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Deceptive Cadence
1:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For The Next Great Star ... Of Opera

Will the Queen of Soul point the way to opera's next big talent?
Rick Diamond Getty Images

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

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World
1:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Many South Koreans Seem Apathetic About The North

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Presidential Race
1:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Iowa Holds First-In-Nation Presidential Contest

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. All of the attention that Iowa has gotten in the past year comes to a head tonight. Nearly 2000 precincts across that state will record the first votes in the presidential nominating contest. At most sites, Iowans will write a name on a blank piece of paper and put it in a box.

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Afghanistan
1:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Taliban Plans To Set Up Political Office In Qatar

The Taliban announces it will soon open a political office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move could set the stage for negotiations on an end to the Afghan war. But the State Department reiterated that the process will only succeed if the Taliban renounces violence, severs ties with al-Qaida and abides by the Afghan constitution.

The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Fed Will Now Forecast Interest-Rate Changes

The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.

The AP reports:

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Asia
12:34 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Keeps Pressure On Myanmar For Political Change

Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Khin Maung Win AP

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:19 pm

One of the more surprising moments in U.S. foreign policy last year occurred when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar, long ruled by a repressive military government and shunned as a pariah nation.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Body Found On Queen Elizabeth II's Country Estate

Police guard the entrance to woods on Kings Avenue where human remains were found on New Year's Day in King's Lynn, England.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

A dog walker found a body on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. The royals spend the holidays every year on the sprawling, 20,000-acre estate.

The Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement saying the female body was found on Sunday, while the Royals were at home, and that the office has launched a murder investigation.

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The Salt
11:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Can We Expect An Organic Milk Shortage In 2012?

A Safeway customer shops for milk in Livermore, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's been a tough few months for dairy, with Norway's butter shortage and now an ominous cloud looming over 2012 for some drinkers of organic milk.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:33 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Should Doctors Be 'Parsimonious' About Health Care?

George Peters iStockphoto.com

A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Report: Panetta To Unveil Defense Cuts This Week

After U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq, officials are talking cuts in the defense budget.
Lucas Jackson AP

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:23 pm

We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement, reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.

The Times reports:

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It's All Politics
9:59 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Still Alone In New Hampshire, Huntsman Hopes To Pull A Santorum

Huntsman may refuse to be the 'goat' of the GOP race, but he and his wife, Mary Kaye, did meet one named Izak and his owner, Bill Higgins, on Monday night outside the McConnell Community Center in Dover, N.H.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:45 pm

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

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Book Reviews
9:59 am
Tue January 3, 2012

'Diaries' Reveals New York Through The Ages

New York Diaries captures impressions of the city from Henry Hudson to the bloggers watching the events of Sept. 11.
istockphoto.com

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 – 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

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The Two-Way
9:13 am
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Defiant As Iran Threatens Its Aircraft Carrier

Iran claims the USS John C. Stennis has entered a zone near the Strait of Hormuz, which is being used by the Iranian navy for wargames.
Ronald Reeves AFP/Getty Images

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Author Interviews
8:40 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Stephen Hawking: Exploring An 'Unfettered Mind'

Palgrave Macmillan

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 10:09 am

Make a list of the world's most popular scientists, and Stephen Hawking's name will be near or at the very top of the list.

Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time and a professor at the University of Cambridge, is known as much for his contributions to theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity as for his willingness to make science accessible for the general public, says science writer Kitty Ferguson.

"It's not dumbing down [science]; it's really making it accessible, hopefully, to a lot of people," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Construction Spending Increases, Signaling Continued Economic Growth

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

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Politics
8:18 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Candidates Make Last Push Before Iowa Voting Begins

Supporters of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul rally for their candidate during a campaign stop Monday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates prepared Tuesday for their first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops throughout Iowa in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.

Later tonight, Iowa Republicans will gather to cast ballots for the person they want to stand against President Obama in November. But after a bruising months-long campaign, more than a third of those participating in the caucuses say they still haven't made up their minds.

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It's All Politics
8:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Santorum Explains His Comments About Black People And Entitlements

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign event at the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Boone, Iowa on Monday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

If you were listening carefully to NPR's Ted Robbin's report on Rick Santorum on Morning Edition, yesterday, you heard some pretty controversial comments from the Republican presidential candidate.

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Around the Nation
8:06 am
Tue January 3, 2012

No, The School Nurse Is Not In

More than half of American public schools don't have a full-time nurse, and the situation is getting worse as school systems further cut budgets. This year, 51 were laid off in Philadelphia's public schools, 20 in a Houston suburb, 15 in San Diego and dozens more in other school systems nationwide.

Other schools have reduced their school nurse staffing.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:55 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Making The Best Of A Hospital Stay By Quitting Smoking

A hospital stay may be the right time to quit smoking.
iStockphoto.com

When smokers are in the hospital, they typically have to give up cigarettes for as long as they're there.

Most hospitals make little effort to screen patients for tobacco use or to help them kick the habit permanently. That's a missed opportunity.

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It's All Politics
6:50 am
Tue January 3, 2012

In Iowa, It's Decision Day At Last

A supporter of Texas governor Rick Perry places campaign signs outside the Hotel Pattee before an event on Monday in Perry, Iowa.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

After months of campaigning, it's finally caucus day in Iowa. Polls still show a fluid race, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum heading the pack.

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The Two-Way
5:46 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Reports: L.A. Arson Suspect Went On Tirade At Recent Immigration Hearing

An apartment complex that was burned in a spree of arson fires lies in ruins on Monday in Los Angeles.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 8:21 am

The man police called "the most dangerous arsonist in Los Angeles County," may have been angered by the immigration hearing of a family member. The Los Angeles Times reports that Harry Burkhart, a 24-year-old from Germany who was arrested and charged in connection to a string of arson fires in Los Angeles, went on an anti-American tirade recently.

The Times reports:

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Strange News
5:16 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Scotch Wiskey From A Can?

A maker of Scotch whiskey plans to start selling its product in a can. You can buy a 12 ounce can — 80 shots of 80 proof whiskey — in a container that cannot be re-sealed. The company says it hopes to eventually develop a can you can close.

The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue January 3, 2012

It's Caucus Day In Iowa

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a crowd during a campaign stop on Monday.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 10:22 am

Today, Iowa kicks off the 2012 presidential race in earnest. As, you've no doubt heard by now, the Republican presidential contest is still very fluid: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum could all win the season's first contest.

As The Des Moines Register found in its poll, the race is so unsettled "41 percent of those who have a first choice could still be persuaded to change their minds."

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Remembrances
5:08 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Sought After Hollywood Sword Master Dies

Bob Anderson was an Olympic fencer, and was a major fight choreographer for saber-rattling movies including: The Princess Bride and The Lord of the Rings. He was nearly 60 when he did Darth Vader's light saber fighting. Anderson died Sunday at 89.

Movies
5:00 am
Tue January 3, 2012

'Thin Blue Line' Piqued Mike Mills Movie Interest

Steve Inskeep talks to filmmaker Mike Mills for the latest in the Watch This series about recommended movies and television shows. Mills directed the film Beginners starring Christopher Plummer as an elderly father who comes out of the closet.

World
4:48 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Regime Changes May Lead To Dangerous New Year

Big changes in 2011 — from the Arab Spring to the death of North Korea's dictator — create opportunities for 2012. But change can be scary, even when the regimes to be replaced are unpopular or repressive, because there's never a guarantee the new regime will be better.

Political Junkie
4:45 am
Tue January 3, 2012

As Iowa Goes, So Goes What? Past Losers Still Won The GOP Nomination

Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 11:57 am

The next sounds you hear will be Iowa Republicans rendering their judgment for 2012. The road to the magic number of 1,145 — delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination — begins Tuesday. The caucuses, all 1,774 of them, start at 7 pm Central time (8 Eastern), and results may start to trickle in within the hour.

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Middle East
4:39 am
Tue January 3, 2012

U.S. Sanctions Target Iran's Central Bank

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

For this new year, Congress gave President Obama the power to impose new sanctions on Iran.

WERTHEIMER: The sanctions would target Iran's central bank. Though the president has some flexibility on the timing, the mere threat escalated tensions. Iranians have spoken of stopping oil tankers passing through the vital straits of Hormuz.

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Sports
4:26 am
Tue January 3, 2012

College Football Bowl Games Cap 2011 Season

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The big bowls are underway. The five games in the Bowl Championship Series stand out in the crowded college football postseason. They command the largest national television audience and pay out the most money. They also generate the most controversy, although yesterday, the first two BCS bowl games generally created nothing but thrills.

Oregon beat Wisconsin 45 to 38 in the Rose Bowl and Oklahoma State won a 41-38 nail-biter over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us with more.

Good morning, Tom.

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Around the Nation
3:43 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Mount Rainier Suspected Shooter Found Dead

An Iraq war veteran who is suspected of killing a park ranger has been found dead in a snowy stream at Washington's Mount Rainier National Park. The park had been closed since Sunday while authorities searched for Benjamin Barnes.

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