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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

The Election, Gay Marriage And The GOP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Standstill, nowhere, nothing happening - House Republicans ask the president to talk, but they know taxes top his Christmas list. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Naughty and nice...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

How History Created The Cult Of The Catcher

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:28 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Earlier this week, Deacon White was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And yes, we know, you've never heard of him. White's career began in 1871, at the dawn of professional baseball. He played catcher in the days when catchers use no equipment at all: no glove, no pads, no facemask. They became heroes celebrated for their courage and their wits, and Deacon White stood out as one of the best.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Chemical Weapons And The Syrian Civil War

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:12 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. As more and more of Syria slips out of government control, concern deepens over what's believed to be an enormous stockpile of chemical weapons. Last weekend, several reports cited suspicious activity at some chemical weapon sites in Syria.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Turning Vaccine Refusals Into A Teachable Moment

Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, braces herself for a whooping cough booster shot at a health clinic in Tacoma, Wash., in May.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:01 pm

More and more parents who object to vaccination aren't getting their children immunized, leading to outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other diseases.

Some states have responded by making it much harder for parents to get exemptions from required vaccinations based on their personal beliefs.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: No Stupid Pet Trick; In New Zealand, Some Dogs Learn To Drive

Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross, behind the wheel.
Facebook.com/Drivingdogs

We have to admit we were skeptical.

And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.

But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Legendary Jazz Musician Dave Brubeck Dies

Dave Brubeck performs along with his Dave Brubeck Quartet in November 2005.
Timm Schamberger AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 11:36 am

Dave Brubeck, the legendary jazz pianist and composer, known for defying jazz conventions and for recordings like "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," has died.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: Missouri Bridge Blows Up Real Good (On Purpose)

Boom! The westbound side of Missouri's Blanchette Bridge went down Tuesday.
Missouri Department of Transportation

We're little kids when it comes to watching things blow up.

So we're happy to pass along video of the westbound sections of the Blanchette Bridge that connects St. Louis and St. Charles, Mo., going boom Tuesday.

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History
12:04 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Buying Freedom Through Dressmaking

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:30 pm

The new movie 'Lincoln' explores the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life and sheds light on prominent figures of the time. One lesser-known person is former slave Elizabeth Keckley. She became a close confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. Host Michel Martin speaks with professor Clarence Lusane about Keckley's contributions to American history.

Education
12:04 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Grading Kids On Race

Some public schools across the U.S. are setting different standards for students based on their race. The goal is to cut the achievement gap in half. Host Michel Martin speaks with Emily Richmond, of the Education Writers Association, about criticisms to this approach.

Economy
12:04 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

How Helpful Is Extending Unemployment Benefits?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:30 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, for years now we've been talking about ways to close the achievement gap. Now some states are asking to set standards based on race. You can imagine why this is controversial. So we'll try to learn more about this in just a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed December 5, 2012

China's Communists Declare War ... On Boring Meetings

Must ... stay .... awake: A Chinese paramilitary police officer yawns and his colleagues fall asleep while then-President Hu Jintao delivers a speech at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Dec. 18, 2008.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:14 pm

Suffer from insomnia? The droning rhythm of a Chinese Communist official reading a work report out loud will likely do the trick.

It certainly does for many party members: Just 10 minutes into any party meeting, look down the serried ranks of the attendees, and you'll spot the dozers and snoozers, napping away, heads lolling lazily toward their neighbors.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Citigroup Cutting 11,000 Jobs, Taking $1.1 Billion In Charges

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:48 pm

Saying it needs to "further reduce expenses and improve efficiency across the company," Citigroup announced today that it is eliminating about 11,000 jobs — 4 percent of its global workforce.

The banking giant also said it is expects to take "pre-tax charges of approximately $1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012 and approximately $100 million of related charges in the first half of 2013."

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Wed December 5, 2012

'NY Post' Photographer: I Was Too Far Away To Reach Man Hit By Train

Before the attack: Two men are seen talking on a New York City subway platform Monday in this framegrab from a video released by the New York City Police Department. Moments later, police say, Ki-Suk Han (whose face is obscured) was pushed on to the tracks.
New York City Police Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:26 pm

It's a horrifying image that has sparked a passionate debate.

By now you've probably heard about the front page photo on Tuesday's New York Post of a man struggling to climb out of an approaching subway train's way. He had been pushed on to the tracks by a stranger.

Ki-Suck Han, 58, did not make it. He died from the injuries he received.

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Shots - Health News
9:51 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Medical Residents Work Long Hours Despite Rules

To reduce errors by doctors in training, medical educators have capped how long they can work. But enforcing the limits can be a challenge.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:05 am

More than 10 years after she was a internal medicine resident, Dr. Vineet Arora still thinks about how her shifts used to end.

She says the best shift change was one that didn't require her to transfer single patient to the next bunch of residents. "A good sign out was 'nothing to do,' " she recalls. "When I trained, you worked here until your work was done."

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Top Stories: Hundreds Dead In Philippines; Port Strike Ends

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at Tuesday night's lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree.
Zhang Jun Xinhua /Landov
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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Egads! Aussie DJ Pretends To Be Queen, Gets Hospital To Talk About Kate

Hullo: The real Queen Elizabeth II, we swear, in 1961.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:00 pm

Oh dear:

"The hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge ... 'deeply regrets' giving out information about her condition to hoax callers from an Australian radio station," the BBC writes.

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The Two-Way
7:45 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Hundreds Dead, Hundreds Missing After Typhoon Slams Philippines

A woman carries a child through a flooded road on the island of Mindanao.
AFP/Getty Images

"The death toll from a typhoon that ravaged the Philippines jumped to 238 Wednesday with hundreds missing, as rescuers battled to reach areas cut off by floods and mudslides," The Manila Times writes.

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The Two-Way
7:25 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Deal Struck To End L.A. Port Strike; Walkout Was Delaying Billions In Goods

Work can start again: This ship, loaded with containers, was sitting beneath idle cranes Tuesday at the Port of Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:58 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Kirk Siegler and Renee Montagne

A week-old strike that "crippled the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach" and kept about $1 billion worth of goods a day from arriving on shore is set to end today.

"We've got a deal and people are going back to work," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced late last night, as our colleagues at Southern California Public Radio report.

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Food
7:21 am
Wed December 5, 2012

British Burger Is Hot, Red Hot

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:14 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Famous Rudolph, Ohio, Postmark Will Shine On

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The famous Rudolph, Ohio postmark shines on. After the staff of the village post office was cut to one, it wasn't so clear that the 80,000 Christmas parcels and cards that flow in would get the special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer postmark. But the Toledo Blade reports nearly 75 volunteers have stepped up to keep the tradition going. Like Christmas elves, they're picking up shifts at the Rudolph post office and stamping away. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Reality TV Moves In A Different Direction

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 2:54 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

From the story of a literary star to one of a reality TV star, Mike Rowe, host of the television show "Dirty Jobs," quietly announced last month that his show has been cancelled by the Discovery Channel. TV critic Eric Deggans says the trend in reality TV is moving away from the kind of programming Rowe brought to the screen.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: For eight seasons, Mike Rowe was the guy who dared poke things, go places and do jobs no typically blow-dried TV host would touch.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DIRTY JOBS")

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Cooper Union Students Protest Threat To Free Tuition

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a student occupation is entering its third day in New York City. It's happening at Cooper Union. The school of art, architecture and engineering is famous for not charging undergraduates tuition.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, student protesters are unhappy about what they see as threats to that tradition.

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NPR Story
4:48 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Senate Fails To Ratify U.N. Treaty On Disabilities

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And amid that budget debate, a wall of Republican opposition to a new United Nations treaty kept it from being ratified in the Senate. The treaty is aimed at promoting and protecting the rights of disabled people. And even though it was inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Republicans argue that it would harm U.S. sovereignty and even interfere with home schooling. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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The Salt
2:36 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Milk Producers Peer Over The Dairy Cliff

Dairy farmer Bob Andrews feeds heifers in the same barn his grandfather used. He says today "the harder you work, the further you get behind."
David Sommerstein NCPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

There's more than one cliff drawing controversy this month. The federal farm bill is one of many items caught in congressional gridlock. The bill resets U.S. agriculture policy every four years, and most farmers are still covered by crop insurance and other programs until next planting season. But there's one exception: dairy.

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Education
2:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

When The Art Of The Deal Includes Improv Training

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Some top-tier business schools are offering more than just finance and marketing these days: Duke, UCLA, MIT and Stanford are all teaching improv. Professors say these techniques help students increase collaboration, creativity and risk taking.

In an improvisational leadership class at MIT's Sloan School of Management, instructor Daena Giardella coaches a scene where a hospital administrator is firing surgeons after a horribly botched operation.

Giardella, who does professional improv, boils it down to a rule known as "yes, and."

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It's All Politics
2:35 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Is A Recess Appointment Valid If The Senate Says It's Not Really Gone?

The Senate side of the U.S. Capitol.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

In a tug of war between President Obama and Congress, a federal appeals court panel in Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Wednesday on the legality of Obama's controversial recess appointments.

The White House says it was forced to install three new members of the National Labor Relations Board in January because of inaction by Senate Republicans. But those lawmakers argue the Senate wasn't really in a recess at the time.

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The Salt
2:34 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Palestinian Olive Harvest Turns Bitter As Economy Sputters

Palestinian women harvest olive trees near the occupied West Bank village of Deir Samet near the town of Hebron.
Hazem Bader AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:12 am

Across the West Bank, olive harvesting season is drawing to a close once again. But this year, the usually joyous occasion has become grimly purposeful because the Palestinian economy, according to some economists, is being held hostage to politics, and is on the verge of collapse.

In the West Bank village of Deir Ibzie, Amal Karajeh and her husband, Basem, comb through the leaves and branches of an olive tree in their front yard.

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The Impact of War
2:33 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Vets Flock To Colleges ... But How Are They Doing?

Maralynn Bernstein (bottom left), the veterans services coordinator for the University of Arizona, confers with Cody Nicholls, director of the Veterans Education and Transition Services Center, at the school's Veterans Center in Tucson.
Larry Abramson NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 10:18 am

Record numbers of veterans are returning home from war and heading to college. The biggest draw: the generous benefits of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which in three short years has helped 860,000 vets go to school.

But there's still little known about how these students are doing.

For years, Sarah Yaw has been working with veterans at Cayuga Community College, a small school in rural, upstate New York. She took a leave in 2009, around the time the Post-9/11 GI Bill went into effect. When she returned to the school, she found a dramatic change.

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Around the Nation
2:23 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Pot's Legal In Washington State, But Don't Drive High

Chris Guthrie, vice president for operations at Canna Pi medical dispensary, inspects a medical marijuana product at his clinic in Seattle on Monday. Marijuana will be legal in Washington state from 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Anthony Bolante Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:10 pm

Marijuana is legal in Washington state as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, but the ballot initiative that made it legal last month contained a new DUI standard — a deal-sweetener for hesitant voters — that may actually make life riskier for regular pot users.

The new law makes it legal for adults to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, but illegal for that same adult to drive if the THC content of his blood reaches 5 nanograms per milliliter.

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Your Money
2:22 am
Wed December 5, 2012

More Large Retailers Ease Customers' Path To Credit

Home Depot has long offered credit cards, partly to serve customers who have just suffered major house damage. The company has recently widened those efforts. Here, a Tampa, Fla., customer buys a generator and bottled water, preparing for Tropical Storm Isaac's arrival in August.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Retailers are finding more ways to offer their customers financial products — mortgages, loans and the like. In the past, people looked to banks for this kind of product. But big-box stores are trying to find new ways of getting money to those who cannot use banks, or want to avoid them altogether.

Costco may be best known for pallets of bottled water or bulk toilet paper that can last a family an entire year. But earlier this year, it also added mortgages to its growing array of financial offerings.

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