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4:21 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Is Bankruptcy 'Business As Usual' For Airlines?

Passengers check in at an American Airlines ticketing counter at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday. American's parent company, AMR, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to cut costs and unload massive debt.
Richard W. Rodriguez AP

As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Atlanta Man Wins Lottery For The Second Time In Three Years

Delma Kinney collecting his 2008 jackpot.
screenshot 11 Alive

They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? It's also a popular belief that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.

So, I think we're safe in saying that Delma Kinney, an Atlanta man who will turn 51 Dec. 5, has beat the odds, winning a million-dollar lottery twice in three years.

The AP reports:

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Middle East
3:45 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Report Says Syrian Forces Have Killed 256 Children

Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
Yin Bogu Xinhua /Landov

An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.

The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.

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NPR's Back Seat Book Club
3:23 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Kids' Book Club Takes 'Tollbooth' To Lands Beyond

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 am

Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.

Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Book Award Winner's Tale Echoes Those Told By Other Vietnamese Refugees

Thanhha Lai.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Thanhha Lai was 10 years old the day in 1975 that North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the presidential palace in Saigon and fear spread through the city on rumors that Communist troops were about to begin a massacre. Lai recalls fleeing with her eight older siblings and her mother to the nearby port and boarding a crowded South Vietnamese Navy ship that then headed to sea.

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NPR Story
3:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Romney Picks Up Key Endorsements In Florida

Republican Presidential contender Mitt Romney campaigned in Florida Tuesday — and picked up a few endorsements from Cuban-American lawmakers.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Will Sanctions Help Syrians?

A package of tough new economic sanctions imposed this week by the Arab League is another blow to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. But will international pressure really help the people of Syria? Melissa Block talks with Kimberly Ann Elliott, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Elliott co-authored a case study on sanctions against Syria that was published by the Peterson Institute.

NPR Story
3:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut

President Obama is ramping up his campaign for continuation of a payroll tax cut, which only affects the first $106,000 in individual income. Republicans object, in part because they don't even consider it a tax since the money goes to the Social Security Trust Fund. Democrats see it a progressive tax cut. "Spreading the wealth" is a theme Obama campaigned on four years ago.

Hard Times: A Journey Across America
2:59 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Hard Times Inspire Ky. College Students To Action

Sophomore Emily Nugent is among Berea College's 1,600 students who receive free tuition. On average, Berea's students come from families with household incomes of about $25,000.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 8:22 pm

Part of a monthlong series

NPR's Hard Times series features stories of economic hardship and also stories of hope. We asked for ideas from listeners, and Emily Nugent of Berea College in Kentucky responded, writing: "With a student body composed entirely of students from low socio-economic backgrounds, Berea students know about the challenges Americans are facing." Noah Adams went in search of Emily and the Berea College story.

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Environment
2:51 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

What Will Become Of The Kyoto Climate Treaty?

Key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expire in December of 2012, and experts say there's no real global framework in place to replace the treaty that was supposed to be the first step toward ambitious actions on climate change. Above, a coal-fired power plant in eastern China. China is now the leading carbon dioxide emitter in the world.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 2:45 pm

As diplomats from around the world gather in Durban, South Africa, for talks about climate change, a big question looms: What will become of the Kyoto climate treaty, which was negotiated with much fanfare in 1997. The treaty was supposed to be a first step toward much more ambitious actions on climate change, but it is now on the brink of fading into irrelevance. That could have major implications for the future of United Nations climate talks.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Accident Spill, Or How 'You Set Out With Marmite And End Up With A Jam'

Michele Kayal for NPR

Twitter already beat us to all the good puns, including the one in the headline. But, yes, it is true, you will either love or hate this news story from England: A tanker carrying 20 tons of yeast extract — the main ingredient in the loved-or-reviled Marmite — was involved in a late night accident, yesterday, spilling its contents and shutting down the M1, which connects London to the northern part of England.

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The Salt
1:34 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Nestle To Investigate Child Labor On Its Cocoa Farms

A worker shovels cocoa beans drying in the sun for export, in Guiglo in western Ivory Coast.
Ben Curtis ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 2:40 pm

Politicians and food executives have been talking about ending the problem of child labor in the West African cocoa industry for the last decade. After shocking revelations that hundreds of thousands of children were forced to harvest cacao beans under abusive conditions, companies pledged to address the practice as "fair trade" entered their lexicon.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Fired Florida A&M Band Director Says His Hazing Warnings Were Dismissed

Julian White, former director of Florida A&M University's famed Marching 100 band, speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla.
Steve Cannon AP

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 3:44 pm

Florida A&M's famed "Marching 100" band has been rocked by the death of one of its drum majors on Nov. 19. Police still haven't released all the details of his death, but they said Robert Champion had been throwing up and hazing had something to do with it.

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Planet Money
1:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Why Do Airlines Keep Going Bankrupt?

Severin Borenstein

American Airlines is filing for bankruptcy protection. The airline is the last of the so-called legacy carriers, airlines that flew interstate routes before de-regulation of the industry, to reach this step. Delta, Northwest, United and US Airways all went through bankruptcy proceedings in the last 10 years.

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The Two-Way
12:59 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Facebook Settles With FTC On Charges It Deceived Users On Privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about history of Facebook during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.
Paul Sakuma AP

The Federal Trade Commission said today that it come to a settlement with Facebook over charges that the social network had deceived consumers about their privacy.

The FTC claims that Facebook "deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public."

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Michael Jackson's Doctor Gets 4-Year Sentence

The doctor found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop star Michael Jackson was just sentenced to four years in prison.

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World
12:15 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Protesters In Iran Storm British Embassy

In Iran on Tuesday, students and other protesters stormed the British Embassy in the capital Tehran, smashing windows, throwing firebombs and burning the British flag. The crowd had gathered at the embassy to protest new severe economic sanctions imposed by Britain, cutting off all banking with Iran. Renee Montagne talks with Washington Post reporter Thomas Erdbrink, who is in Tehran.

The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

Reports: Herman Cain 'Reassessing' Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Scott Olson Getty Images
(New material based on NPR reporting added to the top of this post at 12:30 p.m. ET.)

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is reassessing his campaign but still plans to move ahead at this time, his Iowa campaign director tells The Associated Press and NPR.

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Rebuilding Iraq: What's Next?
11:38 am
Tue November 29, 2011

After U.S. Troops Leave, What Happens To Iraq?

Tim Arango is The New York Times' Baghdad bureau chief. He has also written for Fortune Magazine and The New York Post.
New York Times

In October, President Obama announced that most U.S. troops would be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, after negotiations with Iraqi leaders failed to extend the troops' presence. Only Marine embassy guards and liaison troops will stay behind in the country, where more than a million troops, in total, have served over the past eight years.

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The Two-Way
11:27 am
Tue November 29, 2011

VIDEO: Brawling Senior Citizens, Kapp And Mosca, At Football Reunion

Joe Kapp, left, and Angelo Mosca during their brawl in Vancouver.
YouTube

Five days later, video of two 70-plus year old guys trading blows on stage during a Canadian Football League alumni luncheon in Vancouver is still getting clicks and still drawing lots of attention from the cable news networks, blogs and websites.

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Education
10:59 am
Tue November 29, 2011

In Texas, Keeping Kids In School And Out Of Court

Seventy students a day are sent to the Waco Alternative School Campus, after being "ticketed" for bad behavior in municipal court.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 6:49 pm

The sort of offenses that might land a student in the principal's office in other states often send kids in Texas to court with misdemeanor charges. Some schools have started rethinking the way they punish students for bad behavior after watching many of them drop out or land in prison because of tough disciplinary policies.

In a downtown Houston municipal court, Judge David Fraga has presided over thousands of cases involving students "ticketed" by school police. His docket is still relatively small at the moment, with only 45 to 65 cases per night.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Consumer Confidence Bounces Higher

Though "overall readings remain historically weak," consumer confidence went up sharply this month, the private research group known as The Conference Board just reported.

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The Two-Way
9:17 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Home Prices 'Drifted Lower' In Recent Months

One reason prices have been falling: A glut of foreclosed homes.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Home prices across the U.S. are still only "back to their first quarter of 2003 levels" and "drifted lower in September and the third quarter," according to the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which were just released.

As The Associated Press says, the news is "the latest evidence that the troubled housing market won't recover any time soon."

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The Two-Way
9:02 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Norway's Mass Murderer Declared Insane, May Not Go To Prison

Anders Behring Breivik in 2009.
Norwegian police AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 9:03 am

Anders Behring Breivik had been delusional for a long time and was insane on July 22 when he killed 77 people during two horrific attacks in Norway, two psychiatrists reported today. He should be put in a psychiatric ward, not a prison, they conclude.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:47 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Test Results: Too Important To Wait For A Doctor's Call

U.S. Navy doctors Lt. Cmdr Ralph Pickard (left) and Ens. Jesse Rohloff study a patient's mammogram images at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
CWO4 Seth Rossman U.S. Navy

Diagnostic errors account for as much as 40 percent of medical malpractice claims. And communication lapses, including failing to pass along test results, make up a growing proportion of those claims, according to a recent study.

The work, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, shows that malpractice payouts due to communication failures more than quadrupled between 1991 and 2010, to $91 million annually.

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