4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
Politics

House Panel Questions Chu About Solyndra Loan

Energy Secretary Steven Chu appeared before a House oversight subcommittee Thursday to defend his agency's decision to lend $500 million in federal money to Solyndra, a company that made solar panels and is now bankrupt. The company is the subject of numerous federal investigations.

4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
Business

Oil Prices Raise Sharply On Improving U.S. Economy

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 7:16 am

Transcript

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NPR's business news starts with oil prices hovering around $99 a barrel. Oil has gone up sharply since last month, partly because of signs of improvement in the U.S. economy. Also because of tensions in some oil producing regions, which could affect supplies. Still, the debt crisis in Europe is holding prices below that psychologically important $100 a barrel mark. Benchmark crude was trading in Asia this morning at about $98.90. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
NPR Story

Italy's New Government Passes 1st Confidence Vote

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 5:33 am

Transcript

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Italy's new prime minister has pledged far-reaching reforms. An economist himself, Mario Monti has managed to win a vote of confidence for his new national unity government by an overwhelming majority in Italy's senate. Still, Europe's debt crisis is gathering more steam and now pushing borrowing costs for Spain and France sharply higher. As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, pressure is mounting on the European Central Bank to act to stem the crisis.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)

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4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
NPR Story

Penn State Child Sex Abuse Scandal Still Raises Questions

The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State is raising more and more questions about who knew what, when and what actions were, or were not taken. Elements of the unfolding scandal remain quite confusing. Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with abusing young boys.

4:00am

Fri November 18, 2011
NPR Story

Obama In Bali For East Asia Summit

Transcript

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3:01am

Fri November 18, 2011
Newt Gingrich

To Imagine A Gingrich Presidency, Look To The '90s

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 2:54 pm

In September 1994, then-House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich addressed Republican congressional candidates on Capitol Hill during a rally where they pledged a new "Contract with America." Months later, Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time in decades, and Gingrich became speaker of the House.
John Duricka AP

Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House of Representatives for four turbulent and productive years.

From 1995 through 1998, Congress forced a government shutdown, overhauled the welfare system, balanced the budget for the first time in decades and impeached a president for the second time in history.

Gingrich was in the middle of those debates, fiery in his rhetoric, yet willing to compromise and work with a Democratic president.

The 104th Congress

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12:01am

Fri November 18, 2011
Economy

Would Supercommittee Failure Roil Markets?

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:34 pm

Analysts worry that failure by the supercommittee to reach a credible debt-reduction deal could upset financial markets, force up interest rates and hurt the economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

With Wednesday's deadline looming, the congressional supercommittee still seems far from an agreement, causing concern that failure could send financial markets into a spiral.

The bipartisan panel, charged with finding budget cuts or new revenues to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, is a child of the summer's debt-ceiling debate. It was an escape hatch for Congress and the president when they couldn't reach agreement on big deficit-reduction measures. That game of chicken helped to send the stock market sliding.

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12:01am

Fri November 18, 2011
Middle East

Attacks Target Palestinians In Israeli Towns

A woman shouts slogans during a demonstration against the desecration of headstones at a Muslim and Christian cemetery in Jaffa, Israel, last month. A few dozen Israelis and Palestinians turned out in a show of protest against recent attacks.
Ammar Awad Reuters /Landov

In Israel, tensions are rising between Jews and Palestinian Arabs, who make up about 20 percent of the population. Over the past few months, several Arab sites have been vandalized by militant Jews who left graffiti such as "Death to Arabs."

Locals blame activists from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

At a recent demonstration on a street corner in the central Israeli town of Jaffa, protesters chant in both Hebrew and Arabic. The crowd is made up of Jews and Palestinians angry over the attacks, which have rocked their community.

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10:00pm

Thu November 17, 2011
StoryCorps

The Parenting Dance: Hold Tight While Letting Go

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 10:09 am

Joshua Littman and his mother, Sarah, visited StoryCorps for the second time to talk about their evolving relationship. Their first visit was in 2006.
StoryCorps

When Sarah Littman took her son, Joshua, to college this fall, it was hard.

"I thought I was gonna cry the whole way back from college," she says during a visit to StoryCorps in New York City. "But I managed to make it until I got home. And then I walked upstairs and I saw your door shut and I just lost it."

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7:58pm

Thu November 17, 2011
Movie Reviews

'The Descendants': In Paradise, A Stranger To Himself

Island Son: George Clooney (left, with Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller) navigates tricky territory as a Hawaii man whose wife is on life support.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Writer-director Alexander Payne is either the American cinema's most acerbic humanist or its most empathetic jerk. Whichever it is, the protagonists of the novels he adapts are outsiders who pay an emotional price for their sense of superiority.

Payne's The Descendants is his first film to be told from the perspective of a person of privilege, but real-estate lawyer Matt King (George Clooney) is the ultimate outsider: a stranger to his family and his lifelong home, Hawaii.

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