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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:22 am
Thu December 13, 2012

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

A woman with the Army Corps of Engineers documents a destroyed home last month in a residential area of New Dorp Beach on Staten Island in New York City.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:03 am

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

So New Yorkers, local politicians and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to defend themselves from what climate experts call "the new normal."

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Business
3:21 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Etsy Crafts A Strategy For Staying Handmade And Profitable

Etsy, which began as a place for home crafters and small businesses to sell their goods, has experienced growing pains as it surpasses 800,000 sellers.
Courtesy of Etsy

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:03 am

Etsy has gotten very big, very fast. This year, sales are at about $800 million.

"Their growth on all the major metrics you want to look at has accelerated really consistently," says journalist Rob Walker.

Walker recently wrote a story for Wired Magazine with the headline, "Can Etsy Go Pro Without Losing Its Soul?" Here's why: Etsy makes money from its sellers: 20 cents every time they list an item and 3.5 percent of every sale. Today, there are some 800,000 sellers.

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U.S.
3:20 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Finding A Child Online: How The Web Is Transforming Adoption

Eric James and his partner, Zerxes Spencer, have spent the past year looking to adopt. To speed up the arduous process, the couple built a website about their lives to draw in interested birth mothers.
Courtesy of Eric James

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:03 am

When Eric James and his partner, Zerxes Spencer, decided to adopt last year, they signed on with Adoptions Together, a reputable agency close to their home in Maryland. They attended the agency's seminars to learn about the process, met other "waiting parents" and formed personal bonds with the staff. But there was just one problem.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
6:29 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Post-Sandy, Newly Unemployed Struggle To Stay Afloat

Erin Kulick can see the animal clinic where she once worked from her balcony in Queens, N.Y. Six weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the clinic is still closed.
Courtesy of Scott Kulick

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:19 pm

Hurricane Sandy's effect on the nation's unemployment figures was less pronounced than expected. The reasons are complex, but one thing is clear: Thousands of victims are still struggling to rebuild their lives and get back to work.

Danielle Siekierski was tending bar at a restaurant in Manhattan's Meatpacking District before Sandy hit. When the restaurant was damaged in the storm, the workers were told it might be a week before it reopened.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

California Gov. Brown Being Treated For Prostate Cancer

California Gov. Jerry Brown is receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer, which his physician says was caught at an "early stage." The governor's office announced the news today, adding that Brown's work schedule has not been disrupted.

"The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects," the governor's office quoted UCSF oncologist Dr. Eric Small as saying. Calling the cancer "localized," Small said that Brown is undergoing a short course of radiation therapy.

Brown is expected to undergo treatment through early January.

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All Tech Considered
6:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Who Needs College? Young Entrepeneuer Bets On Bright Idea For Solar Energy

Eden Full took time off from her studies at Princeton University to work on her startup full time, after being selected for the inaugural class of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship.
Della Rollins

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:44 am

Eighteen months ago Eden Full was finishing up her sophomore year at Princeton University. She was on the crew team as a coxswain. She had spent the previous summer in Kenya building an innovative, low-cost contraption to make solar panels more efficient.

Full was glowingly successful — the kind of college student who ends up profiled in alumni magazines.

But Full had decided to drop out.

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The Salt
5:53 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

A customer departs Total Wine of Towson, Md., with a gift pack of Belgium's Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:39 pm

To many beer fans, the arrival of the Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites — where it's often given a "world class" rating of 100.

But finding the beer can be tricky — it's not available in all states, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.

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It's All Politics
5:17 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

In Midwest Union Fights, Michigan Shows 2010 Election Still Trumps 2012

Silent protesters Wednesday in Lansing, Mich., wear tape with messages that signify wages they say they could lose because of the state's new right-to-work law.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 12:54 pm

No one can argue the setback to organized labor served up by Michigan's new law, which bars unions from requiring workers to pay dues even if they don't join their workplace bargaining unit.

Tuesday's passage of "right to work" legislation in a state dominated by the auto industry and the historically powerful United Auto Workers was a surprising "smack in the face" to unions, says labor expert Lee Adler, especially given President Obama's nearly 10-point win in the state last month.

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The Salt
5:08 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Georgia Town Makes Claim For Fruitcake Capital Of The World

The Claxton Bakery in Georgia makes millions of pounds of fruitcake each year.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

In the small town of Claxton, Ga., two bakeries make more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake each year. Both bakeries say Claxton is the fruitcake capital of the world, despite a similar claim made by a company in Corsicana, Texas.

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U.S.
5:03 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

New Policy For Young Immigrants Creates Paperwork Deluge

A crowd seeks help applying for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in August. Schools have been inundated with requests for the documents needed to qualify.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

In the six months since a new law opened a path to temporary legal status for some young immigrants in the U.S., more than 300,000 people have applied — and have rushed to request qualifying documents from their schools.

The law, Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, offers legal status, renewable every two years, to people ages 30 and younger who were brought to the country as children. Applicants must prove they were in the U.S. for five consecutive years — something most easily achieved through school transcripts.

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Music Reviews
4:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

The Boogers And Play Date Make Punk Rock For Kids

The Boogers, pogo-ing to their punk rock for kids.
Peter Wochniak Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

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Research News
4:57 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Land Creatures Might Not Have Come From The Sea

The fossil remains of Dickinsonia, an Ediacaran organism that's long been extinct. Scientists have long assumed these early life forms lived in the sea, but a new study argues they emerged on land.
G. Retallack Nature

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

Cartoonists have found many clever ways to depict the conventional wisdom that complex life evolved in the sea and then crawled up onto land. But a provocative new study suggests that the procession might be drawn in the wrong direction. The earliest large life forms may have appeared on land long before the oceans filled with creatures that swam and crawled and burrowed in the mud.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Syrian Military Fired Scud Missiles At Rebels, Pentagon Says

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles on rebel positions in northern Syria this week, a Pentagon source says. Here, a rebel fighter takes a position last month in the northern city of Aleppo, the scene of heavy fighting in recent months.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 pm

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles at rebel forces this week, launching them from near the capital Damascus and targeting opposition fighters in the north of the country, Pentagon sources tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The development comes at a time when the fighting has been intensifying and the rebels appear to be gaining momentum in a nearly two-year-old battle against President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Means — And What It Doesn't

This image from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows the long-range rocket Unha-3 as seen at a satellite control center prior to Wednesday's successful launch.
KCNA via KNS AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:31 pm

North Korea's successful rocket launch may conjure up visions of nuclear missiles in the hands of one of the planet's least predictable regimes. But building a satellite launch vehicle doesn't directly translate into an ability to rain warheads on distant enemies.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Mexican Border

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

When It Comes To Entitlements, Obama Feels Heat From Left And Right

A protester at a fiscal cliff rally on Monday in Doral, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:12 pm

Despite his re-election and more Democratic seats in Congress, President Obama has far from a free hand to make the kind of comprehensive deal House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans are demanding — one that includes cuts to entitlement programs.

Strong resistance to that notion is coming from the political left, including warnings that while Obama won't have another re-election, most of his allies on Capitol Hill will be facing voters again.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:50 pm

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What Killed Him? A 'Verbal Autopsy' Can Answer

An autopsy helps medical students learn human anatomy in Rembrandt's painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp from 1632.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:19 pm

One of the few times we hear about autopsies these days is when a celebrity dies. But post-mortem investigations do more than satisfy our curiosity about Whitney Houston or Notorious B.I.G.

Autopsies tell communities why people are dying.

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Business
1:01 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Chinese Firm Buys Massachusetts Tech Company

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Late today a federal bankruptcy judge gave the nod to a Chinese firm to buy a Massachusetts technology company. A123 Systems makes batteries for electric cars, but some in Congress are fighting to block the deal. Curt Nickisch reports from member station WBUR in Boston.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Wal-Mart's Lobbying In U.S. To Be Probed By Indian Government

September 2012: Employees celebrate the opening of a Best Price Modern store in Hyderabad, India. Bharti Enterprises manages that and other such stores, which Wal-Mart has invested in.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:12 pm

India's government has approved an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying activities in the U.S. as a heated debate over the retail giant's plans for stores in India moves into a new phase, NPR's Julie McCarthy tells us from New Delhi.

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Can I Just Tell You?
11:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Women Can Be Abusers Too

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:40 pm

It's been one of those weeks that makes you not want to open the paper, not want to turn on the news. A young woman with a child in her arms was killed by the father of that child, who then flees and goes on to take his own life.

You might think I am talking about the Kansas City Chief's Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend and his baby's mother, Kasandra Perkins, to death and then drove to the team's practice facility, where he took his own life. But incredibly, I'm not.

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Economy
11:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Fiscal Cliff: Why Not Cut Entitlements?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, another young woman, a mother, has been killed by a man who supposedly loved or at least cared for her. That got us thinking about the political fight over the ways to address violence against women. We're going to talk about that with our panel of women commentators. We call it the Beauty Shop and it's coming up later in the program.

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Beauty Shop
11:45 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Violence Against Women Act Still In Limbo

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up in my Can I Just Tell You essay, I want to share some thoughts and some surprising facts about violence in relationships. That's in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's time for the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on the week's news with a panel of women writers, journalists and commentators.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Census: We Continue To Get Older And More Diverse; Though More Slowly

The crowded scene on "Black Friday" at Macy's in Manhattan. The U.S. population is projected to hit 400 million in 2051, Census says, up from 321 million in 2015.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:02 pm

The trends continue:

"The U.S. population will be considerably older and more racially and ethnically diverse by 2060, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Based on data from the 2010 census, the bureau projects that:

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