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Middle East
4:55 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

As Syrian Violence Worsens, U.S. Diplomats Leave

Syrians attend a Feb. 4 burial ceremony of what activists say are victims of shelling by the Syrian army in the central city of Homs. The city has been the scene of the bloodiest fighting in Syria in recent days.
Handout Reuters/Landov

President Obama says it's time for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Yet Monday's decision to shut down the U.S. Embassy in Damascus reflected the deteriorating conditions in a country that appears locked in a protracted conflict with no end in sight.

"The closing of the U.S. Embassy is a clear signal to the international community that it's not safe for diplomats in Syria," says Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat.

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World Cafe
4:49 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Polica On 'World Cafe: Next'

Channy Casselle of Polica combines jazz, blues and electronic elements with AutoTuned vocals for a chilling effect.
Colin Kerrigan

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 9:09 am

Polica's sound is crisp, minimalist and mesmerizing. Singer Channy Leaneagh plays her voice like an instrument, using AutoTune both in the studio and at live shows to manipulate her vocals. Against the sliding violins, saxophone solos, relaxed bass and dueling drums of Polica, it's hard to believe that before this, Leaneagh sang folk music for six years in her previous band, Roma di Luna.

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It's All Politics
4:48 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Obama: Being President Makes You Better At It

President Obama tells NBC's Matt Lauer the experience of being president has made him a better one.
NBC "Today" show screenshot

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:26 pm

In his interview with NBC's Matt Lauer which aired Super Bowl Sunday and Monday, President Obama was asked how he would respond to a disenchanted 2008 supporter frustrated that he didn't transform Washington.

The president acknowledged that the soaring idealism of his 2008 campaign rhetoric ran smack into the wall of reality that is the nation's highly partisan politics.

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Planet Money
4:48 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

What An Economist Learned From Reading 21 Books About The Crisis

Now read 15 more.
NPR

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 12:50 pm

A while back, the MIT economist Andrew Lo set out to review a couple books about the financial crisis. Those books led to a couple more books, which led — you see where this is going — to 17 more books.

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Political Junkie
4:48 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 020612

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 1:29 pm

Now that the Super Bowl is over, and pitchers and catchers are still days away from reporting, there's obviously only one thing left for you to do.

Solve this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

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