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7:34am

Fri December 30, 2011
It's All Politics

Iowa Veterans For Paul Explain The Attraction

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:25 am

Ron Paul spoke to a packed house at the Knapp Learning Center during his "Salute to the Military" event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Becky Lettenberger/NPR

A claim by Ron Paul's presidential campaign, and confirmed by the fact-check website PolitiFact, asserts that the Texas congressman has received more donations from active military personnel than the other GOP candidates combined.

That's intriguing, given that Paul is the only candidate calling for significant cuts in military (not defense, he says) funding, the closing of overseas bases, and the use of military force "very sparingly."

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7:20am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Romney, Paul Are 1 And 2 In Another Iowa Poll, Santorum Rising

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 11:32 am

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney campaigning in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday (Dec. 29, 2011).
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With just one holiday weekend between now and Tuesday's Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, there's another poll signalling that it could be a close battle at the top between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). And also once again, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is on the rise and showing up at No. 3.

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7:09am

Fri December 30, 2011
Analysis

Morning Edition Remembers 2011

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

It's tempting to say what a snake-bit year this was, a year when American troops were lost abroad, a year of economic struggle and cynical politics. But it was also a year when troops came home, and people started new jobs. Steve Inskeep says it's to soon to judge 2011.

7:03am

Fri December 30, 2011
World

No TGIF For Samoa This Week

Thank goodness it's Friday unless you live in the island nation of Samoa. In which case it's Saturday. The country is skipping a day — shifting its calendar — to join the same time zone as trading partners Australia and New Zealand.

6:54am

Fri December 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Tenn. Guardsman's Home Is In A Perilous Location

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:41am

Fri December 30, 2011
Election 2012

Bachmann Fights To Convince Iowans She's Electable

GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann wrapped up her bus tour of Iowa's 99 counties Thursday. She's been on the road for most of the last two weeks in a final push to generate support before Tuesday's caucuses.

6:39am

Fri December 30, 2011
Election 2012

Perry Campaign Amplifies Attacks On Santorum

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has been aboard a bus touring Iowa hoping to score an upset in next Tuesday's caucuses. Perry spent Thursday trying to reverse the surge that challenger Rick Santorum has seen in a recent poll.

6:06am

Fri December 30, 2011
Middle East

Egyptian Military Raids Foreign-Funded NGO Offices

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of 17 non-governmental organizations yesterday, including several American-based groups. Two of those, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, have been monitoring elections at the invitation of the Egyptian government. A third U.S.-based group, Freedom House, earlier this week, applied for official recognition.

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4:52am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Salt

In China, Finding A New Way To Eat In Times Of Plenty

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 10:05 am

Anna Hu at the Ao Hua Farmers Market in Shanghai. After years of working long hours and eating only in restaurants, Hu has learned how to cook vegetables and eat more healthfully.
Eliza Barclay NPR

As people's incomes rise in a developing nation, so does the amount of food they eat. That's what has been happening in China for the past 30 years. But many people, especially in the middle class, are discovering that you don't have to eat and eat just because there's plenty of food available.

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4:50am

Fri December 30, 2011
Planet Money

Coconut Water Companies Sell Image, Not Taste

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

godutchbaby Flickr

A couple of years ago if you wanted to drink coconut water, you had to buy your own coconut, bring it to your kitchen, and start whacking away with a knife.

Today, you can find packaged coconut water in a convenience store, Wal-Mart or your friendly neighborhood yoga studio.

"I think it was a great year for coconut water, " says Alejandra Simon, an assistant manager at the Laughing Lotus yoga studio in New York City. "I can't walk down the street without seeing someone with coconut water in their hands."

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4:46am

Fri December 30, 2011
Monkey See

Bridesmaids No More: TV's Women Get All The Laughs

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Zooey Deschanel plays Jess on Fox's New Girl. Fox uses the term "adorkable" to describe her.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Is there anybody on TV more adorable than Zooey Deschanel on Fox's new hit sitcom New Girl?

She's playing a woman who moved in with three guys after a bad romance. We've seen Deschanel play this character countless times over the last 10 years: quirky, bohemian, earnest and a little dorky. Fox even used the term "adorkable" just to describe her.

But she's also the leading edge of a trend that defined television in 2011: the Funny Female.

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4:45am

Fri December 30, 2011
States Of The Economy

Fla.'s Economic Pain, Anger Could Shape 2012 Race

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

The housing market collapse has taken a toll on Florida families and may affect how they vote in the presidential election.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Florida is once again poised to play an important role in selecting the president in 2012. Its Republican primary on Jan. 31 is the nation's fourth nominating contest.

But Florida is a very different state than it was four years ago. It is reeling from the housing collapse — more than 200,000 homes are facing foreclosure — and suffering from an unemployment rate well above the national average.

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3:25am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

Stephen Colbert: A 'Company' Man On Broadway

Stephen Colbert and Martha Plimpton perform a song from Company on stage during the 65th annual Tony Awards.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on June 14, 2011.

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12:01am

Fri December 30, 2011
Monkey See

A Complex 'Separation' In Iran

Leila Hatami as Simin in Asghar Farhadi's A Separation.
Habib Madjidi Sony Pictures Classics

The Iranian drama A Separation has popped up on more than a few critics' lists of the best films of 2011, despite little exposure in the U.S. thus far. It will open in limited release December 30, and as Howie Movshovitz of Colorado Public Radio reports on Friday's Morning Edition, it serves as both a family drama and a piece of social observation about life in Iran.

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12:01am

Fri December 30, 2011
Business

Happy Holidays? Indeed, For Some Stuck At Work

Louise Tucker-Mitchell laughs on the phone with a customer at Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. She says she likes working the week between Christmas and New Year's, as it's calmer and a good time to catch up.
Sara Carothers NPR

It's the last workweek of the year, and just about half of American workers have been in the office.

If that sounds like a drag, well, meet Louise Tucker-Mitchell.

She works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car at Washington, D.C.'s Reagan National Airport. For her, at least, being stuck at work between the holidays is a secret pleasure.

Things are unusually quiet. Traffic is uncharacteristically light. "This is the free time when you can sort everything out and get it done," she says.

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12:01am

Fri December 30, 2011
Television

Oprah Winfrey Network Still Finding Its Footing

Oprah Winfrey talks to reporters during a press tour that followed the launch of her cable network, OWN, in January.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Ratings have been a major disappointment for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), but that could change now that Oprah Winfrey is about to debut her own show on the cable channel.

When Winfrey ended her longtime show on broadcast TV earlier this year, there were lots of tears and endless tributes to the queen of daytime talk.

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12:00am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Record

Music In Afghanistan A Sensitive Subject

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 12:01 am

A performance at the Afghan National Institute of Music in November of 2010.
Daniel Wilkinson U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com

Afghanistan sits at a crossroads between central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent, and the country's music reflects that. Kabul hosted two international music festivals this fall — one traditional, the other a rock concert — but music is still a sensitive issue. International donors, including the U.S., have helped refurbish a conservatory in Kabul, but some of the students say they still face disapproval from extremist elements, even at the university.

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10:00pm

Thu December 29, 2011
StoryCorps

On New Year's Eve, An ID Check Helps Love Prosper

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Isabel Sobozinsky-Wall and her husband, Scott Wall, visited StoryCorps in San Francisco.
StoryCorps

For Isabel Sobozinsky-Wall, New Year's Eve marks a special time. That's when she met her future husband, Scott, during a trip to New York City 20 years ago.

"I was single and feeling very lonely on New Year's Eve," Scott says. "I was actually wandering the streets of Manhattan, and I ended up in the Paris Cafe. There was this ravishingly beautiful woman, wearing a beautiful dress. And I introduced myself. But I was very surprised when you asked me for my ID."

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6:14pm

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Basil Al-Sayed, Who Chronicled The Syrian Uprising, Is Dead

Basil al-Sayed, a Syrian citizen journalist who lost his life documenting the uprising in Homs.
Rami Jarrah

This was the last thing Basil al-Sayed, a citizen journalist in Syria, filmed before he was shot in the head by security forces:

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5:19pm

Thu December 29, 2011
The Salt

What The World Eats For A Better, Luckier 2012

In Denmark they eat a towering cake called kransekage for New Year's Eve.
Jeremy Noble via Flickr

Many cultures greet the New Year with a feast that symbolically sets the table for the year ahead. As they sit down to traditional dishes, people often try to internalize their hopes and goals for the coming year.

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5:09pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Transplants Bring New Faces In 2011

Charla Nash received a full-face transplant after she was mauled by a chimpanzee in 2009.
HO AFP/Getty Images

If there's a medical advance that seized the public imagination this year, we'd venture to say it was facial transplant surgery.

Three transplants gave severely injured patients completely new faces in 2011. Now the doctors involved have revealed details about the complex cases in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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5:07pm

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

China Officially Sets Its Sight On The Moon

China laid out its vision for space exploration in a white paper released today. In it, China declares its intention to put a man on the moon, a feat accomplished last by the United States almost 40 years ago.

The Financial Times says that while the prospect has been discussed by scientists in the past, the paper is "the first public government document to enshrine it as a policy goal."

The Times adds:

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5:04pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Middle East

In Syria, Arab League Observers Caught In Crossfire

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 6:51 pm

In this frame grab from an amateur video posted on YouTube, members of the Arab League monitor violence in the Syrian city of Homs this week.
YouTube

Despite the presence of an Arab League monitoring mission, Syrian security forces shot dead at least 40 protesters on Thursday, according to activists.

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4:51pm

Thu December 29, 2011
States Of The Economy

'It's A Great Day In South Carolina' - If You Have A Job

South Carolina has an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent, above the current national figure.

But that's not the message you'll get if you call Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's office, where you'll be greeted with a cheery message: "It's a great day in South Carolina..."

And that's the same message you'll receive when calling call any other state agency. Or attend any recent event with the governor, like one last month in Columbia where TD Bank announced its plans to create a regional hub.

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4:31pm

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Body Odor May Explain Why Mosquitoes Like Certain People

An Anopheles albimanus mosquito, which is an important vector for malaria transmission in Central America.
James Gathany CDC

It's a question that has surely crossed the minds of many of you: Why is that mosquitoes tend to prefer certain people?

Scientists think they have an answer — at least to what attracts the the African mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, which is partly responsible for the transmission of malaria. The researchers, led by Niels Verhulst of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, found that the blood suckers are attracted to certain people because of the kinds of bacteria on their skin.

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3:57pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Environment

U.S. Military Tests Out Green Tech In Afghanistan

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 8:19 pm

In this photo released by the U.S. Marines and taken in December 2010, Lance Cpl. Dakota Hicks, from Laharpe, Ill., connects a radio battery to a portable solar panel communication system in Sangin District, in Afghanistan.The U.S. military is trying to wean itself off reliance on fossil fuels by employing solar energy and biofuels, among other measures.
Gunnery Sgt. William Price Small AP

The heavy, mine-resistant vehicles that almost all U.S. military personnel use to move about Afghanistan are gas guzzlers. And even though the U.S. military buys that fuel at a reasonable price, the energy it takes to fly it and truck it to remote parts of Afghanistan drives the price into the stratosphere.

There's also a much greater cost, says Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy.

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3:56pm

Thu December 29, 2011
National Security

Terrorists Struggle To Gain Recruits On The Web

The Twitter page for al-Shabab, the radical Islamic group in Somalia that has been branded a terrorist organization by the U.S. Such groups are active in social media, but have not attracted many recruits.
Twitter.com

Terrorist groups seemed to be all over the Web in 2011. There were al-Qaida videos on YouTube, Facebook pages by Islamic militants in Somalia, and webzines – like Inspire magazine – produced by al-Qaida affiliates in Yemen.

If there were an award for the best known terrorist music recording in the past couple of years, it would probably go to the Somali militia group al-Shabab for a YouTube video that extolled the virtues of jihad, or holy war.

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3:08pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Music Reviews

This One's For Guy Clark, Americana's Craftsman

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 5:21 pm

Guy Clark is a storyteller who carves songs out of quiet moments and marginal characters.
Senor McGuire

Singer-songwriter Guy Clark is a key figure in alternative country music. In the 1970s, his Nashville home was an axis of creativity, a hangout where musicians assembled to trade songs and stories, and where Clark mentored young songwriters at the time, like Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell.

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2:58pm

Thu December 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Are You Being Paid $600,000 To Party?

She'll be paid well to party: Kim Kardashian.
David Livingston Getty Images

Headlines claiming that celebrity-whose-famous-for-being-famous Kim Kardashian will be paid $600,000 to host a New Year's Eve party at the Tao nightclub in Las Vegas' Venetian hotel and casino and then return to the Tao a few more times in 2012 to make "special appearances," certainly catch your eye.

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2:54pm

Thu December 29, 2011
Movie Reviews

'A Separation': In Tehran, Houses And Hearts Divided

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 10:58 am

The Great Divides: Simin (Leila Hatami) and Nader (Peyman Moadi) are at odds first about whether to leave Iran for life abroad — and then about more urgent issues yet.
Habib Madjidi Sony Pictures Classics

The opening moments of A Separation lay out the story you'd expect to see in a film about a wife who is leaving her husband: Simin (Leila Hatami) and her bank-clerk spouse, Nader (Peyman Moadi), are explaining heatedly to a judge why they want a separation. Or actually, why they don't want it.

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