5:06am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Defector: Assad Will Use Chemical Weapons If He's Desperate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 11:25 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2009.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

If Syrian President Bashar Assad gets desperate enough he will use chemical weapons against his own people, the former chief of staff for that country's chemical weapons tells NPR's Deborah Amos.

Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu, who defected in July and is now in Turkey, is convinced that if rebel forces close in on Damascus, Assad will order the use of mustard gas, sarin or other chemicals in a "last desperate act," Deb reported today on Morning Edition.

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4:39am

Tue December 11, 2012
Europe

Noah's Ark Replica Docks In Netherlands

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene, with news that Noah's Ark has docked in the Netherlands. Well, sort of. Johan Huibers built a full-scale replica of the ark on a river, staying as true as he could to God's instructions to Noah. The giant floating hulk opened to the public with some real animals: rabbits and parakeets. The bison and tigers are life-sized sculptures. There are modern creature comforts, like two cinemas and a restaurant. And on opening day, by God, it rained. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

4:34am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Phoenix Man Lights Cactus To Celebrate Hanukkah

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The spirit of Hanukah is aglow in the desert. For the seventh straight year, a man in Phoenix is lighting up the tips of a giant cactus to celebrate the holiday. Mel Kline's cactus is called a saguaro. It has a middle trunk and eight arms, perfect for a menorah. And at 30 feet tall, it attracts hundreds of visitors. The Arizona Republic reports that Kline bought the cactus 35 years ago. His wife wanted a maple tree. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

3:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Digital Life

FTC: Apps For Children Raise Privacy Concerns

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report taking to task the makers of mobile apps for children. It says apps are not transparent enough about the personal information they collect. It's the latest sign the Obama administration is concerned about children's privacy online.

3:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
National Security

U.S. Adds Syrian Rebel Group To Terror List

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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2:23am

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

iStockphoto.com

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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12:18am

Tue December 11, 2012
Shots - Health News

Feds Say 'No' To Partial Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe speaks about expanding Medicaid during a speech to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce in Little Rock, Ark., on Nov. 14. The federal government hasn't set a deadline for states to decide on their Medicaid expansion plans.
Danny Johnston AP

The Affordable Care Act, as passed by Congress in 2010, assumed that every low-income person would have access to health insurance starting in 2014.

That's when about 17 million Americans — mostly unmarried healthy adults with incomes up to 133 percent of poverty, or about $15,000 a year — would gain access to Medicaid.

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12:18am

Tue December 11, 2012
Author Interviews

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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12:17am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Detroit Tries To Stave Off State Takeover Of Finances

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 7:55 am

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing delivers his State of the City address on March 7. If Bing and the City Council can't agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power over Detroit's finances.
Carlos Osorio AP

Detroit officials face a tough vote Tuesday as they try to keep their city from going over its own "fiscal cliff." If the mayor and City Council cannot agree on a plan to reduce the city's budget deficit, state officials are poised to take away their power and assume total control over Detroit's finances.

It's been a continuing vicious cycle: Detroit's population exodus, lost tax revenue and chronic mismanagement have left the city burning through cash to the point where the state of Michigan has to provide funding to help the city meet payroll for the next few months.

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12:16am

Tue December 11, 2012

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