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It's All Politics
1:06 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Incredible Vanishing GOP Presidential Front-Runner

GOP presidential contenders wave to the crowd in Manchester, N.H., in 1980, before a debate. From left" Philip Crane, John Connelly, John Anderson, Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 5:17 pm

It's ridiculously, absurdly early to talk about 2016 presidential politics. Only a fool would try to predict who will be the next Republican nominee just seven months after the last election for the White House.

Still, in most election cycles, the GOP would already have an obvious front-runner by now, one who would more than likely prevail as the party's pick.

Not this time.

"This will be the most open Republican nomination in 50 years," says Tom Rath, a former GOP attorney general of New Hampshire and a veteran of early state presidential politics.

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Economy
12:46 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Toledo, Ohio: Chinese Investment Wanted

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:54 pm

Mayor Michael Bell hopes Chinese investment will help revive his blue-collar city. He helped broker a deal to sell a chunk of Toledo's waterfront to Chinese investors. Host Michel Martin and Mayor Bell discuss investments with China and what he thinks President Obama and China President Xi Jinping can accomplish during their U.S. visit.

Business
12:46 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Hollywood Wants A Piece Of The Action In China's Movie Market

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 3:54 pm

Box office receipts in China reached new highs last year, and American filmmakers want to tap into that market. Host Michel Martin speaks with Los Angeles Times reporter John Horn, about the growth of the Chinese movie market, and how Hollywood plans to cash in.

The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty In 2012 Afghan Shooting Rampage

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (left), the U.S. soldier who allegedly shot and killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., on Aug. 23.
Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 2:34 pm

The United States soldier charged with the murder of 16 Afghan villagers entered a guilty plea on Wednesday during a court hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales pleaded guilty to 16 counts of premeditated murder, The Seattle Times reports, but he pleaded not guilty to "attempting to impede an investigation into the case by damaging a laptop computer."

The Times adds:

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Parallels
12:00 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

A Small Farming Town Becomes Ground Zero In Syria's War

Syrian soldiers stand in the main square of the western city of Qusair. Government troops recaptured the town on Wednesday after rebels had held it for more than a year. It's seen as a significant victory for President Bashar Assad's government.
STR AFP/Getty images

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 12:50 pm

Qusair is a sleepy farming town not far from my hometown. I passed through it many times as a child and never imagined it would one day make international headlines as the focal point of Syria's civil war.

I wish it had remained a quiet place defined by the many agricultural fields of wheat and barley, along with apricot and apple trees, all of them well-watered by the Orontes River.

Less than 10 miles from the Lebanese border, Qusair was a mixed town of Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. Not anymore.

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