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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Jobless Claims Rise By 15,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits grew by 15,000 last week from the previous week, to 381,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. It was the first increase in the past four weeks.

The agency adds, though, that "the 4-week moving average was 375,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 380,750."

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Thu December 29, 2011

In Syria: Videos Belie Monitor's Comment About 'Nothing Frightening'

Sudanese Gen. Mustafa al-Dabi told reporters Wednesday that he had seen "nothing frightening" during his first visit to the Syrian city of Homs this week.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
6:02 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Buddying Up To 'Follies' Star Danny Burstein

Follies, with Jenifer Foote (left) and Kiira Schmidt." href="/post/buddying-follies-star-danny-burstein" class="noexit lightbox">
Danny Burstein, as Buddy Plummer, performs "Buddy's Blues," the high-energy song-and-dance number at the end of Follies, with Jenifer Foote (left) and Kiira Schmidt.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 9:49 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on November 28, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
5:50 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children's Lit

courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 20, 2011.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Report: Criminal Charges Being Prepared Against BP For Gulf Oil Spill

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

"U.S. prosecutors are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP PLC employees stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, citing "people familiar with the matter."

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Around the Nation
5:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Great Day In South Carolina? Depends Who You Ask

Under orders from GOP Gov. Nikki Haley, state employees must answer the phone saying: "It's a great day in South Carolina." Two Democratic legislators want to ban the cheery mandate. They say no sunny hellos as long as unemployment is more than 5 percent in the state.

Around the Nation
4:52 am
Thu December 29, 2011

With No Day Job To Quit, Specter Turns To Standup

Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania performed at a Philadelhia comedy club Tuesday night. He joked he'd already been in comedy for 30 years. But he added in politics, it's sit-down comedy rather than standup.

Iraq
4:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Iraqi Journalist Reflects On 8 Years Of War

At NPR's Baghdad bureau, Isra' al Rubei'i has long worked as a reporter and translator. She submitted this short piece of fiction about a man standing before a judge — a character, who she says represents the Iraqi experience.

Around the Nation
2:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

2012 Could See New Regs For Table Saws

Every year, thousands of Americans suffer severe injuries using the saws. But after a series of reports by NPR, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has started crafting new safety rules for table saws.

Business
2:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Business News

Steve Inskeep has business news.

Business
2:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

Election 2012
12:35 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Gingrich Ups Romney At Iowa Chocolate Factory

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:03 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen in Sioux City.

At every stop in Iowa, former House speaker Newt Gingrich touts his experience. He calls himself a supply-side conservative who worked with Ronald Reagan in the '80s, and again as House speaker in the '90s, to revive the economy.

But he's not averse to a good photo op.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

ERIKA JENSEN: OK. Oh, you got a little drips.

NEWT GINGRICH: I'm still dripping.

JENSEN: Yup.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

In Katrina's Wake, New Orleans Enjoys Start-Up Boom

Sudhir Sinha's company, InnoGenomics, is one of hundreds of startups that call New Orleans home.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 12:59 pm

Part of a series

New Orleans has long been known as one of America's hardest luck cities, struggling over the years with poverty, crime, corruption and tragic disaster. But the city's darkest days have sparked a surprising new entrepreneurial spirit.

Residents Billy Bosch and Matt Mouras, for example, are trying to launch a nutritional beverage company and are getting a leg up from Idea Village, a nonprofit that helps nurture the city's entrepreneurs.

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Technology
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Year In Review: Mega Tech Brands Raise Megabucks

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman watches as his company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May. Despite the global economic uncertainty, tech companies held steady on Wall Street.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:20 am

The year 2011 was tumultuous for stocks. The eurozone crisis and a U.S. credit downgrade kept investors nervous, but one industry held steady, even faring better than in previous years: technology.

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States Of The Economy
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

N.H. Voters Look For Calm Amid Economic Jitters

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands to applause during a campaign stop at a Londonderry, N.H., restaurant on Tuesday.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 10:00 am

The economic fears and hopes of the electorate in early-voting states like New Hampshire will play a significant role in determining who emerges from the pack of Republican presidential candidates.

And despite the Granite State's financial stability, lots of Republican voters see cloudy skies ahead.

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Author Interviews
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

True Grit: 'Into The Silence' Scales Everest

At 29,029 ft. above sea level, Mount Everest — also called Mount Chomolungma — is the highest mountain on Earth.
Bartosz Hadyniak iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:47 am

No mountain captures the popular imagination like Everest. The world's highest peak, towering out of the Himalayas, has frequently proved deadly to those who have tried to reach its summit. The most famous of its victims was the first Englishman to attempt a climb: George Mallory. In the early 1920s Mallory took part in the first three expeditions up Everest, dying on his third attempt.

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It Was A Good Year For...
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

2011 Put Chrysler Back In The Fast Lane

Chrysler President Olivier Francois reintroduced his company to the world at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy, it's been a good year overall for the auto industry. But among the Detroit Three, there's been a clear standout.

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Movie Interviews
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Watch This: Must-Sees From A Show-Creating Couple

In the TV drama The Good Wife, a political spouse forges her own path after her husband is disgraced by corruption and scandal. Real-life married couple Robert and Michelle King are the creators of the Emmy Award-winning CBS series. And the Kings are the latest Hollywood insiders to share their TV and movie recommendations with Morning Edition in our series, Watch This.

By and large, it's a lighthearted list. "We don't really watch too much tragic Ibsen drama," Robert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Everything has to have a bit of bitter humor in it."

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Middle East
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Will Islamist Politicians Hamper Egyptian Tourism?

Tourists visit the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza near Cairo. Tourist numbers have plummeted this year with the political turmoil in Egypt. Now, some Islamist politicians are proposing rules that could discourage visitors.
Jamal Saidi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:03 am

Islamists are widely expected to hold a majority of seats in Egypt's new parliament when it convenes next month, and a leading priority is the sagging economy.

Yet their conservative religious approach could threaten a key pillar of Egypt's economy: Western tourists.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party received many votes from vendors at the Khan el-Khalili market, a hub for tourists in Cairo with narrow twisting lanes and soaring minarets.

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Asia
10:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

The Real Buddha Bar, Tended By Tokyo Monks

At Vow's Bar in Tokyo, Buddhist monks run the place and serve up advice along with cocktails. Here's a monk serving drinks on Monday.
Lucy Craft NPR

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:03 am

Another Friday night at this tiny neighborhood watering hole in Tokyo: By 7:30, the bar stools and tables in this cozy joint are filling up; office workers settle in with their cocktails and Kirin beers. And by a little after 8, it's time for the main act.

Vow's Bar in the Yotsuya neighborhood has no house band, no widescreen TV, no jukebox. But it does have a chanting Buddhist monk so tipplers can get a side of sutras with their Singapore Slings or something even more exotic.

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The Two-Way
4:14 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Twin NASA Probes Will Arrive At The Moon By New Year's

An artist rendition of the GRAIL mission.
NASA

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 4:18 pm

NASA is hoping that two probes scheduled to arrive on the moon New Year's Eve and New Year's Day will shed new light on our closest celestial neighbor.

The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (Grail A, and Grail B) probes will study the moon's uneven gravitational field. One quote from the AP's story about the probe caught our attention. The AP spoke to Maria Zuber, the mission's chief scientist, who said:

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Romney Jabs Rival, But Says He'd Take A President Paul Over Obama Part 2

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took a swipe at GOP rival Ron Paul and his isolationist foreign policy positions while campaigning in Iowa Wednesday, but he later told reporters he would support the outspoken Texas congressman if he were the Republican Party nominee for president.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Judge Says Mexican-American Studies Program Violates Ariz. Law

An Arizona administrative law judge has sided with the Tucson school chief, saying the district's Mexican American Studies program runs afoul state law.

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It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Lonely And Cold, Iowa 'Occupiers' Seem Ill-Equipped To Takeover Caucus

An Occupy camp at College Green Park in Iowa City, Iowa. The camp was mostly empty aside from three men.
Becky Lettenberger Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Will the Iowa Republican caucuses next Tuesday be flooded with the state's version of Occupy Wall Street activists?

The rumor has been out there for weeks, and the state's voting laws suggest it could be possible: though only registered Republicans may participate, anyone can register for the party on caucus night and vote.

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U.S.
2:47 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

A Brutal Chapter In North Carolina's Eugenics Past

Wallace Kuralt (left), the head of the Mecklenburg County welfare program in North Carolina, speaks to the Welfare Board in 1962. The county sterilized 485 people — about three times more than any other in the state. More than 7,000 people were sterilized in North Carolina.
Courtesy Charlotte Observer

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:53 am

North Carolina is trying to make amends for an ugly chapter in its history during which more than 7,000 people were sterilized — many against their will. At least half of the states had eugenics laws, but only a handful kept their forced sterilization programs active after World War II.

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Politics
2:26 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved On Payroll Tax Deal

US Representatives walk down the House steps to leave for the Christmas holiday on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS EPA /Landov

Conservative Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers spent weeks vowing to oppose the short-term compromise bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance.

But in the end, the bill glided through the House, just before Christmas.

The final moments of this latest congressional showdown were fascinating not because of what happened but because of what didn't happen.

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Is There Really Such A Thing As Brain Food?

People who ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which are commonly found in fish, and in vitamins C, E and B, which are often found in vegetables, were less likely to have their brains shrink, and were more likely to score higher on the memory and thinking tests, a study found.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 4:32 pm

There has long been a hope that people in search of a fountain of youth for the brain could look no further than their dinner plate.

Just last month, researchers reported that people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be protecting their brains from Alzheimer's and other brain problems.

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Cut Copy: Wine Bottles And Electronic Beats

Cut Copy
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:03 am

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