Politics
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

As Holidays Near, Congressional Standoff Continues

The Republican House and Democratic Senate pushed their game of chicken closer to the precipice Thursday, with a government shutdown threat looming at midnight Friday. Both maneuvered to be able to blame the other — should things fall apart and the government actually runs out of money to operate. NPR's Andrea Seabrook joins Lynn Neary with the latest.

Animals
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Ornithologist Discusses Causes Of Bird Downings

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

They're just everywhere. That's how a wildlife manager describes the mass casualties of Eared Grebes that crash landed in southern Utah on Monday night. Some 1,500 grebes died, another 3,000 have been rescued. The small water birds were migrating and apparently mistook a Walmart parking lot, highways and football fields covered with snow for bodies of water.

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Presidential Race
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

GOP Presidential Hopefuls To Debate In Iowa

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

The Republican candidates gather for yet another debate tonight. This one is in Sioux City, Iowa. It's the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. And it comes as Mitt Romney and other candidates try to stop the surge of Newt Gingrich. Romney and his allies have been launching a furious assault on the former House speaker.

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Remembrances
1:00 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Whitman Held Court For English Speakers In Paris

The founder of a venerable literary institution in Paris has died at 98. George Whitman founded the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, across from the Notre Dame cathedral. The shop was a magnet for English speakers in the French capital.

The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Google's Brin Says Piracy Bills Puts U.S. Censorship On Par With China

Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 12:46 pm

Google's co-founder Sergey Brin unleashed perhaps the most stinging criticism of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act that is working its way through Congress.

In a Google+ post, Brin said if the U.S. passed either SOPA, the House version of the bill, or the Protect IP Act, the Senate version, it would put the country in same league as China and Iran as far as Internet censorship is concerned. Brin said the bills were a "threat to free speech."

Brin writes:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:12 pm
Thu December 15, 2011

Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan Shakes Up Politics More Than Policy

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, (left) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, present their plan for changing Medicare at the U.S. Capitol Thursday.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

There's not much that's new in the Medicare proposal just unveiled by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)

So why is it getting so much attention? One word. No, not plastics. Politics!

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5 Things...
11:50 am
Thu December 15, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann speaks at The Gift of Life movie premiere in Des Moines on Wednesday night.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:35 pm

She was born Michele Amble. Her parents divorced when she was young. She studied political science and literature in college and was a student volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

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Europe
11:48 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Thousands Protest Alleged Election Fraud In Russia

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 3:56 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated in cities across Russia today to protest alleged vote-rigging in recent parliamentary elections. Protests reportedly took place in more than 50 cities, but the largest by far was in Moscow. Reporter Peter van Dyk is in Moscow and joins us. Peter, thanks so much for being with us.

PETER VAN DYK, BYLINE: Thank you.

SIMON: You were in the crowds. What were they like?

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Thu December 15, 2011

A New Reason To Beat Your Own Chest: 'Drum Machine Shirt'

Think Geek

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 11:36 am

The Two-Way doesn't endorse products. But we do like to pass on things we see about weird and unusual things.

So a Los Angeles Times story about a "drum machine T-shirt" caught our eye. (Since there's a drummer or two in our lives, we may be biased.)

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Thu December 15, 2011

During Call-In Show, Vladimir Putin Dimisses Russian Protesters

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual phone-in session with Russians in Moscow.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

During a call-in show, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the massive protests against his 12-year rule were paid for by his opposition and supported by the West.

The AP reports:

"'The results of this election undoubtedly reflect the real balance of power in the country," Putin said on a marathon TV show that lasted 4 1/2 hours. "It's very good that United Russia has preserved its leading position.'

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