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Top Stories: 'Cold Shutdown' At Japanese Nuclear Plant; Hitchens Dies

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Japanese Officials Declare 'Cold Shutdown' Of Crippled Reactors.

-- No Deal Yet On Jobless Benefits, Payroll Tax Cut Extension.

-- Christopher Hitchens: 'Atheist Intellectual,' 'Noble Contrarian'.

Other news:

-- "Bradley Manning To Appear In Court In Leaks Case." ( Morning Edition)

-- "Romney Regains Stride; Gingrich Shows Old Newt At Sioux City Debate." ( It's All Politics)

-- South Carolina Gov. Haley Endorses Romney. ( The State)

-- Court Hearing This Morning For Penn State Officials Facing Charges Related To Scandal. ( PennLive.com)

-- Iranian Engineer Claims His Country Hijacked U.S. Drone. ( The Christian Science Monitor)

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.