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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Obama Campaign Machine May Be Turned Loose On Fiscal Cliff Climbing Congress

Jim Messina, President Obama's 2012 campaign manager
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

The 2012 general election may be slipping into the past, but elements of President Obama's successful campaign aren't likely to go away anytime soon.

Just as it did after the president's 2008 election, the Obama campaign appears very likely to keep alive parts of the grass-roots effort that contributed to victory. And, just like four years ago, the idea would be to use the corps of Obama organizers and volunteers to push for the president's second-term agenda.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Grand Bargain Could Bring Good New Year For U.S. Economy, Says Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned again that driving off the fiscal cliff could be detrimental to the U.S. economy. However, if a grand bargain is reached by politicians in Washington, Bernanke said during a speech a the Economic Club of New York, it could be a good new year for the U.S.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Democrats Poised To Pick Up Seats In Final House Tally

Two weeks after Election Day, the results are almost final. It appears the U.S. House of Representatives will be filled with 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats, though the outcome is not yet official in two states.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:00 pm

Two weeks after Election Day, it appears the partisan makeup of the new House of Representatives will be 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats, although the outcome is not yet official in two states.

One result that did become clear on Tuesday: Republican Rep. Allen West, a Tea Party favorite, conceded to Democrat Patrick Murphy in Florida.

Unresolved races remain in Louisiana and North Carolina.

A new district map forced two Republican incumbents to run against each other in Louisiana. They will meet in a runoff on Dec. 8.

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Israeli-Palestinian Coverage
3:01 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Fighting Continues In Gaza Amid Talk Of Cease-Fire

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with growing talk of a cease fire in the fight between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, but at this point, it is still just talk. Officials in Israel and in Egypt, where negotiations are underway, say there is no agreement yet. In the meantime, the fighting has intensified, with more casualties on both sides.

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Around the Nation
2:59 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Fingerprint Scans Create Unease For Poor Parents

A pilot program in Mississippi requires low-income parents who receive subsidized child care to submit to biometric finger scans like this one, at Northtown Child Development Center in Jackson. Some parents and day care workers say the rule is unnecessary and discriminatory, but state officials say it will save money and prevent fraud.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Some Mississippi parents are learning a new routine when they drop their kids off at day care centers that are taking part in a new pilot program aimed at combating fraud and saving the state money.

Under the program, the state scans parents' fingerprints to capture biometric information, and that information is turned into a number. Then, at a day care center, parents dropping off or picking up their kids put their fingers on a pad, and a small keyboard records the exact time a child is checked in or out.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
2:54 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Should We Legalize Drugs?

Theodore Dalrymple (left) and Asa Hutchinson argue against legalizing drugs in an Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Debate

In Colorado and Washington, voters recently approved measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Supporters say legalization will generate tax revenue, move the trade into the open, and free up law enforcement resources.

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Around the Nation
2:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

There's Oil On Them Thar Campuses!

Students in environmental science professor Jeffery Stone's class watch as a seismic shaker truck rolls through Indiana State University's campus.
Tony Campbell Courtesy of Indiana State University

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Imagine going to college and finding an oil rig on campus. That's becoming increasingly likely as oil and gas companies use a controversial technique commonly referred to as fracking to extract resources from land underneath campuses across the country.

Environmental science professor Jeffery Stone will never forget the day the earth shook on Indiana State University's campus in Terre Haute.

"They did it like in eight-second pulses, and you could feel the whole sidewalk wobble like an earthquake almost," Stone says.

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It's All Politics
2:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Tough Turkey: People Have A Harder Time Getting Pardons Under Obama

President Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, at last year's turkey pardoning ceremony.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Presidential pardons usually take the world by surprise. There's no advance notice — the White House just sends out an announcement with the names of those receiving clemency. Thanksgiving is one lighthearted exception.

On Wednesday, President Obama will once again take part in the traditional turkey pardoning at the White House. But while the business of pardoning humans is more serious, it's also increasingly rare.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Thousands Of Trees Gone, Ripped Out By Sandy

Ken Chaya created a map that charts every single tree in New York's Central Park. He stands next to one of the thousands of trees uprooted by Sandy.
Margot Adler NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

New York City lost almost 10,000 trees from the winds of Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter that followed. That's far more trees lost in the city than in any other storm for which tree damage was recorded.

Walking through Central Park, Ken Chaya peers past a stone arch, observing the damage and uprooting of about 800 trees. He knows more about the park's trees than just about anybody else; he created a map that charts every single one of the roughly 20,000 trees.

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Movie Reviews
2:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

For Pi, A Wonderful 'Life' Finds Its Way To Film

Pi takes in the bioluminescent wonders of the sea.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

When your dad owns a zoo in India, as Pi's dad does, it's perhaps natural to regard animals as your buddies. Cool if you're talking goats and turtles; less cool if the animal you decide you want to pet is a Bengal tiger.

"He's an animal, not a playmate," his terrified father shouts. "Animals have souls," the boy replies gently. "I have seen it in their eyes."

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Making Sense Of Colors And Shapes In The Toilet

A physician examines a patient's urine flask in this 17th century print by Isaac Sarrabat.
CollectionImages from the History of Medicine (NLM)

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:30 pm

If you haven't heard, yesterday was World Toilet Day, and its sponsors, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Organization, suggest you take a moment to consider the profound luxury of good sanitation. A mind-boggling 2.6 billion people on Earth don't have toilets, and WSSCC and WTO are among the parties set on bringing that number down.

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Europe
1:31 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

In Brussels, Be Kind ... Or Be Fined

Tired of boorish behavior, the mayor of Brussels pushed for a new law that imposes stiff fines for infractions ranging from sexist, racist or homophobic comments to failing to clean up after your dog.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

The Grand Place in downtown Brussels can be a feast for the senses: the wafting scent of hot waffles, shop windows chock-full of chocolate, exquisite Baroque architecture.

But that's not all you'll find on the quaint cobblestone streets as the city that serves as both the capital of Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union. There's also puke, dog poop, trash, spit, drug addicts, drunks and brawls.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.

Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

So What Did The Mars Rover Find On Mars? You Tell Us

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity cut a wheel scuff mark into a wind-formed ripple at the "Rocknest" site to give researchers a better opportunity to examine the particle-size distribution of the material forming the ripple. The rover's right Navigation camera took this image of the scuff mark on the mission's 57th Martian day.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:21 am

Talk about a tease! Our friend Joe Palca reported some pretty big news today on Morning Edition.

The scientists working on the Mars Curiosity rover mission have found something "earthshaking," some data that is going "be one for the history books."

But John Grotzinger, the principal investigator for the rover mission, stopped there. He'll say nothing more until the rover conducts more tests to prove this wasn't a fluke.

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Author Interviews
1:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Model Career: 'Grace' Goes From Runway To Vogue

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 2:25 pm

Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.

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Book Reviews
1:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'

iStockphoto.com

At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.

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World
12:58 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Blasphemy Charges On The Rise In Pakistan

Students demand the reopening of the Farooqi Girls High School in Lahore, Pakistan, in early November. A mob attacked the school in October, accusing a teacher of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. It takes just one accusation to lead to an arrest under Pakistan's stringent blasphemy laws.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Pakistan has had 27 blasphemy cases filed so far this year, a figure that alarms human rights groups, who say the law is frequently used to persecute religious minorities.

In a case that has drawn international attention, a judge on Tuesday dismissed blasphemy charges against a Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, ending a three-month order for her and her family.

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The Salt
12:40 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Coconut Conservationist Seeks Pacific Islands For Fun And Palm Preservation

The diversity of coconut trees like these planted along the beach in the northern Philippines is in danger, but a French scientist has a plan.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:59 am

French adventurer-scientist Roland Bourdeix has a grand, almost surreal, vision for how to preserve a thousand or more genetic varieties of coconut trees. Imagine, as he does, turning dozens or hundreds of remote Pacific islands into coconut sanctuaries. Each island would contain just a few varieties of these trees. No others would be allowed, because the whole point of this exercise is to prevent uncontrolled mixing of genes from different varieties.

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Church Of England Votes Against Introducing Female Bishops

Rev. Sally Hitchiner stands outside Church House during a lunch break on Tuesday.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

The Guardian, which followed the vote live, says whether to allow female bishops was the Church of England's biggest decision in 20 years.

A majority of the House of Bishops voted yes. A majority of the House of Clergy voted yes. But about 36 percent of The House of Laity, members elected by lay members of the church, voted no.

The measure needed a two-thirds majority in all three houses to pass.

The Guardian writes:

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Time Again To Talk Turkey, And Why Frying Can Be Fatal

Don't try this at home: A fryer that was put in a garage and into which a still-frozen bird was placed. Those are two common mistakes.
State Farm

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:22 am

We want everyone to be back with us after the Thanksgiving holiday, so it feels like we should revisit the dangers of turkey frying.

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The Picture Show
11:20 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Rockets, Cigarettes And A Lion: Just A Few Of The Things Smuggled Into Gaza

A worker emerges from one of hundreds of smuggling tunnels that connect the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Paolo Pellegrin National Geographic

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 7:54 am

Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel during the latest bloodletting, and are believed to have thousands more in stock. Where do all these rockets come from, when Gaza is a tiny sliver of land that has no major manufacturing and is constantly monitored by Israel's military?

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Talks With Colombian Government Are On A Good Path, Says FARC Negotiator

Colombian members of FARC, commanders Ivan Marquez, center, and Rodrigo Granda, left, arrive at Convention Palace in Havana for the peace talks with the Colombian government on Monday.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 12:53 pm

We know all eyes are in Egypt today, where negotiations for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas are ongoing.

But there is another set of talks happening in Havana, Cuba that is worth paying attention to. Those negotiations are happening between the government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the country's Marxist guerilla.

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Shots - Health News
10:52 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Many Surgical Complications Show Up After Patients Get Home

Researchers find that more than 40 percent of surgical complications happen after patients leave the hospital.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 11:59 am

It's natural for patients returning home from the hospital after surgery to feel a sense of relief that the worst is over. But, research published this week suggests those patients and their doctors shouldn't let their guard down too soon.

More than 40 percent of all patients who experience complications after surgery experience them at home, according to a study in the journal Archives of Surgery. Half of those complications occur within nine days of patients leaving the hospital.

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Tue November 20, 2012

The Insect Trust: An American Band Deconstructed

The Insect Trust.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:40 am

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Education
10:41 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Future Of Cash-Strapped Historic Black Colleges

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, short-term jitters are leading many small investors to pull their money off of Wall Street. We're going to ask what that could mean for them and the market in the long run. That's just ahead.

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Technology
10:41 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Gmail Sends Message In Cherokee

The Cherokee Nation has teamed up with Google to launch Gmail in the Cherokee language. They hope to give young Cherokees a chance to use the language every day. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the project with Google Senior Software Engineer Craig Cornelius and Cherokee language expert Joseph Erb.

The Two-Way
10:39 am
Tue November 20, 2012

In Syria, An Act Of Reconciliation Stirs Fierce Debate

Supporters of President Bashar Assad speak with U.N. monitors who were arriving in the town in May. The monitors have since left.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 11:41 am

After 20 months of violence in Syria, acts of reconciliation are scarce.

When one took place earlier this month in the town of Tel Kalakh, near the border with Lebanon, it touched off a fierce debate.

The man at the center is Ahmad Munir Muhammed, the governor of Homs, who has long been known as a loyalist of embattled President Bashar Assad.

However, Muhammed made an official visit to Tel Kalakh, where the majority of neighborhoods are controlled by the rebels.

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Business
10:38 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Are Stocks Threatened By 'Generation Sell'?

Fewer than 20 percent of Americans now say they're interested in buying stocks. That's according to a survey conducted by the site Bankrate.com. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Roben Farzad, contributor for Bloomberg BusinessWeek about what this could mean for the market's future.

The Two-Way
10:16 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Allen West, Controversial Tea Party Firebrand, Concedes In Florida House Race

Rep. Allen West , R-FL, speaks during an address to the 39th Conservative Political Action Committee in Washington, D.C., in February.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:26 pm

After two weeks, legal challenges and plenty of barbs with his opponent, Rep. Allen West, the Republican Tea Party firebrand, conceded defeat this morning.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue November 20, 2012

VIDEO: Clown, Cop Trade Punches

It could be hard to run from police in these.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 1:03 pm

We need a break from the day's incredibly serious news. Maybe you do too. If so, check the story from Milwaukee about a guy in a clown suit who was running in and out of traffic — and the fistfight/wrestling match he got into with a police officer.

It was all recorded by a guy with a camera phone. Reportedly, no one was hurt. The clown is said to be a local activist of some sort.

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