Around the Nation
5:27 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Florida Man Airs Grievances With Festivus Pole In Capitol

Florida lobbyist Keith Arnold stops to look at Chaz Stevens' Festivus pole made out of beer cans in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee.
Mark Wallheiser Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 8:14 pm

There's a brand-new holiday display at Florida's state Capitol in Tallahassee: a pole celebrating the fake holiday Festivus from the TV show Seinfeld.

It's the latest protest exhibit after a Nativity scene was set up in the rotunda last week.

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U.S.
5:23 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

After Fight Over Colo. Gun Laws, Two Sides As Dug In As Ever

A man holds a sign advocating the recall of state Sen. John Morse in Colorado Springs, Colo., in September. Morse and a second state senator who backed the state's new gun control measures were recalled during a special election that month.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 8:47 pm

John Morse was president of the Colorado Senate until September, when he became the first elected official recalled in the state's history.

Three months later, he's climbing the rotunda steps of the gold-domed Capitol building — his office for seven years. He hasn't been here since October. Gazing up at the dome, he says, "This is one of my favorite things to do. That's my version of smelling the roses."

Morse's political career ended over the gun bills he pushed through these chambers eight months ago. But he says he would do it all again.

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The Salt
5:23 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Drug Companies Accept FDA Plan To Phase Out Some Animal Antibiotic Uses

Young broilers nibble feed at a chicken farm in Luling, Texas. The Food and Drug Administration has issued new guidance on how drug companies label antibiotics for livestock.
Bob Nichols USDA/Flickr

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 8:07 pm

If drug companies follow guidance issued Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, within three years it will be illegal to use medically important antibiotics to make farm animals grow faster or use feed more efficiently.

The FDA's announcement wasn't a big surprise; a draft version of the strategy was released more than a year ago.

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3:59 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Old oil pipeline near Straits of Mackinac worries U.S. Senators for Michigan

Lead in text: 
Enbridge Energy wants to up the amount of crude oil running through an old pipeline near the Straits of Mackinaw by 1.2 million gallons a day.
U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Democrats, sent a letter today to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration raising concerns about Enbridge Energy Partners increasing the amount of crude oil running through Line 5 by 1.2 million gallons of oil a day.
3:31 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Michigan ranks 34th in national health

Lead in text: 
Michigan is not the healthiest state by far, according to United Health Foundation’s 2013 Health Rankings.
Michigan placed 34th in the nation on health rankings released Wednesday, in part due to high rates of obesity in the state. United Health Foundations 2013 Americas Health Rankings found that Americans generally improved in a majority of behavioral measures from smoking to physical activity that contribute to health.
Planet Money
2:44 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

We Found This 20-Year-Old T-Shirt In Kenya. The Internet Found The Original Owner

Tshirt
Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 12:46 am

We recently published a story about how used clothes that get donated in the U.S. often wind up for sale in markets in Africa. As part of the story, we published some photos of used T-shirts we found in a couple of markets in Kenya.

One shirt in particular caught our eye:

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1:53 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Grant to fund three new literacy centers in Kalamazoo

Lead in text: 
Cities were judged based on quality of proposals, scale and potential for impact of their plans.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Kalamazoo will receive funding for an additional three literacy centers thanks to a $25,000 grant announced this week by Cities of Service. In this round, Kalamazoo was one of 23 cities awarded a total of $1 million for "impact volunteering" projects that tackle local challenges, according to a Cities of Service press release.
Deceptive Cadence
1:39 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Funk, Faust And Stone: Three Stunning Albums From 2013

Violinist Isabelle Faust.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 6:26 pm

Throughout this week, we at NPR Music are taking a look at the year in music with our friend Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered. I joined her to bring a closer ear to two very impressive classical albums and an international rarity that's been brought back to life. (I also provided Audie with a primer on pronouncing my last name. I hope you all pay close attention.)

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Faith Matters
1:36 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Is Pope Francis Really 'The People's Pope'?

Pope Francis greets his papal audience.
Marco Campagna

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:53 am

Time magazine has dubbed Pope Francis its Person of the Year, calling him "The People's Pope." This title comes weeks after he criticized aspects of the global economy and "unbridled consumerism" in a document called an apostolic exhortation. Host Michel Martin recently spoke with a group of practicing Catholics about how Pope Francis has inspired them in their faith.


Interview Highlights

Author Michael Sean Winters: What the pope's exhortation puts into focus

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Music Reviews
1:19 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set

Ella Fitzgerald sings with bandleader Chick Webb in Asbury Park, N.J., in 1938.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:44 am

Drummer Chick Webb's 1930s orchestra terrorized competitors in band battles and sent dancers into orbit at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. They could be similarly explosive on record, but only rarely. Early on, they did have some hot Edgar Sampson arrangements that Benny Goodman would soon turn into hits, like "Blue Lou" and "Don't Be That Way." But the Webb band also had an old-school crooner, Charles Linton, with pre-jazz-age enunciation.

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Movie Interviews
1:19 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Michael Sheen On The 'Accuracy And Invention' Of Real-Life Roles

Michael Sheen plays Dr. William Masters, the senior member of a research team that conducted pioneering studies for more than three decades into the physiology of human sexuality.
Michael Desmond Showtime

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 2:25 pm

Michael Sheen's show may be called Masters of Sex, but ultimately, he says, it's a study of intimacy. It's about: "How do we deal with being vulnerable with each other?" he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "How do we deal with the challenges of intimacy and the kind of games we play and the defenses we have?"

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Books
1:19 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Need A Read? Here Are Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2013

Illustration of woman and books.
Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 4:10 pm

First, a word about this list: It's honestly just a fluke that my best books rundown for 2013 is so gender-biased. I didn't deliberately set out this year to read so many terrific books by women.

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World
12:05 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Who Is The Next Mandela?

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:53 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, Pope Francis is Time magazine's person of the year for 2013. We'll talk about how the pope is changing both the Catholic Church and its relationship to the world. That's in a few minutes.

But first, mourning continues in South Africa for anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. Some 100 leaders and dignitaries from around the world attended a memorial service in Soweto yesterday. And U.S. President Barack Obama was among the many speakers.

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Technology
12:05 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Kids Create Mobile Apps In the Classroom

Xavier Manning and Ciara Chase are students at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. They stopped by NPR with their guidance counselor Carletta Hurt and teacher Patrick Gusman.
Davar Ardalan NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 11:11 am

Tell Me More's social storytelling series is happening online using #NPRBlacksinTech. Since December 2nd, black tech innovators from all over the country have spent a day tweeting about their lives. The social media series is creating new storytelling opportunities that run parallel to what Tell Me More does every day on the radio.

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Digital Life
12:05 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

'Civic Tech' Skips The Red Tape

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:53 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Maybe at some point, you've gotten upset about a political issue, and you decided to write your congressman or congresswoman. That used to mean you grabbed your pen, paper, an envelope, a stamp.

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11:55 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Governor Snyder criticizes Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema for comments on gays and AIDS

Lead in text: 
Snyder calls Agema's remarks in Berrien County "extreme and discriminatory"
LANSING - Gov. Rick Snyder has added his voice to the chorus of criticism directed at Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema over his latest antigay remarks. Agema, in a speech at a Republican meeting in Berrien County on Thursday, said that gay people manipulate the system to get free health insurance because they are dying from AIDS at a young age.
Health Care
10:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Exchange Enrollment Growing But Still Short Of Forecasts

The Obama administration just released the latest sign-up numbers for its troubled health insurance exchange website. Enrollment picked up last month, after a disastrous start in October. Still, the number of people signing up for coverage is below the administration's original forecasts.

Politics
8:20 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Sen. Murray On Budget Deal: A 'Compromise' With 'Smarter Cuts'

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan announced a bipartisan budget proposal Tuesday. For more details on the plan, Steve Inskeep speaks with Murray, who led her party in the negotiations.

Allied Paper landfill
8:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

WestSouthwest: Cleaning up a Superfund site

Allied Paper Landfill - file photo
Credit WMUK

WestSouthwest with Gary Wager and Bruce Merchant

As 2013 comes to an end, the future of the Allied Paper remains unclear. Many citizens are urging the  Environmental Protection Agency to approve a complete clean of PCB contamination. 

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Remembering Nelson Mandela
7:54 am
Wed December 11, 2013

WestSouthwest: Don Cooney on apartheid and meeting Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela's memorial service Tuesday in Soweto, South Africa
Credit The Associated Press

WestSouthwest with Don Cooney on Nelson Mandela and apartheid

The world is remembering Nelson Mandela for his work to end apartheid in his native South Africa, and to unify the country after he became president in 1994. 

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7:27 am
Wed December 11, 2013

General Motors first female CEO seen as major change in industry

Lead in text: 
Mary Barra is a 33 year veteran of GM
DETROIT, MI- America's largest automaker will have a woman leading the company for the first time in its more than 100-year history starting next year. Mary Barra, executive vice president of global product development, purchasing and supply chain, will succeed Dan Akerson as the CEO of General Motors
Strange News
7:02 am
Wed December 11, 2013

These Meeces Are Pieces: A Chess Set Made Of Dead Rodents

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Rachel Garcia turned 32 dead mice into a chess set. The bishop mice have little bishop hats. The knights hold plastic swords like you'd find in a lemon slice. They're the perfect chess set — if you're willing to touch them.

6:59 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Gay Republican blasts committeeman's comments on AIDS

Lead in text: 
Questions why Berrien County Republicans gave Dave Agema platform to speak last week
Berrien County's gay and lesbian community isn't happy with comments about homosexuals made by former state Rep. Dave Agema in Berrien County last week.
Strange News
6:56 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Toy-Gun-Toting Sock Puppet Can't Get Past The TSA

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

6:55 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Bills on marijuana, abortion and landlines could all see votes this week

Lead in text: 
Busy final two days expected before holiday break
As state lawmakers finish the 2013 legislative session, they are beginning to tackle controversial issues such as medical marijuana, campaign finance and phone service with an eye toward leaving for a three-week holiday break on Thursday. All three issues could see votes, even final passage, this week.
6:43 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Snowy owl dies after being found in Kalamazoo

Lead in text: 
Rare bird was discovered last week near Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI -- The young snowy owl that was rescued from a Kalamazoo field last week, too weak to fly, has died of starvation complicated by anemia, said the wildlife rehabilitator working with the bird. Sharron Butler, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Vicksburg who specializes in raptors, tube-fed the bird a special diet of easily digested food for days.
6:30 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Kellogg to close plants in Canada and Australia

Lead in text: 
Battle Creek company announced plans last month to cut global workforce by 7% over four years
Kellogg Co. announced a round of plant closures Tuesday that will put hundreds of workers in Canada and Australia out of work. The Battle Creek-based company said in a news release that it would close its ready-to-eat cereal plant in London, Ontario, next year. Its snacks plant in Charmhaven, Australia, also will close, the company said.
Sweetness And Light
5:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Should Character Count In Sports Awards?

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston reacts during the ACC Championship game on Saturday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

The Grammy nominations are in, and the talk now is of what actors will be chosen for the Academy Awards, but not once have I heard anyone suggest that any of the singers or actors may not be nominated because of some character deficiency.

Likewise, when it comes to awards in theater or television or dance or literature, I don't ever recall any candidate losing out because of a personal flaw.

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Science
5:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Megatons To Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants

A Soviet SS-21 tactical short-range nuclear missile is shown for the first time in Red Square, at the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia on May 9, 1985.
Associated Press

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Here's a remarkable fact: For the past two decades, 10 percent of all the electricity consumed in the United States has come from Russian nuclear warheads.

It was all part of a deal struck at the end of the Cold War. That deal wraps up today, when the final shipment of fuel arrives at a U.S. facility.

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A Blog Supreme
5:07 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Remembering Jim Hall, A Different Sort Of Guitar God

Jim Hall performs with his trio and fellow guitarist Julian Lage at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 10:10 am

Jim Hall was a guitar god, but not in the sense that he could blaze through a zillion notes a minute. He was worshipped by guitarists around the world, but you'd never know it from talking to him.

"I don't really have all that much technique anyway, so I try to the best with what I have you know," he said to me earlier this year.

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