2:16am

Fri December 21, 2012
Politics

Plug Pulled On 'Plan B,' House Breaks For Christmas

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

House Speaker John Boehner pauses during a news conference Thursday. House GOP leaders abruptly canceled a vote on his measure after they failed to round up enough votes for it to pass.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

House Speaker John Boehner was dealt a major defeat Thursday night. After spending most of the week trying to round up votes for his "Plan B" to extend tax cuts for virtually everyone, he pulled the measure without a vote and sent the House home for Christmas. The clock keeps ticking toward the end of the year, when automatic tax increases and spending cuts are set to hit.

Early Thursday, Boehner expressed confidence not only that his bill would pass but that the Democratic-controlled Senate would feel so much pressure, it would be forced to consider it, too.

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1:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
NPR Story

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with hard time for another Madoff.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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1:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
NPR Story

Obama Focuses On Newtown, 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Action last night in the House of Representatives suggests just how hard it could be to pass a solution to the tax increases and spending cuts due at the end of the year.

INSKEEP: House Speaker John Boehner has yet to reach a deal with President Obama, so he sought to put his own plan before the House last night.

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1:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now you can consider this. It's our last word in business today: A Bluetooth bathroom. The Japanese are known for being on the cutting edge of tech, and now that extends to the edge of the toilet seats.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A Japanese company recently announced a smartphone-controlled toilet. Yup. Using a smartphone app, you can flush - that means not having to touch the handle at all.

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12:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
Research News

Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Science Skills

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 5:49 pm

If you're a student at the halfway point of the academic year, and you've just taken stock of your performance, perhaps you have reason to feel proud of yourself.

But a recent study suggests some of the pride you feel at having done well — especially in science — may be unfounded. Or at least your sense of your performance may not be a very accurate picture of how good you actually are.

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12:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
Planet Money

When The Doctor Works For The Insurance Company

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

This won't hurt a bit.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Some insurance companies are taking a page out of their own history books: running their own doctors' offices and clinics. Though the strategy previously had mixed results, insurers think that by providing primary care for patients, they might reduce costly diseases and hospital stays in the long run.

Dr. Michael Byrne spent eight years working for a Brooklyn hospital and he saw firsthand why the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world.

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12:50am

Fri December 21, 2012
Shots - Health News

Medicare Starts To Reward Quality, Not Quantity, Of Care

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

In a push to improve quality, Medicare will pay some hospitals more and others, including Boston's Massachusetts General, less.
Steven Senne AP

It's no longer enough for hospitals to just send a bill to Medicare and get paid.

The nation's biggest insurer is starting to dole out bonuses and penalties to nearly 3,000 hospitals as it ties almost $1 billion in payments to the quality of care provided to patients.

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12:30am

Fri December 21, 2012
Politics

Friday Media Roundtable: "The world's most dangerous beat"

Men walk on a road amid wreckage, after three blasts ripped through Aleppo’s main Saadallah al-Jabari Square
REUTERS/SANA

12:23am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Salt

A Pie-Making Encore: Start With The Perfect Recipe, Serve With Love

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 6:00 am

The foundation of a good pie starts with the crust.
iStockphoto.com

It's high season for pie-making. And when we came upon this touching story about a bunch of women gathering to bake fresh apple pies for the people of Newtown, Conn., it warmed our hearts here at The Salt. Truly.

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12:23am

Fri December 21, 2012
U.S.

New TSA Standards: Carry On Small Snow Globes and Pies, Keep Checking Jam

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:16 am

One of these snow globes doesn't belong onboard. The one on the left, which is about the size of a tennis ball, is permitted in your carry-on luggage. The one on the right is not.
Ryan Smith NPR

The airline industry predicts some 42 million of us will be flying this holiday season, and that this weekend before Christmas will be one of the busiest periods.

For tips on how to get through what's expected to be some long security lines, we turn to the Transportation Security Administration's Lisa Farbstein. She says there's a useful guide on the TSA's homepage that allows you to type in an item to see if it's allowed in your carry-on, as well as a mobile app.

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