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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Ron Paul

Ron Paul Has Support In Iowa, But Old Issues Linger

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is anything but an establishment GOP candidate. Yet, he is at the top of the polls in Iowa, largely because his message appeals to more than just the typical Republican caucus-goer. That was made clear when he met John McCarthy and Michelle Godez-Schilling, both of whom attended a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa.

"I would like to say I'm an independent, and for the first time in my life I'm affiliated with one of the two major parties because of you," McCarthy told Paul.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Animals

Myth Busting: The Truth About Animals And Tools

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 1:28 pm

A tufted capuchin uses a stone hammer to crack open a nut in Brazil's Parnaiba Headwaters National Park.
Ben Cranke Getty Images

12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Afghanistan

Ten Years Of Hanging On As An Afghan Potter

Abdul Wahkeel at his pottery stall in the Afghan village of Istalif. He was among the first potters to return after the fall of the Taliban.
Jim Wildman NPR

After the fall of the Taliban, Abdul Wahkeel was the first potter to return to the Afghan village of Istalif.

Istalif had been home to generations of potters who crafted teapots, dishes and pots that glow a jewel-like blue. But Wahkeel and other villagers left after the Taliban torched workshops, smashed pottery and — it was said — killed birds in their cages.

When NPR's Renee Montagne first arrived in Istalif in 2002, she heard Wahkeel's story as he was centering clay on his potter's wheel.

"It is two months now that I have returned back to my home," he told her.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work

For Black Americans, A Longer Time Without Work

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 11:32 am

Willa Booker, 53, has been out of work for more than two years. A former medical records administrator in Chicago, Booker says she just wants someone to give her a chance.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Although the U.S. gained more than 120,000 jobs last month, the numbers of long-term unemployed barely shifted, and unemployment rates for African-Americans continued to go through the roof.

A recent NPR and Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that although the long-term unemployed face many of the same difficulties regardless of race, there are distinct differences between blacks and whites struggling to find work.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Record

Austin: The Brooklyn Of The South

A musician performs at the Bat Bar during SXSW 2011 in Austin, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas, is one of the city's premiere live music districts. Guitar-shaped Christmas decorations hang on light poles, and the street is alive with bands and bars. Tonight you can hear ­­­­­­­­Austin Heat at the Thirsty Nickel, Mike Milligan and the Altar Boys at Maggie Mae's, or you could catch Misbehavin' at the Dizzy Rooster.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Chompsgiving To Chew Year's: Holiday Dishes

When Ambrosia Salad Spells Dread

Esther's ambrosia salad
Daniel E. Davis

Part of an ongoing series on unique holiday dishes

Daniel Davis, a tall, thin birch tree of a man, is willing to eat almost anything. Indeed, cooking and eating are two unadulterated pleasures in Dan's life. But he recently revealed to me, his wife, that there is one dish that, as a kid, he actually feared as Christmas drew near: ambrosia salad.

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10:00pm

Thu December 22, 2011
StoryCorps

A Bowlful Of Memories About A Mama Named Sugar

Cora Lee Collins was called Sug by everyone, including her children.
Courtesy of Penelope Simmons

Everybody loved Cora Lee Collins — known to all, including her children, as Sug.

"Oh, I called her Mama, too, but I called her Sug," her daughter, Penelope Simmons, tells her own daughter, Suzanne Wayne. "When she was a little kid, she would climb up on the kitchen table and eat sugar out of the sugar bowl, and so they started calling her Sugar."

Simmons grew up in Lake Charles, La., with two brothers, Otis and Jamie. "Sug loved us, but she was nowhere near a hovering mother. I mean, we did run wild."

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6:39pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Need A Hug? Go To 'The Nicest Place On The Internet'

Sometimes, we bring you bad news. Sometimes the good. But other times, we just like to share something sweet.

And as Gizmodo said yesterday: "The holidays are here. The year is finishing up. It's late. It's cold. It's about time to go to the nicest place on the Internet."

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5:20pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Report: Cuts In Federal Funding Put Public Health Preparedness At Risk

Oregon health authorities quickly traced an August outbreak of foodborne illness to a strawberry field in the state. But will they be so swift next time?
iStockphoto.com

Do you remember the E. coli outbreak that started in an Oregon strawberry patch this August?

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5:19pm

Thu December 22, 2011
It's All Politics

With 'Lie Of The Year' Controversy, Fact Checking Comes Under Scrutiny

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 10:08 pm

A screen grab from "America the Beautiful" by The Agenda Project. According to PolitiFact, videos like this one used elderly actors to falsely suggest that Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan would adversely affect current senior citizens.
The Agenda Project YouTube

The fact-checking movement has been gaining momentum and gaining fans. Journalistic fact checkers serve as referees by calling foul — and fair — on various assertions by politicians, public figures and pundits with heavily documented analyses. But a slow-burn backlash flared into the open this past week.

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5:17pm

Thu December 22, 2011
World

U.S.-Pakistan: A Year Of Worsening Ties

Pakistanis attend a funeral in Peshawar on Nov. 27 for the two dozen Pakistani soldiers killed in a NATO attack a day earlier.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Key events in the recent rift between the U.S. and Pakistan.

5:16pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Salt

Disposable Pans Can Cook More Than The Christmas Goose

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 8:25 am

Beware of throw-away aluminum roasting pans, burn doctors say.
James Bo Insogna iStockphoto.com

For no muss or fuss clean-up, a disposable aluminum roasting pan seems like a great way to reduce holiday home chef stress. But beware: Burn specialists say many such pans aren't built to handle the oversized birds or other hunks of meat on your menu.

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5:05pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Newt Gingrich

As Gingrich Stumps In Iowa, His Style Evolves

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's campaign has been down and then up this year.

His top staffers resigned en masse in June, leading many to wonder whether he was out of the race. Then came debates in which the former speaker of the House shined.

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4:57pm

Thu December 22, 2011
NPR Story

Resolution For Payroll Tax Extension May Be Near

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 4:57 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

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4:53pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Media

'PolitiFact' Faces Criticism From Liberals

Fact-checking sites like PolitiFact referee assertions by politicians, public figures and pundits. The fact-checking movement has been gaining momentum — and fans. But PolitiFact has come under fire after announcing its "Lie of the Year": a claim by some Democrats and liberals about a House Republican plan to change Medicare.

4:15pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Reports: House Will Vote On 2-Month Payroll Tax Cut Extension

The Associated Press and Reuters are reporting that House Republicans have relented and will vote on a two-month extension of the payroll tax. On Tuesday, the House had voted to move the bill into conference, but the Senate had already left town.

What resulted was another Washington showdown with Senate Democrats — who passed the bill in rare bi-partisan fashion — refusing to negotiate further and House Republicans insisting that a year-long extension was the only way to go.

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4:12pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Medicare Can't Rescue Congress On Fix For Doctors' Pay

Wendell Franks iStockphoto.com

Here we go again.

With official Washington trapped in partisan gridlock, doctors who treat Medicare patients are once again facing the prospect of a big cut in pay that almost no one supports.

And this time Medicare officials say they won't be hold onto the bills for longer than the usual 10-day processing time to wait for Congress to act. A 27 percent cut is set to take effect Jan. 1, unless Congress stops it.

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3:54pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Politics

Future Dim For 100-Watt Bulb, Despite Congress' Stall

The trillion-dollar budget bill that Congress passed last weekend includes plenty of non-spending provisions tucked into it. One of these so-called riders is aimed at saving the 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

But the move is more about politics than light.

Strictly speaking, the issue is this: Old-fashioned incandescent bulbs waste a lot of energy. So under federal law, they're being slowly phased out. The first to go, starting on New Year's Day, is the 100-watt bulb.

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3:42pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Business

'Twas The Busiest Week All Year For Shipping

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:36 pm

Bill Ferguson, a courier for FedEx, loads his truck at a sorting facility in Chicago on Dec. 12 — the company's busiest day in its history.
M. Spencer Green AP

This week marks the busiest time of the year for shipping services like UPS, FedEx and the Postal Service. The post office handled 600 million cards and letters alone on Tuesday, and UPS says it is delivering 300 packages per second, on average.

At one FedEx facility in Washington, D.C., the logistics of last-minute shipping are on full display.

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3:40pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

NORAD's Santa Tracker Switches On Saturday

They'll see him when he's flying.
NORAD

Assuming his elves haven't come up with some sort of stealth technology to cloak his movements, it's almost time again for children of all ages (who have access to computers or smart phones, that is) to follow the jolly guy's travels via the North American Aerospace Defense Command's Santa tracker.

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3:31pm

Thu December 22, 2011
It's All Politics

In New Hampshire, Romney Aims For Common Touch, With Mixed Results

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 4:10 pm

Romney pumped his own gas at a stop on his bus tour.
Ari Shapiro NPR

As he continued his bus tour on Thursday, Mitt Romney may have been hoping to connect with regular folks. At a service station in Randolph, N.H., he pumped the gas himself.

But voters weren't necessarily buying his 'just folks' demeanor. When he joked with a woman at the service station about buying a classic car her family owns, she asked, "$10,000?" — an echo of his unfortunate bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in a recent debate.

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3:22pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Bradley Manning's Hearing In WikiLeaks Case Concludes

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 3:27 pm

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, left, is escorted from a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on Thursday.
Patrick Semansky AP

The military hearing to decide whether Pfc. Bradley Manning, 24, will face a court-martial has come to an end in Fort Meade, Md. As the AP reports, during the hearing a military prosecutor argued that Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, had "defied the nation's trust" by allegedly leaking 700,000 documents, including tens of thousands of classified diplomatic cables, to the website WikiLeaks.

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3:05pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Asia

Pentagon: U.S., Pakistan Share Blame In Shooting

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:36 pm

Pentagon spokesman George Little, speaking Thursday, said U.S. and Pakistani forces both made mistakes that contributed to the Nov. 26 shooting that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers along the border with Afghanistan.
Luis M. Alvarez AP

The U.S. military said Thursday that U.S. and Pakistani forces both made mistakes in a U.S. helicopter attack that killed two dozen Pakistani troops in November along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

The Pentagon released the findings of its investigation that said a lack of trust, miscommunication and faulty map information all contributed to the shooting.

"For the loss of life and lack of coordination between U.S. and Pakistani forces that contributed to those losses, we express our deepest regret," said Pentagon spokesman George Little.

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2:52pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Food

Get Into The Holiday Spirit With Scandinavian Glogg

iStockphoto.com

In snowy Norway, nothing evokes Christmastime like a pot of glogg brewing on the stove. The traditional Scandinavian winter drink mixes wine, port and brandy with spices like caraway, cardamom and cinnamon to make for a brew that smells divine and tastes even better.

Urd Milbury, cultural attache from the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and her husband, Todd, teach NPR's Lynn Neary how to make the holiday treat.

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2:09pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Brain Candy

At Year's End, Reflecting On Cycles In Modern Life

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Today, we mark the winter solstice, in three days, one of the major holidays of the religious calendar, followed by an entirely arbitrary start of the New Year. All of us observe cycles, patterns that regulate our lives from season to season, or Olympiad to Olympiad, or the return of the 17-year cicadas. Some, like the solstice, are dictated by celestial mechanics. Others - well, we've simply invented: spring cleaning, for example, or spring training. What's the cycle you live your life by?

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2:05pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

North Korea: 'Peculiar Natural Wonders' Reported In Tribute To 'Dear Leader'

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 2:10 pm

This handout picture taken by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 21 shows members of the Korean People's Army crying for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang.
KNS AFP/Getty Images

As we've reported before, North Korea's state news agency is fond of assigning supernatural occurrences to their Dear Leader. Over the past two days, the news agency has published an array of stories about Kim Jong Il's death. But late yesterday and today, they are revealing that "peculiar natural wonders" occurred just as Kim died.

Here's the news via the Korean News Service in Japan:

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2:05pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Because Of Somali Pirates, Ocean Racers Are In A 'Stealth Zone'

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 2:08 pm

The Groupama Sailing Team (shown here on Dec. 10 near Cape Town, South Africa) is somewhere out ahead in the "stealth zone."
Volvo Ocean Race Getty Images

1:42pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Holiday Music

Some Christmas Tunes From Rebecca Kilgore And Pals

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 11:24 am

This interview was originally broadcast on December 19, 2005.

In time for the holidays, Fresh Air presents an in-studio concert. Singer Rebecca Kilgore, trombonist Dan Barrett and pianist Rossano Sportiello played at the NOLA studios in Manhattan.

Kilgore is one of the leading interpreters of American songs. She became known for her work with pianist and composer Dave Frishberg.

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1:35pm

Thu December 22, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Journal Retracts Key Study Linking Virus To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TK
TK

The controversial scientific saga over an obscure virus that some researchers proposed as the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome appears a step closer to ending.

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1:10pm

Thu December 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Obama Puts More Pressure On House GOP Over Payroll Tax Cut

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 1:21 pm

The political maneuvering continues in Washington as lawmakers debate how to extend about-to-expire payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

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