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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Stories: Iran Claims Drone Capture; Typhoon Bears Down On Philippines

Philippine Air Force troops use a rubber boat to evacuate residents from floods in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines earlier today (Dec. 4).
Bobby Lagsa EPA /LANDOV
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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama Changes Tack With Congressional Republicans

President Obama speaks at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Since his re-election four weeks ago, Obama is showing signs of a new, more aggressive leadership style.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:37 am

Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.

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Animals
6:42 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Puppies May Help Students Ace Finals

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It's finals week for many college students. And to keep the blood pressure down, one Canadian university opened a puppy room for students. It's full of borrowed therapy dogs to cuddle. Therapy animals are a proven stress reliever. The students who organized the puppy room at Dalhousie University say the idea has gone viral. Come to think of it, sharing the puppy story on social media sites might itself be therapeutic. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
6:35 am
Tue December 4, 2012

French Mayor Introduces Rules On Politeness

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Next time you're in France be sure to mind your manners. The mayor of a small town near Paris has introduced new rules on politeness. Anyone who fails to say hello or thank you to staff at the town hall will be asked to leave. A recent poll did find that 60 percent of French list bad manners as their number one cause of stress, so maybe he's on to something. Well, excusez-moi and hello and thank you so much for listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Education
6:32 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Online Courses Force Changes To Higher Education

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

There is a lot of speculation now about what issues - big and small - the Obama administration should tackle in its second term. Education is one thing on many of those lists, and in Washington yesterday, the talk was about one of the hottest trends in the field - something called MOOCS. MOOCS is short for Massive Open Online Courses; college courses, to be exact.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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Technology
5:33 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Making Permanent Digital Records Not So Permanent

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:11 pm

The Internet is forever — and so are texts, tweets and Facebook updates — but a startup has big ambitions to bring privacy and impermanence to online communication. The company, called Wickr, lets users decide how long a message lives.

The people behind Wickr found inspiration in 1960s-era TV and messages that self-destructed. "I think everybody who's watched Mission Impossible has always wanted self-destructing messages," says co-founder Nico Sell.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue December 4, 2012

U.S. Disputes Iran's Claim To Have Captured Drone

A screen image from the video released by Iranian TV of what the military there claims is a captured U.S. drone.
Press TV

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:50 am

The U.S. Navy says all its drones are "fully accounted for" — casting doubt on Iran's claim to have captured one of the small spycraft after it allegedly flew into Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

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Business
4:55 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Pandora To Issue Earnings Report

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:14 am

Internet radio service Pandora is being closely watched by investors. The company is set to announce its latest quarterly earnings Tuesday. Last week, the head of Pandora was in Washington to push for lower music royalties.

NPR Story
4:25 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Baby On The Way For Britain's Royals

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Just as soon as it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge, that would be Kate Middleton, was pregnant, a slew of breathless headlines followed. To hear what this royal baby really means for the British, we're joined by Ingrid Seward. She's the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine.

Good morning.

INGRID SEWARD: Good morning.

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Around the Nation
2:11 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Manhattan Project Sites Part Of Proposed Park

The mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity test site in the southern New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:55 am

Congress is considering whether to turn three top-secret sites involved with creating the atomic bomb into one of the country's most unusual national parks.

The Manhattan Project — the U.S. program to design and build the first atomic bomb during World War II — largely took place at three sites: Los Alamos, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Hanford, Wash. On July 16, 1945, the first test of an atomic bomb took place at a site in the southern New Mexico desert. Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, Japan, were bombed less than a month after the test.

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Your Money
2:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

What's Next For The Daily Deal Business Model?

Despite their recent woes, "daily deal" companies Groupon and Living Social can be profitable, says analyst Arvind Bhatia.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:22 am

Are the days of "daily deal" coupons about to expire? Shares of email coupon company Groupon are down nearly 80 percent since going public last year. And its smaller rival, Living Social, plans to lay off as many as 400 employees, after reporting a net loss of more than $560 million in the third quarter.

Those struggles have raised questions about the future of the daily deal strategy, and whether a company like Groupon can stay in business.

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Shots - Health News
1:50 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The (Huge And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:56 am

What's the largest tax break in the federal tax code?

If you said the mortgage interest deduction, you'd be wrong. The break for charitable giving? Nope. How about capital gains, or state and local taxes? No, and no.

Believe it or not, dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers.

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Europe
1:39 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Cat Fight In Rome: Beloved Shelter Faces Closure

A stray cat rests at the Torre Argentina ruins in Rome in October. Officials say a cat shelter that sits adjacent to the site must be shut down.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:23 am

Anyone who has visited Rome and its antique monuments has also seen their four-legged residents: the many stray cats that bask in the sun amid the ruins.

One site in central Rome is known as "cat forum," thanks to its adjacent cat shelter. But Italian archaeology officials have issued the Torre Argentina Cat Shelter Association an eviction notice, and feline lovers from around the world are bracing for a cat fight.

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Middle East
1:33 am
Tue December 4, 2012

A Rebel Fighter Sees Islamic Law In Syria's Future

A Syrian rebel walks past the stairs of a bombed building in the Saif Al Duli district in Aleppo, Syria, on Sept. 10. The vast majority of those fighting against President Bashar Assad's regime are ordinary Syrians and soldiers who have defected, but Islamist rebels are also present among the fighters.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:18 pm

It's about 9 o'clock in the morning, and already it's been a long day for Abu Anas. He has lost two men to a sniper serving the Syrian regime. Four more have been injured.

But Abu Anas walks with a striking calm through the bombed-out, ruined streets of Aleppo, a city that has been at war for months. He wears a black headband bearing Islam's holy creed: "There is no God but God. And Muhammad is his messenger."

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The Record
1:27 am
Tue December 4, 2012

A $100 Guitar Makes A 30,000-Mile Odyssey

The $100 guitar proves once again that it's not just the instrument, it's what you do with it.
Courtesy of The $100 Guitar Project

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:20 pm

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Music News
12:03 am
Tue December 4, 2012

3 Strings And A Snakeskin: Okinawa's Native Instrument

In subtropical Japan, the sanshin is a ubiquitous part of life.
Collection of Museo Azzarini, Universidad Nacional de La Plata Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 7:37 am

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Newly-Released Color Photo Shows A Bloodied George Zimmerman

A photograph of George Zimmerman on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.
GZlegalcase.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:26 pm

George Zimmerman's defense team just released a photograph they say was taken the night he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

A black-and-white photocopy of the picture had already been released, but this photo is the first high-resolution and clear view we've gotten of Zimmerman on the night of the shooting.

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All Tech Considered
4:02 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Which Tablet Is Right For You?

The new Microsoft Surface tablet on display after a press conference in New York in October. The Microsoft tablet goes up against products from Apple, Amazon and Google.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:50 pm

The holiday season is upon us. In the tech world, that means it's time to talk gadgets, specifically one of the year's most popular gadgets: the tablet.

For the first time, Apple's iPad has some competition: Google's Nexus, Amazon's Kindle Fire HD and the Microsoft Surface.

These tablets represent the marquee efforts of the biggest technology companies. They also represent the four major content universes.

Small Tablets

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Around the Nation
4:02 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

New York, Orthodox Jews Clash Over Circumcision

Rabbi A. Romi Cohn, a noted mohel, prepares an infant for circumcision at Congregation Shaare Zion in Brooklyn on Sept. 4. Cohn opposes a New York City rule requiring parental consent for a type of circumcision ritual practiced by some Orthodox Jews.
Michael Nagle for The New York Times Redux

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:25 pm

An ancient circumcision ritual is at the center of a present-day legal battle in New York.

The New York City Department of Health wants to require parental consent for a controversial circumcision practice, which it says can spread the herpes virus. But several Jewish organizations are suing to block the new rule, which they say violates their freedom of religion.

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World
4:01 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

U.S. Steps Up Aid (But No Arms) To Syrian Exiles

Rajiv Shah (left), the head of USAID, speaks with children during a visit at the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp in Turkey, near the Syrian border, on Nov. 27.
Adem Altan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:12 pm

The Obama administration remains wary about arming Syria's rebels. But when it comes to humanitarian aid, the U.S. contribution, over $250 million, is second only to Turkey.

Then there is non-lethal aid, an additional $50 million for communication equipment and training courses.

If you are surprised by the numbers, so are Syrian activists, who say American support is still almost invisible on the ground. Now, U.S. officials are highlighting the American aid profile.

High-Profile Visit

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Space
3:23 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

NASA Scientists 'Very Careful' With New Mars Data

This photo, taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, shows Mars' Gale Crater, where the rover has taken samples for chemical analysis. Scientists believe that at some point in the very distant past, there was a riverbed here.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:22 pm

NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.

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Africa
3:19 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Is Morsi Morphing Into Authoritarian He Opposed?

Egyptian protesters hold a banner depicting Morsi as a pharaoh, during a rally expressing opposition to Morsi's decrees, in Cairo, on Nov. 23.
Andre Pain EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

When Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was elected, some Egyptians jokingly referred to him as the Muslim Brotherhood's "spare tire." He was the backup candidate of the Islamist organization, whose first choice for the presidency was barred from running.

But Morsi has proved much more formidable than many Egyptians believed.

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The Salt
3:15 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Can Big Food Kick Its Obesity Habit? Does It Really Want To?

A sign protesting a beverage tax in Richmond, Calif. The U.S. soft drink industry has fought proposals that would put a tax on sugar sweetened beverages like sodas and energy drinks.
Braden Reddall Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:11 am

A few days ago, two big names in food policy squared off for a formal debate on the following proposition: There is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the food and beverage industry's interests and public health policy interests on obesity.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

House GOP Sends Obama Its 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer

Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner arrives for a news conference in November.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:26 pm

Leaders of the Republican-controlled House sent President Obama a counteroffer that would avoid the fiscal cliff and cut $2.2 trillion from the country's deficit over the next decade.

According to NPR's David Welna, the bottom line is that it achieves those cuts with $800 billion in new tax revenue and the rest through a combination of cuts to entitlements.

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Shots - Health News
3:01 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Evidence Mounts Linking Head Hits To Permanent Brain Injury

Dr. Ann McKee, professor of neurology and pathology of Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Veterans Affairs Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, inspects a brain in the Bedford Veteran Medical Center last year.
Stan Grossfeld Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:57 am

Researchers at Boston University have found more evidence supporting a link between repeated knocks to the head and chronic brain disease.

The results, just published in the journal Brain, add weight to concerns about the effect of repeated mild head trauma in athletes, whether they're pros or peewees.

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It's All Politics
2:57 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Closing Tax Loopholes Easier In Theory Than In Political Practice

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

As leaders in Washington try to make a deal to avoid the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts slated to go into effect in the new year, one major focus of the negotiations is whether to let taxes go up on the rich.

The Obama administration wants to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for top earners. House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans have countered with a proposal that they say would raise revenue through ending loopholes and deductions in the tax code and would not increase tax rates.

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Africa
2:56 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Malians In The South Want Islamists Out Of The North

People originally from northern Mali carry signs that call for military action to retake that part of the country, now under the control of Islamist militants. The rally was held in Mali's capital, Bamako, in October.
Harouna Traore AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

In the southern part of Mali, which includes the capital, Bamako, it's not hard to find people who are angry about the Islamist militants who have taken over the country's north.

But there's little reason to believe the Islamists will be ousted soon. The United Nations Security Council is expected to meet this week to discuss plans for a 3,300-strong regional force to enter Mali. But it is unlikely any sort of military operation will take place in the near future.

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Digital Life
2:31 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Sites Give Emergency Compliments, Hugs On Bad Days

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If you find yourself feeling a bit down this holiday season or maybe just today...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES, "THE OFFICE")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody has got a case of the Mondays.

BLOCK: Then we've got just the thing for you.

MEGS SENK: My name is Megs Senk, and I created the website emergencycompliment.com.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:27 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Republicans Counter With $2.2 Trillion Deficit Plan

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 4:08 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block.

And today there is a counter offer. Republicans have put forward the broad strokes of their proposal to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled at the end of the year. It should sound familiar to those who followed the presidential campaign. House Speaker Jon Boehner offered a plan that borrows heavily from ideas put forth by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

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