NPR Blogs

The Salt
12:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise

Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? beer has been a fast seller, the company's brewmaster says.
Jazz Aldrich Great Basin Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:50 pm

The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:36 am

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

As Egypt Prepares To Vote, Only One Side Seems Organized

An Egyptian activist holds a banner used to spray paint graffiti on a wall urging Egyptians to vote against a draft constitution. The opposition says the constitution does not represent all Egyptians, but their efforts have not been particularly well organized. President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters support the draft constitution. Voting begins Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

For three consecutive weeks, the Egyptian opposition has called mass protests against a controversial draft constitution that Egyptians are being asked to vote on beginning Saturday.

At each rally, protesters chanted against the document and its key proponents: The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi, who was among the group's leaders before he was elected Egypt's president.

But the opposition appears to be losing momentum, while the Islamists still appear to be going strong.

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Is Everything Worse Than Ever? And A Gift Guide!

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

You can't fill your end-of-the-year season with nothing but good cheer, or you'll turn into a candy cane. (That's science.) So we chose to tackle a slightly darker topic this week: Is everything worse than ever?

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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'We've Got Bigger Fish To Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers, Obama Says

A woman, identified only as "Hurricane," lights up in Seattle. Washington state's law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect on Dec. 6.
Cliff Despeaux Reuters /Landov

It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Manufactured Charges' Maligned Her Character, Rice Says

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

"In recent weeks, new lines of attack have been raised to malign my character and my career. Even before I was nominated for any new position, a steady drip of manufactured charges painted a wholly false picture of me."

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The Salt
9:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Sowing The Seeds For A Great American Chestnut Comeback

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:02 pm

Though we hear about them every holiday season in that famous song, chestnuts – whether roasting on an open fire or otherwise – have been noticeably absent from many American tables for decades, thanks to a deadly fungus that decimated the species near half a century ago. But a small army of determined growers have been on a seemingly quixotic quest to put chestnuts back on the American table, and they're just starting to see results.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Top Stories: Missiles For Turkey; Inflation In Check; Egypt Prepares To Vote

A supporter of the opposition to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was playing soccer near a Republican Guard tank earlier today outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Egyptians are being called to vote over the next two weekends in a referendum on a draft constitution.
Patrick Baz AFP/Getty Images
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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Inflation Is In Check; Consumer Prices Fell 0.3 Percent In November

Sign of the times: Markdowns at a discount clothing store in New York City last month. Such stiff competition for consumers' dollars is helping to keep inflation in check.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:48 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Does The CPI Need A Fix?

A sharp drop in the cost of a gallon of gasoline helped pull consumer prices down 0.3 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

According to BLS, gas prices plunged 7.4 percent last month.

Excluding the food and energy sectors, the so-called core rate of inflation rose just 0.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

In Repeat Of Disturbing News, Man With Knife Attacks School Children In China

Wei Jingru, one of the students injured in today's attack, is being treated at a hospital in central China's Henan Province.
Li Bo Xinhua /Landov
  • NPR's Louisa Lim on the NPR Newscast

Twenty-two children and one adult are reported to have been injured at a school in China today by a man wielding a knife.

It happened in a village about 500 miles south of Beijing. As NPR's Louisa Lim tells our Newscast Desk, the attack is the latest of what has been a disturbing series of such incidents in recent years.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Syrian Crisis: Turkey Getting Patriot Missiles, Some U.S. Troops To Operate Them

A U.S. Army Patriot Surface-to Air missile system on display in South Korea.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:12 am

"The U.S. will send two batteries of Patriot missiles and 400 troops to Turkey as part of a NATO force meant to protect Turkish territory from a potential Syrian missile attack, the Pentagon said Friday." (The Associated Press)

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Shots - Health News
3:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Making The Rich Pay More For Medicare

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., speaks Tuesday at a news conference calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets, as part of the year-end budget talks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Waxman said he does not support means testing for Medicare.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:33 am

When it comes to reducing Medicare spending, asking wealthier seniors to pay more is one of the few areas where Democrats have shown a willingness to even consider the subject.

"I do believe there should be means testing. And those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., on last Sunday's Meet the Press. "That could be part of the solution."

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Gravity Never Sleeps, And Other Lessons Nations Learn From Space Programs

This picture received from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday shows an orbit image of the satellite Kwangmyongsong-3, being monitored on a large screen at a satellite control center in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province in North Korea.
AFP/Getty Images

Sputnik 1 just beeped. China's first satellite, launched more than a decade later, simply radioed a communist anthem back to Earth. So far, North Korea's first satellite appears to be less accomplished.

And that shouldn't be a surprise.

Given the history of first orbital space shots, North Korea's apparent struggle with its mission is fairly typical, says David Akin, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

VIDEO: Speed Camera Nabs Car Sitting At Red Light

A screengrab of the video a speed-camera sent to driver Daniel Doty shows his car idling at a red light. Doty received a $40 fine for speeding.
Baltimore Sun

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:54 pm

When most drivers get a ticket from a speed-zone camera, there's little they can do but pay the fine. After all, the ticket often includes photographic proof that their car was over the limit. But a Maryland driver is fighting his $40 fine precisely because of what the photos show: his car, sitting at a red light.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Error Of The Year: CNN And Fox News Share The Dishonor

Poynter.org

We didn't make the list, and boy are we glad.

CNN and Fox News share the shame of the Poynter Institute's "error of the year" for mistakenly telling their audiences that the Supreme Court had struck down Obamacare.

In truth, the court had done the opposite.

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