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It's All Politics
3:22 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in Farmington, Pa., in June.
Ann Wilkins AP

Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012: The World Celebrates 2013

Revelers count down to 2013 near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, where thousands gathered for the city's first public countdown to the New Year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or possibly some combination of the above.

You can see celebrations around the world by checking out a special photo feed on Instagram. The site shifts timezones to mark the latest to ring in the new year.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
2:21 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Could Post-Superstorm Sandy Rebuilding Energize The Economy?

Contractors Benny Corrazo, left, and Michael Bonade install a new set of sliding glass doors in a home that survived Superstorm Sandy in the Breezy Point section of New York on Dec. 20, 2012. Some economists say that reconstruction efforts may stimulate the economy.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:55 pm

Superstorm Sandy did tens of billions of dollars in damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

But there may be a silver lining to all that destruction: Some economists argue that reconstruction from Sandy could help stimulate the national economy in 2013. Still, others are more skeptical.

Charlie Messina uses a jackhammer to break up flood-damaged concrete in a basement in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Manhattan Beach. Messina owns a small business that does renovations.

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All Tech Considered
1:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

From 3-D Printers To Wired Glasses, The Tech Year Ahead

Google Glass will be part of a trend in 2013 of computing and connectivity in devices we don't generally think of as computers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:17 pm

It's unlikely 2013 will be the year that jet packs make it big, but the coming year could bring us a host of other new technology trends and products, such as 3-D printers for consumers, smarter smartphones and more connected devices like glasses and cars.

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Monkey See
1:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Bob Mondello's Best Movies Of 2012

Cousin Ben (Jason Schwartzman), Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) show that nothing can stand in the way of young love in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
Niko Tavernise Focus Features

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 9:41 am

A lot of movie box-office records fell in 2012. The comic-book blockbuster The Avengers had the biggest opening weekend in Hollywood history. Skyfall will be the first James Bond film to top $1 billion worldwide. And the box-office year as a whole is easily the movie industry's biggest ever. But what about quality? Perhaps surprisingly, the news is good there, too.

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Politics
1:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

What Stalled Congress On The Fiscal Cliff?

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The simplest explanation to what's going on in Washington is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans command majorities in both Houses and control of the White House and you can throw in political realignment as an explanation. Liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats have been diminished to the point of near extinction. But even so, Democrats and Republicans in Congress in years past somehow managed to make deals and legislate despite profound differences.

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Around the Nation
1:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Areas Rebuilding After Sandy Seeking More Aid From Washington

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

While battles over the fiscal cliff continue, one thing not being discussed is a recovery package for Superstorm Sandy. The Senate has already passed a $60 billion aid package. Right now, it's unclear if the House will take it up.

From member station WSHU, Charles Lane says people in the storm zone are concerned that repairs and rebuilding will be delayed, leaving them vulnerable to future storms.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Parenting, Mental Illness And Bodily Functions: 2012's Most Read

One of the year's most popular posts examined the evolutionary pull of running and high-aerobic activities on our brains. Above, a man runs past the Sydney Harbour Bridge in April.
Ryan Pierse Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:07 pm

There are some people who believe you can tell a lot about a person from what they read. By that measure, judging from the year's most popular posts on Shots, you might think our readers include plenty of depressed parents obsessed with diet and excrement.

Luckily for you, dear readers, we here at Shots know that Web traffic isn't a scientific measure of personality or of quality — just of virality. Plenty of powerful, public service stories failed to make our Top 10 list for the year. That caveat delivered, here's a look at the stories that kept you clicking in 2012.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

White House Website Draws Petition To End All Petitions

The White House

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 12:32 pm

Jeff Jarvis has had enough of the White House's petition site.

The 1-year-old site, We the People, is meant to be a place for Americans to directly entreat the president. Any petition that gathers more than 25,000 signatures in its first month is supposed to generate an official response from the Obama administration.

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Around the Nation
11:46 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Peace Pilgrim's 28-Year Walk For 'A Meaningful Way Of Life'

Peace Pilgrim acknowledged that some may have considered her "kooky." But, she once said, "pioneers have always been looked upon as being a bit strange."
Carla Anette Courtesy of Friends Of Peace Pilgrim

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:19 am

In 1953, Mildred Norman set off from the Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day with a goal of walking the entire country for peace. She left her given name behind and took up a new identity: Peace Pilgrim.

When Peace Pilgrim started out, the Korean War was still under way, and an ominous threat of a nuclear attack was on the minds of many Americans. And so, with "Peace Pilgrim" written across her chest, she began walking "coast to coast for peace."

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Africa
11:45 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Congo Fighting Leaves A Fragile City On Edge

Congolese women wait for food to be distributed at the Mugunga III camp for displaced people outside the eastern town of Goma on Dec. 2.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:16 pm

Goma, a city on the eastern border of the Congo, has been a magnet for war refugees for nearly two decades. And in an expanding camp for displaced people, called Mugunga I, school principal Emmanuel Kibanja Miteso holds up a three-ring binder that reflects the history of war here.

The pages are a logbook for parent-teacher conferences. Every time fighting flares in the region, people flood into the displacement camps and the roster of names swells in the principal's binder.

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Remembrances
11:06 am
Mon December 31, 2012

A Tribute To The Remarkable Lives We Lost In 2012

Clockwise from top left: Conservationist Ralph Frese, novelist Rosa Guy, political activist Oswaldo Paya, inventor Frances Hashimoto.
Photo credits, clockwise from top left: Courtesy of Laurance Reed; Fern Logan; Jorge Rey/AP; Toyo/Gary Miyatake

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 11:22 am

In 2012, the nation mourned the deaths of some extremely influential individuals — from singer Whitney Houston to astronaut Neil Armstrong, writer Maurice Sendak and TV personality Dick Clark.

Each year, Talk of the Nation reaches out to colleagues at NPR for help remembering some of the remarkable men and woman who did not make the front page when they died, but whose lives still made a significant impact.

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Politics
10:58 am
Mon December 31, 2012

President Obama Speaks On The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:58 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Less than 10 hours from now, we arrive at the political deadline set by Congress and the president a year and a half ago when they mandated a deal on taxes and spending so awful, so unthinkable, that the prospect would surely force a compromise.

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Music Interviews
10:49 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Miguel: An 'Honest Introduction' To An R&B Star

Miguel, whose album Kaleidoscope Dream was released in 2012, is nominated for five Grammy Awards.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:55 pm

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Deal To Avert 'Fiscal Cliff' Appears Likely

The Capitol is illuminated in Washington, where the House and Senate remain in session. The two chambers will miss a deadline to avoid the "fiscal cliff" tonight, as 2013 begins.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:01 am

  • NPR's coverage of President Obama's comments on the "fiscal cliff" talks

Update at 9:45 p.m. Deal Reached

Vice President Joe Biden was meeting late Monday with Senate Democrats to brief them on a proposed deal to stop sharp tax increases and spending cuts. A source told NPR the deal with congressional Democratic and Republican leaders includes a mix of both.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon December 31, 2012

China Kicks Out 'New York Times' Reporter

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 10:56 am

China has effectively expelled a reporter working for The New York Times by refusing to extend his media credentials, the newspaper said Monday.

The reporter, Chris Buckley, has been forced to leave China, New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said in a statement.

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It's All Politics
10:07 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Arizona Democrat Kirkpatrick Making Capitol Hill Comeback

Rep.-elect Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., enters a room full of supporters on Election Day, Nov. 6, in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Ralph Freso AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 4:55 pm

She won. She lost. She won again.

Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick will represent Arizona's 1st Congressional District when she returns to Washington this week after sitting out a term. This time around, Kirkpatrick hopes to strengthen her foothold in a swing district, but she's dealing with a tricky electorate.

First elected to the House in 2008, Kirkpatrick turned a red district blue. Then in 2010, the backlash against President Obama and his health care plan hurt her. So, a Republican dentist from Flagstaff took her seat for a term.

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The Salt
10:00 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 10:42 am

The act of toasting feels natural: You lift your arms in affirmation and drink in honor of an occasion or a loved one.

It's what millions will do this week as they ring in the New Year, but why? Like shaking hands or saluting, toasting is a habit with incredibly foggy beginnings, so we here at The Salt decided to dig into it, for the sake of science.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:26 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Another Year And I'm Still Here: A New Year's Meditation

Rogier Wieland Vimeo

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 9:17 am

Updated Jan. 1, 2013: I've added a postscript to this post. You can find it at the bottom of this page.

Look at yourself. Right now.

You are muscle,skin, bone, brain, blood, warmed by energy, and all of you, every cell, even the subsets of those cells, all trillions and trillions of them, are going to tire, waste and depart. In 10 years almost every bit of you will have been replaced by new bits.

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Books
9:00 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Diana Vreeland's Rise To 'Empress Of Fashion'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is under the weather. Despite challenging economic times, many of us will dress up for New Year's Eve. Over the next few minutes, we'll focus on the unique history of American fashion. Coming up, a discussion about why fashion is so important for many African-American men.

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