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Race
12:02 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

New York City's Fire Commissioner On Extinguishing Racial Gap

Salvatore Cassano smiles during a news conference following his swearing-in as New York City's fire commissioner.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:19 pm

Nearly 250 recruits to New York City's storied fire department graduated on Thursday. The graduating class looks a lot different from the ones before it: Sixty-two percent are members of minority groups. The department has been nearly 90 percent white, a very different demographic than New York City's population.

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Africa
12:02 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Female Doctor Beats Odds To Bring Air Ambulance To Nigeria

Experts said Dr. Ola Orekunrin's dream to create air ambulance service in Nigeria was impossible. But as a doctor and helicopter pilot, she had the skills and dedication to make it work. Orekunrin tells host Michel Martin about Flying Doctors Nigeria.

The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Obama Tells Government To Ramp Up Its Renewable Energy Use

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 1:44 pm

This post was updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

President Obama says the U.S. government "must lead by example" when it comes to safeguarding the environment, so he's ordering federal agencies to use more clean energy.

Under a presidential memorandum out Thursday, each agency would have until 2020 to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable supplies.

"Government agencies currently get less than 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind," NPR's Richard Harris reports. He adds that:

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Ford Hopes New Mustang Will Get The World's Motor Running

The new 2015 Ford Mustang was unveiled Thursday. The car's new design includes features that are geared toward global markets.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:19 pm

Ford unveiled its new Mustang on Thursday, in a splashy event that was undermined a bit by leaked photos that showed the new model's design. And the Mustang will be sold around the globe for the first time since the car was introduced nearly 50 years ago.

From Michigan Radio, Tracy Samilton filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Thu December 5, 2013

China Bans Bitcoin Trading By Banks

Chinese banks cannot trade in Bitcoins, the digital currency that doesn't recognize international boundaries, China's top regulators said Thursday.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 12:03 pm

China says banks in the country are no longer allowed to trade in Bitcoin, the digital currency whose value has sharply risen this year. Chinese citizens, however, are not forbidden from using the currency.

The Bitcoin exchange rate took a hit following Thursday's news from China's central bank.

From Shanghai, NPR's Frank Langfitt filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

U.S. Economy Grew At 3.6 Percent In Third Quarter; Jobless Claims Dip

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:23 am

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 3.6 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That's a rise from the second quarter, when the real gross domestic product tallied a 2.5 percent gain.

The pace of growth is the fastest since the first quarter of 2012, which clocked in at 3.7 percent.

Thursday's release is the "second" estimate for the third quarter, following up on data released in November that put the GDP's increase at 2.8 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Thu December 5, 2013

$559K Fine Set For Safety Failures In Deadly Arizona Wildfire

A photo taken by the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30 shows their position on a ridge, with a red arrow indicating the original location of their lookout. The crew's lookout was the only team member to survive the fire.
Chris MacKenzie Granite Mountain Hotshots

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:16 am

An Arizona employee safety agency has fined the state's forestry division $559,000 for its failures in handling the Yarnell Hill wildfire, which killed 19 elite firefighters from the city of Prescott this summer.

"The agency concluded that State Forestry placed a higher priority on protection of homes and property than firefighter safety," reports the Prescott Daily Courier.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Top Stories: Yemen Attack; Blame In Ariz. Firefighter Deaths

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:54 am

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Book News: Amazon Launches An Imprint For Short Fiction

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at a 2009 event in New York unveiling a new version of the Amazon Kindle.
Mario Tama Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Europe
7:26 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Love At First Sound: A Romantic Story From World War II

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:15 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. This week a British couple celebrated their 70th anniversary, a romance sparked when he fell in love with her voice. It was World War II. The young RAF pilot was returning from a bombing mission over Germany when a lovely voice came over his cockpit radio guiding him down. Rushing up to the control tower he found a glamorous girl from the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Months later Steve and Maureen Stevens married. Love at first sound. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
7:26 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Reviewers On Amazon Poke Fun At $40,000 TV

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Samsung is selling an HD television for $40,000. That price tag prompted the following customer reviews on Amazon.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

I was going to send my kids to college, but I had to do what was best for my family.

INSKEEP: Glad it has low energy costs, as I'm on a very tight budget.

MONTAGNE: I hesitated to buy, but I saw double-A batteries were free with the remote.

The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Militants Launch Deadly Attack On Yemen's Defense Ministry

Smoke rises from the site of a suicide car bombing at the Defense Ministry in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, Thursday.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 10:19 am

Attackers used guns and bombs to assault Yemen's Defense Ministry compound Thursday, in a bold daytime attack that was reportedly carried out by gunmen dressed in Yemeni military uniforms. At least 20 people reportedly were killed during the attack in the capital city of Sanaa.

"The attack took place shortly after working hours started at the ministry, when a suicide bomber drove a car into the gate," a Defense Ministry source tells Reuters.

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Economy
5:09 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Wal-Mart Brings Jobs To D.C. And Complaints Over Low Wages

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Wal-Mart opened its first two stores in Washington, D.C. yesterday, earning cheers from the district's mayor and some residents who say they'll be happy to shop in the city and not in the suburbs. But there have been months of debate over the wages the big box store pays its employees. Some activists and lawmakers say Wal-Mart does not pay workers enough to live on.

NPR's Allison Keyes has our story.

(APPLAUSE)

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Shots - Health News
5:03 am
Thu December 5, 2013

White House Cites Pre-Existing Condition Case From Its Own Ranks

Michael Robertson, then chief of staff of the Government Services Administration, testifies on Capitol Hill on April 16, 2012. Now chief of staff of the Cabinet Affairs Office in the Obama administration, Robertson has undergone treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:07 am

It's Day 4 of the White House's new messaging push for the Affordable Care Act. Today the goal is to tell the stories of people with pre-existing conditions who are now entitled to coverage under the new health care law.

One such story comes from within the White House.

Michael Robertson, deputy assistant to the president and deputy cabinet secretary, was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer 16 months ago. He was 35.

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Business
5:03 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap

Federal regulators are setting new rules for banks that offer deposit advances.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 4:05 pm

A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.

A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."

That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. 21 and put new restrictions on the loans.

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