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Fresh Air Weekend
4:57 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Fresh Air Weekend: Louis C.K., Sports Journalism

Louis C.K., born Louis Szekely, is a writer, actor, producer, director and star of the FX series Louie.
FX

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 2:45 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

House Blocks Funding For New Light Bulb Standards

A pair of incandescent light bulbs.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 6:00 pm

Tucked inside the omnibus spending bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier, today, is a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from enforcing new, more energy efficient standards for light bulbs.

The new standards were signed into law in 2007 by then President Bush, but the standards have become a favorite cause for Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, who say the bill would ban incandescent light bulbs and give Americans less choice. They say it is a perfect example of government overreach.

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It's All Politics
5:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa.
Jeff Haynes Reuters /Landov

The Republican presidential contest remains fluid less than three weeks before the caucuses and primaries begin. Nationwide, nearly one in five GOP voters is still undecided. And in Iowa, candidates are making their final push before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Friday told workers at a metal fabricating plant in Sioux City, Iowa: "I am running in this race because I understand how to get middle-class Americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more Americans back to work."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:44 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

States Would Get More Flexibility On 'Essential Benefits' Under Proposal

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:46 pm

It may or may not be a punt, but the Obama administration wants to let states play a bigger role in deciding what constitutes an "essential health benefits" package when it comes to health insurance.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued what it called a "bulletin" outlining a policy it hopes to impose. In other words, it's not even yet a formal regulation.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

In Pictures: Egypt Erupts Into Bloody Protest

An Egyptian protester rests after being wounded during clashes with soldiers and their supporters in Cairo on Friday.
Mohammed Abed AFP/Getty Images

Sometimes there are few words we can add to tell a story. Today, Egyptian protesters once again clashed with the country's ruling military and throughout the day the conflict grew larger and bloodier.

We've collected a few pictures that tell the story of Cairo today:

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
4:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

With Alternative Giving, A Nudge Out Of Poverty For The Poor

A man with a cow in Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam. The man received his cow from Heifer - as well as training and resources to care for it.
Courtesy of Juleen Lapporte

Jim Eckhardt says there was a time he'd fill his holiday shopping cart with toys for his 6 grandchildren. But 7 years ago, he had an epiphany: The kids had too much stuff.

"You look at all the things we throw away and that money could be put to better use," Eckhardt says.

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Politics
4:20 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Romney Receives Endorsement From Nikki Haley

The day after the final debate before the primaries, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa. He also picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Middle East
4:07 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Arab League Wavers On Sanctions Against Syria

Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al Arabi (far left) meets with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Nov. 27. The group imposed tough sanctions against Syria at that meeting, but is now wavering when it comes to implementing them.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat December 17, 2011 10:54 am

The Arab League has a reputation for being long on rhetoric and short on action. That's why it was so surprising when Arab ministers approved an unprecedented package of sanctions against Syria at the end of November.

But the unity that produced that vote is falling apart, and a meeting in Cairo to set the terms of the sanctions was suspended indefinitely.

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Your Money
4:06 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Amid A Blizzard Of Discounts, 'The Thrill Of The Hunt'

Customers crowd into a Best Buy store in Burbank, Calif., on Nov. 25.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:47 pm

Anybody with an e-mail box this time of year is in the middle of a storm — a 20 percent-off coupon lands, only to be topped by another for 30 percent off, then 40 percent, half-price. That's not to mention the free shipping offers piling up like snowdrifts as we head into the last full weekend of Christmas shopping.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Zynga Has Disappointing Initial Public Offering

The corporate logo for Zynga, center, is shown on an electronic billboard at the Nasdaq MarketSite on Friday.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 4:01 pm

The tech and business press called it the most hyped initial public offering since Google, but very quickly today Zynga's public debut went sour with its stock price falling below its initial price of $10.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

U.S. Transfers Enemy Combatant To Iraqi Government

U.S. authorities decided to transfer Ali Mussa Daqduq — shown here on a poster at a 2007 U.S. military news conference in Baghdad — to Iraqi authorities.
Chris Hondros AFP/Getty Images

As part of its withdrawal from Iraq, the United States has turned over its final prisoner to Iraqi authorities.

The man is Ali Musa Daqduq, whom the United States held in Iraq as an Enemy combatant for his ties to Hezbollah, a militant group from Lebanon.

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Food
2:54 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Marshmallows From Scratch: A Simple, Sticky How-To

All Things Considered co-host Melissa Block shows off marshmallows she made from scratch using a recipe from Jennifer Reese's book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.
Jacob Margolis NPR

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 6:42 am

A few years ago, Jennifer Reese lost her job, so she decided it was the perfect time to save money by undertaking "all those exciting Little House on the Prairie cooking jobs" she'd been curious to try. Reese was an ambitious cook, and her enthusiasm knew no bounds: She wasn't just baking bread or grinding peanut butter. She fried potato chips, made Pop-Tarts, stretched curds into mozzarella, infused vermouth, fermented kimchee — and, while she was at it, raised her own chickens, turkeys and goats at her home in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Music News
2:47 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Chet Atkins: The Lasting Influence Of 'Mr. Guitar'

Chet Atkins at RCA's Studio B in the 1960s.
Courtesy of the Country Music Hall of Fame

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Asia
2:39 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Chinese Property Dispute Becomes A Bitter Showdown

Family members burn funeral offerings for Xue Jinbo on Friday. Xue, 42, was involved in a property dispute that turned into a major confrontation with authorities in the southern Chinese village of Wukan. He died in police custody.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 11:10 pm

What began as a property dispute in the southern Chinese village of Wukan has escalated into an open revolt for the past six days. It's one of the most serious episodes of unrest that the Chinese Communist Party has faced in recent years. The protests were suspended for a while Friday so villagers could mourn the man whose death led villagers to chase police and government officials out of town. The police have sealed off the area, but NPR's Louisa Lim managed to get into Wukan.

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Batman Actor Christian Bale 'Roughed Up' By Chinese Authorities

English actor Christian Bale speaks to journalists as he arrives for an event of the Zhang Yimou-directed new movie "The Flowers of War" in Beijing, China.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 2:18 pm

The actor Christian Bale says he was "roughed up" by Chinese authorities when he tried to visit human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

The incident was caught on camera by a CNN crew that was accompanying him on the trip. Here's the video:

And here's The New York Times' description of it:

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Manning Faces First Legal Proceeding Since Arrest

Pfc. Bradley Manning had his first legal proceeding Friday since being arrested in 2010 on charges of leaking classified information on the Internet. The hearing was held at Fort Meade in Maryland, where Manning's attorney immediately challenged the impartiality of the officer conducting the proceeding. Lynn Neary talks to NPR's Carrie Johnson.

World
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Report Links Victoria's Secret With Child Labor

Melissa Block speaks with Bloomberg reporter Cam Simpson about his article on Victoria's Secret — and child labor violations under the fair and organic trade banner.

Commentary
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Week In Politics: Economy, GOP Primary

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 5:27 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And now we're joined by our regular Friday commentators, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome to both of you.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

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Sports
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Tebow Mania: Why IS The Quarterback So Popular?

Fans show their support of quarterback Tim Tebow.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Every so often, an NFL player transcends the game. Think William "Refrigerator" Perry or Bo Jackson.

Tim Tebow, the quarterback who'll lead the Denver Broncos against the powerful New England Patriots on Sunday, has become a household name, thanks to his improbable come-from-behind victories combined with his prominent expressions of faith.

How does he do it? The Bears, Chargers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Jets, Raiders and Vikings would like to know.

Time For A Comeback

Tebow is a proper noun. Tebow is a verb meaning to genuflect.

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Law
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

SEC Charges Ex-Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac CEOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission is going after former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for allegedly committing securities fraud.

The mortgage giants had to be taken over by the government in 2008 and then propped up by taxpayers. The SEC says the officials misled investors about the firm's exposure to subprime mortgages

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Cam Penner Spins Road Stories On 'Gypsy Summer'

Cam Penner's latest album is Gypsy Summer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:35 pm

When your grandfather is a bootlegger and your family runs an illegal small-town roadhouse, you must have a lot of stories to tell. Cam Penner does, and he tells them in his music. The Canadian singer-songwriter's latest album is titled Gypsy Summer.

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Law
1:58 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

SEC Sues Former Freddie, Fannie Executives

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 2:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Slugger Barry Bonds Sentenced To One Month House Arrest

Baseball slugger Barry Bonds will serve 30 days in house arrest for his obstruction of justice conviction back in April.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"Bonds sat stoically as U.S. District Judge Susan Illston told baseball's home run king that he had avoided prison but must spend one month in his two-acre Beverly Hills estate, two years on probation, serve 250 hours of community service and pay a $4,000 fine.

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The Record
1:30 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Music In Holiday Concerts Thorny Subject For Public Schools

A choir in Little Rock, Ark., performs.
dlewis33 istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:59 am

Public school music teachers are heroes. They coach tiny fourth graders to play violins. The get 60 restless middle schoolers to play the same music at the same time. But their trickiest task of the year might be making selections for the winter concert.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Citing Eurozone Crisis, Fitch Threatens Downgrade Of 6 EU Countries

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 12:29 pm

Fitch ratings agency, one of the big three, said today that it was considering downgrading the credit ratings of six Euro-zone countries. Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia and Cyprus could see their their rating cut by one or two notches.

The AP reports:

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Petri Dish

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

It's time for our monthly episode of Science Diction, where we explore the origins of scientific words with my guest Howard Markel, professor of history of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, also director of the Center for the History of Medicine there. He joins us WUOM. Welcome back, Howard.

HOWARD MARKEL: Good afternoon, Ira.

FLATOW: We have a very interesting word, or actually lab equipment today.

MARKEL: That we do. It's my favorite plate. It's the Petri dish.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Physicists Find 'Hints' of Elusive Higgs Boson

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Scientists have been searching for decades for a subatomic particle called the Higgs Boson. You've heard about it. It's been in the news, and you know, in theory, it explains why and how objects have mass.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Exploring The Science Of Flying, From Your Window Seat

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 12:57 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This holiday season I'm sure is finding many of us on airplanes, flying around the country. It could take tedious hours of body scans, the crummy back-of-the-seat TV and scary airplane bumps and noises. But if you marvel at nature and technology, though, you can turn this torturous event into a more enjoyable learning experience.

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Medical Treatments
12:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

Treating Stress, Speech Disorders With Music

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. You know that nice feeling you get when you listen to your favorite tune? What about music that can actually be medical therapy? It does exist. It's prescribed for illnesses from speech disorders to autism, Alzheimer's, even cancer.

Take the case of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. After she was shot in the head earlier this year, one way she learned to talk again was by singing her favorite songs, like this Cyndi Lauper tune.

(SOUNDBITE OF ABC BROADCAST )

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Research News
12:00 pm
Fri December 16, 2011

What Makes Wings Work?

Researchers at New York University are studying flight with a speaker, a soup pot, straws and a box full of paper aircraft. Emeritus professor Stephen Childress describes the experiment and what he and his colleagues have learned about flight from their homemade flying objects.

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