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5:53pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Medicare Offers Expanded Coverage To Battle Expanding Waistlines

Keeping off the pounds is tough at any age. Now seniors are getting a helping hand from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has announced that it will cover screening and counseling for obesity as a free preventive service for Medicare beneficiaries.

Coverage is effective immediately.

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5:24pm

Wed November 30, 2011
World

U.S. Considers Sanctions On Iran's Central Bank

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:13 pm

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves in Pakdasht, southeast of Tehran, Nov. 23. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said he was surprised at European moves to isolate Tehran's central bank.
HO Reuters/Landov

Iran has been dealing with economic sanctions for years, but the country could soon face measures tougher than anything it has encountered before: Legislation moving through the U.S. Congress would target the central bank of Iran, with the likely effect of severely limiting Iran's oil exports.

Such sanctions would almost certainly damage Iran's economy. The challenge would be to make sure other countries are not hurt as well, given the fragile state of the global economy and the tight global oil market.

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5:17pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Energy

Big Solar Project Moves Forward Without Uncle Sam

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 4:05 am

SolarCity has received financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to install solar electricity systems on houses on military bases, like one here at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis Monthan Air Force Base outside Tucson, Ariz.
Lend Lease

We've heard a lot about Solyndra, a solar panel maker that went bankrupt despite lots of federal subsidies. But on Wednesday, a solar installation company and one of the country's biggest banks announced a billion-dollar project to put solar systems on the roofs of military housing. And they're doing it without the kind of federal help Solyndra got.

When SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive came up with a plan to put solar on the rooftops of military housing around the country, he was sure he'd need federal backing to get loans for such a big project.

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5:17pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Energy

A Debate Over Who Regulates Gas 'Fracking' in Pa.

A drilling rig looms behind a barn in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Scott Detrow StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.

State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.

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5:13pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Survey: Americans Will Forfeit $34 Billion Worth Of Vacation Days In 2011

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 5:28 pm

A traditional arabic Dhow sails in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For the past few years, the travel site Expedia has conducted a survey about the world's vacation habits and like in years past, this year's survey found that the United States is one of the countries that gives its workers fewer vacation days and one of the countries in which workers leave the most number of vacation days unused.

CNN Money reports:

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5:01pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Opinion

A Father's Promise, Reinvented And Renewed

istockphoto.com

Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and an NPR commentator.

When I was five, my father made a promise he never intended to keep. He had returned from a long trip, with presents. I got a fossilized shark tooth, and spent the next month asking about fossils.

At some point, my father made the mistake of describing a massive fossil bed somewhere in Germany. I begged him to take me. There were good reasons that could never happen. Dad knew nothing about fossils; Germany was far away; I was five. But I would not be deterred.

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4:41pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Economy

Stocks Soar, But How Strong Is The Economy?

The U.S. economy is experiencing its strongest across-the-board growth of the year, as private companies hire more people, some manufacturers expand and the stock market surges on a plan to ease Europe's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 490 points Wednesday, an increase of more than 4 percent.

But analysts say the economy isn't growing robustly enough to lower unemployment, stem government layoffs or revive a housing market that remains extremely weak.

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3:40pm

Wed November 30, 2011
It's All Politics

In South Carolina, A Resurgent Gingrich Attracts Jubilant Crowds

House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks with Rep. John Kasich of Ohio while President Bill Clinton signs the Balanced Budget Agreement on the South Lawn of the White House in 1997.
PAUL J. RICHARDS AFP/Getty Images

Newt Gingrich traveled across South Carolina this week appearing at a number of town-hall-style meetings where he talked to voters and answered questions — mostly the same questions at every stop. He talked about the improving the economy, creating a new immigration policy, repealing President Obama's health care reform plan and transforming Washington.

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3:38pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

80-Year-Old Says He Accidentally Left His Life Savings In Donated Suit

A Goodwill store.
screenshot WQAD

This is a pretty heartbreaking story: An 80-year-old man donated a suit to a Goodwill store in western Illinois. The problem is that he didn't realize until it was too late that his $13,000 life savings were in the suit's pocket.

The AP reports:

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3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Central Banks Act To Avert Banking Crisis

The major central banks of the world moved Wednesday to prevent a banking crisis in Europe. They're providing more liquidity to the European banking system in hopes that big banks there will remain solvent and continue to make loans. The coordinated move by the central banks sent stock markets soaring. But it will not even begin to fix Europe's fundamental economic problems.

3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Medal Of Honor Winner Sues Defense Contractor

Guy Raz speaks with Julian Barnes, the Wall Street Journal's Pentagon reporter, about Dakota Meyer, a Marine who was recently awarded the Medal of Honor. Meyer is suing a defense contractor that he worked with, alleging they blocked him from another job in the defense industry as retaliation for his objections to selling high-tech instruments to the Pakistani military.

3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut in Scranton, Pa.

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 6:49 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama took his call for payroll tax relief to Scranton, Pennsylvania today. It was his ninth visit to the state this year, underscoring the role that Pennsylvania will play in the 2012 election. The president told a crowd at Scranton High School that extending the payroll tax cut should trump partisan politics.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Send your senators a message. Tell them - don't be a Grinch.

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3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Occupy Chicago: A 'Dry Run' For Upcoming Events

In Chicago, city officials and demonstrators say the recent Occupy Chicago protests are a sort of dry run for next year's simultaneous NATO and G-8 summit meetings.

3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Letters: Berea College; Ruth Stone; 'Moves Like Jagger'

Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, about Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and about the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."

3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Remembrances

Comedian Patrice O'Neal Dies At 41

Guy Raz remembers Patrice O'Neal — a stand-up comedian who took on controversial topics like race, AIDS and his own struggle with diabetes. O'Neal died on Tuesday. He was 41 and lived in New Jersey.

3:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Strange News

A Look At Famous To-Do Lists

Even the most famous among us need to make a memo for the mundane. Melissa Block and Guy Raz tell us what a few American icons — from JFK to Johnny Cash — once had on their to-do lists.

2:55pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Health Law's Popularity Rises ... Ever So Slightly

Can you say blip?

Apparently that's what last month's all-time low popularity numbers were for President Obama's health overhaul law, according to this month's tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Overall, the federal Affordable Care Act still remains slightly more unpopular (44 percent) than popular (37 percent), but that's down from last month's 51-34 split.

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2:41pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Researcher Finds Secret Software On Phones Logs Nearly Everything

A screenshot showing CarrierIQ in action.
screenshot YouTube

1:32pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Despite Warnings From Inspector, One Iowa Town Still Battles Toxic Air

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 1:35 pm

The Grain Processing Corp. plant in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Hamby Center for Public Integrity

1:13pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Prosecutors Say John Hinckley Is Still A Threat

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 1:15 pm

The Justice Department says the man who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981 still poses a threat to public safety.

Prosecutors are fighting an effort by John Hinckley to win more freedom from a mental hospital where he's been confined for decades.

During a hearing in Washington, the prosecutors said the government has been watching Hinckley.

Secret Service agents followed Hinckley last summer, when he said he was going to the movies during visits to his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va.

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1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Fewer Than Half Of Americans Believe U.S. Is Best

In 2002, nearly 60% of Americans believed the U.S. was exceptional among nations. But a recent Pew Research study finds fewer than half of Americans now believe their country is superior to others. The shift has many commentators wondering what's behind a general decline in optimism among Americans.

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Ali Calls 'All-American Muslim' A Welcome Relief

TLC's new reality show, All-American Muslim follows five Muslim-American families. It aims to dispel misconceptions and stereotypes about the religion. In a recent piece in The Guardian, Wajahat Ali writes that TLC's portrayal is a "welcome relief from the usual tawdry caricatures of Muslims."

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Rep. Barney Frank Bids Congress Farewell

After three decades serving in Congress, Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank has announced his retirement. The liberal Democrat will leave behind a legislative legacy that includes financial regulation and memorable sparring matches with both colleagues and constituents.

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
World

Tension Grows Between Iran And The West

British authorities have closed their embassy in Iran's capital city, Tehran, and recalled all diplomatic staff, a day after Iranian protesters stormed the embassy. Britain also said it was requiring Iran to close its embassy in London and recall all its staff in the next 48 hours.

12:47pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

First 'Penn State Scandal' Civil Suit Filed

The first civil lawsuit brought by an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky is from a man who says he was sexually abused as a young boy more than 100 times by the former Penn State assistant football coach.

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12:38pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Deputies, Movers Refuse To Evict 103-Year-Old Georgia Woman

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 12:39 pm

Vita Lee, 103, lives in northwest Atlanta.
screenshot WSBTV

Vita Lee has lived in her Northwest Atlanta home for 53 years. But after a second mortgage was taken out on her home, she faced foreclosure and police planned to evict her yesterday.

But as Atlanta's WSB-TV reports, once Fulton County sheriff's deputies and the movers looked at the 103-year-old Lee, they declined to move forward with the eviction.

WSBTV reports:

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12:13pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Digital Life

Interpreting The Constitution In The Digital Era

GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like.

These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. "And what's so striking is that none of the existing amendments give clear answers to the most basic questions we're having today."

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12:05pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

HIV Treatment Lags In U.S., Guaranteeing More Infections

The latest numbers from CDC show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective antiviral treatment; effective treatment rates are lowest among African-American men.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The United States is doing a pretty miserable job of treating people with HIV.

The latest numbers show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective treatment — that is, antiviral medications to keep the virus in check.

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12:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
World

What The U.S. Can Learn From Upbeat Brazil

Amid continued political gridlock in Washington, New York Times Columnist Anand Giridharadas says governments should depoliticize the economy. He recently reported in Brazil, where he says jobs and yacht sales are up, and young locals are ecstatic about the future. He speaks with host Michel Martin.

12:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Student Not Sorry For Critical Tweet Of Governor

Emma Sullivan recently sent a tweet criticizing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. She refused to apologize, despite demands from her school and the governor's office. She and her mother speak with host Michel Martin about the line between manners and free speech. (Advisory: This segment contains language that may not be suitable for all audiences.)

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