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5:36am

Sun December 11, 2011
Presidential Race

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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3:48am

Sun December 11, 2011
Politics

'Newt-Romney' Dominates Iowa Debate

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 10:42 am

Republican presidential candidates former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich squared off in the ABC debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.

This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.

'Let's Be Candid'

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12:38am

Sun December 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Gingrich Gets Through Debate Unscathed While Romney Doesn't

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 10:43 am

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a debate give and take, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

The $10,000 bet offer.

If Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, is remembered for anything, it may be for that moment where Mitt Romney made what seemed to many a substantial blunder by offering to wager Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 on whether the governor had his facts right about Romney's record.

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7:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Economy

Just What Do The Rich Have That's Taxable?

Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer says he and other wealthy Americans should pay their fair share in order to give the middle class tax relief. Hanauer is also the author of The Gardens Of Democracy.
Second Avenue Partners

In a lot of ways, Nick Hanauer is just like many Americans. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children, and he grew up working in the family business, manufacturing pillows and comforters.

But recently, Hanauer wrote an opinion piece for Bloomberg News that was a plea to the government: "Please tax me more."

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6:28pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Around the Nation

Volunteers Lay 90K Wreaths At Arlington Cemetery

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 12:00 pm

Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington Saturday.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Thousands of wreaths were laid around the country Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.

The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths and big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.

"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."

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4:50pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Music Interviews

Christian McBride: Tackling Two Sides Of Jazz At Once

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 1:20 pm

Jazz bassist Christian McBride has just released two albums — a set of intimate duets called Conversations with Christian and a big-band affair called The Good Feeling.
Courtesy of the artist

In jazz, to be a bassist usually means playing in someone else's band. The bassist-as-bandleader is a fairly rare thing, with the torch being passed over the years from Charles Mingus to Ron Carter ... and now to Philadelphia-born Christian McBride.

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3:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Analysis

Week In News: Plan To Save Eurozone Takes A Hit

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON: Britain is out of it and will remain out of it. Other countries are in it and are having to make radical changes, including giving up sovereignty to try and make it work.

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3:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Asia

Russians Protest Amid Alleged Election Fraud

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 6:50 am

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

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3:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Europe

Nobel Peace Prize Accepted By 3 Women

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

For the first time in history, an Arab woman has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At a ceremony in Oslo, Norway today, Tawakkul Karman, known as the mother of Yemen's democratic revolution, shared the 2011 prize with two Liberian women: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, who helped lead the protests that ousted former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

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3:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Politics

GOP Hopefuls Ready For Debate In Iowa

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Turning now to domestic politics. The Iowa caucuses are just about three weeks away now. Herman Cain is gone. Newt Gingrich is the new front-runner. And Mitt Romney is slipping somewhat in the polls. Meanwhile, the attacks among the GOP contenders are getting sharper. And against that backdrop, there's another debate tonight. This one at Drake University in Des Moines.

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3:00pm

Sat December 10, 2011
Economy

Moving On Up More Difficult In America

A new study shows that it is more difficult to "move up" in America than other developed countries. In America, kids are more likely to stay at the bottom of the economic ladder if their parents had low socio- economic status. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Erin Currier, manager of the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, about why the U.S. ranked worst for economic mobility among the countries in the study.

11:02am

Sat December 10, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Test Kitchen,' Dustin Lance Black

Christopher Kimball offers several suggestions for making your fries deliciously crispy.
iStockphoto.com

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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10:09am

Sat December 10, 2011
Simon Says

Laura Nyro's Lasting, Eclectic Musical Legacy

Laura Nyro performs at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Most of the names announced for induction to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this week are familiar: Guns N' Roses, Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The name Laura Nyro may need some explaining.

She was the daughter of a New York jazz trumpeter, who took her along to his gigs. She sold her first song, And When I Die, to Peter, Paul and Mary for $5,000 when she was just a teenager; left New York's School of Music and Art; and became a star at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival at the age of 20.

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8:02am

Sat December 10, 2011
Hard Times: A Journey Across America

Latinos Get Little Credit For Rebuilding New Orleans

Methodist Pastor Oscar Ramos conducts English classes for Latino immigrants in New Orleans. The majority of the immigrants say they arrived after Katrina to work in reconstruction and intend to stay.
Richard Gonzales NPR

Part of a monthlong series

Since Katrina, the Hispanic population in the New Orleans metro area has skyrocketed by more than 33,000 people. That's a 57-percent increase in the past decade, much higher than the national average.

They came for the construction jobs — and they've chosen to stay. Often, you can find about a dozen Latino men hanging out near a home improvement store looking for work near a mostly black neighborhood.

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8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
NPR Story

The Partisan Fight Over Consumer Protection

This week, the Senate blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general chosen by President Obama to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It boils down to yet another partisan fight: Republicans say the agency has too much power, and the White House says they won't weaken an agency that is supposed to protect consumers. Host Scott Simon talks with Joe Nocera, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
NPR Story

Sports: Money Talks, Big Stars Walk

A canceled-then-reinstated trade shakes basketball before it can even start up again. Also, do Tim Tebow's victories speak as loud as his prayers? Host Scott Simon talks sports with NPR's Tom Goldman.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Environment

Climate Talks Go Longer Than Expected

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Diplomats in the United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa are still struggling to bring that meeting to some sort of close. Still no deal from the talks, which was supposed to coordinate international efforts on global warming. Diplomats are hoping that all the talk won't prove to be just a lot of carbon emissions. We're joined now from the talks by NPR's Richard Harris. Richard, thanks for being with us.

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: Hi, Scott.

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8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Europe

Will The EU's All-Nighter Save The Euro?

European Union leaders completed a marathon of treaty negotiations overnight to address the continent's debt crisis. Host Scott Simon checks in with NPR's Philip Reeves about how this new plan will impact Europe.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Europe

This Time, Germany's Rise Doesn't Worry The French

Opposition politicians and press pundits in France warn that the Sarkozy-Merkel plan to save the Euro will make France subservient to Germany. They say France will lose its sovereignty by giving a German-dominated EU control over French fiscal policy. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley pounded the pavement of Paris for days, however, and could not find a single rank-and-file French citizen who shared these fears.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Space

Newly Discovered Black Holes Are Largest So Far

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Word came this week that scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found the two largest black holes known to exist. Each is 10 billion times the size of our sun, and more than 300 million light-years away. Now, we should explain, black holes are known to hold some of the mysteries of our universe. They are so dense, they have so much gravitational pull, that not even light can escape. That makes this discovery all the more remarkable.

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8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Election 2012

N.H. Tea Partiers Weigh Their Remaining Choices

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Around the Nation

Oldest Black Church Open After Six-Year Restoration

The nation's oldest black church reopens to the public this week after a $9-million restoration fueled in part by federal stimulus funds, and completed in painstaking detail despite the recession. Shannon Mullen tours Boston's African Meeting House with the woman who led the project.

8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Election 2012

How Religious Conservatives Shape The GOP Race

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

While Newt Gingrich may not have universal appeal among Tea Party voters, he seems to be drawing wide support from a key Republican constituency, Christian conservatives. The religious right has significant influence in many early voting states, including Iowa, which has its caucuses coming up on January 3rd.

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8:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
From Our Listeners

Your Letters: Traffic Signs And Front Runners

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for your letters.

Last week, we spoke with artist John Morse. He creates traffic warning signs complete with haikus for the New York City Transportation Department.

JOHN MORSE: (Reading) Cyclist writes screenplay. Plot features bike lane drama. How pedestrian.

SIMON: Michael Haslam, in Bellows Falls, Vermont, asks: Is there a potential downside to the New York City haiku signs for pedestrians and bicyclists? Crossing street downtown, signs catch attention, enthrall; fatal distraction.

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6:20am

Sat December 10, 2011
Governing

Reconstituting The Constitution: How To Rewrite It?

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 4:09 pm

Junius Brutus Stearns' 1856 painting George Washington Addressing the Constitutional Convention.
AP

Most Americans haven't read the U.S. Constitution in a long time, if ever. They may be able to tell you about the Second Amendment, or the Fifth, maybe even part of the First. But other than that? A lot of blank stares.

Christopher Phillips has been leading what he calls "Constitution Café" discussions with people across the country. He's asking Americans to imagine themselves as framers of our founding document.

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6:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
It's All Politics

Why Iowa Could Be Rick Perry's 'Alamo' Moment

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 6:07 am

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks with voter Jane High before speaking at the Scott County Republican party's Ronald Reagan Dinner on Nov. 14 in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

In the hours before Saturday's pivotal Republican presidential debate in Iowa, attention has been riveted on the intensifying battle between front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Waiting in the wings, with hope and a prayer — directed squarely at the state's evangelical voters — is, improbably, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

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6:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
The Picture Show

Russia By Rail: Siberia's Serious Cold

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 6:12 am

A woman is bundled up by the tracks of the Trans-Siberian railway.
David Gilkey NPR

It's tempting, when beginning a visit to the far reaches of Siberia, to dismiss cold as some Russian cliché. Like vodka. And fur hats.

Sure, there'll be vodka — but not at every meal. Maybe I'll buy a fur hat as a souvenir — but I won't actually wear it.

Cold is no cliché. Siberia is cold.

I know cold. I like cold. I grew up in Pittsburgh, skiing, sledding and sitting through Pittsburgh Steeler football games in January, where beers and sodas freeze in plastic cups at your seats.

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5:58am

Sat December 10, 2011
Author Interviews

Desai's 'Disappearance': Three Tales Of Art And Time

Novelist Anita Desai is a professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has also written Journey to Ithaca, Village by the Sea and Clear Light of Day.
Jerry Bauer Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Anita Desai's new collection of stories, The Artist of Disappearance, reads a bit like three symphonic movements in a minor key. They're three novellas, set in modern India, where the past is giving way. In one story, a government official inspects the forgotten treasures left behind in a fated mansion. In another story, a translator becomes a little too creative; and in the third, a man living in solitude finds his world upset by roving visitors.

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5:00am

Sat December 10, 2011
Environment

Climate Activists: To Cut Emissions, Focus On Forests

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

The world's forests act as massive sponges, sucking carbon from the atmosphere. Above, an aerial photo from 2009 shows massive deforestation in the Brazilian state of Para.
Antonio Scorza AFP/Getty Images

Some climate strategists are looking beyond the United Nations and the idea of remaking the energy economy — and toward the world's tropical forests.

The basic idea is to provide rich countries that emit lots of climate-warming gases another way to reduce their carbon footprint besides replacing or retrofitting factories and power plants. Instead, they could just pay poorer countries to keep their forests, or even expand them. Forests suck carbon out of the atmosphere. It's like paying someone to put carbon in a storehouse.

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6:29pm

Fri December 9, 2011
Environment

What Countries Are Doing To Tackle Climate Change

Originally published on Sun December 11, 2011 10:49 am

NPR

While nations wrangle over a new global treaty on climate change, the question on many minds is: What happens next?

Key portions of the Kyoto Protocol are set to expire at the end of 2012. But many of the world's major greenhouse gas emitters have already set national targets to reduce emissions, and they're forging their own initiatives to meet those goals.

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