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The Two-Way
9:39 pm
Sat December 17, 2011

Senate OKs Two More Months For Payroll Tax Cut

"It would be inexcusable for Congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year," Obama said after the Senate passed a two-month extension on the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 9:53 pm

The U.S. Senate wrapped up a tumultuous year of divided government with votes that keep the federal government funded through September and extend expiring unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut another two months.

In a rare Saturday year-end session, the Senate's action averted a shutdown but was not the last word on the payroll tax cut extension.

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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Romney Regains Stride; Gingrich Shows Old Newt At Sioux City Debate

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 12:27 am

Mitt Romney returned to form in the final Republican presidential debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses.

Romney, who had perhaps his shakiest debate performance in Des Moines over the weekend, appeared to regain his composure in Thursday night's debate in Sioux City, Iowa.

He managed to once again convey the sense that he was the one GOP candidate of the seven remaining who could credibly stand on the same stage with President Obama next fall, the most electable of the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Remembrances
6:56 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Writer Christopher Hitchens Dies At 62

Writer and commentator Christopher Hitchens died Thursday. He was 62.
Amanda Edwards Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 3:06 pm

The influential writer and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens died on Thursday at the age of 62 from complications of cancer of the esophagus. Hitchens confronted his disease in part by writing, bringing the same unsparing insight to his mortality that he had directed at so many other subjects.

Over the years, Hitchens' caustic attention was directed at a broad range of subjects, including Henry Kissinger, Prince Charles, Bob Hope, Michael Moore, the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa.

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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Romney Confronted By Gay Vietnam Vet On Same-Sex Marriage Stance

Politicians and journalists always run a risk when they judge a voter strictly on on appearances.

There was a reminder of that Monday when Mitt Romney was forced to defend his opposition to gay marriage during a restaurant encounter with a grizzled Vietnam veteran who happened to be gay.

As it turned out the vet, Bob Garon, also was sitting at a restaurant booth with his husband when the unsuspecting Romney, campaigning at the Manchester restaurant, asked if he could sit down with them.

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Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work
4:03 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

The State Of The Long-Term Unemployed

People wait to see a career adviser at a training center operated by the New York Department of Labor in New York City. NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey on the emotional, physical and financial effects of being without work for a year or more. Nearly 70 percent of respondents would like the government to offer more job training opportunities.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 12:02 pm

Millions of Americans wake up each morning without a job, even though they desperately want to work. It's one of the depressing legacies of the financial crisis and Great Recession.

NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll of people who had been unemployed or with an insufficient level of work for more than a year. The results document the financial, emotional and physical effects of long-term unemployment and underemployment.

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It's All Politics
10:15 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Mitt Romney Declines Donald Trump's Debate Invite

Mitt Romney entertains a toddler in Paradise Valley, AZ, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 6:35 pm

Donald Trump's planned Republican presidential debate lost a major reason for tuning in: watching Mitt Romney contend with Newt Gingrich, the latest rival to claim frontrunner status.

Romney said Tuesday he planned to skip the debate to be moderated by Trump, the TV reality show star and real-estate developer.

The former Massachusetts governor told Fox News' Neil Cavuto of his decision to decline the invitation to the Trump debate being sponsored by NewsMax and ION TV.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Gingrich Takes Lead In New Iowa Poll

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 10:32 am

With the Jan. 3 Iowa Republican caucuses set to kick off the "real" battle for the party's presidential nomination, there's word that:

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Political Junkie
7:04 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Assessing Newt's Rise, Cain's Fall. Plus: The Return Of The Donald?

The Union Leader's track record with endorsements is mixed.
Ken Rudin collection

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:53 am

So now it's Newt Gingrich.

In what has become the most improbable result of a most improbable campaign season, Gingrich, the former speaker of the House who has been out of public office since 1998, has benefited from a series of well-reviewed debate performances to catapult himself to the top of the GOP presidential pack. Not just the leading "Anybody But Mitt (Romney)" candidate. The leader, period.

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Economy
8:41 am
Sun December 4, 2011

How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours, Too

Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 3:04 pm

This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.

Higher stakes are hard to imagine.

If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.

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Herman Cain
4:32 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'

With his wife, Gloria, standing behind him, Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, outside his campaign headquarters in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:13 am

It wasn't supposed to end this way for Herman Cain.

His improbable run for the GOP presidential nomination should have served to burnish his CEO credentials, sell his books and enhance the fee the Baptist lay minister charges for motivational speeches and appearances.

This fall, the simplicity of Cain's 9-9-9 tax-reform plan propelled him to the top of a volatile field. Soon other candidates were rushing to introduce their own versions of a flat tax.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
2:25 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Writer Susan Orlean Plays Not My Job

Gasper Tringale

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 5:27 pm

Susan Orlean, a staff writer for The New Yorker, has just written a book about the life and legend of America's beloved canine icon, Rin Tin Tin. So we've invited her to play a game called "Rin Tin Tin is just the be gin gin ginning." Rin Tin Tin made us think of the Tintin comics ... and that sounds like Tauntaun from Star Wars ... which is sort of like TomTom, the GPS system.

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Art & Design
2:25 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Liz Taylor's Jewel-Dripping Collection On The Block

This 1964 Andy Warhol lithograph entitled "Liz" is signed by the artist. It reads, "To Elizabeth with much love" in felt-tip pen.
Christie's

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:12 am

Celebrity auctions have become common, but once in a while there's an event that will make almost anyone stand up and take notice. After a world tour, the entire collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry, clothing and memorabilia is on view starting Saturday at Christie's auction house in New York City.

After 10 days, there will be a four-day auction. Some 2,000 objects from the film star's life will be on the block, both at Christie's and online.

'Gutsy, Glamorous'

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.6 Percent; 120,000 Jobs Added

A job fair in San Francisco last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 2, 2011 11:46 am

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November from 9 percent in October as payrolls went up by 120,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says.

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Business
2:47 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

'Office' Fans Can Now Buy Dunder Mifflin Copy Paper

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:16 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is comic value. The long-running NBC comedy series "The Office" is about a group of workers employed by a fictitious paper company.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "THE OFFICE")

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Reports: Herman Cain 'Reassessing' Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:05 pm

(New material based on NPR reporting added to the top of this post at 12:30 p.m. ET.)

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is reassessing his campaign but still plans to move ahead at this time, his Iowa campaign director tells The Associated Press and NPR.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:11 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Mitt Romney's Evolution On Abortion

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 12:01 am

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been labeled a flip-flopper. And when it comes to abortion, the former governor of Massachusetts appears to have changed his position from being in favor of abortion rights to being opposed.

But now some people are asking if Romney ever supported abortion rights at all? Backers of abortion rights don't think so.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue November 29, 2011

American Airlines Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

American Airlines jets at Los Angeles International Airport.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 11:39 am

American Airlines, one of the giants of the U.S. airline industry, just announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Economy
1:40 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Black Friday Sales Suggest A Strong Cyber Monday

Workers process orders at an Amazon.com fulfillment center n Swansea, Wales, as they prepare for their busiest time of the year.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 1:23 pm

Shoppers stormed retail stores this past weekend, and now on Cyber Monday, many are clicking their way to more purchases.

"I am definitely a price-based shopper," said Sarah Kelly, a 28-year-old Washington, D.C., resident who bought a KitchenAid mixer Monday morning as a holiday gift. She also bought shoes, clothes and other presents after waking early to search for online coupons and shipping offers. "I only purchase if the shipping is free," she said.

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NPR News
5:09 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

With No 'Superdeal,' What's Next In Deficit Debate?

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the supercommittee co-chairwoman, arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. John Kerry with other members of the deficit reduction panel on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:30 pm

For the not-so-super debt reduction supercommittee, failure is clearly an option.

As the blame-gaming bipartisan congressional committee stumbled toward collapse Monday, washing out on even the most basic show of common purpose, the "what happens next" scenarios began to take shape.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 4:57 pm

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

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NPR News
3:39 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Climate Panel: More Extreme Weather On The Way

A U.N. climate panel says that we can expect more extreme weather conditions as a result of climate change. Above, people run from a high wave on Nov. 8 in Nice, France, where heavy rain and flooding forced hundreds to evacuate.
Vallery Hache AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:55 pm

Brace yourself for more extreme weather. A group of more than 200 scientists convened by the United Nations says in a new report that climate change will bring more heat waves, more intense rainfall and more expensive natural disasters.

These conclusions are from the latest effort of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — a consensus statement from researchers around the world.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Fri November 18, 2011

As The Protest Ends, What Now For Occupy Movement?

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 10:58 pm

Today's "Day of Action," planned by the Occupy Wall Street movement, culminated at Foley Square near City Hall in New York. In some ways, it felt rather low key, because the space felt wide open and despite a sizable crowd that overflowed onto the streets and nearby sidewalks, the protest felt organized.

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Economy
6:57 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Would Supercommittee Failure Roil Markets?

Analysts worry that failure by the supercommittee to reach a credible debt-reduction deal could upset financial markets, force up interest rates and hurt the economy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 4:34 pm

With Wednesday's deadline looming, the congressional supercommittee still seems far from an agreement, causing concern that failure could send financial markets into a spiral.

The bipartisan panel, charged with finding budget cuts or new revenues to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, is a child of the summer's debt-ceiling debate. It was an escape hatch for Congress and the president when they couldn't reach agreement on big deficit-reduction measures. That game of chicken helped to send the stock market sliding.

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Newt Gingrich
6:57 am
Fri November 18, 2011

To Imagine A Gingrich Presidency, Look To The '90s

In September 1994, then-House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich addressed Republican congressional candidates on Capitol Hill during a rally where they pledged a new "Contract with America." Months later, Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time in decades, and Gingrich became speaker of the House.
John Duricka AP

Originally published on Fri November 18, 2011 2:54 pm

Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House of Representatives for four turbulent and productive years.

From 1995 through 1998, Congress forced a government shutdown, overhauled the welfare system, balanced the budget for the first time in decades and impeached a president for the second time in history.

Gingrich was in the middle of those debates, fiery in his rhetoric, yet willing to compromise and work with a Democratic president.

The 104th Congress

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It's All Politics
9:43 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Herman Cain Has Major 'Oops' Moment On Libya

Herman Cain searches for a Libya answer.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel screenshot

Originally published on Mon November 14, 2011 7:04 pm

(Post updated at 8:49 pm.)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry move over. You now have company in the brain-fade department after Herman Cain demonstrated a flamboyant confusion over his position on Libya Monday.

In a meeting Milwaukee Journal Sentinel staff members, a journalist asked the Republican presidential candidate a question that wasn't exactly one of those "gotcha" queries. Paraphrasing, the question was: Do you agree or not with what President Obama's Libya policy?

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World Cafe
4:57 pm
Fri November 11, 2011

World Cafe: 20th-Anniversary Concert Highlights

Feist performs at the World Cafe 20th-anniversary concert.
John Bartol WXPN

Originally published on Mon May 28, 2012 10:29 am

Today's show features live performances from some of our favorite World Cafe artists, straight from our 20th-anniversary celebration concerts.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed November 9, 2011

Wal-Mart Plans Ambitious Expansion Into Medical Care

A trip to the local Wal-Mart, like this one in Oakland, Calif., could soon mean one less stop at the doctor's office.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Fri November 11, 2011 4:51 pm

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET: Wal-Mart issued a statement Wednesday saying its request for partners to provide primary care services was "overwritten and incorrect." The firm is "not building a national, integrated low-cost primary health care platform," according to the statement by Dr. John Agwunobi, a senior vice president for health and wellness at the retailer.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:03 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Is Time An Illusion? From The Buddha To Brian Greene

Can time be stopped, captured or even known? Does it exist, or is it all just an illusion?
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Is time real, or is change just a kind of optical illusion resting on a deeper unchanging reality?

As finite creatures, with death hovering just out of our sight, the true nature of time haunts all our endeavors. Tomorrow, physicist Brian Greene tackles time's illusion in his Fabric of Reality PBS series. Science, however, is just one way we ask about the reality of time.

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It's All Politics
7:06 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Romney's Hoped For, Nov. 2012 Headline: 'Mitt Is It'

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 6:53 pm

Mitt Romney was in Dubuque, IA Monday partly to demonstrate that he's really serious about competing in a state he has mostly been absent from.

That had been in doubt since he's only been to Iowa just five times compared with more than a score of visits by some of the other candidates.

While in Iowa where he visited a steel plant where a fabricated metal sign made by the plant's workers awaited him, Romney asked his audience to look ahead a year with him.

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The Salt
12:07 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Restaurant Grease As Good As Gold To Biofuel Thieves

A worker with cooking oil in a holding barrel behind an Ashton, Maryland restaurant.
TIM SLOAN AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 7, 2011 1:29 pm

Used restaurant grease has become a hot item for thieves, who siphon it from barrels behind restaurants to sell on the booming biofuels market.

Late last month, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said it would pay local police target the alleys and parking lots where restaurants typically park their barrels of used grease.

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