a surprise appearance at the 6th Communist Party Congress in Havana, Cuba, held April 19, 2011. This weekend, the party will meet for the first time since then, and observers will be looking for insight into who may be on the ascendant in the party leadership.
Javier Galeano AP

In Cuba this weekend, President Raul Castro will preside over the first meeting of the island's all-powerful Communist Party since last April. Castro has lowered expectations for any new economic reform announcements, saying that internal party affairs will be the business at hand.

But many Cubans will be watching for signs of who is rising in the party's ranks — and who could take over after Raul and Fidel Castro, both in their 80s, are gone.

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It's All Politics
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In Florida, The Early Birds May Be The Deciders

Early voters cast ballots for the Republican primary in Miami on Monday.
Alan Diaz AP

From Pensacola to Miami, the Republican primary is in full swing. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are blanketing the state with rallies and personal appearances. The airwaves are full of campaign ads.

But Jeanne Casserta has heard enough. With several days left to go in the campaign, she stopped by the library in Coral Springs this week to cast her vote. She said she's heard plenty from both the Romney and Gingrich campaigns.

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Television
11:01 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

For 'Black Nerds Everywhere,' Two Comedy Heroes

Jordan Peele (left) plays President Obama and Keegan-Michael Key (right) plays his "anger translator" in a sketch from Key & Peele, premiering Jan. 31 on Comedy Central.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 11:28 am

Comics Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have known each other for years. They were both in the cast of MadTV. Now they're starting their own sketch-comedy series, due to launch on Comedy Central on Tuesday.

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StoryCorps
9:00 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

After Son's Sudden Death, Shock, Grief And Coping

Buelah and Dennis Apple spoke about their son Denny during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 9:04 am

Nearly 21 years ago, Dennis Apple and his wife, Buelah, were thrust into a situation parents dread. Their son Denny had come down with mononucleosis. And as they recall, just before bed one night, Denny took his medicine and then talked about where he wanted to sleep.

At the time, Denny was 18; he had begun competing in triathlons near the family's home in Olathe, Kan., outside Kansas City.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Later Tonight: Live Blogging The Latest GOP Debate

With just four full days to go before Tuesday's crucial Florida primary, the four remaining major Republican presidential candidates gather tonight for another debate.

This time the setting is the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The host network is CNN. The network's Wolf Blitzer will moderate. The other sponsors are the Republican Party of Florida and the Hispanic Leadership Network, a center-right advocacy group.

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

In A Campaign Defined By Debates, Some Moments That Really Mattered

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was searching for the words "Department of Energy" during the CNBC debate Nov. 9, 2011 in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Paul Sancya AP

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Shots - Health Blog
5:07 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Blood Doctors Call Foul On NCAA's Screening For Sickle Cell

University of Central Florida wide receiver Ereck Plancher died in 2008, after taking part in voluntary strength and conditioning drills. A lawsuit by his family claimed his death was related to complications from sickle cell trait that weren't properly treated. The university is appealing the decision against it.
AP

If you're a college athlete who's talented enough to play a Division I sport, the NCAA requires that you get a blood test to see if you have sickle cell trait.

People with sickle cell trait carry one copy of a gene that can lead to an abnormal type of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells. (Two copies of the gene lead to sickle cell disease.)

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