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9:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. Admits To Some Mistakes In Deadly Pakistan Raid

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The United States has admitted that NATO forces made mistakes that led to the deaths of two dozen Pakistani soldiers. The incident happened along the Afghan-Pakistan border in November. Pakistan had claimed the U.S. purposely attacked its troops and the incident contributed to a spiraling deterioration in relations between the two allies. Now, according to the Pentagon's investigation, the United States admits some responsibility for the deadly raid. In a moment we'll have the view from Pakistan.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Third Quarter Growth Estimate Revised Down Again, To 1.8 Percent

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 10:21 am

The nation's economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported.

The new estimate marks the second time that BEA has revised its third-quarter estimate downward. In its first look, BEA said gross domestic product grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate. Last month, it said the pace was 2 percent.

Still, the third quarter was better than the second — when GDP expanded at a 1.3 percent annual rate.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. Cites 'Self Defense,' Concedes Poor Coordination In Pakistan Incident

Protesters in Karachi, Pakistan, burned an American flag earlier this month to express their anger over the airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
Rizwan Tabassum AFP/Getty Images

American military forces, "given what information they had available to them at the time, acted in self defense and with appropriate force after being fired upon" when they called for airstrikes along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in late November in an incident that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the Pentagon said this morning.

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Around the Nation
7:39 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Elves Pass Out $100 Bills In Detroit

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:40 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer. For the fourth year in a row, a couple dressed in elf hats drove around Detroit handing out $100 bills to strangers - $12,000 worth. Many thought those crisp Benjamins were a joke. Some burst into tears. The anonymous couple stopped a Detroit bus and gave every passenger $100. The couple does ask recipients to pay it forward, in kindness. You're listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
7:35 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Ga. Lottery Winner Must Come Forward Soon

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Attention lottery players in Georgia: No one has stepped up to claim a $77 million jackpot that expires on Monday, and the state's lotto offices will be closed starting tomorrow for the Christmas holiday. But if you're out there, lucky winner, you can claim your prize at a kiosk at Atlanta's International Airport throughout the Christmas holidays. Then you can do all the duty-free holiday shopping you want. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
7:10 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Dozens Killed, Scores Injured In Wave Of Bombings In Baghdad

Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.
Hadi Mizban AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 8:38 am

It's been a terrible day in Baghdad, where at least 16 explosions in 13 different locations have killed dozens of people and left about 200 wounded, NPR's Sean Carberry reports from the Iraqi capital.

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Best Books Of 2011
7:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Indulge Yourself: 2011's Best Celebrity Tell-Alls

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:36 pm

Ah, 'tis the season to be indulgent. Another glass of champagne? Please, have some homemade cookies. Does anyone want to go to the movies instead of the gym? As far as I'm concerned, December is Guilty Pleasures Time.

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Movie Reviews
6:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Flicks, Picked (Redux): Edelstein's 2011 Top 10 Films

In Beginners — based on director Mike Mills' life--Oliver (Ewan McGregor) finds out his father is gay, and has denied himself throughout his married life. After coming out, Oliver's dad becomes physically and spiritually transformed.
Focus Features

Fresh Air's film critic David Edelstein says 2011 was the kind of year without a list-topping film.

"There's no best film this year," says Edelstein. "This is in alphabetical order because I liked all these movies, I loved some of them, but I just couldn't pick a best. It wasn't that kind of year."

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Business
4:13 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Home Depot Shines A Light On Bulb Choices

Most incandescent light bulbs were supposed to be phased out starting Jan. 1. But tucked inside the House's omnibus spending bill, there's a provision barring the Energy Department from enforcing more energy-efficient standards for light bulbs. For those who still want them, there are increasing options for efficient bulbs. Renee Montagne talks to Bill Hamilton, merchandising vice president of electrical at Home Depot, which sells about a third of all light bulbs in the U.S.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

USAID Improves Medical Care In Afghanistan

Renee Montagne speaks with Alex Thier who oversees projects in Afghanistan for the U.S. Agency for International Development. They discuss the tremendous efforts that have been made to improve medical care in that country over the last decade.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

'Smart Decline' May Cure Zombie Subdivisions

The suburban Southwest is awash with empty lots and zombie subdivisions — developments that have been abandoned by builders. Experts believe up to a million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the housing market crashed. Urban planners say to fix the zombie problem, the state must realize the that people are leaving the suburbs and should consider "smart decline." Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ explains.

NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

GOP Candidates Enlist Wives For Holiday Campaign Ads

With less than two weeks before voting begins in Iowa, three Republican candidates are pulling out the big guns. Callista Gingrich, Anita Perry and Anne Romney appeared in campaign ads for their husbands.

Middle East
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Hundreds Killed In Bloody Month For Syrian Uprising

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Syria, this week has been one of the bloodiest reported in months. Activists and groups monitoring Syria say hundreds have been killed as the government moves against villages and towns near the Turkish border. The Syrian government acknowledges the campaign but calls it a fight against terrorists.

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Education
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Hawaii Could Lose Federal Education Dollars

The state of Hawaii is in danger of losing millions of dollars in Race to the Top funds due to its "unsatisfactory" performance.

Asia
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

North Korea's Heir Apparent Has His Work Cut Out For Him

Kim Jong Un, heir apparent to North Korea's longtime leader Kim Jong Il, faces formidable challenges in the isolated communist nation.
Kyodo/file

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 9:44 pm

While North Korea is preparing for the state funeral of longtime leader Kim Jong Il next week, attention is quickly turning to his son and heir apparent, Kim Jong Un. Even veteran Pyongyang watchers know little about the successor. But it's clear what he's inheriting: a country in dire economic straits, and a tough fight to consolidate his political power and legitimacy.

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Business
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Ratings Drop For 'All-American Muslim'

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 7:27 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And our last word in business is ratings reality. Ratings for this week's episode of the reality TV show, "All-American Muslim," dropped to more than 30 percent from the previous week's ratings. The show had plenty of drama off-screen earlier this month when the home improvement retailer Lowe's admitted it pulled its ads on the show after pressure from a conservative Christian group.

Yesterday, Lowe's said it would not change its decision. Cable channel TLC has not yet said whether the show will get picked up for another season.

Iraq
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Wave Of Deadly Explosions Hit Iraqi Capital

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 6:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Violent explosions have rocked Baghdad this morning. At least 69 people are dead, and scores have been injured. The Iraqi capital hasn't seen violence of this magnitude in quite some time, and it's happening in the midst of a deepening political crisis. NPR's Sean Carberry is in Baghdad. And Sean, what can you tell us about this morning's attacks?

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Business
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Business News

If the company's board approves, Yahoo could receive about $17 billion in a deal that would shed most of its Asian assets. That means Yahoo would dramatically decrease its valuable stake in Ali-baba — China's largest Internet company. The deal would get the company some much-needed cash.

Around the Nation
4:00 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Marine Thankful To Be Home At Christmas

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 6:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We've been following the Dark Horse Battalion this year. NPR's Tom Bowman has brought us a series of stories on the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment of the Marine Corps. They fought in the deadliest place in Afghanistan, Sangan in Helmand Province.

The Dark Horse Battalion is home this Christmas and we reached out to one of them. Staff Sergeant James Foley joined us by phone from Camp Pendleton here in Southern California and shared memories of what he was doing this time last year.

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Music
1:26 am
Thu December 22, 2011

A Church, An Oratorio And An Enduring Tradition

The interior of the renowned Marienkirche church, where Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio is traditionally performed.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:17 am

Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio was first performed in Leipzig on Christmas Day in 1734. In Germany, no matter what the economic and political times, it's the Christmas work. In the oldest functioning church in Berlin, the 13th-century Saint Mary's, performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio is a fixed tradition.

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Education
12:01 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Texas Schools Grapple With Big Budget Cuts

What's known as Middle School No. 8 in Leander, Texas, was supposed to help relieve overcrowding in the rapidly growing community. But after significant statewide cuts to education, the district can't afford to open the school.
Marisa Penaloza NPR

School funding in Texas is in turmoil. State lawmakers slashed more than $4 billion from education this school year — one of the largest cuts in state history — and more than 12,000 teachers and support staff have been laid off.

Academic programs and transportation have been cut to the bone. Promising reforms are on hold or on the chopping block. Next year, the cuts could go even deeper.

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Newt Gingrich
12:01 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Gingrich's Catholic Journey Began With Third Wife

Any discussion of Newt Gingrich's journey to Catholicism begins with his wife.

"I have always been a very spiritual person," Callista Gingrich told the Christian Broadcasting Network this year. "I start each day with a prayer, and pray throughout the day, because I am grateful for the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us."

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Asia
12:01 am
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S. And Pakistan Relations: From Bad To Worse

Relations between the U.S. military and the Pakistan military have become even more strained since American forces were involved in a shooting last month that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead. Here, Pakistani soldiers march during a ceremony in September.
Arif Ali

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:04 am

In Pakistan, transit routes for NATO supply trucks heading to Afghanistan remain shut. The CIA drone missile program has gone quiet in Pakistan's tribal area. Pakistan's government has called for a re-negotiation of its troubled relationship with the U.S.

All of this is fallout from an attack on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last month in which NATO fire from helicopter gunships killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Thu December 22, 2011

'The Dead Witness': Classic Victorian Crime Fiction

Michael Sims, editor of The Dead Witness, resurrects long-forgotten Victorian crime writing.
Dennis Wile

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 6:48 am

With his pipe, deerstalker hat and formidable "methods," Sherlock Holmes may be the most recognizable face of the Victorian mystery story. But how does he stack up against Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin, who pioneered deductive reasoning? Or quicksilver Violet Strange, debutante by day, intrepid sleuth by night?

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It's All Politics
6:25 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Staying In Shape On The Campaign Trail: Romney Drops A Few Pointers

Romney eats a slice of pizza — this one with the cheese still on — at a campaign stop in Newport, N.H
Ari Shapiro NPR

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 4:09 pm

Stumping in New Hampshire on Wednesday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney revealed a bit about his strategies for staying in shape on the campaign trail.

"Hey, I heard you pull the cheese off your pizza to stay thin. Is that true?" asked a woman at Village Pizza in Newport, N.H., in the southwestern part of the state, where the Romney bus tour had made a stop.

"You know, on occasion, but on the campaign trail you need all the calories you can get," laughed Romney.

"And do you run three miles a day like they say?" she asked.

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The Two-Way
6:14 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Report: Canada's Less Productive, Yet Gaining On U.S. Quality Of Life

Canadians live it up, while Americans work. This is actually an October picture of Canada's national baseball team at the Pan American Games in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico.
Javier Galeano AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 7:09 pm

According to Canada's statistics agency, Canadians are less productive than their U.S. counterparts, yet their standard of living gained 5 percent during the 14 year period they analyzed.

Now, the reasons for that argument are quite complex, but The Wall Street Journal boiled it down to a lesson Americans can take from their neighbors to the north: "Be less productive, live better."

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Shots - Health Blog
5:45 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Ditch This Massager, If It Shows Up Under The Christmas Tree

This massager could also strangle you, the Food and Drug Administration warns.
FDA

The ShoulderFlex massager looks harmless enough. But don't be fooled.

The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to use the product because it could kill or injure them. There were reports of one person being strangled by the device and another near-death by strangulation, the FDA says.

Clothing, hair and jewelry can get tangled up in the device's rotating parts. And that's a recipe for trouble.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

A Christmas Pudding In The Mail Carries A Taste Of Home

The pudding's dark glossy dome is flamed with brandy and carried to the table before the shimmering blue aura dies away.
Chris Elwell iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 8:35 am

Any day now it will arrive stamped by the Royal Mail: a truly homemade Christmas pudding from my family in England.

My mother always made Christmas puddings. And before moving to the U.S., I would make two or three puddings every November, too. Now it's my sister and brother-in-law who keep up the tradition. They use a mid-Victorian recipe handed down to my brother-in-law's father by his mother, the former Miss Mortlock. She was a Quaker so these are teetotal puddings.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Russian Billionaire Buys Daughter $88M New York Pad

15 Central Park West.
Google Street View

The New York Post simply called it "the best Christmas present ever."

And would you disagree? Dmitry Rybolovlev just bought his 22-year-old daughter Ekaterina Rybolovleva a 6,744-sq-ft penthouse overlooking New York's Central Park. The price tag? $88 million.

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Movies
4:56 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Glenn Close Finds Chemistry In Role Of Albert Nobbs

Glenn Close portrays a woman quietly living as a man in 19th-century Ireland. The character, Albert Nobbs, worked and saved money to avoid the wave of poverty plaguing the country at the time.
Patrick Redmond

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 7:14 pm

Early in her career, Glenn Close was often cast in the "good girl" role: the idyllic muse in The Natural; the understanding friend, wife and mother in The Big Chill.

Things took a sharp turn for her when she played an evil manipulator in Dangerous Liaisons and then created one of film's greatest villains in Fatal Attraction.

The range of her roles alone would make Close one of the great actors of her generation. Now, she adds another remarkable character to the list, playing the title role in the new movie Albert Nobbs.

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