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3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Wed December 12, 2012

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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It's All Politics
1:32 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:15 am

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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Books
1:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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The Record
11:00 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Ravi Shankar, Who Brought Eastern Music To Western Legends, Dies

Ravi Shankar circa 1960 in the U.K.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 am

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NHL Lockout Leaves Fans Out In The Cold

Mike Bolt, keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice on Dec. 7, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The NHL lockout enters its 88th day on Wednesday.
Darryl Dyck AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:44 am

The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.

Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.

Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.

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Asia
7:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Boehner Sends 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer To White House

Speaker John Boehner leaves his office Tuesday and walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Obama on the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The back and forth over the "fiscal cliff" continues: House Speaker John Boehner sent a new counterproposal to the White House on Tuesday that, according to a spokesman for the speaker, aims to "achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."

Tuesday's offer from Boehner follows his remarks on the House floor in which he called on President Obama to identify what spending cuts the White House will accept as part of a "balanced approach" toward a deal.

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Middle East
3:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

U.S. Doctors Provide Supplies, Training To Syrians

Dr. Mazen Kewara, an American vascular surgeon, trains Syrian doctors during a workshop in Antakya,Turkey.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Syria's health care system is collapsing after 21 months of revolt. According to a new report by the World Health Organization, half of the country's public hospitals have been destroyed in the fighting.

Pharmacies are running out of medicine for even the most basic care. In rebel-controlled areas, field clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed. A group of Syrian-American doctors has stepped in to help, bringing in crucial supplies and providing training.

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Education
3:14 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Berkeley Receives $1M For Undocumented Students

Meng So, coordinator of the University of California, Berkeley's Undocumented Student Program, says students he helps are from low-income families with no experience navigating a university such as Berkeley. So calls undocumented students "underground undergrads."
Carol Ness UC Berkeley

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

The University of California, Berkeley is taking the DREAM Act a step further. On Tuesday, the school announced a $1 million scholarship fund specifically for undocumented students.

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The Salt
3:13 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Seafood Sleuthing Reveals Pervasive Fish Fraud In New York City

Farmed Atlantic salmon was sometimes labeled at "wild salmon," researchers found when the tested seafood sold in New York City.
iStockphoto.com

If you buy fish in New York City, particularly from a small market or restaurant, there's a pretty good chance it won't be the fish it claims to be.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Inscription On Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial To Be Removed

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar endorsed a plan Tuesday to remove the disputed "drum major" inscription from the memorial and replace it with a fuller version of the quote.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 3:13 pm

The controversial paraphrased quote on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., will be removed.

A plan to remove the "Drum Major" inscription was approved Tuesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Here's more from the statement announcing the move:

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World
2:20 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Spain's Civil Servants Draw Grumbles, And Envy

People queue up at a government job center in Madrid this month. The unemployment rate in Spain now tops 25 percent, but many government workers still enjoy job security and higher wages than their private sector counterparts.
Daniel Ochoa De Olza AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:54 pm

Antonio, Domingo and Pepe are old friends in their late 40s and 50s. All unemployed, they meet most mornings for coffee and cigarettes in Madrid's Puerta del Sol square and rant about the government.

The nation's civil service is a particularly attractive target. The men grumble about what they imagine is the life of a government worker — long coffee breaks, siestas and lots of paid time off.

"They earn much more than they're worth," Antonio says. "That's something that's got to change. They earn a lot, and they hardly do anything."

Jobs For Life

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U.S.
1:49 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

In Freedom, Ex-Felon Becomes Probation Counselor

Clark Porter was 17 when he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbing a downtown post office at gunpoint. He spent 15 years in prison and today helps some of the toughest ex-offenders turn their lives around.
Courtesy of Washington Universtiy in St. Louis

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Every weekday, Clark Porter, a tall man with a sturdy build, walks into the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis to work with tough ex-offenders. On the outside, he wears a suit and tie. But on the inside, he has more in common with the former felons than most.

Back in 1986, a skinny 17-year-old Porter went on trial there as an adult for robbing a post office at gunpoint. His sentence: 35 years.

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Music Reviews
1:38 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Bruno Mars Goes Anyplace And Everyplace On 'Jukebox'

Bruno Mars draws inspiration from across the pop landscape on his second album, Unorthodox Jukebox.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

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Shots - Health News
1:36 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Kids' Eating Binges Could Signal Other Problems Ahead

Did eating binges come first?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:20 pm

Who doesn't know that smoking pot can make you want to pig out?

Now researchers say it may work the other way around, too.

Children between the ages of 9 and 15 who went on eating binges at least once a week were roughly twice as likely to use marijuana or to show strong signs of depression as those who didn't.

Researchers found that 29 percent of adolescents who had episodes of binge eating later went on to use marijuana, compared with 17 percent of adolescents who never binge ate.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Rush Is In! The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, That Is

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:30 pm

After all our whining, we have to pass along word that Rush has made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

And, yes, we know that some of this year's other inductees, announced today, may be more "important":

-- Heart.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Sick Of Year-End Lists Yet? Or Do You Love Them?

If we listed the sites that do the most lists, Gawker would be up there.
Gawker.com

Twitter's out with its take on what the tweets of 2012 supposedly tell us about ourselves. The "Golden Tweets" (most retweeted) were the "four more years" photo of President Obama and the first lady hugging, and the "RIP Avalanna.

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The Two-Way
12:11 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NFL Players' 'Bountygate' Suspensions Vacated

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
Chris Szagola CSM /LANDOV

The four NFL players who were fined and given multi-game suspensions for their alleged parts in the New Orleans Saints' "bountygate" scheme that paid bonuses for injuring opposing players have had their punishments vacated, the league says.

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Around the Nation
11:13 am
Tue December 11, 2012

'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War

These gas masks were reconditioned at the Edgewood Arsenal for civilian defense use during World War II. Later, in the 1950s and '60s, the arsenal near the Chesapeake Bay was used for secret chemical weapons testing run by the U.S. Army.
Jack Delano Library of Congress

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior.

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Music Reviews
10:47 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Bass Note: Mingus And The Jazz Workshop Concerts

Jazz great Charles Mingus performs at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September 1964.
Ray Avery CTS Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 5:28 pm

On a new box set from mail-order house Mosaic Records, Charles Mingus, The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-65, the jazz legend's bands usually number between five and eight players. The bassist often made those bands sound bigger. He'd been using midsize ensembles since the '50s, but his new ones were more flexible than ever, light on their feet but able to fill in backgrounds like a large group.

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Economy
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Are 'Fiscal Cliff' Conversations Going Anywhere?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The latest unemployment numbers are out and while things are getting slightly better overall, younger people who want to work are still having a very tough time. We reached out to an economist who says apprenticeships might offer one way to offer more opportunity to the younger trying to get into the world of work. We'll talk more about that in just a few minutes.

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Parenting
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

The Deadly Return Of Whooping Cough

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. In a few minutes we'll hear more about singer and reality show star Jenni Rivera. She died in a private plane crash over the weekend. We'll hear about why she was such a big star on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. That's coming up.

But first, among other things, many of her fans admired about her, Jenni Rivera was a mom of five and on this program we check in every week with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy parenting advice.

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Money Coach
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

'Tis The Season To Avoid Charity Scams

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to talk about those new unemployment numbers. Last week, we learned that the national unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7 percent. That's the lowest level in four years. But the cheering hasn't started for one group of people, the youngest workers, or would-be workers.

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Economy
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

You're Hired! Apprenticeships And Unemployed Youth

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 9:13 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later in the program, you might think of apprenticeships as something out of the era of blacksmithing and barrel-making, but our next guest says it's time for this type of employment to make a comeback.

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Remembrances
9:56 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Remembering Jenni Rivera

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally, we want to take a few minutes today to remember Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera. She died in a plane crash in Mexico on Sunday, flying from a concert to a show taping. She was 43 years old, a mother and a grandmother, and a major star on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Here's a bit of a popular song "La Gran Senora," where she tells her man's other woman to back off.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LA GRAN SENORA")

JENNI RIVERA: (Singing in Spanish)

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Delta Makes Deal To Buy 49 Percent Of Virgin Atlantic

Two bag tags that may soon be together a lot.
Photo illustration by Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Looking to grab more of "the lucrative New York-to-London market," Delta Air Lines said today that it plans to spend $360 million for a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

As USA Today writes:

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It's All Politics
9:49 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Calendar: What Happens When

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:39 am

As weary as many Americans grew of campaign commercials last month, they may be getting even more annoyed this month by endless talk of the fiscal cliff, the massive collection of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect at year's end.

It's easy to understand the urge to stick fingers in ears and loudly chant "la-la-la-la." The budget problems are indeed complicated, and the negotiations tedious.

But resolving the mess is extremely important: Without a solution, every person who gets a paycheck or has investments will see his or her taxes rise.

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