8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
NPR Story

Sports: Money Talks, Big Stars Walk

A canceled-then-reinstated trade shakes basketball before it can even start up again. Also, do Tim Tebow's victories speak as loud as his prayers? Host Scott Simon talks sports with NPR's Tom Goldman.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
NPR Story

The Partisan Fight Over Consumer Protection

This week, the Senate blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general chosen by President Obama to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It boils down to yet another partisan fight: Republicans say the agency has too much power, and the White House says they won't weaken an agency that is supposed to protect consumers. Host Scott Simon talks with Joe Nocera, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

6:20am

Sat December 10, 2011
Governing

Reconstituting The Constitution: How To Rewrite It?

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 4:09 pm

Junius Brutus Stearns' 1856 painting George Washington Addressing the Constitutional Convention.
AP

Most Americans haven't read the U.S. Constitution in a long time, if ever. They may be able to tell you about the Second Amendment, or the Fifth, maybe even part of the First. But other than that? A lot of blank stares.

Christopher Phillips has been leading what he calls "Constitution Café" discussions with people across the country. He's asking Americans to imagine themselves as framers of our founding document.

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6:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
The Picture Show

Russia By Rail: Siberia's Serious Cold

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 6:12 am

A woman is bundled up by the tracks of the Trans-Siberian railway.
David Gilkey NPR

It's tempting, when beginning a visit to the far reaches of Siberia, to dismiss cold as some Russian cliché. Like vodka. And fur hats.

Sure, there'll be vodka — but not at every meal. Maybe I'll buy a fur hat as a souvenir — but I won't actually wear it.

Cold is no cliché. Siberia is cold.

I know cold. I like cold. I grew up in Pittsburgh, skiing, sledding and sitting through Pittsburgh Steeler football games in January, where beers and sodas freeze in plastic cups at your seats.

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6:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
It's All Politics

Why Iowa Could Be Rick Perry's 'Alamo' Moment

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 6:07 am

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks with voter Jane High before speaking at the Scott County Republican party's Ronald Reagan Dinner on Nov. 14 in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

In the hours before Saturday's pivotal Republican presidential debate in Iowa, attention has been riveted on the intensifying battle between front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Waiting in the wings, with hope and a prayer — directed squarely at the state's evangelical voters — is, improbably, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

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5:58am

Sat December 10, 2011
Author Interviews

Desai's 'Disappearance': Three Tales Of Art And Time

Novelist Anita Desai is a professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has also written Journey to Ithaca, Village by the Sea and Clear Light of Day.
Jerry Bauer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Anita Desai's new collection of stories, The Artist of Disappearance, reads a bit like three symphonic movements in a minor key. They're three novellas, set in modern India, where the past is giving way. In one story, a government official inspects the forgotten treasures left behind in a fated mansion. In another story, a translator becomes a little too creative; and in the third, a man living in solitude finds his world upset by roving visitors.

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5:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Environment

Climate Activists: To Cut Emissions, Focus On Forests

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

The world's forests act as massive sponges, sucking carbon from the atmosphere. Above, an aerial photo from 2009 shows massive deforestation in the Brazilian state of Para.
Antonio Scorza AFP/Getty Images

Some climate strategists are looking beyond the United Nations and the idea of remaking the energy economy — and toward the world's tropical forests.

The basic idea is to provide rich countries that emit lots of climate-warming gases another way to reduce their carbon footprint besides replacing or retrofitting factories and power plants. Instead, they could just pay poorer countries to keep their forests, or even expand them. Forests suck carbon out of the atmosphere. It's like paying someone to put carbon in a storehouse.

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6:29pm

Fri December 9, 2011
Environment

What Countries Are Doing To Tackle Climate Change

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 10:49 am

NPR

While nations wrangle over a new global treaty on climate change, the question on many minds is: What happens next?

Key portions of the Kyoto Protocol are set to expire at the end of 2012. But many of the world's major greenhouse gas emitters have already set national targets to reduce emissions, and they're forging their own initiatives to meet those goals.

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5:43pm

Fri December 9, 2011
U.S.

Congress Won't Recess To Block Obama Appointments

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 6:45 am

The U.S. Capitol is seen above in 2009 as senators worked late into the night on legislation. The light signifying that Congress is in session may remain on this holiday season as well, since House Republicans have said they will remain in a pro-forma session.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Senate Republicans blocked confirmation votes on two of President Obama's most high-profile nominees this week — one for a seat on a federal appeals court, the other to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Traditionally, the end-of-the-year holidays have allowed presidents to bypass Congress and give such thwarted nominees recess appointments. But an angry President Obama is quickly leaning that this might not be the case this year.

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5:38pm

Fri December 9, 2011
The Two-Way

Scientists Find Studying For Test To Become London Cabbie Enlarges Brain

Originally published on Fri December 9, 2011 5:42 pm

A taxi driver stands outside his cab in London, England.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

To become a cab driver in London, you have to acquire "The Knowledge," which is their fancy way of saying that you have to memorize all the streets in London. It's quite a process that takes most three to four years to complete.

Now, scientists have found that studying for the test makes your brain bigger. The U.K. Press Association reports:

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