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10:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Secretary Donovan Talks Multi-Billion Deal

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan talks with host Michel Martin about the settlement reached yesterday between federal and state officials and major banks. It was an effort to address unfair banking practices that led to the mortgage crisis. President Obama praised the deal, but critics say the settlement is inadequate.

Shots - Health Blog
9:49 am
Fri February 10, 2012

White House Bends On Birth Control Requirement For Religious Groups

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 10:30 am

Under increasing pressure, the White House has offered what it's calling an "accommodation" to religious groups on a requirement to cover birth control free of charge.

Even some Democrats, who generally support the policy of requiring most employers to offer no-cost contraception, were unhappy with the rule's reach.

But the change unveiled by the White House isn't expected to completely quell the uproar raised by Catholics and others who say the policy violates their freedom of religion.

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Planet Money
9:26 am
Fri February 10, 2012

The Undertaker Who Helps Big Banks Write Death Plans

Nobody lives forever.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 4:03 pm

The nation's big banks are writing death plans — living wills that spell out how, in a future crisis, they could be safely dismantled. The idea is that the death plans will help avoid another government bailout of the banks.

"You're technically writing your own funeral, down to the color of the flowers" says Dolores Atallo.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri February 10, 2012

White House To Detail Changes To Controversial Contraception Rule

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 10:21 am

Hospitals and organizations operated by religious institutions will not have to pay for or provide free contraception coverage to their employees, but the insurance companies that offer coverage to those workers will have to do that, White House officials just told reporters during a conference call.

They're explaining changes to a controversial plan the administration unveiled in recent days. The goal of the change appears to be to provide the coverage, but at the same time to not force religious groups to violate their principles.

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Politics
8:23 am
Fri February 10, 2012

A Conservative's Tips For Finding The Right Mate

Neil Harrison iStockphoto

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Josh Powell Turned Out To Be 'A Monster,' Says Social Worker

The social worker who watched in horror last Sunday as a Washington state man blew up the house that his two young sons had gone into moments before says he had never before seemed dangerous.

But she knows now, Elizabeth Griffin-Hall tells ABC News, that "Josh Powell was really, really evil."

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Shots - Health Blog
8:06 am
Fri February 10, 2012

How My Voice Went Silent

Everything looked fine on my CT scan, but I didn't sound even close to right.
Courtesy of Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 1:10 pm

There's an old joke around newsrooms: News is something that happens to your editor.

If you'll pardon the self-indulgence, I'm going to take this truism one step further: News is what happened to me.

I was laid low the week before New Year's Day by a mysterious headache and a blazing sore throat. A few days later I lost my voice.

My doctors eventually pinpointed the cause by snaking a small camera down my nose. My left vocal fold (or vocal cord if you prefer) had stopped working. It was essentially paralyzed, other than the occasional twitch.

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It's All Politics
6:51 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Santorum's Support Goes Beyond Social Conservatives, Strategist Says

Rick Santorum shakes hands with supporters gathered at Fairview Farms in Plano, Texas on Feb. 8 in the wake of his three victories on Tuesday.
Stewart F. House MCT /Landov

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:08 am

Rick Santorum surprised the Republican presidential field again this week, chalking up victories against front-runner Mitt Romney in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri. Very few pundits would have predicted six months ago that the former Pennsylvania senator would still be a contender this late into the primary season. So what's his secret and can he keep it up?

To get some of those answers, NPR's Steve Inskeep spoke with Santorum strategist John Brabender on Friday's Morning Edition.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri February 10, 2012

If Women Are In Combat, Men May Try To Protect Them, Santorum Says

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

On CNN last evening, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was asked about the Pentagon's plan to open up more jobs to women in the military — and to bring them closer to, but not right into, combat roles.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Rep. Bachus Is Focus Of Ethics Investigation Into Possible Insider Trading

Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Washington Post broke this story last evening:

"The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case.

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Around the Nation
5:39 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Wisconsin Court Decides Who Gets The Cat

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Business
5:36 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Halos Can Turn To Horns, Corporate Donors Find

Dots, a women's fashion retailer, donates $118,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Jan. 31. The recent controversy over Komen's relationship with Planned Parenthood has highlighted the perils of corporate philanthropy.
Anonymous PR Newswire

Energizer makes batteries. But in recent days, company executives have spent a considerable amount of time responding to complaints about abortion.

The reason, of course, is that Energizer got caught up in the controversy surrounding last week's decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to cut off its funding for Planned Parenthood.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Fri February 10, 2012

'Situation Could Not Be More Dire,' Syrians In Besieged City Say

An anti-regime fighter peered through a window in Idlib, Syria, on Thursday (Feb. 9, 2012).
AP

From inside the Syrian city of Homs, where activists say several hundred people have been killed by government forces in the past week and troops are preparing for what could be a "ground offensive" in coming days, residents say the "situation could not be more dire," NPR's Kelly McEvers reports.

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Middle East
5:29 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Madonna Fan Would Be Irked By War With Iran

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. We have no evidence this is a mass movement, but at least one person seems to have a reason to urge Israel's prime minister to delay an attack on Iran. Israeli officials have been speculating out loud about a strike. Now a Facebook page is pushing for the war to wait, at least long enough to keep from disrupting a concert by Madonna in Tel Aviv. The page is called No War with Iran until After Madonna's Performance on May 29. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Obama To Release Fiscal 2013 Budget Next Week

President Obama will unveil his budget for the next fiscal year on Monday. To find out more about the budget proposal, Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal.

NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Many Advocates Not Impressed With States' Foreclosure Settlement

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here's a sign of just how huge the housing and foreclosure crisis has been. Five big banks agreed to pay about $25 billion to people who've been harmed bank's abuses, plus an extra billion to settle a claim involving a mortgage company. And one of the first reactions is that all that money could not possibly be enough.

President Obama says the banks will spread the money around.

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NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Greece Waits For Bailout After Meeting EU Conditions

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Overall economic numbers for this year have been looking better, but almost every forecast for 2012 has included at least a mention that catastrophe could still come from Europe. The crisis over Greece's debt is not over, even after yesterday when lawmakers approved more budget cuts and economic reforms. Now Greek unions are protesting again.

Resolving this crisis has taken years, and there's a reason: a debt crisis has never really been solved this way before. Here's Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money team.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Bank Settlement Could Temporarily Spur More Foreclosures

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

News of the foreclosure settlement spread in Washington, just as the Senate Banking Committee was holding a hearing on the housing market.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Details were still emerging as the hearing began. And senators wanted to know would this deal do anything meaningful to help homeowners and the housing market.

SENATOR ROBERT MENENDEZ: Do you think the $25 billion state/federal foreclosure settlement is a good deal? Do you think that that's the right amount?

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World
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Maldives President Says He Was Ousted In A Coup

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

To people who visit the idyllic tourist destination of the Maldives, politics can seem far away. But this week, the country's President Mohamed Nasheed stepped down after weeks of demonstrations. He was forced to resign by elements within the police and army. Here's how he described the situation to Al Jazeera.

(SOUNDBITE OF AL JAZEERA BROADCAST)

PRESIDENT MOHAMED NASHEED: This is a coup. It definitely is, if you find any definition of a coup anywhere. I did not want to defend. That is why there was no blood.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

LinkedIn Profits Exceed Wall Streets Expectations

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with social networking profits.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: You can get attention on the Internet. You can even draw a massive crowd in seconds. The question always is how to make money. Investors have been scrutinizing Facebook's plans to go public and trying to figure out the company's prospects.

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Business
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

The Last Word In Business

The company will instead focus on home photo printers, high-speed commercial ink jet presses and software. Other companies may license the Kodak brand for cameras, and some disposables will still be out there.

Middle East
2:00 am
Fri February 10, 2012

Diplomatic Community Struggles To End Syrian Violence

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:02 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Activists and human rights groups in Syria contend the government has now killed hundreds of civilians this week alone. It's hard to verify that number, but it is clear that mortars, rockets and tanks continue firing into the city of Homs. That gunfire has served as a week-long punctuation mark on the United Nation's failure to approve a resolution against Syria. NPR's Kelly McEvers is following the situation from Beirut. She joins us once again.

Hi, Kelly.

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Monkey See
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

How One George Lucas Fan Takes Fan Filmmaking Into His Own Hands

One of the posters promoting Jamie Benning's latest fan documentary, Raiding The Lost Ark.
Jamie Benning

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:09 am

Blame Jar Jar Binks.

If George Lucas had never created that annoying, slapstick-prone CGI character in The Phantom Menace, history would be different. No amount of "meesa so sorry" can make up for this abomination. And to add insult to injury, Lucas is sending a 3D Jar Jar Binks into theaters on February 10th.

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The Salt
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

How Two Bitter Adversaries Hatched A Plan To Change The Egg Business

At the JS West egg farm, south of Modesto, Calif., one chicken house has the new, spacious cages that egg producers and animal welfare advocates say keep chickens happier.
Big Dutchman

Gene Gregory and Wayne Pacelle are the odd couple of American agriculture.

"We were adversaries. Some might say bitter adversaries,"
says Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Rules Requiring Contraceptive Coverage Have Been In Force For Years

In 2002, state lawmakers in Massachusetts approved legislation requiring most employers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. One of the groups pushing for the law was the Coalition for Choice, led by Melissa Kogut (center).
Lawrence Jackson AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 6:31 am

There's been no let-up in the debate about the Obama administration's rule requiring most employers to provide prescription birth control to their workers without additional cost.

Here's the rub: The only truly novel part of the plan is the "no cost" bit.

The rule would mean, for the first time, that women won't have to pay a deductible or copayment to get prescription contraceptives.

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Performing Arts
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Colonial History, Through The Eyes Of The Colonized

Pascale Armand plays Jekesai, later christened as Ester, who's taken in by a black Catholic missionary when she flees an arranged marriage in 1890s Rhodesia.
T. Charles Erickson McCarter Theatre

Actor and writer Danai Gurira sometimes refers to herself as a "Zimerican": She was born in Iowa, but spent most of her childhood in Harare, Zimbabwe — where her new play, The Convert, is set.

"I grew up there from age 5 to 19," Gurira says. "I'm back there every year, but I feel like there are things that I had to dig out through this process of creating this play."

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Nuclear Safety, Costs Loom Over OK'd Reactors

Steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors at Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro, Ga. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved Southern Co.'s application to begin full construction of the nation's first new nuclear units since 1978 at Plant Vogtle.
Mary Ann Chastain AP

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 9:56 am

The nuclear industry is celebrating the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to give the go-ahead for a utility company to build two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first license to be granted for a new reactor in the U.S. since 1978. But last year's accident at reactors in Fukushima, Japan, still clouds the future of nuclear power, as does the cost of new power plants.

Southern Co. will build the reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia, where two older reactors already operate.

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Politics
10:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Catholics Split Over Obama Contraceptive Order

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:02 am

The conflict between the Catholic Bishops and the White House over contraceptive coverage has American Catholics choosing sides.

Catholics narrowly support the White House position in polls. There are potential political consequences: In presidential elections, Catholics are swing voters. They supported Al Gore in 2000, President George W. Bush in '04 and President Obama in '08.

The GOP presidential hopefuls are certainly using this issue. Framing it as a question of religious freedom is a guaranteed way to fire up the conservative base.

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The Record
10:00 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

What The Grammys Say About Pop Music Now

Skrillex at the Sasquatch Music Festival in May.
C Flanigan FilmMagic

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 7:34 am

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