The general election campaign for president is springing to life, now that Mitt Romney is all but certain to be President Obama's Republican opponent next fall. On Capitol Hill, though, the battle over who will sign or veto Congress' bills next year is already blazing.

In two key votes this past week, many Republicans fell in step with candidate Romney and his quest for more support from younger voters and women.

Yulia Tymoshenko is "wasting away in prison," her family told the AP. Tymoshenko went on a hunger strike and her family said she was "bruised from prison beatings and afraid she will be force-fed by her political foes."

On a chilly grey morning I come across a big, lush patch of nettles in a Pittsburgh park. Leah Lizarondo, the food writer who brought me here, has her hands wrapped in old plastic bread bags.

Those bags are crucial because touching stinging nettles with your bare hands can be pretty unpleasant. "It's like something pricked you, like a little ant bit you, and then it starts being a little painful," said Lizarondo.

General-election battle lines are taking shape between President Obama and likely Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Romney is sticking with his long-standing attack on the president as someone not up to the huge job of turning around the economy.

But the Obama campaign has recently changed its message: Instead of portraying Romney as a flip-flopping, say-anything politician, it is now arguing that the former Massachusetts governor is a man with extreme positions far outside the American mainstream.

The fallout from the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia continues: Now the Secret Service says it is tightening and clarifying its policies for traveling employees.

NPR's Tamara Keith spoke to a Secret Service spokesperson who says the Secret Service leadership detailed the new rules in an internal message regarding personal conduct sent to all employees.

The new policy covers alcohol consumption and what types of businesses employees can patronize, Tamara tells our Newscast unit. "The Agency is also adding additional briefings on standards of conduct."

The U.S. economy lost some steam during the first three months of the year. The Commerce Department said Friday that growth slowed to just 2.2 percent, down from 3 percent at the end of last year.

The good news was that the economy continued to grow during the first quarter of the year. But anyone who was waiting for growth to kick into a higher gear was disappointed once again. One reason for that was a slowdown in business investment — companies spent less on new equipment and software even though profits were surprisingly strong.

The surveillance tape shows what looks like a Muslim woman, her face and body hidden by her traditional clothing, robbing a Philadelphia bank. But the robber in the abaya and khimar is actually a man. He's part of a recent crime spree involving perpetrators in Muslim garb.

The worst of the incidents happened in Upper Darby when, Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood says, someone who appeared to be a Muslim woman went into a barbershop.

We've written about the Decorah Eagle Cam and about the Jewel bear cam.

Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to hold the nation's top law enforcement job — is in the homestretch of his first, and probably last, full term in the post.

And after more than three years on the job, Holder is in an unusually reflective mood. He's thinking about the country's ongoing struggle over civil rights and what he wants to accomplish in his last months of government service.

The spring sun is warming the fields and orchards along the Turkey-Syria border, and new refugee camps are sprouting as well.

Smugglers who have long worked these mountain border trails are now busy moving civilians out of Syria to the safety of Turkish camps. They're also moving medical and communications equipment and people into opposition-held neighborhoods in Syria. But recently, some say that's getting harder.

A smuggler known as Abu Ayham says Turkish guards, who used to permit nonlethal aid to pass freely, have suddenly grown much tougher on the smugglers.

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Lizzie Purbrick, a former champion equestrian, admitted in a British court that she scrawled rude messages inside her lover's house in pig's blood as revenge for an affair.

She said she discovered her partner, conservative member of Parliament David Prior, was sleeping with another woman. So in May, she let herself into his South London home, armed with the blood.

Purbrick turned herself into police quickly, and confessed to the crime in court on Tuesday. She called the blood-spraying act "cathartic."

She has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service.

Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, would have been 100 years old on Wednesday. A new book is out to mark the occasion, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela.

These deeply personal letters, many to his wife, his children and his closest friends, have never previously been published.

How To Be A Savvy Consumer Of Science News

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The news overload we all feel can extend to the world of science. Our friend from the world of astrophysics, Adam Frank, has offered to provide some tools to help make us all savvier consumers of science news. Adam Frank, welcome back. It's good to talk to you.

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Hi, Ailsa.

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Hey, Ari.

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