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Monkey See
4:46 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Bridesmaids No More: TV's Women Get All The Laughs

Zooey Deschanel plays Jess on Fox's New Girl. Fox uses the term "adorkable" to describe her.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Is there anybody on TV more adorable than Zooey Deschanel on Fox's new hit sitcom New Girl?

She's playing a woman who moved in with three guys after a bad romance. We've seen Deschanel play this character countless times over the last 10 years: quirky, bohemian, earnest and a little dorky. Fox even used the term "adorkable" just to describe her.

But she's also the leading edge of a trend that defined television in 2011: the Funny Female.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Fri December 30, 2011

A Complex 'Separation' In Iran

Leila Hatami as Simin in Asghar Farhadi's A Separation.
Habib Madjidi Sony Pictures Classics

The Iranian drama A Separation has popped up on more than a few critics' lists of the best films of 2011, despite little exposure in the U.S. thus far. It will open in limited release December 30, and as Howie Movshovitz of Colorado Public Radio reports on Friday's Morning Edition, it serves as both a family drama and a piece of social observation about life in Iran.

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The Record
12:01 am
Fri December 30, 2011

The Music They Left Behind

Explore NPR Music's interactive memorial to the musicians, songwriters and producers who died in 2011.
NPR

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

2011 inches toward its close, and we here at NPR Music are close to wrapping up our look back at the year in music. Today, Morning Edition looks back at some of the musicians who died in 2011.

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The Record
12:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Music In Afghanistan A Sensitive Subject

A performance at the Afghan National Institute of Music in November of 2010.
Daniel Wilkinson U.S. Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/flickr.com

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 12:01 am

Afghanistan sits at a crossroads between central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent, and the country's music reflects that. Kabul hosted two international music festivals this fall — one traditional, the other a rock concert — but music is still a sensitive issue. International donors, including the U.S., have helped refurbish a conservatory in Kabul, but some of the students say they still face disapproval from extremist elements, even at the university.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

On New Year's Eve, An ID Check Helps Love Prosper

Isabel Sobozinsky-Wall and her husband, Scott Wall, visited StoryCorps in San Francisco.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

For Isabel Sobozinsky-Wall, New Year's Eve marks a special time. That's when she met her future husband, Scott, during a trip to New York City 20 years ago.

"I was single and feeling very lonely on New Year's Eve," Scott says. "I was actually wandering the streets of Manhattan, and I ended up in the Paris Cafe. There was this ravishingly beautiful woman, wearing a beautiful dress. And I introduced myself. But I was very surprised when you asked me for my ID."

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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.

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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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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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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Music Interviews
4:00 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Cut Copy: Wine Bottles And Electronic Beats

Cut Copy
Courtesy of the artist

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

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Cut Copy has been entertaining its fans for more than a decade with electronic music that mashes together all sorts of genres, from pop to ancient tribal music. The Australian group is led by Dan Whitford, who didn't think he had a future in music growing up.

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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.

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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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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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Gregory Douglass: Controlling His Own 'Lucid' Dreams

Gregory Douglass.
Kelly Griffith Closed Circle Photography

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

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Gregory Douglass is a pianist and guitarist from a small town in Vermont who blends electronic pop with folk and rock. At 31, he has already recorded eight albums, most of them released on a label he founded.

Douglass creates the sort of textured sound that you'd think comes from a big-budget studio, but he's on his own. His fans pre-order his albums before they're recorded, which helps pay his production costs. His latest is titled Lucid.

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Business
7:44 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Company To Close Dozens Of Sears, Kmart Stores

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Sears closing stores.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: The holiday shopping season has gone well for some retailers, but apparently not for Sears Holdings, the company that owns Sears and Kmart. It plans to shut down up to 120 stores. Sears operates 4,000 outlets in the U.S. and Canada right now. The company says Kmart sales of clothing and consumer electronics fell, and at Sears there was not much demand for home appliances.

Around the Nation
7:36 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Nativity Scene Goat Makes A Run For It

A Minnesota man provided live puppies, a llama and a goat to a nativity scene, but the goat escaped. The Fergus Falls Journal reports the goat has been spotted but not caught.

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