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12:02pm

Mon November 21, 2011
It's All Politics

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:06 pm

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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11:45am

Mon November 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Egyptian Cabinet Members Submit Resignations

From NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and The Associated Press, both in Cairo:

State TV in Egypt is reporting that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet have submitted their resignations to the nation's military council.

It isn't known, Soraya says, whether the interim government's resignations will be accepted.

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11:35am

Mon November 21, 2011
The Two-Way

It's Still OK To Text 'Offensive' Words In Pakistan

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 11:40 am

Pakistani families walk past an advertisement for a cellular telephone company in Rawalpindi.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

You can still text the name "Jesus Christ" and the word "naked" if you're a Pakistani with a cellphone.

Also still safe for texting: damn, nude and poop.

Those are among more than 1,600 words and phrases that the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency had reportedly ordered mobile companies in the country to block by today.

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11:22am

Mon November 21, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Does Diabetes Need A Blue Circle To Establish Its Disease Cred?

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:54 am

Is there room for a blue diabetes button?
iStockphoto.com

Breast cancer has a pink ribbon. Cystic fibrosis has a purple ribbon. Heart disease has a red ribbon.

Would diabetes be easier for people to talk about if it had a blue circle?

Some advocates think so and have been pushing various diabetes groups to unite behind the color blue. The idea has a lot of traction outside the United States.

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11:22am

Mon November 21, 2011
The Salt

For The Origins Of Pie, Look To The Humble Magpie

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:26 pm

A drawing of a medieval pie baker, circa 1465-1475.
Courtesy of Institut für Realienkunde

This is the month when the stately, voluptuous turkey takes a place of pride on most dinner tables. But when it comes to dessert, it's worth considering the relevance of another bird — the humble magpie.

That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" — defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry — may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.

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