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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:44 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Veterans Deploy To Northeast After Superstorm Sandy

Veterans from around the country have deployed to the Northeast to help after Superstorm Sandy. Jeff Blaney (left) of San Francisco was in the Army and Jamie Havig was a Navy medic attached to the Marines in Iraq.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 12:22 pm

Among the thousands of volunteers helping the victims of Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey are hundreds of military veterans who have turned out to help.

For this group, work like this seems to address a real need for a sense of mission. Former troops who have been cleaning up and rebuilding say that volunteering helps them as much as it supports the local residents.

In front of Sami McFarlanes' house off Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Queens, N.Y., a group of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans take chainsaws to a huge spruce tree hung up on wires.

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House & Senate Races
3:43 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Senate Win In Wis. A 'Turning Point' For Gay Rights

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin greets supporters at a campaign rally for President Obama on Nov. 3 in Milwaukee. Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to win a U.S. Senate seat.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 12:05 pm

Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's sexual orientation was never really a factor in her victorious campaign against Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Advocates for gay rights see that as a watershed moment for the movement.

Baldwin won a seat many thought she couldn't, defeating one of the state's most successful politicians in the process. The celebration Tuesday night in Madison was euphoric.

The enthusiastic crowd was never louder than when Baldwin acknowledged making history.

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It's All Politics
3:40 am
Sun November 11, 2012

Will Fact Checks Always Be Ignored By Politicians?

Moderator Candy Crowley applauds as President Obama shakes hands with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate on Oct. 16.
Michael Reynolds AP

Just because there's more fact checking, doesn't mean there's more truth telling.

Given this, David Carr of The New York Times declared that journalistic efforts to set the record straight during "the most fact-checked [presidential] election in history" didn't work.

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Economy
3:30 am
Sun November 11, 2012

How The Fiscal Cliff Would Hit The Economy

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in July 2011. They are scheduled to meet at the White House again next week to discuss the looming fiscal cliff.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 2:05 pm

This week, President Obama will meet with congressional leaders to begin working out a deal to avert a budget calamity commonly known as the fiscal cliff.

Economists are unanimous in saying that if the leaders fail to keep the country from going over the "cliff," both the stock and labor markets will fairly quickly go "splat."

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U.S.
11:32 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Petraeus' Fall As Stunning As The Career Before It

Gen. David Petraeus greets an Iraqi man at a tea shop in Baghdad in 2007. In 2011, Petraeus left the Army to become CIA director. He resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 4:25 pm

The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, the retired four-star general who stepped down late Friday citing an extramarital affair, brings to an end one of the most storied careers in modern U.S. military history.

Petraeus left the Army in August 2011 after nearly four decades in uniform. Before his retirement ceremony had even begun, he walked up on the empty stage, went over to the podium and tapped on the microphone. The general was doing his own mic check.

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It's All Politics
4:31 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Republicans Scramble To Repair Breech With Hispanics

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 9:16 am

Paging Jeb Bush.

Your party needs you.

In the aftermath of Tuesday's election losses, Republicans have been scrambling to formulate a fix for what went wrong.

A big part of that calculation involves repairing relations with Hispanics, the fast-growing electoral power base that rejected Republican Mitt Romney's "self deportation" immigration solution and voted for President Obama in numbers that exceeded 70 percent.

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Music News
3:32 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Verdi's 'La Forza,' Born Under A Bad Sign

Soprano Maria Slatinaru and bass Paul Plishka perform in a 1986 production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino at the San Francisco Opera.
Ron Scherl Redferns

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 8:59 am

One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.

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The Picture Show
3:18 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Gas Lines Evoke Memories Oil Crises In The 1970s

On Dec. 23, 1973, cars lined up in two directions at a gas station in New York City.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:52 pm

Gas lines in America may be rare, but they're not unprecedented.

The gas shortage in the Northeast, the result of Superstorm Sandy, is inflicting plenty of pain. But it's a localized phenomenon that's not expected to last for long.

During two separate oil crises in the 1970s, Americans from coast to coast faced persistent gas shortages as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, flexed its muscles and disrupted oil supplies.

In 1973 and again in 1979, drivers frequently faced around-the-block lines when they tried to fill up.

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Music News
3:09 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Love To Hate Nickelback? Joke's On You

Nickelback's Chad Kroeger performs during halftime of a Canadian football game in Vancouver. On the band's own tours, expensive pyrotechnics are more rare.
Jeff Vinnick Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.

But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

In Tied Race, Candidate's Wife Didn't Vote

A tied city council race in Kentucky could be decided by a coin flip — after one candidate's wife didn't vote on Election Day.
istockphoto

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Here's a lighter story to round-out this election week.

On Tuesday, 27-year-old Bobby McDonald ran for one of six city council seats in the town of Walton, Ky., population 3,724.

"The night of Election Day, I was watching the results come in," he told NPR's Guy Raz. "And I ended up in a tie with the other candidate."

McDonald was tied 669-669 with his opponent, Olivia Ballou.

"There're many ways you can tie," McDonald said. "But in my situation, I let my wife sleep in and not go vote that day. And she's mad at me cause I did not wake her up."

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Author Interviews
2:27 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

A Tale Of Fate: From Astrology To Astronomy

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:44 am

When Katherine Marsh was a young girl, she was mesmerized by the dwarfs of Diego Velazquez's paintings. Years later, that obsession inspired Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, her latest novel for young adults.

Marsh joins NPR's Guy Raz to discuss her book, which is rooted in history, yet speckled with fantasy. It carries her readers to the Spanish Netherlands in the late 16th century to tell the coming-of-age story of Jepp of Astraveld.


Interview Highlights

On Jepp's story

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Movies
2:23 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Hearing History In The Sounds Of 'Lincoln'

Lincoln follows the president in the last few months of his life.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 6:23 pm

In the new movie Lincoln, actor Daniel Day-Lewis is getting a lot of attention for his spot-on portrayal of the 16th president. But Ben Burtt, the sound designer, also deserves credit for the film's authenticity. You may not know his name, but you surely know his work.

Burtt is something of a legend in the movie sound world. He has won numerous Oscars, including for his work on Star Wars.

Burtt invented that iconic swoosh of the light saber, using the hum of an old projector and the buzz of a television set.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Sat November 10, 2012

FBI Discovered Evidence Of David Petraeus' Affair

Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan in 2010.
Dusan Vranic AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 3:14 pm

A day after the story broke, the news remains stunning — CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus resigns in a lightning stroke, admitting he used extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.

It's shocking because Petraeus is considered an extremely able leader who's been judged by this single word, says NPR's Tom Bowman: Iraq.

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The Two-Way
11:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Four Days Later, Florida Declares For Obama

A worker prepares boxes of absentee ballots to be scanned at the Miami-Dade County Elections Department on Tuesday.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 7:52 pm

Four days after the polls closed, Florida has announced that President Obama won the state's 29 electoral votes. As the AP writes:

"That gives the president a total of 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. Florida officials said Obama had 50 percent of the vote to Romney's 49.1 percent, a margin of about 74,000 votes."

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U.S.
9:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Grab And Go: N.J. Residents Get Quick Trip Home

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. In parts of New York and New Jersey, life is returning to the way it was before Hurricane Sandy hit. Power has been restored. Schools have reopened. But there are still thousands of people without electricity and areas where homes are unlivable. This is the case of New Jersey's barrier islands. Yesterday, residents of Seaside Heights returned to their homes for the first time since the storm struck.

Scott Gurian of New Jersey Public Radio was with them and filed this report.

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Politics
9:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

In Second Term, Obama Has New Opportunity

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

With his election victory behind him, President Obama now turns his focus to planning his second term. He again faces a divided Congress - a Republican-controlled House and a Senate led by Democrats. But a second term presents an opportunity for the president try to set a new agenda and maybe change his approach to governing.

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Sports
9:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Sports: A Possible Super Bowl Preview And Letting Go

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The NFL season at the half-way point. Big game this weekend. Sunday, tomorrow night, two 7-1 teams in a classic face-off. Ha-ha. One of them's the Bears. In college football, Notre Dame and Kansas State are in the top 5. What is this, 1997? And the L.A. Lakers send their coach packing. Are they already chanting ohm in Santa Monica?

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Middle East
9:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Fractured Syrian Opposition Eyed Warily

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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U.S.
9:29 am
Sat November 10, 2012

BBQ Support: Feeding Fellow Americans After Sandy

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Twelve days after Hurricane Sandy smacked the eastern seaboard and beyond, tens of thousands of people still lack basic necessities - food, water, even shelter. NPR's Richard Gonzales sent us this postcard about three men from Chicago who took it upon themselves to bring some comfort to Sandy's victims.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHATTER)

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Simon Says
8:35 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Making A Case For Closer Contact In Congress

From left, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) await President Obama's State of the Union address in January 2011, when a bipartisan seating arrangement symbolically suggested a more cooperative spirit among lawmakers.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 12:32 pm

Gridlock is the term many use to describe what happens when legislation gets stalled in the U.S. Congress.

But gridlock suggests that people in Congress at least run into each other. I've had enough casual, personal conversations with representatives in both parties in recent years to begin to think a more critical problem might be that politicians of opposing parties are almost strangers to each other.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:34 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Finnish Underwater Ice Fishing Mystery Finally Solved

That's ordinary air pouring out of the pail.
YouTube

I'm going to take you somewhere, but before I do, I should warn you that there's something not quite right about what you'll see. This place I'm going to show you will be astonishingly beautiful. It will be cold. It will be wet. But it will also be a touch — more than a touch — mysterious. So watch carefully.

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Commentary
5:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

What A Life: The Day I Met Elliott Carter

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Elliott Carter died this week, a month shy of his 104th birthday. He had a huge influence on modern classical music. So in 2008, when Elliott Carter was celebrating his centennial, NPR's Tom Cole went to New York City to interview him. And he has this remembrance of what it was like to meet the storied composer.

TOM COLE, BYLINE: I was terrified. I mean, this was a man who had lived history; a composer who'd won two Pulitzer Prizes, for his Second and Third String Quartets.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Politics
5:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Political Sparring Ahead Of Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And we're joined now by New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who often joins us to talk about business and the economy. Joe, thanks for being with us.

JOE NOCERA: Thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: Did you hear anything from President Obama or Speaker Boehner that screams deal to you?

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U.S.
5:33 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Stunning Fall For CIA's Celebrated Petraeus

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

David Petraeus has resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, citing an extramarital affair and saying that he showed, quote, "extremely poor judgment." It was a stunning fall for one of the most celebrated generals in recent U.S. history. NPR's Tom Bowman is here to talk about it. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: You're welcome, Scott.

SIMON: What do we know now about what happened?

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All Tech Considered
4:32 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Google, Facebook And The Next Billion Users

Men look at mobile phones at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The market for mobile telephones in developing countries has grown quickly, and now Facebook and Google are trying to get users to use the Internet on their devices.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 10:47 am

The chances are slim that a person living in poverty in a developing nation has access to the Internet on a computer. It's expensive and, in some places, there's a lack of infrastructure to support it.

The chances are better, though, that that person owns a cellphone. It's probably not an iPhone or an Android, and he or she probably hasn't purchased a data plan for it, but it has the ability to access the Internet.

Google believes that this category of cellphone user is the future of its expansion.

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It's All Politics
3:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Why Election Day Was Sort Of Like Mother's Day

New Hampshire Gov.-elect Maggie Hassan and Gov. John Lynch visit with fourth-graders from Derry, N.H., at the Statehouse on Thursday in Concord. Come January, Hassan will govern a state where — for the first time — all U.S. senators and representatives also are women.
Jim Cole AP

I'd like to thank Carol Shea-Porter, Ann McLane Kuster, Jeanne Shaheen, Kelly Ayotte, Maggie Hassan and ... Jocelyn Chertoff.

On Tuesday, Democrats Shea-Porter and McLane Kuster won congressional seats from New Hampshire. They'll join Democratic Sen. Shaheen and Republican Sen. Ayotte in the nation's capital in January when the 113th Congress convenes — giving New Hampshire the first-in-the-nation all-female congressional delegation.

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Author Interviews
3:43 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Ian McEwan's 'Sweet Tooth' Pits Spy Vs. Scribe

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

Author Ian McEwan's latest creation, Serena Frome, isn't much of a spy. She got recruited into MI5 by her Cambridge history tutor, whom she wanted to dazzle. But he dumps her, and she never sees it coming. She winds up on the clerical side of the operation, cross-filing schemes and plots to stop terrorists, until one day, in the middle of the Cold War, she's summoned to the fifth floor of the agency, where five wise men ask her to rank three British novelists according to their merit: Kingsley Amis, William Golding and David Storey.

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Politics
3:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 11:38 am

Republicans and Democrats agree: Election season may have ended just four days ago, but it's already time to get back to work. In this case, "back to work" might mean "back to fighting."

Leaders in both parties made their opening bids Friday on how to deal with the tax, spending and debt problems that face the country at the end of this year.

While the scenario echoes last year's spending battle, there are some differences that could push the parties toward the resolution they never reached last time around.

Where The President Stands

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Asia
3:26 am
Sat November 10, 2012

A Grim Chronicle Of China's Great Famine

Chinese villagers welcome the arrival of tractors purchased by a farmers' cooperative in April 1958, during the Great Leap Forward campaign. The disastrous modernization program ended in China's great famine and tens of millions of deaths.
Keystone-France Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 9:29 am

First of two parts

It's not often that a book comes out that rewrites a country's history. But that's the case with Tombstone, which was written by a retired Chinese reporter who spent 10 years secretly collecting official evidence about the country's devastating great famine. The famine, which began in the late 1950s, resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese.

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StoryCorps
3:25 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Amidst War, U.S. Guardsman Forges Unexpected Bond

Ali, an Iraqi teenager, wears Spc. Justin Cliburn's helmet and radio equipment in Baghdad. Ali and Cliburn became unlikely friends while Cliburn trained Iraqi police in 2005 and 2006.
Courtesy of Justin Cliburn

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:11 pm

The Military Voices Initiative, a StoryCorps' project, collects stories from members of the U.S. armed forces, with a special focus on those who served in post-Sept. 11, 2001, conflicts. Every month, highlights from that initiative air on Weekend Edition Saturday.

Spc. Justin Cliburn, 30, was deployed to Iraq in 2005 with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. His job was to train the Iraqi police in Baghdad. During his time there, he got to know a boy in his early teens named Ali, who walked through their compound one day.

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