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6:49 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Obama's Hope: A Younger, More Diverse Electorate

The American electorate is getting more diverse, more educated and younger. These demographic trends seem to suggest that voters could, in theory at least, be more Obama-friendly in 2012, especially in some key states. But it's not clear whether these shifts can outweigh the dragging economy and the president's dismal approval ratings.

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The Two-Way
6:43 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Chrome Surpasses Firefox To Become Second Most Popular Web Browser

By one measure, the browser landscape was reshaped last month: According to data released today by StatCounter, which measures browser usage, Google's Chrome has taken over the No. 2 spot, sending Mozilla's Firefox to third place.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer is still king.

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Pew: 63 Percent Of Undocumented Immigrants In U.S. For More Than 10 Years

A Pew Hispanic Center study released today finds that two-thirds of undocumented immigrants in the United States have lived in the country for more than 10 years. The study also found that 46 percent of undocumented immigrants had minor children.

In its press release, Pew says this research is important because it comes on the heels of a hot debate on immigration during the Republican presidential debates.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Foster Kids, Even Infants, More Likely To Be Given Psychotropic Drugs

Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given mind-altering drugs, according to a study of five states released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.

The report, which focused on children in the Medicaid program, also found that foster kids were more likely to be prescribed five or more psychotropic drugs at an age and at doses that exceed the maximum FDA-approved levels — both of which carry serious health risks.

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The Salt
4:25 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

The Case For Peeking Inside The Slaughterhouse

Former Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, right, follows the work of USDA inspectors at a Cargill meat packing plant in Schuyler, Neb., in 2008.
Nati Harnik ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 4:37 pm

This is just a guess, but the single part of America's food system that inspires the most horrified fascination is probably the slaughterhouse. One reason may be that these factories that turn cattle, hogs and chickens into packaged meat are generally off-limits to the public and photographers.

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Music Interviews
4:25 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Shakira And Collective Soul's Hits, With A Burmese Twist

Burmese pop singer Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 7:02 pm

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Election 2012
4:17 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

GOP Candidates Step Up Attacks On Each Other

From left, GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney participate in the Fox News/Google GOP debate at the Orange County Convention Center in September. Since then, the candidates have gotten tougher on each other.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 7:02 pm

Once upon a time, the Republican presidential contenders seemed to be mostly on the same page. They agreed on who the real enemies were — as Newt Gingrich explained at a debate in September.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

A 'Comedy Of Errors': Italians Appoint Wrong Minister

University of Guelph professor Francesco Braga.
YouTube

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera called it a "comedy of errors."

Indeed.

Imagine you're a professor in Canada, 28-years removed from Italy and one day you get a call: While forming its new government, Italy wants you to be its junior agriculture minister.

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Economy
3:35 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

In U.S. And Europe, Pensions At Risk

Demonstrators in London marched outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday to protest against pension cuts. The issue has stirred demonstrations in many parts of Europe and the U.S.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Despite boasting one of the highest per-capita incomes in the country, San Jose, Calif., is running large and growing deficits. And next Tuesday, the city council is expected to declare a state of "fiscal emergency." The main reason is pensions and other benefits for retired city workers, such as health insurance.

San Jose's problems are severe, but hardly unique. In recent years, pension costs have become a central concern both in the U.S. and in Europe.

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Music
3:30 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Winter Songs: Dreaming Of 'California' From Far Away

The Mamas and the Papas in England, 1967.
Les Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 3:24 pm

The songs we turn to during winter months are as distinct from the light, joyous anthems of summer as tank tops and shorts are from the mittens and scarves we pull out of the closet when a chill creeps into the air. This season, we'll ask musicians, writers and listeners to tell us about a song that evokes winter for them, along with a memory or story that goes with it.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Photo Of Clinton, Suu Kyi, Says It All

Sometimes a picture does indeed tell the story.

In this case, a photo taken today when Hillary Rodham Clinton had a private dinner in Myanmar with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaks volumes about the purpose and meaning of the first visit to the country by an American secretary of state in more than five decades.

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Music Interviews
3:17 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Steady Diet Of Everything: The Fugazi Live Vault

Fugazi's Ian MacKaye is releasing every performance his band ever did, and listeners can name their price.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 2:52 pm

When the iconic American punk band Fugazi started playing back in 1987, it started taping, too.

"Our friend Joey Picuri, who was a local sound man — or a fellow who helped do sound for bands — he recorded the shows," Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye tells NPR's Guy Raz. "He just gave us tapes of our first show, and he gave us a tape of our second show."

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Europe
3:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Sarkozy Lays Foundation For Reshaping The Eurozone

During a speech delivered Thursday in Toulon, France, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be announcing new measures to guarantee the future of Europe.
Claude Paris AP

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 10:14 pm

In a highly anticipated speech Thursday night, French President Nicolas Sarkozy laid the groundwork for tighter French-German cooperation.

He made an ambitious call for a rewrite of European treaties, but his speech — billed as his last-ditch plan to save the euro — offered no concrete emergency measures to contain Europe's debt crisis.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Senator Seeks Answers About Phone Logging Software

A screenshot showing CarrierIQ in action.
screenshot YouTube

Yesterday, we reported about the tempest brewing about Carrier IQ, a secret software a researcher says has been installed on millions of phones and is capable of logging websites a user visits, the contents of voice and text messages and even the content of online searches.

Today Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat for Minnesotta, sent a letter to the company asking for a detailed explanation of the kind of information the company's software logs.

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Asia
2:52 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

In South Korea, Old Law Leads To New Crackdown

Park Jong-kun's Twitter profile picture — which shows him against a backdrop of the North Korean flag — may violate South Korea's strict National Security Law. The 24-year-old South Korean is also under investigation for retweeting North Korean propaganda.
Courtesy Park Jong-kun

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 8:24 pm

Park Jong-kun's Twitter profile picture shows him inspecting a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky against a backdrop of the North Korean flag.

The 24-year-old South Korean photographer thought it would be funny, a visual parody of North Korea's news programs. But it turns out this profile picture could violate South Korea's strict six-decade-old National Security Law, which punishes those who "praise, disseminate or cooperate with anti-state groups" if such acts endanger democracy and national security.

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NPR Story
2:49 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Richard Branson: Time To Rethink 'Business As Usual'

Entrepreneur Richard Branson has attempted to break several world records for sailing and ballooning.
Clare Brown

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 12:45 pm

Richard Branson has built a global business empire around the philosophy "have fun and the money will come."

As the founder of Virgin Group, he grew a mail-order record company into a major record label and a chain of record stores; he started an airline; he created a space tourism company; and he has been actively involved in humanitarian efforts.

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Opinion
2:32 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Not Quite Norman: Living Up To A Literary Legacy

American novelist and journalist Norman Mailer poses for a photo on Oct. 1, 1970.
Victor Drees Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 7:02 pm

Alex Gilvarry is the author of the forthcoming novel From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

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Planet Money
2:12 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

A European Solution Germany Can Feel Good About

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, on the second day of the G20 Summit in France.
Chris Ratcliffe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 1:15 pm

There are basically two solutions to the European debt crisis. One, someone can show up with really deep pockets and bail out all the countries. Or, two, the European Central Bank can create a bunch of money and loan it to the countries who need it. The problem is there's a barrier blocking both these potential solutions — a certain European country known for its beer and brats: Germany.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Dog Shoots Man: Butt, And Pride, Injured

It's best to keep this out of Rover's paws.
Sandra Mu Getty Images

We're a day late, but some stories just beg to be passed along:

"Utah Duck Hunter Shot In Buttocks By His Dog." (The Salt Lake Tribune)

It seems two guys and a dog were out hunting on Sunday. One man was in their boat with the canine. A loaded shotgun was lying across the bow pointed toward the other guy, who was in the water. Fido got excited, stepped on the gun and ... a little while later doctors were plucking 27 pieces of birdshot out of a butt.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

U.N. Says Death Toll In Syria Has Surpassed 4,000

Despite international condemnation and tough sanctions from the Arab League, the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad has continued clashing with protesters.

The United Nation's top human rights official said today that the death toll during the eight-month conflict has reached at least 4,000 and he characterized the conflict as a civil war.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Afghan Rape Victim Pardoned After Agreeing To Marry Her Attacker

For many women in Afghanistan, life has not changed significantly in the 10 years since the fall of the Taliban.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

An Afghan woman who was sentenced to prison after being raped by a relative — because in the eyes of authorities she had committed adultery — has been pardoned by President Hamid Karzai.

But her freedom comes with a price, according to news reports: She must become the second wife of the man who attacked her. Karzai's office says the woman and her attacker both have agreed to the marriage.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:02 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

MRIs More Likely To Be Negative When The Doctor Profits

Do you really need that MRI, or is your doctor just trying to make a buck?
iStockphoto.com

If your doctor says you need an MRI, your health may not be the only thing on his mind. Doctors who have a financial interest in the imaging equipment are more likely to send patients for scans when they don't have anything wrong with them. That's the conclusion of a researcher who combed through hundreds of patient records to examine MRI referral patterns.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

NPR CEO Gary Knell's First Day At Work

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 8:29 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Wanted: a high-powered executive to run a nonprofit, far-flung public radio organization. Pluses include a trusted name, award-winning news and music programs, a growing audience and a talented staff. Minuses: some funding problems, a few self-inflicted controversies, the transition to digital media and staff who all think they're smarter than you.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Award-Winner Nikky Finney On Life As A Poet

Nikky Finney's Head Off & Split tells the stories of contemporary African-American life from the Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina.
David Flores

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

Nikky Finney has dreamed of being a poet since she was a teenager. She published her first book in 1985, and has taught writing for years at the university level.

Now, she's reached a pinnacle of success in the literary world: Her book, Head Off & Split received the National Book Award for poetry.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

'American Pie' Doesn't Belong To Saratoga Springs

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Forty years and a few days ago, an eight-and-a-half-minute song broke on to the record charts, soon drenched the radio and claimed a permanent place in the lives of millions.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMERICAN PIE")

DON MCLEAN: (Singing) I can't remember if I cried when I read about his widowed bride. Something touched me deep inside the day the music died. So bye, bye, Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.

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Author Interviews
12:41 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Going 'One On One' With Sports' Greatest Stars

Some of the most talented and temperamental athletes and coaches in the world have opened up to John Feinstein.

The acclaimed sportswriter's latest book One on One: Behind the Scenes with the Greats of the Game details his conversations over the years with notoriously difficult coaches like Bobby Knight and star athletes like Tiger Woods and John McEnroe.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

'All Eyes On Sarkozy', As He Sets Out Vision For Europe

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech on road safety at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Nov. 30.
Philippe Wojazer AFP/Getty Images

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to deliver a speech that will set out his vision for Europe. This is a big speech: First because Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been leading the efforts to save the euro and contain the European sovereign debt problems. Secondly, Sarkozy is facing a tough reelection campaign next spring and he is expected to make the case that he's the best person to take the country forward.

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Television
12:29 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

At Midseason, Serial Dramas Serve Up Some Big Twists

Showtime's Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall, just served up the biggest twist of the season to date.
Randy Tepper Showtime

By now, I hope my position on spoiler alerts is firmly established. My feeling is that once something has been televised, it's fair game for discussion. I feel it's the responsibility of the person who's delaying his or her enjoyment of a TV show to avoid mentions of it, rather than putting the onus on critics. And believe me, I know that's not always easy. I have to do some time-shifting myself — there are so many good shows presented on Sundays this season that it sometimes takes me the whole week to catch up on the episodes I've recorded.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

'Top Gear' Host Clarkson Slammed For Saying Strikers Should Be Shot

Jeremy Clarkson. (2007 file photo)
Edmond Terakopian AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 12:18 pm

There are calls for Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson to be fired by the BBC because he said on the air last night that the U.K. public sector workers who staged a massive strike Wednesday should be shot "in front of their families."

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Thu December 1, 2011

New NPR CEO Gary Knell Starts Work, Will Take Listeners' Calls

NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Our new boss started work today and if you're interested in what NPR CEO and President Gary Knell is thinking as he settles into the job:

-- He's due on Talk of the Nation just after 2 p.m. ET, and will be answering questions from callers. When we get closer to the time he's scheduled to be on, we'll embed an audio player in this post so that we can stream the conversation. To find a station that broadcasts or streams the show, click here.

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