Latin America
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Once A Risky Bet, Latin America Tapped To Aid Eurozone

The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.

Planet Money
2:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Why Burn Doctors Hate Instant Soup

tip angles
Journal of Burn Care & Research

Instant cups of soup — the kind that often come in a Styrofoam cup full of noodles — send children to the hospital every day.

"I don't have them in my house," says Dr. Warren Garner, director of the burn unit at University of Southern California's County Hospital in Los Angeles. "I would say that we see at least two to three patients a week who've been injured by these products."

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National Security
3:15 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Cutting Retiree Benefits A Sore Subject For Military

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey take part in a news conference at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has said certain cuts in defense spending would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 12:58 pm

Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.

Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.

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Your Money
3:13 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Why Buy Toys When You Can Rent?

If you've shopped at a toy store recently, you know that you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just a few items. So why not just rent the toys instead? Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin tells us how toy rental websites work.

Music Interviews
12:32 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Mayer Hawthorne: A Motor City Kid Looks To The Future

Mayer Hawthorne's latest album is called How Do You Do.
Courtesy of the artist

At 32, neo-soul singer and multi-instrumentalist Mayer Hawthorne isn't quite old enough to remember the classic days of Motown, but the Michigan native says he did absorb some of the music's aesthetic growing up, thanks to his father.

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Author Interviews
12:13 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Pauline Kael's Legacy Built By Straying From Herd

Pauline Kael was a film critic for The New Yorker from 1967 to 1991, as well as the author of several books, including I Lost It at the Movies and For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies.
AP

Pauline Kael, long-time New Yorker film critic, was famous for her scathing, but honest movie reviews. She took digs at many popular films like The Sound of Music and Star Wars with no inhibitions. Yet her enthusiasm for films like Bonnie and Clyde gave some movies a new lease on life.

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Health
12:10 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Milwaukee's 'Misery Index': Infant Mortality

As Milwaukee lost industrial jobs, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed in some parts of the city.
Rick Wood Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.

John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."

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The Record
10:34 am
Sun December 4, 2011

From Knee-To-Knee To CD: The Evolution Of Oral Tradition In Mountain Ballads

Left to right: Melanie Rice, her son Ezra Penland and grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
Laurin Penland

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 8:04 pm

My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.

The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.

The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.

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Religion
9:55 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Chaplains Wanted For Atheists In Foxholes

Retired Army captain and Iraqi war veteran Jason Torpy says the chaplains employed by the U.S. military can't relate to people like him. He's an atheist.

He's also the president of a group that's trying to get the armed forces to become more inclusive by hiring atheist chaplains. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wants the military to provide for the estimated 40,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists who serve in U.S. forces.

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Middle East
9:35 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Iran Says U.S. Drone Shot Down

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 3:18 pm

Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along the country's eastern border, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday. But a U.S. defense official said there was no indication it was brought down by hostile fire.

An unidentified military official quoted in the report warned of a strong and crushing response to any violations of the country's airspace by American drone aircraft.

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