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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Tue December 4, 2012

In Damascus, Bracing For The Worst

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. There is frequent fighting in and around Damascus, and residents are increasingly worried about a major battle for the capital.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:47 am

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

The people of Damascus seem to be bracing for the worst, fearing that a revolt now 20 months old is building to a ferocious fight for control of the capital.

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Politics
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Time For A 'Black Agenda' In The White House?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program we are going to head to Central Africa to find out what's happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an armed rebel group managed to take over one of the country's most important cities, despite the presence of a massive United Nations peacekeeping force. We'll talk about how that happened and why it matters with a reporter who is there on the ground. That's coming up later in the program.

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Parenting
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Son Questions Mother's Shaken Baby Conviction

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner and generally at this time, we check in with a group of parents who share their experiences and common sense advice.

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Money Coach
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Small Businesses: "Show Me The Credit"

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now to matters of personal finance. We all remember the financial crisis the country faced four years ago. The numbers suggest that the economy is improving slowly but surely. Interest rates are at near record lows, but our next guest says - and this is something you might have experienced yourself - a lot of people are still having a difficult time getting access to credit, especially small-business owners and home owners with less than perfect credit.

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Africa
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Rebels Hold The Cards In DR Congo

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, years after the big banks got support from the federal government and with interest rates at record lows, small businesses are still struggling to get access to credit. We're wondering why that is, so we'll try to find out in our Money Coach conversation in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health News
8:16 am
Tue December 4, 2012

At Small Companies Insurance Extensions Have More Limits

Now that the layoffs are official, it's time to talk about health insurance.
iStockphoto.com

When it comes to health insurance, working for a small company often means making do with less than employees get at big firms.

Small companies offer coverage less often. Even when they do make it available, it may cost more and be less comprehensive. One reason: Small employers just don't have the bargaining clout with insurers that larger firms have.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Crime On The Farm: Hay Thefts Soar As Drought Deepens

That's a valuable commodity: A hay bale at a farm in Eatonton, Ga., earlier this year.
Erik S. Lesser EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:09 am

  • Sheriff Bobby Whittington talks with NPR's Renee Montagne

Your crime fodder ... sorry, make that blotter ... news of the day.

From St. Louis:

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Living On Food Stamps: Newark Mayor Cory Booker Starts Challenge Today

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:02 am

A campaign to raise awareness about the struggles of low-income Americans who depend on food stamps gets a high-profile plug today as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, N.J., begins a week of living on $30 worth of food.

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The Two-Way
6:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Top Stories: Iran Claims Drone Capture; Typhoon Bears Down On Philippines

Philippine Air Force troops use a rubber boat to evacuate residents from floods in Cagayan de Oro City, southern Philippines earlier today (Dec. 4).
Bobby Lagsa EPA /LANDOV
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It's All Politics
5:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama Changes Tack With Congressional Republicans

President Obama speaks at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday. Since his re-election four weeks ago, Obama is showing signs of a new, more aggressive leadership style.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:37 am

Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.

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Animals
5:42 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Puppies May Help Students Ace Finals

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. It's finals week for many college students. And to keep the blood pressure down, one Canadian university opened a puppy room for students. It's full of borrowed therapy dogs to cuddle. Therapy animals are a proven stress reliever. The students who organized the puppy room at Dalhousie University say the idea has gone viral. Come to think of it, sharing the puppy story on social media sites might itself be therapeutic. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Europe
5:35 am
Tue December 4, 2012

French Mayor Introduces Rules On Politeness

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Next time you're in France be sure to mind your manners. The mayor of a small town near Paris has introduced new rules on politeness. Anyone who fails to say hello or thank you to staff at the town hall will be asked to leave. A recent poll did find that 60 percent of French list bad manners as their number one cause of stress, so maybe he's on to something. Well, excusez-moi and hello and thank you so much for listening to MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
5:02 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Benghazi 'Talking Points' Watered Down By CIA, Not White House

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
Allison Joyce Reuters /Landov

"A highly cautious, bureaucratic process that had the effect of watering down the U.S.'s own intelligence" led to the controversial "talking points" that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when she spoke about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

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Technology
4:33 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Making Permanent Digital Records Not So Permanent

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:11 pm

The Internet is forever — and so are texts, tweets and Facebook updates — but a startup has big ambitions to bring privacy and impermanence to online communication. The company, called Wickr, lets users decide how long a message lives.

The people behind Wickr found inspiration in 1960s-era TV and messages that self-destructed. "I think everybody who's watched Mission Impossible has always wanted self-destructing messages," says co-founder Nico Sell.

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The Two-Way
4:22 am
Tue December 4, 2012

U.S. Disputes Iran's Claim To Have Captured Drone

A screen image from the video released by Iranian TV of what the military there claims is a captured U.S. drone.
Press TV

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:50 am

The U.S. Navy says all its drones are "fully accounted for" — casting doubt on Iran's claim to have captured one of the small spycraft after it allegedly flew into Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

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Business
3:55 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Pandora To Issue Earnings Report

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:14 am

Internet radio service Pandora is being closely watched by investors. The company is set to announce its latest quarterly earnings Tuesday. Last week, the head of Pandora was in Washington to push for lower music royalties.

NPR Story
3:25 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Baby On The Way For Britain's Royals

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Just as soon as it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge, that would be Kate Middleton, was pregnant, a slew of breathless headlines followed. To hear what this royal baby really means for the British, we're joined by Ingrid Seward. She's the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine.

Good morning.

INGRID SEWARD: Good morning.

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Around the Nation
1:11 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Manhattan Project Sites Part Of Proposed Park

The mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity test site in the southern New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:55 am

Congress is considering whether to turn three top-secret sites involved with creating the atomic bomb into one of the country's most unusual national parks.

The Manhattan Project — the U.S. program to design and build the first atomic bomb during World War II — largely took place at three sites: Los Alamos, N.M.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Hanford, Wash. On July 16, 1945, the first test of an atomic bomb took place at a site in the southern New Mexico desert. Hiroshima and then Nagasaki, Japan, were bombed less than a month after the test.

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Your Money
1:07 am
Tue December 4, 2012

What's Next For The Daily Deal Business Model?

Despite their recent woes, "daily deal" companies Groupon and Living Social can be profitable, says analyst Arvind Bhatia.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:22 am

Are the days of "daily deal" coupons about to expire? Shares of email coupon company Groupon are down nearly 80 percent since going public last year. And its smaller rival, Living Social, plans to lay off as many as 400 employees, after reporting a net loss of more than $560 million in the third quarter.

Those struggles have raised questions about the future of the daily deal strategy, and whether a company like Groupon can stay in business.

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Shots - Health News
12:50 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The (Huge And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break

The largest tax break in the federal code doesn't appear on the forms the average person fills out each year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:56 am

What's the largest tax break in the federal tax code?

If you said the mortgage interest deduction, you'd be wrong. The break for charitable giving? Nope. How about capital gains, or state and local taxes? No, and no.

Believe it or not, dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers.

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