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Business
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Oil Prices Raise Sharply On Improving U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with oil prices hovering around $99 a barrel. Oil has gone up sharply since last month, partly because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. Also because of tensions in some oil producing regions, which could affect supplies. Still, the debt crisis in Europe is holding prices below that psychologically important $100 a barrel mark. Benchmark crude was trading in Asia this morning at about $98.90. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Politics
4:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

House Panel Questions Chu About Solyndra Loan

Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared before a House oversight subcommittee Thursday to defend his agency's decision to lend $500 million in federal money to Solyndra, a company that made solar panels and is now bankrupt. The company is the subject of numerous federal investigations.

Newt Gingrich
3:01 am
Fri November 18, 2011

To Imagine A Gingrich Presidency, Look To The '90s

In September 1994, then-House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich addressed Republican congressional candidates on Capitol Hill during a rally where they pledged a new "Contract with America." Months later, Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time in decades, and Gingrich became speaker of the House.
John Duricka AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 2:54 pm

Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House of Representatives for four turbulent and productive years.

From 1995 through 1998, Congress forced a government shutdown, overhauled the welfare system, balanced the budget for the first time in decades and impeached a president for the second time in history.

Gingrich was in the middle of those debates, fiery in his rhetoric, yet willing to compromise and work with a Democratic president.

The 104th Congress

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Economy
12:01 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Would Supercommittee Failure Roil Markets?

Analysts worry that failure by the supercommittee to reach a credible debt-reduction deal could upset financial markets, force up interest rates and hurt the economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:34 pm

With Wednesday's deadline looming, the congressional supercommittee still seems far from an agreement, causing concern that failure could send financial markets into a spiral.

The bipartisan panel, charged with finding budget cuts or new revenues to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, is a child of the summer's debt-ceiling debate. It was an escape hatch for Congress and the president when they couldn't reach agreement on big deficit-reduction measures. That game of chicken helped to send the stock market sliding.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Attacks Target Palestinians In Israeli Towns

A woman shouts slogans during a demonstration against the desecration of headstones at a Muslim and Christian cemetery in Jaffa, Israel, last month. A few dozen Israelis and Palestinians turned out in a show of protest against recent attacks.
Ammar Awad Reuters /Landov

In Israel, tensions are rising between Jews and Palestinian Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the population. Over the past few months, several Arab sites have been vandalized by militant Jews who left graffiti such as "Death to Arabs."

Locals blame activists from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

At a recent demonstration on a street corner in the central Israeli town of Jaffa, protesters chant in both Hebrew and Arabic. The crowd is made up of Jews and Palestinians angry over the attacks, which have rocked their community.

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Food
12:01 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Mrs. Stamberg's Relish Goes To Washington

Thanksgiving At The White House: First families have a lot to be thankful for β€” including the world-class chefs who make their food. Susan Stamberg shares her mother-in-law's cranberry relish recipe with two veteran presidential chefs. They say it reminds them of the infamous "cheddar cheese ring" from the Carter administration.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:16 am

All families have Thanksgiving traditions, and longtime NPR listeners know that Susan Stamberg is always willing to divulge her own. Every year since 1972, Stamberg has shared her mother-in-law's now famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. Stamberg says the relish β€” a shocking pink, like Pepto-Bismol β€” sounds terrible, but tastes terrific.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

The Parenting Dance: Hold Tight While Letting Go

Joshua Littman and his mother, Sarah, visited StoryCorps for the second time to talk about their evolving relationship. Their first visit was in 2006.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 10:09 am

When Sarah Littman took her son, Joshua, to college this fall, it was hard.

"I thought I was gonna cry the whole way back from college," she says during a visit to StoryCorps in New York City. "But I managed to make it until I got home. And then I walked upstairs and I saw your door shut and I just lost it."

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Movie Reviews
7:58 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

'The Descendants': In Paradise, A Stranger To Himself

Island Son: George Clooney (left, with Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller) navigates tricky territory as a Hawaii man whose wife is on life support.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Writer-director Alexander Payne is either the American cinema's most acerbic humanist or its most empathetic jerk. Whichever it is, the protagonists of the novels he adapts are outsiders who pay an emotional price for their sense of superiority.

Payne's The Descendants is his first film to be told from the perspective of a person of privilege, but real-estate lawyer Matt King (George Clooney) is the ultimate outsider: a stranger to his family and his lifelong home, Hawaii.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:42 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Turkey, Cranberries And Composers At The Table

Which composers would you invite to your Thanksgiving table?
iStock

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 12:01 am

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Shots - Health Blog
5:56 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

GAVI To Make HPV Vaccine Available In Developing Countries

Women in developing countries, such as Cote D'Ivoire, may soon have access to vaccines against HPV and rubella.
KAMBOU SIA AFP/Getty

Women in developing countries will soon have access to vaccines for human papillomavirus and rubella, the GAVI Alliance announced today.

HPV causes about 275,000 cervical cancer deaths each year, and 88 percent of those deaths occur in developing countries. GAVI says the vaccine is critical for women and girls living in these areas because they don't have access to screenings for cervical cancer.

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NPR Story
5:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Obama Turns Focus On Pacific Allies

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 5:59 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. President Obama arrived in Indonesia today, the latest stop in a 10 day trip across the Pacific. He's used the trip to send a message that the U.S. is shifting its attention to the Asia Pacific region, both for economic and security reasons. That includes the announcement yesterday that the U.S. will deploy 2,500 Marines to Australia.

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Swipe A Loyalty Card, Help A Food Detective?

These cards could provide a treasure trove of information for epidemiologists.
Melissa Forsyth NPR

Imagine someone asking you what you had for breakfast, lunch and dinner weeks ago. Most of us would do a fair to miserable job of recalling that. But it's exactly the information that investigators need to sleuth out the source of an outbreak of Salmonella or E. coli, as German officials learned the hard way this summer.

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Governing
5:08 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

GOP Supercommittee Members Consider Tax Increase

Grover Norquist, president of the taxpayer advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

The congressional deficit-reduction supercommittee must agree before Thanksgiving to slice more than $1 trillion from projected deficits, or that money will be cut automatically from future budgets.

The fundamental divide between the panel's six Democrats and six Republicans has been over whether tax revenues should come into play. And with less than a week to go before the deadline, some Republicans are considering new tax revenue. But even the hint of compromise on that issue is dividing Republicans on Capitol Hill.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: A Lesson On An 'Organic Movement'

A large gathering of protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street Movement attend a rally in Union Square in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

When you ask a lot of the Occupiers questions about their ideal government, they tell you then want an "organic" government or a "true democracy." Something a lot like what they created at Zuccotti Park, they say.

That's probably why there's been so much press coverage about the confusion of the movement's message. But, walking around and talking to many of the protesters today, it's obvious that it's a movement that has brought together a lot of people with very different ideologies.

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Author Interviews
4:49 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

U.S. Behind The Curve In Drunk Driving, Author Finds

A new book called One for the Road explores the history of drunk driving and attitudes around it.
iStockphoto.com

When Barron Lerner was writing his book on the history of drunk driving in America β€” and efforts to control it β€” he carried out an experiment at home that involved a bottle of vodka, a shot glass and a Breathalyzer. He was the guinea pig.

"I was trying to figure out just how drunk you had to be in order to not drive safely," says Lerner, a professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University, who wrote One for the Road. He decided to drink and test his levels β€” but he didn't actually get into a car.

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Europe
4:09 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Discovery Of Neo-Nazi Crime Spree Roils Germany

Germany has been rocked by allegations that a small, underground neo-Nazi group calling itself the Nationalist Socialist Underground carried out a 13-year-long crime spree that included murder, robbery and bombing. Here, a screen shot from a promotional DVD reportedly made by neo-Nazis Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Boenhardt. The two men committed suicide earlier this month.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:30 am

Germany is reeling from revelations this week that a small neo-Nazi group carried out a deadly, decade-long crime wave. Authorities blame the underground cell for the murders of nine immigrants and a policewoman, a string of bank robberies and a bombing. Two suspects are dead and two others are in custody.

The identity of the suspects came as a shock to many in a country that has worked hard to overcome the stain of Nazism. Now, the focus is on the apparent shortcomings of Germany's domestic security services.

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The Record
4:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

A Televised Singing Competition With A Mission

Pia Maria Holmgren (Sámi in Sweden) performs at last year's Liet International minority song contest.
Sandro Weltin/Council of Europe

Auditions are now underway for next May's Eurovision Song Contest β€” that often-ridiculed television spectacle that has drawn millions of viewers around the world every year since 1956. In 2012 the host country will be Azerbaijan, since that country fielded last year's winner.

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Alleged White House Shooter Charged With Attempted Assassination

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate the president for allegedly firing at least two shots at the White House last Friday evening.

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Pop Culture
3:24 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

The Hipsterfication Of America

Concertgoers move in a spray of cooling mist as they dance amid the heat of the desert at the hipster Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., in April.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 5:00 pm

The hotel lobby in Franklin, Tenn., has an ultra-urban loft-esque feel β€” exposed air ducts, austere furniture and fixtures, music videos projected onto a flat panel. Everywhere there is lava-lampish aqua and amber lighting.

Sale racks near the front desk display chargers for iPods and BlackBerrys and a variety of snacks, including Cocoa Puffs and Red Bulls. Every room features a media box for digital video and music.

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World
3:17 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Fewer Babies Available For Adoption By U.S. Parents

Brian and Regan Franklin adopted their son, Sammi, from Ethiopia in 2009. The family is ready to adopt another child from the African nation β€” but is finding it increasingly difficult. Here, the family celebrates Halloween this year.
Courtesy of the Franklin family

Sammi Franklin might not be getting any siblings.

Three years ago, when he was only a few days old, Sammi was left in an abandoned building in Ethiopia, where police found him. In 2009, he was adopted and brought to his new home in Arlington, Va., by Brian and Regan Franklin.

Now that the Franklins are ready to adopt another child, Ethiopia β€” which has been one of the few African countries to allow adoptions by foreigners β€” is making it tougher.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Baseball's Houston Astros To Switch Leagues In 2013

Where are we going, skip? Houston Astros manager Brad Mills, left, and pitching coach Doug Brocail.
John Sommers II Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 3:13 pm

The Houston Astros will be moving from Major League Baseball's National League to the American League "as soon as the 2013 season," MLB announced this afternoon.

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History
3:06 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Dead Sea Scrolls On Display In Times Square

The ancient texts can be seen up close β€” right in the middle of New York City. There are some theatrics, but NPR's Margot Adler reports that the exhibit is happily understated.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Boston Occupy Movement Reaches Second Phase

Melissa Block checks back in with Jason Potteiger with the Occupy Boston movement. The recent college graduate was unemployed when we first talked to him last month. Now he's got a job, but he continues to work with the movement on various projects.

Politics
3:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Congressional Stock Trades Get Scrutiny

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus faces questions about his stock purchases.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 7:52 pm

The STOCK Act, a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stock based on nonpublic information they get because they're lawmakers, has 61 co-sponsors and counting. And after years of languishing with only one hearing, the measure is getting one in the House Financial Services Committee.

What's remarkable about this is that the STOCK Act had just nine co-sponsors last week. What changed? The CBS news magazine 60 Minutes did a story about congressional insider trading.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:50 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Americans Are Fat, And Expected To Get Much Fatter

Overweight guys will have even more company in a few years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In case you haven't noticed, we're fat, and getting fatter.

If Americans stay on this path, 83 percent of men will be overweight or obese by 2020. Women are right behind them, with 72 percent projected to be overweight or obese by then.

The implications go far beyond tight pants and groaning sofas. Obesity is a big risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Imagining an America of overweight, unhealthy people gives public health officials the willies. And it should be frightening to us civilians, too.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

California Court Says Same-Sex Marriage Foes May Defend Prop 8

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 2:00 pm

Californians who oppose same-sex marriage just won a procedural victory in court.

The state's Supreme Court ruled this hour that opponents of same-sex marriage who successfully pushed the Proposition 8 law that bans such unions in the state may defend the initiative in court. The court's opinion is here.

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Theater
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Cirque Du Soleil Reinvents The Big Top Show

Since Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984, it has grown from a troupe of street performers in Montreal to a billion-dollar entertainment industry with over 5,000 employees from over 40 countries. Quidam is one of the company's 22 shows. It's the story of a girl searching for the meaning of life.

Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

The Practical Traveler's Advice For Family Flying

Boarding a flight with kids can be a nightmare for everyone. And as airlines cut back on amenities and pack cabins, flying as a family has grown more and more difficult. Michelle Higgins, the New York Times' Practical Traveler, compiled a list of family-friendly airlines and flying tips.

Children's Health
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Channeling Dragons To Parent Terminally-Ill Kids

Emily Rapp and her husband eagerly anticipated their baby's birth. But when their son Ronan was nine-months-old, he was diagnosed with a terminal disease. All of their plans suddenly felt inconsequential and they refocused their lives on being fierce, loyal and loving "dragon parents."

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu November 17, 2011

Lamenting The Loss Of Local Rock Radio

DJ Christine Pawlak enjoyed playing music by the band Rise Against, which hails from Chicago.
Courtesy Of The Band

Rock music on FM radio faces more competition than ever. With iPods, satellite radio and online streaming, many companies have given up on rock music to boost ratings and revenue.

But former Q101 Chicago DJ Christine Pawlak argues that there will always be an important role for rock on the radio, played by DJs rooted in their communities, not voice-tracked elsewhere and piped in.

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