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Around the Nation
5:57 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Magnet Turns Pet Into A Cat Burglar

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with a tale of a cat burglar. A young Londoner opted for a newfangled way to thwart neighborhood kitties from stealing her cat's food. She hung a magnet to Milo's collar that unlocked a fancy cat door, which transformed Milo into a cat burglar. Turns out, Milo herself had been slipping into neighbor's homes and the magnet started picking up small metal objects, allowing Milo to carry off 20 sets of spare keys. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:51 am
Wed December 12, 2012

For Alabama Boy 12-12-12 Is Special

Kiam Moriya was born in 2000 at 12 minutes past noon. So Wednesday afternoon, the young man can say: I turned 12 at 12:12 on 12-12-12. He told Yahoo News he's marking the occasion with donuts arranged in the shape of the number 12.

The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed December 12, 2012

'Global Chorus Of Condemnation' After North Korea's Rocket Launch

A North Korean military band performed today in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's rocket launch. Other nations, though, condemned the launch.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

"The global chorus of condemnation has been loud and clear," after North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket that carried a satellite into space, NPR's Louisa Lim said today on Morning Edition.

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Best Books Of 2012
5:03 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Now You're Talking! The Year's Best Book Club Reads

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 9:04 am

A young boy seeks justice. A young woman wants to stay alive. A friendship is tested. The child of a commune comes of age. A solitary man gives himself over to love. These are the bare actions underpinning the novels that I'm suggesting for book clubs this year. Some are first novels; others the work of well-known writers. Some might touch your heart; others might challenge the way you think. At least one will make you laugh — and a couple might make you cry. They are all good reads. And they are, above all, books you'll want to talk about with your friends.

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Country Cousins: 3 Books About Rural Living

iStockphoto.com
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 9:31 am

As a small-town girl, I love depictions of rural living when they've got a little style and sass in their makeup. Replete with enough quirks and quaintness to choke a mule, small towns are timelessly fertile ground for writers. But the best authors ignore — or even play with — stereotypes to tell truly compelling stories.

Around the Nation
4:09 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Despite Protests, Michigan Is A Right-To-Work State

Michigan is now the nation's 24th right-to-work state, where unions cannot automatically collect dues or fees from workers. The governor signed the law just hours after it was approved by the state's legislature in a day marked by protests.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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Around the Nation
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Commission Probes N.Y. Power Loss After Hurricane Sandy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:01 am

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to hold the Long Island Power Authority accountable for its performance after Superstorm Sandy. He appointed a special commission to look at how the utility performed. The commission had a meeting Tuesday night on Long Island, where thousands lost power, in some cases for weeks.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Tax Deductions And The Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:20 am

Morning Edition continues with the latest installment of its series: The Twelve Days of Deductions. It's a nod to the many deductions, credits and other tax breaks that political leaders are weighing as they continue their negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:36 am

Greece's government says it will buy back nearly 32 billion euros of its bonds — that means the country would be erasing nearly $40 billion worth of debt. The country's private-sector creditor agreed to sell off the bonds, though at sharply discounted prices. Getting rid of this chunk of debt should allow Greece to get more money from the International Monetary Fund.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:42 am

Dave Sobelman was looking for publicity for his pub in Milwaukee. He announced a new drink. It's a Bloody Mary with celery, pickled asparagus, picked onions, shrimp, a chunk of cheese, a piece of Polish sausage and a cheeseburger slider. It sells for $9. It also comes with a chaser of beer.

Business
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Update

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:07 am

Federal Reserve officials were meeting this week to decide how much more credit to pump into the U.S. economy. To find out what they're likely to do — and why — Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Middle East
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Protests Against Egypt's Constitution Dwindle

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's protest movement against the controversial draft constitution appears to be losing steam. The opposition had hoped to fill the streets last night with protestors, but calls to demonstrate only generated a lackluster turnout. Voting on the new constitution begins today for Egyptians living abroad. Voters in Egypt are expected to begin casting ballots on Saturday as President Mohammed Morsi plans. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has this report from Cairo.

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Asia
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:45 am

Defying international warnings, North Korea successfully fired a long-range rocket on Wednesday. The launch was something of a surprise because Pyongyang had indicated technical problems might delay it.

Europe
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Russia's Defense Shuffle May Tarnish Its Military

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:32 am

The Russian military is plagued by problems: A top heavy senior officer corps and a defense industry that churns out obsolete equipment, to name just two. Analysts in Russia say the U.S. should be worried about a weaker Russia, which may be becoming a front line in the battle against Islamist extremism.

Middle East
3:58 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama Adds Legitimacy To Syrian Rebel Group

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:55 am

President Obama said the U.S. will recognize a newly formed Syrian opposition group as the country's legitimate representative. That will allow the group to channel international aid money into Syria as well as draw-up plans for a transitional government if the regime of Syrian President Assad falls.

Around the Nation
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Wed December 12, 2012

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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It's All Politics
1:32 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:15 am

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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Books
1:04 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey's revamped book club uses her magazine and OWN cable network as platforms.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Oprah Winfrey became a publishing powerhouse when she started her book club in 1996. Her picks went to the top of best-seller lists — and stayed there for weeks. But when Winfrey's daily talkfest went off the air, the book club ended as well.

Now she is reviving it: Winfrey has just announced her second pick for the Book Club 2.0: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, a novel by first-time author Ayana Mathis about the Great Migration of African-Americans out of the rural South.

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Kitchen Window
1:02 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Belgian Sweets Not Just For 'Sinterklaas'

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:34 am

Though my grandmother Georgette was born in the United States, she is half Belgian (Flemish) and half French. On top of the cabinets in her blue kitchen you'll find a little Dutch village of porcelain houses. Above the sink are miniature figures of the Statue of Liberty, Manneken Pis and the Eiffel Tower — representations of her three nationalities. In her Delft cookie jar you'll find speculaas (also called speculoos) — the Dutch windmill-shaped gingersnap-like cookie traditionally eaten on St. Nicholas Day.

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The Record
10:54 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Ravi Shankar, Who Brought Eastern Music To Western Legends, Dies

Ravi Shankar circa 1960 in the U.K.
David Redfern Redferns

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:40 am

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Sweetness And Light
8:03 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

NHL Lockout Leaves Fans Out In The Cold

Mike Bolt, keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice on Dec. 7, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The NHL lockout enters its 88th day on Wednesday.
Darryl Dyck AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:44 am

The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.

Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.

Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.

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Asia
7:34 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Obama Recognizes Rebels As Legitimate Representatives Of Syrian People

Rebel fighters take part in a demonstration against the Syrian regime after Friday prayers in Aleppo on Friday.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:58 am

President Obama said Tuesday that his administration now formally recognizes the Syrian rebels who are fighting President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

After 126 Years, 'The Sporting News' Stops The Presses

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:49 am

It's a story we in the news business have heard all too often lately.

After 126 years, The Sporting News, the wise old man of sports journalism, will cease publishing as of Jan. 1, 2013. Editor-In-Chief Garry Howard and publisher Jeff Price made the announcement in a letter to readers Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
4:09 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Boehner Sends 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer To White House

Speaker John Boehner leaves his office Tuesday and walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Obama on the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 4:33 pm

The back and forth over the "fiscal cliff" continues: House Speaker John Boehner sent a new counterproposal to the White House on Tuesday that, according to a spokesman for the speaker, aims to "achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."

Tuesday's offer from Boehner follows his remarks on the House floor in which he called on President Obama to identify what spending cuts the White House will accept as part of a "balanced approach" toward a deal.

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It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

'Paris Hilton Tax' Vs. 'Death Tax': A Lesser-Known Fiscal Debate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:34 pm

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

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