4:00am

Tue December 6, 2011
Afghanistan

Blasts Across Afghanistan Kill Dozens

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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4:00am

Tue December 6, 2011
U.S.

W.Va. Mine Settlement Expected

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Let's talk, now, about the reported settlement in last year's deadly coal mine disaster in West Virginia. Details are expected later this morning, but NPR and other news organizations have confirmed some elements of a $200 million settlement that involves civil and criminal penalties levied against the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine.

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4:00am

Tue December 6, 2011
U.S.

Blagojevich Sentencing Hearing Starts

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The public corruption saga of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is nearing an end. Earlier this year, he was found guilty of 18 counts of corruption, including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Obama. Today, a federal judge begins a hearing to determine Blagojevich's sentence. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports.

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6:15pm

Mon December 5, 2011
It's All Politics

Ron Paul's 'Big Dog' Ad One Of GOP Race's Coolest Commercials

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:01 pm

Rep. Ron Paul may not be leading in any of the major presidential polls (though he's in second place in Iowa according to a recent poll.) But he arguably is setting the pace when it comes to the 2012 presidential campaign ads.

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5:42pm

Mon December 5, 2011
The Two-Way

In Yemen, Deadly Protests Continue Despite Power Transfer

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:40 pm

Protestors gesture during a demonstration demanding the prosecution of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Friday.
Hani Mohammed AP

Protesters headed to the streets and snipers opened fire in Taiz, Yemen today. As The New York Times puts it, the clashes "threatened a day-old cease-fire agreement" and threw into question whether a power transfer agreed to by Yemen's president in November would mean much for the country.

The Times describes the scene:

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5:39pm

Mon December 5, 2011
Space

Found: Earth-Like Planet That Might Be Right For Life

This artist's conception illustrates Kepler-22b, a planet known to comfortably circle in the habitable zone of a sun-like star. It is the first planet that NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed to orbit in a star's habitable zone — the region around a star where liquid water, a requirement for life on Earth, could persist.
NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

Scientists have discovered a planet not too much bigger than Earth that's circling a distant star that's much like our own Sun. What's more, this planet is in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" around that star — a region that's not too hot and not too cold. That's the kind of place that could be home to liquid water and maybe even life.

The planet, known as Kepler-22b, is the first near-Earth-sized planet to be found smack dab in the middle of the habitable zone of a twin to our Sun.

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5:26pm

Mon December 5, 2011
Politics

Maryland Case May Dissuade Political Dirty Tricks

A little-noticed trial in Maryland could affect how many dirty tricks voters will see in the upcoming elections — things like anonymous fliers or phone calls telling people to vote on the wrong day, or in the wrong precinct, or that they can't vote at all if they have an outstanding parking ticket.

The tactics are often illegal, but it's rare for anyone to get caught, let alone end up in court.

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5:17pm

Mon December 5, 2011
History

'The Atlantic' Remembers Its Civil War Stories

Alexander Gardner photographed President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., on the eve of his second inauguration. It was the last portrait taken of Lincoln before his assassination in April 1865 and it appears on the cover of The Atlantic's commemorative Civil War issue.
Alexander Gardner National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Today it is widely understood that slavery is a stain on American history — indelible and regrettable. But on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, a new issue of The Atlantic magazine reaches back to a time when this matter wasn't yet settled, and monumental questions were still up in the air: Would slavery continue? Would America remain united?

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5:14pm

Mon December 5, 2011
The Salt

Insects Find Crack In Biotech Corn's Armor

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 10:49 am

Hidden in the soil of Illinois and Iowa, a new generation of insect larvae appears to be munching happily on the roots of genetically engineered corn, according to scientists. It's bad news for corn farmers, who paid extra money for this line of corn, counting on the power of its inserted genes to kill those pests. It's also bad news for the biotech company Monsanto, which inserted the larvae-killing gene in the first place.

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5:12pm

Mon December 5, 2011
Newt Gingrich

History With Cain May Pay Off For Gingrich

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:22 pm

Herman Cain, who has since suspended his presidential campaign, greets Newt Gingrich upon arriving at CNN's GOP National Security debate in Washington on Nov. 22.
Jim Bourg Reuters /Landov

When businessman Herman Cain left the Republican presidential race over the weekend, he said he would endorse one of his former rivals.

One likely recipient of that endorsement: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Like Cain before him, Gingrich is trying to establish himself as the conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Cain and Gingrich share a long history of mutual admiration.

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