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Around the Nation
5:54 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Texas Couple Has 'Breaking Bad' Engagement

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with congratulations to Hannah Shuster and Mackey Macaluso. The Houston Chronicle says they got engagement photos themed on "Breaking Bad." That's the tale of a man who cooks meth to support his family. The happy couple posed in yellow lab suits in front of an old camper, like one featured in the show, and they held the ring - the rock - on blue rocks resembling meth. We don't know how they'll spend their wedding night, but they do love the show on Netflix.

Health Care
4:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Health Exchanges Brace For A December Deluge

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

The race is on to get the federal insurance website HealthCare.gov working smoothly by the end of November.

And it's not just because that's what federal officials have promised. December could see a surge in demand for health insurance.

"There is an avalanche coming," says Bryce Williams, managing director for exchange solutions at the benefits consulting firm Towers Watson.

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Middle East
4:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Deal Leaves Iran's Nuclear Facilities Intact

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Let's talk more about the Iranian nuclear deal with Tony Blinken. He is the White House Deputy National Security Advisor. Mr. Blinken, welcome back to the program.

TONY BLINKEN: Thanks for having me.

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Latin America
4:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Ruling Party Leads Election Vote Totals In Honduras

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Central American country of Honduras held a presidential election yesterday. Honduras suffers from extreme poverty and it has one of the world's highest murder rates. The nation's politics have been dominated by elites and the military. Now, so far the vote count appears to favor the candidates from the right wing ruling party, but this election offered a little more choice than usual. Here's NPR's Carrie Kahn.

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Television
2:03 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Bill Cosby, Still Himself After All These Years

Bill Cosby performs his stand-up special, Far From Finished. The actor and comedian has been working in show business for 50 years.
Erinn Chalene Cosby Comedy Central

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Comedian Bill Cosby has been in show business for 50 years, and he celebrated on Comedy Central over the weekend with a stand-up special — his first in 30 years — called Far From Finished.

That earlier special, called Bill Cosby Himself, inspired one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history: The Cosby Show, starring Cosby as paterfamilias Cliff Huxtable. It was a show that was really the first of its kind, capturing life in a highly educated upper-middle-class African-American family.

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Code Switch
1:55 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Hollywood's New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters

Hollywood's version of Iron Man 3 shown in China played down the rather unfortunately named baddie, The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley.
Marvel

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

If you've seen the 2012 science fiction movie Looper, you might remember a telling exchange when a time-traveling hitman (Bruce Willis) sits down with a young version of himself (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and offers some advice.

"You should go to China," Willis says firmly.

Gordon-Levitt resists: "I'm going to France."

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Shots - Health News
1:54 am
Mon November 25, 2013

In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch?

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 12:41 pm

Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.

A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."

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Middle East
1:52 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Crippled By Sanctions, Iran's Economy Key In Nuclear Deal

A man pushes his cart loaded with fuel containers in Tehran, Iran. Sanctions on Iran's oil have put a serious dent in the country's economy, pushing up the inflation rate to 40 percent.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.

There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Mon November 25, 2013

'Foreverly' Yours: Billie Joe Armstrong And Norah Jones Get Close

Foreverly, a new album from Norah Jones and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, was released today.
Marina Chavez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

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Business
4:52 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Reviving Las Vegas With Less Sin, More City

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:38 am

In Nevada, there is no income tax. And if you've ever been to Las Vegas then you know why — they don't need one.

More than 30 million tourists a year stumble down the Las Vegas Strip, and many of those tourists come to gamble, leaving behind a ridiculous amount of money. For decades, business boomed.

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Music Interviews
4:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

In A Tale Of Two Sisters, The Story's In The Songs

The new Disney film Frozen is the tale of sisters Anna and Elsa, whose relationship is captured in music by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 4:52 pm

When you hear the name "Disney," you might picture a few things — Ariel the mermaid perched on a rock, or Mrs. Potts observing the blossoming love between a beauty and a beast. But just as important is what begins playing in your head: The songs that accompany these moments are perhaps even more iconic than the characters who sing them.

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Food
4:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

How Johnnie Walker Is Chasing The World's Middle Class

Johnnie Walker's success has come in part from emerging markets, like Mexico, Brazil and China.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for Johnnie Walker

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 10:39 am

Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky is just about everywhere. You can find the distinctive square bottle in bars, liquor stores and supermarkets from Milwaukee to Mumbai.

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Law
4:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

A Special Agent's Secret Job: Hit Man

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employs special agents who pose as hit men to stop contract killings.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 6:40 am

GQ Magazine correspondent Jeanne Marie Laskas calls him "Special Agent Charles Hunt," but that's not his real name. He's sometimes known as "Thrash" or "Hammer," Laskas says (also not his real name).

That's because Hunt is a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, specializing in deep undercover work. Specifically, he poses as a contract killer.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Swiss Voters Reject Measure Curbing Executive Pay

Members of the Swiss trade union Unia, supporting a referendum to limit the pay of executives to 12 times that of a company's lowest-paid employee, demonstrate in Zurich in August.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters/Landov

Swiss voters rejected a measure on Sunday that would have capped executive pay to no more than 12 times that of the company's lowest paid worker.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

China Expands Air Defense Zone Over Disputed Islands

Japanese Coast Guard vessels sail alongside Japanese activists' fishing boat, not in photo, warning the activists away from a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.
Emily Wang AP

In a move that angered Japan, China expanded its air defense zone to include a group of uninhabited islands claimed by both countries.

The Chinese government released a map and coordinates on Saturday that show the zone covers most of the East China Sea, including the islands.

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Economy
1:09 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Many Americans Will Be Giving Thanks For Lower Prices

Gas prices are down compared with last year, but slumping consumer confidence could dampen Thanksgiving holiday travel.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:11 pm

When Americans drive to their Thanksgiving gatherings this week, they will have one more blessing to count: lower costs.

Gasoline is cheaper than last year. Turkey prices are down, too. And retailers are joining in, offering big discounts on TVs and other goods.

For people who watch every penny, this Thanksgiving will be a good time for pinching.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Vatican Puts St. Peter's Bones On Display For The First Time

For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, relics of St. Peter the apostle (fragments of bone) are displayed for veneration.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:43 am

In the Vatican today, a surreal scene:

That's Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome, holding what the church believes are the bone fragments of St. Peter, the apostle and the first bishop of Rome.

Pope Francis cradled the relics during a mass at St. Peter's Square, which marked the end of the global church's Year of Faith. It was also the first time the Catholic Church has displayed the relics in public.

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Favorite Sessions
11:09 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Folk Alley Presents: Mandolin Orange

Mandolin Orange performs live for Folk Alley.
Folk Alley

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:26 am

There is no shortage of folk and country songs about whiskey. But what makes this Mandolin Orange tune so enchanting is its effortlessness. The words seem to fall right into one another, like cheery drunks into so many bar stools. Mandolinist Andrew Marlin wrote this song during a road trip with his friend. They thought it might be fun to write a stereotypical country song and didn't expect for it to be so catchy.

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Arts & Life
10:30 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Expatriates Make Do Or Do Without For Thanksgiving

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:03 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Here in the U.S., Thanksgiving's no problem, right? You go to the grocery store, you pick up your turkey, your cranberries, various other holiday delights and you're good to go. But putting together a Thanksgiving meal outside of these United States can sometimes require more creativity. We caught up with some American expats determined to conjure up the holiday. Jessica Osbourne in Seoul says there's one Thanksgiving food she can count on.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Daniel Menaker's 'Mistake' Formed His Life View

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Daniel Menaker knows writing. He also knows writers. He' was the fiction editor at The New Yorker for 20 years and later editor-in-chief at Random House. He's worked with an astonishing group of writers over the years: Alice Munro, Elizabeth Strout, David Foster Wallace, Billy Collins. This list could go on and on. And, of course, he is a writer himself, the author of six books.

His latest, a memoir is called "My Mistake." It's arranged chronological starting at the very beginning of his obsession with words.

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Winter Storm System Blamed For 8 Deaths Moves East

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:43 am

An already deadly winter storm system is moving toward the the East on Sunday.

As The Associated Press reports, the system has already been blamed for eight deaths in the West and meteorologists are warning of widespread snow, freezing temperatures and strong winds.

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Sun November 24, 2013

LISTEN: A Joyous Moment In Typhoon-Ravaged Tacloban

Sunday, Typhoon survivors watch the boxing match between Philippine hero Manny Pacquiao and American boxer Brandon Rios at the Tacloban Convention Center, which had been used as an evacuation center.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:48 am

The city of Tacloban in the Philippines was essentially leveled by Typhoon Haiyan. Over the past few weeks, residents of the city have been attending burials and picking up the pieces. But this afternoon, thousands gathered to watch the country's favorite son, Manny Pacquiao, box 12 rounds against Brandon Rios.

As NPR's Jonathan Blakely describes the scene, fans gathered at a plaza near city hall in the soaring heat and they watched the fight on a large screen powered by a generator.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Sun November 24, 2013

What You Should Know About The Iran Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius react during a statement early Sunday in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:37 am

(This post was last updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.)

Just before the sun rose on Geneva on Sunday, international negotiators emerged to announce Iran and world powers had reached a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program for six months while the two sides work out a permanent, more sweeping solution.

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Latin America
7:23 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Amid Crime And Poverty, Hondurans Go To The Polls

Honduran presidential candidate Xiomara Castro greets supporters during a campaign rally in Tegucigalpa last week.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

Voters go to the polls in Honduras to elect a new president on Sunday. It's the first open election with all parties participating since a coup overthrew the left-leaning government in 2009.

The elections come at a difficult time for the longtime U.S. ally. Two-thirds of its people live in poverty, unemployment is soaring and the murder rate is one of the highest in the world due to drug traffickers and gang violence.

The Gang Tax

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Sunday Puzzle
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

We Plant The Seed, You Pick The Tree

NPR

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:57 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a tree. Identify the tree name from its anagram. For example, given "has," the answer would be "ash."

Last week's challenge from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass.: Think of a word meaning "quarrel" in which several of the letters appear more than once. Remove exactly two occurrences of every repeated letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a new word meaning "quarrel." What are the two words?

Answer: Misunderstanding, argument

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Music News
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

For A Few Musicians, Beating Songwriter's Block Is A Game

Singer and songwriter Bob Schneider invented "The Song Game" a decade ago, inviting a closed group of fellow musicians to submit a new song every week.
Chris Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

Bob Schneider finished writing "The Effect," a song from his latest album, Burden of Proof, in just a few days. That's how he does it: For 12 years, the Texas musician has beaten back the urge to procrastinate by writing a song once a week, every week. It began casually, just him and a friend sharing their songs with one another.

"I'll go home, write a song, you'll write a song, and then we'll come back here in two days and play 'em for each other," Schneider says. "That's basically how it started."

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Around the Nation
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

More Kids Roll In Style In Tricked-Out, Giant Wagons

Brenda Lemus and her family tour the Los Angeles County Fair. They bought their wagon here, complete with canopy and storage space, six years ago.
Molly Callister for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 12:33 pm

Outside the giant river otter exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, 5-year-old Emily checks out the sights while her baby sister lounges in a canopy-covered wagon.

The girls' aunt, Maggie Hathaway, is among a growing number of parents and caregivers who are rolling their kids around in wagons instead of strollers. "Sea World, or the fair — anywhere where ... the little one wants to lay down," she says.

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NPR Story
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Iranians Hope For Normalcy After Nuclear Agreement

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

Iranians are used to bad news, so word of an international deal to halt the nation's nuclear program and the lifting of some sanctions was something extraordinary. Host Rachel Martin speaks with New York Times Tehran Bureau Chief Thomas Erdbrink.

NPR Story
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

GOP Skeptical Of Iran Deal

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In a diplomatic breakthrough, Iran has agreed to temporary limits on its nuclear program. In exchange, the U.S. and its allies have agreed to relax some of their crippling economic sanctions on Iran. The six-month agreement is designed to buy time to negotiate a more lasting deal that would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It's already drawn a skeptical response in Israel and from some lawmakers here at home.

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Afghanistan
7:21 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Afghan Assembly Approves Security Plan, But Karzai Delays

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the Loya Jirga in Kabul on Sunday.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:50 pm

A grand assembly of Afghan tribal elders and civil society leaders — the Loya Jirga — resoundingly approved an agreement to allow 3,000-9,000 U.S. troops to stay in the country after the NATO mission ends next year.

However, it remains unclear when — or if — President Hamid Karzai will sign the agreement.

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