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Movie Interviews
11:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Director Alexander Payne On Mining Every Film For Comic Potential

Alexander Payne arrives at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:18 pm

Alexander Payne directed and co-wrote the films Election, About Schmidt, Sideways and The Descendants. He's directed Jack Nicholson and George Clooney in starring roles and has won two Oscars for best adapted screenplay.

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The Salt
11:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

I'm Not Just Gaming, Ma! I'm Helping The World's Farmers

Cropland Capture's developers hope players will find where crops are grown amid Earth's natural vegetation in satellite images to shine a light on where humanity grows its food.
Courtesy of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:05 pm

There's no easy way to track all of the world's crops. What's missing, among other things, is an accurate map showing where they are.

But the people behind Geo-Wiki are hoping to fix that, with a game called Cropland Capture. They're turning people like you and me into data gatherers, or citizen scientists, to help identify cropland.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Mon December 2, 2013

In About-Face, R.I. Governor Describes Spruce As A Christmas Tree

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee speaks with reporters in November of 2012, during the lighting the Statehouse Christmas tree. Chafee announced the ceremony 30 minutes ahead of time to avoid what he called the "chaos" of 2011's lighting, which was protested by people angered by Chafee's decision to call the Statehouse tree a "holiday" tree.
David Klepper AP

It seems Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has given up on trying to make a point about the separation of church and state during the holiday season.

In a short statement issued on Monday, Chafee said the 18-foot blue spruce that will be raised inside the State House on Thursday will be called a "Christmas tree."

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Business
10:58 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Five Cyber Monday Stories From NPR's Archives

Workers pull merchandise as it arrives at the Amazon.com's 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center in Phoenix on Nov. 26. Americans clicked away on their computers and smartphones for deals on Cyber Monday, which is expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:50 pm

The term Cyber Monday wasn't established until 2005, but online shopping was popular even in the early days of the Internet.

Analysts questioned how business models would have to change. Retail stores came up with new partnerships to help lure buyers into an online shopping world. A little company called Amazon helped us feel comfortable buying items online. And the simple perk of "free shipping" tried to make a dent in holiday sales.

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Monkey See
10:47 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Zombies And Hope On 'The Walking Dead'

Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) on AMC's The Walking Dead.
Gene Page AMC

[Plot details regarding Sunday night's Walking Dead midseason finale follow. Proceed at your own risk.]

This is a strange thing to say about a TV show which ended its fall season Sunday with the death of two children, a gun battle, waves of flesh-eating zombies and a decapitation.

But it is easy to forget, in the midst of all the carnage, that The Walking Dead is essentially a show about hope.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Comet ISON Is No More, NASA Says

NASA took a series of images to create this "timelapse" view of comet ISON's trip around the sun.
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 4:02 pm

Comet ISON, a "shining green candle in the solar wind," is no longer with us, NASA declared Monday morning in a tribute to what many hoped would be the "comet of the century."

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The Two-Way
10:23 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Ninth Body Pulled From Helicopter Crash Site In Scotland

Scottish Fire and Rescue services look on at the helicopter being lifted from the scene Monday following the crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow, Scotland.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:22 pm

We've been following the story of the helicopter that crashed into a pub in Glasgow, Scotland, last week. There's more news Monday on the deadly crash: A ninth body has been pulled from the wreckage of The Clutha Bar.

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Art & Design
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Designer B Michael On Bringing Color To The Runway

Courtesy of b micheal America

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 7:56 am

After a brief career on Wall Street, veteran designer B Michael followed his calling to the world of fashion. He got his start as a millinery designer for the '80s soap opera Dynasty. Soon after, he began designing couture gowns leading him to work with an extensive client list that includes Cicely Tyson, Angela Basset, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, and Cate Blanchett — to name a few.

After spending decades in the business B Michael says, "Every successful story will tell you they've had to reinvent themselves."

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Health Care
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

HealthCare.gov Back On Track?

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 8:58 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Holiday Sales: Gloomy or Merry And Bright?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we want to know how the federal health care website is working today after the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov running smoothly. We'll check in later. But first, Americans are heading online today for another reason. It is Cyber Monday and retailers are offering bargains to kick off the holiday shopping season or so they tell us.

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Health
10:15 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Black Churches And HIV: 'Sex Is A Reality ... We Gotta Deal With It'

African-Americans are the racial group most affected by HIV in the U.S., and many black churches are stepping in to do something about it. Pastor Timothy Sloan of Texas talks with host Michel Martin about destigmatizing the disease from the pulpit.

The Protojournalist
9:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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Monkey See
9:30 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Among The Holiday Glut, 3 Movies About The Creative Life

Tom Hanks plays the man himself, Walt Disney, alongside Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, in Saving Mr. Banks.
Francois Duhamel Walt Disney Pictures

It's movie-binge time — that month-long surge of Oscar hopefuls and would-be blockbusters Hollywood always winds up the year with. On All Things Considered, I talked about some of the big tent-pole pictures: Anchorman 2, The Wolf of Wall Street, the second Hobbit installment and so on.

But here, let's winnow the list down a bit to three films you might want to keep an eye out for if you're intrigued by the artistic process — how artists think and work.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Mon December 2, 2013

VIDEO: Eagle Snatches Camera, Flies Away, Takes Great Selfie

Caught red-beaked: This eagle grabbed a small wildlife camera in western Australia, flew away with it and then pecked away at the lens.
ABC Kimberley

We've been fascinated by an "eagle cam" trained on a nest in Iowa and been thrilled by the view from a camera attached to an eagle that soared above Chamonix, France.

If you liked those, you'll likely be interested in this, too:

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Code Switch
9:08 am
Mon December 2, 2013

A Battle For Fair Housing Still Raging, But Mostly Forgotten

"Every measure of well-being and opportunity, the foundation is where you live...cancer rates, asthma rates, infant mortality, unemployment, education, access to fresh food, access to parks, whether or not the city repairs the roads in your neighborhood," ProPublica's Nikole Hannah-Jones said.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 3:08 pm

It's not something we think about a lot or something that gets reported on often, but once you start digging around some, it's hard not to see the consequences of our country's long, sordid history of housing discrimination everywhere racial disparities manifest. The giant wealth gap between black and Latino Americans and white folks. Shorter life expectancies. Worse educational outcomes. Mass incarceration.

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Getting To Know Black Innovators, One Tweet At A Time

Pitch Mixer founder Ayori Selassie speaks at an entrepreneur forum.
Tamara Orozco

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:37 am

There is no question that Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Beach and all of the other places we associate with tech entrepreneurism face diversity problems.

African-American innovators represent just 5 percent of America's scientists and engineers, according to a 2010 study by the National Science Foundation.

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The Two-Way
8:44 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Gay Marriages Take Place In Hawaii As New Law Takes Hold

Saralyn Morales (center left) and Isajah Morales walk down the aisle at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu shortly after Hawaii's new gay marriage law took effect Monday.
Marco Garcia AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:36 am

Six same-sex couples got married in Hawaii shortly after midnight Monday morning, taking advantage of a new law in the first hours of the first day it took effect. The state's Legislature approved the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act in a recent special session.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Protesters Block Government Buildings In Ukraine

A woman walks past a giant European Union flag hung on the gates of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers building in Kiev on Monday.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 9:11 am

A day after the largest protest since the Orange Revolution, protesters in the Ukraine blocked government buildings on Monday in an attempt to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.

Demonstrators are angry because Yanukovich abandoned a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. As Reuters explains, many in the Ukraine have yearned to become part of the EU to escape the grip of Moscow.

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Shots - Health News
8:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Uninsured Fret About Getting Health Coverage By New Year's Day

For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum's disease, health coverage can't come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:07 am

Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.

Since 2011, she has battled Dercum's disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.

Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Mon December 2, 2013

For The First Time, China Launches A Moon Rover Mission

The Long March-3B carrier rocket carrying China's Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Monday.
Li Gang Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 8:03 am

Early this morning, China successfully launched what it hopes will become its first rover mission on the moon, the official state news agency Xinhua reported.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Delivery By Drone? Amazon Says A New Era Looms

In an image taken of a test flight, an Amazon Prime Air drone carries a package. The online retailer could begin 30-minute deliveries within four to five years, CEO Jeff Bezos told 60 Minutes Sunday.
Amazon

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:21 am

Amazon is looking at drastically reducing its delivery times — to 30 minutes or less — as it plans a new service called Prime Air that it says could debut in a few years. In an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, CEO Jeff Bezos said the giant online retailer plans to use semi-autonomous drones to carry purchases to customers.

That's got tech experts buzzing about whether the idea will fly.

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Europe
5:40 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Swedish Inmate Escapes To Go To The Dentist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

The prisoner complained of a toothache but says he couldn't get anyone to help him treat it. So, according to Swedish media, the 51-year-old man escaped, and went to a dentist. He had his tooth pulled and then turned himself in to authorities.

The Two-Way
5:36 am
Mon December 2, 2013

NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash

Search and rescue teams work at the scene of Sunday's passenger train crash in the Bronx. The train crash killed four people and injured dozens more.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 4:53 pm

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:

A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Four people on the train were killed and at least 60 others were injured.

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Animals
5:34 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Elwood, World's Ugliest Dog, Dies

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

We remember this morning, Elwood. He was a good dog. But cute, he was not; tiny, hairless except for a tufty Mohawk, with hooded eyes and a red tongue that stuck out. Six years ago, Elwood shot to fame when he was named the world's ugliest dog. He died on Thanksgiving Day but is immortalized in a popular children's book written by owner Karen Quigley. "Everyone Loves Elwood" is about how it's OK to be different.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Book News: Leaked Salinger Stories Pose An Ethical Dilemma

A photo of J.D. Salinger taken in September 1961.
AP

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

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Politics
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

White House Confident Insurance Website Is Working Better

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

In this, the first week of December, the Obama administration says it has met its self-imposed deadline of fixing the troubled healthcare.gov web site. And it says people should be able to sign up for health insurance. So, is it fixed and when will we know for sure?

Politics
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Avoiding Another Government Shutdown Moves To Front Burner

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The end of Thanksgiving weekend brings us closer to another deadline. The budget chairs of the Senate and the House, here in Washington, are continuing talks to set spending levels for the coming year and maybe beyond. They're leading a conference committee setup as part of the deal to end the partial government shutdown this past fall.

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Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Companies Revisit 'Rank And Yank' of 1980s

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Longtime General Electric CEO and management icon Jack Welch popularized a management style in the 1980s that critics dubbed "rank and yank." The system ranks employees — with under-performers getting yanked from their jobs or the company. This old practice is in the news again. Microsoft recently did away with it. But other companies are embracing it.

Business
2:50 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Besides The Olympics, What Will $50 Billion Get You?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:27 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's try to put that nearly $50 billion price tag for the Sochi games in context. And we've turned to the website BuzzFeed for help with this. Our last word in business today is: $50 billion.

That's enough to buy all 32 NFL teams, we're told.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Or it's more than the entire economy of Costa Rica.

INSKEEP: It is almost five times Hollywood's domestic box office.

MONTAGNE: It's enough for 18 Oprahs.

INSKEEP: Although, can you really put a price tag on Oprah? I don't think so.

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