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Most patients who undergo bariatric surgery lose weight and experience other health benefits. They have less heart disease, diabetes and cancer than their obese counterparts who don't have the surgery.

Now, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden find bariatric surgery also reduces deaths from cardiovascular causes, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Young voters came out in huge numbers to elect President Obama in 2008. This year, with no primary contest, Democrats are using their caucuses to test how much support they have in Iowa. But many young liberals have grown disenchanted with the president, and some have thrown their support behind Republican Ron Paul.

On Monday, 10 Obama for America volunteers made calls to registered Democrats from a Panera Bread turned phone bank just outside of Des Moines. The volunteers reminded Democrats when and where to show up to caucus.

There was a bit of progress made in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, today: Peace negotiators from both sides met for the first time in more than a year. While it did not seem that the two sides came to any agreement, they said they will continue to talk.

The AP reports the talks were hosted by Jordan under the auspices of The Quartet, a group of countries that includes the U.S. and the European Union. The AP adds:

If you're the parent of a teenager, you likely find yourself routinely embroiled in disputes with your child. Those disputes are the symbol of teen developmental separation from parents.

It's a vital part of growing up, but it can be extraordinarily wearing on parents. Now researchers suggest that those spats can be tamed and, in the process, provide a lifelong benefit to children.

If you, like me, order a tall coffee when you go to Starbucks, you'll be paying 10 cents more. The Seattle coffee chain is raising prices in the Northeast and across the Sunbelt with the exception of California and Florida.

Cities like Boston, New York, Atlanta and Dallas will also see an increase of about 1 percent on other drinks. Starbucks said its next bigger size, grande, will cost the same.

There are an estimated 37 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree — and Western Governors University is trying to change that. The nonprofit online school is challenging many traditional concepts about higher education with a new approach aimed to help adult students finish college.

And after 15 years in existence, the school is catching on.

Reaching Out To Adult Learners

Newt Gingrich is making his closing arguments to voters in the Mississippi River towns of Muscatine and Burlington in advance of Tuesday's Republican Party caucuses, and that argument boils down to this: Gingrich is better, smarter and more experienced than the rest.

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

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The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.

The AP reports:

One of the more surprising moments in U.S. foreign policy last year occurred when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar, long ruled by a repressive military government and shunned as a pariah nation.

The six-word memoir conceit grew into a popular series of books, but the editors knew it was tough to share a meaningful story in so few words. So Smith Magazine prompted its community to write about the moments that changed their lives — the moments of clarity, the things that happened to them, the things they made happen.

A dog walker found a body on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. The royals spend the holidays every year on the sprawling, 20,000-acre estate.

The Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement saying the female body was found on Sunday, while the Royals were at home, and that the office has launched a murder investigation.

It's been a tough few months for dairy, with Norway's butter shortage and now an ominous cloud looming over 2012 for organic milk drinkers.

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This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. You don't have to be a "Biggest Loser" contestant to know that there's a simple formula to lose weight: Eat less; exercise more. But as hard as that is, keeping weight off can wear down even the most determined.

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Letters: Lives Lost In 2011 And Farm Work

Jan 3, 2012

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A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement, reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.

The Times reports:

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 to 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries' worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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