The Two-Way
9:41 am
Tue January 31, 2012

For Third Straight Month, Home Prices Dropped In November

Home prices dropped in November for the third consecutive month. Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index found a drop in 19 of the 20 cities tracked.

The AP reports:

"The biggest declines were in Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Phoenix was the only city to show an increase.

"The decline partly reflects the typical fall slowdown after the peak buying season.

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Presidential Race
9:40 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Italian Authorities Call Off Search For Missing In Costa Shipwreck

Italian firefighters scuba divers approach the grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy on Friday.
Pier Paolo Cito AP

Citing safety concerns, Italian officials said they were calling off the search for those still missing at the site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck.

The AP reports:

"Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search. It said in a statement that relatives and diplomatic officials representing the countries of the missing have been informed of the decision.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Stephen Colbert Says His SuperPAC Raised $1 Million

Comedian Stephen Colbert at a campaign stop in Charleston, South Carolina.
Richard Ellis Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 10:44 am

"I'm rolling seven digits deep!" is what Stephen Colbert told the Federal Election Commission in his superPAC's filing this morning.

The comedian said that as of January 30, his political action committee had collected $1,023,121.24 in donations.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue January 31, 2012

VIDEO: Mitt Romney Sings 'America The Beautiful'

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at The Villages, Fla. on Monday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Maybe it's the latest poll numbers. Maybe it was being among a crowd of a few thousand supporters.

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The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue January 31, 2012

As Florida Votes, Polls Put Mitt Romney Comfortably Ahead

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets people during a grassroots rally with supporters at Lake Sumter Landing on Monday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Odds are that today's Republican primary in Florida won't be nearly as dramatic as the previous contest in South Carolina. Polls have been predicting a comfortable win for Mitt Romney and, as The Washington Post reports, a Quinnipiac University poll released, yesterday, gave Romney a 14-point lead over Newt Gingrich.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Longtime Allies, Egypt And U.S. Now Have Differences

The U.S. is insisting that Egypt establish a full-fledged democracy and move away from military rule. Here, an Egyptian woman covers her head in a national flag as she demonstrates in a pro-democracy rally in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Jan. 27.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 7:50 am

For many years, top Egyptian officials coming to Washington could expect a warm welcome, with few points of contention.

But for a group of Egyptian generals now in the U.S., several points of friction are likely to dominate the agenda between the longtime allies.

Egypt doesn't like the new conditions U.S. lawmakers have placed on American aid. And the U.S. is furious with the way Egypt has been treating U.S. groups that promote democracy. At least three Americans have taken shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Golden Age: Florida Primary Centers On Seniors

Judy Youngblood of Jacksonville, Fla., appears at a rally at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel Monday, wearing earrings she made from campaign buttons supporting Newt Gingrich.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Just how important is the senior vote in Florida?

Nearly one in five Floridians is retired. And a survey conducted by AARP predicts that as many as 60 percent of those who cast ballots in Tuesday's Republican primary — 6 out of 10 voters — will be retirees.

If that number is surprising, AARP Florida director Jeff Johnson says it helps to remember that primaries typically have a low turnout.

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Law
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

GOP Seeks Big Changes In Federal Prison Sentences

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:25 am

Every year, federal judges sentence more than 80,000 criminals. Those punishments are supposed to be fair — and predictable. But seven years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court threw a wrench into the system by ruling that the guidelines that judges use to figure out a prison sentence are only suggestions.

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Europe
12:01 am
Tue January 31, 2012

In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking

Oil painting by Marinus van Reymerswaele.
Courtesy of Palazzo Strozzi

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:05 am

As Italy and much of Europe struggle with their finances, the city of Florence has staged an art exhibition looking at the critical — and controversial — role that financial institutions have played for centuries.

The recent Money and Beauty exhibit, held in the majestic 15th-century Palazzo Strozzi, illustrated how Florentine merchants got around the Catholic Church's ban on money-lending and bankrolled the Renaissance.

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