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The conference finals are underway in the National Hockey League playoffs. In the East, the New York Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils Monday. In the West, the Los Angeles Kings have won Game 1 — beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-2.

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Syria's violence has not let up. Over the weekend, Syrian troops continued their campaign against those who opposed the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Let's talk about this with NPR's Kelly McEvers, who's on the line from Beirut. And Kelly, what's the latest?

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Israel's prime minister has formed a national unity government. Like all Israeli leaders, Benjamin Netanyahu leads a coalition government in parliament. He needs to put together multiple parties to have a majority. And by adding the centrist Kadima party to his side, Netanyahu increases his support and avoids the possibility of having to call an early election. NPR's. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro joins us on the line from Israel to tell us what it all means. Lourdes, hi.

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, BYLINE: Hi.

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Pakistan's Supreme Court has issued a judgment against the country's prime minister - again. The court had already ruled against Prime Minister Yusuf Reza Gilani for blocking a corruption investigation. Now, the judges have released details of their ruling, giving 77 pages worth of reasons why they found the prime minister in contempt of court. Let's remember this conflict is taking place in a vital, if troubled, U.S. ally.

NPR's Julie McCarthy joins us on the line from Islamabad, as she has so many times over the years. Hi, Julie.

South Sudan is the country that voted to break away from Sudan. They've been jostling for control of border zones, including oil fields. And just as the two sides were sitting down to negotiate, fighting broke out.

Politics In The News

Apr 30, 2012

Tuesday marks one year from the day President Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden had been killed. To underline the significance of the anniversary, the administration sent its counter-terrorism expert out on the airwaves Sunday. It also launched a controversial campaign ad about the raid against the al-Qaida leader.

Teams in the NBA playoff have begun their quest to be the champion. The headline story of the weekend: Chicago superstar Derrick Rose is out with a torn knee ligament.

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Seems like only a month or two ago that some pundits saw almost no way that Mitt Romney could easily sew up his party's nomination, and they spun out elaborate scenarios of a contested convention. Actually, it was only a month or two ago that some pundits were saying that. But now Romney's nomination is assumed, especially after he won five primaries this week. And that leaves him a full half year to make his case against President Obama.

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Pakistan faces even more political uncertainty. The country's supreme court today found the prime minister guilty of contempt of court. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani had resisted demands by the court that he press authorities in Switzerland to pursue money laundering charges there against his boss, the president of Pakistan. NPR's Julie McCarthy has been following this story. She was at the court in Islamabad.

Hi, Julie.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

A special tribunal in The Hague has found former Liberian President Charles Taylor guilty of aiding war crimes. Taylor armed fighters in neighboring Sierra Leone in return for "blood diamonds."

Politics In The News

Apr 23, 2012

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Now Marco Rubio happens to be one of those regularly mentioned as a possible vice presidential choice for Mitt Romney. And that's where we pick up our discussion with Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: So is the vice presidential choice an opportunity for Romney to appeal to Hispanics?

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The Secret Service scandal has now cost three men their jobs. The government says they were involved in misconduct in South America, and they are leaving the agency. Agents, as well as military personnel, allegedly hired prostitutes in advance of President Obama's recent trip to Colombia.

NPR justice correspondent Carrie Johnson has been following this story. She's in our studios. Good morning.

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A brief encounter between two leaders has raised hope for better relations between India and Pakistan. India's prime minister hosted Pakistan's president and accepted a return invitation to travel to Pakistan. We talk here of two nuclear-armed rivals whose relations were even worse than usual, after Pakistani militants attacked Mumbai in 2008. And the meeting came as disaster struck Pakistani troops facing Indian soldiers in the Himalayas.

NPR's Julie McCarthy is going to talk us through all this. Hi, Julie.

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Let's talk about the surprisingly weak jobs report that came out from the Labor Department today. The numbers for March show just 120,000 new jobs were added to U.S. payrolls. That's considered a disappointment, even though the unemployment rate did decline slightly, to 8.2 percent.

NPR's John Ydstie is here to talk with us about what all this means. Hi, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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In the southern French city of Toulouse, police are in a stand-off with a man suspected of carrying out a series of shootings. The suspect is described as a 24-year-old French citizen, of North African heritage. He is said to be an al-Qaida sympathizer.

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NPR's business news starts with Apple's giant pile of money.

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INSKEEP: The maker of iPads, iPhones and computers is sitting on almost one hundred billion dollars in cash and securities. And today, Apple announced that it will spend some of that money paying a stock dividend to shareholders and buying back some company stock. NPR's Steve Henn has been following developments, and joins us on the line from Silicon Valley. Steve, good morning.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Good morning.

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We're following news this morning of more killings in the Syrian city of Homs. That's the city where rebel neighborhoods came under artillery fire for weeks and where two Western journalists were killed. Rebels later retreated, but residents and activists say pro-government militias have massacred dozens of civilians, mainly women and children. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following this story from Beirut.

And, Kelly, what evidence you have?

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Here's one thing that many people mean when they say Washington is broken. They may mean that politicians from different parties seem unable or totally unwilling to compromise, and many voters hate that. And yet many voters also hate it if politicians from their own party should compromise with the other side. That could be considered giving in. NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly to talk about social science research, and he's found some that relates to this political problem. Hi, Shankar.

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This ranks among the more dismaying moments in a decade-long war. Americans have worked for years to position themselves as protectors of Afghans against murderous insurgents, and then yesterday a U.S. Army sergeant surrendered after a shooting rampage that left well over a dozen people dead. The list of those killed includes women and children, and the motive for the suspect remains unclear.

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And we're also reporting on violence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The attacks stretched the weekend into today. Israeli airstrikes killed three more people today in Gaza - that Palestinian-held area - bringing the total to 21.

As Israelis have been bombing, Palestinians have been firing rockets into Israel. And NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro is following this story.

And Lourdes, what's the latest?

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inkseep. Let's follow up on today's unemployment report. The Labor Department says unemployment stayed where it was, 8.3 percent, but the economy created 227,000 new jobs net.

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum won three Super Tuesday contests: Oklahoma, North Dakota and Tennessee. He just missed in Ohio. Mitt Romney went on to win there.

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Politics In The News

Mar 5, 2012

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The presidential contest overshadows constant maneuvering that could determine control of Congress this fall. Democrats hope to recapture the House. Republicans have been presumed to have an advantage in their efforts to take over the Senate. Both sides have been dealt some disappointments lately though.

Cokie Roberts has analysis as she does most Mondays. And this Monday morning, she's at our member station KERA in Dallas. Hi, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi. How are you, Steve?

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Some new research throws into question things we say all the time about the Internet. The research focuses on Twitter, the service that lets many millions of people send short messages to each other from computers or cell phones. It's commonly said that social networking like this is revolutionary, that it's created new communities, even that it's obliterated geography. You can connect with people who share common interests, not just people who happen to live nearby. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is here to explode all that. Hi, Shankar.

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One more Arab nation is changing a longtime leader. Yemen's president for 33 years was Ali Abdullah Saleh. Today, millions of Yemenis vote. And they're being asked to ratify a plan under which Saleh's vice president will replace him. NPR's Kelly McEvers is in Yemen's capital Sana'a.

And, Kelly, where exactly are you in the capital city?

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The U.S. economy is improving, even though Americans keep having to look over their shoulders at Europe. The state of the economy affects everything in American politics right now, from the presidential election to the budget that the White House lays out today.

NPR's Cokie Roberts has some analysis, as she does the most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, so what does the president's budget tell us?

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On a Friday morning, it's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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