From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
President Obama took his call for payroll tax relief to Scranton, Pennsylvania today. It was his ninth visit to the state this year, underscoring the role that Pennsylvania will play in the 2012 election. The president told a crowd at Scranton High School that extending the payroll tax cut should trump partisan politics.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Send your senators a message. Tell them - don't be a Grinch.
Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, about Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and about the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."
The major central banks of the world moved Wednesday to prevent a banking crisis in Europe. They're providing more liquidity to the European banking system in hopes that big banks there will remain solvent and continue to make loans. The coordinated move by the central banks sent stock markets soaring. But it will not even begin to fix Europe's fundamental economic problems.
GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like.
These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. "And what's so striking is that none of the existing amendments give clear answers to the most basic questions we're having today."
The latest numbers from CDC show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective antiviral treatment; effective treatment rates are lowest among African-American men.
When you buy food that is labeled fair trade, you do so to support farmers who meet certain social and environmental standards. But some companies now disagree about whether a new take on fair trade can really be called "fair."
NPR's business news begins with a surprising move by central banks.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
INSKEEP: The Federal Reserve took action this morning, along with the major central banks in Europe and Japan, to ease credit for commercial banks. This is an effort to free up funding for European banks battered by the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis. NPR's John Ydstie reports.
Republican voters may have saved the best for last in terms of the latest obstacle they've placed between Mitt Romney and what was supposed to have been his inevitable march to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — Newt Gingrich.
Essentially written off after his campaign seemingly imploded last summer and because of the manifest personal baggage he brings to a presidential campaign, Gingrich stuck around long enough to have his moment, to catch fire after Herman Cain flamed out.
Police in two of the nation's largest cities moved in overnight to sweep away the camps of Occupy protesters. In Philadelphia, protesters marched through the streets; about 50 were arrested. In Los Angeles, hundreds of police deployed from City Hall and took control of a camp nearby, with more than 200 arrests. Steve Inskeep talks with Frank Stoltze of member station KPCC, who was been watching the developments in L.A.
Now, the Occupy protests have focused on economic issues, which are also motivating a massive strike in Britain today. It is being described as the largest national strike in a generation. It is estimated that as many as 2 million public sector workers may be taking part, the latest in a wave of protests over austerity measures.
NPR's Philip Reeves is covering that story in London. And Philip, where are you?
The Federal Reserve joined other major central banks Wednesday in a coordinated effort to shore up the global financial system. The move comes at a time when credit is becoming tighter, especially in Europe, because of doubts about the health of big banks.
A Democratic state representative in Arizona thinks it's wrong for a Scottsdale gun club to be giving folks, including children, a chance to have their photos taken with Santa Claus while "holding pistols and military-style rifles," The Associated Press says.
State Rep. Steve Farley says "to involve machine guns and Santa in a celebration in the birth of Jesus Christ is the worst kind of heresy I can imagine."
Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 8:43 am
Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Myanmar for the first visit in more than 50 years by a U.S. secretary of state to the country also known as Burma — an isolated nation known for its brutal military dictatorship, but where there have been recent moves that may signal its leaders are ready to pay greater respect to human rights and give people a say in how they're governed.
The Federal Reserve and five of the world's other major central banks just announced "coordinated actions ... to ease strains in financial markets" and make more credit available to consumers and businesses by pumping money into the global financial system.
"A huge spectrum" of government workers in the United Kingdom are striking today to show their anger over austerity plans.
As NPR's Philip Reeves told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier, "teachers, lecturers, immigration staff, tax officials, ambulance crews, midwifes, road sweepers, weather forecasters, librarians and many more" are planning to take part in what's being called Britain's biggest general strike in a generation.