4:12pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Arts & Culture

Arts/Culture/Weekend: Valentine’s Day sing-a-long, crosscultural performances, silent film and more

Mary Pickford from "My Best Girl" (1927)
http://www.silentfilm.org/press/images/my-best-girl-images

Whether it makes you weak in the knees or weak in the stomach, Valentine’s Day weekend is inescapably upon us. Highlights include cinematic love letters to the May-December romance, 80s power ballads for jilted lovers, and one of the biggest record swaps around. When that’s all said and done, film festivals, Lunar New Year celebrations and music abounds.

Welcome to your Arts/Culture/Weekend:

THURSDAY

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3:33pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Lautenberg Retirement Ends Potential May-December Senate Fight With Booker

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:21 pm

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker speaks last year at a ceremony at City Hall.
Seth Wenig AP

The potential Democratic Party contest for a U.S. Senate seat between 89-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg and 43-year-old Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker had been shaping up to be a generational battle royale.

Alas, it won't happen now that Lautenberg has announced that he won't run for re-election in New Jersey's 2014 Senate race. In a statement, the octogenarian senator said:

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3:21pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Pope Hurt Head Last Year On Trip To Mexico

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing after an audience with the Roman clergy in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Thursday.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world by announcing he was resigning from his post as head of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the first time a sitting pope had stepped down in nearly 600 years.

As Mark wrote on Monday, Benedict cited his "advanced age (85) and diminishing strength," as reasons for his decision.

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3:01pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Frank Lautenberg, Oldest Member Of The Senate, Won't Seek Reelection

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:18 pm

Sen. Frank Lautenberg speaks to members of the press in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg, the oldest member of the senate, announced today that he will not seek re-election.

The New York Times reports:

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2:58pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Around the Nation

Artist Works To Keep Immigrants In The Picture

Los Angeles-based artist Ramiro Gomez Jr. displays his immigrant worker art on the Capitol's East Lawn in Washington, D.C.
Lizzie Chen NPR

Ramiro Gomez Jr. is working fast enough to draw the least amount of attention, but slowly enough to make every detail stand out. He describes the rush he gets as "therapeutic."

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2:40pm

Thu February 14, 2013
U.S.

Taxpayers Steaming Over Florida Nuclear Plant's Shuttering

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:15 pm

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has stood idle since workers cracked the reactor's containment building in 2009. The facility is now slated to close permanently.
Will Vragovic AP

The operator of Florida's Crystal River nuclear plant sent shockwaves through the state when it announced recently that it was shutting down the facility for good.

When nuclear plants have closed elsewhere, locals have cheered. But in Citrus County, it's been more like a death in the family.

At Fat Boy's Bar-B-Q restaurant in Crystal River, owner Bubba Keller says he's worried about what's going to happen to the community. "I mean, things are already tough," Keller says. "If this makes it worse, don't know if I can hang in there."

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2:40pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

As Spending Cuts Loom, Alarm Bells Begin To Sound

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:27 pm

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey (from left), Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert Hale wait for a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. Military leaders are warning Congress about the effects of the sequester.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Senate Democrats offered an alternative Thursday to the sequester, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts set to hit March 1.

Despite dire warnings in congressional hearings this week, many on Capitol Hill seem resigned to the sequester.

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2:31pm

Thu February 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Senate Votes To Continue Debate, Blocking Hagel Nomination

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense.
Ron Sachs DPA /LANDOV

A cloture vote on the nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel for defense secretary failed in the Senate, today.

That means Senate Republicans succeeded — with a vote of 58 to 40 — in keeping the Hagel nomination from coming before a final vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scheduled the cloture vote after Republicans refused to give unanimous consent to proceed with the final vote.

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1:54pm

Thu February 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Rubio On The Move, At Least Once The House Sells

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 3:28 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., works in his Capitol Hill office on Feb. 7.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Remember Sen. Marco Rubio's paean to his Florida neighborhood in giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address?

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1:54pm

Thu February 14, 2013
Shots - Health News

Darkness Provides A Fix For Kittens With Bad Vision

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:57 am

Scientists found that darkness worked far better than they expected as a treatment for kittens with lazy eye.
Bill Rhodes/Flickr

When it comes to treating a lazy eye, there's evidence that turning the lights off may help — if you're a kitten.

A study in the latest issue of Current Biology reports that kittens with a type of visual impairment known as amblyopia, or lazy eye, were able to regain normal eyesight after being plunged into total darkness for 10 days.

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