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It's All Politics
8:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Under Attack, Gingrich Struggles To Regain His Stride In Iowa

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich complained about negative ads against him during a campaign stop at the National Toy Farm Museum on Dec. 27 in Dyersville, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 5:10 pm

If you're in Iowa this week, you'll need to watch out for campaign buses. Several Republican candidates are on bus tours of the state — including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Bird-Watchers Are All Aflutter: Asian Crane Shows Up In Tennessee

The surprise visitor: An Asian hooded crane that has shown up at the Hiwassee Refuge in Tennessee.
John Kuehnel Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 10:35 am

Just in time for the mid-January Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival at the Hiwassee Refuge, an Asian hooded crane that probably should be in Japan this time of year has flown in with thousands of his North American relatives.

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World Cafe
7:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Dawes On World Cafe

Dawes performs live on today's World Cafe.
Courtesy of the artist

Although Dawes' members have only been together since 2009, the L.A. band's romantic roots rock sounds like the product of an entirely different era.

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It's All Politics
7:13 am
Wed December 28, 2011

In The Hunt For Votes, Romney Heads East To 2008 Iowa Stronghold

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop Wednesday at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Carlson Associated Press

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:18 am

On Wednesday morning, Mitt Romney was getting an early start to campaigning in eastern Iowa, meeting and greeting voters having breakfast or just getting a caffeine boost at Elly's Tea and Coffee in Muscatine.

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The Two-Way
7:05 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Top Stories: Funeral For Kim Jong Il, Syria Releases Some Prisoners

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 7:47 am

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It's All Politics
6:55 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Immigration Emerges As Key Issue For Some Iowa Voters

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at a campaign event at Clark Electric Co-op on Dec. 27 in Osceola, Iowa. Perry's stance on immigration has troubled some Iowa voters.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:33 am

Campaign buses loaded with Republican presidential hopefuls and their entourages are rolling across Iowa as the candidates hope some face time with GOP voters will help boost their chances in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

The main issue for many Iowa voters is the economy. But there's a sleeper issue emerging: immigration reform.

Iowa's Hispanic population is surging and Republican candidates are struggling with how best to deal with voter concerns.

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Middle East
6:54 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Iran Again Warns It Can Cut Off Strategic Oil Route

The chief of Iran's navy warned Wednesday that his country can easily close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf channel where a sixth of the world's oil flows.

It was the second such warning in two days — and a Saudi official said Gulf Arab nations are ready to step in and offset any potential loss of Iranian crude in the world markets.

On Tuesday, Iran's vice president, Mohamed Reza Rahimi, threatened to close the strait, cutting off oil exports, if the West imposes sanctions on Iran's oil shipments.

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Rev. Billy Graham Makes Top 10 'Most Admired' List For 55th Time

Rev. Billy Graham poses for a portrait in 1968.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:33 am

Scroll down Gallup's report on its latest poll results about the most admired men and women living today and you come to this:

"The Rev. Billy Graham has never finished first, but has been in the top 10 more than any other man — 55 times since 1955." This year, Gallup puts Graham at No. 4. He was mentioned by 2 percent of those surveyed.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
6:20 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings: The Fresh Air Interview

The Harrow and the Harvest is the first new album from Gillian Welch and David Rawlings since 2003.
Mark Seliger Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 5:37 pm

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on July 18, 2011.

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The Best Of Fresh Air 2011
6:18 am
Wed December 28, 2011

David Carr: A Media Omnivore Discusses His Diet

"We are entering a golden age of journalism," says David Carr of The New York Times. "I look at my backpack ... and it contains more journalistic firepower than the entire newsroom that I walked into 30-40 years ago."

Mario Tama Getty Images

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on October 27, 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Cheetah, Said To Be One Of Tarzan's Chimpanzee Sidekicks, Has Died

1932 scene from Tarzan the Ape Man: Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and one of the chimps who played Cheetah.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 5:21 pm

One of the chimpanzees who played Cheetah, Johnny Weissmuller's sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and '40s, has died. He was said to be 80 years old and succumbed to kidney failure on Christmas Eve, according to the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., where he had been living since the early 1960s.

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Weeping, Wailing And Imagery In Pyongyang For Kim Jong Il's Funeral

Kim Jong Un, center, walks with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body earlier today in Pyongyang.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency AFP/Getty Images

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Asia
3:13 am
Wed December 28, 2011

North Korea's Power Transfer Moving Smoothly

This photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) shows Kim Jong Un, center, with his hand on the limousine bearing his father Kim Jong Il's body during the funeral procession in Pyongyang.
Korean Central News Agency

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

Capping more than a week of public mourning, North Korea staged a dramatic state funeral for its late leader, Kim Jong Il. Leading the ceremonies was Kim's third son and apparent successor, Kim Jong Un.

North Korean media reports portray the younger Kim, who is reportedly in his late 20s, in full control of the impoverished, nuclear-armed country. But while consolidating his political power may be easy, establishing his legitimacy will be tougher.

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World Cafe
12:30 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Bon Iver On World Cafe

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.
D.L. Anderson

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 12:28 pm

This session, from Sept. 2, 2011, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

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Animals
10:01 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

60 Years After Leaving, Porpoises Again Play In SF Bay

A harbor porpoise comes up for air near the Golden Gate Bridge. The porpoises are returning to the bay in growing numbers after a 60-year absence.
Isidore Szczepaniak Golden Gate Cetacean Research

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 11:20 am

Something that has been missing from San Francisco Bay since World War II appears to be making a comeback: Harbor porpoises are showing up in growing numbers, and researchers are trying to understand why they're returning.

The walkway across the Golden Gate Bridge is almost always packed with people taking photos. But Bill Keener isn't here for snapshots of the stunning views. He's aiming his massive telephoto lens at a dark shape in the water 200 feet below.

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Economy
10:01 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

'Smart Decline': A Lifeline For Zombie Subdivisions?

Unfinished subdivisions like this one in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., have led urban planners to suggest "smart decline" strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure.
Laura Segall Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:22 pm

On the western edge of Phoenix, it's easy to find vast tracts of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews. Utility stanchions emerge like errant whiskers from the desert floor.

This is the land of zombie subdivisions. Some experts believe up to 1 million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed.

"It's tragic," says Realtor Greg Swann. "It's heartbreaking."

Urban planners are floating a radical solution for areas like this. It's known as "smart decline."

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Reversal On Health Mandate Came Late For Gingrich And Romney

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney chat after finishing a GOP debate in Sioux City, Iowa, earlier this month.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 11:20 am

Opposition to the administration's overhaul of health care has almost become an article of faith with every Republican running for president.

Candidates promise to repeal the law and its less-than-popular requirement for most Americans to either have health insurance or to pay a penalty starting in 2014.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Antiviral Drugs Sparkle In The Race To End AIDS

Eric Goosby, United States Global AIDS coordinator, says field testing is necessary and urgent to determine if HIV testing-and-treating services are feasible.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

2011 has been a momentous year in the 30-year-old AIDS pandemic.

The big breakthrough was the discovery that antiviral drugs can prevent someone who's infected with HIV from passing the virus to others. It's nearly 100 percent effective. That led President Obama to declare earlier this month that the U.S. will expand HIV treatment in hard-hit countries by 50 percent.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Extent Of 'Anonymous' Hacker Attack On Security Is Detailed

The Guy Fawkes mask has come to symbolize the group Anonymous. This mask was seen during protest in Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

A company that provides identity protection services is sifting through the data released by hackers over the holiday weekend and and they're detailing what hackers were able to steal from Stratfor, a security think tank.

If you haven't heard, hackers who claim an affiliation with the group Anonymous broke into the servers of Stratfor, made public some data and used some of the stolen credit card numbers to, in some cases, make charitable donations.

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It's All Politics
4:21 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Ahead in New Hampshire, Romney Attempts To Solidify Supporters

Mitt Romney shakes hands during a campaign stop in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday
Charles Krupa Associated Press

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 8:22 am

Mitt Romney's campaign stops Tuesday in New Hampshire, at small restaurants with largely invited crowds, featured lofty patriotic themes and seemed designed to help him lock down his current base of support in the Granite State.

"America the Beautiful," the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were referenced by the GOP presidential contender during his last bit of stumping in New Hampshire before heading off for a three-day bus tour of Iowa, which holds its caucuses in a week.

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Economy
3:13 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Las Vegas Housing Market Attracts Asian Investors

A vacant home in Las Vegas owned by Bank of America. Nevada continues to top the nation in unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Isaac Brekken AP

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 4:31 pm

Investors from Asia are taking advantage of housing prices that have plummeted in recent years, buying foreclosures and short sales at below what it would cost to build them.

Kevin Chu's Hong-Kong investment firm owns property in Las Vegas, but he's never seen any of it. So his first visit to the U.S. is to inspect the houses in Las Vegas.

In the past 18 months, the firm he works for, The Creations Group, bought up distressed homes all over the U.S. — including 13 Las Vegas houses at fire sale prices.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

For Russians, New Year's Eve Remains The Superholiday

Brightly-wrapped chocolates are traditional for Russian New Year.
Nancy Shute NPR

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 3:28 pm

While for many people the frenzy of holiday cooking and feasting is subsiding, for Russians, it's just revving up.

During the Soviet era, Christmas was erased from the calendar. But its traditions were too strong to suppress; they were transplanted to New Year's.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

U.S. Treasury: China Is Not Manipulating Its Currency

The United States Treasury has decided not to accuse China of manipulating its currency. Instead, the Obama administration acknowledged that the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi, was appreciating but not at an "insufficient" rate.

The AFP report:

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It's All Politics
2:48 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Playing The Expectations Game And Other Last-Minute Candidate Tricks

Texas Gov. Rick Perry walks to his bus after a campaign stop at the Glenn Miller Museum in Clarinda, Iowa on Dec. 27.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 am

In this final week before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, each of the Republican presidential candidates is starting an all-out scramble to shore up support in a contest that's still up for grabs.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are competing for the votes of moderate, mainstream Republicans. Both of them have spent time at the top of the polls.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Sean Collins, Who Told Surfers Where To Go For The Best Waves, Has Died

Surfline.com

Sean Collins created a way for surfers to learn about where the best waves are just about anywhere in the world and in the process became a legend in the surfing community. Monday, at the age of 59, he died.

According to The Orange County Register, "his youngest son, A.J., said Collins was playing tennis at his club in Newport [Calif.] at about 2 p.m. when he died suddenly from a heart attack."

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The Two-Way
1:27 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Members Of Congress Weather Recession, Become Richer

The flag waves in front of the U.S. Capitol.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Both The Washington Post and The New York Times have stories today that highlight the fact that members of the United States Congress are increasingly wealthier than their constituents and they're also getting richer at a faster rate than even their fellow private-industry rich folks.

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Leaving Iraq
1:23 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Iraqi Interpreters Hope Visas Come Before Militants

The U.S. troops are gone from Iraq. But there are still a few thousand Iraqis, especially interpreters, who worked with the U.S. military and are desperately waiting for American visas — a process that takes years.

Many of these Iraqis were branded as traitors by hard-line Iraqi groups. They have often been targeted by militias in recent years, and they fear that will continue even though the American forces have left.

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It's All Politics
1:06 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

A Week Out In Iowa, Most Republican Presidential Candidates Are All In

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum leaves the Fort Dodge, Iowa, GOP headquarters after speaking Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall Associated Press

Let the buses roll. A week before Iowa caucus-goers start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were starting cross-state bus tours on Tuesday (although Gingrich's would be an abbreviated tour, The Des Moines Register reported.)

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Middle East
1:00 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

Arab League Monitors Visit Besieged Syrian City

Arab League monitors visited the central city of Homs, an opposition stronghold, besieged and under bombardment by the Syrian army until the monitors showed up. Syrian army armor was withdrawn from the city streets ahead of the visit, but activists say they expect a resumption of the army offensive as soon as the monitors leave. They also complain that they have not been allowed to meet with the Arab League team.

Business
1:00 pm
Tue December 27, 2011

At Least 100 Sears, Kmart Stores To Close

Sears Holdings announced Tuesday it will shutter at least 100 stores as a cost-cutting measure following a disappointing holiday season. The retailer's namesake Sears and Kmart stores have struggled against competitors such as Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot. Sears says it will save as much as $170 million through the store closings. It did not say how many employees will lose their jobs.

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