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The Salt
11:59 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Chefs Roll Out Hearty, Homey Meatballs On The Cheap

Meatballs over pasta from Michel Richard's restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Melissa Forsyth NPR

When I'm considering a gourmet lunch, meatballs don't exactly spring to mind. So I was more than a little surprised to hear that haute cuisine chef Michel Richard was opening a meatball joint just down the street from NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Unused Gift Cards? What About A Group That Collects Them For Charities?

Our post-Christmas post about the estimated $41 billion worth of gift cards that haven't been redeemed since 2005 seemed to strike a chord. And our shout-out for ideas about what to do with cards you don't want or that only have a little bit of money left on them generated some good responses. Such as this:

Trena Gravem (Trena) wrote:

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Petraeus Did Not Consider Quitting Over Afghan Drawdown, Author Says

Gen. David Petraeus in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on July 4, 2011.
U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Haraz N. Ghanbari Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:16 am

The lede on an Associated Press report this morning:

"Four-star general-turned-CIA director David Petraeus almost resigned as Afghanistan war commander over President Barack Obama's decision to quickly draw down surge forces, according to a new insider's look at Petraeus' 37-year Army career."

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Science
10:39 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Debunked Science: Studies Take Heat In 2011

2011 may go down as the year of the retraction in the scientific world.

Among the highly publicized discoveries that got debunked this year: a genetic basis for longevity; a new form of life; an explanation for autism; and a link between a virus and chronic fatigue syndrome.

All of these non-discoveries have something in common. They involved findings that both scientists and the public badly wanted to believe.

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It's All Politics
10:24 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Across Iowa, Gingrich Highlights His Experience As Poll Numbers Slip

Newt Gingrich speaks Wednesday at Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:26 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich started Thursday's Iowa campaigning with a stop in Sioux City at The Coffee Works. Only about a dozen customers were there, but he was questioned critically by one about his comments on reforming the federal judiciary.

Linda Santi told Gingrich she didn't appreciate him "politicizing" the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision that found unconstitutional a state law banning gay marriage. Santi said the decision was in accordance with the state constitution. Gingrich ended the conversation with: "We'll have to agree to disagree."

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The Salt
9:57 am
Thu December 29, 2011

When The Food Isn't Alright On The Night Shift

Rachel Zayas, a registered nurse, sets up the shift board for the night shift at the Cleveland Clinic.
Chuck Crow The Plain Dealer /Landov

Working the night shift is bad for your health. But what if that's because the food is so lousy?

That's the provocative question raised this week by the editors of PLoS Medicine, an online medical journal.

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Food
9:53 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Try A Champagne Cocktail For A Sparkling New Year

Greg Seider's version of a French 75 is a cocktail with gin, lemon juice and agave topped with prosecco or champagne.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 10:05 am

For many people, the New Year begins with popping a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine. It's the go-to drink for the celebratory moments in our lives.

Yet champagne is far more versatile than many people think. Beyond just pouring it into a glass, you can mix it with any number of spirits to create a range of champagne cocktails.

"One that starts off a little simpler is a French 75," respected mixologist Greg Seider tells Weekend Edition guest host Jacki Lyden. "[It's] gin, lemon juice, a slight bit of agave, topped with prosecco or champagne."

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It's All Politics
8:58 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Romney Rolling In Iowa, With Large Crowds And Growing Optimism

Before the sun was even up here in Iowa this morning, the Mitt Romney campaign bus was rolling on its way to a stop at J's Homestyle Cooking in Cedar Falls.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Jobless Claims Rise By 15,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits grew by 15,000 last week from the previous week, to 381,000, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. It was the first increase in the past four weeks.

The agency adds, though, that "the 4-week moving average was 375,000, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 380,750."

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The Two-Way
8:10 am
Thu December 29, 2011

In Syria: Videos Belie Monitor's Comment About 'Nothing Frightening'

Sudanese Gen. Mustafa al-Dabi told reporters Wednesday that he had seen "nothing frightening" during his first visit to the Syrian city of Homs this week.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
8:02 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Buddying Up To 'Follies' Star Danny Burstein

Danny Burstein, as Buddy Plummer, performs "Buddy's Blues," the high-energy song-and-dance number at the end of Follies, with Jenifer Foote (left) and Kiira Schmidt.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:49 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on November 28, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
7:50 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children's Lit

courtesy of the author

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 am

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 20, 2011.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Report: Criminal Charges Being Prepared Against BP For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

"U.S. prosecutors are preparing what would be the first criminal charges against BP PLC employees stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning, citing "people familiar with the matter."

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Around the Nation
7:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Great Day In South Carolina? Depends Who You Ask

Under orders from GOP Gov. Nikki Haley, state employees must answer the phone saying: "It's a great day in South Carolina." Two Democratic legislators want to ban the cheery mandate. They say no sunny hellos as long as unemployment is more than 5 percent in the state.

Around the Nation
6:52 am
Thu December 29, 2011

With No Day Job To Quit, Specter Turns To Standup

Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania performed at a Philadelhia comedy club Tuesday night. He joked he'd already been in comedy for 30 years. But he added in politics, it's sit-down comedy rather than standup.

Iraq
6:40 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Iraqi Journalist Reflects On 8 Years Of War

At NPR's Baghdad bureau, Isra' al Rubei'i has long worked as a reporter and translator. She submitted this short piece of fiction about a man standing before a judge — a character, who she says represents the Iraqi experience.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

2012 Could See New Regs For Table Saws

Every year, thousands of Americans suffer severe injuries using the saws. But after a series of reports by NPR, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has started crafting new safety rules for table saws.

Business
4:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Business News

Steve Inskeep has business news.

Business
4:00 am
Thu December 29, 2011

The Last Word In Business

Steve Inskeep has the Last Word in business.

Election 2012
2:35 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Gingrich Ups Romney At Iowa Chocolate Factory

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 8:03 am

Transcript

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: I'm Greg Allen in Sioux City.

At every stop in Iowa, former House speaker Newt Gingrich touts his experience. He calls himself a supply-side conservative who worked with Ronald Reagan in the '80s, and again as House speaker in the '90s, to revive the economy.

But he's not averse to a good photo op.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD)

ERIKA JENSEN: OK. Oh, you got a little drips.

NEWT GINGRICH: I'm still dripping.

JENSEN: Yup.

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States Of The Economy
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

N.H. Voters Look For Calm Amid Economic Jitters

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stands to applause during a campaign stop at a Londonderry, N.H., restaurant on Tuesday.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 12:00 pm

The economic fears and hopes of the electorate in early-voting states like New Hampshire will play a significant role in determining who emerges from the pack of Republican presidential candidates.

And despite the Granite State's financial stability, lots of Republican voters see cloudy skies ahead.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

In Katrina's Wake, New Orleans Enjoys Start-Up Boom

Sudhir Sinha's company, InnoGenomics, is one of hundreds of startups that call New Orleans home.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 2:59 pm

Part of a series

New Orleans has long been known as one of America's hardest luck cities, struggling over the years with poverty, crime, corruption and tragic disaster. But the city's darkest days have sparked a surprising new entrepreneurial spirit.

Residents Billy Bosch and Matt Mouras, for example, are trying to launch a nutritional beverage company and are getting a leg up from Idea Village, a nonprofit that helps nurture the city's entrepreneurs.

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Technology
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Year In Review: Mega Tech Brands Raise Megabucks

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman watches as his company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May. Despite the global economic uncertainty, tech companies held steady on Wall Street.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 1:20 pm

The year 2011 was tumultuous for stocks. The eurozone crisis and a U.S. credit downgrade kept investors nervous, but one industry held steady, even faring better than in previous years: technology.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

True Grit: 'Into The Silence' Scales Everest

At 29,029 ft. above sea level, Mount Everest — also called Mount Chomolungma — is the highest mountain on Earth.
Bartosz Hadyniak iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:47 pm

No mountain captures the popular imagination like Everest. The world's highest peak, towering out of the Himalayas, has frequently proved deadly to those who have tried to reach its summit. The most famous of its victims was the first Englishman to attempt a climb: George Mallory. In the early 1920s Mallory took part in the first three expeditions up Everest, dying on his third attempt.

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It Was A Good Year For...
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

2011 Put Chrysler Back In The Fast Lane

Chrysler President Olivier Francois reintroduced his company to the world at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Despite a sluggish economy, it's been a good year overall for the auto industry. But among the Detroit Three, there's been a clear standout.

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Movie Interviews
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Watch This: Must-Sees From A Show-Creating Couple

In the TV drama The Good Wife, a political spouse forges her own path after her husband is disgraced by corruption and scandal. Real-life married couple Robert and Michelle King are the creators of the Emmy Award-winning CBS series. And the Kings are the latest Hollywood insiders to share their TV and movie recommendations with Morning Edition in our series, Watch This.

By and large, it's a lighthearted list. "We don't really watch too much tragic Ibsen drama," Robert tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "Everything has to have a bit of bitter humor in it."

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Middle East
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Will Islamist Politicians Hamper Egyptian Tourism?

Tourists visit the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza near Cairo. Tourist numbers have plummeted this year with the political turmoil in Egypt. Now, some Islamist politicians are proposing rules that could discourage visitors.
Jamal Saidi Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 8:03 am

Islamists are widely expected to hold a majority of seats in Egypt's new parliament when it convenes next month, and a leading priority is the sagging economy.

Yet their conservative religious approach could threaten a key pillar of Egypt's economy: Western tourists.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party received many votes from vendors at the Khan el-Khalili market, a hub for tourists in Cairo with narrow twisting lanes and soaring minarets.

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu December 29, 2011

The Real Buddha Bar, Tended By Tokyo Monks

At Vow's Bar in Tokyo, Buddhist monks run the place and serve up advice along with cocktails. Here's a monk serving drinks on Monday.
Lucy Craft NPR

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 8:03 am

Another Friday night at this tiny neighborhood watering hole in Tokyo: By 7:30, the bar stools and tables in this cozy joint are filling up; office workers settle in with their cocktails and Kirin beers. And by a little after 8, it's time for the main act.

Vow's Bar in the Yotsuya neighborhood has no house band, no widescreen TV, no jukebox. But it does have a chanting Buddhist monk so tipplers can get a side of sutras with their Singapore Slings or something even more exotic.

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