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4:24 am
Sat November 10, 2012

Retro London Cabs On The Road Toward Extinction

The company that makes London's iconic taxis has had financial difficulties, leaving cabbies in a lurch.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 12:54 pm

Cabbie John Crowood's traditional London taxi was one among hordes as he began trundling through the city's streets with so many other benevolent black beetles more than 30 years ago.

Today, he's one of a dwindling band. Crowood says that the only company that makes the classic retro London cab had to recall 400 of its newest vehicles after a mechanical defect was found, leaving hundreds of his fellow cabbies unable to ply their trade.

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Middle East
4:24 am
Sat November 10, 2012

As Turkey Rises, 'A Real Problem' With Censorship

Kurdish women hold pictures of jailed journalists in Istanbul on Sept. 10, during the start of the trial of 44 journalists with suspected links to rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 1:25 pm

Nearly two years ago, Soner Yalcin and more than a dozen of his employees at the online news outlet OdaTV joined the growing list of incarcerated Turkish journalists. Yalcin, the owner of OdaTV, is one of the sharpest critics of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

As their trial proceedings dragged on, challenges to the state's case grew, and most of the outlet's journalists were released, pending the trial's conclusion. But Yalcin and two others remain behind bars, 22 months and counting.

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Music News
11:10 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

A Veteran's Standing Ovation, 70 Years In The Making

This month, a symphony composed by World War II veteran Harold Van Heuvelen had its premiere.
Kevin Gift

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 9:55 am

When you reach a certain age, big life surprises tend to come few and far between, unless you're Harold Van Heuvelen. Van, as everyone calls him, has had a blockbuster week full of dreams fulfilled. The story of his dream starts more than 70 years ago, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Van Heuvelen enlisted in the Army after Pearl Harbor. He was posted to a base in New Orleans as an instructor for recruits. He spent the war stateside, training men who were being shipped out to Europe and the South Pacific.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:00 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

John Williams' Inevitable Themes

Flanked by composer Leonard Slatkin and soprano Jessye Norman, John Williams takes a bow during his 80th-birthday celebration at Tanglewood in August.
Stu Rosner

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 9:52 am

For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:28 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Uprooted By Sandy, Residents Scatter To New Housing

Residents wait for information from FEMA in the Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Superstorm Sandy washed away a large section of the iconic boardwalk here on Nov. 2.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

Since Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New Jersey and New York coastlines last week, FEMA has already put more than 30,000 residents in hotels and motels and given out roughly $300 million in rental assistance.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced more help for residents: a new program called NYC Rapid Repair for people whose houses were damaged by the storm. The program, paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cut through bureaucracy and get contractors to many damaged homes starting next week, he said.

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It's All Politics
4:53 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Upside To Plunging Off The Fiscal Cliff

With Congress on the edge of a fiscal cliff, set to occur Jan. 1, some say a fiscal plunge is exactly what's needed to break the political logjam.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

Now that the election is over, Washington is transfixed by the fiscal cliff, the automatic tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect Jan. 1 if nothing is done.

The sudden shock could seriously damage the economy.

But some Democrats and policy analysts are suggesting that going over the fiscal cliff could help break the political logjam.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again: Obama And Boehner Clash On Fiscal Cliff And Taxes

President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit Friday in the East Room of the White House.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 4:52 pm

If you fell asleep Rip Van Winkle-like earlier in the year only to wake up Friday, you might be forgiven for thinking no time had passed.

Because on Friday, President Obama called for higher taxes on the wealthy to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, while House Speaker John Boehner strongly indicated that proposal was a non-starter with House Republicans.

But, of course, we just had an election in which the president won a second term and, through that, some political capital. Exactly how much remains to be seen.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lockheed Martin's Incoming CEO Resigns Over Relationship With Subordinate

Former Lockheed Martin President and Chief Operating Officer Christopher E. Kubasik.
PR NEWSWIRE via AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 6:16 pm

Lockheed Martin announced that its board of directors asked for the resignation of Christopher E. Kubasik, 51, the current chief operating officer and incoming chief executive office.

"Kubasik, previously slated to become CEO in January, resigned after an ethics investigation confirmed that he had a close personal relationship with a subordinate employee," Lockeheed said in a statement. "His actions violated the company's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, but did not affect the company's operational or financial performance."

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Music Interviews
4:09 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Squeezebox Brutality: Murder Ballads From Finland

Two legendary 19th century Finnish murderers grace the cover to Kimmo Pohjonen's Murhaballadeja.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

Murhaballadeja features a striking photo on the cover: Two beefy, big-jawed men with cruel eyes are in prison garb, shackled with heavy chains at the neck, wrists, knees and feet. Turns out they're legendary 19th century murderers from Finland. These are the kinds of characters you'll find in a collection of murder ballads from Kimmo Pohjonen.

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Movie Interviews
4:09 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis On Creating A Voice From The Past

Day-Lewis used firsthand accounts of Abraham Lincoln's speeches, along with his personal letters, to develop a voice and a style for Steven Spielberg's biographical drama.
David James DreamWorks

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Daniel Day-Lewis has won two Academy Awards for fully immersing himself in his characters in There Will Be Blood and My Left Foot.

Now the British actor is taking on one of America's most iconic figures in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, playing the 16th president during the final months of his life. Day-Lewis tells NPR's Melissa Block that it was a daunting prospect — but that ultimately Lincoln was a surprisingly accessible figure.


Interview Highlights

On playing such an iconic figure

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The Picture Show
2:53 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

The Art Of Chinese Propaganda

"Beloved Chairman Mao, we are loyal to you forever." 1967
Courtesy of the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center lies buried in an unmarked apartment building off the tree-lined streets of the city's former French Concession. There are no signs. You have to wend your way through apartment blocks, down a staircase and into a basement to discover one of Shanghai's most obscure and remarkable museums.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Supreme Court To Weigh Constitutionality Of Voting Rights Act

Aug. 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson presents one of the pens used to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to James Farmer, Director of the Congress of Racial Equality.
National Archives Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to weigh the constitutionality of the decision by Congress in 2006 to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, the landmark Civil Rights legislation enacted in 1965 that let millions of African-Americans cast ballots for the first time in states that had long blocked them from voting booths.

According to Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSBlog:

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

CIA Director Petraeus Resigns, Citing Extramarital Affair

Former Central Intelligence Agency Director, David Petraeus, in Sept. 2011.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency David Petraeus submitted his resignation today, citing an extramarital affair.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair," Petraeus, 60, said in a message sent to CIA staff. "Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation."

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The Salt
2:44 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Sky-High Vegetables: Vertical Farming Sprouts In Singapore

Mah Bow Tan, a member of Singapore's Parliament, inspects Chinese cabbage growing at the commercial vertical farm. Troughs of the veggies stack up to 30 feet in the greenhouse.
Courtesy of MNDsingapore.

Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.

Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Lee MacPhail, Half Of Only Father-Son Duo In Baseball Hall Of Fame, Dies

Lee MacPhail in 1985.
Marty Lederhandler AP

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World
2:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

To Combat Sanctions, Iran Buys Up Gold

Iranian women look at a jewelry shop display in Tehran, Iran, in 2010. Iran now appears to be stockpiling gold in an attempt to stabilize its economy, which has been hit hard by Western sanctions.
Atta Lenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 11:17 am

Iran is stockpiling gold. That's the way David Cohen sees it. He's undersecretary of the Treasury, and the Treasury's point man for the banking sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Iran.

"Iran is attempting to hoard gold, both by acquiring it and by preventing the export of gold from Iran, in a somewhat desperate attempt to try and defend the value of its currency," Cohen says.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Los Angeles Lakers Fire Coach Mike Brown Five Games Into The Season

Former head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers gives instructions during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers in November.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers have fired coach Mike Brown only five games into the season.

In a press release, the Lakers said Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff will take over in the interim.

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It's All Politics
1:24 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama's Feat: Not Just Winning But How He Won

President Obama greets the crowd after a Sept. 22 speech in Milwaukee.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 2:50 pm

Maybe it's just math, but it may also be a great political accomplishment.

President Obama has put together a coalition that's not only been a winner for him, but promises to pay dividends to his party for years to come.

A mix of minorities, young people and educated white professionals has now driven him to two majority-vote presidential victories — the first Democrat to pull that off since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Author Interviews
12:52 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Interrupting Violence With The Message 'Don't Shoot'

David M. Kennedy is the director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control, and professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Courtesy of David M. Kennedy

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 1, 2011. Don't Shoot is now out in paperback.

In 1985, David M. Kennedy visited Nickerson Gardens, a public housing complex in south-central Los Angeles. It was the beginning of the crack epidemic, and Nickerson Gardens was located in what was then one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in America.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

NASA Successfully Uses 'Interplanetary Internet' To Control Robot

A diagram of a space Internet.
NASA

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 6:18 pm

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Research News
12:03 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Claims Thousands of NYU Lab Mice

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow this week. Last week, when Hurricane Sandy sent a surge of salty water into cities and towns up and down the East Coast, among the casualties were thousands of research subjects: lab mice. A building at New York University's Medical Center flooded, and thousands of mice and rats that were being used to study cancer, heart disease and all kinds of other medical disorders died.

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Shots - Health News
11:37 am
Fri November 9, 2012

How Changing Visual Cues Can Affect Attitudes About Weight

Pictures like these helped British researchers gauge people's attitudes about weight.
Courtesy of Martin Tovee

With most Americans fat or fatter, you'd think we'd be lightening up on the anti-fat attitudes.

Alas, no. Even doctors often think their overweight patients are weak-willed.

But changing negative attitudes about body size might be as simple as changing what you see. When women in England were shown photos of plus-sized women in neutral gray leotards, they became more tolerant.

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NPR Story
11:35 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Boehner: To Avert Fiscal Cliff, Kill Tax Loopholes

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 11:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Here in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner addressed a major economic issue this morning. In a press conference, the Republican talked about the so-called fiscal cliff. That's the combination of higher tax rates and spending cuts due to take effect at the end of this year.

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The Two-Way
11:33 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Obama To Lay Down His Markers On Economy & Fiscal Cliff

Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:08 pm

The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.

In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.

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Music Reviews
11:22 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Cody ChesnuTT Contains A Universe On 'Hundred'

Cody ChesnuTT is the best sort of egomaniac: On Landing on a Hundred, he's preachy but delightful.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:52 pm

Cody ChesnuTT is the best sort of egomaniac. He places himself at the center of his musical universe; he contains that universe within him. On his new album, Landing on a Hundred, he sings one song in the voice of the entire continent of Africa.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
11:20 am
Fri November 9, 2012

It's All Politics, Nov. 8, 2012

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:05 pm

  • Listen to the Roundup

Election Day has come and gone, but NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin are still trying to make sense of it all. Was it close? Well, a 50-to-48 percent popular-vote edge for President Obama certainly indicates that.

But the president won just about every battleground state, pushing his Electoral College totals into landslide proportions. And, the Democrats did far better in the Senate than anyone expected.

The Two-Way
11:06 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Iran Says It Shot At U.S. Drone, Because It Trespassed

In this Sept. 6, 2007 photo, an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle flies over a range in Nevada.
MSgt. Scott Reed AP

The Iranian defense minister confirmed today that his forces had shot a U.S. drone. But Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said it shot at the MQ1 Predator drone because it had trespassed into its airspace, The New York Times reports.

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NPR Story
11:02 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Oliver Sacks: Hallucinations

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. In his new book "Hallucinations," Oliver Sacks writes that you see with your brain, not with your eyes. And his book suggests our brains can play some bizarre tricks on is. Dr. Sacks describes a musician who sees intricate but unplayable sheet music superimposed on his field of vision.

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NPR Story
11:02 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 8:53 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Here's a big, giant question for you: Why do we believe what we believe? And how is it that two people can look at the exact same set of circumstances and see two completely different things? That philosophical question is at the center of a new book where, to put it another way, one person's beautiful miracle is another person's ecological crisis.

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NPR Story
11:02 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Bioengineering Beer Foam

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

And one last salute to science before the weekend. Here are some news you can raise the glass to. Microbiologist Tomas Villa and colleagues report that they may be able to bioengineer better beer foam. That's right.

TOMAS G. VILLA: Beer foam. Foam is what you like the most in a beer. And a beer drinker wants foam to stay longer, right?

LICHTMAN: Of course. And the secret to long-lasting froth, proteins, produced by barley and yeast during fermentation.

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