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The Torch
12:00 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

For Opening Ceremonies, An Olympic Secret Is Hard To Keep

March of the Nurses: A group of performers waits to rehearse their role in the Olympics Opening Ceremony Friday.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

With the London 2012 Opening Ceremony just days away, armies of costumed performers are rehearsing in Olympic Park.

In the bowels of the stadium, dancers, acrobats and actors wait patiently for their turn on the field. Gentlemen in top hats use cellphones to take pictures of each other. Chimney sweeps step outside to have a smoke. In the stands are thousands of people lucky enough to have scored tickets to watch dress rehearsals.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Ghana's President, John Evans Atta Mills, Is Dead

President John Atta Mills at a campaign event in 2004.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

The president of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, has died at age 68, the Ghana News Agency reports.

As the AP reports, Mills ran three times for president and finally emerged the victor in 2009, promising to reform the West African country.

The AP adds:

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The Salt
11:43 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Hold The Ice: Rhetoric Gets Hot Over New York's Big Soda Ban

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:11 pm

Ever since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he plans to ban big sodas from the streets of New York City to address the city's obesity problem, drink companies, soda fans, and libertarians have been wanting to treat him like a Glee kid and give him a big Slushee in the face.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Feel-Good Photo: Gabrielle Giffords Atop A Mountain In France

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (center) and her husband Mark Kelly (right), at the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps on Monday. Behind them is mountain guide Vincent Lameyre.
Denis Balibouse Reuters /Landov

After four days of sadly serious news about what happened in Aurora, Colo., here's a photo that may lift your heart.

Reuters explains that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., rode a two-stage cable car on Monday to the peak of Aiguille du Midi in the French Alps. That's 12,605-feet above sea level.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Peg Perego Recalls 223,000 Strollers Due To Strangulation Risk

The models of strollers being recalled.
Peg Perego

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 12:16 pm

One child strangled to death and another nearly strangled when their heads were caught between the tray and the seat bottom of their Peg Perego strollers. The Italian company is now issuing a recall for 223,000 strollers that were sold in the United States from Jan. of 2004 and Sept. 2007 and

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Wal-Mart Urgest Retailers To Reject $6 Billion Settlement With Visa, MasterCard

A van covered by a mural sits parked outside a Walt-Mart Super Center in Mexico City.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, says its peers should reject the $6 billion settlement reached over fees charged on credit card purchases.

As we reported, Visa and MasterCard agreed to pay more than $6 billion to settle complaints from retailers that it prohibited them from imposing surcharges on customers using those cards. Those complaints have existed for years.

The AP reports:

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It's All Politics
10:25 am
Tue July 24, 2012

At VFW, Romney Seeks To Dull Obama's National Security Sheen

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars look on Monday as President Obama speaks during the group's national convention in Reno, Nev. Republican Mitt Romney was scheduled to speak to the group on Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 1:23 pm

(Revised @ 3:19 pm ET)

In a result few predicted before he became commander in chief, President Obama exhibits surprising strength with voters on national security issues.

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The Torch
10:18 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Watch The London Olympics Online: A Guide To Online Video And Mobile Apps

The NBC Olympics app will include different levels of streaming video. The network requires registration for access to its live content from London.
NBC

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 1:44 am

If you love to watch the Olympics, this is your year: NBC is pumping out more than 5,500 hours of video for your TV and digital devices. We've covered that before — but how do you go about watching?

Here's a guide to how you can keep up with the Summer Games:

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Pennsylvania Monsignor Sentenced To 3 To 6 Years In Prison

Monsignor William Lynn exits the Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke AP

Monsignor William Lynn, who became the first Catholic leader convicted in the church sex abuse scandal, was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

The AP reports:

"The former secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, handled priest assignments and child sexual assault complaints from 1992 to 2004.

"Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said Lynn enabled 'monsters in clerical garb ... to destroy the souls of children, to whom you turned a hard heart.'

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:10 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Which Is Bigger: A Human Brain Or The Universe?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 11:46 am

This is one of those fun-to-think-about questions. A brain isn't much to look at, after all. It's about the size of your two fists put together, three pounds to hold, but oh my, what it can do.

With our brains, we can think backwards, imagine forwards, conjure, create things that don't exist, leap vast distances. For example, suppose I say to you, close your eyes and imagine this:

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