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North Korea In Transition
4:12 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

North Korea's Likely Leader: Young And Untested

Kim Jong Un, who is expected to become North Korea's next leader, claps after inspecting the construction site of a power station. This undated photo was released by the Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 4, 2010.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:10 pm

North Korea has yet to formally name its new leader, and it may take a while before it does. But there's a clear favorite. Kim Jong Un was anointed back in 2009 to succeed his father, Kim Jong Il, the country's longtime leader, whose death was announced on Monday.

If Kim does follow his father and grandfather as ruler of the secretive nation, he will face huge challenges. He's not yet 30 years old, and yet would be running a society that inherently favors leaders seen as experienced and wise, rather than young and untested.

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The Salt
3:23 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

To Party Like A Rock Star, They Suggest Buying Their Booze

At the national release of "AC/DC The Wine" in Melbourne, varieties included Back in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon and You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 5:40 pm

The year 2011, it seems, was a good one for celebrity booze. The famous fellows who launched their own labels this year weren't your run-of-the-mill rappers touting trendy liquors or champagnes, though. (I'm looking at you, Diddy.) Instead, several aging rockers, a professional athlete, and an actor decided the time had come to hawk wine, spirits or beer.

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North Korea In Transition
3:10 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

U.S. Treads Cautiously With North Korean Transition

North Korean residents line up to receive food rations at a Red Cross distribution center in Tongsin, North Korea, in 1997. Discussions over U.S. food aid to the reclusive country were to take place Monday. "You could, in a very real sense, see the needs for food assistance," said an official with Mercy Corps, after a September 2011 visit to the country.
Lasse Norgaard AP

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 8:19 pm

The changing of the guard in North Korea poses clear risks for the United States.

Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong Un is the likely successor. But he's still in his 20s and has had little time to prepare to take over the country. Analysts say that because he's weak, he won't be in any position to get back to nuclear disarmament talks and make concessions.

Kim Jong Un may also be tempted to take provocative actions to establish his leadership credentials, and the Obama administration has to take all this into account as it decides on next steps.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:05 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Generic Lipitor Now At Stores Near You

It's here. The cholesterol-fighter Liptor, the biggest hit in the history of the pharmaceutical industry, is now widely available in generic form.

The Pfizer drug finally lost its U.S. patent protection at the end of November, opening the door for cheaper substitutes (atorvastatin, generically) and ending the monopoly for one of the most profitable brand-name products of any kind.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

After Kim's Death, Anxiety Among Neighbors

As North Korea mourns the death of its leader Kim Jong Il, both South Korea and China have reacted to the risk of instability on their borders. The South Korean military has been placed on alert, and there are reports that the Chinese have closed their border with North Korea. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Louisa Lim, who is watching events from the South Korean capital, Seoul.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Attention Turns To Apparent Successor To Kim

With the death of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, attention has turned to the successor he named before he died. Little is known about his third son, Kim Jong Un. Robert Siegel talks with an author who goes by the penname James Church. Church has written a series of fiction books set in North Korea, and he is a former western intelligence officer who has been to North Korea many times.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Kim's Death Met With Joy, Concern In Koreatown

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 6:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Many Koreans who live in the United States are following the situation in North Korea closely. Southern California is home to a huge Korean community.

And as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, news of Kim Jong Il's death has been greeted there with shock and anxiety.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

'Wired' Editor Discusses 2011's Best Apps

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Tablets Replace Some Small Businesses Tools

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now to the spreading influence of apps and tablets in the business world. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, many small businesses are using tablets to replace everything from the menu to the timecard to the cash register.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That is ceroni, so the green is like a pistachio.

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Iraq
3:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Post-9/11 Vets Face Special Employment Challenges

Lynn Neary speaks with Michael Haynie, executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, about the unemployment picture for American veterans. Haynie says veterans from the post-9/11 generation have to overcome not only a tough economy but a special set of challenges, including physical and psychological traumas in war.

The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Stonehenge's Inner Stones

The sun rises behind Stonehenge as revellers celebrate the pagan festival of 'Summer Solstice' in 2010.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

It took scientists nine months, but they are now sure the inner stones of Stonehenge came from Pembrokeshire, Wales, about 160 miles from the Stonehenge site.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Don't Panic, It Wasn't Lil' Kim

In case anyone's confused. Kim Jong Il is at left. And Lil' Kim is still with us.
Korean Central News Agency / Ian Gavan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:28 pm

Just the headline of this Buzz Feed post made us laugh.

"25 People Who Thought Lil Kim Died."

It's funny either way:

-- If some folks were confused by the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

-- Or if they were just making mischief.

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The Two-Way
2:01 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Report: So Far, 2011 Safest Year On Record For Air Travel

An airplane takes off.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:03 pm

2011 is shaping up to be the safest on record for airline travel, according to analysis of United Nations data by a trade group.

The International Air Transport Association reports that January to November of 2011 are the safest months on record since the U.N. started keeping data in 1945. The 11-month period has also seen a 22 percent improvement in safety from last year.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Second Neti-Pot Death From Amoeba Prompts Tap-Water Warning

Keep that tap water β€” and amoebas β€” out of your neti pot.
iStockphoto.com

Washing noses with neti pots or squeeze bottles has become increasingly popular as a home remedy for colds, allergies and sinus trouble. But it's not such a great remedy if it kills you.

Now that two people have died from infection with brain-eating amoebas after using neti pots, doctors are warning: do not put tap water up your nose.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

What Lessons Should Americans Draw From Iraq War?

The American public, military and the intelligence community were all affected by the Iraq war. Tom Ricks of the Center for a New American Security, retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson and Army veteran Andrew Exum discuss how Americans will remember the war, and what we should learn from it.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Dorfman on Havel: One Playwright Remembers Another

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 2:31 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Future Uncertain For Reclusive North Korea

The death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il leaves many open questions about the secretive country's future. Former Ambassador Christopher Hill and North Korea experts Hazel Smith and Alexander Monsourov discuss how Kim's death may affect the country's relationship with the international community.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

'The Art Of Fielding': Baseball Meets Literature

Chad Harbach's debut novel The Art of Fielding is as much about literary fiction as it is about America's national past time. The book follows the baseball team at a small liberal arts college in Wisconsin β€” with side trips to the big leagues of American literature.

Henry Skrimshander is that college's talented but socially awkward shortstop, destined for big-league stardom. But when a routine throw goes wrong, Henry's life falls apart as he ends up embroiled in conflicts with his teammates, his roommate and a school administrator.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Il's Legacy? 'North Korea Is Dark'

North Korea's borders are outlined.
NASA via Afrikent

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:03 pm

There's certainly already been a lot said about North Korea's Kim Jong Il. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has an obit and Planet Money has a recap of how North Korea's economy is fueled by drug dealing and smuggling of counterfeit goods.

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North Korea In Transition
12:28 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Key Moments In The Rule Of Kim Jong Il

Korean Central News Agency photo released on Jan. 18, 2009, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il posing with soldiers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong Il succeeded his father and ruled the secretive nation for 17 years. It was a period that included repeated friction with the international community over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a devastating famine in the late 1990s that may have been responsible for upwards of 2 million deaths.

The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

VIDEOS: Christmas-Themed 'Senior Citizen Flash Mobs' Are Spreading

The senior citizens flash mob in Kansas.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:26 pm

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Music Reviews
11:58 am
Mon December 19, 2011

The Left Banke: Teenage Pioneers Of Jangle-Pop

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:24 pm

If you were a New York teenager who played an instrument and wanted to be in a band, and all of a sudden British groups were coming to town and attracting rioting mobs of teenage girls, you might feel a certain urgency to get something together. Tom Finn had already had a band, The Magic Plants, when he ran into a guy named Steve Martin-Caro, a Spanish high-school student who recently arrived in the city, as they attempted to navigate the scene outside the hotel where The Rolling Stones' members were staying in 1965. The two became friends and decided to form another band.

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Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?
11:34 am
Mon December 19, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum β€” the son of a psychologist and a nurse β€” was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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Music Interviews
11:22 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Trent Reznor: The Fresh Air Interview

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 11:43 am

When filmmaker David Fincher asked Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and his songwriting partner Atticus Ross to compose the music for his U.S. film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher had one request: for the music to sound 'textural.'

So Reznor and Ross, who won an Oscar for their score of Fincher's 2010 film The Social Network, experimented with sounds created by stretched-out bell tones, piano beds filled with nails and clothespins, and mixes of distorted instruments played imperfectly.

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The Salt
11:19 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Why Are We More Hungry In The Winter?

Our drive to eat more in the winter may be a product of less sunlight β€” or more temptation around us.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:24 am

If you feel hungrier as winter draws near, you're not alone. Even though most of us spend our days in climate-controlled offices and homes, our appetites seem to change when the days grow shorter. Some researchers say it's our primitive impulses promting us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Violent Crime Drops Again, FBI Reports

From the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:12 am

The number of violent crimes reported by 12,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time in 2010, the FBI reports.

And in its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report the bureau also says that property crimes were down 3.7 percent.

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Europe
10:56 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Tied To Trade, Dutch Economy Falls With The Tide

The flower auction house in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is one of the largest in the world β€” and a part of the country's strong export base. As Europe's debt crisis continues, the Dutch economy is feeling the effects of being heavily reliant on world trade.
Pan Zhi Xinhua /Landov

The debt crisis in Europe got under way in small, heavily indebted countries like Greece and Ireland, but these days it's also being felt in the wealthy heartland.

The Dutch government says the country probably slipped into a recession at the end of this year, and like other countries, it's having to consider budget cuts.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Boehner: House Will Reject Deal On Tax Cut, Benefits; Senate Should Stay On Job

Saying again that it's wrong to enact two-month extensions of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) just told reporters that he expects the House will this evening reject the deal to do just that, which passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority on Saturday.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Who Is Kim Jong Un? Who Really Knows?

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency distributed this photo of Kim Jong Un on Sept. 23.
hand-out AFP/Getty Images

It's been two years since Kim Jong Un effectively became North Korea's "Great Successor" and heir to the seat of power in the communist nation run by a family dynasty β€” a dynasty that began with his grandfather, Kim Il Sung (the "Great Leader") and continued with his father, Kim Jong Il (the "Dear Leader").

But in that time about the only new thing we know is that he's two years older and now thought to be in his late 20s. And, that he appears about to become at least the titular head of an impoverished nation that threatens its richer neighbor to the south with nuclear weapons

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Asia
10:03 am
Mon December 19, 2011

North Korea Faces Choices In Post-Kim Jong Il World

What's next now that Kim Jong Il is dead?

Kim, whose official age was 69 but who actually was 70, died Saturday of a heart attack, according to North Korean state media.

He leaves behind a pretty much officially designated heir, his son Kim Jong Un, whose age is about 29. The young man has been given exalted titles including full general but has little experience compared with what his father had under his belt when Kim Jong Il's own father and predecessor, Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

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