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Best Books Of 2012
12:48 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:50 pm

It's that time of year again — the leaves have fallen, the dark comes early, the air brings with it a certain chill — and I've been piling up books on my reading table, books I've culled from the offerings of the past few months, which because of their essential lyric beauty and power stand as special gifts for you and yours.

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Mystery On Fifth Avenue: A Constant Line Outside Abercrombie & Fitch

A model at the front entrance to the Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Every day I walk down Fifth Avenue on my way to work. I pass glittering holiday store windows, the Salvation Army ringing its bells and the sparkling tree at Rockefeller Center.

But for months I've noticed a mystery: Only one store has huge lines outside before it opens: Abercrombie & Fitch.

Perhaps 90 people stand on line every day before opening, rain or shine. It's been going on for years and not just during this season.

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It's All Politics
12:28 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Who's Behind The Fiscal Cliff Lobbying Effort?

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:42 pm

As the White House and Congress continue to wrangle over a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and its billions in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, we wanted to take a look at who is spending big to influence the debate behind the scenes.

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All Tech Considered
12:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Big Brother Is In Your Pocket (But You Get A Discount)

Care To Share? Wireless carriers are launching programs allowing customers to receive rewards based on information their smartphones share — such as their location, app usage and Web surfing data.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Customer loyalty programs have been around for years. You think nothing of giving the supermarket or pet supply store your personal information. In exchange you get a card or a key ring tag that you present at checkout to get a discount.

Now wireless carriers are taking it a step further, raising alerts from privacy advocates.

Verizon and AT&T recently launched programs allowing customers to receive rewards based on information their smartphones share with the carriers.

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The Salt
11:56 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Mushroom Ice Cream, Anyone? Chefs Turning To Veggies For Dessert

A cup of pumpkin ice cream with chunks of frozen candy cap mushrooms. The candy cap variety is said to have the fragrance of maple syrup.
Jeff Moreau

Chefs at some of the most cutting edge restaurants in the country are incorporating vegetables into their desserts in ways that, at first glance, might not seem very dessert-y.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Fri December 7, 2012

In Egypt, Political Rift Deepens, Anger Grows, Protests Continue

An Egyptian protester chants anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday.
Nariman El-Mofty AP

Detractors of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi breached the security perimeter of the presidential palace in Cairo today.

The Associated Press' Sarah El Deeb reports via Twitter that protesters reached the palace and some of them scrawled graffiti on its walls.

"Have some shame," one of the scrawls read.

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Shots - Health News
11:30 am
Fri December 7, 2012

How Miscommunication And A Simple Mistake Led To A Toxic Accident

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the accidental release of chlorine gas at a Tyson Food plant could have been prevented with better communication.
April L Brown AP

A year and a half ago, a mix-up at a Tyson Foods chicken processing plant landed more than 150 workers in the hospital. Five required intensive care.

The problem: Somebody poured a solution of sodium hypochlorite (think industrial strength bleach) into a 55-gallon drum that had contained an antimicrobial solution identified as FreshFx.

That stuff was acidic, according to investigators. Mix bleach and acid, and you can make a lot of chlorine gas in a hurry.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri December 7, 2012

India's Legislature Paves Way For Big-Box, Multinationals Like Wal-Mart

Indian leftist activists rally in front of a Best Price store, owned by Wal-Mart and its Indian partner, Bharti, in Hyderabad in November. The rally was organized to protest foreign direct investment in India's retail sector.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:41 am

(Reporting from New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy sends along an update on a story that aired on Morning Edition Wednesday. Essentially, Indians were considering whether to allow big-box stores like Wal-Mart into the country.)

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Economy
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Crunching The Job Numbers

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we'll crack open the mail bag to hear what you have to say about stories we covered this week. That's Backtalk and it's coming up. But first, we want to talk about the latest unemployment numbers which are now out. The Department of Labor says that unemployment is down to its lowest level since December 2008.

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Faith Matters
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Gay Orthodox Jews Prepare For Hanukkah

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we'll dig into our mailbag to hear from you about some of our recent stories. That's BackTalk and it's just ahead.

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Barbershop
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Manhood, Football And Tragedy

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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BackTalk
10:15 am
Fri December 7, 2012

What Rep. Allen West & Obama Have In Common

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us once again. What do you have for us today, Ammad?

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Economy
10:02 am
Fri December 7, 2012

A Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad For The Jobless

Judy Smith, of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment benefits in August after being laid off from a catering job. More than 2 million people who get extended benefits may lose them if Congress doesn't act soon.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:49 am

The Labor Department's glad tidings Friday about the uptick in job creation last month might morph into bad news next month for many of the long-term unemployed.

That's because the boost in November hiring, with employers adding 146,000 jobs, might make it more difficult for Democrats to argue in favor of having Congress renew the extension of benefits for people out of work more than six months.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Nurse Who Transferred Prank Call About Pregnant Kate Middleton Is Found Dead

Two Police Officers stand guard in the early morning at the King Edward VII Private Hospital in London, England.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 1:11 pm

A prank call by two Australian DJs pretending to be Queen Elizabeth has ended in tragedy this morning: The nurse who transferred the call that led to the divulging of information about a pregnant Kate Middleton was found dead in an apartment today.

The Guardian reports that the woman, Jacintha Saldanha, worked at the King Edward VII hospital, where Middleton was admitted, suffering from severe morning sickness.

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The Salt
9:49 am
Fri December 7, 2012

When It Comes To Boxed Wine, The Cooler, The Better

If you're picking a boxed wine for your party this season, be aware that temperature is everything.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:22 am

Bag-in-the-box wine doesn't have the classiest of reputations. It's usually cheap and in the past at least, has been aimed at less sophisticated consumers. But in recent years, boxed wine has tried to buck the stereotype, whether by gussying up the product packaging or simply putting higher-quality wine in the box.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Fri December 7, 2012

George Zimmerman Sues NBC, Says He's A Victim Of 'Yellow Journalism'

George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, at a court hearing last June in Seminole County, Fla.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/pool Getty Images

Former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman says NBC Universal's editorial decisions made him look like a racist when the network covered the shooting and killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri December 7, 2012

PHOTO: Obama Receives Concession Call From Mitt Romney

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:19 am

The White House just released a picture by Pete Souza that shows President Obama taking a concession call from Gov. Mitt Romney on election day.

It shows Obama taking the call on a cellphone from the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.

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Economy
8:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 10:11 am

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.

If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.

On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.

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The Two-Way
8:14 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Three 'Should Read Stories' About The Fiscal Cliff

Speaker of the House John Boehner listens as President Obama speaks during a meeting with bipartisan group of congressional leaders in November.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:17 am

The bottom line on the fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill is that things seem far from resolved. As Politico put it, the last we heard is that White House congressional liaison Rob Nabors went to Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers that President Obama is not budging.

If Congress does not come to an agreement, the country is facing steep spending cuts and tax hikes that economist warn could send the economy back into recession.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal Returns To Gaza Strip After 45-Year Exile

The exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal shakes hands with supporters upon his arrival at Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.
Suhaib Salem AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:14 am

For the first time since his exile in 1967, the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, returned to the Gaza Strip today. He arrived through the border with Egypt, kissing the ground in celebration and as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, Meshal received a hero's welcome as well as military one.

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.7 percent, As Economy Adds 146,000 Jobs

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:44 am

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. That's a four-year low.

The economy added 146,000 jobs, beating expectations. Surprisingly the BLS said that Hurricane Sandy "did not substantively impact the national employment and unemployment estimates for November."

The BLS adds that employment increased "in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care."

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The Two-Way
6:03 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Strong Earthquake Strikes Japan, Triggering Small Tsunami

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake stuck the Japanese coast that was battered by 2011's 9.0-magnitude earthquake that triggered a devastating tsunami.

According to NHK, the state broadcaster, the tremor was felt from the coast all the way inland to Tokyo and at least 10 people were injured.

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Books
5:36 am
Fri December 7, 2012

'Gray' Has Random House Employees Seeing Green

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The publishing industry isn't doing too hot, except Random House, where things got downright steamy this year after it published "Fifty Shades of Grey." That bestselling tale of kinky passion has sold over 60 million copies, which is why Random House employees are now seeing green. The big announcement at the publisher's Christmas party: a $5,000 bonus for every employee, from editors to the mailroom. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
5:26 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Honest Bus Driver Returns Missing Euros

The Austrian press reports after his shift in Vienna, the driver was inspecting his bus and found a bag of cash. Stacks of euros worth $500,000. He gave the money to police, and they tracked down the owner, a 77-year-old woman.

Economy
3:18 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Superstorm Sandy May Hurt November's Jobs Report

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

South Carolina's Jim DeMint To Leave U.S. Senate

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:19 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

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Middle East
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Egyptian Protesters Display Newfound Unity

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Protests in Egypt rage on, despite President Mohammed Morsi's offer in a televised speech last night to meet with his opponents. Demonstrators filled Cairo's streets again today. The opposition in Egypt is confident and they're displaying a newfound unity, something Egypt hasn't seen since the early days of the revolution that ousted Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, many question whether this unity will last beyond the ongoing political crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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Around the Nation
2:55 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Michigan Likely To Become A Right-To-Work State

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 3:42 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
12:57 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Tea Party May Be Losing Steam, But Issues Still Boil

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:56 am

The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.

But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.

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Music Interviews
12:56 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Barry Manilow On Singing Standards And His Real Job

Barry Manilow's latest release, The Classic Christmas Album, includes holiday classics from his previous three Christmas albums.
Jacob Langston Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:47 am

Pop legend Barry Manilow spoke with Morning Edition host David Greene about the Great American Songbook, Broadway and "Mandy." Hear the radio version at the audio link and read more of their conversation below.

DAVID GREENE: So, you've recorded three Christmas albums over the years.

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