4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Business

Post Office To Move Forward With Delivery, Facility Cuts

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 8:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In this country, the Postal Service is set to announce that it's moving ahead with a series of cuts and changes starting in the spring. NPR'S Allison Keyes reports.

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4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
World

Russia's Election Results A Setback For Putin

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 8:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.

To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.

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4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Afghanistan

Diplomats Meet In Germany On Afghanistan's Future

A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.

4:00am

Mon December 5, 2011
Planet Money

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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5:15pm

Sun December 4, 2011
National Security

Cutting Retiree Benefits A Sore Subject For Military

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 2:58 pm

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

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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5:13pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Your Money

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.

2:32pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Music Interviews

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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2:13pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Author Interviews

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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2:10pm

Sun December 4, 2011
Health

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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12:34pm

Sun December 4, 2011
The Record

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

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 10:04 pm

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

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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