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3:25pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Education

Online School Helps Grown-Ups Finish College

Sherrie Shackleford studies teaching at Western Governors University from her Indiana condo, where she lives with her daughters, Aubrey (left) and Alissa (right).
Larry Abramson NPR

There are an estimated 37 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree — and Western Governors University is trying to change that. The nonprofit online school is challenging many traditional concepts about higher education with a new approach aimed to help adult students finish college.

And after 15 years in existence, the school is catching on.

Reaching Out To Adult Learners

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3:03pm

Tue January 3, 2012
It's All Politics

In Final Pitch To Iowa Voters, Gingrich Stresses Experience

Gingrich with one of the many pieces of farm equipment he encountered on a last-minute campaign swing through Iowa. This tractor was on display at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center on Jan. 2 in Independence, Iowa.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Newt Gingrich is making his closing arguments to voters in the Mississippi River towns of Muscatine and Burlington in advance of Tuesday's Republican party caucuses and that argument boils down to this: Gingrich is better, smarter and more experienced than the rest.

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3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Aretha Franklin Is Looking For The Next Great Star ... Of Opera

Will the Queen of Soul point the way to opera's next big talent?
Rick Diamond Getty Images

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

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3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
NPR Story

Presidential Election Of 1912 Saw Viable Third Party

Robert Siegel talks with Sidney Milkis, author of Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy, about the U.S. presidential election of 1912 — when there was a viable third party on the ballot: the Bull Moose Party.

3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
NPR Story

On-Screen 'Sword Master' Dies At 89

The late Bob Anderson helped to choreograph some of Hollywood's greatest sword fights — and even appeared on-screen himself as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Melissa Block talks about the sword master who died on Sunday. He was 89.

3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Presidential Race

Iowa Holds First-In-Nation Presidential Contest

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. All of the attention that Iowa has gotten in the past year comes to a head tonight. Nearly 2000 precincts across that state will record the first votes in the presidential nominating contest. At most sites, Iowans will write a name on a blank piece of paper and put it in a box.

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3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Afghanistan

Taliban Says It will Set Up Office In Qatar

The Taliban announces it will soon open a political office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. The move could set the stage for negotiations on an end to the Afghan war. But the State Department reiterated that the process will only succeed if the Taliban renounces violence, severs ties with al-Qaida and abides by the Afghan constitution.

3:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
World

Many South Koreans Seem Apathetic About The North

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 9:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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2:35pm

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Fed Will Now Forecast Interest-Rate Changes

The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.

The AP reports:

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2:34pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Asia

U.S. Keeps Pressure On Myanmar For Political Change

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 9:19 pm

Myanmar has set parliamentary by-elections for April 1, scheduling a highly anticipated vote that will return dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy to mainstream politics after two decades. Here, Suu Kyi attends a fundraising event for the party in Yangon, Myanmar, last month.
Khin Maung Win AP

One of the more surprising moments in U.S. foreign policy last year occurred when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar, long ruled by a repressive military government and shunned as a pariah nation.

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2:14pm

Tue January 3, 2012
NPR Story

Writing About 'The Moment' When Your Life Changed

The six-word memoir conceit grew into a popular series of books, but the editors know it's tough to share a meaningful story in so few words. So Smith Magazine released The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure, a collection of longer tales.

Larry Smith,editor of the collection, joins NPR's Neal Conan to talk about the moments included in the book, and to hear listeners' stories of the moments that changed their lives.

Tell us: When was the moment your life changed?

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1:25pm

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Body Found On Queen Elizabeth II's Country Estate

Police guard the entrance to woods on Kings Avenue where human remains were found on New Year's Day in King's Lynn, England.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

A dog walker found a body on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. The royals spend the holidays every year on the sprawling, 20,000-acre estate.

The Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement saying the female body was found on Sunday, while the Royals were at home, and that the office has launched a murder investigation.

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1:12pm

Tue January 3, 2012
The Salt

Can We Expect An Organic Milk Shortage In 2012?

A Safeway customer shops for milk in Livermore, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's been a tough few months for dairy, with Norway's butter shortage and now an ominous cloud looming over 2012 for some drinkers of organic milk.

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1:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Law

Falling Crime Rates Challenge Long-Held Beliefs

Crime rates dropped sharply in the past twenty years, according to FBI data, a trend that continues despite the recession and a recent decrease in prison populations. Criminologists see a clear trend, but can't fully explain what's driving the decline in violent and property crime rates.

1:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Your Health

In 'The Fat Trap,' Our Bodies Work Against Us

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. And when many of them try to take off the extra pounds, their bodies fight to stay fat. Tara Parker-Pope, who described "The Fat Trap" in The New York Times Magazine, and Dr. Arthur Frank talk about why some people appear more biologically prone to obesity.

1:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Digital Life

Facebook's Bejar Takes On Compassion Challenge

When Facebook engineer Arturo Bejar observed users were reporting pictures of themselves, not those with illegal content, he recognized the need for a better way for users to resolve internal conflicts. Bejar talks about how Facebook is trying to encourage compassion in online social interaction.

1:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
From Our Listeners

Letters: Lives Lost In 2011 And Farm Work

NPR's Neal Conan reads from Talk of the Nation listener comments on previous show topics, including our annual show remembering remarkable lives lost, and a recent proposal to change the laws governing what work children may do on farms.

12:33pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Should Doctors Be 'Parsimonious' About Health Care?

George Peters iStockphoto.com

A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

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12:32pm

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Panetta To Unveil Defense Cuts This Week

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 2:23 pm

After U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq, officials are talking cuts in the defense budget.
Lucas Jackson AP

We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement, reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.

The Times reports:

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12:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Economy

Housing Rebound In 2012?

The U.S. has gone through five years of foreclosed homes, vacant subdivisions and houses worth less than the owner's mortgage. Host Michel Martin and NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax discuss whether predictions of a turnaround in the housing market are realistic or just new year optimism.

12:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Money Coach

The 'Frugalista' Guide To Balancing Budgets

With the economy still in a slump, many people are resolving to start 2012 by getting their budgets in order. To break down the basics, host Michel Martin speaks with Natalie McNeal, author of The Frugalista Files. McNeal dug herself out of a $20 thousand debt in just two years.

12:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Your Money

When To Put The Brakes On Brand Names For Kids

Whether it's Air Jordan shoes or an Apple iPhone, kids and teens often covet brand name items, especially at this time of year. Is it okay for parents to give these trendy items to their kids, and how much? Host Michel Martin speaks with James Roberts, author of Shiny Objects, and three regular parenting contributors.

12:00pm

Tue January 3, 2012
World

Silence, Militants At Root Of Rapes In Somalia

Reports point to a dramatic rise in rapes of women and girls in Somalia, where severe drought and famine have killed tens of thousands of people and forced countless more, especially females, into refugee camps. Host Michel Martin speaks with Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for The New York Times. (Advisory: This segment covers material that may not be suitable for all audiences.)

11:59am

Tue January 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Still Alone In New Hampshire, Huntsman Hopes To Pull A Santorum

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 5:45 pm

Huntsman may refuse to be the 'goat' of the GOP race, but he and his wife, Mary Kaye, did meet one named Izak and his owner, Bill Higgins, on Monday night outside the McConnell Community Center in Dover, N.H.
John W. Poole NPR

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

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11:59am

Tue January 3, 2012
Book Reviews

'Diaries' Reveals New York Through The Ages

New York Diaries captures impressions of the city from Henry Hudson to the bloggers watching the events of Sept. 11.
istockphoto.com

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 – 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

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11:13am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Defiant As Iran Threatens Its Aircraft Carrier

Iran claims the USS John C. Stennis has entered a zone near the Strait of Hormuz, which is being used by the Iranian navy for wargames.
Ronald Reeves AFP/Getty Images

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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10:40am

Tue January 3, 2012
Author Interviews

Stephen Hawking: Exploring An 'Unfettered Mind'

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:09 pm

Palgrave Macmillan

Make a list of the world's most popular scientists, and Stephen Hawking's name will be near or at the very top of the list.

Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time and a professor at the University of Cambridge, is known as much for his contributions to theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity as for his willingness to make science accessible for the general public, says science writer Kitty Ferguson.

"It's not dumbing down [science]; it's really making it accessible, hopefully, to a lot of people," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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10:34am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Construction Spending Increases, Signaling Continued Economic Growth

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

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10:18am

Tue January 3, 2012
Politics

Candidates Make Last Push Before Iowa Voting Begins

Supporters of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul rally for their candidate during a campaign stop Monday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Republican presidential candidates prepared Tuesday for their first major test of the primary season, making last-minute whistle-stops throughout Iowa in hopes of swaying many undecided caucus-goers.

Later tonight, Iowa Republicans will gather to cast ballots for the person they want to stand against President Obama in November. But after a bruising months-long campaign, more than a third of those participating in the caucuses say they still haven't made up their minds.

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10:12am

Tue January 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum Explains His Comments About Black People And Entitlements

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign event at the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Boone, Iowa on Monday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

If you were listening carefully to NPR's Ted Robbin's report on Rick Santorum on Morning Edition, yesterday, you heard some pretty controversial comments from the Republican presidential candidate.

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