12:51pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:31 pm

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

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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11:55am

Wed December 12, 2012
It's All Politics

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

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

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

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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11:50am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 11:58 am

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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11:01am

Wed December 12, 2012
City Visions: December 17, 2012

The Corner Grocery: Creating Community

Rebuilding local food systems

Discussion with 3 Bay Area food business pros about creating, nurturing, and sustaining community through what you eat and where you buy it.

Can the corner grocery store bring prosperity to a community? Consumers are making more trips to drug, club, and dollar stores, and taking precious community money out of their neighborhoods. City Visions talks with Bay Area businesses that are re-circulating the food dollars to bring health and wealth to local residents, farmers, and artisans.

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10:22am

Wed December 12, 2012
Music Reviews

A 'Warrior' Looking For Legitimacy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:53 pm

Ke$ha's new album is titled Warrior.
Yu Tsai Courtesy of the artist

Ke$ha uses a dollar-sign instead of an "s" in the middle of her stage name. It's one of those gestures that's meant to bait her detractors — suggesting before anyone else does that she's only in it for the money. It turns out, though, that like pop stars ranging from Madonna on back to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience success and artistic acknowledgment. For Ke$ha, that's what her album title Warrior means: She's fighting a war on multiple fronts.

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10:14am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 10:50 am

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

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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10:13am

Wed December 12, 2012
Author Interviews

Joseph Kennedy, 'Patriarch' Of An American Dynasty

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:03 pm

By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.

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10:07am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

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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10:04am

Wed December 12, 2012
Shots - Health News

What Killed Him? A 'Verbal Autopsy' Can Answer

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 1:19 pm

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

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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9:24am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Two-Way

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

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 10:12 am

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

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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