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Afghanistan
10:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Small Strike Against Corruption: Afghan Governors Chosen On Merit

Deputy provincial governors and district governors selected under a new merit-based program are sworn in Tuesday in Kabul. The development is part of an effort to address rampant corruption in Afghanistan.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:26 pm

Regularly ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Afghanistan has implemented what for it is a novel new program: selecting provincial and district officials on the basis of their skills, rather than connections.

By all accounts, Afghanistan's corruption is endemic at all levels of government. It's hoped the new effort will begin to curb graft, patronage and nepotism in the country's 34 provinces and roughly 360 districts.

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It's All Politics
10:28 am
Thu January 10, 2013

What 'Lincoln' Says About Today's Congress

Daniel Day-Lewis takes on one of America's most famous presidents in Lincoln.
David James DreamWorks

Lincoln may not be a political film for the ages, but it's certainly a movie that speaks to our own time.

Although the movie centers on the abolition of slavery, Lincoln taps into one of the deepest desires of our historical moment — the desire for politicians in Washington to get their acts together and compromise to succeed in passing major legislation.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Couple's Tandem Bike Is Stolen, And Returned, After Thief Feels Guilty

The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' tandem bicycle Monday returned it Wednesday, along with a note of apology. Police say they are still investigating the case.
Vancouver Police

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:22 pm

The thief who stole Harly and Courtney Forbes' bicycle seemed not to know how important it is to their lives. Because after dashing off with the tandem bike early Monday, the bike was returned Wednesday. Police say the thief was apparently moved to remorse by the pair's story of how they were now without a way of getting around on their own.

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Economy
9:47 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Three New 'Cliffs' Threaten The Economy

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Jan. 2. Financial market participants will be keeping a close eye on upcoming deadlines affecting the U.S. debt ceiling, scheduled automatic budget cuts and federal funding.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 12:39 pm

Maybe you were hoping you'd never hear the phrase "fiscal cliff" again after Congress passed legislation Jan. 1 to address that tax-break-expiration deadline.

Sorry.

Three more cliff-type deadlines are fast approaching. They involve: 1) raising the federal debt ceiling 2) modifying automatic, across-the-board spending cuts and 3) funding the government to avert a shutdown.

The deadlines all hit between Valentine's Day and Easter, which means new rounds of chaotic congressional negotiations may start up just after the Jan. 21 presidential inauguration parade ends.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Thu January 10, 2013

300 College Presidents Call For Guns To Be Banned On Campuses, Other Steps

President Elizabeth Kiss, Agnes Scott College (Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012)
Caroline Joe Courtesy of Agnes Scott College, copyright 2012

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:24 pm

As Vice President Joe Biden meets today with the NRA and other organizations, another group of American leaders is speaking out on the issue of gun safety.

More than 300 college and university presidents have signed an open letter to American lawmakers, urging immediate action to curb gun violence and reform gun safety laws.

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Shots - Health News
9:26 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Wake-Up Call: FDA Pushes Drugmakers To Weaken Sleeping Pills

Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:26 pm

The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that it was requiring companies that make Ambien and similar sleeping pills to sharply cut the doses of the drugs.

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Politics
9:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Where Have All the Hip-Hop Politicians Gone?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, that devastating earthquake hit Haiti three years ago. The country is still trying to rebuild. We'll hear from an author who has been traveling to Haiti for years, both before and after the earthquake, and she offers some bracing observations about what has actually made a difference in the country and what hasn't. We'll talk with the author of a book called "Farewell, Fred Voodoo." That's in just a few minutes.

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Latin America
9:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Rebuilding Haiti: A Slow Process

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Now, we want to return to a story we've visited many times before, especially in the last three years. That's when an earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti. It left tens of thousands of people dead - nobody's really sure how many - and tens of thousands of people displaced.

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Law
9:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Is Illegal Immigration No Longer An Issue?

The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement last year than it did on all other major federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a new report. Host Michel Martin discusses that budget and unsettled immigration issues with the report's author Doris Meissner.

Law
9:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Judge Slams NYC Stop-And-Frisk

A federal judge struck down an element of a New York City law that allowed police to stop, question, and search people without a warrant. Host Michel Martin speaks with John Jay professor Gloria J. Browne-Marshall about 'stop-and-frisk' policies.

Music
9:20 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Wyclef Jeans Shares Musical Inspirations

Musician, producer and aspiring politician Wyclef Jean says that part of the success of his band, the Fugees was thanks to his in-depth knowledge of all types of music. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, Wyclef shares the songs that have influenced and inspired his creativity.

Shots - Health News
9:16 am
Thu January 10, 2013

As Cases Spike, Flu Season May Be Peaking In Boston

Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz gets a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., on Wednesday, the same day the city declared a public health emergency.
Charles Krupa ASSOCIATED PRESS

We were warned that this year's flu season was likely to be a bad one, and now that forecast is starting to bear out.

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Movies
9:11 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominees Announced: 'Lincoln' Leads With 12

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this morning here in Los Angeles the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards were announced. The movie with the most nominations: Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," with 12 nods.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LINCOLN")

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS: (as Lincoln) Euclid's first common notion is this: Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. That's a rule of mathematical reasoning. It's true because it works.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "LIFE OF PI")

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

If Obama Took 'Executive Action' On Guns, What Might He Do?

Vice President Biden and President Obama at the White House on Dec. 19. Biden has been charged with drawing up "concrete proposals" on how to reduce gun violence.
Fang Zhe Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:29 am

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

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U.S.
6:48 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Mississippi Blues: When The River Doesn't Run

Barges last month crowded an area on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis where barges are stored, loaded and unloaded. Shippers worry that the drought-shrunken river could shut to barge traffic entirely this month.
Colby Buchanan/U.S. Coast Guard AP

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 9:53 am

The Mississippi River has provided George Foster with a living all his life. Now, with the river dropping to historically low levels, it's threatening to take his business down with it.

Foster's office sits atop an empty barge on the river, just south of St. Louis. His building tilts at a 30-degree angle because the water is so low. Visitors may want to stick out their fingertips for balance walking down his narrow hallway.

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