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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Mon January 30, 2012

At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough

In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel speak at a meeting at the European Council in Brussels ahead of the European Union leaders summit on Monday.
Getty Images

European Union leaders are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the monetary union's ongoing economic crisis. According to The New York Times, the countries will decide that austerity is not enough to curb the sovereign debt crisis.

The Times reports:

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Shots - Health Blog
10:43 am
Mon January 30, 2012

A Bid To Replace Neglect For Tropical Diseases With Attention

An artist on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach puts the final touches on a sand sculpture of the assassin bug, which spreads Chagas disease. The sculpture was part of an event in 2009 commemorating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the disease.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 12:31 pm

Tropical diseases that have long been overlooked are getting their due.

An ambitious new push to eradicate, eliminate or control 17 scourges over the next eight years was just unveiled in London. The initiative brings together some of the world's largest drugmakers, health-oriented foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Governments from the developed world and the countries most affected by the diseases are also on board.

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Animals
10:31 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Invasive Pythons Put Squeeze On Everglades' Animals

Nonnative pythons, like this one, are invading the Florida Everglades. As a top predator, the snakes have crippled the populations of rabbits, raccoons and other animals.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 10:02 pm

Scientists are reporting that aliens are wiping out the animals in Florida's Everglades.

The aliens are Burmese pythons from Asia. They've been slithering around south Florida for decades. But scientists now say the constrictors are so bad, they're eating their way through the swamps. And the federal government has decided to take action to prevent their spread.

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The Two-Way
9:26 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Intense Cold Kills 36 Across Eastern Europe

Bulgarian women walk during a snowfall in the village of Rakovski, northeast from capital Sofia.
Nikolay Doychinov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 9:30 am

While the United States has mostly escaped winter, the opposite has been true in Eastern Europe. The AP reports that an intense freeze has killed at least 36 people throughout eastern Europe. In some places, temperatures dropped to negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

The AP adds:

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Book Reviews
8:48 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'An Available Man': Love After Loss

cover detail

In my family, we referred to them as "the brisket brigade" — those single ladies of a certain age who began bombarding my brother-in-law with casseroles and commiseration soon after my sister-in-law died. It's a cruel fact of life that nobody plies widows with months of home-cooked meals and baked goods; as Jonathan Swift might have modestly proposed, widows might as well eat each other — there's a surplus supply of them, anyway. But, a new widower gets the Crock-Pots and the romantic fantasies all fired up.

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The Two-Way
8:37 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Megaupload Users May Lose Files Stored On Service

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom at a North Shore court in Auckland. Dotcom was denied bail in New Zealand with a judge saying he was concerned the Internet tycoon's vast wealth meant he could flee the country if released from custody.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 8:41 am

Many of the files stored by the millions of users of the cloud service Megaupload could begin losing their files on Thursday. The AP reports that federal prosecutors said Megaupload paid third parties to store data and now that authorities have freezed Megaupload's accounts, it can no longer pay those providers. The providers said they would begin deleting files as early as Thursday.

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The Fresh Air Interview
8:24 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Stew: 'Making It' After A Tough Breakup

Stew.
Courtesy of the artist

Stew's new album Making It is, in part, about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and songwriting partner, Heidi Rodewald.

The two musicians, who still work together professionally, dated each other for years. They collaborated on songs for their band The Negro Problem, as well as on orchestrations for Passing Strange, their semi-autobiographical Broadway musical about a young African-American trying to understand himself while traveling around Europe. But during Passing Strange's initial run in Berkeley, Calif., Stew and Rodewald broke up.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

'Like The End Of The World': Brush Fire Blamed For Car Pileup That Killed 10

Firemen rest after fighting fires that resulted from a pileup that killed at least 10 people on Interstate 75 near Gainesville, Fla.
Phil Sandlin AP

Police say the combination of smoke from a brush fire and fog created a deadly environment with near-zero visibility early Saturday morning that caused a huge pileup that left at least 10 dead and 21 hospitalized on Florida's Interstate 75 near Gainesville.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Mon January 30, 2012

In December, Personal Income Saw Biggest Gain In 9 Months

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:45 am

In December, personal income climbed 0.5 percent, while disposable income rose 0.4 percent. New figures released today from the Commerce Department also show that consumer spending was flat, increasing 0.1 percent from the month before.

While the AP reports that rise in income was the most in nine months, the news is a mixed bag.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Syrian Government Deploys Troops To Quell Rebel Army

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on Sunday shows armed men who are said to be members of the Free Syrian Army.
AFP/Getty Images

Fighting between government forces and army defectors has intensified in the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government sent a major deployment of troops to several suburbs and the defectors, who call themselves the Free Syrian Army, retreated.

The BBC reports:

"At least 26 people were reportedly killed this weekend in what activists say is the fiercest fighting around the capital during the 10 month-uprising.

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The Two-Way
5:23 am
Mon January 30, 2012

As Oakland Picks Up The Pieces, Washington To Evict Occupy Protesters

A defaced bust of former city councilmember Frank Ogawa sits outside Oakland, Calif., City Hall on Sunday.
Noah Berger AP

After a short respite, the Occupy movement had a resurgence this weekend. There was a mass protest in Oakland that extended through Saturday and Sunday and ended with the arrest of more than 400. In New York City, Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets last night in solidarity. Twelve were arrested

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Around the Nation
5:15 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Blood Center Rewards Donor With Super Bowl Tickets

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:08 am
Mon January 30, 2012

GOP Presidential Contest: Is It Over or Just Getting Started?

Over the weekend, we heard Newt Gingrich assuring Floridians that his campaign was going all the way to the GOP's August convention.

Once the delegates got to Tampa, he said, all those who opposed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would unite to deny him the nomination.

"My job is to convert that [anti-Romney majority] into a pro-Gingrich majority," the former House speaker said Sunday.

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Animals
5:06 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Doberman In 'Hugo' Snubbed For Dog Movie Award

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Martin Scorsese got 11 Oscar nods for his film "Hugo." Still, he's calling in the L.A. Times a write-in campaign for an actor he feels has been snubbed. Blackie, the Doberman in "Hugo," failed to get a nomination for a Golden Collar, awarded by Dog News Daily. The cute Jack Russell who starred in "The Artist" was nominated, but Blackie is an anti-hero. And just a few hundred Facebook votes will earn him a chance at top dog. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Your Money
3:01 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:53 am

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

The Waiting May Be Almost Over For Facebook IPO

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Facebook getting ready.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Politics In The News

The Republican Party holds its fourth presidential nominating contest tomorrow in Florida. Renee Montagne talks to NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts about the week in politics.

Business
2:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:51 am

At the end of last week, an employee sent an email with a simple request: Please bring me a copy of the new directory. She accidentally copied every member of the legislature and all of their staff. The email went to some 4,000 people. Recipients then started to reply-all with many messages, and the system couldn't handle it.

Your Money
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Employees To Face 'Term Limits' At Casino

The new Revel casino, which sits along the boardwalk in Atlantic City, has drawn criticism for its employment policies.
Emma Jacobs WHYY

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:44 am

A new casino set to open in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced it will set term limits for its front-line staff. When employees' terms run out, they'll have to go through the hiring process again. The casino says the policy will keep its service fresh. Others say the company is taking advantage of a tough job market.

From bellhops to dealers, employees of the new casino — called Revel — will be hired for terms from four to six years. After that, they have to reapply for their jobs and compete against other candidates.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

The Clash Over Fingerprinting For Food Stamps

A sign in a New York City market window advertises that it accepts food stamps.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants New York City to stop requiring fingerprinting of its food stamp recipients, a stance that puts him at odds with the city's mayor, who favors the practice.

Cuomo says fingerprinting stigmatizes needy people and stops them from applying for help. In a recent State of the State speech, Cuomo pledged to stop fingerprinting food stamp recipients this year.

But New York City Michael Bloomberg says without fingerprinting, fraud would escalate.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Could A Club Drug Offer 'Almost Immediate' Relief From Depression?

Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It's also a widely popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." When administered in low doses, patients report a rapid reduction in depression symptoms.
Huw Golledge flickr

There's no quick fix for severe depression.

Although antidepressants like Prozac have been around since the 1970s, they usually take weeks to make a difference. And for up to 40 percent of patients, they simply don't work.

As a result, there are limited options when patients show up in an emergency room with suicidal depression.

The doctors and nurses at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston say they see this problem every day.

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Religion
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

'Obedient Wives Club' Irks Some Muslims In Malaysia

Last June, some employees at the Global Ikhwan Café, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, established the Obedient Wives Club. Global Ikhwan (Ikhwan is Arabic for "brotherhood") owns businesses in several countries.

Since then, it has been castigated for what Muslim and non-Muslim critics call a "medieval and oppressive interpretation of Islam."

The controversy surprised club organizer Dr. Azlina Jamaluddin. She says that her group is merely suggesting a way to deal with social problems in Malaysia such as a rising divorce rate.

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Digital Life
3:28 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Public Or Private: Keeping Google From Being 'Evil'

A sign for Google is displayed behind the Google android robot, at the National Retail Federation, in New York. The announced changes to Google's privacy policy has drawn both positive and negative attention.
Mark Lennihan AP

Let's start with a quick Google experiment.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Bilingualism A Political Liability?

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.

John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

JOHN MCWHORTER: Bonjour, Guy. How are you doing?

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Africa
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Attacks By Nigerian Muslim Group Stirs Fear

A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.

Music Interviews
12:32 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Air: Scoring A Cinematic Marvel, 100 Years Later

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel pose at a January screening of Le Voyage Dans La Lune at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Gabi Porter Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:00 pm

In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.

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Presidential Race
10:06 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Romney Ahead Of Florida Vote

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to reporters in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday. The former House speaker is trailing Mitt Romney in polls ahead of Tuesday's primary in the Sunshine State.
Don Gonyea NPR

Newt Gingrich slammed Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" his record ahead of Tuesday's pivotal presidential primary in Florida, trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner's lead in the final hours before the vote.

"He has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponents," Gingrich told Fox News Sunday. "He doesn't try to build up Mitt Romney, he just tries to tear down whoever he's running against."

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Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

General Election In Focus: Candidates Strategize

Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the intense Republican primary race and President Obama's message of populism in his State of the Union address last week.

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