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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Before Obama Invites Teddy Roosevelt Comparisons, Read TR's Words

Theodore Roosevelt, twenty-sixth president of the United States serving from 1901 to 1909.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 3:01 pm

As NPR's Scott Horsley reported for Morning Edition:

"President Obama will try Tuesday to follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt when he delivers an economic speech in Osawatomie, Kan., the same city where Roosevelt issued a famous call for a 'New Nationalism' more than 100 years ago.

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Strange News
8:07 am
Tue December 6, 2011

After A City Council Meeting On Civility, A Fight

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Things got ugly at a city council meeting in Gardner, Kansas. Councilman Dennis Pugh told a fellow council member to shut up, then stormed out.

Pugh later drove to the councilman's house, where he tackled him and took his video camera. Now charged with battery, Pugh has resigned. The dispute began at a meeting to discuss whether videotaping council meetings would add civility.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Strange News
7:53 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Beer Sustains Man Stranded In Snow For 3 Days

A Nome, Alaska, man went on a long drive and got stuck in a snowbank with no provisions — except cans of beer, frozen solid. Rescuers found him alive three days later. He had cut the lids off the beer and eaten the stuff like cans of beans.

The Two-Way
7:50 am
Tue December 6, 2011

BP Accuses Halliburton Of Destroying Gulf Spill Evidence

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 9:13 am

The complicated effort to assign blame for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history took another legal twist Monday when BP went to court to accuse Halliburton of "destroying damaging evidence about the quality of its cement slurry that went into drilling the oil well," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Coal Company To Pay More Than $200 Million In W. Va. Disaster

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 3:33 pm

(1:45 p.m. ET: We've retopped this post with the latest news and put earlier entries in chronological order so you can see how the story developed.)

The owner of West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine where 29 men died in an explosion last year has agreed to a nearly $210 million settlement that will compensate the victims' families, pay fines and fund upgrades in safety standards at its facilities, NPR's Howard Berkes reports from Charleston, W. Va.

That package includes about $46 million for the miners' families.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Dozens Of Bodies Scattered After Deadly Bombings In Afghanistan

A man grieves as others try to help victims and remove bodies from the scene in Kabul earlier today (Nov. 6, 2011) after a suicide bomb exploded in a crowd of Shiite worshipers.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

A suicide bomb detonated today in the midst of a crowd of Shiite worshipers in Kabul has left about 50 people dead. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports from there that witnesses say dozens of bodies were scattered around the gate of a mosque.

Al-Jazeera says the Afghan ministry of health reports more than 100 people were injured.

Another four people were reportedly killed and more were injured in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif by a similar attack. Al-Jazeera adds that:

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Business
6:42 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Why Americans Spend Too Much

  • Hear Princeton Professor Sheldon Garon
  • Hear NPR's Marilyn Geewax's Interview With Professor Sheldon Garon

The 2008 financial crisis made it clear: Americans save too little, spend too much and borrow excessively, says Princeton professor Sheldon Garon. In Western Europe and East Asia, governments aggressively encourage people to save through special savings institutions and savings campaigns.

Garon has just released a new book, Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves. He discussed his findings with NPR:

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U.S.
5:43 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Settlement Reported In West Virginia Mine Disaster

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 3:32 pm

The owner of West Virginia's Upper Big Branch coal mine is reportedly ready to pay slightly more than $200 million to settle civil and criminal claims resulting from the explosion that killed 29 people last year.

The settlement was first reported by the Charleston Gazette, and some details were confirmed by NPR. A private briefing about the settlement is scheduled Tuesday morning for the families of the victims. A public announcement is set later in the morning.

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Technology
5:00 am
Tue December 6, 2011

How Twitter's Trending Algorithm Picks Its Topics

Occupy Wall Street protesters meditate while a sign bearing their Twitter hashtag hangs from a railing in Zuccotti Park in October. Some activists accused Twitter of censorship because #OccupyWallStreet wasn't appearing on trending lists.
Jessica Rinaldi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 2:18 pm

The list of "trending topics" on the right side of Twitter's home page is a coveted spot because millions of people see it. It often reflects what's hot in the news, from the death of Steve Jobs to Kim Kardashian's latest exploits.

Sometimes a topic that seems hot, like Occupy Wall Street, doesn't trend, leading some activists to charge Twitter with censorship. But the complex algorithms that determine trending topics are intended to find what's trending in the moment, and not what's been around for a long time.

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Performing Arts
4:49 am
Tue December 6, 2011

'Once' And Again: A Love Story Gets A Second Life

In Once, based on the cult-favorite Irish indie movie, a guy (Steve Kazee) and a girl (Cristin Milioti) fall in love during a whirlwind week of songwriting in Dublin.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 12:22 pm

Once, the much-loved 2007 Irish indie, was kind of the little movie musical that could. Made on a shoestring budget in Dublin, it starred songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as thinly veiled versions of themselves, and it was as much about the love of making music as it was about the budding but unfulfilled love between the two central characters.

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Politics
4:47 am
Tue December 6, 2011

In Kansas, Obama Invites Teddy Roosevelt Comparisons

President Obama will try Tuesday to follow in the footsteps of Teddy Roosevelt when he delivers an economic speech in Osawatomie, Kan., the same city where Roosevelt issued a famous call for a "New Nationalism" more than 100 years ago.

For Obama, this is a "connect-the-dots" speech. White House spokesman Jay Carney said it's a chance to show how the president's various economic proposals — from stricter banking oversight to payroll tax cuts — fit together, as Obama prepares for a re-election battle.

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Environment
4:45 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Calif. Takes Big Step Toward Greenhouse Gas Limits

Matt Horton is CEO of Propel Fuels, a company that installs equipment and pumps to handle biofuels. Horton says California is a great market because consumers are interested in renewable fuels.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:18 pm

First of a two-part series on California's climate policies

California is about to try a radical experiment. A little over a year from now, the state will limit the greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants, and, eventually, emissions from vehicles.

The U.S. Congress tried to pass a similar plan for the whole country but dropped the idea last year.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
4:39 am
Tue December 6, 2011

For Mill Town's Youth, 'It Can't Get Any Worse'

High school senior Jared Lyons (center), shown here with his parents, Kim and Bob, worries how he'll afford to achieve his dream of becoming a doctor. The economy, he says, "can't get any worse than it is now."
Courtesy of Kim Lyons

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 12:25 pm

Part of a monthlong series

Coming after Gen X and Gen Y, the next generation of young people have been called "Gen Wrong Place, Wrong Time." With unemployment and college costs both sky-high and the housing market in collapse, young people today are facing extraordinary economic uncertainty.

Perhaps nowhere is that more clear than in a small town like East Millinocket, Maine.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Blagojevich Sentencing Hearing Starts

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The public corruption saga of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is nearing an end. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of 18 counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Obama. Today, a federal judge begins a hearing to determine Blagojevich's sentence. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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U.S.
4:00 am
Tue December 6, 2011

W.Va. Mine Settlement Expected

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

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.

Let's talk, now, about the reported settlement in last year's deadly coal mine disaster in West Virginia. Details are expected later this morning, but NPR and other news organizations have confirmed some elements of a $200 million settlement that involves civil and criminal penalties levied against the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine.

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Afghanistan
4:00 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Blasts Across Afghanistan Kill Dozens

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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Africa
4:00 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Fears Of Violence Over Congo Election Results

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

On November 28th, elections were held in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They were only the second democratic polls in the nation's turbulent half-century of independence, and even before voters went to the polls there were signs that all was not well.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Violence marred the run-up to the actual voting day, so polling was extended in some areas up to three days. Opposition candidates said the election itself was tainted.

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It's All Politics
6:15 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Ron Paul's 'Big Dog' Ad One Of GOP Race's Coolest Commercials

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:01 pm

Rep. Ron Paul may not be leading in any of the major presidential polls (though he's in second place in Iowa according to a recent poll.) But he arguably is setting the pace when it comes to the 2012 presidential campaign ads.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

In Yemen, Deadly Protests Continue Despite Power Transfer

Protestors gesture during a demonstration demanding the prosecution of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Friday.
Hani Mohammed AP

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:40 pm

Protesters headed to the streets and snipers opened fire in Taiz, Yemen today. As The New York Times puts it, the clashes "threatened a day-old cease-fire agreement" and threw into question whether a power transfer agreed to by Yemen's president in November would mean much for the country.

The Times describes the scene:

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Space
5:39 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Found: Earth-Like Planet That Might Be Right For Life

This artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star's habitable zone — the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Scientists have discovered a planet not too much bigger than Earth that's circling a distant star that's much like our own Sun. What's more, this planet is in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" around that star — a region that's not too hot and not too cold. That's the kind of place that could be home to liquid water and maybe even life.

The planet, known as Kepler-22b, is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found smack dab in the middle of the habitable zone of a twin to our Sun.

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Politics
5:26 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Maryland Case May Dissuade Political Dirty Tricks

A little-noticed trial in Maryland could affect how many dirty tricks voters will see in the upcoming elections — things like anonymous fliers or phone calls telling people to vote on the wrong day, or in the wrong precinct, or that they can't vote at all if they have an outstanding parking ticket.

The tactics are often illegal, but it's rare for anyone to get caught, let alone end up in court.

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History
5:17 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

'The Atlantic' Remembers Its Civil War Stories

Alexander Gardner photographed President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., on the eve of his second inauguration. It was the last portrait taken of Lincoln before his assassination in April 1865 and it appears on the cover of The Atlantic's commemorative Civil War issue.
Alexander Gardner National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Today it is widely understood that slavery is a stain on American history — indelible and regrettable. But on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, a new issue of The Atlantic magazine reaches back to a time when this matter wasn't yet settled, and monumental questions were still up in the air: Would slavery continue? Would America remain united?

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The Salt
5:14 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 10:49 am

Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn, according to scientists. It's bad news for corn farmers, who paid extra money for this line of corn, counting on the power of its inserted genes to kill those pests. It's also bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place.

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Newt Gingrich
5:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

History With Cain May Pay Off For Gingrich

Herman Cain, who has since suspended his presidential campaign, greets Newt Gingrich upon arriving at CNN's GOP National Security debate in Washington on Nov. 22.
Jim Bourg Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:22 pm

When businessman Herman Cain left the Republican presidential race over the weekend, he said he would endorse one of his former rivals.

One likely recipient of that endorsement: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Like Cain before him, Gingrich is trying to establish himself as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Cain and Gingrich share a long history of mutual admiration.

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World
5:06 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Russia Threatens To Reevaluate Nuclear Arms Treaty

In the past two weeks, Russia's president has once again slammed the U.S. for its missile defense plans in Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev told his nation Russia would aim its missiles at U.S. missile interceptors when they are deployed in Europe. He also said Russia might even pull out of the new START agreement, which limits both sides' strategic nuclear warhead deployments. We've heard these complaints and threats before from Moscow. Nevertheless, the tone of the Medvedev's remarks was quite sharp.

It's All Politics
4:59 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Can Congress Really Compromise On Extending The Payroll Tax Cut?

Congress returned to Washington Monday with a pile of unfinished business, and no clarity on a path to getting it done. At the top of the congressional to-do list this week is extending a payroll tax holiday that meant about $1,000 in extra take-home pay for the typical family this year. It is set to expire at the end of the month.

Congressional leaders from both parties say the payroll tax cut is a must-pass measure. It's just not entirely clear how it's going to happen.

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Afghanistan
4:52 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Afghan President Pleads For Long-Term Aid

Afghan President Hamid Karzai calls Monday on the international community to keep up its support for Afghanistan. More than 100 countries attended the conference in Bonn, Germany.
Oliver Berg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:22 pm

A decade ago, shortly after the Taliban had been driven out of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, the international community gathered in Bonn, Germany, to talk about rebuilding Afghanistan.

On Monday, more than 100 countries again gathered in Bonn, this time to see how they could maintain support for Afghanistan after the U.S. and NATO wind down their combat operations in three years.

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, said he was grateful for all the help his country has received, and he appealed to the international community to keep it up.

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It's All Politics
4:49 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

As His Past Emerges As An Issue, Front-runner Gingrich Spars And Parries

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to the media at the Union League Club following an earlier meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Dec. 5 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:02 am

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had little time to savor his weekend appearance atop the Des Moines Register's influential Iowa caucus poll before front-runner reality set in.

The former House Speaker on Monday sparred with fellow candidate Ron Paul over the relevance of businessman/reality show host/would-be debate moderator Donald Trump's opinion.

He was questioned at a New York City fundraiser about the "baggage" he brings to the race.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

NASA Says New Planet Is A 'Major Milestone' In Finding 'Earth's Twin'

An artist's conception of Kepler-22b.
NASA

Scientists at the NASA's Ames Research Center said today that for the first time, they have found a planet that orbits a star a lot like the sun and is smack in the middle of the "habitable zone."

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