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Business
5:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Treasury Department Sells Its Stake In GM

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

The U.S. Department of Treasury has gotten out of the auto business. The government completed its sales of stock in General Motors on Monday.

Middle East
5:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

In Egypt, Protests Shift To University Campuses

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's turn next to Egypt, where the protest movement is shifting from the street to university campuses. Student activism is now at the heart of dissent against the military-backed government. But like Egypt itself, this movement is divided. Groups of secular and Islamist protesters are working separately, closing down campuses and demanding that the police be tried for their crimes. From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report.

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Africa
5:29 am
Tue December 10, 2013

AP Reporter Tracks Down Bodies In Mali

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's hear an extraordinary story from another part of Africa. Mali's military retook Timbuktu from Islamist militants earlier this year. But after the army secured that historic city in the desert, local people began disappearing. They were ethnic Arabs, apparently blamed for the Islamist militancy.

The army denied the killings, but an Associated Press team found the body of one ethnic Arab in the desert in a grave so shallow the clothes were visible over the sand.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Tue December 10, 2013

French Court Sentences Executive For Selling Faulty Breast Implants

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:16 pm

A French court has sentenced the head of a company that sold tens of thousands of defective breast implants to four years in prison for aggravated fraud. Poly Implant Prothese was once among the world's leaders in supplying implants. But its product was found to have a high rupture rate.

From Paris, NPR's Eleanor Beardsely reports:

"The Marseilles court convicted Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of the company, and three colleagues.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Honoring Mandela, In Gestures Large And Small

People holding a South African flag sing as they arrive at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, South Africa, to watch a telecast of the Nelson Mandela memorial service on Tuesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Standing in a steady drizzle at dawn, Lerato Maphanga took a black marker to a whitewashed wall that's serving as a condolences board outside Nelson Mandela's old home in Soweto, South Africa.

"Thank you, Tata [father], rest in peace," she wrote Tuesday. Then she signed it, "Born Free," a reference to the black South Africans born after apartheid ended in the 1994 election that made Mandela the country's first black president.

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U.S.
4:30 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Leaked Documents Show Government Spying On Fantasy Games

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Spying on Your Second Life.

We already know our personal lives aren't safe from NSA surveillance. Turns out, neither are our virtual lives.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A new leak from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden reveals that intelligence agencies spied on popular online fantasy games like "Second Life" and "World of Warcraft."

An NSA analyst writes, quote, "These games offer realistic weapons training." Like, say, how to cleave an orc with an ax.

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Strange News
4:30 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Canada Aims To Take North Pole Into Its Nautical Borders

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Strange News
4:30 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Florida Capitol's Nativity Sparks Call For Pabst Festivus Pole

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

There will be a Nativity scene inside the Florida State Capitol Building. The Florida Prayer Network put up the scene, with a state permit. Chaz Stevens thinks that's an annoying mixture of church and state, so he applied for a permit for a Festivus pole, honoring the fake religion made up on the TV show "Seinfeld." The Festivus pole will be made of Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. Other displays allowed in the rotunda include a Bill of Rights Nativity banner.

Business
3:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Women Still Largely Absent From Corporate Boards

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, is one of the relatively few women to serve on major corporate boards.
Ramin Talaie Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:11 am

Women are still not making headway when it comes to getting on corporate boards or into senior leadership roles within big companies.

New research out Tuesday examined Fortune 500 Companies and found that women hold only about 17 percent of the seats on boards of directors, and they have an even smaller share — about 15 percent — of senior executive positions.

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Business
3:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

BP Argues Companies Are Unfairly Cashing In On 2010 Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:56 am

Oil giant BP is challenging hundreds of millions of dollars in claims that were filed by businesses after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total price tag for BP's oil spill is huge — $42.5 billion. At issue here is a fraction of that — but still a lot of money. BP says $540 million has been awarded to businesses for losses that "are either nonexistent, exaggerated or have nothing to do with the Deepwater Horizon accident."

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U.S.
3:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

For Veterans, 'Bad Paper' Is A Catch-22 For Treatment

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In many ways, military veterans hold a privileged place in American society, but not all vets have access to what goes along with that privilege. In the past decade of war, more than 100,000 men and women left the military with less than honorable discharges, many due to bad conduct related to post traumatic stress disorder. Once they're kicked out of the military, they lose access to benefits like treatment for PTSD.

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The Two-Way
2:53 am
Tue December 10, 2013

WATCH: Local Coverage Of Mandela's Memorial Service

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:29 am

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The Two-Way
2:33 am
Tue December 10, 2013

South Africa Honors Mandela, An 'Incomparable Force Of Leadership'

Members of the public sing and dance as they arrive for the Nelson Mandela memorial service at the FNB Stadium, on Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 12:34 pm

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Israel, Jordan, Palestinians Strike Water-Sharing Deal

The Gulf of Aqaba, near the Jordanian city of the same name. Under a new agreement, Jordan would build a desalination plant near here.
Jamal Nasrallah AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 8:59 am

Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians have agreed to a water-sharing pact that would see the construction of a desalination plant on the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea and bring "a long-awaited Red Sea-Dead Sea pipeline one step closer to completion," according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Congress Renews Ban On X-Ray-Evading Plastic Guns

Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Bill Nelson of Florida talk to reporters about their effort to renew the ban on plastic firearms, at the Capitol on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 5:56 pm

Congress voted to renew a ban on plastic firearms that can skirt airport detectors, but Republican lawmakers blocked efforts to tighten the restrictions.

The Senate approved the measure by a voice vote hours before it would have expired at midnight. The House voted last week to renew the ban.

As The Associated Press reports:

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It's All Politics
4:45 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Ethics Panel Hands Down Holiday Gift Rules — In Rhyme

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree is lit against the early morning sky on Dec. 4.
J. David Ake AP

Time was when business-suited Santas would spend December roaming the corridors of Congress, bestowing all sorts of goodies upon their elected friends, prospective friends and staffers: baskets of food, bottles of booze, even high-priced tickets to sports events.

That last item is the kind of thing that sent uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff to prison. It also brought the House of Representatives a new set of ethics rules — stern and often complex limits on accepting gifts.

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Law
4:15 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Indicted On Corruption, Civil Rights Abuses

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In Los Angeles today, federal prosecutors announced charges of corruption and civil rights abuses inside the nation's largest jail system. The indictments came against 18 current and former deputies of the LA Sheriff's Department. NPR's Kirk Siegler has details from outside the federal building in downtown Los Angeles.

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Around the Nation
3:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Illegal Wreath 'Tippers' Look For Some Under-The-Table Green

The tips of balsam fir trees are used to make Christmas wreaths.
USDA

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

That wreath on your front door could contain stolen goods.

The tips of fir trees used to make wreaths are collected by "tippers" and attract high prices — as well as poachers, who cut limbs and even whole trees on private land.

The Christmas greens industry is estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars. But like other cottage industries, no one's really counting. Anyone with a desire to make some money can take part — on or under the table. And that's become a problem for some woodlot owners trying to protect their trees.

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Art & Design
3:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Royal Gardener Planted The Seed Of Urban Planning At Versailles

Andre Le Notre pumped in water from the Seine River to create the Grand Canal at Chateau of Versailles.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

France's Chateau of Versailles has pulled out all the stops for one of its favorite sons, gardener Andre Le Notre, who designed the palace's famous gardens. This year, to mark the 400th anniversary of Le Notre's birth, several of the garden's fountains are being restored and the chateau is hosting an exhibit on his life through February 2014.

Experts say Le Notre's work was so groundbreaking, it continues to influence contemporary urban architecture.

'The Interlocutor Of Kings'

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All Tech Considered
3:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Teens Dig Digital Privacy, If Snapchat Is Any Indication

Three high school students in Oakland, Calif., swap photos using Snapchat.
Ike Sriskandarajah Youth Radio

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

The track record of commercial products designed with privacy as a top priority has been abysmal — at least until recently. The ephemeral texting app Snapchat is turning assumptions upside down about young people and their desire for digital privacy.

Fred Cate, director of applied cybersecurity research at Indiana University, is an expert on privacy in the digital age. But when it comes to the viability of tech products that promise privacy, Cate has always been skeptical.

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It's All Politics
3:42 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Senate GOP Could Taste Sweet Revenge In Supreme Court Case

Miguel Estrada, whose 2002 nomination to a federal judgeship was filibustered by Senate Democrats, will represent Senate Republicans in their recess appointments case against President Obama.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:09 pm

If revenge is a dish best served cold, in Washington it can also be served with a heaping side of irony.

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to Sen. Mitch McConnell's request to let Senate Republicans participate in the high-profile case Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Government Sells Last Shares In GM, Loses $10 Billion

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson speaks to the media after a June 2013 GM shareholders meeting in Detroit. General Motors posted $152 billion in global revenues in 2012.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 3:59 pm

Critics of the federal auto bailout will no longer be able to refer derisively to GM as "Government Motors" — on Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced the U.S. government has sold its remaining shares in the carmaker.

"With the final sale of GM stock, this important chapter in our nation's history is now closed," Lew said, announcing the sale.

The net? Taxpayers lost $10.7 billion on the deal.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

U.S. Veteran Freed From N. Korea Says 'Confession' Was Coerced

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Ben Margot AP

The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained by North Korea for weeks, before being released, says the "confession" that he read and was aired on state television was coerced.

The AP and Reuters obtained a written statement from Merrill Newman in which he says North Korean authorities may have misrepresented his interest in the Korean War.

Reuters reports:

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

18 LA Sheriff's Deputies Indicted In Sweeping Jail Probe

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in 2011
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 4:02 pm

Federal prosecutors announced Monday the indictment of 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies on an array of charges stemming from a sweeping investigation into inmate abuse and corruption.

"These incidents did not take place in a vacuum — in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. "The pattern of activity alleged in the obstruction of justice case shows how some members of the Sheriff's Department considered themselves to be above the law."

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Technology
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Google VP: 'Pendulum Has Swung Too Far Toward Secrecy'

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. We begin today with All Tech Considered and the top tech news of the day. Eight major technology companies are calling on President Obama to reform government surveillance programs. Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are among the authors of an open letter to the president.

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Asia
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Kim Jong Un Dismisses Uncle From Defense Post On State Television

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The signal from North Korea could not be anymore emphatic: Kim Jong Un is decisively in control. And he's gone so far as to purge his uncle, who was considered the number two power in North Korea, publicly on television.

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Europe
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Ukrainian Police Threaten To Drive Protesters Out Of City Buildings

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine. Riot police have surrounded the main square, the site of a week's long anti-government protest. Members of one of the main opposition party say armed troops raided their headquarters today and seized computer equipment. Police are also threatening to enforce a court order to drive protesters out of city buildings they've been occupying.

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Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Obama And Former Presidents To Attend Mandela Memorial

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama is leading a U.S. delegation to South Africa that includes three former presidents: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to honor Nelson Mandela at a memorial service tomorrow. It's a unique show of respect for an extraordinary leader. But before he became a global icon, Mandela and his African National Congress had a complicated history with the U.S.

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Asia
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

For Working-Class Chinese, 'Picture Day' Is A Rare Treat

Zheng Jinrong poses with a portrait of herself and her grandson in a migrant village in Shanghai. She received the photographs as part of a global event to provide high-quality portraits for people who otherwise can't afford them.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

A holiday gift of sorts came early in more than 20 countries over the weekend, as volunteer photographers shot free, studio-quality portraits of more than 16,000 people who otherwise couldn't have afforded them.

A working-class neighborhood of Shanghai was among the more than 130 sites where the photo shoots took place, part of a global project inspired by Help-Portrait, a U.S.-based nonprofit.

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Around the Nation
2:34 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Supersized Cartoon Library Welcomes 'All Geeks And Dorks'

Curator Jenny Robb is in charge of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum's vast collection of everything from Calvin and Hobbes to Superman.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

Comic book lovers have a new paradise. It's not the Batcave or the Fortress of Solitude; it's a new cartoon library and museum, tucked into a nondescript building on the Ohio State University campus.

Jenny Robb loves comics and cartoons; it's in her job description. She's the curator of the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, named after the famed Columbus Dispatch cartoonist. With millions of pages of material in this free collection, Robb is in charge of geek heaven.

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