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Latin America
2:38 am
Mon January 7, 2013

A Strong Voice For Brazil's Powerful Farmers

Katia Abreu, a senator and landholder who heads the powerful landowners bloc in Brazil's legislature, takes a look at the new plantations on her 12,000-acre farm.
Juan Forero

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:56 am

In some ways, Katia Abreu is still an old-fashioned farmer, one who rides her chestnut mare, Billy Jean, to tour her farm in Tocantins state in north-central Brazil.

She glides the horse along a gravel road, which soon turns to dirt, and along fields of sorghum and corn. She has plans for more.

"Soon, we're going to produce fish and lamb," she says. "There will be soybeans and fields of tall grass for cattle. Lots of cattle."

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Shots - Health News
2:37 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Why Exercise May Do A Teenage Mind Good

Members of the boys basketball team from Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska, celebrate their 2012 state championship victory. Psychological research shows that sports camaraderie improves teenagers' mental health.
Charles Pulliam AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:02 am

It's well known that routine physical activity benefits both body and mind. And there are no age limits. Both children and adults can reap big benefits.

Now a study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores whether certain factors may help to explain the value of daily physical activity for adolescents' mental health.

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Business
4:55 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

iPads, China: Twin Threats To Wisconsin's Paper Industry

The Nekoosa Paper Mill was established in 1883. Its mill in Nekoosa, Wis., sits on the banks of the Wisconsin River, and is now owned by a Canadian paper company.
Mike De Sisti Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 7:11 pm

Deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, lumberjacks still cry "timber," just not as often as they once did. Across the state, milling lumber into good paper, the kind called "knowledge" grade for books, has employed thousands for more than a century, and created a distinct culture.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Could Reviving Earmarks Get Congress Moving Again?

Recent episodes of gridlock in Congress have some arguing for the return of legislative earmarks, which, though often abused for political gain, helped get bills passed.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:54 am

"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" is an old and cherished maxim of our republic. In politics, that's called an earmark, aka pork. One member of Congress gets a road or a monument for his or her state in exchange for a vote on the bill in question.

Congress has lived on this since the era of stovepipe hats. The political vogue lately, however, has been to repudiate those earmarks. But with the recent gridlock in Washington, the feeling is that perhaps some of that grease might help ease things.

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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Re-Creating The 'Lost Carving' Of An English Genius

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:06 pm

On one spring day in the early 1970s, writer David Esterly paused to admire a stunning wooden carving inside a London church.

"On the panel behind the altar, I saw these extraordinary cascades of leaves and flowers and fruits, carved to a fineness and fluent realism, which seemed to me breathtaking," Esterly recalled in an interview with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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World
3:06 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Australia's Mining Boom Creates Demand For Sex Workers

Supporters of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association demand better legal protections at a rally outside the New South Wales Parliament in September.
Greg Wood AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:07 pm

It's 9 p.m. on a Wednesday, and the night shift has started work at Langtrees, a popular brothel in the Western Australia city of Perth.

Like other women at Langtrees, "Ruby," 25, uses a working name out of concern for her safety. Ruby is from Spain, and tonight she expects to earn at least $1,500.

"I work in many countries — in Europe, in Dubai, I work in Brazil," Ruby says.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

GOP Senators Warn Of Tough Road For Hagel Nomination

Former Sen. Chuck Hagel, seen here in 2008, is reported to be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary.
Dave Weaver AP

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 4:19 pm

President Obama will on Monday name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to be his next defense secretary, an administration official confirmed to NPR.

The former Republican senator from Nebraska is a Vietnam veteran. He would succeed Leon Panetta, who is retiring.

Our original post follows:

Republican senators say former Sen. Chuck Hagel can expect a tough nominating process if President Obama names him to be the next defense secretary.

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Sun January 6, 2013

The Tax Man Takes Aim At The World's Wealthy

Protesters demonstrate outside a Starbucks coffee shop in London last month. Protests were held at Starbucks throughout the U.K. after it was revealed that the coffee chain had paid almost no corporate taxes for the last three years.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 9:17 am

As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.

This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.

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U.S.
5:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Without Broader Action, Conn. Town Writes Its Own Gun Laws

The three selectmen for the town of Weston, Conn., David Muller (left), Gayle Weinstein and Dennis Tracey, hold a town meeting in which they discuss a proposed gun-control ordinance.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 12:35 pm

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the state's governor and President Obama called for stricter gun laws.

In the meantime, at least one small town in Connecticut is drafting new ordinances of its own.

The town meeting in Weston begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. Moving through the agenda, the attendees discuss appointments to the Commission on Aging, there's some talk of the budget and two fourth-graders make their case for eliminating plastic bags.

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It's All Politics
5:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Former Sen. Scott Brown May Be Eyeing Quick Return To Washington

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., attends the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 30. Scott lost his re-election bid, but could be running for office again in a matter of weeks.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:08 pm

Among the new members of Congress sworn in this week was Sen. Elizabeth Warren. And within days, the Massachusetts Democrat could become her state's senior senator.

That's because 28-year incumbent Sen. John Kerry is expected to be confirmed soon as secretary of state.

And replacing him later this year after a special election could be the very senator whom Warren unseated: Republican Scott Brown. For Brown, it would be an unusual second chance.

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Shots - Health News
5:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Mexico Aims To Save Babies And Moms With Modern Midwifery

Infants used to be born at home to traditional midwives.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 10:04 am

In Mexico these days, the majority of babies are born in hospitals. That hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths, though. So health officials are re-making the centuries-old tradition of midwifery. They are betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, can offer a solution.

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Around the Nation
5:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

How A Community Created A Garden From Sadness

John Underhill waters flowers at a makeshift memorial for shooting victims outside the University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 20, 2011. Many of the plants and flowers at area memorials were replanted at a community garden.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 9:02 am

Brad Holland had big plans for the empty lot he owns in midtown Tucson, Ariz.

"This was going to be my dream house before the economy collapsed," Holland says. "I had a big empty lot and said, 'Wow, a lot of good can come out of this.' "

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Asia
5:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

After Fighting To Go To School, A Pakistani Woman Builds Her Own

Bachal recently starred in a documentary series which featured her efforts to educate children in her Karachi neighborhood of Moach Goth.
Courtesy of Humaira Bachal

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 9:32 am

Humaira Bachal, 25, has become a crusader of sorts. She has a passion for education in a country where going door-to-door asking fathers to send their daughters to school can mean risking your life.

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The Two-Way
4:06 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Fighting Reported In Syria Before Assad's Expected Speech

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 7:55 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad addressed his country publicly for the first time in months on Sunday, maintaining his prior assertions that the violence estimated to have killed more than 60,000 of his citizens is the work of terrorists.

NPR's Peter Kenyon tells our Newscast Unit that Assad insisted he could win the battle. Kenyon reports:

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Politics
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Obama's On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With Progressives

President Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff on Monday. Some progressives say the president was not aggressive enough with Republicans during budget talks and are hoping he is stronger in his second term.
Charles Dharapak AP

When Barack Obama first took office four years ago, many progressives were on cloud nine. Here was a president pledging to tackle some of the issues closest to the progressive base: climate change, gun control and what he called our "broken immigration system."

That was in 2008. Fast forward to now and these are just a few of the unresolved issues leaving progressives unsatisfied.

With Obama's second term around the corner, some progressives are wondering if President Obama will reboot and follow through with his earlier promises.

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Music News
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Bikini Kill Rises Again, No Less Relevant

Bikini Kill performs in Washington, D.C., in the 1990s.
Courtesy of Pat Graham

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:24 pm

Just over 20 years ago, one of the most influential bands in the riot grrrl movement released its first album. Bikini Kill helped define a movement that grew up as an offshoot of punk in the early 1990s, when many women felt marginalized by society, and in some cases, even by the punk-rock community.

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Analysis
4:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Week In News: The End Of The Fiscal Cliff, Sort Of

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If Congress refuses to give the United States the ability to pay its bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy could be catastrophic. The last time Congress threatened this course of action, our entire economy suffered for it.

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It's All Politics
3:00 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

What Happens When The Speaker Isn't Talking?

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner at the White House in November.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed January 9, 2013 9:13 am

The last thing Washington policymakers need is another obstacle to reaching agreements in the next two months on mandatory spending cuts and raising the nation's debt limit.

But the start of the new 113th Congress brought word that House Speaker John Boehner had sworn off future one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Sat January 5, 2013

NFL Weekend Playoffs: Wild-Card Games, Dynamic Quarterbacks And A Loser

Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 1:54 pm

The NFL has four wild-card playoff games this weekend, and millions of people will settle back in sofas to scream at their televisions in joy or frustration on Saturday and Sunday.

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The Picture Show
11:48 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Looking For Lost Memories In The Delta

"The Peter's Rock Church in Marianna is no everlasting monument; it has been left to rot, its windows broken, its steeple fallen over. Still, I found it beautiful. Kneeling in the cemetery, listening to the insects hissing, watching as a dog wandered past, I felt history coming at me from all sides."
Eugene Richards National Geographic

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:14 pm

Photographer Eugene Richards had several reasons to visit the Arkansas Delta 40 years after his initial visit.

"I went back, ostensibly, to look at the culture and see if there was anything left of it," he says. Or at least — that was the pitch he gave National Geographic magazine, in hopes that it would send him there, which it did. You can see the story in the magazine's November issue.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Gunman, Hostages Reported Dead In Aurora, Colo., Standoff

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:54 am

Four people are dead inside an Aurora, Colo., home Saturday following a standoff with an "armed and dangerous" man holding hostages, police say. Aurora is the Denver suburb where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater last July, killing 12 and injuring many more.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Tarantino, Waltz, 'Downton'

Christoph Waltz (right, with Jamie Foxx) stars in Quentin Tarantino's new film Django Unchained.
Andrew Cooper The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 2:16 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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Africa
5:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Congo's Tutsi Minority Enveloped In Complex Conflict

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's hard to tell whether the ongoing conflict in Eastern Congo is a battle between rival ethnic groups or a fight for resources. There are so many militant groups in Eastern Congo with so many shifting alliances and demands. But a tiny ethnic minority in Congo has been at the center of this conflict for the past 20 years. NPR's Gregory Warner tells their story from the Eastern Congoli city of Goma.

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NPR Story
5:53 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'The Americans': Looking Back On The Cold War 'Fondly'

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The end of football is in sight, so what to do with that couch? What about another classic rivalry? An old fashioned spy versus spy Cold War drama?

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE AMERICANS")

MATTHEW RHYS: (as Phillip) Super secret spies living next door. They look like us, they speak better English than we do. According to Misha, they're not allowed to say a single word in Russian once they get here. I mean, come on. Someone's been reading too many spy novels. Talking figment of the imagination.

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NPR Story
5:53 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pakistani Cafe Is Oasis In Desert Of Civil Discourse

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In Pakistan, there's a cafe called the Second Floor. It's listed in a local Karachi social blog as one of the coolest cafes in town. Since it opened its doors five years ago, it's become a haven in a city more known for its violence than its civil discourse. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston paid a visit.

DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: The artwork on the front stoop of the Second Floor Cafe in Karachi says it all.

SABEEN MAHMUD: I wanted something right at the entrance...

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NPR Story
5:53 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Another Think Coming? Scrutinizing An Oft-Misused Phrase

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS CONFERENCE)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Well, good afternoon, everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Good afternoon.

OBAMA: Welcome to the White House.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

At a news conference earlier this week, President Obama tried to put pressure on Republicans and federal budget negotiations. The president said he would not accept spending cuts from Republicans without some tax increases. Then he used a phrase that raised a few eyebrows.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:06 am
Sat January 5, 2013

A Very, Very, Very Delicate Balance

Stone balance art by Gravity Glue.
Courtesy of Gravity Glue

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 11:50 am

These rocks, says the artist, are not glued, not Velcroed. This is not a trick. Go ahead and click through our glossary of photographs. There are big rocks pirouetting on little ones, little ones dangling on top of big ones, pebbles tightly clumped and suspended in air ...

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Author Interviews
4:29 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'Death Of Bees' Captures A Grim, Gory Coming-Of-Age

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

The Death of Bees is a story about two young girls living in a Glasgow, Scotland, housing project. And if you believe the first sentences of a novel are often the most difficult to write, try this beginning paragraph:

"Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

"Neither of them were beloved."

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World
4:28 am
Sat January 5, 2013

London Real Estate, A Magnet For Mega-Rich From Around The Globe

Foreign buyers are pushing the prices of prime London real estate through the roof. Neighborhoods such as West London, Kensington and Chelsea are particularly popular.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

Looking for a London pied-a-terre? How about a four-bedroom duplex overlooking Hyde Park? It could be yours, if you're prepared to spend $25 million.

In most of the United Kingdom, property prices are slumping. But in some of London's most upscale neighborhoods, they're going crazy.

Robin Perona sweeps the sidewalk at Egerton Crescent, a gracious semicircle of white townhouses in fashionable Chelsea.

In the 1990s, they cost about $700,000 each. Today the average price is some $13 million — or 8 million British pounds.

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It's All Politics
4:28 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

Vice President Joe Biden leads the first meeting of the working group to explore solutions following the Newtown shooting with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other law enforcement leaders on Dec. 20.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 8:59 am

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

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