The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

A 'Comedy Of Errors': Italians Appoint Wrong Minister

University of Guelph professor Francesco Braga.
YouTube

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera called it a "comedy of errors."

Indeed.

Imagine you're a professor in Canada, 28-years removed from Italy and one day you get a call: While forming its new government, Italy wants you to be its junior agriculture minister.

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Economy
1:35 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

In U.S. And Europe, Pensions At Risk

Demonstrators in London marched outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday to protest against pension cuts. The issue has stirred demonstrations in many parts of Europe and the U.S.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Despite boasting one of the highest per-capita incomes in the country, San Jose, Calif., is running large and growing deficits. And next Tuesday, the city council is expected to declare a state of "fiscal emergency." The main reason is pensions and other benefits for retired city workers, such as health insurance.

San Jose's problems are severe, but hardly unique. In recent years, pension costs have become a central concern both in the U.S. and in Europe.

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Music
1:30 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Winter Songs: Dreaming Of 'California' From Far Away

The Mamas and the Papas in England, 1967.
Les Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 1:24 pm

The songs we turn to during winter months are as distinct from the light, joyous anthems of summer as tank tops and shorts are from the mittens and scarves we pull out of the closet when a chill creeps into the air. This season, we'll ask musicians, writers and listeners to tell us about a song that evokes winter for them, along with a memory or story that goes with it.

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Photo Of Clinton, Suu Kyi, Says It All

Sometimes a picture does indeed tell the story.

In this case, a photo taken today when Hillary Rodham Clinton had a private dinner in Myanmar with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi speaks volumes about the purpose and meaning of the first visit to the country by an American secretary of state in more than five decades.

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Music Interviews
1:17 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Steady Diet Of Everything: The Fugazi Live Vault

Fugazi's Ian MacKaye is releasing every performance his band ever did, and listeners can name their price.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:52 pm

When the iconic American punk band Fugazi started playing back in 1987, it started taping, too.

"Our friend Joey Picuri, who was a local sound man — or a fellow who helped do sound for bands — he recorded the shows," Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye tells NPR's Guy Raz. "He just gave us tapes of our first show, and he gave us a tape of our second show."

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Europe
1:00 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Sarkozy Lays Foundation For Reshaping The Eurozone

During a speech delivered Thursday in Toulon, France, French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be announcing new measures to guarantee the future of Europe.
Claude Paris AP

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 8:14 pm

In a highly anticipated speech Thursday night, French President Nicolas Sarkozy laid the groundwork for tighter French-German cooperation.

He made an ambitious call for a rewrite of European treaties, but his speech — billed as his last-ditch plan to save the euro — offered no concrete emergency measures to contain Europe's debt crisis.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Senator Seeks Answers About Phone Logging Software

A screenshot showing CarrierIQ in action.
screenshot YouTube

Yesterday, we reported about the tempest brewing about Carrier IQ, a secret software a researcher says has been installed on millions of phones and is capable of logging websites a user visits, the contents of voice and text messages and even the content of online searches.

Today Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat for Minnesotta, sent a letter to the company asking for a detailed explanation of the kind of information the company's software logs.

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Asia
12:52 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

In South Korea, Old Law Leads To New Crackdown

Park Jong-kun's Twitter profile picture — which shows him against a backdrop of the North Korean flag — may violate South Korea's strict National Security Law. The 24-year-old South Korean is also under investigation for retweeting North Korean propaganda.
Courtesy Park Jong-kun

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 6:24 pm

Park Jong-kun's Twitter profile picture shows him inspecting a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky against a backdrop of the North Korean flag.

The 24-year-old South Korean photographer thought it would be funny, a visual parody of North Korea's news programs. But it turns out this profile picture could violate South Korea's strict six-decade-old National Security Law, which punishes those who "praise, disseminate or cooperate with anti-state groups" if such acts endanger democracy and national security.

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Opinion
12:32 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Not Quite Norman: Living Up To A Literary Legacy

American novelist and journalist Norman Mailer poses for a photo on Oct. 1, 1970.
Victor Drees Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:02 pm

Alex Gilvarry is the author of the forthcoming novel From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

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Planet Money
12:12 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

A European Solution Germany Can Feel Good About

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, on the second day of the G20 Summit in France.
Chris Ratcliffe Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 11:15 am

There are basically two solutions to the European debt crisis. One, someone can show up with really deep pockets and bail out all the countries. Or, two, the European Central Bank can create a bunch of money and loan it to the countries who need it. The problem is there's a barrier blocking both these potential solutions — a certain European country known for its beer and brats: Germany.

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