U.S.
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Report: Federal Agency Shares Blame In Mine Blast

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration released its final report this week into last year's West Virginia mine explosion. That explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers. The government has maintained that the company that owned the mine, Massey Energy, didn't do enough to prevent the accident. Now, documentation obtained by NPR indicates that the government didn't do enough, either.

U.S.
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Finals On Hold, Vigil Set After Va. Tech Shooting

Virginia Tech is quiet Friday morning after a gunman shot and killed a campus police officer and then killed himself Thursday afternoon. For hours the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, Va., relived the horror of a 2007 shooting that left 33 dead and raised troubling questions about the university's slow response to the tragedy.

Latin America
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

5 Years Later: Calderon's War On Cartels

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 8:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Mexican President Felipe Calderon declaring all-out war against the drug traffickers in his country. On December 11th of 2006, he vowed to use all the powers of the state to bring the druglords to heel. The narco-war of Calderon´s presidency has left a stunning casualty toll - more than 40,000 people dead.

NPR's Jason Beaubien joins me from Mexico City to talk about the Calderon administration's battle with the cartels. Good morning, Jason.

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Sports
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Is Albert Pujols Worth $250 Million?

The Los Angeles Angels have signed slugger Albert Pujols. He's considered one of the best baseball players of his generation, but is the $250 million the Angels are paying Pujols worth it?

U.S.
2:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

In Detroit, Drastic Steps To Avoid Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 8:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lack of money is also a big problem in Detroit. Three weeks ago, the city's mayor, Dave Bing, made a stark announcement. Without major action, the city will go broke sometime early next year. That leaves state officials saying they may have no choice but to send in an emergency manager, a person with extraordinary powers over the city's finances.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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Best Books Of 2011
1:09 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This winter, our independent booksellers have selected books that range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagons, department stores to pasta design. Whether you need a picture book for a toddler, kid lit for a young reader, or quirky non-fiction for the grown-up set, these booksellers have just the thing on their shelves.

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StoryCorps
9:47 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Livin' Thing: After Decades, A Couple Reconnects

MaryAnn and Jim Fletcher pose for a photo on the night of their junior prom dance, in the Half Hollow Hills School District of New York's Long Island.
Jim Fletcher

Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later, they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.

Both Jim and MaryAnn are now 50 years old. And they spoke recently about how they met, and the twists and turns their lives have taken since that day. Jim started by recalling the first time he laid eyes on MaryAnn.

"It was the first day of first grade. And there was this kid who said to me, 'That's MaryAnn Lando. She can read.'"

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Survivor's Duty After Pearl Harbor: Telling The Story

Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Curre gave his eyewitness account of the attack in an interview with StoryCorps in Waco, Texas.
StoryCorps

It turns out that Frank Curre, who survived Pearl Harbor and then died on Dec. 7, 2011, 70 years after the attack, may have hit the attack's anniversary exactly. We heard from his family late Wednesday that Curre died around noon, in Waco, Texas. That means it was around 8 o'clock in the morning in Pearl Harbor — the hour the aerial attack began.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:21 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

To Keep Marriage Healthy When Baby Comes, Share Housework

A survey identifies traits, like generosity, that help couples buck the trend toward marital discord once baby arrives.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 3:24 pm

As many couples can attest — and lots of research backs this up — marital happiness plummets with the arrival of a baby. Sleepless nights, seemingly endless diaper changes and the avalanche of new chores that come with a newborn leave little time for the intimacies of marriage. It's a situation ripe for mental stress and marital discord.

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Newt Gingrich
3:16 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Why Some Evangelicals Back Thrice-Wed Gingrich

Newt Gingrich, shown with his wife, Callista Gingrich, attends a pre-debate rally sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition earlier this year in Florida. The thrice-married former House speaker, who cheated on his first two wives and was punished by the House for ethical violations, is now outperforming family man Mitt Romney among Iowa's evangelicals.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:37 am

One of the puzzles of the Republican presidential campaign is Newt Gingrich's appeal to religious conservatives. The irony is that Gingrich, a Catholic convert who has had three marriages, is outperforming Romney, a lifelong Mormon and family man. In fact, less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the former speaker of the House has three times the support of evangelicals in that state that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, does.

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