12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

U.S. Is 'Land Of Opportunity' No More?

Unemployment dropped in December 2011, but can Americans still count on moving up? Recent reports say America now lags behind Canada, Britain and some Western European nations in terms of economic mobility. Host Michel Martin talks with public policy analyst John Bridgeland and Brookings Institution economic expert Isabel Sawhill.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Barbershop

Shop Talk: Gingrich On NAACP ... Justified?

The Barbershop guys talk about the Iowa caucuses, political campaigning, and the NFL playoffs. Host Michel Martin speaks with author Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and former Obama administration staffer Corey Ealons.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
BackTalk

Listeners Weigh In On NFL, Fancy Gifts For Kids

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Here with me once again is Ammad Omar, editor here at TELL ME MORE.

Ammad, what do you have for us today?

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12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Navy Reports Rescuing 13 Iranians From Somali Pirates

Thursday: The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responds to a distress call from the master of the Iranian-flagged fishing dhow Al Molai.
U.S. Navy photo

A team from the aircraft carrier strike force group that Iran threatened earlier this week has rescued 13 Iranian sailors who were being held by Somali pirates for several weeks, the U.S. Navy reports.

In a statement issued this morning, the Navy says:

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11:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Television

This Weekend, Some New Shows (And Old Favorites)

Don Cheadle plays business consultant Marty Kaan in the new Showtime comedy House of Lies.
Jordin Althaus Showtime

The New Year brings with it new TV programming, and this Sunday is an especially busy one for television. Two new series premiere, while one miniseries and several other series return.

But because it's a new year, let's start with the new shows.

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11:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Middle-Aged Brains Are Already Past Their Prime

iStockphoto.com

You may want to read this twice if you're older than 45. In fact, you may have to.

That's because your mental abilities are already in decline, according to a study of 7,390 British civil servants just published in BMJ, the British Medical Journal.

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11:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Extremely Loud' And Incredibly Manipulative

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 5:24 pm

A year after his father's death in the World Trade Center, 11-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) sets out on a citywide scavenger hunt to find a missing lock that he hopes will reveal a message from his dad.
Francois Duhamel Warner Bros. Pictures

Some critics are indignant over Stephen Daldry's film of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They say the appropriation of Sept. 11 for such a sentimental work is exploitation.

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11:25am

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Pained By Prices At The Pump? They're Likely To Go Even Higher

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 11:26 am

Don't spill any. It's expensive.
Ben Margot AP

This could be "the year of the gas-pocalypse" analysts tell the Los Angeles Times, "because gasoline prices are the highest ever for the start of the year, and they're on the rise, supercharged by expensive oil and changes in refinery operations."

Indeed, check out some of this reporting and analysis from GasBuddy.com:

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John W. Poole is a video producer for NPR. He makes documentary films and multimedia presentations for the web and digital platforms, extending the reach and power of traditional photojournalism with moving pictures and sound.

In 2007, Poole came to NPR to help develop a visual media strategy, combining the organization's audio storytelling strength with still and motion photography. His work has led to two national Emmy nominations for the NPR Music series 'Project Song' and one for an investigative series on traumatic brain injury.

10:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Can Construction Help Build The Recovery?

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 11:05 am

A construction worker walks on the roof of a newly built home in Westport, Conn. The construction sector, which has been battered by the depressed housing sector, added 17,000 jobs in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Of all the good news in the December unemployment report, perhaps the most encouraging sign for the 2012 labor market was the increase in construction jobs. That sector has lost more than 2 million jobs as the housing market imploded 5 years ago, but increases in construction hiring and spending could be cautious signs of a turnaround, analysts say.

Overall, employers created 200,000 jobs last month, sending the U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

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