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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Mon November 19, 2012

27 Animals In 'Hobbit' Movie Died At Farm Where They Were Housed

A promotion for J.R.R. Tolkien's classic, which is now being made into a movie trilogy, at the Frankfurt Book Fair last month.
Arne Dedert EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 8:33 am

Just days before the movie's premiere, there's word that during the filming of director Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as many as 27 animals used in its production died at the farm in New Zealand where they were housed.

Animal wranglers tell The Associated Press that there were "bluffs, sinkholes and other 'death traps' " at the farm. Three horses died, along with "six goats, six sheep and a dozen chickens."

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:05 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Why Not Say It Simply? How About Very Simply?

xkcd: "Another thing that is a bad problem is if you're flying toward space and the parts start to fall off your space car in the wrong order. If that happens, it means you won't go to space today, or maybe ever."
xkcd

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 7:27 am

There are people (and I hear from them constantly) who think if a subject is sophisticated, like science, the language that describes it should be sophisticated, too.

If smart people say torque, ribosome, limbic, stochastic and kinase, then the rest of us should knuckle down, concentrate and figure out what those words mean. That's how we'll know when we've learned something: when we've mastered the technical words.

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Digital Life
7:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Post-Election Racist Tweets Raise Questions

After the president's re-election, a slew of racist comments appeared on Twitter and Facebook. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses some of the legal and privacy issues raised when people vent online. She speaks with Rey Junco of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and The Root's Political Correspondent Keli Goff.

Governing
6:42 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Federal Workers Keep Eye On Looming Fiscal Cliff

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the reelection of President Obama triggered a huge amount of racism on social media, particularly on Twitter. We'll talk about the psychology behind those tweets.

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Asia
6:42 am
Mon November 19, 2012

President Makes History, Stirs Controversy In Asia

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the fiscal cliff is seen as a serious threat to the nation's financial health but for federal workers the impact could be even more immediate and devastating. We'll take a closer look at that in a moment.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Will San Francisco Tell Its Nudists To Cover Up?

Woody Miller, a "naturist," was among the men out on Market Street in San Francisco this day.
Kimhiro Hoshino AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 7:30 am

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (yes, that's his name) says last year's law ordering those who bare everything in public to put a towel between their bottoms and public benches or restaurant seats hasn't stopped the complaints he gets about men who prefer to go without (clothes, that is) in the city's Castro District.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Good Signs: Home Sales Are Up; Builders' Confidence Is Also Higher

This home sold last month in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 9:39 am

Two positive economic indicators:

-- "Sales of existing homes increased in October, even with some regional impact from Hurricane Sandy, while home prices continued to rise due to lower levels of inventory supply," the National Association of Realtors reports.

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The Two-Way
5:04 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Outrage In India Over Woman's Arrest For Facebook Post

Bal Thackeray's funeral cortege made its way through a sea of supporters in Mumbai on Sunday.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

There was no violence, as had been feared, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Mumbai, India, to express their grief over the death of Bal Thackeray, "a Hindu extremist leader linked to waves of mob violence against Muslims and migrant workers in India."

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The Two-Way
3:56 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Top Stories: Israel, Hamas Trade More Fire; Obama Visits Cambodia

In New York City's Rockaway neighborhood, a sign asking for help in the clean-up.
Spencer Platt Getty Images
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The Two-Way
3:23 am
Mon November 19, 2012

U.S. Policy Is To Say 'Burma'; Obama Also Uses 'Myanmar'

President Obama and President Thein Sein of Myanmar (also known as Burma) earlier today in Yangon.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 7:31 am

  • NPR's Scott Horsley, reporting on 'Morning Edition'

We've noted before that whether you call the Southeast Asian nation Burma or Myanmar has mattered to many for many years.

It's official U.S. policy, out of support for the opposition that has pressed for democratic reform in that country, to call it Burma. That's the name the nation was known by before a military regime took power in 1989 and started using Myanmar.

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Asia
2:46 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Why Obama Put Asia On The Agenda Now

President Obama (center) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (right) toured the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, on Monday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 4:07 am

President Obama, in the midst of a five-day trip to Asia, is making stops in Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. But the strongest diplomatic signals are probably aimed farther north, at China, which has significant economic and strategic interests in the region.

Obama, who has billed himself as "America's first Pacific president" has already made several trips to Asia, but his administration's goal of making a "pivot" to the region — both militarily and diplomatically — has been hamstrung by the need to wind down wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Two-Way
2:25 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Pressure For Truce Grows, But Israel And Hamas Continue Firing

A man covers his face as he passes smoke and fire after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City earlier today.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 4:48 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn reports from Gaza City
  • On 'Morning Editon': Sheera Frankel reports about 'Iron Dome'

(We rewrote the top of this post at 7:45 p.m. ET to sum up the day's news.)

The sixth day of Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip saw Israel striking a media center and other Palestinian targets, raising the Palestinian death toll to more than 100. Palestinian militants fired 95 rockets at Israel; a third of them were intercepted by Iron Dome, the Israeli missile shield. Also Monday, a flurry of diplomacy that attempted to mediate a cease-fire between the two sides.

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Business
1:58 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Visa Card Worth Its Weight In Gold

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a credit card that's worth its weight in gold. For those who want to buy bling with bling, a bank in Kazakhstan plans to offer a Visa card made of gold, plus a couple of dozen diamonds and mother of pearl. It will require $100,000 upfront and an annual fee of $2,000, but there are no late fees and you get a free iPhone. It won't be the first bejeweled card, just the first made of pure gold. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
1:53 am
Mon November 19, 2012

ATM Spews Cash In Glasgow, Scotland

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Does technology enrich our lives? This weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, it did. A Bank of Scotland ATM was dispensing cash at double the amount requested. Lines formed around the block until the police came. The bank says it's unlikely they'll try to get their money back. And they apologize for, quote, "any inconvenience caused." We suspect no apologies needed. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Political Junkie
1:33 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Both Sides Itching For A Confirmation Fight Over Susan Rice

Some Republicans are betting that President Obama won't push for a Susan Rice nomination if it could jeopardize negotiations with the GOP on things like the budget, or immigration.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:23 pm

The election was over. As President Obama faced the press in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, the anger and bitterness of his long battle with Mitt Romney seemed to have faded. Unlike President George W. Bush after his 2004 re-election — and his comments about having political capital and intending to spend it — Obama seemed a bit more humble victor, talking more about compromise and saying he was willing to hear other points of view to solve the nation's problems.

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Business
1:13 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Americans Run Up More Credit Card Debt

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with credit card debt rising.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Americans are running up more debt on their credit cards, and that could be a good sign. The average American had almost $5,000 of credit card debt in the third quarter of 2012, up almost 5 percent over the previous quarter.

Environment
1:05 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Sandy Stirs Up Superfund Site In New Jersey

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

As the Northeast states take stock of the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, a new concern is coming into focus. New York and New Jersey have dozens of superfund sites close to the shore. Some of these toxic zones were flooded by Sandy's storm surge.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Ilya Marritz, of member station WNYC, reports that in New Jersey's largest city there are worries that toxic chemicals may have been swept into people's homes.

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Law
12:55 am
Mon November 19, 2012

BP Legal Troubles Persist Over Gulf Spill

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Around the Nation
12:27 am
Mon November 19, 2012

California Learns From Hurricane Sandy In Northeast

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Emergency managers around the nation have been paying close attention to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. From California, NPR's Richard Gonzales a look at what lessons disaster planners there say they've learned.

RICHARD GONZALES, BYLINE: Superstorm Sandy didn't sneak up on anybody.

CHRISTOPHER GODLEY: They had days of warning before it made landfall, before the damage really started to occur, so people could prepare themselves, their families, their neighborhoods.

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Middle East
12:16 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Violence In Gaza Strip Enters A Second Week

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 4:48 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

The day had started with more intense air attacks between Israel and the militant Hamas rulers of Gaza. Overnight air raids pushed the Palestinian death toll to more than 90, with more than 700 wounded. The numbers on the Israeli side are dramatically lower, with three dead so far.

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Middle East
11:49 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Israeli Fans Adore Rocket Stopper Iron Dome

Two Iron Dome missiles launched near Ashdod, Israel, intercept a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Israeli officials joke that a "cult of the Iron Dome" has developed, as Israelis have started running out of their homes, rather then into their bunkers, to film Iron Dome at work.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 4:48 am

Hamas militants have fired hundreds of missiles at Israel since the conflict intensified last week. Many of those missiles have fallen prey to Iron Dome, the U.S.-funded anti-missile system deployed in key areas across Israel.

In the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, guests at a wedding had barely managed to get through the hors d'oeuvres when a siren sounded warning of incoming rocket fire.

But instead of taking cover, the guests point at the sky and gawk as Israel's Iron Dome missile interceptor system explodes six Hamas rockets in midair.

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Business
11:49 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Hostess Brands To Begin Selling Its Assets

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business: Twinkie rush.

Hostess Brands today begins the process of selling off its assets in a bankruptcy court in New York. That process has struck fear in the hearts of lovers of the sugary-sweet Hostess products, like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos. Sensing a Twinkie panic and a possible shortage, over the weekend some entrepreneurs took to eBay, offering up many Hostess brands at some very exorbitant prices.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Analysis
11:49 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Politics In The News

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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Asia
11:49 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Obama Pays Historic Visit To Myanmar Monday

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

President Obama paid a historic visit to Myanmar today. The southeast Asian country, also known as Burma, is tiptoeing towards democracy after almost 50 years in military rule. Mr. Obama met with the former leader who is now the president of Burma and with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is not a member of parliament after years of house arrest. The visit is the centerpiece of the president's three-day Asian tour, which is meant to underscore the United States' growing involvement in the region.

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Shots - Health News
10:28 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Caffeine Gives Endurance Athletes A Third And Fourth Wind

Sarah Piampiano holds two energy gels, one with caffeine and one without, as she runs in this year's Ironman World Championship.
Murray Carpenter for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, is an extreme event — a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride, topped off by a marathon.

Throughout the event, racers drink plenty of fluids and eat energy bars or gels. Most also take a performance-enhancing substance that is legal and effective — caffeine.

"While I'm racing, caffeine is actually a pretty important part of my day, particularly in the Ironman, where it's such a long race," says Sarah Piampiano, a professional triathlete.

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Business
10:27 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

The Past And Future Of America's Biggest Retailers

This is among the first Target stores. The company now operates 1,782 stores across the United States.
Courtesy of Target

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

It's an anniversary that most Americans can celebrate — the birthday of the big-box store. Discount shopping as we know it began 50 years ago. In 1962, enterprising retailers invented Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart.

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Shots - Health News
10:26 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Can You Move It And Work It On A Treadmill Desk?

Employees at at Salo, a Minneapolis-based financial consulting firm, walk while working on treadmill desks. The firm offers treadmill desks for employee use and encourages an active workplace environment.
Salo LLC

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

As we've reported, there's a backlash brewing to sedentary office life as more people realize how sitting all day can do a body wrong.

I work at home and often sit in front of my computer doing research and writing. So I thought I'd give a treadmill desk a try.

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It's All Politics
10:25 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff Talks, Higher Taxes Vs. Closing Loopholes

President Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaks to reporters at the White House on Friday during a meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:38 am

The White House and Congress continue to work on a deal that avoids the fiscal cliff and cuts deficits in the long run. One of the biggest hurdles is President Obama's proposal to raise tax rates for the wealthy.

Republicans think a better course would be to raise revenue by closing loopholes and limiting deductions for high-income people. The question is, could that method raise enough money.

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Politics
12:25 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

Debt Talks A 'Roosevelt Moment' For Obama

President Obama leaves the White House Saturday for a trip to Southeast Asia.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 12:53 pm

President Obama is now about to enter into a series of difficult talks on the so-called debt ceiling and the impending fiscal cliff. Lawmakers have until Dec. 31 to come up with a deal to prevent $700 billion from being cut from the federal budget.

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Music Interviews
11:33 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Armed With Age And Experience, Soundgarden Returns

King Animal is Soundgarden's first studio album in 15 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 2:11 pm

When the Northwestern grunge-rock scene suddenly gained national attention in the early 1990s, Soundgarden had already been around for years. But by 1997, both the band and the musical movement it had helped to define had atomized.

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