3:00pm

Tue December 27, 2011
NPR Story

Former NFL Players Sue Over Concussions

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last week, a couple of weeks after Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy suffered a concussion from a helmet-to-helmet hit, the National Football League announced a new policy on concussions. McCoy was sent back in after sitting out two plays. And after the game, he experienced symptoms of a concussion and he hasn't played since.

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3:00pm

Tue December 27, 2011
NPR Story

Electronic Medical Records Catch On In Oregon

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

This year, the federal government gave billions of dollars of stimulus money to medical providers to help speed up their use of electronic health records. The idea is for doctors to coordinate care better so that patients can see their charts online, and to allow clinics to grade their doctors.

Oregon is ahead of the curve. Sixty-five percent of clinicians have electronic medical records, compared to about 45 percent nationwide.

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2:51pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Planet Money

The Undertakers Of The Retail Industry

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 6:13 pm

Joe Raedle Getty Images

When the internet kills a big box retailer, Gordon Brothers is the undertaker.

"They're stuck with selling the things that are inside the box," says bankruptcy lawyer Steve Jakubowski.

Gordon Brothers specializes in retail liquidations. When a store dies, they put on a suit, greet the guests and sell them whatever remains. And that means everything — not just books and clothing and DVDs, but shelves, lighting fixtures, even the chairs.

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2:25pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson Won't Seek Re-election

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The race for control of the Senate just got even more interesting with word from several news outlets that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) won't be seeking re-election in 2012.

The Omaha World-Herald says "it's good news for Republicans, but incredibly bad for Democrats who need the equivalent of a Christmas miracle to keep the seat."

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2:15pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Brazil Overtakes U.K. As World's Sixth Biggest Economy

Thousands of people crowd Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as summer gets going in the Southern Hemisphere.
Vanderlei Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Brazil is now the world's sixth biggest economy overtaking the U.K., according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. As the Financial Times puts it, it's another milestone that's part of a larger trend where emerging economies outpace developed ones. China, they report, overtook Japan earlier this year.

The BBC explains:

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2:14pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Politics

Congress Really Is As Bad As You Think, Scholars Say

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 10:41 am

House Speaker John Boehner, surrounded by Republican House members, speaks during a news conference in Washington last week. The House initially rejected a plan to extend a tax cut for two months to buy time for talks on a full-year renewal. It later compromised — a rare event in 2011.
Susan Walsh AP

Congressional approval ratings are on the rocks, hovering in or near single digits for the first time since pollsters started measuring them. But just how bad is the current congressional stalemate?

Thomas Mann, senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is working on a book about Congress with a title that provides a succinct answer: It's Even Worse Than It Looks.

In modern history, Mann says, "there have been battles, delays, brinkmanship — but nothing quite like this."

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2:12pm

Tue December 27, 2011
Music Interviews

The 'Guitar Passions' Of Sharon Isbin And Steve Vai

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 6:31 pm

Sharon Isbin (left) and Steve Vai switch axes.
Afshin Javadi

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin started the Juilliard guitar program. Her new album, Guitar Passions, features collaborations between Isbin — who studied with Andres Segovia, among others — and artists with very unclassical careers: jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, rock singer Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, soprano saxophonist Paul Winter and several others.

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1:45pm

Tue December 27, 2011
All Tech Considered

Tutors Teach Seniors New High-Tech Tricks

At Pace University in New York, college students who tutor seniors in local retirement homes are prepped with sensitivity training. Brittany Beckett (left), a Pace student, and Muriel Cohen work together at United Hebrew of New Rochelle.
Courtesy of Pace University

A week after Christmas, many Americans are no doubt trying to figure out how to use the high-tech gadgets they got as gifts. This can be especially challenging for seniors. But a number of programs across the country are finding just the right experts to help usher older adults into the digital age.

For Pamela Norr, of Bend, Oregon, the light bulb went off as she, yet again, was trying to help her own elder parents with a tech problem. To whom did she turn?

"My teenage kids," she says.

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1:40pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

India's Hazare Begins New Hunger Strike In Corruption Fight

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 1:43 pm

A supporter receives blessings from Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare during the first day of Hazare's hunger strike, in Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
Rajanish Kakade AP

India's anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, 74, has begun another three-day fast in Mumbai just as Parliament begins debate on a bill that would create an office with the authority to investigate corruption.

But, as The Christian Science Monitor reports, Hazare calls the bill "weak and useless." The Monitor adds:

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1:30pm

Tue December 27, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Tears From Kim Jong Un As His Father's Funeral Nears

The funeral for North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is set for Wednesday in Pyongyang, and it's something of a cliche to say — as basically every story today does — that details about what will happen are largely a mystery.

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