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3:00 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Leslie Caron: Dancing From WWII Paris To Hollywood

Leslie Caron starred in a 1953 production of La Belle au Bois Dormant, or Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Roland Petit. Caron trained with the Conservatoire de Paris before joining Petit's company, Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées.
Baron/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 7:40 am

In the 1950s, the moviegoing world fell in love with a young French ballerina and actress named Leslie Caron. She brightened the silver screen in musical films like 1958's Gigi, where she played a young courtesan-in-training who befriends a rich, handsome suitor in 1900s Paris.

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Research News
3:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

A worker inspects a huge target chamber at the National Ignition Facility in California, in 2001, where beams from 192 lasers are aimed at a pellet of fusion fuel in the hopes of creating nuclear fusion.
Joe McNally Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 1:07 am

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles."

NIF, as it's called, is a $5 billion, taxpayer-funded superlaser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion — basically a tiny star inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

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It's All Politics
3:30 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

In Fiscal Cliff PR War, Obama Seeks Help From A Public Already Leaning His Way

President Obama speaks Wednesday while meeting with citizens at the White House. Obama called on Republicans to halt an automatic tax hike for middle-class Americans.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:18 pm

In Washington's latest game of chicken, President Obama is counting on voters who see things his way to give him the edge in his quest to get congressional Republicans to accept tax increases on the nation's wealthiest as part of any fiscal cliff deal.

To energize those voters, the president is ramping up a series of campaign-style events meant to educate the public about the stakes, as he sees them, of letting the Bush-era tax cuts for middle-class Americans expire if no agreement is reached by year's end.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Despite Protection Efforts, Rhino Poaching Soars

Miles Lappeman (left) and his son Marc with the carcass of a rhino that was killed for its horn at their Finfoot Lake Reserve on Nov. 24 in South Africa. This was one of eight rhinos slaughtered by poachers.
Nicolene Olckers Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Just a few years ago, rhino poaching appeared to be more or less under control.

Shootings were relatively rare, and about 75 percent of the world's rhinos lived in South Africa, a country that has taken extensive efforts to protect them.

Just 13 rhinos were reported killed worldwide in 2007. But the figure has been surging in recent years and has already hit 588 so far this year, according to conservation groups.

An estimated 25,000 rhinos remain in Africa.

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Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Flame Retardants From Furniture Found In Household Dust

Scientists say that the best way to reduce a person's contact with the flame retardant chemicals in sofas and other furniture is to vacuum more.
SINAN DONMEZ iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 7:54 am

Sofas and other cushy furniture often contain chemicals intended to reduce the risk of fire. But those chemicals may pose health risks of their own, and some researchers are trying to build the case for getting them out of the house altogether.

Eighty-five percent of couches tested in a new study contained at least one flame-retardant chemical in the foam cushioning.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Hispanic Caucus Rejects Republican Immigration Bills

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 20 House members make up the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here, Menendez speaks in September in Sayreville, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 9:54 am

Determined not to be excluded from the post-election bipartisan talk of passing immigration legislation, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday rejected two Republican proposals while outlining its own priorities.

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Religion
2:53 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mormonism: A Scrutinized, Yet Evolving Faith

temple
George Frey Reuters

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:58 pm

Mitt Romney refused to mix religion with politics in this year's presidential campaign, but that didn't repress people's curiosity about Mormonism. His candidacy brought the homegrown faith into the spotlight.

Patrick Mason, a professor and chairman of the Mormon Studies program at Claremont Graduate University, says attention paid to his faith has been twofold. On one hand, it's been good for attracting new converts. On the other hand, it's turned Mormonism into something of a cultural punch line.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Texas Moves To Seize Polygamous Leader Warren Jeffs' Ranch

Boys walk through a potato field at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, in 2009.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:09 pm

The office of the Texas attorney general announced today that it was taking steps to try to seize the ranch of polygamous leader Warren Jeffs.

Reporting from Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Salt
2:33 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

No Simple Recipe For Weighing Food Waste At Mario Batali's Lupa

Glen Osterberg (right) and another line cook at Lupa learn how to use the LeanPath waste tracking software.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:44 am

Every year, restaurants throw away as much as 10 percent of the food they buy, as we reported yesterday, yet food waste ranks low on most chefs' list of priorities. But some restaurants want to do something about food waste in their quest to go green. That includes Mario Batali's Lupa Osteria Romana, one of New York's trendiest restaurants.

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NPR Story
2:28 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Republican Cole Breaks Party Ranks On Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block.

And we begin this hour with the nation's fiscal crisis. Congress and the White House have just 34 days to end the debate over revenue hikes and entitlement cuts and steer us clear of the fiscal cliff.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Syrian Rebels Claim They Shot Down Fighter Jet With A Missile

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Syrian rebels claim they shot down a MiG fighter jet not far from the Syrian-Turkish border on Wednesday. Along with the downing of a military helicopter on Tuesday, it would appear to be one of the first times rebels have successfully used a kind of weapon called a MANPAD, or portable, shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile that can hit a plane in fight.

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Shots - Health News
2:01 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Evidence Mounts On Shortcomings In Whooping Cough Vaccine

At a Los Angeles media briefing in 2010, Mariah Bianchi describes how her own case of whooping cough caused the death of her newborn son.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 2:00 pm

Whooping cough went on a tear in California back in 2010.

There were more than 9,000 pertussis infections in the state, a 60-year high. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of the disease across the country.

Why?

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Africa For Norway: Viral Video Pokes Fun At Stereotypes In Aid Efforts

A screen shot of a parody aid video.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 9:50 pm

A group of South African students and an aid agency in Norway are challenging the stereotypical image of Africa as a continent riddled with conflict, disease, corruption, poverty, and brutal dictatorships needing rescue from developed nations.

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Movie Interviews
1:07 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Marion Cotillard, Diving Deep In 'Rust And Bone'

In Rust and Bone, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard plays an orca trainer who loses her legs in a freak accident.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

The latest film for Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone, is a French art film about two broken individuals who find love at the edge of the sea. It's poetic, lyrical — and not necessarily playing at a theater near you.

That was not the case earlier this summer, when Cotillard appeared as one of the central characters in the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

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It's All Politics
12:59 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Roughing Up Rice: GOP Senators Play The Personal And Political

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice leaves a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:30 pm

The GOP's roughing up of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, thought to be President Obama's top pick for his second-term secretary of state, brings to mind the last time the Senate rejected a commander in chief's choice for that most crucial position.

It was some six decades ago, and after bitter and tumultuous hearings — think allegations of communism and homosexuality, as well as a high-profile suicide — that senators dumped the president's nominee by a vote of 74-24.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Pelosi: The Fiscal Cliff Debate Is 'A Clear One; The People Have Spoken'

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi smiles while speaking to the media.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:47 pm

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the House, says she's optimistic that Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal that would avoid triggering a wide array of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year and that experts say could send the economy into a recession.

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Politics
12:48 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Who Is Susan Rice?

Ambassador Susan Rice speaks at U.N. headquarters on April 14.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 1:21 pm

Susan Rice is in many ways a prototypical Obama administration official: young, ambitious and accomplished, with a reputation for being direct and — at times — confrontational.

But unlike her colleagues, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is embroiled in a lingering controversy, over what she knew and what she said in the days after September's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Economy Is Growing At A 'Measured Pace,' Federal Reserve Says

Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

The nation's economy "expanded at a measured pace" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve Board reports in its latest anecdotal look at how things are going across the U.S.

The central bank's Beige Book review of conditions in its 12 bank districts finds that:

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World
12:23 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

All Over The Map: Cartography And Conflict

A map in China's new passports shows disputed islands and territorial waters as belonging to China, which has angered several of its neighbors.
He Yuan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 10:28 am

Alexander Murphy recalls visiting a Guatemala museum some years ago and gazing up at a huge relief map of the country. Something about the borders struck the University of Oregon geography professor as out of place.

"And then I realized, 'Wait, all of Belize is shown as part of Guatemala,' " Murphy says. That's when he remembered a decades-old territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbors.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Wed November 28, 2012

This Just In: No One Was Shot Or Stabbed Monday In New York City

At least for one day and night, the city that never sleeps was peaceful.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters /Landov

Police officials in New York City tell the Daily News that they can't remember the last time this happened:

"Not a single person was reported shot, stabbed or slashed" in the Big Apple on Monday.

"Nice way to start the week," Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told the newspaper.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Spain Will Back Palestinian U.N. Bid, Britain Wants Assurances

The United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:37 am

Following the French, Spain announced it would back the Palestinian bid to attain non-member observer state status at the United Nations.

Bloomberg reports that Spanish Foreign Minister Jose-Manuel Garcia-Margallo made announcement in a speech to the country's national parliament in Madrid.

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Movie Interviews
11:26 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Peter Ramsey Makes Directorial Rise With 'Guardians'

North and his Yetis lead the ensemble of immortals fighting off an assault from the malicious Pitch.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 11:47 am

The holiday season means parties, shopping and movies. This year brings a new animated feature, Rise of the Guardians, based on William Joyce's series of children's picture books and novels, The Guardians of Childhood. The story follows Santa Claus (voiced by Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the silent Sandman as they unite to fight off the boogeyman, Pitch (Oscar nominee Jude Law). They also get a big hand from Jack Frost (Chris Pine).

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The Record
11:03 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Who Picks The Music You Hear At The Mall?

Spencer Manio in front of his office (his door is the one with the Ghostface poster) at PlayNetwork.
Kyle Johnson for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 8:02 am

In an episode from the fifth season of Mad Men the show's main character, advertising executive Don Draper, is asked by his client, the cologne company Chevalier Blanc, to supply a Beatles song for a television commercial. The year is 1966, and the 40-year-old Draper doesn't have his finger on the rapidly rising pulse of popular music. So he calls in a team of younger, hipper copy writers, including his wife Megan.

"When did music become so important?" he asks her.

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Top Ten Things I Am Not Going To Do During This 'Les Miserables' Screening

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:44 am

It's just about that time when members of the press begin to attend screenings of Les Miserables. I hereby vow to engage in none of the following conduct.

1. Throw crusts of bread at the screen and yell, "HEY, JEAN VALJEAN, ARE YOU HUNGRY?"

2. Do my imitation of Amanda Seyfried singing "There are so many questions and ah-nswers that somehow seem wrong," even though it's really funny and quite terrifying.

3. Refer to the short-haired Anne Hathaway as "Ruth Buzz-y."

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Wed November 28, 2012

EPA Temporarily Halts New Federal Contracts For BP

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Citing a "lack of business integrity," the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was temporarily suspending the oil giant BP from entering into new contracts with the federal government.

In a press release, the EPA said BP demonstrated the lack of integrity during the Deepwater Horizon "blowout, explosion, oil spill and response." This kind of suspension, the EPA explained, is "standard practice when a responsibility question is raised by action in a criminal case."

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Wed November 28, 2012

SARS-Like Virus Resurfaces And Infects A Family In Saudi Arabia

An artistic model of a coronavirus infecting a cell. The family of viruses can cause mild infections, like the common cold, and severe pneumonia-like infections, such as SARS.
Peter Kohama MCT/Landov

After a two-month hiatus, the mysterious coronavirus that killed one man and hospitalized another is back on the scene. This time it has infected members of the same family.

The new cases raise the known total to six, including two deaths.

Scientist are trying to figure out if the involvement of a family says something new about the virus.

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Beauty Shop
10:07 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Hillary 2016?

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 11:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, when you imagine Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, you probably think about warm, fuzzy characters, but those two, along with their friends, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman, show their tough side in the new film "Rise of the Guardians." We'll talk with the director of the film and how he's making history in his own way. We'll have that conversation in just a few minutes.

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Latin America
9:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Can Mexico's New President Turn The Corner?

Mexico's President-elect, Enrique Pena Nieto, is promising to work closely with President Obama. Pena Nieto was in Washington this week ahead of his inauguration on Saturday. Host Michel Martin speaks with Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News, and Stephen Johnson from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Can I Just Tell You?
9:59 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Why 'Black Thursday' Isn't Bad For Everyone

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 11:42 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, some thoughts about so-called Black Friday, which actually started on Thursday this year. You know what I'm talking about, the big-box department stores, mainly: Wal-Mart, Kohls, Target, JCPenney. But also stores like Toys "R" Us and Best Buy opened anywhere from 8 PM to midnight on Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers in with deep discounts on everything from appliances to pillows to computers to cameras.

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The Salt
9:27 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Milk: Symbol Of Purity, Symbol Of Conflict

European dairy farmers spray police officers with milk during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:19 am

Food fight!

Earlier this week, European Union dairy farmers decided to protest milk price controls by spraying police with high-pressure hoses filled with milk. It certainly wasn't the first time that food has been both subject and symbol of unrest (see food riots). But this one stands out because of the dramatic images.

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