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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Business

Iowa Drainage Ditch To Be Renamed

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 6:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is West Drainage Ditch. That is currently the name of the creek that runs through Kalona, Iowa. Not the most appealing of names, but a local newspaper editor is exploring plans to change it.

The editor wants a more noble name for the waterway - or the crick(ph), as locals call it, according to the Iowa Press Citizen. City council embraced the idea of a name change, and the editor has put the naming rights up for auction on eBay. Funds will go toward replacing the sidewalks. So get in your bid now.

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Health

Medicare To Cover Weight Loss Counseling

Medicare has announced that it will pay for primary care providers to counsel obese patients on losing weight and maintaining the weight loss. Medicare will pay doctors, nurses and physicians' assistants to help plan weight loss programs.

4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Election 2012

Gingrich Attracts Crowds In South Carolina

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:24 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Europe

Will Eurozone Countries Give Up Control Of Budgets?

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 2:45 pm

European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi speaks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday. European leaders will meet there next week to discuss their options for fixing the region's sovereign debt crisis.
JohnThys AFP/Getty Images

Next week, leaders of the euro area countries will gather in Brussels in an effort to take a bigger step toward ending the region's sovereign debt crisis. They hope that by agreeing to tougher penalties for countries that break the euro area's budget rules, they can entice the European Central Bank to do more to stem the crisis.

But the question is whether the eurozone countries are willing to give up control of their budgets.

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Asia

Poor Get A Stake In India's Booming Economy

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As Americans debate how to revive their economy, nations in the developing world are looking for ways to keep their growth going - including India, where the government promises to help some of its poorest people, who live in remote areas without services or even official identities. NPR's Corey Flintoff reports on a program that starts with a tiny piece of land.

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4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Business

Competitor Permitted To Sell Lipitor Generic

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with cheaper cholesterol drugs for many Americans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The drug maker Pfizer has lost the patent on its drug Lipitor. The patent expired in the United States yesterday. And on the same day, regulators granted an Indian company approval to sell a cheaper, generic version of the cholesterol drug in the U.S. market.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Movie Interviews

Watch This: Paul Feig's Eclectic Must-See Movies

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:10 am

Director, actor and author Paul Feig directed the smash comedy hit Bridesmaids.
Melissa Kuypers NPR

12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
The Evolution Of A Startup

Setbacks And Surprises Part Of The Deal For A Startup

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 8:21 am

Bluebox Now CEO Naresh Dhiman attends a TechStars retreat with other startup founders at a cabin outside Seattle. His wife is considering getting a job so he can continue to focus on the company.
Courtesy TechStars

Launching a new company is never easy. But in the beginning, the founders of Web-based marketing firm Bluebox Now felt they were on track. The Seattle startup lined up a large paying customer, had a lot of other great leads and was reasonably confident it would get a sizable amount of outside funding. A lot has happened since then.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Economy

Recent Veterans Find Higher Jobless Rates On Return

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, speaks on Capitol Hill about the Hire Heroes Act, which gives tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed veterans. Vets that have served since 2001 face a higher unemployment rate than the population overall.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

The jobless rate has declined a bit in the last year, but among veterans who served in conflict since 2003, it is increasing. The unemployment rate for vets serving since the Iraq war began has risen 1.5 percentage points to more than 12 percent in the past year.

Many veterans say they face a tougher job market than civilians. Tom Tarantino spent a decade in the military, where he served in Iraq and led a platoon. But when he separated from the military in 2007, he spent nearly a year looking for a job.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Africa

What A Lack Of AIDS Funding Could Mean For Africa

The world's largest supporter of AIDS programs has made an ominous announcement: Due to the global financial crisis, it is well short of its fundraising goals.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria pays for more than half of the world's HIV medicine, and supports hundreds of education and advocacy programs worldwide. With World AIDS Day on Thursday, many are worried about what that means for the future of the war on AIDS.

Keeping Momentum In South Africa

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Is NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly Bulletproof?

New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly (left) addresses questions as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara listens during a news conference announcing the arrest of five police officers in October.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

New York City is safer than it's been in generations, but there does seem to be an alarming jump in the crime rate inside the New York Police Department.

In the past two months, members of the country's biggest police force have been accused of fixing parking tickets, smuggling guns and even planting drugs on innocent people.

In October, the U.S. attorney in New York, Preet Bharara, charged five current NYPD officers with smuggling what they thought were stolen cigarettes and firearms as part of an FBI sting.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
U.S.

States Fail In Fight Against Sex Trafficking

Originally published on Thu December 1, 2011 5:10 am

A placard of a child sits on a table during a conference Oct. 31 on human sex trafficking in Atlanta. The Georgia Department of Education estimates that about 5,000 girls in the state are at risk for trafficking each year.
David Goldman AP

Too many states still inadvertently provide safe havens when it comes to sex trafficking — even when children on the streets bear the consequences. That's the conclusion of a new report released Thursday by the advocacy group Shared Hope International.

The study grades each state on whether it has laws to protect children who are pushed into the sex trade — and to punish the adults who seek out those services. Leaders of the group say there's lots of room for improvement. More than half of the states they examined got grades of D or F.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Occupy Protesters Consider Political Future

Occupy Wall Street protestors have been removed by police from public spaces in Los Angeles and Philadelphia this week. Some cities still have active 24-hour protests in place, though earlier this month the original Occupy encampment — on Wall Street — was also shut down.

Now activists in New York and elsewhere are talking about the movement's next phase, including the degree to which Occupy activists get involved in the 2012 election.

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Making Babies: 21st Century Families

Many Women Underestimate Fertility Clock's Clang

Kate Donnellon Nail, 43, works out regularly and eats well. She never thought she would have a problem conceiving a child.
Courtesy of Kate Donnellon Nail

A new survey finds a big disconnect when it comes to fertility. The age women think they can conceive a baby is far different from what their bodies are actually capable off. This poses an increasing problem, as more women wait longer than ever to have children.

Kate Donnellon Nail never imagined she'd have trouble conceiving. For one thing, people always tell the San Francisco musician she looks much younger than her 43 years.

"I work out regularly, I have a personal trainer," she says. "I've been doing yoga for 15 years."

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12:01am

Thu December 1, 2011
Around the Nation

In Miami, Plans For Mega-Casinos Bring Hope And Ire

An design rendering shows the Genting Group's proposed casino and resort complex on Miami's Biscayne Bay. The Malaysian developer's plans are meeting resistance in Florida, where casinos are tightly controlled.
Resorts World Miami

A high-stakes gamble is playing out in Miami, where a Malaysian developer, the Genting Group, plans to spend more than $3 billion to build what it touts as the world's largest casino.

And that's just the opening bid. Other big names in the gaming industry have joined an effort to persuade Florida to approve what are being called "destination casinos."

But there are many opponents to expanding gambling in the state, including religious groups, hotels and restaurants, and The Walt Disney Co.

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6:29pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Middle East

For Iranian-Americans, Sanctions Can Be A Minefield

At the beginning of last year, Mahmoud Reza Banki's future looked bright. He was a senior associate at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey and Co., and had been accepted to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

But Banki, 35, was arrested in January 2010 and charged with accepting large money transfers from Iran that violated U.S. sanctions against that country.

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6:11pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

45,000 Told To Evacuate German Town Before WWII Bomb Defusement

This upcoming weekend, a team of German explosive experts and members of the army are scheduled to defuse an unexploded bomb found in the city of Koblenz in Germany. The bomb — with 3,000 pounds of explosives — is a remnant of World War II that emerged in the Rhine River because of low water levels.

As if that wasn't curious enough, authorities ordered half of the city's residents — 45,000 people — to leave, while they get the job done.

Der Spiegel reports:

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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.

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