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6:51pm

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

A General At The End Of His Afghan Tour

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:40 am

Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, the No. 2 U.S. officer in Afghanistan, steps down from his post Monday. The commander met last month with U.S. troops in Helmand Province.
David Gilkey David Gilkey/NPR

Today was the last day of a two-year tour in Afghanistan for Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, who has been responsible for the day-to-day operations in the war.

NPR's Tom Bowman and photographer David Gilkey spent a some time with him at Camp Dwyer, a desert base in Helmand Province. Tom was there when Rodriguez gave a pep-talk of sorts to several dozen Marines. He talked to Rodriguez about what's next for the U.S. in Afghanistan, especially after President Obama announced his plans to withdraw 10,000 troops.

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6:24pm

Mon July 11, 2011
Politics

A Conservative Spins Out The GOP's Debt Endgame

Longtime GOP aide Steve Bell believes a fear of primary challenges is driving politicians to hew to the party line.
Bipartisan Policy Center

As stop-and-start debt ceiling negotiations between President Obama and Republican leaders continue, longtime Capitol Hill conservative Steve Bell predicts that the two sides will strike a "mediocre," no-new-taxes-now deal before Aug. 2.

But he also suggests that his party may pay the price at the ballot box next year for its insistence on protecting tax cuts for the nation's highest earners.

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6:12pm

Mon July 11, 2011
It's All Politics

138 Minnesota Lawmakers Are Accepting Pay Despite Shutdown

This weekend, The Minnesota Star Tribune printed a list of 138 legislators who are still collecting paychecks despite the state government shut down. The paper reports that Gov. Mark Dayton, as well as 14 senators and 48 representatives, announced they would not accept pay as long as the shutdown lasts.

But that means that 72 percent of Republicans are still cashing their paychecks and 65 percent of Democratic-Farmer-Labor party members are still getting paid.

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6:11pm

Mon July 11, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Hold the Sodium, And Pass The Potassium-Rich Produce

Processed foods are generally high in sodium and low in potassium.
iStockphoto.com

Only last week a scientific review of the health effects of salt concluded that reducing the amount of salt in one's diet isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"Cutting down on the amount of salt has no clear benefits in terms of likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease," reads the plain-language summary from the Cochrane Collaboration. The reviewers called for more rigorous testing of sodium reduction to settle the matter.

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5:32pm

Mon July 11, 2011
The Two-Way

Israeli Legislature Sparks Discussion On Free Speech With 'Boycott Law'

Israel's Knesset, the country's unicameral legislature, passed a controversial law that has sparked heated discussion about what it means for free speech in the country.

With a 47-38 vote, today, the Knesset passed into a law a bill that will make it a civil penalty to call for a boycott on Israel or its settlements. The bill allows any person to sue another for declaring a boycott. The bill would also strip any business calling or participating in a boycott against Israel of any government funds.

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