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4:53 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Review Voting Rights Act

Mervel Parker fills out his ballot at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday. Alabama is one of nine states with a history of discrimination that the Voting Rights Act requires to obtain pre-clearance before changing any election procedures.
Julie Bennett AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:17 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday it would consider eliminating a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, the federal law that for decades has been the government's main tool for fighting discrimination at the polls.

The law, first enacted in 1965 and reauthorized three times by Congress since then, is generally considered the most effective civil rights legislation in American history. Its provisions were extended by a Republican Congress in 2006 and signed into law again by President George W. Bush.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:28 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Uprooted By Sandy, Residents Scatter To New Housing

Residents wait for information from FEMA in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Superstorm Sandy washed away a large section of the iconic boardwalk here on Nov. 2.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey and New York coastlines last week, FEMA has already put more than 30,000 residents in hotels and motels and given out roughly $300 million in rental assistance.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced more help for residents: a new program called NYC Rapid Repair for people whose houses were damaged by the storm. The program, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cut through bureaucracy and get contractors to many damaged homes starting next week, he said.

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It's All Politics
3:53 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Upside To Plunging Off The Fiscal Cliff

With Congress on the edge of a fiscal cliff, set to occur Jan. 1, some say a fiscal plunge is exactly what's needed to break the political logjam.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Now that the election is over, Washington is transfixed by the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 1 if nothing is done.

The sudden shock could seriously damage the economy.

But some Democrats and policy analysts are suggesting that going over the fiscal cliff could help break the political logjam.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again: Obama And Boehner Clash On Fiscal Cliff And Taxes

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit Friday in the East Room of the White House.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:52 pm

If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.

Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.

But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lockheed Martin's Incoming CEO Resigns Over Relationship With Subordinate

Former Lockheed Martin President and Chief Operating Officer Christopher E. Kubasik.
PR NEWSWIRE via AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:16 pm

Lockheed Martin announced that its board of directors asked for the resignation of Christopher E. Kubasik, 51, the current chief operating officer and incoming chief executive office.

"Kubasik, previously slated to become CEO in January, resigned after an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee," Lockeheed said in a statement. "His actions violated the company's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, but did not affect the company's operational or financial performance."

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Movie Interviews
2:57 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis On Creating A Voice From The Past

Day-Lewis used firsthand accounts of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, along with his personal letters, to develop a voice and a style for Steven Spielberg's biographical drama.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:29 pm

Daniel Day-Lewis has won two Academy Awards for fully immersing himself in his characters in There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot.

Now the British actor is taking on one of America's most iconic figures in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, playing the 16th president during the final months of his life. Day-Lewis tells NPR's Melissa Block that it was a daunting prospect — but that ultimately Lincoln was a surprisingly accessible figure.


Interview Highlights

On playing such an iconic figure

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Music Interviews
2:46 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Squeezebox Brutality: Murder Ballads From Finland

Two legendary 19th century Finnish murderers grace the cover to Kimmo Pohjonen's Murhaballadeja.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Murhaballadeja features a striking photo on the cover: Two beefy, big-jawed men with cruel eyes are in prison garb, shackled with heavy chains at the neck, wrists, knees and feet. Turns out they're legendary 19th century murderers from Finland. These are the kinds of characters you'll find in a collection of murder ballads from Kimmo Pohjonen.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act

Aug. 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, Director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
National Archives Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.

According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog:

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Extramarital Affair

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director, David Petraeus, in Sept. 2011.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Sky-High Vegetables: Vertical Farming Sprouts In Singapore

Mah Bow Tan, a member of Singapore's Parliament, inspects Chinese cabbage growing at the commercial vertical farm. Troughs of the veggies stack up to 30 feet in the greenhouse.
Courtesy of MNDsingapore.

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:44 pm

Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.

Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.

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World
1:29 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

To Combat Sanctions, Iran Buys Up Gold

Iranian women look at a jewelry shop display in Tehran, Iran, in 2010. Iran now appears to be stockpiling gold in an attempt to stabilize its economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions.
Atta Lenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

Iran is stockpiling gold. That's the way David Cohen sees it. He's undersecretary of the Treasury, and the Treasury's point man for the banking sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran.

"Iran is attempting to hoard gold, both by acquiring it and by preventing the export of gold from Iran, in a somewhat desperate attempt to try and defend the value of its currency," Cohen says.

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The Picture Show
1:28 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Art Of Chinese Propaganda

"Beloved Chairman Mao, we are loyal to you forever." 1967
Courtesy of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:17 am

The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center lies buried in an unmarked apartment building off the tree-lined streets of the city's former French Concession. There are no signs. You have to wend your way through apartment blocks, down a staircase and into a basement to discover one of Shanghai's most obscure and remarkable museums.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lee MacPhail, Half Of Only Father-Son Duo In Baseball Hall Of Fame, Dies

Lee MacPhail in 1985.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:37 pm

Former American League President Lee MacPhail, who as a baseball executive with the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles helped build World Series champions, has died. He was 95.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers Fire Coach Mike Brown Five Games Into The Season

Former head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers gives instructions during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers in November.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown only five games into the season.

In a press release, the Lakers said Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over in the interim.

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It's All Politics
12:24 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama's Feat: Not Just Winning But How He Won

President Obama greets the crowd after a Sept. 22 speech in Milwaukee.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:50 pm

Maybe it's just math, but it may also be a great political accomplishment.

President Obama has put together a coalition that's not only been a winner for him, but promises to pay dividends to his party for years to come.

A mix of minorities, young people and educated white professionals has now driven him to two majority-vote presidential victories — the first Democrat to pull that off since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Author Interviews
11:52 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Interrupting Violence With The Message 'Don't Shoot'

David M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, and professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Courtesy of David M. Kennedy

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 1, 2011. Don't Shoot is now out in paperback.

In 1985, David M. Kennedy visited Nickerson Gardens, a public housing complex in south-central Los Angeles. It was the beginning of the crack epidemic, and Nickerson Gardens was located in what was then one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Fri November 9, 2012

NASA Successfully Uses 'Interplanetary Internet' To Control Robot

A diagram of a space Internet.
NASA

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 5:18 pm

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama To Lay Down His Markers On Economy & Fiscal Cliff

Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:08 pm

The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.

In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.

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NPR Story
10:46 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Boehner: To Avert Fiscal Cliff, Kill Tax Loopholes

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner addressed a major economic issue this morning. In a press conference, the Republican talked about the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the combination of higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.

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Shots - Health News
10:37 am
Fri November 9, 2012

How Changing Visual Cues Can Affect Attitudes About Weight

Pictures like these helped British researchers gauge people's attitudes about weight.
Courtesy of Martin Tovee

With most Americans fat or fatter, you'd think we'd be lightening up on the anti-fat attitudes.

Alas, no. Even doctors often think their overweight patients are weak-willed.

But changing negative attitudes about body size might be as simple as changing what you see. When women in England were shown photos of plus-sized women in neutral gray leotards, they became more tolerant.

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Music Reviews
10:22 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Cody ChesnuTT Contains A Universe On 'Hundred'

Cody ChesnuTT is the best sort of egomaniac: On Landing on a Hundred, he's preachy but delightful.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:52 am

Cody ChesnuTT is the best sort of egomaniac. He places himself at the center of his musical universe; he contains that universe within him. On his new album, Landing on a Hundred, he sings one song in the voice of the entire continent of Africa.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:20 am
Fri November 9, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 8, 2012

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:05 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Election Day has come and gone, but NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin are still trying to make sense of it all. Was it close? Well, a 50-to-48 percent popular-vote edge for President Obama certainly indicates that.

But the president won just about every battleground state, pushing his Electoral College totals into landslide proportions. And, the Democrats did far better in the Senate than anyone expected.

The Two-Way
10:06 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Iran Says It Shot At U.S. Drone, Because It Trespassed

In this Sept. 6, 2007 photo, an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle flies over a range in Nevada.
MSgt. Scott Reed AP

The Iranian defense minister confirmed today that his forces had shot a U.S. drone. But Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said it shot at the MQ1 Predator drone because it had trespassed into its airspace, The New York Times reports.

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Election 2012
9:56 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Congresswoman-Elect Grace Meng On 'Girl Power'

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:15 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Later, we want to hear what the Barbershop guys have to say about some of the ballot initiatives that made headlines around the country in this week's election. They include measures that will allow same-sex marriage in two additional states and permit the recreational use of marijuana in another state.

The guys also want to talk about the how the country's changing demographics contributed to this year's election results. That conversation is coming up.

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Faith Matters
9:56 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Black Voters Rethinking Gay Marriage?

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:17 am

On Election Day, Washington, Maine and Maryland states voted to legalize same-sex marriage, stopping a 32-state losing streak. In Maryland, African-American faith leaders took vocal positions on both sides of the issue, and host Michel Martin hears from two of them: Reverend Delman Coates and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr.

Movie Reviews
9:53 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Historical, Fictional Icons Take To The Big Screen

Daniel Craig stars as the quintessential MI6 agent, James Bond, in Skyfall. The Bond franchise is 50 years old this year.
Francois Duhamel Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:52 am

Two icons, Abraham Lincoln and James Bond, make triumphant appearances this week in movies with more in common than you'd expect. True, Lincoln is a titan of history, liberator of slaves, and as such an adversary of Western colonialism, while 007 is an outlandish stereotype embodying white male Western authoritarian power. But the makers of these films do a sterling job of testing their respective subjects in front of our eyes — before pronouncing them fit to carry on in our collective imagination.

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The Two-Way
9:31 am
Fri November 9, 2012

What Clinched It For Obama? Two-Way Readers Have Many Answers

The Obamas and Bidens as they celebrated early Wednesday in Chicago.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

We asked why President Obama won re-election and you weren't shy about sharing your opinions.

Our unscientific question, which 14,125 people answered, produced these results:

-- 42 percent said Obama won because of the combination of a stronger economy, a better campaign, his likability, Superstorm Sandy and the debates.

-- The second most popular choice, with 18 percent, was just the stronger economy.

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It's All Politics
9:26 am
Fri November 9, 2012

In Hindsight, Those Presidential Polls Looked Just Fine

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaves the podium after conceding the presidency in Boston.
Rick Wilking/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 10:49 am

For as much criticism as pollsters endured in the run-up to Election Day, a look back shows many of them hit very close to the bull's-eye for the presidential race — but some did better than others.

Take the venerable Gallup. It had Mitt Romney at 49 percent and President Obama at 48 percent in a poll published Monday, a day before the voting. And when undecided voters were split up among candidates, Gallup put the figure at 50 percent Romney, 49 percent Obama.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Fri November 9, 2012

No Federal Charges Against Syracuse Coach

Federal prosecutors say they will not bring charges against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who a year ago was accused of having sexually abused young boys.

According to The Post-Standard in Syracuse, "after nearly a year of police scouring more than 100,000 pages of seized documents and interviewing 130 witnesses, the investigation that attracted national media attention has ended, prosecutors said."

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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Lt. Col Herbert Carter, One Of The Last Tuskegee Airmen, Dies

Tuskegee Airman Col. Herbert Carter, listens as Gov. Robert Bentley reads a proclamation honoring the fliers during a ceremony at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Jan. 20.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 6:31 am

Retired Lt. Col. Herbert Carter, who flew 77 missions in Europe during World War II with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, died Thursday at the East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Stan Ingold of Alabama Public Radio reports.

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