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3:46pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Election 2012

Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum emerges from a cornfield during an August campaign stop in Dyersville, Iowa, at the farm where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed.
Scott Olson Getty Images

First in a series

Visiting a metal fabrication plant in Sioux City this December, Mitt Romney touted his successful business background, saying those qualifications are what America needs right now.

"I want to use the experience I have in the world of the free enterprise system to make sure that America gets working again. ... These are tough times," said the Republican presidential candidate. "You guys have jobs. Hope your spouses do. But I know these are tough times."

But not as tough in Iowa as in many other parts of the country.

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3:42pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Movie Interviews

Coming Out, Coming Of Age As A Teen 'Pariah'

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

Adepero Oduye planned to be a doctor, but after her father died suddenly, she decided to change course and pursue an acting career.
Focus Features

When the new film Pariah opens nationally, it's safe to say it will not be competing with any other movies about a black teenager coming of age as a lesbian in Brooklyn.

"It's not so much coming out, but coming into," clarifies director Dee Rees. "Alike, the main character, knows she loves women. That's not her struggle. Her struggle's more how to be in the world."

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3:18pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Europe

In Greece, A Muted Christmas Amid Tough Times

A homeless man begs for money during the launch of Christmas celebrations in Athens' central Syntagma Square, Dec. 9. Difficult economic times have meant subdued holiday activities — and even carolers, who traditionally receive money for their songs, are feeling the pinch.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

In Greece, caroling season runs through the Orthodox Christian holiday known as the Epiphany, celebrated on Jan. 6. Traditionally, children go door-to-door, playing the triangle and singing songs of the season. In return, people give them a few euros for presents.

But this Christmas, Greek retailers say sales fell 30 percent from last year. The unemployment rate is at record levels, crime is rising and austerity is dampening everyone's spirits.

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2:40pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 2:53 pm

Samoa: Would you argue with getting an extra day in a place like this?
D. Kirkland/Samoa Tourist Authority AP

What's happening in Samoa on Friday?

Nothing (sort of).

Officially, the day won't exist.

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1:59pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Salt

Farmers Markets Flourish In Winter's Snows

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 am

Georgia O'Neal harvests winter greens at the Tree and Leaf Farm in Unionville, Va., on March 16, 2011.
Maggie Starbard NPR

If you're a fresh vegetable lover, it's hard to get excited about what's available in the supermarket produce section in the dead of winter. Whatever is there often has made a long journey from a field in a distant, sunny locale and been sprayed with something to keep it looking fresh. It's usually a little worse for the wear.

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1:25pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

In S.C.: Whether To Say 'It's A Great Day' Is Now A Political Issue

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:26 pm

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
Chris Keane Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has told her Cabinet agencies that all employees should answer their phones with this greeting:

"It's a great day in South Carolina. How can I help you?"

But two Democratic members of the state House are sponsoring legislation that would prohibit any agency from ordering its staff to say that unless it truly is a "great day in South Carolina" (according to those legislators).

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1:21pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Could Obesity Change The Brain?

A fatty diet may trigger inflammation of the hypothalamus, deep inside the brain, and hinder weight loss.
Wikimedia Commons

The standard advice for losing weight often comes up short for people who are obese.

If they switch to a healthful diet and exercise more, they might lose a bit. But the pounds have a way of creeping back on.

Now some provocative research suggests that a part of the problem might be that obesity could change the area of the brain that helps control appetite and body weight.

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1:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Around the Nation

Proposed Child Labor Rules Could Alter Farm Life

The Department of Labor has proposed regulations that would limit the kinds of work children can do on farms. Opponents feel the rules would hurt family farms and fundamentally alter farming life, while proponents say the changes would help keep kids safe.

1:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Law

HIV Status Disclosure Laws Under Scrutiny

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 2:07 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

In more than 30 U.S. states, it's illegal not to inform sexual partners if you're HIV-positive. Here in Iowa, it's a Class B felony that carries up to 25 years in prison, even if there's no transmission of the virus. Proponents say to knowingly expose someone to a potentially lethal virus is equivalent to attempted murder. Critics argue that these laws single out people with HIV to the exclusion of other dangerous STDs, and they hope to see legislation to change the law so it doesn't target those with HIV, many of whom are gay men.

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1:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Election 2012

GOP Candidates Jockey Ahead Of Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa caucuses will be critical for Rep. Michelle Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum, or a chance for Rep. Ron Paul to steal the national spotlight from Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

12:44pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Music Lists

Flame On: Protest Songs From Greece

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:32 pm

Yiannis Aggelakas
Courtesy of the artist

12:30pm

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

'Dead By Morning' Facebook Post Leads To Woman's Rescue, Man's Arrest

Facebook.com

National media are catching up on a harrowing story from Utah, where police say a woman who had been kidnapped, raped and beaten for days was able to post a Christmas Eve message for help on Facebook that led to the rescue of her and her 17-month-old son, and the arrest of a man now being held on $1 million bail.

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12:20pm

Wed December 28, 2011
World

Israelis Protest Strict Code Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (l) and a secular man argue during a protest against the strict religious codes favored by the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh.
STRINGER Reuters/Landov

According to Israel's President Shimon Peres, a fight is underway, for "the soul of the nation and the essence of the state." But the threat isn't coming from outside of Israel. It's over differing interpretations of Judaism.

Recently, a bespectacled eight year-old girl was filmed by a local TV station being harassed by ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi Jews, for, in their view, not dressing modestly enough. The episode took place in Beit Shemesh, a city between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that has become a symbol of this growing battle in Israel.

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12:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Around the Nation

For Grassroots Protests, Big Gains In 2011

All week, NPR is looking at people, events and ideas that fared well in 2011. Host Michel Martin explores how it was a good year for grassroots protests, both as part of the Arab Spring and the 'Occupy' movements. She speaks with NPR Cairo Correspondent Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and Arun Venugopal, a reporter for member station WNYC.

12:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Politics

Black-Owned Beauty Shops Groom Political Activism

In her new book, Beauty Shop Politics, Professor Tiffany Gill looks at African-American women who owned beauty shops during decades before the civil rights movement. She speaks with host Michel Martin about how salons — then and now — have become centers for economic opportunity and political awareness.

12:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Arts & Life

African Prints More Sophisticated, Subtle In 2011

High-end fashion designers have been getting rave reviews for the African prints, textiles and shapes that they sent down the runways. Host Michel Martin explores how it was a good year for African prints and where the trend is going in 2012. She talks with online boutique owner Dolapo Shobanjo and style correspondent Robin Givhan.

12:00pm

Wed December 28, 2011
Music

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay's Favorite Tunes

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are going to stay in the world of independent films for today's addition of our occasional feature In Your Ear. That's where we ask some of the guests who've appeared in this program about the music that inspires them.

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11:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

Wavering In Iowa: Portraits Of Undecided Voters

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 11:09 am

Patrick Brehm
Becky Lettenberger NPR

As NPR's Becky Lettenberger and I take to the road in Iowa this week, we are collecting the words and images of Iowa Republicans still uncertain who they will vote for in next Tuesday's state GOP presidential caucuses.

Here's the first look at what we saw and heard Tuesday in two cities that hug the Mississippi River on the state's eastern border, Dubuque and Davenport.

We spoke with voters after a Newt Gingrich appearance in Dubuque during a Rotary Club meeting at a local country club.

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11:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEO: Monks Brawl With Brooms In Bethlehem's Church Of The Nativity

There was a brawl today inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.

A brawl between, of all things, "dozens of monks feuding over sacred space," The Associated Press says.

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10:54am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

Under Attack, Gingrich Struggles To Regain His Stride In Iowa

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 7:10 pm

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich complained about negative ads against him during a campaign stop at the National Toy Farm Museum on Dec. 27 in Dyersville, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

If you're in Iowa this week, you'll need to watch out for campaign buses. Several Republican candidates are on bus tours of the state — including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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10:20am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Bird-Watchers Are All Aflutter: Asian Crane Shows Up In Tennessee

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:35 pm

The surprise visitor: An Asian hooded crane that has shown up at the Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee.
John Kuehnel Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival

Just in time for the mid-January Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival at the Hiwassee Refuge, an Asian hooded crane that probably should be in Japan this time of year has flown in with thousands of his North American relatives.

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9:13am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

In The Hunt For Votes, Romney Heads East To 2008 Iowa Stronghold

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:18 am

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

On Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney was getting an early start to campaigning in eastern Iowa, meeting and greeting voters having breakfast or just getting a caffeine boost at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine.

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9:05am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Top Stories: Funeral For Kim Jong Il, Syria Releases Some Prisoners

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 9:47 am

8:55am

Wed December 28, 2011
It's All Politics

Immigration Emerges As Key Issue For Some Iowa Voters

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:33 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a campaign event at Clark Electric Co-op on Dec. 27 in Osceola, Iowa. Perry's stance on immigration has troubled some Iowa voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Campaign buses loaded with Republican presidential hopefuls and their entourages are rolling across Iowa as the candidates hope some face time with GOP voters will help boost their chances in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The main issue for many Iowa voters is the economy. But there's a sleeper issue emerging: immigration reform.

Iowa's Hispanic population is surging and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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8:54am

Wed December 28, 2011
Middle East

Iran Again Warns It Can Cut Off Strategic Oil Route

The chief of Iran's navy warned Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf channel where a sixth of the world's oil flows.

It was the second such warning in two days — and a Saudi official said Gulf Arab nations are ready to step in and offset any potential loss of Iranian crude in the world markets.

On Tuesday, Iran's vice president, Mohamed Reza Rahimi, threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments.

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8:30am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Rev. Billy Graham Makes Top 10 'Most Admired' List For 55th Time

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:33 am

Rev. Billy Graham poses for a portrait in 1968.
Getty Images

Scroll down Gallup's report on its latest poll results about the most admired men and women living today and you come to this:

"The Rev. Billy Graham has never finished first, but has been in the top 10 more than any other man — 55 times since 1955." This year, Gallup puts Graham at No. 4. He was mentioned by 2 percent of those surveyed.

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8:20am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:37 pm

The Harrow and the Harvest is the first new album from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings since 2003.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

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 July 18, 2011.

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8:18am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

David Carr: A Media Omnivore Discusses His Diet

"We are entering a golden age of journalism," says David Carr of The New York Times. "I look at my backpack ... and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago."

Mario Tama 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 October 27, 2011.

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8:00am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Cheetah, Said To Be One Of Tarzan's Chimpanzee Sidekicks, Has Died

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:21 pm

1932 scene from Tarzan the Ape Man: Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and one of the chimps who played Cheetah.
AP

One of the chimpanzees who played Cheetah, Johnny Weissmuller's sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and '40s, has died. He was said to be 80 years old and succumbed to kidney failure on Christmas Eve, according to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he had been living since the early 1960s.

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7:15am

Wed December 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Weeping, Wailing And Imagery In Pyongyang For Kim Jong Il's Funeral

Kim Jong Un, center, walks with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body earlier today in Pyongyang.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency AFP/Getty Images

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