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Around the Nation
10:08 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Is Kwanzaa Still A Thing?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:02 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
10:03 am
Fri December 28, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 27, 2012

At No. 6, Wild traces author Cheryl Strayed's crisis after her mother's death and a bitter divorce.

NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Making Resolutions That Stick

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Miss M,' You're Our 'Most Liked' Reader

"Miss M," you won over many hearts and minds this year.
Torsten Blackwood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:49 am

You folks were busy this year.

According to our friend Kate Myers, by the start of this week there had been about 200,200 comments posted in this blog's threads in 2012. She tells us that about 21,000 different people shared their thoughts.

The person who had the most to say (and this won't be a surprise to frequent readers) was "Art Aficionado." He shared his thoughts nearly 2,000 times this year.

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Pop Culture
9:48 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Colbert On Musical Moments And 'America Again'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. This week we've been revisiting some of our favorite interviews of 2012, and we conclude the week by presenting two more: Terry's visits with Stephen Colbert and Doris Day.

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Movie Interviews
9:48 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Doris Day: A Hollywood Legend Reflects On Life

Doris Day will celebrate her 88th birthday on Tuesday, April 3.
Sony Picture Archives

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:23 pm

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 2, 2012.

The biggest female box-office star in Hollywood history, Doris Day started singing and dancing when she was a teenager, and made her first film when she was 24. After nearly 40 movies, she walked away from that part of her life in 1968, and started rescuing and caring for animals.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Fri December 28, 2012

As Water Level Falls, Concerns About Mississippi River's Barge Traffic Rise

This WWII-era minesweeper once was a floating museum in St. Louis. Swept away in a 1993 flood, it has been under water in the river for most of the years since. But the ship has been exposed as the river's water level has fallen. (Photo taken on Dec. 14.)
Army Corps of Engineers

With a gauge at the tricky section of the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., already registering a remarkably low water level — and projections that it will fall further in coming days and weeks — trade groups are warning that barge traffic through that part of the river may have to halt completely as soon as next week.

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The Salt
7:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:41 am

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Little Hope, Low Expectations, Lots Of Gloom: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talk Is Dreary

Leaders will meet at the White House this afternoon.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:10 am

  • David Welna on 'Morning Edition'

Yes, President Obama and congressional leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. ET to discuss how to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.

But, no, that isn't inspiring much talk this morning of a breakthrough before the midnight New Year's Eve deadline:

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Top Stories: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks Resume; Russia Bans U.S. Adoptions

Eric Waite and his 8-year-old daughter Emerson went sliding Thursday in Greenfield, Mass.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images
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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Remembering Gen. Schwarzkopf, 'Military Hero Of His Generation'

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf in 1990.
Kevin Larkin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 7:37 am

The death Thursday of retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf — "Stormin' Norman" — has prompted many looks at the legacy of the American commander who led coalition forces during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which pushed Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf was 78. He:

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The real Joyce Hatto, pre-scandal, with condutor Martin Fogel and composer Walter Gaze Cooper at the piano in 1954.
Fred Ramage Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 8:33 pm

  • This week, BBC One premiered a made-for-TV treatment of the Joyce Hatto scandal called "Loving Miss Hatto," with Francesca Annis and Alfred Molina as the leads. Remember her?
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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Secretary Clinton Due Back At Work Next Week, 'Foreign Policy' Reports

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 6 in Dublin.
Kevin Lamarque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 7:38 am

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will return to the State Department next week after three weeks of recovery from a stomach virus and a related concussion," Foreign Policy's The Cable blog reports.

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines tells The Cable that:

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Europe
5:40 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Present Thief Nabbed In France

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Shots - Health News
5:39 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Americans Support Physician-Assisted Suicide For Terminally Ill

John Kelly and Dr. Marcia Angell were advocates on opposing sides of a Massachusetts measure to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Jesse Costa Jesse Costa/WBUR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:07 am

Voters in Massachusetts were the latest to weigh in on whether it should be legal for doctors to prescribe drugs to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The measure was controversial, and on Election Day it fell just short.

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Around the Nation
5:31 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Author Offers Unique Reward To Finder Of His Dog

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Fri December 28, 2012

U.S. Families Stunned By Russia's Ban On Adoptions

Children at an orphanage in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don earlier this month.
Vladimir Konstantinov Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 7:37 am

As expected, Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed a law "that bans Americans from adopting Russian children and imposes other measures in retaliation for new U.S. legislation meant to punish Russian human rights abusers," Reuters reports.

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Asia
5:04 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Doctors Battle To Save Gang-Rape Victim's Life

Demonstrators rally in New Delhi on Thursday as part of ongoing protests following the rape of a student in the Indian capital on Dec. 16
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:07 am

Doctors in Singapore are battling to save the life of a 23-year-old Indian woman who sustained grievous injuries in a gang rape that has mobilized mass demonstrations in New Delhi.

Officials at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore said Friday that the condition of the patient who arrived Thursday morning is worsening, and that she is suffering organ failure.

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Asia
4:57 am
Fri December 28, 2012

China Approves Real-Name Internet Rule

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

On China's Internet over the past couple of months, it's felt like open season on corrupt officials. Every week or so, some cyber-citizen posts an incriminating video or allegation. Instead of deleting the material, censors have often left it up. So far, at least seven officials have either lost their jobs or are under investigation. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports on what's driving the recent exposure of graft and why it may not last.

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Politics
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'Fiscal Cliff' Countdown: 4 Days Until The Plunge

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:48 am

So far there are no signs of a breakthrough in talks between Democrats and Republicans in Washington to stave off the tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day. President Obama has summoned top congressional leaders for talks at the White House on Friday.

Environment
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Administrator Lisa Jackson To Leave EPA

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Also last month, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency joked to an environmental law conference: Everyone who wants my job, stand up. Yesterday, Lisa Jackson turned serious and made it official: She's leaving the EPA next month.

As NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports, there are mixed feelings about Jackson's departure.

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Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

SEC Filing Reveals Apple CEO's Pay Package

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:14 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a big pay cut.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Apple hit a big milestone this year when it became the most highly valued public company in history. So it may be a surprise to hear that Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, saw a big dip in salary - like, a 99 percent dip.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:18 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business has the Second City coming in first, but I have a feeling this will not be a source of pride. In 2013, Chicago will have the most expensive parking meters in North America.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Planet Money
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

The 'Fiscal Cliff' And The Art Of Negotiating

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:50 am

The tortuous negotiations involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks are like a chess game. The opponents follow rules and techniques. Negotiating is part science, part art, and everyone does it in their daily lives.

Business
4:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

What's In Store For The Airline Industry In 2013?

Events in the new year could include the biggest airline merger ever. For months, a deal between American Airlines and U.S. Airways has been talked about. The new year is also likely to bring slightly higher domestic ticket prices and some new planes.

Europe
3:06 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Russia's Putin Signs Controversial Adoption Bill

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:42 am

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a measure into law that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children.

Russia's parliament had overwhelmingly approved the ban, which was designed as retaliation for a new U.S. law that sanctions Russian officials accused of human rights violations.

The adoption ban stirred outrage in Russia as well as the United States.

An online petition against the measure rapidly collected more than 100,000 signatures in Russia.

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Politics
1:26 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Assessing Hillary Clinton's Legacy

Hillary Clinton, shown here boarding a plane in Prague earlier this month, is preparing to step aside soon as secretary of state. She hasn't said what she plans to do next.
Kevin Lamarque AP

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:04 am

Hillary Clinton is preparing to leave the Obama administration after four years as secretary of state, earning generally high marks and fueling all kinds of speculation about what she wants to do next.

Her boss, President Obama, has paid tribute to her, calling her "tireless and extraordinary," though illness and a concussion have kept her out of public view for the past two weeks.

"More than 400 travel days, nearly 1 million miles," President Obama proclaimed at a diplomatic reception recently. "These are not frequent flier miles. She doesn't get discounts."

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StoryCorps
1:25 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Decades Later, Student Finds Teacher To Say 'Thank You'

John Cruitt reunited with his third-grade teacher, Cecile Doyle, to tell her about the impact she had on him as he coped with his mother's death.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:45 am

John Cruitt, 62, spent decades tracking down his third-grade teacher.

He wanted to talk with Cecile Doyle about 1958 — the year his mother, who was seriously ill with multiple sclerosis, passed away.

Her death came just days before Christmas. Cruitt had been expecting to go home from school and decorate the Christmas tree.

"But I walked into the living room, and my aunt was there, and she said, 'Well, honey, Mommy passed away this morning.' "

Cruitt remembers seeing his teacher, Doyle, at his mother's wake.

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Shots - Health News
1:25 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Another Side Effect Of Chemotherapy: 'Chemo Brain'

Dr. Jame Abraham used positron emission tomography, or PET, scans to understand differences in brain metabolism before and after chemotherapy.
Dr. Jame Abraham

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:00 am

It's well-known that chemotherapy often comes with side effects like fatigue, hair loss and extreme nausea. What's less well-known is how the cancer treatment affects crucial brain functions, like speech and cognition.

For Yolanda Hunter, a 41-year-old hospice nurse, mother of three and breast cancer patient, these cognitive side effects of chemotherapy were hard to miss.

"I could think of words I wanted to say," Hunter says. "I knew what I wanted to say. ... There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth."

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Fri December 28, 2012

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:56 am

Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.

Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.


Interview Highlights

On gin's medicinal origins

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