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It's All Politics
12:39 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Think Congressional Gridlock Is Bad? If Reid Changes Filibuster Rules, Look Out

Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:44 pm

Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, was clearly frustrated with the tactics some of his colleagues were using to gum up the legislative process.

The mere threat of a filibuster of a procedural motion to allow the defense authorization bill to be considered on the floor caused the Senate's leadership to balk at scheduling the legislation at all.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Reports: Kansas City Chiefs Player Kills Self Near Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:45 am

A Kansas City Chiefs player shot and killed himself at Arrowhead Stadium early Saturday morning after fatally shooting his girlfriend.

Police say linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, shot the woman at her home, then drove to a training facility at the stadium just east of Kansas City, Mo. When police arrived at the scene, according to reporter Laura Ziegler of member station KCUR, they found Belcher with a pistol to his head, thanking team coaches for everything they had done for him.

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Simon Says
10:41 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Sexiest Man Alive Gets 'The Onion' Taken Seriously

The satirical news source The Onion named North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un 2012's Sexiest Man Alive.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 11:09 am

If satire had an Olympics, The Onion might have won a gold medal this week. The satirical news source announced that its Sexiest Man Alive for 2012 is Kim Jong Un, North Korea's Supreme Leader.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Robert Zemeckis And Ken Tucker

Acclaimed writer-director-producer Robert Zemeckis has worked on more than 30 films, including the Back to the Future series and Forrest Gump, for which he won an Oscar for best director.
Robert Zuckerman Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 11:49 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Middle East
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Shutdowns Raise Issue Of Who Controls The Internet

Night falls on a Syrian rebel-controlled area on Thursday, the same day an Internet blackout struck the country. The cause is still unclear, but many claim the Syrian government was responsible.
Narciso Contreras AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:12 pm

First, it was Egypt. At the height of the protest against the Mubarak regime in 2011, authorities shut the Internet down.

This week, it was Syria. Just as rebel forces there were making big gains, someone pulled the plug on the Internet, and Syria went dark.

Service was restored on Saturday, but Andrew McLaughlin, former White House adviser on technology policy, expects we'll see more of this.

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Latin America
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

High Expectations Welcome Mexico's New President

Mexico's new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has made big promises in a country with a mixed record.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:33 pm

It's Inauguration Day in Mexico, and President Enrique Pena Nieto inherits a country with a mixed record.

Most of Mexico is embroiled in a deadly drug war that has claimed the lives of as many as 50,000 people, but Pena Nieto is also taking over an economy that is doing surprisingly well — thanks, many say, to the outgoing head of state.

Calderon's Violent Legacy

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

White House Holiday Spirit A 'Joy To All'

Lauren Rae (left) and Olivia Marlow look at the ornaments in the Grand Foyer during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. This year's theme is "Joy to All."
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 5:29 pm

The bows are tied, the garlands are hung, and the White House is aglow for the holidays. Volunteers from all over the country handled the decorations with care, and on Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama showed off their efforts to military families. This year's theme is "Joy to All."

Ship Capt. Pete Hall from Louisville, Ky., followed family tradition by helping with the decorations. His grandfather was the chief usher of the White House from 1938 to 1957. "So this is part of my family heritage," Hall says.

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Latin America
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

What's In Store For Mexico And Its New President?

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

For more on the developing relationship between Mexico and United States, we're joined now by Jorge Castaneda. Mr. Castaneda served as Mexico's secretary of foreign affairs from 2000-2003. In 2004, he launched an independent bid to run for president as the people's candidate, but Mexico's Supreme Court declared he couldn't run without the endorsement of an official party. These days, Mr. Castaneda is an academic and commentator. He joins us from his home in Manhattan. Thanks very much for being with us.

JORGE CASTANEDA: Thank you.

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Latin America
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

How Brazil Sees The U.S. Battle Over Taxes

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This month on WEEKEND EDITION, we've been taking a look at the so-called fiscal cliff from the perspective of other countries. After all, the government's automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled for January could have impacts throughout what's an increasingly linked global economy.

Tomorrow, my colleague Rachel Martin checks in with Hong Kong. Right now, we'll go to Latin America. We're joined now by Joseph Leahy. He's the Brazil bureau chief for the Financial Times. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

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Sports
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The Galaxy Waves Bye Bye To Beckham

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tonight marks the end of the on-field career of a man who's been arguably the most famous athlete in the world. David Beckham will play his last competitive game for the L.A. Galaxy. He signed with the team in 2007 and earned himself something close to a 4250 million over the last five years in salary, and his own line of underwear, sportswear and cologne. Roger Bennett joins us now, he's the voice of Premier League soccer on ESPN, an ESPN columnist and co-host of Grantland's "Men In Blazers" show. Roger, thanks for being with us.

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Author Interviews
5:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

A Compelling, Chutzpadik History Of 'Jews And Words'

Scott Rothstein iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:42 am

For thousands of years the Jewish people have been forced to move around — fleeing bigotry, slavery, pogroms, famines and tyrants. But words are portable, and to Jews — who are among those known as "the People of the Book" — they are precious possessions. As Amos Oz and his daughter, Fania Oz-Salzberger, write in their new book, Jews and Words, "Ours is not a bloodline, but a text line."

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It's All Politics
5:49 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Obama Back In Campaign Mode; This Time, It's Taxes

President Obama looks over a roller coaster with K'Nex inventor and Chairman Joel Glickman (left) and President and CEO Michael Araten on Friday during a tour of the company in Hatfield, Pa.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 4:07 pm

President Obama is hoping the same campaign tools that helped him win re-election will also deliver a policy win in the fight over federal taxes.

The president wants Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing taxes to go up for the wealthiest 2 percent. His aides are using email, social media and beyond-the-Beltway campaign appearances in hopes of putting pressure on Republican lawmakers.

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National Security
5:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Farewell: USS Enterprise Starred In History And Film

Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Joseph carries his 1-year-old daughter, Maleah, to his re-enlistment ceremony aboard the USS Enterprise at the Norfolk Naval Station on March 8. The ship began its final deployment on March 11.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 1:17 pm

Sailors, veterans and their families are saying goodbye in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to the USS Enterprise, which was the largest ship in the world and the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier when it was commissioned in 1961.

In its illustrious history, the Enterprise served at the center of international events for a half-century — from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam to the Iraq War.

And it had a distinguished Hollywood career as well, playing a leading role in the 1986 film Top Gun, which starred Tom Cruise as a young naval aviator.

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Performing Arts
5:43 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Hispanics Call For Kennedy Center Honors

Honorees (from left) James Levine, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Simon, Chita Rivera and James Earl Jones stand beside first lady Laura Bush and President George W. Bush during the 25th Kennedy Center Honors in 2002. Rivera was the last Hispanic recipient of the award.
Shawn Thew AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

This weekend, some big names are coming to Washington for a red-carpet event. Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova, blues guitarist Buddy Guy and the British rock band Led Zeppelin will be receiving the annual Kennedy Center Honors.

It's a prestigious award given to only a handful of performers each year. But over the past few months there's been controversy surrounding the awards. In its 35-year history, only two honorees have been Hispanic, despite the fact that Hispanics are the largest minority in the United States.

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Music Interviews
9:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

A Trove Of Chats With Music Icons, Now Online

Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s.
Jeff Smith

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 1:26 pm

In the mid-1980s, a record executive and former DJ named Joe Smith saw that a lot of the big-band greats were disappearing: Count Basie, Harry James and others.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Tribal Coalition Report Finds South Dakota 'Willfully' Violated Child Welfare Law

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:38 pm

South Dakota's foster care system "systematically violated the spirit and the letter" of a law meant to protect Native American children, a coalition of tribal directors from the state's nine Sioux tribes said in a report released Thursday night. The report comes a year after NPR aired a series questioning whether the law was being enforced.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
6:10 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

After Sandy Outages, A Tale Of Two Utilities

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:01 pm

While thousands of people on the East Coast waited weeks for big utility companies to turn the lights back on after Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore, the residents of Madison, N.J., had power just days after the storm. This leafy New York City suburb operates its own municipal utility — and now some neighboring towns are asking whether they should, too.

"We were able to power up sections of town within two days," said Madison Councilman Robert Landrigan. "And then, by the weekend [after the storm], most of the town was back."

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It's All Politics
6:06 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Boehner Names Rep. Candice Miller Chairwoman Of House Administration Committee

Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., will head the House Administration Committee in the 113th Congress.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:56 am

Facing criticism over appointing an all male slate of chairmen to lead major House committees, Speaker John Boehner on Friday announced that Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan will head the House Administration Committee.

As of now, Miller is the only Republican woman expected to head a House committee when the 113th Congress convenes Jan. 3.

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It's All Politics
6:05 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Raising Taxes On The Rich: Canny Or Counterproductive?

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. (right), shown at a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is arguing for raising taxes on the wealthy as part of a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

As negotiations continue in Washington over a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff — that combination of tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for Jan. 1 — one big sticking point is whether to raise tax rates for high-income Americans.

Congress and the White House constructed the cliff last year, thinking it would force them to focus on solving the deficit problem. But they're still battling over what approach makes the most sense.

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It's All Politics
5:21 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Rice Controversy Raises Ayotte's Profile

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. John McCain, discusses the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has been standing side by side with colleagues John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in questioning the Obama administration's version of events about the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

It is just the latest in a series of high-profile moments for Ayotte, who is seen as a rising star in a party struggling to win female voters.

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Shots - Health News
5:11 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:18 pm

This weekend, 20 people from around the country will meet in a nondescript hotel room in Arlington, Va., and take a vote. A passing stranger who stumbled on this group wouldn't see much of anything, just a bunch of graying academic types sitting around a table.

But millions of people will be touched by that vote because the graying academic types are voting to approve the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — the bible of psychiatry.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

On Second Day On Stand, WikiLeaks Suspect Manning Admits He Made Noose

U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning is escorted as he leaves a military court in June.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 5:16 pm

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, took the stand for a second day in a row, today.

Politico reports that in one more dramatic moments of the Article 13 hearing, Army Capt. Ashden Fein, the military prosecutor, pulled out a noose from a paper bag.

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Health Care
4:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Immigrants Key To Looming Health Aide Shortage

Senior woman in wheelchair holding hands with caretaker
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

In the shadow of the Capitol on a recent sunny morning, about 50 home care workers from around the country gather to lobby their legislators for basic labor rights. Most are native-born Americans, but about a quarter are documented immigrants from Africa, Latin America, India and the Caribbean.

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Shots - Health News
4:39 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

SARS-Like Virus Found In Jordan, Hunt Is On For Other Cases

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:46 am

The World Health Organization says a new coronavirus has killed two people in Jordan — the third country where the novel microbe has been traced.

That brings lab-confirmed cases to nine, with five fatalities.

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Science
4:15 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Perhaps Another Reason To Spike That Eggnog?

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. We're going to have to switch gears here - big time.

(LAUGHTER)

LICHTMAN: The Video Pick of the Week is not particularly about a healthy thing. This is about holiday decadence. So...

FLATOW: Ooh.

LICHTMAN: ...change your - turn your monitor around.

FLATOW: Deep breath - deep, cleansing breath.

LICHTMAN: Yeah, exactly. Cleansing breath. Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Israel OKs Plans For New Settlements In East Jerusalem, West Bank

Workers construct new houses in the Jewish settlement of Shilo in the West Bank, back in February.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:41 am

A day after the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestinians to a non-member observer state, Israel announced it had plans to expand existing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The New York Times has the lay of the land:

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Kerry: In The Shadow Of Rice's Firestorm

Committe Chairman John Kerry , D-MA, speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Beecroft to be ambassador to Iraq Sept. 19 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:19 pm

President Obama has yet to make known his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but plenty of Republicans have made theirs: John Kerry.

And that puts the Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee in a bit of a bind. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he'd normally be one of the loudest voices defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against GOP attacks that she mishandled her role in explaining an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. But she's the other top contender for the Cabinet post.

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Middle East
3:40 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

In Istanbul, A Byzantine-Era Fleet Surfaces Again

Archaeologists call an excavation site on Istanbul's southern shore the world's largest shipwreck collection. The area, unearthed during construction of a railway station, was once a Byzantine-era port that harbored cargo and military vessels, and received goods from around the Mediterranean.
Gokce Saracoglu for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 8:24 pm

In Istanbul, major public transit projects are back under way after years of paralysis. The problem wasn't a lack of financing, but the layer upon layer of ancient artifacts that turned up every time the earthmovers started their work.

The excavation began eight years ago on projects intended to ease Istanbul's notoriously clogged traffic.

The job included building a tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait and linking it to a rail and subway network. When the dig was stopped several years ago, eyes rolled and shoulders shrugged.

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The Salt
3:38 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Some Restaurants In Israel Declare A Kosher Rebellion

Israelis eat at a kosher McDonald's restaurant in Tel Aviv.
David Silverman Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:41 am

The Carousela cafe in West Jerusalem is one of a handful of restaurants and cafes in Israel staging a bit of a rebellion by defying Jewish religious authorities who claim they are the only ones who can certify restaurants as kosher, or in compliance with Jewish dietary laws.

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The Two-Way
3:38 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Free-Speech Debate In India Heats Up

The case against Shaheen Dhada has set off a free-speech debate in India. Her father, Farooq Dhada, shown here with her, says in India, freedom of speech "exists only on paper."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 12:37 pm

It looks like the case in India against two young female Facebook users has been dropped. But the debate over free speech in India is still heating up.

As we've reported, two young women were arrested last week for a Facebook comment that criticized the shutdown of the city of Mumbai for the cremation of a controversial political leader.

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