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It's All Politics
5:08 am
Mon January 30, 2012

GOP Presidential Contest: Is It Over Or Just Getting Started?

Over the weekend, we heard Newt Gingrich assuring Floridians that his campaign was going all the way to the GOP's August convention.

Once the delegates got to Tampa, he said, all those who opposed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would unite to deny him the nomination.

"My job is to convert that [anti-Romney majority] into a pro-Gingrich majority," the former House speaker said Sunday.

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Animals
5:06 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Doberman In 'Hugo' Snubbed For Dog Movie Award

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 5:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Martin Scorsese got 11 Oscar nods for his film "Hugo." Still, he's calling in the L.A. Times a write-in campaign for an actor he feels has been snubbed. Blackie, the Doberman in "Hugo," failed to get a nomination for a Golden Collar, awarded by Dog News Daily. The cute Jack Russell who starred in "The Artist" was nominated, but Blackie is an anti-hero. And just a few hundred Facebook votes will earn him a chance at top dog. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Your Money
3:01 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Freddie Mac Betting Against Struggling Homeowners

One of Freddie Mac's restrictions blocks people who have a short sale in their past from refinancing for two to four years following the short sale.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:53 am

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won't be able to refinance their mortgages at today's lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

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Business
2:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:51 am

At the end of last week, an employee sent an email with a simple request: Please bring me a copy of the new directory. She accidentally copied every member of the legislature and all of their staff. The email went to some 4,000 people. Recipients then started to reply-all with many messages, and the system couldn't handle it.

Business
2:00 am
Mon January 30, 2012

The Waiting May Be Almost Over For Facebook IPO

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 4:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Facebook getting ready.

Your Money
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Employees To Face 'Term Limits' At Casino

The new Revel casino, which sits along the boardwalk in Atlantic City, has drawn criticism for its employment policies.
Emma Jacobs WHYY

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 6:44 am

A new casino set to open in Atlantic City, N.J., has announced it will set term limits for its front-line staff. When employees' terms run out, they'll have to go through the hiring process again. The casino says the policy will keep its service fresh. Others say the company is taking advantage of a tough job market.

From bellhops to dealers, employees of the new casino — called Revel — will be hired for terms from four to six years. After that, they have to reapply for their jobs and compete against other candidates.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

The Clash Over Fingerprinting For Food Stamps

A sign in a New York City market window advertises that it accepts food stamps.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants New York City to stop requiring fingerprinting of its food stamp recipients, a stance that puts him at odds with the city's mayor, who favors the practice.

Cuomo says fingerprinting stigmatizes needy people and stops them from applying for help. In a recent State of the State speech, Cuomo pledged to stop fingerprinting food stamp recipients this year.

But New York City Michael Bloomberg says without fingerprinting, fraud would escalate.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Could A Club Drug Offer 'Almost Immediate' Relief From Depression?

Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It's also a widely popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." When administered in low doses, patients report a rapid reduction in depression symptoms.
Huw Golledge flickr

There's no quick fix for severe depression.

Although antidepressants like Prozac have been around since the 1970s, they usually take weeks to make a difference. And for up to 40 percent of patients, they simply don't work.

As a result, there are limited options when patients show up in an emergency room with suicidal depression.

The doctors and nurses at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston say they see this problem every day.

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Religion
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

'Obedient Wives Club' Irks Some Muslims In Malaysia

Last June, some employees at the Global Ikhwan Café, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, established the Obedient Wives Club. Global Ikhwan (Ikhwan is Arabic for "brotherhood") owns businesses in several countries.

Since then, it has been castigated for what Muslim and non-Muslim critics call a "medieval and oppressive interpretation of Islam."

The controversy surprised club organizer Dr. Azlina Jamaluddin. She says that her group is merely suggesting a way to deal with social problems in Malaysia such as a rising divorce rate.

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Author Interviews
10:01 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

'Consent' Asks: Who Owns The Internet?

Rebecca MacKinnon is a Bernard Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Brooke Bready

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 11:29 am

While the Internet may aid the spread of democracy, democracy doesn't necessarily mean a free and open Internet. In her new book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, Rebecca MacKinnon, senior fellow at the New America Foundation and co-founder of Global Voices, a citizen media network, investigates the corrosion of civil liberties by the governments and corporations that control the digital world.

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Digital Life
3:28 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Public Or Private: Keeping Google From Being 'Evil'

A sign for Google is displayed behind the Google android robot, at the National Retail Federation, in New York. The announced changes to Google's privacy policy has drawn both positive and negative attention.
Mark Lennihan AP

Let's start with a quick Google experiment.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Bilingualism A Political Liability?

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And sticking with presidential politics for a moment, speaking a second language has recently become something of a liability for those aspiring to live in the White House. It turns out very few American presidents have had a strong command of a second language, most of them in the early days of the Republic, and that language, it was French.

John McWhorter wrote about this recently in The New Republic, and he's with me now. John, bonjour.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

JOHN MCWHORTER: Bonjour, Guy. How are you doing?

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Africa
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Attacks By Nigerian Muslim Group Stirs Fear

A radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly bombing attacks last week that left more than 200 people dead. Boko Haram's campaign of violence has left minority Christians on edge in the city of Kano.

Politics
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Front-Runner Romney

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Just a little more than a day left before voters in Florida have their say in the GOP primary. The latest polls by the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times show Mitt Romney with an 11-point lead over Newt Gingrich, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul trailing far behind. Newt Gingrich, who's had trouble getting support from establishment Republicans, picked up a nod from a decidedly non-establishment figure - one of his former rivals, Herman Cain.

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Europe
1:00 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

French Town Says Non To "Mademoiselle"

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 7:48 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And speaking of French, a small French revolution is underway in the town of Cesson - sorry. How do you say it?

LAUREN: Cesson-Sevigne.

RAZ: Thankfully, our intern Lauren Benichou is French. Anyway, as I was saying, in that town, the mayor, Michel Bihan, has banned the use of the word mademoiselle.

MAYOR MICHEL BIHAN: (Through translator) In France, mademoiselle is a condescending term. We believe that it's more natural and fair to call women madame.

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Music Interviews
12:32 pm
Sun January 29, 2012

Air: Scoring A Cinematic Marvel, 100 Years Later

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel pose at a January screening of Le Voyage Dans La Lune at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
Gabi Porter Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 31, 2012 9:00 pm

In 1902, director Georges Melies released his magnum opus: Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To the Moon), often considered the first science-fiction movie ever. Even if you've never heard of Melies, you've probably seen the film's most famous shot: a moon with a human face, wincing at the spaceship that has just crashed into its eye.

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Presidential Race
10:06 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Gingrich Attacks Romney Ahead Of Florida Vote

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to reporters in Lutz, Fla., on Sunday. The former House speaker is trailing Mitt Romney in polls ahead of Tuesday's primary in the Sunshine State.
Don Gonyea NPR

Newt Gingrich slammed Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney for "carpet-bombing" his record ahead of Tuesday's pivotal presidential primary in Florida, trying to cut into the resurgent front-runner's lead in the final hours before the vote.

"He has a basic policy of carpet bombing his opponents," Gingrich told Fox News Sunday. "He doesn't try to build up Mitt Romney, he just tries to tear down whoever he's running against."

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Digital Life
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Real-Time Frustration Over Twitter's New Policy

This past week, the social media network Twitter announced it would begin removing messages from its service within specific countries if asked to do so by one of those countries. The move sparked complaints of censorship from some of its users. Host Rachel Martin has more.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

General Election In Focus: Candidates Strategize

Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about the intense Republican primary race and President Obama's message of populism in his State of the Union address last week.

Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Fla. Restaurant Puts National Politics On Local Stage

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:43 pm

The Fish House, a restaurant in Pensacola, Fla., has become a regular stop for GOP candidates. Mike Huckabee and John McCain came by in 2008 and Joe Scarborough has done his Morning Joe show here. In fact, as congressman, Scarborough used to play on weekends in the restaurant's house band. NPR's Greg Allen goes behind the scenes at the Fish House.

National Security
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

U.S. And Iran, A Decade After 'Axis' Declaration

Ten years ago Sunday, President George W. Bush announced that Iran, Iraq and North Korea were "the axis of evil." Now, American-Iranian relations may be at their lowest level since the Islamic Republic was born. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Shuster and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Fact-Checking The Florida Mudslinging

With two days left before the pivotal Florida GOP primary, the front-runners have taken over the airwaves. A steady stream of political ads is filled with insinuations and accusations. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Angie Holan of PolitiFact, which fact-checked some of the ads.

Presidential Race
6:00 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Romney, Gingrich Fight To The Finish In Fla.

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:43 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Florida holds its primary the day after tomorrow. If Mitt Romney wins, it could be a decisive victory for the former Massachusetts governor's bid for the nomination. But if Newt Gingrich comes out on top there will likely be a long battle ahead. Both men have a lot at stake in Tuesday's vote, which explains all the strong attacks they hurled at one another on the campaign trail and in TV spots across Florida yesterday.

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Religion
3:57 am
Sun January 29, 2012

On The Record: A Quest For De-Baptism In France

Though marginal, the de-baptism movement is growing, observers say.
iStockphoto.com

In France, an elderly man is fighting to make a formal break with the Catholic Church. He's taken the church to court over its refusal to let him nullify his baptism, in a case that could have far-reaching effects.

Seventy-one-year-old Rene LeBouvier's parents and his brother are buried in a churchyard in the tiny village of Fleury in northwest France. He himself was baptized in the Romanesque stone church and attended mass here as a boy.

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Food
3:57 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Moscato Madness: The Dessert Wine's Sweet Surge

Moscato was on display at the 2010 international wine and spirits show "Vinitaly" in Italy. Since then, moscato sales have skyrocketed.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 2:43 pm

In the U.S., wine drinking has held its own during these hard economic times, and even grown in some unlikely corners. Moscato, for example, the Italian dessert wine, has gone from relative obscurity to the toast of the town.

Hip-hop singer Drake, in his song "Do It Now," gives it a shout-out. It's also the wine Kanye West orders for special parties. And it's the wine Real Housewife of Atlanta NeNe Leakes has just started selling under the label Miss Moscato.

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Sports
3:54 am
Sun January 29, 2012

'I Am A Boxer': Fighter In The Ring, Lady Outside It

Tiara Brown, shown at the International Duel in Oxnard, Calif., last year, is competing for a spot on the U.S. women's Olympic team.
Sue Jaye Johnson

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

Part of a series with WNYC on female boxers

This summer in London, female boxers will compete in the Olympics for the first time. The women competing for a spot on the U.S. team will make history, but few know who they are — and why they box.

Women who box love it for the same reasons men do. Boxing requires intense physical and psychological discipline, the ability to overcome fear and anger.

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Europe
3:48 am
Sun January 29, 2012

In Iran's Oil Gambit, EU Nations Have Much To Lose

The Europeans are in the midst of their most serious economic crisis in 60 years, and now they're hearing it's not just their own fate they have to consider: The whole global economy hangs in the balance.

The International Monetary Fund last week warned that if Europe's problems get any worse, it could push the entire world back into recession.

European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels on Monday, are said to be close to resolving some of their most difficult issues — and they'd better be.

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National Teachers Initiative
3:48 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Dropout Has Thanks, Not Blame, For Teacher

Roger Alvarez (left) did not graduate from high school, despite the efforts of his former English teacher, Antero Garcia. At 22, Alvarez still hopes to get his GED.
StoryCorps

Roger Alvarez, 22, was one of the 52 percent of students who didn't make it through his senior year at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles.

He dropped out in 2007, but by the time he was in ninth grade, Alvarez says he already knew he wasn't going to graduate.

"There's a certain amount of knowledge you have to have when you enter in a specific grade, and I didn't have it," Alvarez says. "Every class I used to go in, I was like, 'Do I know this? I don't know this. Nah, I'm not going to pass this class.' "

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Around the Nation
3:47 am
Sun January 29, 2012

Minnesota Festival On Ice Melts Art's Boundaries

At the Art Shanty festival on Medicine Lake in Plymouth, Minn., the ICE-Cycles Shanty uses a bit of fun (and weather-appropriate tires) to try to encourage wintertime bike riding.
Nathaniel Freeman

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:04 am

Call it the Burning Man of the Midwest: a temporary city built around artistic expression. Only this one takes place in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the middle of winter.

Minnesota is known for its 10,000 lakes. When the lakes freeze for the winter, the state is known for its ice fishing and its ice shanties — little homemade fishing shacks full of heaters, radios and bottles of schnapps.

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Business
3:16 pm
Sat January 28, 2012

Made In The USA: Saving The American Brand

General Motors, headquartered in Detroit, recovered from near disaster after a financial bailout from the federal government.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

A majestic building still dominates the skyline of Rochester, N.Y., the word "Kodak" shining brightly from the top. It's the legacy of George Eastman — the founder of the Eastman Kodak Co. — a company that helped Rochester thrive and gave it the nickname "Kodak Town."

In 1976, Kodak sold 90 percent of the film around the world. The company basically invented digital photography, but it couldn't figure out how to make the transition from film quickly enough to out-compete its Asian rivals. Of the 20 best-selling digital cameras in the U.S., not a single one is from Kodak.

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