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Health Care
5:47 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A New Worry Looms Online For The Affordable Care Act

Insurance companies say they are finding numerous mistakes on a digital form that's essential for signing up through HealthCare.gov.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:13 pm

Saturday is the day the Obama administration promised it would have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the majority of people who need to sign up for health insurance.

As the Obama administration scrambles to fix the glitch-plagued site, experts are beginning to worry about another problem that may further impair the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

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Books News & Features
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Sherman Alexie Wants You To Be A 'Superhero' For Indie Bookstores

Sherman Alexie models an Indies First tote bag. He plans to put in shifts at five Seattle bookstores this Saturday.
American Booksellers Association

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:18 pm

Back in September, poet and novelist Sherman Alexie wrote an open letter to a group of people whom he called the "gorgeous book nerds" of the world, asking them to become "superheroes" for independent bookstores.

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Media
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Infomercials Still Tell, And Sell, Product Stories

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 8:29 am

The infomercial industry is predicted to hit $250 billion — 1 percent of U.S. GDP. Host Scott Simon speaks with business writer Jon Nathanson about the economics and enduring strength of infomercials.

Economy
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A Day For Small Businesses To Stand Out In The Crowd

President Obama shopped with daughter Malia at One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., on Small Business Saturday last year.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:09 pm

After Black Friday has come and gone, a new shopping day arrives: Small Business Saturday.

Small-business owners hope that after you've spent time at the big-box stores and the mall, you'll spend money with the mom-and-pops in your neighborhood.

The idea for the day came out of a committee at American Express in 2010, after the depths of the recession. AmEx President Ed Gilligan loved the idea of creating a new holiday.

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Simon Says
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crossing The Sea For Freedom A Familiar Story For Americans

More than 100 Haitians were rescued this week after their crowded sailboat capsized. At least 30 more were reported dead.
U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:33 pm

This week, at least 30 people died when a packed sailboat ran aground and capsized off the coast of the Bahamas. The rest of the migrants on board clung to that splintered boat for hours until the U.S. Coast Guard found them. The survivors are being cared for at a Bahamian military base until they are sent back to the place they risked their lives to leave.

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Music Interviews
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Tony Joe White's Steamy 'Hoodoo' Rock

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 8:54 am

Even if you haven't heard of Tony Joe White, you've probably heard his music. His songs have been performed by Elvis, Ray Charles and Tina Turner. He's even been sampled by Kanye West. Host Scott Simon talks with White about his distinctive swamp rock sound, and his new album, Hoodoo.

Books News & Features
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

A London Cabbie's Guide To Lit Gifts

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. No way around it. It's shopping season and for many people there's nothing like giving a book as a holiday gift. A book is not only a fine companion, it reflect something about both the giver and the receiver. And you don't have to change the batteries.

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Sports
5:31 am
Sat November 30, 2013

The Case Against Big Data In Sports

University of Miami professor Robert Plant is starting to wonder if big data is ruining sports. He talks with host Scott Simon about how crunching the numbers is changing — and has already changed — the games we love to watch.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Emily Dickinson's Envelope Writings: 'Gorgeous' Poetry In 3-D

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:42 am

Readers always seem to want to get closer to Emily Dickinson, the godmother of American poetry. Paging through her poems feels like burrowing nose-deep in her 19th century backyard — where "the grass divides as with a comb," as she writes in "A narrow Fellow in the Grass."

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Theater
3:41 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Around The U.S., Holiday Theater With Local Flair

Seven In One Blow, which plays at New York City's Axis Theater, is one of many recurring holiday-season productions across the U.S. that bring a distinctly local flavor and history to bear.
Dixie Sheridan

Whatever they are, our holiday traditions tend to be a mixture of the universal and the specific.

If we celebrate Christmas, for instance, we might have stockings and trees just like our neighbors, but we might also be the only ones in town who wear homemade elf hats while we open presents. It's a mix that helps us feel closer to the rest of the culture while reaffirming what's special about our own little community, family and home.

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The Salt
3:40 am
Sat November 30, 2013

These Cookbook Photos Redefine What Fresh Seafood Looks Like

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.
Photos by Shimon and Tammar, Courtesy of Shimon and Tammar

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 9:05 am

How to make dead fish look attractive? That's the challenge New York-based duo Shimon and Tammar Rothstein faced when they were hired to do the photography for famed French chef Eric Ripert's book On the Line.

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Around the Nation
3:39 am
Sat November 30, 2013

From Lab To Lectern, Scientists Learn To Turn On the Charm

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:15 pm

About 20 scientists are clustered in a cramped conference room in San Diego, one of the country's science hubs, but they aren't there to pore over their latest research. Instead, this is a meeting of BioToasters — a chapter of the public speaking organization Toastmasters, geared specifically toward scientists.

"For a typical scientist, they will spend a lot of time at the bench, so they're doing a lot of maybe calculations or lab work where they're not interacting directly from person to person," says BioToasters President Zackary Prag, a lab equipment sales rep.

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Parallels
3:38 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music

Afghans hold large, expensive weddings, even those involving families of modest means. More than 600 people attended this recent marriage at a large wedding hall in Kabul.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 4:17 pm

Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.

One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. The female guests sat on the other side of a 7-foot-high divider in the middle of the hall.

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Environment
3:37 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Tech Leaders, Economists Split Over Clean Energy's Prospects

Andres Quiroz, an installer for Stellar Solar, carries a solar panel during installation at a home in Encinitas, Calif.
Sam Hodgson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 11:17 am

There is a broad scientific consensus that to keep global warming in check, we need to phase out 80 percent of all oil, coal and natural gas by midcentury. President Obama has set a nonbinding target to do precisely that.

There are technologists who say this national goal is well within reach, but there are also economists who are quite pessimistic about those prospects. And you can find this range of opinion on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Popping A Baby Out Like A Cork, And Other Birth Innovations

The Odon Device was inspired by a YouTube video about how to remove a cork from the inside of a wine bottle.
The Odon Device

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 2:59 pm

An invention to help with obstructed labor has turned some heads — and not just because the idea came from a party trick on YouTube.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Japanese 'Prince' Switched At Birth Was Raised A Pauper

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

What happens when you find out that the life you've lived could have been better — much better? That's what a 60-year-old Japanese truck driver had to grapple with when he discovered he was switched at birth after being born to a rich family.

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Parallels
1:54 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Chinese Welcome Easing Of One-Child Policy, But Can They Afford It?

A man and child walk in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. China's government recently announced an easing of the country's one-child policy. While the move appears to be broadly supported, many urban Chinese parents say it would be hard to afford a second child.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 7:03 pm

Many Chinese are pleased with the recent announcement that their government will further loosen the country's one-child policy. Some couples there are already allowed to have two children, while others say that even if they are permitted to have another kid, they can't afford it.

A young, professional couple surnamed Gao and Deng went to a government office in Shanghai earlier this month to apply for a marriage license.

Waiting on a metal bench, Gao, the 30-year-old groom-to-be, said he was glad more couples will be able to have a second child.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

U.S. Apologizes For Airstrike That Killed Afghan Child

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses the Loya Jirga on Sunday. Karzai expressed anger at an airstrike Thursday that killed a child, saying it could imperil a security agreement with the U.S. The U.S.-led international force apologized on Friday for the killing.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:17 pm

The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan is apologizing for an airstrike that killed a 2-year-old, a death that Afghan President Hamid Karzai said imperils a long-term security agreement between the two countries.

The International Security Assistance Force said it carried out an airstrike Thursday on a militant riding a motorbike in Helmand Province. The child was also killed, and two women were injured in the attack.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Obama Visits Immigration Activists

President Obama meets Friday with immigration activists on the National Mall in Washington.
Leslie E. Kossoff/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 1:55 pm

President Obama visited immigration activists in Washington on Friday, telling them there is still time for the House to pass legislation that would overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Obama stopped by a tent on the National Mall where some activists have been abstaining from food for the past 18 days. He was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.

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Movies
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Finding 'Great Beauty' Amid Rome's Corruptions

In The Great Beauty, director Paolo Sorrentino surveys the city of Rome through the eyes of jaded journalist Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), taking in the city's degeneracies alongside its eternal beauties.
Gianni Fiorito Janus Films

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Rome is often called the Eternal City, and generations of filmmakers from around the world have sought to capture its enduring beauty on screen.

The new film The Great Beauty is the latest, a picture that casts Rome itself in the title role. After playing to critical acclaim in Europe, it opens in American cinemas this month. The film is also Italy's official entry at this season's Academy Awards.

The Great Beauty is a double-edged portrait, out to capture both the beauty and the ugliness of modern Rome.

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Books
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

A Poet's Advice For Unlikely Partners: Just Dance

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (second from left) shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry next to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (far left) and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (far right) after a statement on early November 24, 2013 in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Sometime after 3 a.m. on Sunday, international negotiators emerged from a conference room in a Geneva hotel, bearing with them weary smiles and a historic agreement. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and representatives from five other world powers had come together on a deal to freeze the Iranian nuclear program temporarily.

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Politics
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Week In Politics: HealthCare.gov And Troop Levels In Afghanistan

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Ari Shapiro speaks with political commentators, EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times. They discuss the latest on the HealthCare.gov Website and the discord over reaching a troop agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan.

The Salt
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Party Like It's 1799: Traditional Cider Makes A Comeback

Chuck Shelton in the cold room at Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia, which makes sparkling alcoholic cider with some of the same apple varieties used by Thomas Jefferson.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 10:51 am

Feeling extra American this week? Wanna keep that post-turkey glow going? Well, how about a very American beverage: cider?

We're not talking about the hot mulled stuff that steams up your kitchen, or the sweet pub draft in a pint glass. This cider is more like sparkling wine.

"This is a phenomenally funky, sour, even mildly smoky cider that has to be tasted to be believed," says Greg Engert, one of the owners of a bar in Washington called ChurchKey. He's pouring cider from a tall champagne-style bottle that retails for around $15.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

From Shop Class To Shipyard: Oregon's Plan For Industrial Interns

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

President Obama often talks about making sure American students graduate high school ready for college. But one program in Oregon is reaching out to the shop class crowd of students who would rather learn a paying trade right away than stay in a classroom. Manufacturers there are using a new internship program to recruit and train teenagers straight out of high school to be machinists, welders and painters. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Rob Manning reports.

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Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Black Friday's Mission Creep: When The Holiday Deals Are Elsewhere

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one the busiest, most hectic shopping day of the year. But how important is it for retailers and as an indicator of the strength of the holiday shopping season?

Business
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

'Retail Theater:' Inflated Retail Prices Meant To Look Like Steals

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Ari Shapiro talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner about the fake discounts retailers build into their products during the holiday season.

Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

In A Small Town With Big Events, Some Are Tiring Of Tourism

In Traverse City, which has hosted the National Cherry Festival since 1926, some residents say festivals occupy the public park too much, while others say it's a reasonable price to pay for the money it brings to businesses.
Traverse City Tourism AP

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 8:29 pm

Many small towns across the country are using special events to attract visitors and commerce. The strategy has been a big hit in places like Aspen, Colo., and Park City, Utah, whose names have become synonymous with major festivals.

But it can take a toll. Some residents in the northern Michigan town of Traverse City complain that they're suffering from festival fatigue and would like a little less excitement.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

A Killer As A Child, Teenage Assassin Now Free In U.S.

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. An American teenager who spent three years in a Mexican prison for heinous crimes is believed to be back in Texas now living with his family. Edgar Jimenez Lugo was 14 when he was arrested and admitted to beheading four people in Mexico. He was working for a drug cartel. Lugo served nearly the maximum sentence for someone of his age and now he's free. Richard Fausset has been covering this story for the Los Angeles Times. He joins us from Mexico City. Hi there.

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Around the Nation
12:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Costumed As Homeless, Mormon Bishop Teaches A Lesson In Compassion

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Finally, this hour, a Mormon bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, went to great lengths last Sunday to teach his congregation a lesson. David Musselman disguised himself as a homeless person with the help of a professional makeup artist friend. After getting mutton-chops, a ski hat and thick glasses, the bishop waited outside his church and wished congregants a happy Thanksgiving. To describe what happened next, I'm joined by Bishop Musselman, welcome to the program.

BISHOP DAVID MUSSELMAN: Glad to be here. Thanks, Ari.

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