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Around the Nation
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Rhode Island Makes Sweeping Changes To Pension System

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Rhode Island had one of the most underfunded pension systems in the country until last week. That's when an overwhelming majority of state lawmakers passed big changes, mostly affecting future retirees. Now those lawmakers are facing angry unions, which are preparing for a legal fight. As Catherine Welch of Rhode Island Public Radio reports, the unions are also hinting at a political battle against those who supported the plan.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

'When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable?'

This week in New York Magazine, two writers from different political parties each critiqued their own side. On Thursday, we heard from conservative David Frum, who argues Republicans lost touch with reality. In the same issue, liberal writer Jonathan Chait also uses the word "fantasy" in describing liberals. He tells Steve Inskeep liberals have become unreasonable.

Asia
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Why Is China's Baby Care Industry Booming?

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:31 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

Business
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Tis The Season For Shopping

On this Black Friday, Linda Wertheimer talks to branding expert Martin Lindstrom about the psychology of sales and the array of techniques retailers use to get people to shop.

Afghanistan
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Afghan Reporters Maneuver Media Minefields

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 6:55 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Afghanistan, a media boom followed the ouster of the Taliban in 2001, but there have been problems. Watchdog groups report hundreds of cases of violence and intimidation against journalists, including murder. Afghan reporters have learned which topics are off-limits, and they take great care to avoid offending the country's powerful. NPR's Ahmad Shafi reports from Kabul.

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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Thai Floods Disrupt Computer Hard Drive Supply

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:37 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with rising computer prices. A component used to make computers has become more expensive. The reason why, is around the world in Southeast Asia. NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.

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The Record
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

New Holiday Songs: A Smart Career Move That's Fun, Too

A still from "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown!" which aired on ABC in 2001. Vince Guaraldi's rearrangements and originals for the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack became holiday perennials.
ABC Photo Archives ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:26 pm

Click the link above to hear Ann Powers and Frannie Kelley talk to Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep about the business and variety of Christmas music this year.

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Michele Bachmann
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Bachmann's 'Conviction' To Fixing Government

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks during the Republican presidential debate on national security Tuesday in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

It wasn't long ago that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's rise to the top of the Republican field of presidential candidates was called "meteoric." In August, she won the Iowa straw poll. Now, she's polling in the single digits.

But Bachmann is plowing ahead with her campaign and this week she came out with a memoir, Core of Conviction. In it, she writes about her 28 children — five biological and 23 foster kids. She spent much of the 1990s as a stay-at-home mom.

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StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

English Teacher Reaches Through Student's Haze

John Burnett is an NPR correspondent based in Austin, Texas.
Steve Barrett for NPR

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:18 am

Christine Eastus was a double major in English and chemistry with plans to go to medical school. Instead — to the chagrin of her parents — she became a teacher.

In the 1970s, she taught English at Greenhill School in Addison, Texas.

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Law
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

From South Africa, Lessons In 'Soft Vengeance'

South African Constitutional Court Judge Albie Sachs, seen here in Johannesburg in 2009, resisted the impulse to take revenge on the bomber who cost him his right arm.
Denis Farrell AP

Sometimes in the life of a reporter, you meet a person so extraordinary, so interesting, that you want to share that experience with others. Such is the case with Albie Sachs, whom I met while on vacation in South Africa.

Sachs has led a remarkable life, moving from freedom fighter to founding father.

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Religion
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

New Catholic Mass Already Causing A Stir

This weekend, the words and music of the English-language Mass will be different.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 7:33 am

This weekend, Catholics may experience a little surprise when they attend Mass. The words and music are different, thanks to the first major change of the English-language Mass in more than 40 years.

For many practicing Catholics, this will be a major adjustment.

So on a recent Sunday, the Rev. Chester Snyder of St. Joseph's church in Mechanicsburg, Pa., did a trial run through the new liturgy with his parishioners.

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Election 2012
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

A Holiday Guide For The Politically Inclined

T-shirts on display at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in June. With the holidays approaching, campaigns and retailers are hawking plenty of political merchandise.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 5:18 am

At NPR, we know a thing or two about promotional merchandise. After all, we invented the Nina Totin' Bag and the Carl Kasell Autograph Pillow. So, on this Black Friday, White House correspondent Scott Horsley presents the NPR guide to campaign swag.

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Animals
12:01 am
Fri November 25, 2011

Beer Or Sugar Water? For Flies, The Choice Is Pale Ale

Flies are attracted to glycerol, a chemical in beer produced during fermentation. Understanding more about the genes responsible for taste and smell in flies could help make powerful insect repellents.
iStockphoto.com

Scientists in California think they've figure out why flies like beer. That may sound a bit trivial, but in fact it could lead to new ways of combating plant and animal pests.

That flies like beer is well known. "The attraction of flies to beer was first reported in the early 1920s," says Anupama Dahanukar. She's part of an inter-disciplinary program involving neuroscience and entomology at the University of California, Riverside. She's been studying how flies recognize chemicals, so answering the question of why flies like beer is actually quite relevant to her research.

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World
5:12 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Egypt Military Rulers Reject Calls To Step Down

Egyptian women join a mass protest in Cairo's Tahrir square on November 24, 2011, as members of Egypt's ruling military council rejected calls to step down immediately, saying it would amount to a 'betrayal' as anti-military protests entered their seventh day.
Mahmud Hams Getty Images

Egypt's military rulers rejected protester demands for them to step down immediately and said Thursday they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time next week, despite serious unrest in Cairo and other cities.

The ruling military council insisted it is not the same as the old regime it replaced, but the generals appear to be on much the same path that doomed Hosni Mubarak nine months ago, responding to the current crisis by delivering speeches seen as arrogant, mixing concessions with threats and using brutal force.

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Law
4:41 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

How Private Is Your Email? It Depends

Some big-name tech companies are asking Congress to step in and clarify Americans' online privacy rights.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 8:36 pm

Do the police need a warrant to read your email? Believe it or not, two decades into the Internet age, the answer to that question is still "maybe." It depends on how old the email is, where you keep it — and it even depends on whom you ask.

Some big-name tech companies are now asking Congress to step in and clarify Americans' online privacy rights.

If you do run afoul of the law and you happen to be one of the millions of people who use Gmail then cops will likely be directing their inquiries to the legal department at Google, in Mountain View, Calif.

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It's All Politics
4:40 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Romney's Religion Could Play Role In Primaries, Poll Finds

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to a group of workers at Nationwide Insurance Company, Nov. 23, 2011, in Des Moines. A new poll suggests his religion could be an obstacle in the GOP primary.
Steve Pope AP

Originally published on Fri November 25, 2011 1:58 am

A new poll that gauges Americans' views of the Mormon faith served up difficult news for the nation's highest profile member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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Europe
3:48 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Avoiding The Tax Man Could Cost Italians Dearly

As the European debt crisis drags on, one question being asked is what will happen to Italy. The new government of Prime Minister Mario Monti is struggling to convince the financial markets that the country has a plan to pay its debts. Among other things, Monti says he will do something about Italy's long tradition of tax evasion, which is considered somewhat of a national sport.

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Europe
3:24 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Tough Times Spark Russian Resurgence In Latvia

In September, the pro-Russia Harmony Center party won parliamentary elections in Latvia. But the governing coalition has left the party on the sidelines. Supporters of the Harmony Center party protest in front of the Parliament building during its opening session in Riga on Oct. 17. The banner reads: "No to ethnic discrimination."
Raitis Purins AFP/Getty Images

Of all the economic downturns of the past few years, the tiny European nation of Latvia may have suffered as much as any place. Incomes fell and families suffered as the government implemented harsh austerity measures.

Now, the citizens of this former Soviet republic seem more open to what was once unthinkable: backing a social democratic party that's pro-Russian.

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Around the Nation
3:09 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

In Joplin, Appreciating The 'Thanks' At Thanksgiving

Carrie Cook and her two young sons escaped their Joplin, Mo., apartment just before a tornado obliterated it and most everything inside in May. Now, Cook's small house is one of 10 that Habitat for Humanity is putting up in Joplin this month.
Frank Morris for NPR

For a lot of the people in Joplin, Mo., this Thanksgiving is going to be one more to endure than to celebrate. But new dreams are slowly taking root in the rocky soil here.

While the losses from last May's tornado have been terrible, they've left a lot of people here more grateful to be alive than they were last Thanksgiving. Some residents are deeply grateful for what the storm didn't take, and even for what it gave them.

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Books
2:11 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Bailey White's Thanksgiving Story: 'Call It Even'

iStockphoto.com

It's been an All Things Considered Thanksgiving tradition since 1991— a Bailey White original short story. Over the years, White's stories have included tales about a rose queen, a telephone man, an ostrich farmer and a wife exacting revenge. This year, White presents "Call It Even." It's about a shy painter who moves from Florida to Vermont and wants to feel like he fits in — so he raises a dozen turkeys.

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Ingrid Gerdes: A Tomboy With Soul

Ingrid Gerdes says she is influenced by Southern soul-blues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 5:28 pm

Originally from Springfield, Mo., "the Ozarks area of Missouri," Ingrid Gerdes is a neo-soul performer out of Boston, but she considers herself a Southern singer. Her latest album is titled Shed.

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From Our Listeners
12:27 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Those Who Can't Be With Us On Thanksgiving

The son or daughter who can't get away. A nephew who is serving in Afghanistan. Perhaps, the favorite aunt who passed away. Guest host John Donvan talks with listeners about the people missing from their Thanksgiving table, and how they remember absent family and friends.

Food
12:23 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

Adam Gopnik: 'The Table Comes First'

What goes on the dining table has never mattered as much to our lives as what goes on around it, says Adam Gopnik, a staff writer for The New Yorker. Guest host John Donvan talks with Gopnik about his new book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food.

StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
12:02 pm
Thu November 24, 2011

National Day Of Listening: Thank Your Teacher

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 12:30 pm

In 2008, the oral history project StoryCorps started the National Day of Listening, a day when Americans are encouraged to record an interview with a loved one on the day after Thanksgiving.

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Music Interviews
10:41 am
Thu November 24, 2011

Rocker Nick Lowe Still Has 'The Old Magic'

Nick Lowe
Dan Burn-Forti

This interview was originally broadcast on September 15, 2011.

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NPR Story
9:45 am
Thu November 24, 2011

Signed, SEALed And Delivered — With Love

They battle international villains. And "when it comes to giving away their hearts, they'll risk everything." That's according to "SEAL of my Dreams, a short story collection by 18 romance novelists, celebrating Navy SEALS. Story titles include "SEALed with A Kiss," "SEALed by Fate" — you get the idea. Proceeds from the book will fund medical research for wounded veterans.

NPR Story
9:45 am
Thu November 24, 2011

Italy's Parliament Bans 'Personal Images' Of Itself

Facing a financial crisis that threatens Europe, Italy's lower house of parliament got down to important business. They passed a rule to save themselves from themselves. Photographers use long lenses to capture lawmakers making rude gestures, passing notes — or voting for absent colleagues, a practice that has been called "playing the piano," as they press several buttons at once. So, lawmakers have banned photographers from taking "personal images."

National Security
7:21 am
Thu November 24, 2011

U.S. Easing Out Of Nation-Building Business

A U.S. Marine pushes a child on a swing in southern Afghanistan on March 4. After a decade of nation-building in Afghanistan, and nearly as long in Iraq, the U.S. appears to be losing it appetite for such efforts.
Adek Berry AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 24, 2011 5:12 pm

Nation-building has gone out of style.

The U.S. effort in Afghanistan has lasted a decade, and it's been nearly as long in Iraq. Now, there's little appetite in American political circles for large-scale attempts to build up the economies or political institutions of other countries.

Most U.S. troops will be pulled out of Iraq by the end of the year. And the Obama administration has been careful not to take on responsibility for rebuilding Libya after the NATO bombing campaign that helped drive Moammar Gadhafi from power.

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The Record
7:00 am
Thu November 24, 2011

On Commercial Radio, Christmas Is Coming Early

Christmas music superstar Bing Crosby performing in 1977, back when the season, at least on the radio, started after Thanksgiving.
Getty Images

If it seems like you're hearing more Christmas music on the radio these days, it's not your imagination. More stations have been going all-Christmas — and they're doing it earlier than ever.

The reason is simple: Christmas music makes ratings go through the roof.

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