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Strange News
6:30 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Blagojevich Case Inspires Airline's 'Seat-Selling' Sale

Spirit Airlines has launched a new promotion mocking former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was sentenced to 14 years this week for crimes including trying to sell a vacant U.S. Senate Seat. Spirit's "Slammer Sale" features $14 fares in and out of Chicago. The airline is calling this a "seat-selling" sale.

The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Slain Virginia Tech Officer's Dash Cam Shows Suspected Shooter

Virginia Tech officer Deriek Crouse, who died Thursday.
Virginia Tech

It still isn't known why a man apparently walked up to a campus police officer at Virginia Tech yesterday and fatally shot the 39-year-old father of five. And the identity of the gunman, who authorities believe died of a gunshot wound shortly after the attack, hasn't yet been released.

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Politics
4:12 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Obama Pushes Agenda Despite Losses On The Hill

President Obama addresses the media Thursday, with an electronic clock counting down to the end of the year. The payroll tax cut is due to expire then, unless Congress votes to extend it.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 10:47 am

President Obama lost a couple of economic battles on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but he is hoping to win the political war. The president vows to keep fighting for policies he says will benefit the broad middle class.

As Obama spoke to reporters in the White House briefing room, an electronic clock behind him ticked down the minutes, hours and days until year's end. That's when a payroll tax cut is due to expire, unless Congress votes to extend it.

Economic Skirmishes

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It's All Politics
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

GOP Objects To 'Millionaires Surtax'; Millionaires We Found? Not So Much

For the second week in a row, the Senate on Thursday voted down proposals to extend the payroll tax holiday through next year. In the case of the Democrats' proposal, Republicans objected to the "millionaires surtax" that would be used to pay for it.

Ever since the idea of the surtax was introduced weeks ago, Republicans in Congress have railed against it, arguing that it is a direct hit on small-business owners and other job creators.

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Technology
4:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Libraries Make Room For High-Tech 'Hackerspaces'

As information becomes more digital, public libraries are striving to redefine their roles. A small number are working to create "hackerspaces," where do-it-yourselfers share sophisticated tools and their expertise.

The Allen County Public Library, which serves the city of Fort Wayne, Ind., has a modest hackerspace inside a trailer in its parking lot. Library director Jeff Krull says hosting it is consistent with the library's mission.

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Business
3:59 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Online Video Sites Go Pro And Get Original

Cast members of the canceled sitcom Arrested Development reunite at a New Yorker panel in October. Netflix will exclusively stream a new season of the cult hit — and that could bring the service a lot of new subscribers, one analyst says.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 2:31 pm

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Business
3:48 am
Fri December 9, 2011

When Airlines Depart Cities, Businesses May Follow

Last month when Chiquita announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Ohio to North Carolina, it said it was lured there in part by the number of flights in and out of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Cincinnati came out on the losing end of the deal because like so many other cities, it faces a shrinking airline hub, which can affect the city's business climate.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, or CVG, is big but kind of empty. Business traveler John Bonno from Atlanta was noticing recently how desolate it feels.

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Europe
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

After All-Night Meeting, A Plan To Save Euro

European Union leaders wrapped up a 10-hour-long meeting in Brussels agreeing on a fiscal pact that will require stricter budget discipline. But Britain is among countries not signing on to the deal. The head of the European Central Bank is calling the pact positive. It's not clear, though, whether the move is enough to relieve Europe's debt crisis in the near future. NPR's Philip Reeves wraps up the meeting.

Europe
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

23 European Countries Sign On To Fiscal Pact

After meeting Friday in Brussels until the early morning hours, most European leaders agreed to a plan to move ahead with more budget discipline. Are world financial markets likely to see the talks as a failure or as progress?

U.S.
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Corzine Claims No Knowledge Of MF Global's Missing Money

Former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine testified on Capitol Hill on Thursday day. The former New Jersey Senator and governor was subpoenaed by a congressional panel that wanted to hear how MF Global wound up in bankruptcy. Corzine apologized repeatedly but denied knowingly breaking any rules.

U.S.
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

In Detroit, Drastic Steps To Avoid Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 9:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Lack of money is also a big problem in Detroit. Three weeks ago, the city's mayor, Dave Bing, made a stark announcement. Without major action, the city will go broke sometime early next year. That leaves state officials saying they may have no choice but to send in an emergency manager, a person with extraordinary powers over the city's finances.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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Sports
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Is Albert Pujols Worth $250 Million?

The Los Angeles Angels have signed slugger Albert Pujols. He's considered one of the best baseball players of his generation, but is the $250 million the Angels are paying Pujols worth it?

Latin America
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

5 Years Later: Calderon's War On Cartels

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 9:35 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This Sunday marks the fifth anniversary of Mexican President Felipe Calderon declaring all-out war against the drug traffickers in his country. On December 11th of 2006, he vowed to use all the powers of the state to bring the druglords to heel. The narco-war of Calderon´s presidency has left a stunning casualty toll - more than 40,000 people dead.

NPR's Jason Beaubien joins me from Mexico City to talk about the Calderon administration's battle with the cartels. Good morning, Jason.

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U.S.
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Finals On Hold, Vigil Set After Va. Tech Shooting

Virginia Tech is quiet Friday morning after a gunman shot and killed a campus police officer and then killed himself Thursday afternoon. For hours the sprawling campus in Blacksburg, Va., relived the horror of a 2007 shooting that left 33 dead and raised troubling questions about the university's slow response to the tragedy.

U.S.
3:00 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Report: Federal Agency Shares Blame In Mine Blast

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration released its final report this week into last year's West Virginia mine explosion. That explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 workers. The government has maintained that the company that owned the mine, Massey Energy, didn't do enough to prevent the accident. Now, documentation obtained by NPR indicates that the government didn't do enough, either.

Best Books Of 2011
2:09 am
Fri December 9, 2011

Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This winter, our independent booksellers have selected books that range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagons, department stores to pasta design. Whether you need a picture book for a toddler, kid lit for a young reader, or quirky non-fiction for the grown-up set, these booksellers have just the thing on their shelves.

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StoryCorps
10:47 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Livin' Thing: After Decades, A Couple Reconnects

MaryAnn and Jim Fletcher pose for a photo on the night of their junior prom dance, in the Half Hollow Hills School District of New York's Long Island.
Jim Fletcher

Jim and MaryAnn Fletcher met when they were just children, in the first grade. Later, they became high school sweethearts. But then they split up — until they found each other again, more than 20 years later.

Both Jim and MaryAnn are now 50 years old. And they spoke recently about how they met, and the twists and turns their lives have taken since that day. Jim started by recalling the first time he laid eyes on MaryAnn.

"It was the first day of first grade. And there was this kid who said to me, 'That's MaryAnn Lando. She can read.'"

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

A Survivor's Duty After Pearl Harbor: Telling The Story

Pearl Harbor survivor Frank Curre gave his eyewitness account of the attack in an interview with StoryCorps in Waco, Texas.
StoryCorps

It turns out that Frank Curre, who survived Pearl Harbor and then died on Dec. 7, 2011, 70 years after the attack, may have hit the attack's anniversary exactly. We heard from his family late Wednesday that Curre died around noon, in Waco, Texas. That means it was around 8 o'clock in the morning in Pearl Harbor — the hour the aerial attack began.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:21 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

To Keep Marriage Healthy When Baby Comes, Share Housework

A survey identifies traits, like generosity, that help couples buck the trend toward marital discord once baby arrives.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 4:24 pm

As many couples can attest — and lots of research backs this up — marital happiness plummets with the arrival of a baby. Sleepless nights, seemingly endless diaper changes and the avalanche of new chores that come with a newborn leave little time for the intimacies of marriage. It's a situation ripe for mental stress and marital discord.

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Newt Gingrich
4:16 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Why Some Evangelicals Back Thrice-Wed Gingrich

Newt Gingrich, shown with his wife, Callista Gingrich, attends a pre-debate rally sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition earlier this year in Florida. The thrice-married former House speaker, who cheated on his first two wives and was punished by the House for ethical violations, is now outperforming family man Mitt Romney among Iowa's evangelicals.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 11:37 am

One of the puzzles of the Republican presidential campaign is Newt Gingrich's appeal to religious conservatives. The irony is that Gingrich, a Catholic convert who has had three marriages, is outperforming Romney, a lifelong Mormon and family man. In fact, less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the former speaker of the House has three times the support of evangelicals in that state that Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, does.

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It's All Politics
3:56 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Obama In No Appeasing Mood As He Goes After Republicans

It has been President Obama's misfortune to be accused of appeasement by both his political supporters and foes.

For much of his presidency, liberals have accused the president of being too willing to compromise away their priorities in his negotiations with Republicans.

Meanwhile, Republicans have called Obama an appeaser for not doing more to constrain U.S. enemies in the Middle East, specifically Iran.

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The Salt
3:43 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Farewell To Argentina's Famed Beef

Argentina has long been famous for its grilled beef. But that beef isn't what it was.
Galina Barskaya iStockPhoto.com

When I think of Argentina, I think of beef from cows that graze on the endless pampas, tended by watchful gauchos. That grass-fed beef has been the centerpiece of Argentina's most famous dish, a slow-cooked asado on the parilla.

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NPR Story
3:38 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Apple, Publishing Houses Face Antitrust Probe

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 9:08 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

The European Union may be in the middle of its biggest crisis ever, but that doesn't mean it's overlooking the small stuff - international competition over the sale of eBooks, for example. The E.U.'s executive body, the European Commission, is investigating Apple and five major publishers for possible antitrust violations relating to the pricing of eBooks. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating the publishers and Apple, for possible anti-competitive practices.

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NPR Story
3:38 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Shootings Reported At Virginia Tech

Lynn Neary speaks with Lerone Graham, reporter for the Roanoke Times, for the latest about reported shootings on the campus of Virginia Tech.

Around the Nation
3:22 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Shootings Test Virginia Tech's Emergency Plan

Virginia Tech put a multitiered emergency response plan into effect Thursday after a gunman apparently shot and killed two people on campus, a university spokesman said as investigators tried to piece together the incident.

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