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It's All Politics
7:30 am
Mon January 2, 2012

'Lonely' Jon Huntsman Won't Be Solo In N.H. Much Longer

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 8:11 am

Plug the name "Jon Huntsman," the state "New Hampshire" and the word "lonely" into a search field and you'll get lots of hits.

"In New Hampshire, Jon Huntsman Walks A Lonely Path," a Los Angeles Times headline reads.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Los Angeles Fires: 2 Men Charged In More Than 50 Blazes

People inspect the damage following an overnight fire in Hollywood on Friday (Dec. 30, 2011).
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 1:13 pm

(The top of this post was rewritten at 3:15 p.m. ET.)

Authorities in Los Angeles just announced they've made two arrests in connection with the more than 50 fires that had been set in the city in recent days, causing several million dollars worth of damage but no serious injuries.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Iran Test-Fires Missile, Claims To Have Made Nuclear Fuel Rod

An Iranian Army soldier stood guard on a military speed boat during navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran late last week.
Ali Mohammadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:02 am

As often happens with issues related to Iran's relations with the rest of the world, there's a mix of saber-rattling and diplomacy in the news again today:

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World
5:26 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Iran's Navy Tests Surface-To-Surface Missile

Iran's navy said it test-fired a surface-to-surface cruise missile on Monday during a drill in international waters near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The missile, called Ghader, or Capable in Farsi, was described as an upgraded version of a missile that has been in service before. IRNA said the missile "successfully hit its intended target" during the drill.

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It's All Politics
5:20 am
Mon January 2, 2012

It's Almost Caucus Time: Candidates Hone Last-Minute Messages

Fired up on a cold day: Sunday in Ames, Iowa, Marilyn Izette Krocheski came to the West Towne Pub to see Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:24 am

Good morning.

With just one full day of campaigning left before Tuesday evening's Republican caucuses in Iowa — the first truly important contest of the 2012 presidential election season — the stories and headlines are all about who's up, who's down and who needs to do what to survive and do battle again next week in New Hampshire.

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Mass. Dog Walker Wounded By Deer Hunter

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's All Politics
5:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

2012 GOP Presidential Primary Season Designed To Slow Emergence Of Winner

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns Sunday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

If GOP front-runner Mitt Romney cannot quickly persuade his rivals and voters that he is the inevitable nominee and that further resistance is futile, he may be in for an expensive and time-consuming slog.

Unlike GOP presidential primary seasons of the past, the one that begins in Iowa Tuesday was actually designed to slow down the emergence of a winner by stretching out the calendar and altering the delegate allocation rules.

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You Must Read This
5:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Imprisoned In A Mysterious Mistaken Identity

istockphoto.com

Alex Gilvarry is the author of From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

I was a college student in New York City when security checks became the norm. Being half-Filipino with a Scottish last name, I wasn't easy to profile. And since I was always carrying a big backpack of textbooks in and out of the subways on my way to class, I came to expect that I would be stopped once or twice each week.

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Strange News
4:58 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Lost Wedding Ring Turns Up With Lots Of Carrots

Sixteen years ago, a Swedish woman lost her wedding ring but she recently found it. A Swedish newspaper reports that while picking carrots in her garden, the woman found one with the gold band around it. She thinks it fell into some vegetable peelings meant for garden compost.

Around the Nation
4:49 am
Mon January 2, 2012

LA Bar Boasts Serving Only California Spirits

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And this next story is for those who may be searching for a drink. You've heard of the local food movement where people try to buy food from close to home. You've heard of the micro brewing movement where people turn away from Bud Light, say, in favor of beer brands made in small batches. The local booze movement may marry the two. At least one restaurant in Los Angeles boasts a bar stocked with liquor produced entirely in California.

Rachel Myrow of member station KQED dropped by the bar - purely for reporting purposes.

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Around the Nation
4:43 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Google Searches Are A Window Into Our Culture

Millions of people are searching for things every day on Google. The people at the giant search engine realized that if they tracked those searches, the patterns can tell us about what's happening with people's lives.

Television
4:33 am
Mon January 2, 2012

TV Networks Turn To Celebrities To Boost Ratings

ABC TV rolls out a new version of an old show Tuesday — this time its Celebrity Wife Swap. The old Wife Swap wasn't getting great ratings, so they needed to up their game. Eric Deggans, the TV and media critic for the Tampa Bay Times, explains what celebrities do for reality shows.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Rick Santorum May Be Peaking At The Right Time

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum points to a television showing his campaign stop on live at the Daily Grind coffee shop in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 8:09 am

After concentrating on Iowa more than any other Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum is gaining on front-runners Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, a new Des Moines Register poll shows. Santorum is hoping to consolidate Iowa's Christian conservative vote — the strategy that won the state for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee four years ago.

Jeanne Zyzda did not expect more than 100 people in her Sioux City coffee shop, the Daily Grind. Not all at once, and not on a holiday.

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Business
2:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Airlines To Post Fees, Exxon Awarded $900 Million

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:45 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the cost of airline tickets.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Business
2:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Romney Looks To Finish Strong In Iowa

Concluding that he can win the Iowa caucuses, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spent the weekend campaigning in western Iowa, a mostly conservative region. After months of making only periodic visits to the state, Romney is making an aggressive final push through Iowa.

Election 2012
2:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Gingrich Pushes Back Against Negative Ads

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 5:24 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Newt Gingrich says, when it comes to his campaigning, he has been conducting an experiment. The former House speaker says he's been running a positive campaign as he competes for the Republican nomination. And if voters who say they hate negative campaigning practice what they preach, Gingrich says he'll do better than expected in Iowa.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

But Gingrich also says he needs to set the record straight, and that means firing back at Mitt Romney.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
1:41 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Louis C.K. On Life, Loss, Love, And 'Louie'

Louis C.K. has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, The Chris Rock Show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
FX

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on December 13, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
1:34 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Seth MacFarlane: A 'Family Guy' Sings Out

Family Guy has received three Primetime Emmy Awards. The series, set in Quahog RI, stars the Griffin family and their pet dog Brian.

FOX

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 10:46 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 17, 2011.

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Asia
1:21 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Japanese Smoking Culture Proves Hard To Snuff Out

Mina Abe (center) and Kota Osabe (right) are trying to promote blowing bubbles as an alternative to cigarette smoking in Japan.
Courtesy of Tokyo Shabon-dama Club

For generations of Japanese, smoking has been all but synonymous with manhood and hard work. During Japan's high-growth period in the 1960s, the smoking rate for males topped 80 percent, twice as high as the rate during America's smoking heyday.

In a country that's so tobacco friendly, it's no wonder anti-smoking initiatives have trouble gaining traction. That's despite the estimated $90 billion being spent on cigarette-related health costs and damages every year, three times what cigarette sales bring in annually, according to the Japan Health Economics Association.

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Asia
1:17 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Desire For Stability Keeps China, N. Korea Allies

Trucks loaded with Chinese goods head across the Yalu Bridge and into North Korea one day after the memorial service for the late leader Kim Jong Il, at the Chinese North Korean border town of Dandong on December 30, 2011.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 3:50 pm

Chinese leaders made a rare condolence visit to North Korea's embassy in Beijing last month.

Broadcast on China Central Television, the leaders – dressed in black suits — bowed in unison towards the portrait of Kim Jong Il. Why show so much respect to a man who caused so much misery?

One reason: fear of something worse.

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Theater
10:01 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Up Close and Personal: Introducing Intimate Theater

The Theater for One capsule, big enough for one performer and one audience member, was inspired by such intimate spaces as confessionals, peep show booths and psychiatrist offices.
Danny Bright Theater For One

Theatergoers are used to being anonymous, hidden in the darkness, part of a crowd. They're free to fidget, yawn, even tune out; the actors won't know. But in an innovative kind of theater popping up at fringe festivals and independent venues the spotlight shines on the audience.

Intimate theater relies on tight spaces and unconventional stages to collapse the distance between performer and viewer.

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Science
10:01 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Biotech Firms Caught In Regulatory No Man's Land

Companies making genetically modified animals face a regulatory morass in this country. It's not always clear which federal agency has responsibility for regulating a particular animal, and even when one agency does take the lead, the approval process can drag on for years.

The companies say this uncertainty means their technologies may die without ever being given a chance.

Take the case of the British company Oxitec. It has developed a genetically modified mosquito that the company says can be used to combat a disease called dengue.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

What Vietnam Taught Us About Breaking Bad Habits

U.S. soldiers at Long Binh base, northeast of Saigon, line up to give urine samples at a heroin detection center in June 1971, before departing for the U.S.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 1:49 pm

It's a tradition as old as New Year's: making resolutions. We will not smoke, or sojourn with the bucket of mint chocolate chip. In fact, we will resist sweets generally, including the bowl of M &Ms that our co-worker has helpfully positioned on the aisle corner of his desk. There will be exercise, and the learning of a new language.

It is resolved.

So what does science know about translating our resolve into actual changes in behavior? The answer to this question brings us — strangely enough — to a story about heroin use in Vietnam.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Egypt, Tunisia Try To Turn Elections Into Democracy

Egypt is holding parliamentary elections, but the military remains the most powerful force in the country. Here, election officials take away ballot boxes from a polling station in Cairo on Nov. 29, 2011.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

One year ago, the people of Tunisia and Egypt rose up against their autocratic rulers and forced them from power. Those revolutions spread across the Arab World, leading to the region's biggest upheaval in decades. It's still not clear how these seismic changes will play out, and so far, the results have been mixed. Today, NPR begins a six-part series looking at where the region stands today. In our first story, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports on the elections in Egypt and Tunisia as these countries struggle to build democracies.

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Education
2:47 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

An Amazing Trickeration?: Banished Words For 2012

During the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2011, singer Beyonce Knowles rubbed her stomach in the middle of the performance to reveal her baby bump. "Baby bump" is one of the words on Lake Superior State University's list of banished words this year.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

On New Year's day in 1977, Lake Superior State University in Michigan released its first "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness". Every year since then, it has taken nominations for words and phrases we should quit using in the coming year. Last year's list included such anti-favorites as "viral," "epic" and "refudiate."

In Washington, D.C., pedestrians nominated "ping me", "literally" used incorrectly, "bro," "hater," "hating," "totes" and "amazing."

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U.S.
2:24 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

A Quick Look At The Year Ahead

As the new year gets under way, we take a quick temperature check on some key areas to see what the prognosis might be. The topics: politics — domestic and global — and economics.

Education
1:45 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Physicists Seek To Lose The Lecture As Teaching Tool

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:32 pm

The lecture is one of the oldest forms of education there is.

"Before printing someone would read the books to everybody who would copy them down," says Joe Redish, a physics professor at the University of Maryland.

But lecturing has never been an effective teaching technique and now that information is everywhere, some say it's a waste of time. Indeed, physicists have the data to prove it.

When Eric Mazur began teaching physics at Harvard, he started out teaching the same way he had been taught.

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Movies
1:44 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

2012: The Year Of The Smart Superhero Movie

Though last year was the year of the "staggeringly disappointing superhero movie", according to NPR arts and entertainment reporter Neda Ulaby, 2012 may mark the year of the smart superhero movie with releases of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.

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Election 2012
1:44 pm
Sun January 1, 2012

Will Republicans Sweep The 2012 Elections?

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., speaks to young Hispanic voters at a Nevada Democratic Party event on Nov. 11 in Las Vegas. Campaign staff and volunteers for President Obama are pushing the Hispanic vote in swing states like Nevada, which can help congressional candidates like Berkley in her run for re-election.
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 2:15 pm

It's still too early to call the 2012 elections, but some political analysts are predicting that the odds are against congressional Democrats in 2012, though the presidential race may still be a toss-up.

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