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5:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

White House To Seek Emergency Sandy Funds

Cleanup continues on the site of a demolished home on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York on Nov. 29.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:24 am

Billions in damages and not enough in the bank account — that's where federal officials find themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The White House says it will send an emergency funding request to Capitol Hill this week — expected to be $50 billion to $60 billion. Top administrators told Congress on Wednesday that they want at least some of that money to go toward preventing the kind of devastation caused by Sandy and other recent storms.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Red Alert: Aerospace Industry Counts Down to Cutbacks

It's red alert time for aerospace industry executives, workers and contractors.

As they mingled today at the Aerospace Industries Association's annual Year-End Outlook luncheon at a Washington Grand Hyatt, the bright red electronic digits kept counting down for them.

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Environment
4:47 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

In Arid West, Cheatgrass Turns Fires Into Infernos

The Constantina Fire burning in Long Valley, Calif., in 2010, very likely started in cheatgrass.
Courtesy of Nolan Preece

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:36 pm

Cheatgrass is about as Western as cowboy boots and sagebrush. It grows in yellowish clumps, about knee high to a horse, and likes arid land.

One thing cheatgrass does is burn — in fact, more easily than anyone realized. That's the conclusion from a new study that says cheatgrass is making Western wildfires worse.

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Economy
4:44 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

A Thin Line: Economic Growth Or Corporate Welfare?

In her series for The New York Times, reporter Louise Story says that the manufacturing sector — automakers, in particular — benefit the most from incentive packages.
Ricardo Azoury iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 8:59 am

In her new series for The New York Times called "The United States of Subsidies," investigative reporter Louise Story examines how states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year in tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure companies or persuade them to stay put.

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Around the Nation
4:35 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Texas Twang Fixin' To Ride Off Into The Sunset

Lyndon Johnson, then the vice president-elect, with a prize-winning Hereford bull on his ranch near Johnson City, Texas, in 1960. Linguists say the twang that has long been synonymous with Texans is fading.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:25 pm

When most people think of Texas — and what makes a Texan — one of the first things that might come to mind is the way Lyndon Johnson or the late Gov. Ann Richards spoke.

But these days, "talking Texan" sounds a whole lot different than it did just a few decades ago.

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Music Interviews
4:33 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.
Christopher Parks NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:00 pm

We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.

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It's All Politics
4:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Celebrities And The Senate: Would Ashley Judd Stand A Chance?

Ashley Judd acknowledges the crowd during a University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., in January.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:48 pm

Could an actress and political activist with no electoral experience give the Senate's top Republican a race in very red Kentucky?

It would be a long shot, say political experts, even though Ashley Judd has deep roots in the state, calling herself an "at least 8th generation Eastern Kentuckian."

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Jets' Coach Rex Ryan Sticks By His Man: Mark Sanchez Will Start Sunday

Quarterback Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets looks on near the end of the game against the New England Patriots Nov. 22.
Rich Schultz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:57 pm

If there is one decision football fans have argued over intensely over the past few months is whether embattled Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez should be allowed to start another game.

During his previous outing, Rex Ryan, the team's coach, pulled him late in the third quarter, after the home crowd booed him mercilessly after a disasterous performance in which he completed 10 of 21 passes for 97 yards.

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Middle East
3:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Israel, Christians Negotiate The Price Of Holy Water

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 9:13 am

One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.

Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.

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Movies
3:44 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Revisiting, Reappraising Cimino's 'Heaven's Gate'

Jeff Bridges as John L. Bridges, Isabelle Huppert as Ella Watson and Kris Kristofferson as James Averill in the 1980 Western Heaven's Gate, a director's cut of which was released in November.
Criterion Collection

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 9:38 am

The director Francois Truffaut once remarked that it takes as much time and energy to make a bad movie as to make a good one. He was right, but I would add one thing: It takes extraordinary effort to make a truly memorable flop.

The best example is Heaven's Gate, the hugely expensive 1980 movie by Michael Cimino that is the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime. It's part of that film's legend that it not only took down a studio, United Artists, but was the nail in the coffin of Hollywood's auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

As Two States Legalize Pot, Tommy Chong Isn't Nostalgic About The Old Days

Tommy Chong.
Jason Merritt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:11 pm

  • From 'All Things Considered': Tommy Chong talks with Audie Cornish

With Washington state set to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana just after midnight tonight, and Colorado set to decriminalize pot next month, All Things Considered today turned to "stoner" comic Tommy Chong to get his perspective.

Needless to say, the half Asian half of Cheech and Chong is very happy. He's planning to move to both states, Chong joked.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Activists Tell Damascus Residents To Prepare For The 'Zero Hour'

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes with rebel forces in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. The recent fighting around Damascus has raised fears of a looming battle for control of the capital.
HOPD AP/SANA

With increased fighting in and around Damascus in recent weeks, Syrian activists have posted a video that calls on residents of the capital to prepare for what they say is a looming collapse of President Bashar Assad's regime.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Socialism, Capitalism: Merriam-Webster's Odd-Couple Words Of The Year

A demonstrator carries a sign calling people to "resist" President Barack Obama perceived socialist policies during a march of supporters of the conservative Tea Party movement in Washington.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:12 pm

The dictionary Merriam-Webster has declared an incongruous pair their words of the year: Socialism and capitalism.

"There's no surprise there that politics was in people's minds," the dictionary's Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski told CBS News when making the announcement.

Sokolowski said that the dictionary, which bases its decision on what people are looking up in their online edition, chose two words for the first time because they trended together.

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Music
2:00 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Vote For The Best Music Of 2012

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:15 pm

The Poll Is Now Closed... Check back later for the results!

You've listened to us blather all year about the music we love most. Now, it's your turn to tell us your favorites. We've got a monster list below that (we know) doesn't come close to covering everything that came out in 2012. But it's a good place to start, and we hope it'll help remind you of some of the amazing records you might have forgotten.

Pick up to TEN albums. If you don't see one of your favorites listed, use the write-in slots at the bottom of the poll.

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Best Music Of 2012
1:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Heavy Rotation: Public Radio's Top Songs Of 2012

Few artists were played as much on public radio this year as the Mercury Prize winners in Alt-J.
Jory Cordy

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:10 pm

This audio is no longer available.

If there's one thing public radio DJs know how to do, it's spot a great song. They spend the entire year combing through every album that shows up at their station and endlessly surfing the web, looking the world over for overlooked gems. It's nice work if you can get it.

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Food
1:55 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Why Drinking Tea Was Once Considered A Dangerous Habit

Tea a dangerous habit? Women have long made a ritual of it, but in 19th century Ireland, moral reformers tried to talk them out of it. At the time, tea was considered a luxury, and taking the time to drink it was an affront to the morals of frugality and restraint.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:19 am

Given tea's rap today as both a popular pick-me-up and a health elixir, it's hard to imagine that sipping tea was once thought of as a reckless, suspicious act, linked to revolutionary feminism.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Turning Vaccine Refusals Into A Teachable Moment

Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, braces herself for a whooping cough booster shot at a health clinic in Tacoma, Wash., in May.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:01 pm

More and more parents who object to vaccination aren't getting their children immunized, leading to outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other diseases.

Some states have responded by making it much harder for parents to get exemptions from required vaccinations based on their personal beliefs.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

VIDEO: No Stupid Pet Trick; In New Zealand, Some Dogs Learn To Drive

Porter, a 10-month-old Beardie Cross, behind the wheel.
Facebook.com/Drivingdogs

We have to admit we were skeptical.

And we wouldn't want to look over in traffic and see Fido cruising by.

But the stories from New Zealand about how the SPCA there is teaching three dogs to drive (sort-of) have some must-see video. Check out what Monty, Ginny and Porter are learning to do. They've learned to respond to some verbal commands that allow them to move a Mini Countryman around a bit.

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World Cafe
1:21 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Jovanotti On World Cafe

Jovanotti.
Courtesy of the artist

Lorenzo Cherubini, better known by his stage name Jovanotti, occupies a curious position on the pop landscape — that of the hugely successful international star who remains largely unknown to U.S. audiences. More than two decades have passed since he first broke out in his native Italy, though, and now he's making moves to do the same in the States.

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Music
1:17 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Question Of The Week: What Song Did You Listen To The Most In 2012?

Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 1:26 pm

Hold on to your seat. You're about to be hit with a bounty of year-end lists: NPR Music's favorite songs, artists, albums, discoveries and more of 2012.

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