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It's All Politics
11:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Wavering In Iowa: Portraits Of Undecided Voters

Patrick Brehm
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 11:09 am

As NPR's Becky Lettenberger and I take to the road in Iowa this week, we are collecting the words and images of Iowa Republicans still uncertain who they will vote for in next Tuesday's state GOP presidential caucuses.

Here's the first look at what we saw and heard Tuesday in two cities that hug the Mississippi River on the state's eastern border, Dubuque and Davenport.

We spoke with voters after a Newt Gingrich appearance in Dubuque during a Rotary Club meeting at a local country club.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

VIDEO: Monks Brawl With Brooms In Bethlehem's Church Of The Nativity

There was a brawl today inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity.

A brawl between, of all things, "dozens of monks feuding over sacred space," The Associated Press says.

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It's All Politics
10:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Under Attack, Gingrich Struggles To Regain His Stride In Iowa

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich complained about negative ads against him during a campaign stop at the National Toy Farm Museum on Dec. 27 in Dyersville, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 7:10 pm

If you're in Iowa this week, you'll need to watch out for campaign buses. Several Republican candidates are on bus tours of the state — including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Bird-Watchers Are All Aflutter: Asian Crane Shows Up In Tennessee

The surprise visitor: An Asian hooded crane that has shown up at the Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee.
John Kuehnel Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 12:35 pm

Just in time for the mid-January Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival at the Hiwassee Refuge, an Asian hooded crane that probably should be in Japan this time of year has flown in with thousands of his North American relatives.

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It's All Politics
9:13 am
Wed December 28, 2011

In The Hunt For Votes, Romney Heads East To 2008 Iowa Stronghold

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:18 am

On Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney was getting an early start to campaigning in eastern Iowa, meeting and greeting voters having breakfast or just getting a caffeine boost at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Top Stories: Funeral For Kim Jong Il, Syria Releases Some Prisoners

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 9:47 am

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It's All Politics
8:55 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Immigration Emerges As Key Issue For Some Iowa Voters

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a campaign event at Clark Electric Co-op on Dec. 27 in Osceola, Iowa. Perry's stance on immigration has troubled some Iowa voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:33 am

Campaign buses loaded with Republican presidential hopefuls and their entourages are rolling across Iowa as the candidates hope some face time with GOP voters will help boost their chances in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The main issue for many Iowa voters is the economy. But there's a sleeper issue emerging: immigration reform.

Iowa's Hispanic population is surging and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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Middle East
8:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Iran Again Warns It Can Cut Off Strategic Oil Route

The chief of Iran's navy warned Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf channel where a sixth of the world's oil flows.

It was the second such warning in two days — and a Saudi official said Gulf Arab nations are ready to step in and offset any potential loss of Iranian crude in the world markets.

On Tuesday, Iran's vice president, Mohamed Reza Rahimi, threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Rev. Billy Graham Makes Top 10 'Most Admired' List For 55th Time

Rev. Billy Graham poses for a portrait in 1968.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:33 am

Scroll down Gallup's report on its latest poll results about the most admired men and women living today and you come to this:

"The Rev. Billy Graham has never finished first, but has been in the top 10 more than any other man — 55 times since 1955." This year, Gallup puts Graham at No. 4. He was mentioned by 2 percent of those surveyed.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
8:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Fresh Air Interview

The Harrow and the Harvest is the first new album from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings since 2003.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:37 pm

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 July 18, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
8:18 am
Wed December 28, 2011

David Carr: A Media Omnivore Discusses His Diet

"We are entering a golden age of journalism," says David Carr of The New York Times. "I look at my backpack ... and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago."

Mario Tama Getty Images

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 October 27, 2011.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Cheetah, Said To Be One Of Tarzan's Chimpanzee Sidekicks, Has Died

1932 scene from Tarzan the Ape Man: Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and one of the chimps who played Cheetah.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:21 pm

One of the chimpanzees who played Cheetah, Johnny Weissmuller's sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and '40s, has died. He was said to be 80 years old and succumbed to kidney failure on Christmas Eve, according to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he had been living since the early 1960s.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Weeping, Wailing And Imagery In Pyongyang For Kim Jong Il's Funeral

Kim Jong Un, center, walks with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body earlier today in Pyongyang.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency AFP/Getty Images

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Around the Nation
6:50 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Money Inside Safe Will Pay Deceased Woman's Bills

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Sally Daher settled her medical bills a decade after her death. The Massachusetts woman left behind unpaid nursing home costs and a shoe store she'd owned. In 2008, the store's new tenant got rid of a heavy old safe there. A tow truck driver dumped the safe in an empty lot. And then authorities found $178,000 inside. Now a judge has decided who gets the money. It will pay her old debts, and her son says he's ecstatic. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Pop Culture
6:41 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Rare Motorcycle Goes Up For Auction Next Month

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A rare and early motorcycle is up for auction next month. It has both pedals and a motor but no brakes or clutch. The 1906 Indian Camelback hasn't been ridden in 40 years, and it's covered in rust. But guess what. It's also an original owned by the family which manufactured Indian cycles. This rusty wreck is likely to fetch up to $75,000. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Middle East
5:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Judaism Strands Could Be Tearing Israel Apart

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man (left) and a secular man argue during a protest against the strict religious codes favored by the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh.
Stringer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 2:34 pm

According to Israel's President Shimon Peres, a fight is under way, for "the soul of the nation and the essence of the state." But the threat isn't coming from outside Israel. It's over differing interpretations of Judaism.

Recently, a bespectacled 8-year-old girl was filmed by a local TV station being harassed by ultra-Orthodox Jews for — in their view — not dressing modestly enough. The episode took place in Beit Shemesh, a city between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that has become a symbol of this growing battle in Israel.

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Asia
5:16 am
Wed December 28, 2011

North Korea Stages Dramatic Funeral For Kim Jong Il

For analysis of the political dynamics at play during the funeral of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Steve Inskeep talks to Stephen Bosworth, Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. From 2009 until October 2011 he was the U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea.

Asia
5:13 am
Wed December 28, 2011

North Korea's Power Transfer Moving Smoothly

This photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un, center, with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body during the funeral procession in Pyongyang.
Korean Central News Agency

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

Capping more than a week of public mourning, North Korea staged a dramatic state funeral for its late leader, Kim Jong Il. Leading the ceremonies was Kim's third son and apparent successor, Kim Jong Un.

North Korean media reports portray the younger Kim, who is reportedly in his late 20s, in full control of the impoverished, nuclear-armed country. But while consolidating his political power may be easy, establishing his legitimacy will be tougher.

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Business
4:09 am
Wed December 28, 2011

New England Fishermen Brace For Cod Restrictions

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

In New England, fishermen are bracing for what may be unprecedented restrictions, or even a shutdown, of cod fishing in the Gulf of Maine. Federal regulators say new data show cod as dangerously overfished. But fishermen say they don't believe that, and say drastic restrictions would be catastrophic. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Business News

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Iran shaking the oil markets.

Oil prices are higher this morning after a top Iranian official threatened to block a considerable part of the world's oil supply, if new economic sanctions are imposed on his country. The official spoke of blocking oil tankers from moving through the Straits of Hormuz; that's the opening from the Persian Gulf, a major transit route for a number of nations, and it goes right past the Iranian shore.

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NPR Story
4:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Wendy's Re-Enters Japan's Fast-Food Market

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Wendy's is reentering the world's second largest fast food market, Japan. The burger chain left Japan in 2009 in a dispute with its local business partner. Now it's coming back in style. Our last word in business today is fancy fast food.

Instead of a basic burger, Wendy's wants to appeal to Japan's more finicky fast food eaters with a new, luxurious menu, featuring a truffle and forchini-grilled chicken sandwich and a foie gras burger, goose liver pate on top of the beef patty.

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Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Negative Ads Chip Away At Gingrich's Standing

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich continues his bus tour of Iowa. After leading in the polls, he's had setbacks in recent days. Negative campaign ads by his opponents have hurt him with some voters. And on Tuesday, the former House speaker found his message side tracked by new disclosures involving the divorce from his first wife.

Election 2012
4:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

For Some Iowa Voters, Immigration Is Decisive

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

GOP presidential candidates are touring Iowa ahead of next week's caucuses. The main issue for many voters there is the economy, but another hot topic is emerging: overhauling immigration policies. Iowa's Hispanic population is surging, and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

Economy
12:01 am
Wed December 28, 2011

'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

Unfinished subdivisions like this one in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., have led urban planners to suggest "smart decline" strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure.
Laura Segall Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:22 pm

On the western edge of Phoenix, it's easy to find vast tracts of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews. Utility stanchions emerge like errant whiskers from the desert floor.

This is the land of zombie subdivisions. Some experts believe up to 1 million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed.

"It's tragic," says Realtor Greg Swann. "It's heartbreaking."

Urban planners are floating a radical solution for areas like this. It's known as "smart decline."

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Animals
12:01 am
Wed December 28, 2011

60 Years After Leaving, Porpoises Again Play In SF Bay

A harbor porpoise comes up for air near the Golden Gate Bridge. The porpoises are returning to the bay in growing numbers after a 60-year absence.
Isidore Szczepaniak Golden Gate Cetacean Research

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Something that has been missing from San Francisco Bay since World War II appears to be making a comeback: Harbor porpoises are showing up in growing numbers, and researchers are trying to understand why they're returning.

The walkway across the Golden Gate Bridge is almost always packed with people taking photos. But Bill Keener isn't here for snapshots of the stunning views. He's aiming his massive telephoto lens at a dark shape in the water 200 feet below.

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It Was A Good Year For...
12:01 am
Wed December 28, 2011

IBM Sees A Big Boost As It Turns 100

Reason To Smile: Samuel Palmisano, president and CEO of IBM, walks by an IBM logo at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover, Germany. Palmisano is set to step down later this month, and Virginia Rometty will take over on Jan. 1.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 11:56 am

Far from a relic, IBM has been one of the best stocks on the Dow this year, rising more than perennial tech hotshots Google and Apple. The company may be 100, but it has totally remade its business for the 21st century.

The company sold its PC business 6 years ago, and now, more than 83 percent of its business is services and software. Sign a contract with Big Blue and you get consulting, cloud computing, servers, analytics, even financing.

"There is no such thing as an IBM PC," says IBM managing partner Adam Klaber.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Reversal On Health Mandate Came Late For Gingrich And Romney

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney chat after finishing a GOP debate in Sioux City, Iowa, earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 1:20 pm

Opposition to the administration's overhaul of health care has almost become an article of faith with every Republican running for president.

Candidates promise to repeal the law and its less-than-popular requirement for most Americans to either have health insurance or to pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Antiviral Drugs Sparkle In The Race To End AIDS

Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS coordinator, says field testing is necessary and urgent to determine if HIV testing-and-treating services are feasible.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

2011 has been a momentous year in the 30-year-old AIDS pandemic.

The big breakthrough was the discovery that antiviral drugs can prevent someone who's infected with HIV from passing the virus to others. It's nearly 100 percent effective. That led President Obama to declare earlier this month that the U.S. will expand HIV treatment in hard-hit countries by 50 percent.

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Sweetness And Light
10:00 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Dear NHL: Hit The Puck, Not The Players

Michael Haley of the New York Islanders fights Stu Bickel of the New York Rangers in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Dec. 26.
Paul Bereswill Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 4:02 pm

Ah, we still do the town on New Year's Eve, but tearing the goal posts down is now verboten. Deemed too dangerous. In fact, as our new year approaches, it's a good time to look back on several other things in sport that have long since faded away.

Who remembers, for example, that at the end of each inning in the field, baseball players would just chuck their gloves onto the grass behind their position, leaving the field littered with mitts. All game long.

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The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Extent Of 'Anonymous' Hacker Attack On Security Is Detailed

The Guy Fawkes mask has come to symbolize the group Anonymous. This mask was seen during protest in Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

A company that provides identity protection services is sifting through the data released by hackers over the holiday weekend and and they're detailing what hackers were able to steal from Stratfor, a security think tank.

If you haven't heard, hackers who claim an affiliation with the group Anonymous broke into the servers of Stratfor, made public some data and used some of the stolen credit card numbers to, in some cases, make charitable donations.

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