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Despite the sluggish economy, it's been a pretty good year for luxury carmakers. Deluxe brands such as Mercedes, Volvo and BMW have seen double-digit growth.

But the German carmaker Audi is the standout. It's seen a near tenfold growth in the past 20 years, and the company has also become the new status car for young urban professionals.

Herman Cain's decision to reassess the status of his Republican presidential campaign in the wake of allegations he engaged in a long-term extramarital affair raises questions beyond will-he-or-won't-he drop out.

One of the big ones?

Which candidate in the still-crowded GOP field would benefit most if Cain ends his White House quest?

We put that question to Republicans in the early contest states of Iowa, which will hold its caucuses Jan. 3, and New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary will be held Jan. 10. What we heard wasn't all that surprising.

A Dissolving Fruit Sticker That Claims Soap Superpowers

Nov 29, 2011

Scott Amron really doesn't like peeling those little stickers off fruit from the grocery store. "They're pesky and annoying and they create waste," he tells The Salt. So, he decided to do something about it.

Political Affairs Now An Open Book

Nov 29, 2011

There's a difference between news that's in the public interest and news that the public is interested in. But that difference has been eradicated when it comes to sex scandals involving presidential candidates.

There was a time when affairs involving candidates for the nation's highest office were not generally considered fit subjects for media scrutiny. In the current media environment, however — and in the wake of dozens of sex scandals involving politicians in recent years — that's no longer the case.

It's Sunday in Volos, a fishing village nestled in a large bay in central Greece, and fishermen display their daily catch, which this day includes codfish, sardines and octopus.

Prices have been slashed, but customers are few.

Fisherman Christos Xegandakis laughs bitterly. He says business is so bad, it's time to start swapping goods.

"Give me two kilos of potatoes, and I give you a kilo of fish," he says. "Why not?

As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? It's also a popular belief that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.

So, I think we're safe in saying that Delma Kinney, an Atlanta man who will turn 51 Dec. 5, has beat the odds, winning a million-dollar lottery twice in three years.

The AP reports:

At an Aravind hospital in Madurai, a city on India's southern tip, the waiting room is packed. A clinical assistant calls out the names of patients, and they're escorted to examination rooms. This hospital alone screens around 2,000 patients a day — and tour guide Shawas Philip says this day is busier than usual.

"We might break that record today — of the number of patients that are seen on a particular day. That's exciting," he says.

An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.

The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.

Thanhha Lai was 10 years old the day in 1975 that North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and fear spread through the city on rumors that Communist troops were about to begin a massacre. Lai recalls fleeing with her eight older siblings and her mother to the nearby port and boarding a crowded South Vietnamese Navy ship that then headed to sea.

Part of a monthlong series

NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.

As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.

The sort of offenses that might land a student in the principal's office in other states often send kids in Texas to court with misdemeanor charges. Some schools have started rethinking the way they punish students for bad behavior after watching many of them drop out or land in prison because of tough disciplinary policies.

In a downtown Houston municipal court, Judge David Fraga has presided over thousands of cases involving students "ticketed" by school police. His docket is still relatively small at the moment, with only 45 to 65 cases per night.

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It's hard not to look at some of the pictures of people surging into stores as they opened at the stroke of midnight for Black Friday sales and see some kind of crass, mindless mob.

The crowds in Cairo's Tahir Square clamor for democracy and free speech. Crowds in American shopping malls seem to clamor for Blu-rays, Xboxes and Wii consoles.

There were even a few reported instances of violence Friday among unruly shoppers, hell-bent for bargains.

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Mubarak's Party Haunts Egyptian Elections

Nov 26, 2011

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Deal Reached; NBA Season Mostly Saved

Nov 26, 2011

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Military families across the country celebrated Thanksgiving this week with loved ones who were home after being deployed to Iraq for the last time. Scores of troops are coming home as the war winds down to an end next month, but for one Kentucky National Guardsman, his commitment to family is as strong as his desire to serve. Brenna Angel of member station WUKY in Lexington has his story.

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Before you hear this next story, let's offer a caution. Hitchhiking is not generally safe. But just happens to be a way of life in Moscow. That may be about to change.

NPR's David Greene sent this postcard from the Russian capital.

A new name burst onto the top rungs of British pop charts this year with a song called, "My Heart." Well, maybe not a new name; it's actually one of the most famous names in musical history. Host Scott Simon speaks with screen legend Doris Day about her new album.

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It's tough to have a famous parent, really hard to go into the same business, and almost impossible to create a brilliant career in your own right ... but that's exactly what singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash, has done.

Tavi Gevinson's fashion blog, The Style Rookie, is a must-see Web destination. She's been invited to runway shows all over the world and has written for and been profiled in magazines like The New Yorker and French Vogue. Oh, and by the way, she started blogging at age 11 ... which was four years ago. Gevinson has now launched a new Web magazine, RookieMag.com.

Actor Jason Bateman Plays Not My Job

Nov 23, 2011

Jason Bateman is that rarest of creatures: a former child star who seems sane and successful. He starred in many '70s and '80s sitcoms, and of course, the classic Teen Wolf Too. He went on to play the nice-guy lead in Arrested Development, and also appeared in the movies Hancock, Juno, Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up.

First of two stories, which are part of an ongoing series on obesity in America. The first part begins in August as students start their weight-loss journey at Wellspring Academy, a boarding school in Brevard, N.C. The second checks in with the students a few months later.

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