NPR News

NPR Story
7:42 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Measure Heads To The House

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 10:39 am

A compromise deal to stop broad spending cuts and tax increases is headed to the House of Representatives, after receiving strong support in the Senate. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., talks with Steve Inskeep about a possible House vote on the "fiscal cliff" deal.

Cole, the House deputy majority whip who also serves on the Appropriations Committee, says he expects the House to approve the Senate bill, calling it "a pretty big win."

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Around the Nation
4:41 am
Tue January 1, 2013

School Wants 'Bucket List' To Kick The Bucket

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Michigan's Lake Superior State University issued its annual list of annoying expressions to banish. The list includes: trending, bucket list, kick the can down the road and spoiler alert. The top one to ban: fiscal cliff.

Around the Nation
4:33 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Mayor Settles Council Election Tie With Coin Toss

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Democracy sure works in mysterious ways. In Seguin, Texas, a December city council election ended in a dead tie. Both candidates received 141 votes. So it was up to the mayor to settle things. The law gave him some options: drawing straws or tossing dice. He chose an old coin toss. The silver dollar landed, it was tails, and immediately Jeannette Crabb was sworn into a four-year term. She's coming to office with quite a mandate.

Shots - Health News
3:13 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Breast Cancer: What We Learned In 2012

Betty Daniel gets a routine yearly mammogram from mammography tech Stella Palmer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago in 2012.
Heather Charles MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 8:08 am

The past year has seen more debate about the best way to find breast cancers.

A recent analysis concluded that regular mammograms haven't reduced the rate of advanced breast cancers — but they have led more than a million women to be diagnosed with tumors that didn't need to be treated.

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NPR Story
2:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Mexico's President Alters Tactics Against Drug Crimes

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It has been a busy year in Mexico's war on drugs. The administration of former President Felipe Calderon struck major blows to the country's largest cartels, slowing the violence that has claimed more than 50,000 lives.

But the new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, says he'll change tactics. He wants to go after the crime associated with drug trafficking instead of taking down crime bosses. His new attorney general says this is the right strategy, since the number of crime gangs working in the country has grown significantly.

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NPR Story
2:55 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Israeli Election Campaign Includes Much Maneuvering

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 6:51 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Imagine getting ready to vote in an election and having no idea what the parties stand for or even who's running for which party. Well, that's close to the reality in Israel, where the political stakes are always high. Parliamentary elections are in just three weeks but a series of dizzying political maneuvers has left voters confused. Sheera Frenkel reports.

SHEERA FRENKEL, BYLINE: A couple of weeks ago, this advertisement by the left-wing Meretz Party went viral.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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Science
1:00 am
Tue January 1, 2013

The Year Of The Higgs, And Other Tiny Advances In Science

Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider announced the discovery of the Higgs boson on July 4, the long-sought building block of the universe. This image shows a computer-simulation of data from the collider.
Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

It's a year-end tradition to cobble together a list of the most important advances in science. But, truth be told, many ideas that change the world don't tend to spring from these flashy moments of discovery. Our view of nature — and our technology — often evolve from a sequence of more subtle advances.

Even so, chances are good that this year's list-makers will choose the discovery of the Higgs boson as the most important discovery of 2012.

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World
12:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Multiple Feuds Bring A Record Year Of Violence To Karachi

Gul Mohammed Khan has lost three sons in sectarian violence during the last two years, in Karachi, Pakistan. He stands here with some of his grandchildren who have lost their fathers. When he looks at his grandchildren, he says, he sees his sons.
Dina Temple-Raston/NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 8:35 am

The sad truth about Karachi in 2012 was that whatever your religion, business affiliation, or political party, someone was willing to kill you for it.

The murder rate in Pakistan's largest city and commercial hub hit an all time high last year. Over 2,500 people died in violent crimes in Karachi in 2012, a 50 percent increase over the year before.

Most of the deaths were attributable to sectarian killings and score settling. Shia Muslims took on the brunt of the violence. But Sunni Muslims were killed in reprisal attacks that added to the tally.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 7:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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Business
12:40 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Statement From President Obama

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:16 am

The White House released this statement from President Obama at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday:

Leaders from both parties in the Senate came together to reach an agreement that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support today that protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country and the House should pass it without delay.

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NPR Story
5:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

With Deadline In Sight, No Final Deal On Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. There's good news and bad news on the so-called "fiscal cliff," just hours before the nation is set to slide over it. The good news is that top negotiators for the Senate and the White House are by all accounts this close to a deal. The deal would prevent a major income tax hike for most Americans. That starts tomorrow.

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It's All Politics
4:22 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in Farmington, Pa., in June.
Ann Wilkins AP

Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012: The World Celebrates 2013

Revelers count down to 2013 near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, where thousands gathered for the city's first public countdown to the New Year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 3:59 pm

It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or possibly some combination of the above.

You can see celebrations around the world by checking out a special photo feed on Instagram. The site shifts timezones to mark the latest to ring in the new year.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:21 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Could Post-Superstorm Sandy Rebuilding Energize The Economy?

Contractors Benny Corrazo, left, and Michael Bonade install a new set of sliding glass doors in a home that survived Superstorm Sandy in the Breezy Point section of New York on Dec. 20, 2012. Some economists say that reconstruction efforts may stimulate the economy.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Superstorm Sandy did tens of billions of dollars in damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

But there may be a silver lining to all that destruction: Some economists argue that reconstruction from Sandy could help stimulate the national economy in 2013. Still, others are more skeptical.

Charlie Messina uses a jackhammer to break up flood-damaged concrete in a basement in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Manhattan Beach. Messina owns a small business that does renovations.

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All Tech Considered
2:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

From 3-D Printers To Wired Glasses, The Tech Year Ahead

Google Glass will be part of a trend in 2013 of computing and connectivity in devices we don't generally think of as computers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:17 pm

It's unlikely 2013 will be the year that jet packs make it big, but the coming year could bring us a host of other new technology trends and products, such as 3-D printers for consumers, smarter smartphones and more connected devices like glasses and cars.

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Politics
2:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

What Stalled Congress On The Fiscal Cliff?

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The simplest explanation to what's going on in Washington is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans command majorities in both Houses and control of the White House and you can throw in political realignment as an explanation. Liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats have been diminished to the point of near extinction. But even so, Democrats and Republicans in Congress in years past somehow managed to make deals and legislate despite profound differences.

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Around the Nation
2:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Areas Rebuilding After Sandy Seeking More Aid From Washington

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

While battles over the fiscal cliff continue, one thing not being discussed is a recovery package for Superstorm Sandy. The Senate has already passed a $60 billion aid package. Right now, it's unclear if the House will take it up.

From member station WSHU, Charles Lane says people in the storm zone are concerned that repairs and rebuilding will be delayed, leaving them vulnerable to future storms.

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Shots - Health News
2:07 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Parenting, Mental Illness And Bodily Functions: 2012's Most Read

One of the year's most popular posts examined the evolutionary pull of running and high-aerobic activities on our brains. Above, a man runs past the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April.
Ryan Pierse Getty Images

There are some people who believe you can tell a lot about a person from what they read. By that measure, judging from the year's most popular posts on Shots, you might think our readers include plenty of depressed parents obsessed with diet and excrement.

Luckily for you, dear readers, we here at Shots know that Web traffic isn't a scientific measure of personality or of quality — just of virality. Plenty of powerful, public service stories failed to make our Top 10 list for the year. That caveat delivered, here's a look at the stories that kept you clicking in 2012.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

White House Website Draws Petition To End All Petitions

The White House

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:32 pm

Jeff Jarvis has had enough of the White House's petition site.

The 1-year-old site, We the People, is meant to be a place for Americans to directly entreat the president. Any petition that gathers more than 25,000 signatures in its first month is supposed to generate an official response from the Obama administration.

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Around the Nation
12:46 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Peace Pilgrim's 28-Year Walk For 'A Meaningful Way Of Life'

Peace Pilgrim acknowledged that some may have considered her "kooky." But, she once said, "pioneers have always been looked upon as being a bit strange."
Carla Anette Courtesy of Friends Of Peace Pilgrim

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

In 1953, Mildred Norman set off from the Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day with a goal of walking the entire country for peace. She left her given name behind and took up a new identity: Peace Pilgrim.

When Peace Pilgrim started out, the Korean War was still under way, and an ominous threat of a nuclear attack was on the minds of many Americans. And so, with "Peace Pilgrim" written across her chest, she began walking "coast to coast for peace."

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Africa
12:42 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Congo Fighting Leaves A Fragile City On Edge

Congolese women wait for food to be distributed at the Mugunga III camp for displaced people outside the eastern town of Goma on Dec. 2.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:16 pm

Goma, a city on the eastern border of the Congo, has been a magnet for war refugees for nearly two decades. And in an expanding camp for displaced people, called Mugunga I, school principal Emmanuel Kibanja Miteso holds up a three-ring binder that reflects the history of war here.

The pages are a logbook for parent-teacher conferences. Every time fighting flares in the region, people flood into the displacement camps and the roster of names swells in the principal's binder.

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Music Interviews
11:49 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Miguel: An 'Honest Introduction' To An R&B Star

Miguel, whose album Kaleidoscope Dream was released in 2012, is nominated for five Grammy Awards.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Mon December 31, 2012

China Kicks Out 'New York Times' Reporter

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:56 am

China has effectively expelled a reporter working for The New York Times by refusing to extend his media credentials, the newspaper said Monday.

The reporter, Chris Buckley, has been forced to leave China, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 8:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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It's All Politics
11:07 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Arizona Democrat Kirkpatrick Making Capitol Hill Comeback

Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., enters a room full of supporters on Election Day, Nov. 6, in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Ralph Freso AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:55 pm

She won. She lost. She won again.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will represent Arizona's 1st Congressional District when she returns to Washington this week after sitting out a term. This time around, Kirkpatrick hopes to strengthen her foothold in a swing district, but she's dealing with a tricky electorate.

First elected to the House in 2008, Kirkpatrick turned a red district blue. Then in 2010, the backlash against President Obama and his health care plan hurt her. So, a Republican dentist from Flagstaff took her seat for a term.

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The Salt
11:00 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 11:42 am

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:26 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 10:17 am

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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Music
8:44 am
Mon December 31, 2012

'Fresh Air' At 25: A Live Musical Tribute

Terry Gross, shown above in 1987, has been host of Fresh Air since 1975, when it was broadcast only in greater Philadelphia.
NPR's Fresh Air

This show was originally broadcast on May 11, 2012.

Friday, May 11, 2012 marked the 25th anniversary of the day Fresh Air became a daily national NPR program. Before that, the show was broadcast only on WHYY in Philadelphia. How long ago was May 11, 1987? On Fresh Air's first edition, TV critic David Bianculli reviewed the finale of the TV series Hill Street Blues.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Good Riddance! 'Fiscal Cliff' Tops List Of 'Words To Be Banished'

Be gone!
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:44 am

Oh, if only someone could enforce this "edict."

Michigan's Lake Superior State University is out with its 38th "List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," and right there at the top is a two-word combination that none of us in the media seem able to avoid, especially not today:

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Music
8:21 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Hip-Hopping With A Harp

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now I would like to tell you about a special performer, someone many people have called one of a kind. She is a native Washingtonian. She fuses pop, R&B and hip-hop and she does all that while accompanying herself on an instrument you don't see very often in contemporary music - her harp.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THERE'S NO ONE ELSE LIKE YOU")

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