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The Two-Way
2:49 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $4 Billion In Criminal Penalties For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:32 pm

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

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Europe
2:43 am
Thu November 15, 2012

French Tax Would Raise Price Of Nutella

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. First, they taxed the rich, and the people said nothing. Then they went after the Nutella. The French Senate approved a measure tripling the tax on palm oil and other vegetable oils. It would sharply raise the cost of making Nutella, a popular chocolate and hazelnut spread. The tax is meant to cut down on obesity, but has prompted an outcry from Nutella lovers. And the maker of the spread promises the recipe will not change. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
2:39 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Goat Chases Paper Boy Up A Tree

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Here's a story from Utah about a missing paperboy. A goat named Voldemort butted a paperboy off his bike, treed(ph) him, and sat under the tree glaring. The standoff lasted until the goat saw some girls passing by and chased them. Jaxon Gessel, hero paperboy, climbed out of the tree, caught the goat and wrestled it to the ground. Cops looking for Jackson found the boy, grabbed the goat and solved the case of two kids. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
2:31 am
Thu November 15, 2012

In Israel And Gaza Strip: More Explosions, Deaths On Both Sides

An Israeli soldier lies on the ground as missiles are fired from an Iron Dome anti-missile station on Thursday near the city of Beer Sheva, Israel. The Iron Dome was activated to intercept incoming rockets launched from Gaza.
Ilia Yefimovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 4:21 am

  • Anthony Kuhn talks with Linda Wertheimer on 'Morning Editon'

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. Firing Continues:

"Intensive fire" has continued through the day across the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, correspondent Linda Gradstein, who is in Jerusalem, tells our Newscast Desk.

Hamas has now fired more than 130 rockets toward southern Israel and the Israeli military continues to fire at targets in Gaza. Palestinian officials report at least 13 deaths on their side of the border. The death toll in Israel remains at three.

White House spokesman Jay Carney today told reporters that:

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Business
12:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 2:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Twinkie trouble.

Hostess Brands, famous for processed treats like Twinkies and Ding Dongs, says it will go into liquidation if striking bakers do not return to work this afternoon. This could see the layoffs of nearly 18,000 workers. The bakers walked out over wage and benefit cuts. Analysts say the company's most iconic brands would likely be bought by other companies if Hostess goes out of business. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
11:46 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Scandal Shines A Light On Tampa Social Scene

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 12:29 am

Along with the news about the Gen. David Petreus scandal, we've been hearing about lavish social events given in the Tampa, Fla., area. A lot of military brass from MacDill Air Force Base, where U.S. Central Command is headquartered, go to these events. Linda Wertheimer talks to Ben Montgomery, a reporter with the Tampa Bay Times, about how the scandal is playing out around Tampa.

Politics
11:05 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Obama's Visit To Myanmar: Too Much, Too Soon?

A newspaper with a front-page photo of President Obama is displayed at a press house in downtown Yangon, Myanmar, on Thursday, ahead of Obama's visit.
Soe Than Win AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:15 pm

When President Obama sets off to Asia this weekend to highlight his so-called pivot to the region, he will make a bit of history: Obama will become the first sitting U.S. president to visit Myanmar.

The country, also known as Burma, was a pariah state for decades, ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. That is changing, and the Obama administration has encouraged a dramatic reform process in the country. But it may be too early for a victory lap.

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Planet Money
11:04 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Why Coke Cost A Nickel For 70 Years

An oilcloth sign advertising Coca-Cola from 1905.
The Coca-Cola Company

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 9:04 am

Prices change; that's fundamental to how economies work.

And yet: In 1886, a bottle of Coke cost a nickel. It was also a nickel in 1900, 1915 and 1930. In fact, 70 years after the first Coke was sold, you could still buy a bottle for a nickel.

Three wars, the Great Depression, hundreds of competitors — none of it made any difference for the price of Coke. Why not?

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The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

As Xi Jinping Takes Top Post In China, Hopes Of Reform Fade

Chinese leader Xi Jinping earlier today in Beijing.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:10 am

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

Though new Chinese leader Xi Jinping "didn't once mention Marxism or Mao Zedong" today as he stepped into his new role, the make-up of the "gang of seven" that he now heads "will disappoint those hoping for sweeping reform," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.

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The Two-Way
1:46 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

General Allen Says He Will 'Fully Cooperate' With Investigation

Marine Gen. John Allen.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:00 pm

Marine Gen. John Allen says he will "fully cooperate" with the Pentagon's Inspector General's investigation into his communication with Jill Kelley.

Allen has been at the center of a scandal that led to the resignation of CIA director and retired four-star general David Petraeus.

In a statement issued on his behalf by the Marine General Counsel, Allen also said he wants to resolve the matter in an expedient fashion.

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Shots - Health News
1:23 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Lawmakers Clash With FDA Over Meningitis Outbreak

New England Compounding Center co-owner Barry Cadden went to Capitol Hill for a congressional hearing Wednesday on the fungal meningitis outbreak. Choosing to take the Fifth Amendment, Cadden did not testify.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:17 pm

Members of a House subcommittee clashed repeatedly Wednesday with U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Margaret Hamburg over the outbreak of meningitis caused by contaminated steroid injections.

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It's All Politics
1:04 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Obama Says He Has One Mandate: To Help The Middle Class

President Obama acknowledges reporters after his White House news conference on Wednesday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:49 pm

A president just re-elected has arguably the most political capital he's likely to have during his entire second term.

And President Obama clearly has some capital, though he didn't overtly refer to it or vow to "spend it," as his predecessor George W. Bush famously said upon his 2004 re-election.

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Shots - Health News
12:55 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Health Care Cuts Are Coming. Here's Where Liberals Say You Can Slice

Two new studies and a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement all have the potential to change dollar signs as lawmakers address the impending fiscal cliff.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:12 pm

A liberal think-tank closely allied with the Obama administration is proposing a health care spending plan it says could save hundreds of billions of dollars in entitlement spending without hurting middle- and low-income patients.

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Health Care
12:25 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Liberal Group Proposes Reduced Medicare Spending

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:46 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

As the White House and Congress debate taxes and entitlement reform, an influential liberal think-tank is offering what appears to be an olive branch. It comes at a time when many Democrats are trying to protect entitlements, such as Medicare. At the same time, Republicans say those entitlements are too expensive in their present form.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
12:22 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

For Some Sandy Survivors, Medicine's The Big Worry

Pharmacy and medical services stores closed in Coney Island.
Reema Khrais NPR

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:15 pm

In Coney Island, on the southern end of Brooklyn, long lines of EMS trucks and buses of National Guardsmen rolled down the roads this week — trekking from residential building to building.

Since Friday, dozens of troops and officials from the City Health Department have been dropping in at the hardest hit areas of New York, making sure all residents are equipped with the essentials: Do they have food? Water? Do they need medical attention?

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It's All Politics
12:20 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

As FEMA's Sandy Cleanup Continues, Questions Arise About Long Term Help

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo meets Nov. 10 with residents of the Far Rockaways section of Queens, which was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Cuomo is seeking $30 billion in federal assistance to help rebuild his state at a time when Congress is already consumed with reducing the deficit.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:15 pm

Political leaders from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have not been shy about their intent to seek as much federal funding as possible for their storm-struck states. Damages and lost economic activity as a result of Hurricane Sandy have been estimated as high as $50 billion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., wants $30 billion in federal assistance to help rebuild his state. This request, and others, come at a time when Congress is already consumed with reducing the deficit.

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Shots - Health News
12:07 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Recurring Lyme Disease Rash Caused By Reinfection, Not Relapse

Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks like this one. A study finds that some people can be reinfected many times with the bacteria that cause the disease.
Lauree Feldman Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 12:30 pm

In recent years, a disease spread by ticks has become more common across the country.

Lyme disease causes a skin rash, and in some cases, more serious symptoms. The rash usually goes away with antibiotics, but some people say they have other symptoms that persist for months or years.

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The Two-Way
12:03 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Egypt Recalls Its Ambassador To Israel, Over Gaza Airstrikes

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 4:20 am

The Egyptian president has recalled his ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel's airstrikes on the Gaza Strip today, his spokesman said on state television. The strikes have killed at least 10 people including the commander of the military wing of Hamas.

Reporting from Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:

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It's All Politics
11:49 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Maine Independent Angus King To Caucus With Senate Democrats

Sen.-elect Angus King of Maine (far right) joins newly elected Democratic senators and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. From left: Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Reid, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Harry Hamburg AP

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 11:54 am

Sen.-elect Angus King of Maine, who cruised to victory last week running as an independent, said Wednesday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats.

King's announcement means the Democrats will have in essence a 55-45 seat advantage in the Senate next year.

The Senate's other independent, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also caucuses with the Democrats.

King was elected last week to replace the retiring moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

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World
11:38 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Obama Defends U.N. Envoy Amid Republican Attack

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is considered a leading candidate to become the next secretary of state. Leading Senate Republicans say they would seek to block her if she's nominated.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 3:16 pm

President Obama sounds like he's in for a fight over the woman who could be the next secretary of state. Republicans have been blasting U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the way she characterized the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11.

But the president came to her defense in his news conference Wednesday afternoon.

"When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me," he told reporters.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
11:35 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Foreclosed Homeowners Getting Back In The Market

Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again — sometimes in as few as three years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:15 pm

Buyers are coming back into the housing market after losing their homes during the financial crisis — returning to homeownership more quickly than lenders have typically allowed.

With millions of families with recent foreclosures on their records, some report that they are having luck buying a house — in some cases within three years.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Reps. Ron Paul, Barney Frank Ask Obama To Respect Pot Legalization Laws

Fast Eddy Aki'a of Hawaii smokes a joint as thousands of supporters of legalized pot, lit up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 in Denver, Colorado.
Marc Piscotty Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 2:31 am

Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) are asking the White House to respect the voters of Colorado and Washington, who decided that recreational marijuana use should be legal.

In a letter sent to President Obama, they wrote:

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National Security
10:56 am
Wed November 14, 2012

The Petraeus Affair: From First Meeting To Full-Blown Scandal

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 12:12 pm

New details are emerging about how David Petraeus' extramarital affair developed, and when officials — from law enforcement to the White House — first found out about it. Track the story with this interactive timeline, compiled through some digging by The Associated Press and NPR.

Planet Money
10:33 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Sandy's Shadow, In Three Small Businesses

Howard Beach, Queens. October 30, 2012.
Pam Andrade Flickr

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 1:59 pm

Retail sales fell in October, for the first time in several months. Analysts largely blamed the hurricane. If they're right, sales will bounce back this month and the economic recovery will continue (slowly, slowly).

That's the big picture. To get a sense of the small picture — messier, more ambiguous — I visited three small businesses on Cross Bay Boulevard, in Howard Beach, Queens. The storm swept in here and flooded the neighborhood.

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National Security
9:47 am
Wed November 14, 2012

What's The Punishment For Adultery These Days?

Dwight Eisenhower allegedly had an affair with his female driver while he was the supreme Allied commander during World War II. He's shown here at the wheel of his jeep in France in 1944.
AP

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:35 am

A half-century ago, President John Kennedy could count on the press to be part of a conspiracy of silence when it came to his marital infidelities.

Today, as the David Petraeus case illustrates, it's a mad dash to see who can publish the latest salacious details when a famous, rich or powerful person is publicly entangled in an affair.

There's no rewinding the clock when it comes to exposing private indiscretions of public figures. But what are the ground rules these days when it comes to punishment and redemption?

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World
9:18 am
Wed November 14, 2012

U.S. Rethinks Security As Mideast Oil Imports Drop

A U.S. Marine patrol walks across the charred oil landscape near a burning well near Kuwait City in March 1991. Concerns about oil supply were at play when the U.S. and its allies intervened during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. But American policy is changing now that Mideast oil imports to the U.S. are declining.
John Gaps III AP

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 2:00 pm

Within the next two decades, the United States may barely need any oil from the Persian Gulf, due in large part to increased domestic production. That dramatic shift could shake the foundation of U.S. interests in the Middle East.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Protests, Strikes Spread Across Europe In Opposition To Austerity Measures

Riot policemen arrest a protester in Valencia on Wednesday during a general strike .
Jose Jordan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 9:32 am

From Spain and Portugal to Greece and Italy and on north to Belgium and Germany, strikes and protests spread across Europe today.

While this is the first time that the protests have gone pan-European, the message hasn't changed: Demonstrators were protesting the austerity measures put in place by many European countries to bring an end to the sovereign debt crisis that has dogged the continent.

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Shots - Health News
8:28 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Signs Of Drug-Resistant Malaria Emerge In Vietnam And Myanmar

Health workers take a blood sample from an infant to test for the malaria at a clinic along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Last spring, the global health community got some alarming news about its last, best treatment for malaria. The artemisinin-based drugs were losing their potency at two different places in Southeast Asia: in western Cambodia and along the border between Thailand and Myanmar.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Live Blog: President Obama's News Conference

President Obama during his news conference at the White House today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:44 pm

  • Listen to NPR Coverage of the News Conference

Eight days after his re-election — with the fiscal cliff looming, questions being raised about the deadly attack on the U.S.

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The Two-Way
7:39 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Pelosi Chides Luke Russert Over Question About Young Leadership

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gathers around female House Democrats during a news conference on Wednesday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

There was a bit of laughter but also a lot of seriousness, when NBC's Luke Russert asked Rep. Nancy Pelosi if her decision to seek the House minority leadership again prevents a younger leadership from taking her place.

Pelosi was flanked by the Democratic female members of House and as soon as the question flew out of Russert's mouth, groans filled the room. "Age discrimination," one person was heard screaming.

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