Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:17 am
The bottom line on the fiscal cliff negotiations on Capitol Hill is that things seem far from resolved. As Politico put it, the last we heard is that White House congressional liaison Rob Nabors went to Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers that President Obama is not budging.
If Congress does not come to an agreement, the country is facing steep spending cuts and tax hikes that economist warn could send the economy back into recession.
Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:14 am
For the first time since his exile in 1967, the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, returned to the Gaza Strip today. He arrived through the border with Egypt, kissing the ground in celebration and as NPR's Philip Reeves reports, Meshal received a hero's welcome as well as military one.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The publishing industry isn't doing too hot, except Random House, where things got downright steamy this year after it published "Fifty Shades of Grey." That bestselling tale of kinky passion has sold over 60 million copies, which is why Random House employees are now seeing green. The big announcement at the publisher's Christmas party: a $5,000 bonus for every employee, from editors to the mailroom. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
The Austrian press reports after his shift in Vienna, the driver was inspecting his bus and found a bag of cash. Stacks of euros worth $500,000. He gave the money to police, and they tracked down the owner, a 77-year-old woman.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:08 am
Ever wonder why you have to turn off your e-reader or tablet before a plane takes off and lands? The Hill newspaper obtained a letter written by the head of the Federal Communications Commission to the Federal Aviation Administration. Julius Genachowski has asked for the FAA to loosen the rules on those devices.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:41 am
Oil development in North Dakota and Montana has caused ridership to increase dramatically on the only Amtrak line running through those states. Nationally, the railroad company costs the federal government more than $400 million every year, so rail enthusiasts thought the oil boom might turn around the losing rail proposition in certain regions. But the Empire Builder Line is still not making money.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 5:20 am
Countries attending U.N. climate talks were not able to come up with any major agreements on reducing carbon emissions and slowing global warming. This comes after the World Bank issued a report predicting global temperatures could rise by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century — possibly sooner if current promises to curb emission are not kept. Renee Montagne talks about this with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
Protests in Egypt rage on, despite President Mohammed Morsi's offer in a televised speech last night to meet with his opponents. Demonstrators filled Cairo's streets again today. The opposition in Egypt is confident and they're displaying a newfound unity, something Egypt hasn't seen since the early days of the revolution that ousted Morsi's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. But as NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, many question whether this unity will last beyond the ongoing political crisis.
Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 4:54 am
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held an emergency meeting with her Russian counterpart in Dublin Thursday to try to reach new consensus on how to end the Syrian conflict. A prominent human rights group has put the death toll in Syria at 42,000 people killed in the nearly two years of fighting there — which began with a series of political protests, and turned into an armed rebellion.
The battle over how to avoid the looming cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff is a frustrating one for the Tea Party. The movement is still a force within the GOP, even as its popularity has fallen over the past two years.
But in the current debate, there have been no big rallies in Washington, and Tea Party members in Congress seem resigned to the fact that any eventual deal will be one they won't like — and one they'll have little influence over.
Friday marks a not-so-happy anniversary for some of President Obama's biggest supporters: It's exactly one year since Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decided not to lift the age restrictions on availability of the so-called morning-after pill, Plan B.
People wanted by the police in Pottstown, Pa., are displayed on the Pinterest page of a local newspaper. The police department's social media strategy, which aims to get the images of criminals seen by more people, has also been adapted in Philadelphia.
Apollo 17 was the sixth and final Apollo mission to the moon. Here, lunar module pilot Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, Cmdr. Eugene Cernan and command module pilot Ron Evans pose in the lunar vehicle.
Apollo 17 blasted off just after midnight on Dec. 7, 1972.
Cernan is seen in the command module during the outbound trip to the moon.
Cernan tests the lunar vehicle. He and Schmitt landed in the moon's Taurus-Littrow region. Evans stayed behind, orbiting the moon.
During their stay on the moon, the astronauts set up scientific experiments, took photographs and collected lunar samples.
Cernan photographed Schmitt while he set up a transmitter used in a geological experiment.
Schmitt is photographed standing next to a huge, split lunar boulder at the Taurus-Littrow landing site. The lunar roving vehicle is visible in the background. This photo is made from two frames from one of Apollo 17's cameras.
Schmitt stands by the American flag during a moonwalk. Look above the flag — that's Earth, a quarter-million miles away.
Apollo 17's lunar module rendezvous with the command module.
A camera aboard the Apollo 17 spacecraft captured this glimpse of Earth peeking out above the lunar horizon during the final lunar mission.
Cmdr. Eugene Cernan tests the lunar vehicle on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 17 mission.
On Dec. 7, 1972, NASA launched its final human mission to the moon. Forty years later, Apollo 17 commander Eugene Cernan says he'd love to give up his claim to fame as "the last man on the moon."
"I'd like to be able to shake the hand of that young man or young woman who replaces me in that category," Cernan told NPR. "But unfortunately, the way things have gone and the way things are looking for the future, at least the near-term future, that won't happen in my lifetime. And that truly is disappointing."
Michigan's state house has voted to approve a "right-to-work" bill that would weaken the power of labor unions. Democrats walked out in protest. Audie Cornish talks to Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio.
Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:46 pm
The Mormon Church has a new website to clarify its position on "same-sex attraction" and to reach out to all of its members, including gays and lesbians, "with love and understanding."
The launching of mormonsandgays.org follows persistent criticism of Mormon involvement in California's ballot measure banning gay marriage, NPR's Howard Berkes reports. Berkes tells our Newscast Desk that scrutiny continued through Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
Frederick Rickmeyer, our hats are off to you and your note-taking ways.
Shortly after the turn of the last century, Frederick started documenting his wife's recipes on the blank memoranda pages of a cookbook. He included titles like My Wife's Own Original Spanish Bun and comments like "as good as ever," along with the ingredients and dates.
Residents carry a relative's coffin along a muddy road in the town of New Bataan, compostela province on Thursday. Nearly 200,000 people are homeless and more than 300 dead after the Philippines suffered its worst typhoon this year.
He delivered an emotional plea for action on the issue of climate change that was made even more dramatic because his country is just now starting to pick up the pieces from a typhoon that has killed hundreds.