Today's Takeaway: What's at Stake on Super Tuesday?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Taking a Page from the Obama Playbook?; Stories from Syrian Refugees; Eric Holder says U.S. Can Target Citizens Overseas; Alabama County Files for Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in U.S. History; Ohio Voters on the Super Tuesday Ad Push; To Rebuild? Or Leave Behind?; Ohio and Georgia GOP Chairs Talk Super Tuesday; McCain Calls for Military Action in Syria; What's at Stake on Super Tuesday?

Top of the Hour: More than 400 Delegates at Stake on Super Tuesday, Morning Headlines

Super Tuesday has arrived for the Republican presidential candidates, where voting will take place across 10 states from Virginia to Alaska. The state receiving the most attention is Ohio, where polls show Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in a dead heat.

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Taking a Page from the Obama Playbook?

As voters from 10 states across the country head to the polls on Tuesday, Republican candidates will be hoping to secure as many of the 437 delegates as possible. To win the party nomination, a candidate must obtain more than half of the total 2,286 delegates at the Republican National Convention. That means that what happens today could change the entire course of the primary season. Mitt Romney may be leading the pack, but he’s still far from acquiring enough delegates to become the nominee. The last race that was this close was in 2008 between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

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Stories from Syrian Refugees

Horrific stories are emerging from thousands of refugees streaming out of Syria into Lebanon. The refugees tell of summary executions and torture. The International Red Cross remains outside Baba Amr in Homs, despite being given the green light to enter five days ago. Paul Wood, correspondent for our partner the BBC, reports from outside Homs.

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Eric Holder: US Can Target Citizens Overseas

Attorney General Eric Holder outlined the United States’ legal defense of using lethal force against U.S. citizens overseas if that citizen is posing a terrorist threat. Holder’s speech, delivered Monday afternoon at Northwestern University, argued in part that the U.S. Constitution’s definition of due process defends the use of lethal force, even without the written consent of the president.

Until now, no legal defense was given for the U.S. mission in Yemen which killed al-Qaeda’s leading figure Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, who was born in the US, was the radical cleric who successfully took al-Qaeda’s message to YouTube.

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Alabama County Files for Largest Municipal Bankruptcy in U.S. History

Jefferson County in Alabama filed for bankruptcy last November, with approximately four billion dollars in debt. Since November, creditors have argued that Alabama law prevents Jefferson County from filing for bankruptcy. Now, a federal judge has ruled that Jefferson County’s bankruptcy is legal, allowing officials to begin drawing up plans which will address the county’s debt.

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Ohio Voters on the Super Tuesday Ad Push

It’s Super Tuesday, and Ohio is among the most pivotal states in the race. In order to gain an edge, the two frontrunners — Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum — secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads which began airing last weekend in Ohio. Are the ads working?

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Top of the Hour: Voice of a Georgia Voter on Super Tuesday, Morning Headlines

Nearly one-third of the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination are up for grabs today. We speak with one voter, Priscilla Benitez, who joins us from Atlanta, Georgia.

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A Home Destroyed: Rebuild or Leave Behind?

Small towns across the South and Midwest continue to rebuild this week after a series of deadly tornadoes and storms swept through late last week. What happens when the destruction of a town is so severe that you can’t pick up the pieces? What happens if you can’t patch a community back together?

Marysville is a small town in southeast Indiana. It’s the type of town with only one store, a community center, a church, and a couple dozen houses, all confined to little more than a single block. Today, the town lies in ruins. A twister swept through last Friday, destroying nearly all of the homes and ripping apart the community center and church.

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McCain Calls for Military Action in Syria

The Syrian National Council has formed a military body to serve the role of Defense Ministry and to coordinate rebel factions. But not all of the rebels are onboard yet, and the SNC is looking to the west for funding and weapons. In a speech Monday on the senate floor, John McCain called on the U.S. to lead an effort to help the rebels. The Obama administration is in a tight position. The president is expected to give a speech later today with a decision on how the U.S. should approach the SNC.

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Two Veteran Democrats Do Battle in Ohio

Dennis Kucinich and Marcy Kaptur have been friends for many years, but you wouldn't know it from listening to the attack ads the two Ohio Democrats have been airing against one another. While Republican voters in Ohio cast their ballots for a presidential nominee, Ohio Democrats in district nine will be picking between Kucinich and Kaptur in a Congressional primary. The race is the product of redistricting in Ohio — and it's just the first of many of its kind. In the coming months, 11 primary contests in states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and California will similarly pit incumbents against each other.

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What's at Stake on Super Tuesday?

Voters in 10 states weigh in on the Republican presidential line-up today in Super Tuesday primary elections and caucuses around the country. Four hundred and thirty-seven delegates are up for grabs -- but also at stake is the momentum of the campaign. Who is out there voting today? Is the Republican primary voter demographic in Idaho and Alaska the same as in Tennessee and Georgia? And who are they voting for?

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