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In response to the President's State of the Union speech this week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio spoke for mainstream Republicans. But the Tea Party Express had its own voice: Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. We hear about a party divided over pragmatism and principle. Also, American Airlines and US Airways merge, forming the world's largest airline. On Reporter's Notebook, the International Space Station is safe — as is the planet Earth — but astronomers are paying attention to an asteroid that will pass inside the orbits of GPS satellites — tomorrow.

Banner image: (L) Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address; (R) Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) gave the Tea Party response

Making News American Airlines-US Airways Merge, Form World's Largest Airline 7 MIN, 34 SEC

United and Continental merged to create the world's largest airline just two years ago. Now American Airlines and US Airways have agreed to be even bigger with a merger worth $11 billion. Mary Jane Credeur is airlines reporter for Bloomberg News, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mary Jane Credeur, Bloomberg News (@MaryJaneCredeur)

Main Topic Pragmatism and Principle Are Dividing the GOP 34 MIN, 50 SEC

Ronald Reagan's advice to party colleagues was, "never speak ill of another Republican." But "the Civil War has begun," according to conservative David Bossie of Citizens United, blogging this week on Breitbart.com — and referring to a Republican Party now sharply divided after failing to take the White House last year and over how to capture the Senate in next year's elections. Karl Rove has promised big money to oppose GOP primary candidates he calls "unelectable" because they're too extreme to beat Democrats. That's caused a Tea Party backlash against a "Washington establishment" accused of clinging to power by compromising on principle. We hear about a party divided on many issues, and on how to capture the Senate in next year's elections.

Ron Brownstein, Atlantic / CNN (@RonBrownstein)
Jonathan Collegio, American Crossroads
Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots (@jennybethm)
Sam Tanenhaus, Bloomberg View (@samtanenhaus)

The Second Civil War

Ronald Brownstein

Reporter's Notebook Asteroid Comes Close to Earth 8 MIN, 8 SEC

The asteroid 2012 DA14 may not have a scary name but, if it were to strike planet Earth, the destruction could be colossal. An asteroid that struck the Earth is blamed for ending the age of the Dinosaurs. Others have caused enormous craters on several continents. About one million such rocks are orbiting in the solar system, but such a collision is very rare. Tomorrow, 2012 DA14 will come closer to Earth than stationary GPS satellites. Phil Plait, who writes the Bad Astronomer blog for Slate.com, has more on this reassuring news and on what astronomers hope to learn.

Phil Plait, Slate (@badastronomer)

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