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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Here's Some Good News: Volunteering Is On The Rise

Nov. 22: Volunteers prepared Thanksgiving dinners for people in the Queens borough of New York City, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:23 pm

Enough of the bad news for a moment.

Smack in the middle of the holiday season, here's something that underscores how generous many Americans are:

"64.3 million Americans (more than one in four adults) volunteered through a formal organization last year, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010," the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship report.

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Remembrances
10:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Remembering Ravi Shankar

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, we want to take a moment to remember a legend in Indian classical music. Ravi Shankar died this week at the age of 92. He played the sitar, a long six-stringed wood instrument. He used it to communicate Indian music and culture to an American audience, and in fact audiences around the world. Shankar is known both for his own musicianship and his collaborations with Western greats like the Beatles and John Coltrane. Here's a collaboration with American violinist Yehudi Menuhin. The album is called "West Meets East."

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Technology
10:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Protecting Kids' Digital Privacy

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, she is Palestinian, Muslim, she has cerebral palsy and she earns a living as a stand-up comic and that is no joke. We'll meet Maysoon Zayid in just a few minutes.

But, first, we want to talk about something you may want to have on your radar if you're still shopping for holiday gifts and one of the things on your list is a mobile device, especially one that a child might use or borrow.

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Games & Humor
10:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Arab American Comedienne: No Apology For Jokes

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 7:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, the issues of Palestinians, both in the U.S. and abroad, are often in the news, but not, I think it's fair to say, because of the comedy scene, which is where Maysoon Zayid comes in.

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Music
10:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Miguel Tells The Secret Inspiration Of His Lyrics

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 11:15 am

Six-time Grammy nominee Miguel has been heating up the airwaves with his newest album, Kaleidoscope Dream. Miguel sat down with host Michel Martin to discuss his musical style and why he wants to challenge stereotypes about R&B. *Advisory: This conversation may not be suitable for all listeners.

The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu December 13, 2012

On 'Fiscal Cliff,' Majority Of Public Sides With Democrats, Pew Poll Says

President Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) behind him, delivering his State of the Union address last January.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:01 pm

As the end-of-year tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" near, "Democrats are in a strong position with the public," the Pew Research Center reports.

A new national poll Pew released this morning shows that:

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U.S.
10:22 am
Thu December 13, 2012

How The Rich Feel About Paying More Taxes

How much income tax should the top 2 percent of U.S. earners pay? Just about everyone has an opinion, but the opinions that count are those of President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:30 am

Stephen Prince has plenty of money, and he doesn't mind sending more of it to the federal government.

"There's nothing in history that supports the view that if you give the wealthy their money back, they'll invest it," says Prince, who owns a company based in Nolensville, Tenn., that makes gift cards. "We invest anyway — that's what the wealthy do."

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Monkey See
10:04 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The 'Calm Act' Will Quiet Down Commercials, So What Should Congress Do Next?

iStockphoto.com

COME RIGHT DOWN RIGHT NOW BUY SOME FURNITURE EVERYTHING MUST GO WE ARE LIQUIDATING MERCHANDISE FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE LAST FEBRUARY AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT WE ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ANY REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE ACCEPTED OR MY NAME ISN'T CRAZYPANTS MCGILLICUDDY.*

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It's All Politics
9:39 am
Thu December 13, 2012

For Business Owners, Higher Taxes Could Mean Fewer New Hires — Or More

President Obama examines a K'NEX roller coaster on Nov. 30 at a Hatfield, Pa., factory that makes the toys. During the visit, Obama spoke about the economy, the middle class and his plan to raise taxes on top wage earners.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 11:25 am

Every time President Obama explains why he wants to increase taxes on the richest 2 percent, Republicans have a ready answer: Most small business owners file their taxes as individuals, and a rate hike would discourage them from hiring new workers.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Late Whitney Houston Was The Year's Hottest Search

Whitney Houston in 2004.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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The Two-Way
7:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 11:33 am

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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Europe
6:25 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Botched Fresco Restorer Sells Original Work

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Remember Cecilia Gimenez? She's the 80-year-old Spanish woman who gained fame for her restoration of a 19th century fresco of Jesus. The botched restoration became quite a sensation. Some describe it as looking more like a monkey. Well, now Gimenez is selling some original work. It's a painting of a house in her hometown. It's on eBay, with bidding at more than $800. It makes you wonder if that Jesus restoration was bad art or good business. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:19 am
Thu December 13, 2012

If You Can't Beat Them, Copy Them

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Kristina Green knew she couldn't trump her next door neighbor's elaborate Christmas light display, so the Maricopa, Arizona woman decided to have some fun. Now pictured on her Facebook page is her neighbor's house covered, from driveway to roof, in 16,000 lights. And Green's house? It features a display of just 900 lights above her garage arranged to spell out the word ditto with an arrow pointing next door. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
6:03 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A New Tale By Hans Christian Andersen

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to a writer whose exact words may not be remembered, but whose stories have come down through the ages. Scholars in Denmark believe they have found a new tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It's a short story called "The Tallow Candle."

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A Danish newspaper says it was discovered in a storage box near Andersen's hometown. Experts believe he wrote it as a young teenager in the 1820s.

NPR Story
3:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

CALM is an acronym for a new law that takes effect Thursday. It stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, and it means you won't have to jump for your TV remote the second commercials air. The law says the volume of commercials needs to be the same as the programs they're coming out of.

NPR Story
3:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with supervising banks in the EU.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

NPR Story
3:53 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Most Of Congress In The Dark On 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:44 am

Of the 535 members of Congress, not many appear to be in the loop about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. That makes the rest nervous about having to vote on a bill on short notice despite misgivings about what's in it. But this is often how major deals get accomplished in Washington.

In these budget negotiations, the names Boehner and Obama come up most often — and virtually all the rest are on the outside looking in.

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The Salt
2:35 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Archaeologists Find Ancient Evidence Of Cheese-Making

Archaeologists believe that ancient farmers used pots made from these pottery shards to make cheese — a less perishable, low-lactose milk product.
Nature

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 11:19 am

As any cheese maker will tell you, it's not that hard to make cheese. You just take some fresh milk, warm it up a bit, and add something acidic to curdle it. Then, once it has cooled, you drain off the whey — the liquid part — and you're left with cheese.

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Planet Money
2:28 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior?

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:55 am

If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him — give him a timeout, say, or take away a toy — there are some basic principles that seem to work.

The punishment needs to happen quickly after the bad behavior. And it needs to be significant enough to get noticed. Those rules aren't just for kids; they need to hold true for any type of punishment to be effective.

But if you're a federal regulator punishing a bank, it can be tough to be swift enough and to levee a penalty that's severe enough to make a difference.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Report On CIA Interrogation Tactics Revives Torture Debate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., have opposing views about a report detailing CIA detention and interrogation practices.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

In a closed-door meeting Thursday, lawmakers will consider whether to approve a secret report that chronicles CIA detention and interrogation practices — including methods that critics have compared to torture.

That report — along with the release of a new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden — is rekindling an old debate about whether those methods worked.

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Arts & Life
2:25 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Letters From 'Peanuts' Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance

The collection's estimated price is $250,000 to $350,000.
Courtesy of the Claudius Family

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

On Friday, Sotheby's is putting up for auction 44 letters and 35 drawings from Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, to a young woman he was courting.

The letters were written during an eight-month period starting in 1970 when Schulz's first marriage was deteriorating and before he met his second wife. During this time, Schulz, 48, wrote Tracey Claudius, 25, poignant, funny, even innocent notes in pictures and words, often using Charlie Brown to stand in for himself.

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Asia
2:24 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A Rare Visit Inside A Chinese Courtroom

An NPR reporter recently was allowed to watch legal proceedings at Hongkou District Court — a rare opportunity for a foreign correspondent in Shanghai.
Courtesy of Hongkou District Court

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

After years of covering China, I finally set foot in a Chinese courtroom last week. Foreign reporters need government permission to enter Chinese courts and past attempts had gone nowhere.

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Religion
2:23 am
Thu December 13, 2012

From Gang Member To Hip-Hop Church Leader

Pastor Troy Evans of Edge Urban Fellowship in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Edge Urban Fellowship

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Troy Evans preaches at Edge Urban Fellowship in a rundown Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood known for prostitution. Inside what looks like an abandoned office building are walls covered by graffiti. There are tattooed people wearing baseball caps and jeans. Three 20-year-old men holding mics get ready to bust out some elaborate dance moves.

It may seem like a hip-hop show, but it's actually church.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:22 am
Thu December 13, 2012

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

A woman with the Army Corps of Engineers documents a destroyed home last month in a residential area of New Dorp Beach on Staten Island in New York City.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

So New Yorkers, local politicians and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to defend themselves from what climate experts call "the new normal."

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Business
2:21 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Etsy Crafts A Strategy For Staying Handmade And Profitable

Etsy, which began as a place for home crafters and small businesses to sell their goods, has experienced growing pains as it surpasses 800,000 sellers.
Courtesy of Etsy

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

Etsy has gotten very big, very fast. This year, sales are at about $800 million.

"Their growth on all the major metrics you want to look at has accelerated really consistently," says journalist Rob Walker.

Walker recently wrote a story for Wired Magazine with the headline, "Can Etsy Go Pro Without Losing Its Soul?" Here's why: Etsy makes money from its sellers: 20 cents every time they list an item and 3.5 percent of every sale. Today, there are some 800,000 sellers.

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U.S.
2:20 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Finding A Child Online: How The Web Is Transforming Adoption

Eric James and his partner, Zerxes Spencer, have spent the past year looking to adopt. To speed up the arduous process, the couple built a website about their lives to draw in interested birth mothers.
Courtesy of Eric James

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:03 am

When Eric James and his partner, Zerxes Spencer, decided to adopt last year, they signed on with Adoptions Together, a reputable agency close to their home in Maryland. They attended the agency's seminars to learn about the process, met other "waiting parents" and formed personal bonds with the staff. But there was just one problem.

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The Two-Way
5:38 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

'Complex And Difficult Days' Without Chavez, Venezuelan Vice President Warns

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, addresses the nation flanked by Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, left, and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday.
Efrain Gonzalez AP

Venezuelans must prepare for "complex and difficult days" after President Hugo Chavez' cancer surgery, the country's vice president says.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:29 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Post-Sandy, Newly Unemployed Struggle To Stay Afloat

Erin Kulick can see the animal clinic where she once worked from her balcony in Queens, N.Y. Six weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the clinic is still closed.
Courtesy of Scott Kulick

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:19 pm

Hurricane Sandy's effect on the nation's unemployment figures was less pronounced than expected. The reasons are complex, but one thing is clear: Thousands of victims are still struggling to rebuild their lives and get back to work.

Danielle Siekierski was tending bar at a restaurant in Manhattan's Meatpacking District before Sandy hit. When the restaurant was damaged in the storm, the workers were told it might be a week before it reopened.

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All Tech Considered
5:24 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Who Needs College? Young Entrepeneuer Bets On Bright Idea For Solar Energy

Eden Full took time off from her studies at Princeton University to work on her startup full time, after being selected for the inaugural class of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship.
Della Rollins

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:44 am

Eighteen months ago Eden Full was finishing up her sophomore year at Princeton University. She was on the crew team as a coxswain. She had spent the previous summer in Kenya building an innovative, low-cost contraption to make solar panels more efficient.

Full was glowingly successful — the kind of college student who ends up profiled in alumni magazines.

But Full had decided to drop out.

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