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Top Stories: Taliban Sees Hope For Talks; Mexican Drug War Toll Soars

Good morning.

Our early headlines:

-- Video Depicting Urination On Corpses Won't Derail Peace Talks, Taliban Says.

-- Judge Blocks Pardons Issued By Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Barbour.

-- Penn State Will Honor Paterno, School President Says.

-- Jobless Claims Jump Up By 24,000.

Other stories making headlines:

-- "U.S. Intelligence Report On Afghanistan Sees Stalemate." (Los Angeles Times)

-- "Adversaries of Iran Said to Be Stepping Up Covert Actions." (The New York Times)

-- "Mexican Drug War Toll: 47,500 Killed In 5 Years." (The Associated Press)

-- "Romney Readies Bain Capital Counterattack." (Politico)

-- "Homeland Security Watches Twitter, Social Media." (Reuters)

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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.