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2:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Federal Reserve To Publish Interest-Rate Projections

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 4:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today, the Federal Reserve is taking another step in its stated intention to become more transparent. The committee that sets interest rates ends a two-day meeting, and its usual post-meeting announcement will have some unusual information.

For a hint of what we're to learn, we called David Wessel; he's economics editor of the Wall Street Journal. Good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So what is the Fed going to announce today that's so remarkable?

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Politics
2:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama Speech Depicts Country At A Crossroads

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama wants to see more tax breaks for manufacturers and fewer tax breaks for millionaires. Those were among the ideas floated in the president's third State of the Union speech last night. Throughout the morning, we're getting reaction to that address.

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Business
2:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Vancouver, Canada, is laying claim to the most expensive hot dog in the world. Chef Dougie Luv of DougieDog Hot Dogs starts serving his $100 Dragon Dog Wednesday. The hot dog features a foot-long bratwurst which is infused with 100-year-old Louis XIII cognac. That cognac costs more than $2,000 a bottle.

Politics
2:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Members Of Congress React To Obama's Speech

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Though millions of Americans watched the televised speech, the president's ostensible audience was right in front of him - Congress. His relations with many Republican lawmakers are icy at best. And even his alliances with Democrats had been put under stress at times in the past year.

The lawmakers' responses to the speech ranged from predictable to somewhat surprised. NPR's Andrea Seabrook listened to lawmakers after the speech.

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Politics
12:24 am
Wed January 25, 2012

The Markup: Notes On The State Of The Union

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images
  • Obama: 'We Can Either Settle For A Country ...'
  • Melissa Block Talks To Mara Liasson About Obama's Themes Of Equality And Fairness
  • Obama: 'The State Of Our Union Is Getting Stronger ...'
  • Listen To The State Of The Union Address

The text of President Obama's State of the Union address, as delivered:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Last month, I went to Andrews Air Force Base and welcomed home some of our last troops to serve in Iraq. Together, we offered a final, proud salute to the colors under which more than a million of our fellow citizens fought — and several thousand gave their lives.

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The Two-Way
11:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Wisconsin Student Says Athletic Official Reached Into His Pants At Rose Bowl Party

First came sexual-assault allegations against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State. Then, molestation accusations against Bernie Fine, an assistant basketball coach at Syracuse. And now, new details about what led John Chadima, an associate athletic director at Wisconsin, to resign earlier this month.

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Irene's Floods Dry Up Business In Vermont Town

When Waterbury, Vt., got walloped by the remnants of Hurricane Irene, the small town sustained an estimated $9 million in damages to personal property, and countless millions more in lost business revenue. Five months later, the waters have receded, but Waterbury's future remains uncertain.

On Main Street, a church bell still chimes every day, but daily life in Waterbury hasn't been the same since Irene.

"It's palpable," says Bill Shepeluk, Waterbury's municipal manager. "You can sense that it's not as vibrant as it was."

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Your Money
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

How To Avoid 'Bill Shock' From Smartphone Use

A woman uses her smartphone on a street in Seoul. New rules are on the way to protect consumers from expensive data roaming fees, but for now, phone owners can take steps to help themselves.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Americans who've been traveling abroad are all too often stunned by the size of their mobile phone bill. Even if they aren't actively using their phone, they can rack up hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars in charges — resulting in what consumer advocates call "bill shock."

Los Angeles resident Lisa French thought she was being careful when she took her smartphone on a trip to Japan.

"I was advised not to make any phone calls, as phone calls oversees are very, very expensive," she says.

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Sweetness And Light
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

As A Coach, Paterno Was One Of A Kind

After former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's death was announced Sunday, fans paid their respects at a Paterno statue on campus. Paterno exerted a rare amount of control in his decades coaching football, says Frank Deford.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:20 am

Now that Joe Paterno has passed on from Happy Valley, we must ponder whether we will ever see his like again.

But please: I am now, you understand, talking about Coach Paterno. Let us, for the moment, put aside how the old citizen whose credo was "Success with Honor" acted with regard to pedophilia: so without sensitivity, so irresponsibly, so –– ultimately –– cold-bloodedly. That will sully Paterno's memory forever.

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Energy
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Is The Booming Natural Gas Industry Overproducing?

Hydraulic fracturing wells have been producing a tremendous amount of natural gas — far more than the current demand. Above, a Cabot Oil & Gas natural gas drill at a fracking site in South Montrose, Pa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 10:25 am

The practice of hydraulic fracturing — pumping fluid into underground rock to push up natural gas — has its detractors, especially among environmentalists. But it's becoming clear that whatever its drawbacks, "fracking," as it's called, is producing a lot of gas — maybe too much gas.

Fracking was once a small part of the natural gas industry, a technique to get hard-to-reach deposits in underground shale. Then the technology improved, and the dinner bell rang. Everybody wanted in. Now there's so much gas on the market that the price is at a 10-year low.

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Africa
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Nigeria's President Under Pressure To Quell Violence

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (left) walks with the Emir of Kano Ado Bayero during a one-day visit to the city that was rocked by recent attacks.
Aminu Abuabakar AFP/Getty Images

Kano, the largest city in Nigeria's Muslim north, is an ancient, sprawling city of more than 9 million. Last Friday, the Muslim day of prayers was shattered by a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Just down the street from one of the main market areas in the city, the street remains blocked off from a police station hit in the attacks. The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

Sagir Ali, a security guard at a parking lot at the market, says he watched as nearby government offices were attacked.

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Can Sanctions Alone Get Iran To Negotiate?

Fishing boats are seen in front of oil tankers on the Persian Gulf waters, south of the Strait of Hormuz. The European Union has announced plans to join U.S. efforts to slow the flow of oil from Iran, the world's third largest exporter.
Kamran Jebreili AP

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 8:44 am

In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program through economic pain, both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions that should make it harder for Iran to sell its oil. But the global oil business is unpredictable, and sanctions are no guarantee.

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The Salt
4:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Eaters Worldwide Are Skeptical of Manufacturers' Health Claims

A woman with her son checks labels on fruit drinks in a store in Manila, Philippines.
Pat Roque ASSOCIATED PRESS

We members of the global food village seem to have something in common: We're pretty darned skeptical food manufacturers' health claims.

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Presidential Race
4:04 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Gingrich Campaign Rides A Financial Roller Coaster

Casino owner Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, at the Marina Bay Sands complex in Singapore in June. The Adelsons have donated $5 million each to the pro-Gingrich superPAC Winning Our Future.
Roslan Rahman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:43 pm

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign celebrated his win in the South Carolina Republican primary with a so-called money bomb, a fundraising push to raise as much as possible.

It was a success. But its importance also shows the precarious financial state of Gingrich's campaign.

Spokesman R.C. Hammond says the campaign first set a target of $1 million, then doubled it and met it, all within 48 hours.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Live Blog: 'No Bailouts, No Handouts, No Copouts,' Obama Will Say

President Obama delivers his annual State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:33 pm

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Apple Sold 37 Million iPhones Last Quarter, 7 Million More Than Expected

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:22 pm

Apple's just-released financial results for the quarter ended Dec. 31 have some eye-popping numbers:

-- "Record quarterly net profit of $13.1 billion," double the $6 billion of the same quarter a year earlier.

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Around the Nation
2:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Texas Town Embraces New Refugee Residents

Ker Paw Nah, 27, is a supervisor at Pilgrim's Pride. He met his wife, Paw Mu Nar in a refugee camp. Their son, Hai Ler Nah, just turned one.
Kate Archer Kent Red River Radio

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Though some states have cracked down hard on illegal immigration, one small Texas town has rolled out the welcome mat for hundreds of foreigners and wouldn't mind seeing more move in.

It started about a year ago when a chicken processing plant in Nacogdoches, Texas, announced it would hire a couple hundred new workers, all of them refugees from Myanmar, also known as Burma.

"The initial reaction, it wasn't as good as it should have been," says Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn.

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Business
2:20 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Muslim Men Rescue Bagel Shop And Keep It Kosher

Founded in 1920, Coney Island Bialys and Bagels claims to be the oldest bialy bakery in New York City. It's now run by two Pakistani Muslim men, who say they are keeping it kosher.
Margot Adler NPR

Coney Island Bialys and Bagels claims to be the oldest bialy bakery in New York City. Founded in 1920, it's faced hard economic times and changing neighborhood demographics.

Now, the shop has been rescued by two Pakistani Muslims — and they're keeping it kosher.

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Election 2012
2:15 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

A Few Questions, Answers About Mitt Romney's Taxes

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney arrives to deliver a speech ahead of the State of the Union presidential address at National Gypsum Company in Tampa, Fla. on January 24, 2012.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:22 pm

Mitt Romney has filed his tax returns — to the voters. And to no one's surprise, the former Massachusetts governor, private equity firm exec and GOP presidential contender makes a tidy sum.

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Energy
2:15 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Foreign Oil Imports Drop As U.S. Drilling Ramps Up

Natural gas is burned off next to an oil well being drilled at a site near Tioga, N.D., in August. U.S. oil production started increasing a few years ago and is predicted to continue to rise, reducing the country's dependence on oil imports.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:07 pm

Since President Obama took office, the U.S. has made considerable progress in overcoming a problem that has bedeviled presidents since Richard Nixon — dependence on foreign oil.

When U.S. oil dependence peaked at 60 percent in 2005, then-President George W. Bush said the country had a serious problem and was "addicted to oil."

Oil imports were down to 49 percent in 2010, and the Energy Information Agency predicted Tuesday that imports would drop to 36 percent by 2035.

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Law
2:12 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage May Hinge On Supreme Court

In 2008, California voters passed Proposition 8, making same-sex marriage in the state illegal. Now, legal challenges to that initiative mean it could soon get a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Max Whittaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:27 pm

With New York's legalization of same-sex marriage effectively doubling the number of Americans living in states where gays can marry, gay advocates like to say 2011 was a big year.

It's hard to imagine another doubling this year, but proponents are still hoping to build on last year's success. Same-sex marriage is currently legal in six states plus Washington, D.C., and it may come up for a vote in six more. All the while, legal challenges are pushing the issue closer to getting an opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:05 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Common Chemicals Could Make Kids' Vaccines Less Effective

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:07 pm

The more exposure children have to chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, the less likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinations, a study just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association shows.

The finding suggests, but doesn't prove, that these chemicals can affect the immune system enough to make some children more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

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Opinion
2:03 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

It's At The 20! The 10! Can The Flu Go All The Way?

Yes, H1N1 has been known to cause panic. But commentator Laura Lorson isn't afraid. With this powerful player, her fantasy flu team will be nearly unstoppable.
iStockphoto.com

Laura Lorson is an All Things Considered host for Kansas Public Radio as well as a director, producer and editor.

Another football season is winding down, college basketball is uninteresting until the tournament, pro basketball is rather dull. It will be a while before pitchers and catchers show up for spring training. But fortunately for all of us, we are smack in the middle of cold and flu season.

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All Tech Considered
1:58 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Who Are You? Google+ Really Wants To Know

On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. But your true identity is key to Google+.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 2:01 pm

Google will begin allowing users to add nicknames on Google+, Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google's social network said Tuesday.

True pseudonyms are still verboten on the network unless you go through an application process. To earn the right not to use your real name on Google+ you will have to prove you already have an online following that knows you that way.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

This January 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:13 pm

You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It's the biggest to hit us since 2005. You've also probably heard a few people say, "I didn't feel anything."

As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today's solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.

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Around the Nation
1:44 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:30 pm

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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Politics
1:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

After Last Year's Defeat, Kasich Pushes Forward

In just one year in office, Ohio Gov. John Kasich made some big changes in his state, based on his conservative, business-backed ideas. But he also suffered a massive defeat when the collective bargaining reform law he supported was overwhelmingly rejected by voters. But that's not stopping him from pushing forward with new ideas in his second year.

Presidential Race
1:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Romney Releases His Tax Returns

Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, after earlier suggesting he would wait until after winning the GOP nomination. While Romney's total tax bill was in the millions, his tax rate was actually lower than that of many middle-class Americans.

Asia
12:43 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

For China's 'Left-Behind Kids,' A Free Lunch

Students enjoy free meals on the inaugural day of the Free Lunch for Children program at Hujiaying primary school in Shaanxi province's Nanzheng county.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:06 am

For 10-year-old student Xie Xiaoyuan, just getting to school is an ordeal. On a recent day, her frostbitten ears are testament to just how difficult the trip is.

"I get up at five o'clock," she says, "then I comb my hair and start walking."

Xie navigates a mountain path in China's remote Shaanxi province in the dark, trudging through snowstorms and mudslides. Then she has to get a bus for about 10 miles. She hasn't time to eat breakfast.

"For lunch, I spend 15 cents on two pieces of bread and a drink," she says.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:37 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Your Brain On Psilocybin Might Be Less Depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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