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Business
4:48 am
Fri December 9, 2011

When Airlines Depart Cities, Businesses May Follow

Last month when Chiquita announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Ohio to North Carolina, it said it was lured there in part by the number of flights in and out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Cincinnati came out on the losing end of the deal because like so many other cities, it faces a shrinking airline hub, which can affect the city's business climate.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, or CVG, is big but kind of empty. Business traveler John Bonno from Atlanta was noticing recently how desolate it feels.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Finals On Hold, Vigil Set After Va. Tech Shooting

Virginia Tech is quiet Friday morning after a gunman shot and killed a campus police officer and then killed himself Thursday afternoon. For hours the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, Va., relived the horror of a 2007 shooting that left 33 dead and raised troubling questions about the university's slow response to the tragedy.

U.S.
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Report: Federal Agency Shares Blame In Mine Blast

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration released its final report this week into last year's West Virginia mine explosion. That explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers. The government has maintained that the company that owned the mine, Massey Energy, didn't do enough to prevent the accident. Now, documentation obtained by NPR indicates that the government didn't do enough, either.

Europe
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

After All-Night Meeting, A Plan To Save Euro

European Union leaders wrapped up a 10-hour-long meeting in Brussels agreeing on a fiscal pact that will require stricter budget discipline. But Britain is among countries not signing on to the deal. The head of the European Central Bank is calling the pact positive. It's not clear, though, whether the move is enough to relieve Europe's debt crisis in the near future. NPR's Philip Reeves wraps up the meeting.

Europe
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

23 European Countries Sign On To Fiscal Pact

After meeting Friday in Brussels until the early morning hours, most European leaders agreed to a plan to move ahead with more budget discipline. Are world financial markets likely to see the talks as a failure or as progress?

U.S.
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Corzine Claims No Knowledge Of MF Global's Missing Money

Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday day. The former New Jersey Senator and governor was subpoenaed by a congressional panel that wanted to hear how MF Global wound up in bankruptcy. Corzine apologized repeatedly but denied knowingly breaking any rules.

U.S.
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

In Detroit, Drastic Steps To Avoid Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lack of money is also a big problem in Detroit. Three weeks ago, the city's mayor, Dave Bing, made a stark announcement. Without major action, the city will go broke sometime early next year. That leaves state officials saying they may have no choice but to send in an emergency manager, a person with extraordinary powers over the city's finances.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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Sports
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Is Albert Pujols Worth $250 Million?

The Los Angeles Angels have signed slugger Albert Pujols. He's considered one of the best baseball players of his generation, but is the $250 million the Angels are paying Pujols worth it?

Latin America
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

5 Years Later: Calderon's War On Cartels

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Mexican President Felipe Calderon declaring all-out war against the drug traffickers in his country. On December 11th of 2006, he vowed to use all the powers of the state to bring the druglords to heel. The narco-war of Calderon´s presidency has left a stunning casualty toll - more than 40,000 people dead.

NPR's Jason Beaubien joins me from Mexico City to talk about the Calderon administration's battle with the cartels. Good morning, Jason.

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Best Books Of 2011
3:09 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This winter, our independent booksellers have selected books that range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagons, department stores to pasta design. Whether you need a picture book for a toddler, kid lit for a young reader, or quirky non-fiction for the grown-up set, these booksellers have just the thing on their shelves.

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StoryCorps
11:47 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Livin' Thing: After Decades, A Couple Reconnects

MaryAnn and Jim Fletcher pose for a photo on the night of their junior prom dance, in the Half Hollow Hills School District of New York's Long Island.
Jim Fletcher

Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later, they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.

Both Jim and MaryAnn are now 50 years old. And they spoke recently about how they met, and the twists and turns their lives have taken since that day. Jim started by recalling the first time he laid eyes on MaryAnn.

"It was the first day of first grade. And there was this kid who said to me, 'That's MaryAnn Lando. She can read.'"

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The Two-Way
7:32 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Survivor's Duty After Pearl Harbor: Telling The Story

Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Curre gave his eyewitness account of the attack in an interview with StoryCorps in Waco, Texas.
StoryCorps

It turns out that Frank Curre, who survived Pearl Harbor and then died on Dec. 7, 2011, 70 years after the attack, may have hit the attack's anniversary exactly. We heard from his family late Wednesday that Curre died around noon, in Waco, Texas. That means it was around 8 o'clock in the morning in Pearl Harbor — the hour the aerial attack began.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:21 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

To Keep Marriage Healthy When Baby Comes, Share Housework

A survey identifies traits, like generosity, that help couples buck the trend toward marital discord once baby arrives.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 5:24 pm

As many couples can attest — and lots of research backs this up — marital happiness plummets with the arrival of a baby. Sleepless nights, seemingly endless diaper changes and the avalanche of new chores that come with a newborn leave little time for the intimacies of marriage. It's a situation ripe for mental stress and marital discord.

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Newt Gingrich
5:16 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Why Some Evangelicals Back Thrice-Wed Gingrich

Newt Gingrich, shown with his wife, Callista Gingrich, attends a pre-debate rally sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition earlier this year in Florida. The thrice-married former House speaker, who cheated on his first two wives and was punished by the House for ethical violations, is now outperforming family man Mitt Romney among Iowa's evangelicals.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 12:37 pm

One of the puzzles of the Republican presidential campaign is Newt Gingrich's appeal to religious conservatives. The irony is that Gingrich, a Catholic convert who has had three marriages, is outperforming Romney, a lifelong Mormon and family man. In fact, less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the former speaker of the House has three times the support of evangelicals in that state that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, does.

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It's All Politics
4:56 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Obama In No Appeasing Mood As He Goes After Republicans

It has been President Obama's misfortune to be accused of appeasement by both his political supporters and foes.

For much of his presidency, liberals have accused the president of being too willing to compromise away their priorities in his negotiations with Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans have called Obama an appeaser for not doing more to constrain U.S. enemies in the Middle East, specifically Iran.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Farewell To Argentina's Famed Beef

Argentina has long been famous for its grilled beef. But that beef isn't what it was.
Galina Barskaya iStockPhoto.com

When I think of Argentina, I think of beef from cows that graze on the endless pampas, tended by watchful gauchos. That grass-fed beef has been the centerpiece of Argentina's most famous dish, a slow-cooked asado on the parilla.

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NPR Story
4:38 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Apple, Publishing Houses Face Antitrust Probe

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The European Union may be in the middle of its biggest crisis ever, but that doesn't mean it's overlooking the small stuff - international competition over the sale of eBooks, for example. The E.U.'s executive body, the European Commission, is investigating Apple and five major publishers for possible antitrust violations relating to the pricing of eBooks. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the publishers and Apple, for possible anti-competitive practices.

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NPR Story
4:38 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Shootings Reported At Virginia Tech

Lynn Neary speaks with Lerone Graham, reporter for the Roanoke Times, for the latest about reported shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech.

Around the Nation
4:22 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Shootings Test Virginia Tech's Emergency Plan

Virginia Tech put a multitiered emergency response plan into effect Thursday after a gunman apparently shot and killed two people on campus, a university spokesman said as investigators tried to piece together the incident.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

EPA Report Links Fracking To Water Pollution

In a draft report (pdf) released today, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed what many residents of Pavilion, Wyoming have been complaining about for some time now: Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is responsible for polluting the area's drinking water.

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Music News
4:13 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Giant Theremin Is Watching You Down Under

The Giant Theremin emits not only tones but also some prerecorded musical sounds.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

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Europe
3:53 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Kremlin Cracks Down, Arrests Prominent Critic

Lawyer and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, left, is taken to court in Moscow on Tuesday. Navalny was detained Monday along with 300 protesters who rallied against what they called vote rigging during Sunday's parliamentary election.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 10:08 pm

Alexei Navalny knows how to work a crowd.

And after Sunday's parliamentary election, which many observers claimed were littered with violations, the demonstrators in Moscow were on his side.

"What's the party called?" he shouted, referring to the ruling United Russia party of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"The party of crooks and thieves," the crowd responded, using the phrase that Navalny coined and that has caught on like wildfire.

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NPR Story
3:37 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Two Shot And Killed Near Virginia Tech Campus

The campus of Virginia Tech in Roanoke, Va. was on lockdown Thursday after a gunman killed a police officer during a traffic stop, and one other person. Campus officials instructed everyone to stay in a secure place indoors and barred visitors while police continued their search for the shooter. Virginia Tech established a number of security and emergency response measures after the 2007 mass shooting that killed 33 people. Mallory Noe-Payne, intern with NPR member station WVTF in Roanoke provides an update.

Environment
3:23 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

At Climate Talks, Frustration And Interruptions

The U.S. climate change envoy Todd Stern delivers a speech on Dec. 8 in Durban, South Africa, during the U.N. Climate Change Conference. The climate talks entered their second week entangled in a thick mesh of issues with no guarantee that negotiators and their ministers will be able to sort them out.
Stephane De Sakutin AFP/Getty Images

United Nations climate talks, like many negotiations, are a blend of dead seriousness and theater. Today at the talks in Durban, South Africa, an American college student provided a moment of theater by shouting out a short, unauthorized speech during the main session of the talks. Her interruption encapsulated frustration with the pace of the talks in general, and the United States' role in particular.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Russia's President: Alleged Vote Fraud Will Be Investigated

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stands in front of a giant picture of Tsar Michael of Russia.
Michal Cizek AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 3:18 pm

Reacting to widespread protests, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said alleged vote fraud of parliamentary elections will be investigated.

The AP reports:

Medvedev told reporters Thursday — after meeting Czech counterpart Vaclav Klaus — that the law may have been violated during Sunday's vote, because "our electoral law is not ideal."

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Black Atlantans Struggle To Stay In The Middle Class

Foster Smith (left) and his best friend, Mark Ballard (right), met when they were 12 years old. After losing his job, and his ability to make rent, Smith moved into a room in Ballard's College Park, Ga., home.
Courtesy of Foster Smith

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 1:28 pm

There's no question that the Great Recession has meant hard times all around, but from 2007 to 2009, it sent black America into an economic tailspin.

According to the Pew Research Center, the median net worth — that's assets minus debts — of black households decreased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2009.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Romney Fires Back At Gingrich

The gloves are off in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich's surge to the front of the pack appears to have more staying power than any of the other challengers to Mitt Romney's standing as party favorite. And so, team Romney is firing back, for the first time, at a candidate other than President Obama.

The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

AP: Black Site Where CIA Held Al-Qaida Operatives Was In Plain View

An exterior view of the Office of the National Register for Secret State Information, or ORNISS, which stores confidential information and ensures only authorised people gain access to it, taken in Bucharest on December 8.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 2:59 pm

That the Central Intelligence Agency had a so-called "black site" in Romania was well known. It was known that it was in one of those secret prisons that intelligence officials conducted harsh interrogations with major Al-Qaida operatives, including Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad.

Today, the result of a joint investigation with German public television, the AP reports it has found the site where Mohammad was held and interrogated. And it's not where you would think it is. The AP reports on the prison in Bucharest known as "Bright Light":

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Professor Gingrich And The Lessons (And Lecture Notes) Of History

used these lecture notes and similar pamphlets as part of the 1994 college course that became central to a later House ethics investigation." href="/post/professor-gingrich-and-lessons-and-lecture-notes-history" class="noexit lightbox">
Newt Gingrich used these lecture notes and similar pamphlets as part of the 1994 college course that became central to a later House ethics investigation.

Newt Gingrich once called himself "the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson."

But that was 1995, and the "Contract with America" co-author had just helped to propel Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, and Gingrich himself into the speaker's role. Even the rarely modest Gingrich had reason to gloat.

Just two years later, of course, he had become the first speaker ever punished by the House for ethics violations, and the end was in sight for both his leadership and congressional career.

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Animals
2:48 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Cagebreak! Rats Will Work To Free A Trapped Pal

Science/AAAS

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:35 am

Calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, but a new study shows that rats actually are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.

Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.

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