National

U.S.
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Acts Of Kindness Continue At Corner Perk Cafe

The Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, S.C.
Mandi Brower Photography

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 6:40 pm

In January, we brought you a story from Bluffton, S.C., where acts of kindness abounded at a small coffee shop called the Corner Perk Cafe.

It all began when one of the cafe's regulars decided to "pay it forward." She donated $100 to buy other customers' coffee.

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Business
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 6:33 pm

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

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History
11:20 am
Sat December 29, 2012

'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation

Pocket versions of the Proclamation of Emancipation were distributed through Union troops to be read to slaves.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 8:16 pm

The National Archives is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by putting the original document on display over New Year's weekend.

The institution is also hosting a series of programs, including a "Watch Night" on New Year's Eve, following a tradition dating back to 1862.

The first Watch Night was Dec. 31, 1862, as abolitionists and others waited for word — via telegraph, newspaper or word of mouth — that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued.

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Shots - Health News
7:42 am
Sat December 29, 2012

As Biodiversity Declines, Tropical Diseases Thrive

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever, which may become a bigger problem in some regions as biodiversity is lost.
James Gathany CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:24 am

Global health advocates often argue that the tropical diseases that plague many countries, such as malaria and dengue, can be conquered simply with more money for health care – namely medicines and vaccines.

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Around the Nation
6:13 am
Sat December 29, 2012

S.C. Town Needs A Mayor, But No One Wants The Job

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A recent story in the New York Times caught our eye about a small town in South Carolina with just one stoplight.

MAYOR BUDDY JOHNSON: Well, actually, it isn't a stoplight. It's actually a caution light.

WERTHEIMER: And that's a man who would know.

JOHNSON: I'm Buddy Johnson. I guess, in four or five days, I'll be the former mayor of the town of Little Mountain, South Carolina.

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It's All Politics
5:22 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.

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It's All Politics
5:21 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

We have reached the last weekend of the year, and Washington still has not reached a deal to avert the big tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

President Obama met with top congressional leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House, and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate.

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The Two-Way
5:19 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Marvel Kills Peter Parker, But Spider-Man Will Live On (Sort Of)

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 is the final issue of the series.
AP/Marvel Comics

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 8:47 pm

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Marvel Comics' web-slinging, wise-cracking superhero. Spider-Man is no more. Well, to be more precise, Peter Parker is no more.

In the 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, writer Dan Slott's controversial story saw Spider-Man's mind switched with that of his dying arch-foe Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The twist is that with his final effort, Spidey was able to give all of his memories and morals to his body-stealing enemy.

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Economy
5:06 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Reading The Economic Tea Leaves For 2013

A housing revival will be key to an economic recovery in 2013, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

The U.S. economy was a bit of a disappointment in 2012. During the early months of the year, job creation was surprisingly strong, but by the end of the year, uncertainty about the election and the "fiscal cliff" slowed the economy's forward motion. So will 2013 look any better?

Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics says that while Washington likely will steer us away from the fiscal cliff at the last minute, some elements of the deal will be a drag on the economy early in 2013.

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Around the Nation
5:06 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

California Missions Undergo Upgrades To Resist Quakes

Scaffolding is seen at the basilica at a mission in Carmel, Calif., a sign of its multimillion-dollar seismic retrofit.
Krista Almanzan for NPR

At California's nearly two dozen Spanish missions, conversion these days isn't just about religion; it's also about seismic retrofitting. That's because the missions — which date to the late 1700s, when Spain's king sent Franciscan missionaries to convert natives to Christianity — would not withstand a major earthquake.

At a mission in Carmel, a 220-year-old basilica is in the middle of an earthquake retrofit. Workers removed the structure's red tile roof and replaced it with scaffolding and a protective plastic.

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The Salt
4:18 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

One Lunch Lady's Cafeteria Conversion

Kathy Del Tonto (far right) participates in a class that teaches school cafeteria workers how to prepare meals from scratch.
LiveWell Colorado

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:02 pm

Kathy Del Tonto started cooking school food 30 years ago in the Montrose school district at the foot of Colorado's San Juan Mountains. Back then, the cafeteria workers made everything from scratch.

"My first kitchen that I managed was a little country school out south of town, and we made our own ketchup and everything," she says.

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The Picture Show
3:26 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

This Milk Production Was Brought To You By A Robot

Photographer Freya Najade journeys into the weird sci-fi world of Europe's agricultural production. In one cow-milking facility she visited, "two people are needed to milk twice a day 300 cows," she writes.
Freya Najade

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:32 pm

We all have an inkling of how our food is grown these days, but increasingly we don't really know what it looks like. You'd probably recognize a tomato plant or a cornfield — but these photos offer a perspective that a lot of us haven't seen.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Tracking Gun-related Deaths, One Tweet At A Time

A makeshift shrine to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Slate and a citizen journalist are trying to track gun deaths across the nation since that Dec. 14 mass shooting.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:36 am

How many Americans died on Christmas Day from a gun shot? How many have been shot and killed since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn.?

No one knows for sure. Authorities pull together annual figures, but not daily reports on gun-related murders, suicides and accidental deaths.

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Monkey See
12:58 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Very First Live Show

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's been a holiday week here at the old PCHH studios (I'm just kidding, that's completely not a thing), but we've got good news: we're offering the audio of our live show, which we recorded on December 15, in front of an incredibly patient and kind crowd.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

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