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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Because Of Somali Pirates, Ocean Racers Are In A 'Stealth Zone'

The Groupama Sailing Team (shown here on Dec. 10 near Cape Town, South Africa) is somewhere out ahead in the "stealth zone."
Volvo Ocean Race Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 12:08 pm

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Holiday Music
11:42 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Some Christmas Tunes From Rebecca Kilgore And Pals

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 9:24 am

This interview was originally broadcast on December 19, 2005.

In time for the holidays, Fresh Air presents an in-studio concert. Singer Rebecca Kilgore, trombonist Dan Barrett and pianist Rossano Sportiello played at the NOLA studios in Manhattan.

Kilgore is one of the leading interpreters of American songs. She became known for her work with pianist and composer Dave Frishberg.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:35 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Journal Retracts Key Study Linking Virus To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TK
TK

The controversial scientific saga over an obscure virus that some researchers proposed as the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome appears a step closer to ending.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Obama Puts More Pressure On House GOP Over Payroll Tax Cut

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:21 am

The political maneuvering continues in Washington as lawmakers debate how to extend about-to-expire payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Fitch: U.S. Needs To Get Its Financials In Order, Or Face Downgrade

The credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has issued another warning to Washington. If it doesn't come up with a plan to reduce the nation's budget deficit, Fitch might yank its AAA rating by the end of next year.

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It's All Politics
11:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Tweeting All The Way, Buddy Roemer Continues His Quixotic White House Bid

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer files candidacy papers to run in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Concord, N.H. in October.
Jim Cole AP

You may not have heard of Buddy Roemer. But he's running for president. And despite an impressive resume and gift for turning a phrase, Roemer barely registers in the polls. He's conducting his quixotic run for office without accepting campaign contributions that exceed $100.

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Monkey See
10:34 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Holiday Greetings From The World Of Politics: Dogs, Churches, And Plaid Shirts

Mitt Romney's holiday card for 2011 shows his entire large family.

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It's All Politics
10:22 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Occupy Protesters Greet Romney On The Campaign Trail In New Hampshire

Occupy protesters gathered in Littleton, N.H. on Thursday.
Ari Shapiro NPR

On the trail with Mitt Romney in New Hampshire Thursday morning, I encountered the first Occupy protesters of the three-day bus trip.

One of them, Bob Broadhurst, grew up in Boston but now lives in nearby Littleton, N.H. He's been one of the Occupy protesters in New York since September, but returned to New Hampshire to protest along Romney's route.

A fourth-generation electrician, Broadhurst is an IBEW union member and his main issue is what he calls "the attack" on unions and labor. Romney represents a convenient target for his ire.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu December 22, 2011

'Mind The Gap' Indeed: Woman's Fall Beneath Train Captured On Video

A "mind the gap" reminder at the Acton Town Underground Station in London
carmen_seaby via Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:38 am

If you've been to Great Britain, you know that they're very persistent over there about the need to "mind the gap."

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The Salt
10:03 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Goat Is Good, Except, Perhaps, As A Pet

My colleague Allison Aubrey's story last week about giving an African a goat as an act of charity got me wondering: Why don't we see more goats here in the United States?

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Music
8:49 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Wenceslas: A Goodhearted King And His Popular Carol

Circa 1300, King Wenceslas II of Bohemia.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:36 pm

Even heard in modern synthesizer arrangements, the melody of the carol "Good King Wenceslas" brings the words and images of the story into my head: "Good King Wenceslas looked out / on the Feast of Stephen / When the snow lay 'round about / deep and crisp and even.

Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. In one version of his legend, Wenceslas was murdered in a plot by his brother, who was under the sway of their so-called pagan mother.

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Economy
8:46 am
Thu December 22, 2011

What's The Economic Impact If The Tax Break Dies?

Mary Polocy (left) stands in line to enter a career fair in Independence, Ohio, in November. Congress has yet to agree on a measure that would extend unemployment benefits.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 1:28 pm

Most political analysts say that Congress and President Obama will eventually agree to extend the payroll tax cut into 2012 – even if it takes another month of arguing.

But what if Congress really can't get it done?

Economists are fairly unanimous in saying growth would be slowed — at least in the short term — if Congress were to fail to pass legislation to extend the tax holiday and include two other proposals to: 1) continue federal help for the long-term unemployed and 2) block a 27 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors.

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Holiday Music
8:31 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Hugh Martin's 'Hidden Treasures' Explored

The late Hugh Martin wrote the Christmas standard, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
The Musical Theater Project

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 9:42 am

The late songwriter Hugh Martin wrote "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, along with dozens of other songs for MGM and Broadway musicals.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Swept Away By '04 Tsunami, Indonesian Girl Reportedly Finds Way Home

Jan. 4, 2005: Indonesians search for names of relatives on notice boards in Banda Aceh, one of the places devastated by the Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami.
Dimas Ardian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 8:49 am

Seven years ago, an estimated 230,000 people died after an earthquake triggered a massive tsunami that devastated South Asian coasts from Indonesia to Thailand, Sri Lanka and India.

Wednesday, one of those who was thought to be dead apparently "found her way back to her home," according to the Indonesian state news agency Antara.

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World
7:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. Admits To Some Mistakes In Deadly Pakistan Raid

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The United States has admitted that NATO forces made mistakes that led to the deaths of two dozen Pakistani soldiers. The incident happened along the Afghan-Pakistan border in November. Pakistan had claimed the U.S. purposely attacked its troops and the incident contributed to a spiraling deterioration in relations between the two allies. Now, according to the Pentagon's investigation, the United States admits some responsibility for the deadly raid. In a moment we'll have the view from Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Third Quarter Growth Estimate Revised Down Again, To 1.8 Percent

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 8:21 am

The nation's economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported.

The new estimate marks the second time that BEA has revised its third-quarter estimate downward. In its first look, BEA said gross domestic product grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate. Last month, it said the pace was 2 percent.

Still, the third quarter was better than the second — when GDP expanded at a 1.3 percent annual rate.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. Cites 'Self Defense,' Concedes Poor Coordination In Pakistan Incident

Protesters in Karachi, Pakistan, burned an American flag earlier this month to express their anger over the airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

American military forces, "given what information they had available to them at the time, acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon" when they called for airstrikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in late November in an incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the Pentagon said this morning.

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Around the Nation
5:39 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Elves Pass Out $100 Bills In Detroit

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer. For the fourth year in a row, a couple dressed in elf hats drove around Detroit handing out $100 bills to strangers - $12,000 worth. Many thought those crisp Benjamins were a joke. Some burst into tears. The anonymous couple stopped a Detroit bus and gave every passenger $100. The couple does ask recipients to pay it forward, in kindness. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:35 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Ga. Lottery Winner Must Come Forward Soon

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Attention lottery players in Georgia: No one has stepped up to claim a $77 million jackpot that expires on Monday, and the state's lotto offices will be closed starting tomorrow for the Christmas holiday. But if you're out there, lucky winner, you can claim your prize at a kiosk at Atlanta's International Airport throughout the Christmas holidays. Then you can do all the duty-free holiday shopping you want. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:10 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Dozens Killed, Scores Injured In Wave Of Bombings In Baghdad

Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 6:38 am

It's been a terrible day in Baghdad, where at least 16 explosions in 13 different locations have killed dozens of people and left about 200 wounded, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Iraqi capital.

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Best Books Of 2011
5:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Indulge Yourself: 2011's Best Celebrity Tell-Alls

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:36 pm

Ah, 'tis the season to be indulgent. Another glass of champagne? Please, have some homemade cookies. Does anyone want to go to the movies instead of the gym? As far as I'm concerned, December is Guilty Pleasures Time.

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Movie Reviews
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Flicks, Picked (Redux): Edelstein's 2011 Top 10 Films

In Beginners — based on director Mike Mills' life--Oliver (Ewan McGregor) finds out his father is gay, and has denied himself throughout his married life. After coming out, Oliver's dad becomes physically and spiritually transformed.
Focus Features

Fresh Air's film critic David Edelstein says 2011 was the kind of year without a list-topping film.

"There's no best film this year," says Edelstein. "This is in alphabetical order because I liked all these movies, I loved some of them, but I just couldn't pick a best. It wasn't that kind of year."

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Business
2:13 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Home Depot Shines A Light On Bulb Choices

Most incandescent light bulbs were supposed to be phased out starting Jan. 1. But tucked inside the House's omnibus spending bill, there's a provision barring the Energy Department from enforcing more energy-efficient standards for light bulbs. For those who still want them, there are increasing options for efficient bulbs. Renee Montagne talks to Bill Hamilton, merchandising vice president of electrical at Home Depot, which sells about a third of all light bulbs in the U.S.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

USAID Improves Medical Care In Afghanistan

Renee Montagne speaks with Alex Thier who oversees projects in Afghanistan for the U.S. Agency for International Development. They discuss the tremendous efforts that have been made to improve medical care in that country over the last decade.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

'Smart Decline' May Cure Zombie Subdivisions

The suburban Southwest is awash with empty lots and zombie subdivisions — developments that have been abandoned by builders. Experts believe up to a million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the housing market crashed. Urban planners say to fix the zombie problem, the state must realize the that people are leaving the suburbs and should consider "smart decline." Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ explains.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

GOP Candidates Enlist Wives For Holiday Campaign Ads

With less than two weeks before voting begins in Iowa, three Republican candidates are pulling out the big guns. Callista Gingrich, Anita Perry and Anne Romney appeared in campaign ads for their husbands.

Business
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Business News

If the company's board approves, Yahoo could receive about $17 billion in a deal that would shed most of its Asian assets. That means Yahoo would dramatically decrease its valuable stake in Ali-baba — China's largest Internet company. The deal would get the company some much-needed cash.

Business
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Ratings Drop For 'All-American Muslim'

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:27 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And our last word in business is ratings reality. Ratings for this week's episode of the reality TV show, "All-American Muslim," dropped to more than 30 percent from the previous week's ratings. The show had plenty of drama off-screen earlier this month when the home improvement retailer Lowe's admitted it pulled its ads on the show after pressure from a conservative Christian group.

Yesterday, Lowe's said it would not change its decision. Cable channel TLC has not yet said whether the show will get picked up for another season.

Asia
2:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

North Korea's Heir Apparent Has His Work Cut Out For Him

Kim Jong Un, heir apparent to North Korea's longtime leader Kim Jong Il, faces formidable challenges in the isolated communist nation.
Kyodo/file

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:44 pm

While North Korea is preparing for the state funeral of longtime leader Kim Jong Il next week, attention is quickly turning to his son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un. Even veteran Pyongyang watchers know little about the successor. But it's clear what he's inheriting: a country in dire economic straits, and a tough fight to consolidate his political power and legitimacy.

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