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Politics
4:00 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Obama Presses Congress To Compromise On Cuts

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 5:25 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Congress threatened itself with punishment if it failed to act. Lawmakers promised automatic spending cuts if a special committee failed to reduce the deficit. Now that they have failed, some want a way out of the punishment with which they had threatened themselves. This may be just one more episode in a long fight over taxes and spending, as we hear from NPR's Ari Shapiro.

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Economy
4:00 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Siemens Discovers Hiring Vets Is 'Good For Business'

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down. That means more troops will be coming home. Jobs are tough to find these days for anyone, but especially for veterans. Yesterday President Obama signed into law a plan meant to get more vets hired. NPR's Rachel Martin has more.

RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: The unemployment rate for veterans is around 12 percent - that's close to four points higher than for everyone else. President Obama says it's time to do something about it.

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Economy
4:00 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Homeowners May Qualify For Foreclosure Review

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

In 'The Artist,' A Silent Look At Old Hollywood

Silent Screen idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a young and upcoming dancer, share a vivacious moment on stage in Michel Hazanavicius's film The Artist.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:18 am

Director Michel Hazanavicius met me at the Bradbury building in downtown L.A. It's the location of a key scene in his audacious new movie The Artist, which takes place just at the moment when talking pictures supersede silent films.

"It's mythic," said Hazanavicius of the era during which Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were stars.

In the scene shot here, a dashing film star reminiscent of Fairbanks bumps into his lovely young protégé on the building's remarkable staircase. He's on his way down; she's on her way up.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Selling Water, Health Care In The Developing World

In a Healthpoint clinic in the village of Mallan in Punjab, India, lab technician Navdeep Sharma draws Suba Singh's blood sample. Part of Healthpoint's business plan is to offer cheap diagnostic tests at its clinics. Diagnosing and treating people in a single visit is one key to delivering affordable health care.
Soma Vatsa for NPR

In rural India, deep in Punjab — about 90 minutes from the Pakistani border — getting clean drinking water is a challenge. Well water often has high levels of dangerous chemicals. Surface water is contaminated with pesticides and agricultural waste.

Getting adequate health care is equally challenging. Government hospitals are often far away, and lines are long.

Here, in places like a dusty rural town called Rajiana, a 2-year-old company called Healthpoint Services is trying to figure out how to bring clean water and health care to rural communities on a global scale.

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Your Money
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Wal-Mart Lures Bank Customers Frustrated By Fees

Linda Black of Nashville, Tenn., says she left Bank of America after repeatedly being hit by fees. She now uses the Walmart MoneyCard instead, which has a flat fee of $3 a month.
Blake Farmer for NPR

The Occupy Wall Street movement has directed much of its anger at giant banks, which are no strangers to customer complaints. Some of those who have been burned by high fees in recent years are now satisfying their banking needs with a giant retailer instead, as Wal-Mart surges into the financial sector with a pre-paid, reloadable debit card called the MoneyCard.

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National Security
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Does Supercommittee Failure Imperil Pentagon?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies on Capitol Hill on Nov. 15. He said the proposed cuts to the Pentagon budget would lead to a hollow force.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 2:46 pm

The congressional supercommittee's failure to act is supposed to trigger hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts for the Pentagon starting in 2013. But even cuts that large don't come close to cutbacks in military spending in years past.

The Pentagon already plans to cut about $500 billion from its budget over 10 years. Now, it faces another $500 billion in cuts. For the military, that's the worst case: 10 years, $1 trillion in cuts.

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Getting To 55 MPG
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Automakers Set To Steer Customers To Hybrids

Attendees at the Los Angeles Auto Show look at the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid concept car. Toyota's Prius is the best-selling hybrid on the market, but almost every carmaker has some form of hybrid technology.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 11:40 am

Second in a three-part series

Hybrid cars will take a lot of floor space at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning this weekend, but they still represent a tiny portion of the U.S. car market.

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Asia
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

In Cambodia, Aging Khmer Rouge Leaders Go On Trial

A Cambodian woman looks at portraits of Khmer Rouge victims at the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in the capital Phnom Penh on Nov. 17. Three senior Khmer Rouge leaders are on trial in what may be the last major legal case against the group's leaders.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 1:40 pm

In Cambodia this week, three elderly men are sitting in a courtroom, accused of atrocities that took place in the 1970s.

The three former leaders of the radical Khmer Rouge are on trial for their role in a regime that exterminated more than 2 million people — or roughly a quarter of the country's population.

The Khmer Rouge was forced from power more than three decades ago, its former leaders are growing old, and this may be the final trial held by the U.N.-backed tribunal.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Would Romney's Tough China Talk Survive Election?

Teh Eng Koon AFP/Getty Images

Within the Republican presidential field, no one has talked tougher about China than Mitt Romney. He has vowed to go after that country from his first day in office, threatening to slap tariffs on Chinese imports to make up for its artificially low currency.

"We can't just sit back and let China run all over us," Romney said. "People say, 'Well, you'll start a trade war.' There's one going on right now, folks. They're stealing our jobs. And we're going to stand up to China."

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Economy Mutes A Longtime Louisville Record Shop

Timmons browses the racks of his now-closed business. The record store will have a final clearance sale on Nov. 29.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:02 am

Part of a monthlong series

In Louisville, Ky., local businessman John Timmons is trying to figure out what's next after selling music for more than a quarter of a century.

Timmons owned ear X-tacy records for 26 years here. The shop closed at the end of October. On a recent visit, dead roses, farewell notes and other mementos are taped to the glass doors. Fans of the shop have also been slipping notes of support under the door.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Egyptian Protesters Push For A 'Second Revolution'

Protesters run for cover during clashes with Egyptian riot police Tuesday near Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 am

The head of Egypt's ruling military council said the transfer of power to a civilian government would come no later than July, but that if the people demanded it, he would allow a referendum that could make the shift even sooner.

In his address, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi sought to cast the military as the nation's foremost patriots and angrily denounced what he called attempts to taint its reputation.

"People and the armed forces are together," he said in the 10-minute speech.

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

U.N. Says AIDS Epidemic Is Stabilizing

Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé holds up a copy of the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011 as he addresses a press conference.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

In a report released today, the United Nations say the AIDS epidemic has stabilized. The number of people newly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has remained the same since 2007.

The AP reports:

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Economy
6:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama Blames Republicans For Debt Panel's Failure

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.

Economy
6:17 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Fails To Reach Debt Deal

The bipartisan supercommittee says it failed to reach a deficit-reduction deal. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

Politics
5:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Four Reasons The Supercommittee Isn't So Super

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a member of the congressional supercommittee on the deficit, fends off reporters as he arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 5:12 pm

When the bipartisan supercommittee on the federal debt was formed four months ago, there was more than a little skepticism that the 12-member group could come up with $1.2 trillion in savings and avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts.

On Monday, with the deadline fast approaching and no plan in sight, it looked like the skeptics were on the verge of being proved right.

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The Salt
4:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Farm-Fresh Food May Have Shaped The Modern Mouth

Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:04 am

Got a mouthful of metal and stack of orthodontic bills? You can thank your farmer ancestors for them.

That's according to an anthropologist who says the switch from chewing wild game to eating corn, rice and wheat could have shortened the human jaw so that teeth don't fit in it as well.

When agriculture took off in some parts of the world, it had a lot to offer people: Farmed foods are a more reliable source of calories, and are easier to chew and digest. But they also may have helped transform the jaw bone before the teeth could catch up.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

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Politics
4:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

With No 'Super' Deal, What's Next In Deficit Debate?

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the supercommittee co-chairwoman, arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. John Kerry with other members of the deficit reduction panel on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:30 pm

For the not-so-super debt reduction supercommittee, failure is clearly an option.

As the blame-gaming bipartisan congressional committee stumbled toward collapse Monday, washing out on even the most basic show of common purpose, the "what happens next" scenarios began to take shape.

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Middle East
4:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

In Iran, Secret Plans To Abolish The Presidency?

A power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left, in portrait) is growing. There are signs that Khamenei may want to eliminate the presidency and replace it with the less powerful position of prime minister.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

The next presidential election in Iran is scheduled for 2013, but doubts are emerging about whether it will actually take place.

A conservative member of Iran's Parliament recently claimed that a secret committee convened by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been working on a plan to do away with the office of the presidency.

Meanwhile, the conflict between the supreme leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to sharpen.

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Three Books...
4:08 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Presidents And Pilgrims: 3 Boundary Pushing Books

Donna Neary flickr.com

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

With Thanksgiving hard upon us, now is a good time to think about our past. History writers can tell the best stories from centuries of human achievement and folly, yet too often they produce recitations of one damned thing after another. A few, though, combine a respect for accuracy with a deep understanding of the longings, fears and triumphs of the people of our past. Such books make magic.

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Politics
4:03 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered remarks before signing legislation that will provide business tax credits to help put veterans back to work on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 4:03 pm

President Obama has kept his distance from the supercommittee. Unlike the budget battles earlier this year, there were no bargaining sessions at the White House. No presidential motorcades to Capitol Hill.

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Planet Money
4:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Buying A Savings Bond Is About To Get Harder

U.S. Treasury Department

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:15 am

Paper savings bonds used to be a wholesome part of American culture. You bought them when your kids were born, to save for college. You bought them to save for a home.

But starting next month, they'll be a lot harder to get. Banks will stop selling paper savings bonds on January 1, 2012.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

California Republicans Quietly Embrace Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a very clear record on the Affordable Care Act. He has repeatedly called for its defeat and was one of the co-sponsors of the January repeal measure that easily passed the House but died in the Senate.

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The Two-Way
3:55 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

VIDEO: Flour Children, Or What A Bag Of Flour Can Do To A House

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Performing Arts
3:44 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

At Pop-Up Magazine Shows, No Recordings Allowed

iStockphoto.com

Magazines, documentaries and art are usually meant to be preserved to live on in time. But a group in San Francisco has decided that art, if ephemeral, may be appreciated in a different way.

The group created Pop-Up Magazine, a live magazine that happens once onstage, in one place — and it's not recorded.

Editor Douglas McGray says the idea came from trying to get different kinds of artists in the same room.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off

Spraying the Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence").
jockohomo.tumblr.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 9:56 am

When he walked down a line of seated Occupy protesters Friday at the University of California Davis and shot pepper spray directly at them, campus police Lt. John Pike likely never thought that video of the incident would go viral on the Web, that there would be outrage not only at the school but around the nation, or that "casually pepper spraying cop" would quickly become one of the year's top memes.

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Music Interviews
3:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma's Bluegrass-Inspired 'Goat Rodeo'

Yo-Yo Ma's latest Americana exploration features his work with mandolinist Chris Thile, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddler Stuart Duncan.
Jeremy Cowart

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 1:27 pm

A sense of humor comes through The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest Americana exploration for the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Former AIG Exec Sues Federal Government For $25 Billion Over Takeover

The United States government takeover of American International Group saved the company from going under during the financial crisis of 2008. As The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, the government drove a hard bargain — tens of billions would get it an almost 80 percent stake of the company — but the government argued if AIG went down, so would the rest of the economy and AIG argued if the company wasn't pumped with money, it would collapse. The U.S.

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It's All Politics
2:02 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 3:06 pm

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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