12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Your Money

Wal-Mart Lures Bank Customers Frustrated By Fees

Linda Black of Nashville, Tenn., says she left Bank of America after repeatedly being hit by fees. She now uses the Walmart MoneyCard instead, which has a flat fee of $3 a month.
Blake Farmer for NPR

The Occupy Wall Street movement has directed much of its anger at giant banks, which are no strangers to customer complaints. Some of those who have been burned by high fees in recent years are now satisfying their banking needs with a giant retailer instead, as Wal-Mart surges into the financial sector with a pre-paid, reloadable debit card called the MoneyCard.

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12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems

Selling Water, Health Care In The Developing World

In a Healthpoint clinic in the village of Mallan in Punjab, India, lab technician Navdeep Sharma draws Suba Singh's blood sample. Part of Healthpoint's business plan is to offer cheap diagnostic tests at its clinics. Diagnosing and treating people in a single visit is one key to delivering affordable health care.
Soma Vatsa for NPR

In rural India, deep in Punjab — about 90 minutes from the Pakistani border — getting clean drinking water is a challenge. Well water often has high levels of dangerous chemicals. Surface water is contaminated with pesticides and agricultural waste.

Getting adequate health care is equally challenging. Government hospitals are often far away, and lines are long.

Here, in places like a dusty rural town called Rajiana, a 2-year-old company called Healthpoint Services is trying to figure out how to bring clean water and health care to rural communities on a global scale.

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12:01am

Tue November 22, 2011
Monkey See

In 'The Artist,' A Silent Look At Old Hollywood

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:18 am

Silent Screen idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a young and upcoming dancer, share a vivacious moment on stage in Michel Hazanavicius's film The Artist.
The Weinstein Company

Director Michel Hazanavicius met me at the Bradbury building in downtown L.A. It's the location of a key scene in his audacious new movie The Artist, which takes place just at the moment when talking pictures supersede silent films.

"It's mythic," said Hazanavicius of the era during which Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were stars.

In the scene shot here, a dashing film star reminiscent of Fairbanks bumps into his lovely young protégé on the building's remarkable staircase. He's on his way down; she's on her way up.

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6:36pm

Mon November 21, 2011
The Two-Way

U.N. Says AIDS Epidemic Is Stabilizing

Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé holds up a copy of the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011 as he addresses a press conference.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

In a report released today, the United Nations say the AIDS epidemic has stabilized. The number of people newly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has remained the same since 2007.

The AP reports:

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6:20pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Economy

Obama Blames Republicans For Debt Panel's Failure

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.

6:17pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

Supercommittee Fails To Reach Debt Deal

The bipartisan supercommittee says it failed to reach a deficit-reduction deal. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

5:00pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

Four Reasons The Supercommittee Isn't So Super

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 5:12 pm

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a member of the congressional supercommittee on the deficit, fends off reporters as he arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

When the bipartisan supercommittee on the federal debt was formed four months ago, there was more than a little skepticism that the 12-member group could come up with $1.2 trillion in savings and avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts.

On Monday, with the deadline fast approaching and no plan in sight, it looked like the skeptics were on the verge of being proved right.

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4:57pm

Mon November 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

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4:57pm

Mon November 21, 2011
The Salt

Farm-Fresh Food May Have Shaped The Modern Mouth

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:04 am

Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
iStockphoto.com

Got a mouthful of metal and stack of orthodontic bills? You can thank your farmer ancestors for them.

That's according to an anthropologist who says the switch from chewing wild game to eating corn, rice and wheat could have shortened the human jaw so that teeth don't fit in it as well.

When agriculture took off in some parts of the world, it had a lot to offer people: Farmed foods are a more reliable source of calories, and are easier to chew and digest. But they also may have helped transform the jaw bone before the teeth could catch up.

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4:20pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Middle East

In Iran, Secret Plans To Abolish The Presidency?

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

A power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left, in portrait) is growing. There are signs that Khamenei may want to eliminate the presidency and replace it with the less powerful position of prime minister.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

The next presidential election in Iran is scheduled for 2013, but doubts are emerging about whether it will actually take place.

A conservative member of Iran's Parliament recently claimed that a secret committee convened by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been working on a plan to do away with the office of the presidency.

Meanwhile, the conflict between the supreme leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to sharpen.

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