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12:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

The Constitution: Just 'A Poetic Piece Of Parchment'

Law professor Mike Seidman argues that it's time to reexamine the role of the Constitution.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 10:01 am

One of the cornerstones of American democracy is the pledge that every federal officer takes to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

In a piece in The New York Times, Georgetown law professor Mike Seidman argues that our reliance on the document has created a divisive and dysfunctional political system.

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The Two-Way
12:47 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Inquiry; Tech Giant Makes Changes And Avoids Antitrust Charges

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:25 pm

Google has agreed to change some of its business practices, in an agreement made with the Federal Trade Commission that will end the U.S. agency's antitrust probe of the search and technology company.

In the terms of the deal, Google agrees not to appropriate content such as users' reviews from other sites for use in its search and mobile offerings. The company also pledged to make it easier for advertisers to compare the value of running ad campaigns through Google compared to advertising on rivals Yahoo and Microsoft.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Boehner Not Being Challenged In Vote For Speaker

A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:29 pm

Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who has come under criticism from some conservative members of his Republican caucus for — in their opinions — conceding too much in negotiations with the White House, was reelected Thursday as speaker of the House.

The speaker, known for showing his emotions, later choked up several times during a mid-afternoon address to the House. He challenged members to "do the right thing" and come to their jobs "humbled."

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Politics
11:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Latinos Shifting Political Trends

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Politics
11:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Will Congress Get Along In 2013?

A new Congress takes office today, after a nail-biting end to the last term. There were reports of choice words from House Speaker John Boehner to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but Congress came together on a budget agreement. Guest host Celeste Headlee asks how congressional deals are made, and what to expect from the freshman class.

Asia
11:05 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Are Women Safe In India?

The brutal rape and death of a young student in New Delhi is raising concerns about violence against women in India. To find out more about the challenges women face in the world's largest democracy, guest host Celeste Headlee speaks to a women's rights advocate and an Indian author.

The Two-Way
11:04 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Nice Moment: Sen. Mark Kirk Returns To Capitol One Year After Stroke

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., holding a cane. He was helped up the steps of the Capitol by Vice President Biden (behind Kirk) and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., (in red tie). Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is at right.
C-SPAN

Before lawmakers get back to the business of arguing about taxes, deficits and other issues as they open a new session of Congress today, there was just a nice moment outside the Capitol.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who suffered a stroke last Jan. 21, came to the Capitol for the first time since then. And as C-SPAN cameras watched, he made a very public return — slowly walking up the steps of the Capitol with assistance from Vice President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Putin Grants French Actor Depardieu Russian Citizenship

French actor Gerard Depardieu (left) and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg in December 2010.
Ria Novosti Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 2:12 pm

If French actor Gerard Depardieu really does want to renounce his native land and evade its taxes, he's now got a home land in Russia if he wishes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin today ordered that Depardieu be granted Russian citizenship, the Kremlin announced.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Fire Risk Leads Praxair To Recall Grab 'n Go Oxygen Tanks

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:05 pm

When there's a cylinder of medical oxygen in the room, the last thing you want it to do is burst into flames.

So the Food and Drug Administration says Praxair has recalled its Grab 'n Go Vantage portable oxygen units. The product combines an aluminum cylinder with a regulator that releases the oxygen at the right pressure for medical use.

It's a handy combination, but only when the Grab 'n Go is working right.

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The Salt
9:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Apes Have Food, Will Share For A Social Payoff

Bonobos sharing food and friendship.
JingZhi Tan Duke University

People have been sharing food with strangers since ancient days, offering up the household's finest fare to mysterious travelers. Think Abraham and the three men of Mamre in the Bible and the folks who take in strangers after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy. That deep tradition of generous hospitality has long been thought uniquely human.

If so, then bonobos, those gregarious African apes, may be more like us than we thought.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

NPR's Michele Norris Returning As Host/Special Correspondent

NPR's Michele Norris.

Stephen Voss

Michele Norris, who stepped away from the hosting duties at All Things Considered during the 2012 presidential election because her husband took a senior position with President Obama's re-election campaign, is returning to NPR "in a new role as host/special correspondent," Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president for news, just announced.

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In India, Five Charged With Rape And Murder In Crime That Shocked Nation

Protests continue, such as in New Delhi today.
Prakash Singh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:27 pm

In India today, the public prosecutor formally charged five men with murder and rape in the case of a 23-year-old student whose December assault and death has united the country in anger and sorrow.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu January 3, 2013

This May Blow Your Mind: Video Of New Year's Eve Fireworks In Reverse

In the video, you can watch them disappear.
http://www.youtube.com/jcltay

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 10:27 am

Before the holiday mood completely disappears, take a break if you can to watch this video of the New Year's Eve fireworks in Melbourne, Australia.

The guy who made it, Julian Tay, writes he was:

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The Two-Way
7:28 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Layoffs Have Slowed, Hiring Has Picked Up, But Jobless Claims Are Higher

The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall.
Mike Segar Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:46 am

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Went Up; So Two Out Of Three Reports Were Positive:

There were 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. What's more, that previous week's total was revised up from the previous estimate of 350,000.

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Around the Nation
6:44 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Kid Convinced He Bought $50,000 Car On eBay

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Don't play with the iPad if Mom tells you not to, especially if Mom's a prankster. Eight-year-old Kenyon was looking at a car on eBay. Mom told him he accidentally bought it for $50,000.

KENYON: Is that true? Did I?

MOM: I'm afraid so.

GREENE: She posted his reaction on YouTube.

KENYON: It was a Mustang. I didn't mean to buy it.

Asia
6:38 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In China, Yellow Is The New Red

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

You've seen this happen, maybe done it yourself. You approach an intersection, the light turns yellow, but instead of slowing to a stop, you accelerate and blow through. Chinese authorities have now outlawed this practice. New rules say yellow is the new red. It means stop. The change has prompted vocal protest, even at the official Chinese news agency. One Chinese critic says the new rules are contrary to Newton's First Law about momentum.

The Two-Way
6:34 am
Thu January 3, 2013

With Those Lost In Mind, Sandy Hook Students And Staff Return To Classes

Early Thursday morning, a school bus carrying students from Sandy Hook Elementary headed to their new school.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:49 pm

  • Jean Cochran reporting on the NPR Newscast

(Scroll down for updates. Our most recent was at 2:45 p.m. ET.)

Hoping that they have done their best to create "a safe and a secure learning environment for these kids," school officials in Connecticut today welcomed the 500 or so surviving students from Sandy Hook Elementary School and their teachers back to class.

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Around the Nation
5:47 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Mackinac Island Worries About Preserving Its Past

Michigan's Mackinac Island was fought over by France, England and the United States. The 200-year-old city in northern Lake Huron is a popular tourist destination. But the demolition of old buildings has raised a fierce debate about how to hold onto the past while profiting from it.

It's All Politics
5:45 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Was Boehner's Fiscal Cliff End Run Past GOP The New Normal?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio (right), and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., enter a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

By letting the House take up the Senate's fiscal cliff-dodging legislation that raises income tax rates on the wealthiest earners, Speaker John Boehner answered affirmatively a question that had been on many minds: Would he allow an up-or-down floor vote on a bill opposed by most fellow House Republicans?

Until the New Year's Day vote, Boehner had generally operated the House under what was known as the Hastert Rule. Named for former Speaker Dennis Hastert, it required a "majority of the majority" to support legislation before the speaker approved a floor vote.

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Business
4:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:35 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And that brings us to today's last word in business: melty money.

The Bank of Canada released new hundred dollar bills in 2011. The high-tech bank notes are made of polymers. They're sort of like plastic bills. The goal was to make them indestructible. They were put through a lot of tests. They were put through the wash, frozen, boiled. But some Canadians who have their hands on the money say the plastic bills melt when subjected to extreme heat.

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NPR Story
4:25 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Farmers Frustrated By Farm Bill Extension

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:09 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.

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Economy
3:59 am
Thu January 3, 2013

What Is A Good Unemployment Number, Really?

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:50 am

On Friday, new unemployment numbers will be released for December. In last month's report, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, a four-year low. For a preview of the labor market prospects for the new year, Steve Inskeep talks to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, an international consulting firm.

It's All Politics
2:27 am
Thu January 3, 2013

After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself

Then-candidate Eric Swalwell speaks as Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., walks offstage during an endorsement meeting at the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club in Oakland, Calif., in September.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:27 am

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

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Around the Nation
2:26 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Brings One Family Closer

The day after their neighborhood was flooded, the Hardys returned to their house to start bagging up the garbage. The contents of the fridge were spread all over the kitchen floor and even outside. There were sausages in the street. The kitchen floor was a mess of muddy puddles.
Courtesy of Heather Hardy

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:26 am

The Hardy family goes back generations in a tiny neighborhood called Gerritsen Beach at the southern end of Brooklyn. For them, Superstorm Sandy has created something like an extended family reunion.

Their 2 1/2 bedroom house is currently just barely livable. They removed a fallen tree, replaced drywall, fixed the electricity and heat, and threw down rugs to keep the dust and mold from overwhelming them until they do the work the house really needs.

The Hardy family is more closely knit than a lot of people could stand.

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Television
2:24 am
Thu January 3, 2013

'Downton Abbey' Cast: It's More Fun Downstairs

Hugh Bonneville (left) stars as Lord Grantham and Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, the formidable butler of Downton Abbey.
Joss Barratt Carnival Films

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:41 pm

With the third season of the sumptuously upholstered period drama Downton Abbey coming to PBS Masterpiece Classic on Jan. 6, Morning Edition's David Greene sat down with a half-dozen members of the cast to talk about what's in store.

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Europe
2:23 am
Thu January 3, 2013

Prime Minister Finds Soap Opera's Turkish Delights In Bad Taste

Eggs streak down a billboard advertising the popular Turkish soap opera The Magnificent Century. The show focuses on palace intrigue during the 16th-century rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. Some Islamists have protested the show's depiction of the sultan's harem.
Murad Sezer Reuters via Landov

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:27 am

Suleiman the Magnificent was the longest-reigning sultan of the Ottoman Empire, presiding for nearly a half-century at the peak of the empire's power in the 16th century.

During Suleiman's rule from 1520 to 1566, the Ottomans were a political, economic and military powerhouse. Suleiman's forces sacked Belgrade, annexed much of Hungary and advanced across large parts of the Middle East and North Africa.

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The Record
11:55 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Patti Page, Who Dominated The '50s Pop Charts, Dies

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:27 am

Patti Page, whose comforting voice made hits of heartbreaking ballads ("Tennessee Waltz") and novelty songs ("How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"), died Tuesday in Encinitas, Calif. She was 85 years old.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Clinton Discharged From Hospital After Blood Clot Treatment

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was discharged from a New York hospital today, after being treated for a blood clot. In December, Clinton and former President Bill Clinton attended a dinner for Kennedy honorees at the Department of State.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:40 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she was admitted Sunday for treatment of a blood clot that followed a concussion she suffered after fainting. Clinton has reportedly been taking blood thinning agents to help the clot dissolve.

"She's eager to get back to the office," according to a statement from Philippe Reines, deputy assistant Secretary of State, announcing Clinton's discharge.

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Democratic Leader Pelosi to GOP Colleagues: 'Take Back Your Party'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks at a Dec. 19 news conference on Capitol Hill.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:00 am

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says she has urged Republican colleagues in Congress to "take back your party" from "anti-government ideologues" in their ranks.

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Sports
5:22 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Game, Set And Match: U.S. Tennis Tournaments Move Abroad

Pete Sampras returns a forehand against Russia's Marat Safin during an exhibition tennis match at the L.A. Tennis Open tournament in 2009. The tournament, which has been around for decades, is now relocating to Colombia as America's dominance in the sport declines and global appeal surges.
Danny Moloshok AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:16 am

Throughout most of its 86 years, Los Angeles' premier tennis tournament attracted the biggest names in the game. But over the years, stars stopped coming, and so did fans.

Now the Farmers Classic, which has been in L.A. since 1927, is headed to Bogota after it was bought by a Colombian sports marketing and entertainment company.

"There's a big hole in my heart. And believe me, this is something we didn't see coming, I'll be honest," says Bob Kramer, longtime tournament director of the Farmers Classic.

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