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Asia
11:40 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Nationalist Rhetoric High As Japanese Head To Polls

Supporters hold up posters of Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a rally in Osaka on Thursday. Considered a nationalist hawk, Abe is expected to become prime minister for a second time after parliamentary elections Sunday.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:27 am

As Japanese head to the polls Sunday, Shinzo Abe is expected to become Japan's prime minister for the second time.

The election takes place as nationalistic rhetoric is on the rise, and while the country remains locked in a bitter dispute with its chief rival, China, over islands both countries claim.

'Pride And Honor'

The battle over the islands heated up last summer.

In mid-August, boats filled with about 150 Japanese activists approached one of the islands, part of a chain that the Japanese call Senkaku; the Chinese, Diaoyu.

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Shootings In Newtown, Conn.
11:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Transcript: President Obama's Remarks On Conn. School Shooting

President Obama wipes his eye as he speaks during a press conference at the White House following the shooting in a Connecticut elementary school that left several dead, including children.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:32 pm

Transcript of President Obama's speech on Dec. 14 following a deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Source: White House

This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.

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Shots - Health News
10:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Most States Punt Health Exchanges To The Feds

Gov. Bill Haslam speaks to reporters after announcing in Nashville, Tenn., on Monday that that he had decided against creating a state-run health insurance exchange. The Republican governor said he will leave it to the federal government to run the marketplace.
Erik Schelzig ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:48 am

Few people expected that the Obama administration would be running health exchanges in more than 30 states when the federal health law was signed two years ago.

But with the deadline for states to decide just hours away, only 18 states and the District of Columbia have proposed operating their own insurance marketplaces. The exchanges are a key tool under the law to expand health coverage to an estimated 23 million people over the next four years.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri December 14, 2012

U.S. Officials: Syria Has Prepared Several Dozen Chemical Bombs

President Obama has warned Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in 2009, against using chemical weapons.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 10:06 am

U.S. and allied officials say the forces of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad have prepared several dozen bombs and shells loaded with the lethal chemical sarin.

The number is a larger estimate than has previously been reported. The Syrians loaded the weapons with the chemical agents in the past several weeks, the officials say.

Those preparations raise fears that the fighting against rebel forces could enter a new and more troubling phase, according to the officials, who requested anonymity.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Amid Food Shortages, Syrian Opposition Now Runs Many Towns

A Syrian woman carries a ration of bread on her head in the northern city of Aleppo. The Syrian opposition now runs local councils in many cities, particularly in the north. They often face major challenges in providing basics likes food, water and electricity.
Odd Anderson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:18 am

As the Syrian opposition gains control of large swaths of territory in the country's north, local councils are emerging as the first alternative authority after 21 months of revolt.

It is still unclear if the civilian councils can impose order in war-torn areas where rebels have the power of arms. And at least parts of major cities remain in the hands of President Bashar Assad's forces.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Murder Him? 'I Barely Saw Him,' McAfee Says Of Neighbor

John McAfee in Miami on Thursday.
Paula Bustamante AFP/Getty Images

If you're fascinated by the story of anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee and his flight from Belize after authorities there said they want to talk to him about a neighbor's murder, CNBC has abo

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Middle East
7:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Who Benefits From Syrian Civil War?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:20 am

Egyptians are voting on a new constitution - but the vote is polarizing the country. Meanwhile, in Syria, the main opposition group is now recognized by the U.S., but there are questions about al-Qaeda affiliates fighting alongside them. To make sense of the developments, host Michel Martin talks with Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International.

Remembrances
7:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Remembering Civil Rights Leader Lawrence Guyot

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:20 am

Lawrence Guyot spent his life fighting for civil rights - but often at great personal cost. He was jailed and beaten regularly by police in the Deep South while helping black people get involved in politics. Host Michel Martin speaks with Washington, D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who worked alongside Guyot, about his life and activism.

Barbershop
7:06 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Unions — Who Needs 'Em?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:20 am

In this week's Barbershop, the guys weigh in on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state. They also discuss Michigan's right-to-work law and whether unions are still relevant today.

The Salt
7:03 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise

Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? beer has been a fast seller, the company's brewmaster says.
Jazz Aldrich Great Basin Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:50 am

The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:36 am

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

As Egypt Prepares To Vote, Only One Side Seems Organized

An Egyptian activist holds a banner used to spray paint graffiti on a wall urging Egyptians to vote against a draft constitution. The opposition says the constitution does not represent all Egyptians, but their efforts have not been particularly well organized. President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters support the draft constitution. Voting begins Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

For three consecutive weeks, the Egyptian opposition has called mass protests against a controversial draft constitution that Egyptians are being asked to vote on beginning Saturday.

At each rally, protesters chanted against the document and its key proponents: The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi, who was among the group's leaders before he was elected Egypt's president.

But the opposition appears to be losing momentum, while the Islamists still appear to be going strong.

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'We've Got Bigger Fish To Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers, Obama Says

A woman, identified only as "Hurricane," lights up in Seattle. Washington state's law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect on Dec. 6.
Cliff Despeaux Reuters /Landov

It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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The Two-Way
4:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Manufactured Charges' Maligned Her Character, Rice Says

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

"In recent weeks, new lines of attack have been raised to malign my character and my career. Even before I was nominated for any new position, a steady drip of manufactured charges painted a wholly false picture of me."

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The Salt
4:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Sowing The Seeds For A Great American Chestnut Comeback

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:02 pm

Though we hear about them every holiday season in that famous song, chestnuts – whether roasting on an open fire or otherwise – have been noticeably absent from many American tables for decades, thanks to a deadly fungus that decimated the species near half a century ago. But a small army of determined growers have been on a seemingly quixotic quest to put chestnuts back on the American table, and they're just starting to see results.

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The Two-Way
4:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Top Stories: Missiles For Turkey; Inflation In Check; Egypt Prepares To Vote

A supporter of the opposition to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was playing soccer near a Republican Guard tank earlier today outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Egyptians are being called to vote over the next two weekends in a referendum on a draft constitution.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
3:48 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Is In Check; Consumer Prices Fell 0.3 Percent In November

Sign of the times: Markdowns at a discount clothing store in New York City last month. Such stiff competition for consumers' dollars is helping to keep inflation in check.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': Does The CPI Need A Fix?

A sharp drop in the cost of a gallon of gasoline helped pull consumer prices down 0.3 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

According to BLS, gas prices plunged 7.4 percent last month.

Excluding the food and energy sectors, the so-called core rate of inflation rose just 0.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
3:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

In Repeat Of Disturbing News, Man With Knife Attacks School Children In China

Wei Jingru, one of the students injured in today's attack, is being treated at a hospital in central China's Henan Province.
Li Bo Xinhua /Landov
  • NPR's Louisa Lim on the NPR Newscast

Twenty-two children and one adult are reported to have been injured at a school in China today by a man wielding a knife.

It happened in a village about 500 miles south of Beijing. As NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk, the attack is the latest of what has been a disturbing series of such incidents in recent years.

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Syrian Crisis: Turkey Getting Patriot Missiles, Some U.S. Troops To Operate Them

A U.S. Army Patriot Surface-to Air missile system on display in South Korea.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:12 am

"The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from a potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday." (The Associated Press)

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Around the Nation
2:23 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Stephen Colbert Announces Charity Donations

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:30 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Around the Nation
2:14 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Will The Real Indiana Jones Stand Up?

That's what the University of Chicago is asking. The admissions office received mail addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr., aka Indiana Jones. The character is said to have attended the school. The package contained a dust-covered replica of the journal in the Raiders of the Lost Ark film.

Business
12:33 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:02 am

The bank UBS has been in the middle of a huge investigation into interest rate manipulation. There are several reports that a subsidiary of UBS is making a settlement deal with U.S., British and Swiss officials.

Economy
12:19 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Index Fix Could Cut Federal Deficit

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:13 am

The Consumer Price Index is one of the most familiar measures in economics and politics. But some in Washington want to change the way the index is calculated to better reflect people's shopping habits.

While the proposed change is described as a technical fix, it could also cut the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.

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Politics
11:42 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Rice Drops Out Of Race For Secretary Of State

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:06 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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NPR Story
11:37 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

What Does Right To Work Mean?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:33 am

The term "right to work" has been in the news a lot this week. On Tuesday, Michigan became the 24th state to enact right-to-work legislation. It means unions can no longer require workers to pay full dues, even if they're working in a union shop.

NPR Story
11:37 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Message Repeats Itself

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Politicians, they love to stay on message, don't they? Even when there's not much to spin, they'll spin.

MONTAGNE: Take last night. President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner. Both sides said the exchange was frank. Lines of communication remain open.

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NPR Story
11:37 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

SEC Chairman Schapiro's Exit Interview

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 2:51 am

In an interview with David Greene, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro reflects on her tenure at the agency, and the disappointment that she wasn't able to overhaul money market funds. She leaves the job on Friday.

Asia
10:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Tells Us About Iran's Role

This monitor screen image shows a graphic of the orbit of the satellite carried by the Unha-3 rocket, which North Korea launched this week. The image is from the Korean Central News Agency, distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 4:03 am

U.S. officials say the satellite put into orbit by North Korea's rocket launch this week is wobbling, but that doesn't necessarily mean the launch itself was unsuccessful.

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Shots - Health News
10:24 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Making The Rich Pay More For Medicare

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., speaks Tuesday at a news conference calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets, as part of the year-end budget talks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Waxman said he does not support means testing for Medicare.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:33 am

When it comes to reducing Medicare spending, asking wealthier seniors to pay more is one of the few areas where Democrats have shown a willingness to even consider the subject.

"I do believe there should be means testing. And those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on last Sunday's Meet the Press. "That could be part of the solution."

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Planet Money
10:24 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Why A Principal Created His Own Currency

David Kestenbaum NPR

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:43 am

Shawn Rux took over as principal of MS 53, a New York City middle school, last year. At the time, 50 or 60 kids were absent every day. You could understand why they stayed away: The school was chaos.

Twenty-two teachers had quit, the entire office staff had quit, and hundreds of kids had been suspended. The school was given a grade of F from the city's department of education.

"It was in a bad place," Rux says.

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