Best Books Of 2011
6:16 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Fired Up: The Year's Best Science Fiction, Fantasy

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

2011 was a good year to be a reader of science fiction and fantasy, although lately every year has been a good year: Not only are the books getting more popular — thank you, Game of Thrones — they're getting more interesting, evolving and morphing in weird, fascinating ways.

They're also interbreeding with other genres to produce wild new hybrid forms, like historical science fiction romances and hard-boiled fantasy detective novels. They're commenting on current events and swapping DNA with literary novels.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Republicans Unveil $1 Trillion Spending Bill, Possible Shutdown Still Looms

The political wrangling continues in Washington as Republicans and Democrats try to get their priorities enacted even as several key deadlines fast approach.

Overnight, as The Associated Press reports, Republicans in the House "unveiled a massive $1 trillion-plus year-end spending package despite a plea from the White House for additional talks over a handful of provisions opposed by President Barack Obama."

The wire service adds that:

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Dobbey The Reindeer Delights Kids In North London

We Americans have Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and the rest but residents of Enfield, North London, can expect a visit from Dobbey the reindeer this time of year. His owner Gordon Elliott takes him everywhere — to the local pub and with him on the subway or bus. On Christmas, Elliott dresses as Father Christmas and walks Dobbey through town.

Europe
5:31 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Freak Wind Rains Down Apples On Motorists

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Drivers near Coventry, England experienced unusual weather conditions yesterday: apples falling from the sky. About 100 rained down in a few minutes. Meteorologists blamed a freak wind, clearly a strong one, since a woman whose car hood was pounded by the fruit said there are no orchards nearby. This isn't the first time strange objects have rained down in Britain. In 2007, fish fell in Norfolk. Frogs rained down in Wales in 1996. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:25 am
Thu December 15, 2011

As Flag Is Put Away, America's Mission In Iraq Symbolically Ends

America's colors have been cased in Iraq — the flag was just symbolically put away at a ceremony marking the end of a war that lasted nearly nine years.

At the Baghdad airport a short time ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other officials were there to mark the occasion, NPR's Kelly McEvers reports. It was, she said on Morning Edition, a "quiet, small ceremony."

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Monkey See
4:41 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Television's New Antiheroes: Creating Sympathy For The Devilish

Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) owns slaves on AMC's Hell On Wheels. But the guys he's chasing are worse.
Chris Large AMC

Jackson "Jax" Teller, the antihero at the heart of FX's blockbuster biker gang series Sons of Anarchy, is pretty easy to distinguish from a traditional hero. Just this season, Jax blew away a rival gang with an RPG missile, shot a Russian gangster in the head and got into some serious trouble while selling guns to the scariest gangsters on the planet.

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Business
2:15 am
Thu December 15, 2011

China Slaps Tariffs On Large U.S.-Made Cars, SUVs

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And let's turn now to the latest volley in the ongoing tariff war. American politicians have vowed to fight new Chinese tariffs on U.S. made cars and SUVs. Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton has more.

TRACY SAMILTON, BYLINE: In 2010, the U.S. won a Chinese tire-dumping complaint before the World Trade Organization. Then China complained about U.S. poultry dumping. The U.S. said China subsidizes solar panels. Now the fight's over cars. Republican Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas heads a trade subcommittee.

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Around the Nation
2:00 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Obama Thanks Fort Bragg Soldiers For Iraq Service

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:45 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama has vowed to stay committed to Iraq. He emphasized that earlier this week when he met at the White House with Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Yesterday, the president marked the pullout of troops from Iraq in North Carolina. He and the first lady visited Fort Bragg to offer thanks and congratulations to the soldiers there.

Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio sent this report.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello Fort Bragg.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE RESPONSE)

OBAMA: All the way.

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Politics
2:00 am
Thu December 15, 2011

House Committee To Vote On Online Piracy Act

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A long-running fight between Hollywood and Silicon Valley could get nastier today when a congressional committee votes on a bill about online piracy. Movie producers say the Stop Online Piracy Act creates stronger protections for intellectual property. Critics in the high-tech industry say the bill could have unintended consequences for the Internet, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Hollywood loves a pirate - as long as he's on screen.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES")

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