1:53am

Thu December 13, 2012
NPR Story

Most Of Congress In The Dark On 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:44 am

Of the 535 members of Congress, not many appear to be in the loop about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. That makes the rest nervous about having to vote on a bill on short notice despite misgivings about what's in it. But this is often how major deals get accomplished in Washington.

In these budget negotiations, the names Boehner and Obama come up most often โ€” and virtually all the rest are on the outside looking in.

Read more

1:53am

Thu December 13, 2012
NPR Story

Business News

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with supervising banks in the EU.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more

1:53am

Thu December 13, 2012
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

CALM is an acronym for a new law that takes effect Thursday. It stands for the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, and it means you won't have to jump for your TV remote the second commercials air. The law says the volume of commercials needs to be the same as the programs they're coming out of.

12:35am

Thu December 13, 2012
The Salt

Archaeologists Find Ancient Evidence Of Cheese-Making

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 9:19 am

Archaeologists believe that ancient farmers used pots made from these pottery shards to make cheese รขย€ย” a less perishable, low-lactose milk product.
Nature

As any cheese maker will tell you, it's not that hard to make cheese. You just take some fresh milk, warm it up a bit, and add something acidic to curdle it. Then, once it has cooled, you drain off the whey โ€” the liquid part โ€” and you're left with cheese.

Read more

12:28am

Thu December 13, 2012
Planet Money

Will A $1.9 Billion Settlement Change Banks' Behavior?

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 8:55 am

Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

If a kid does something bad and you want to discipline him โ€” give him a timeout, say, or take away a toy โ€” there are some basic principles that seem to work.

The punishment needs to happen quickly after the bad behavior. And it needs to be significant enough to get noticed. Those rules aren't just for kids; they need to hold true for any type of punishment to be effective.

But if you're a federal regulator punishing a bank, it can be tough to be swift enough and to levee a penalty that's severe enough to make a difference.

Read more

12:26am

Thu December 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Report On CIA Interrogation Tactics Revives Torture Debate

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., have opposing views about a report detailing CIA detention and interrogation practices.
Alex Wong Getty Images

In a closed-door meeting Thursday, lawmakers will consider whether to approve a secret report that chronicles CIA detention and interrogation practices โ€” including methods that critics have compared to torture.

That report โ€” along with the release of a new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden โ€” is rekindling an old debate about whether those methods worked.

Read more

12:25am

Thu December 13, 2012
Arts & Life

Letters From 'Peanuts' Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

The collection's estimated price is $250,000 to $350,000.
Courtesy of the Claudius Family

On Friday, Sotheby's is putting up for auction 44 letters and 35 drawings from Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, to a young woman he was courting.

The letters were written during an eight-month period starting in 1970 when Schulz's first marriage was deteriorating and before he met his second wife. During this time, Schulz, 48, wrote Tracey Claudius, 25, poignant, funny, even innocent notes in pictures and words, often using Charlie Brown to stand in for himself.

Read more

12:24am

Thu December 13, 2012
Asia

A Rare Visit Inside A Chinese Courtroom

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

An NPR reporter recently was allowed to watch legal proceedings at Hongkou District Court โ€” a rare opportunity for a foreign correspondent in Shanghai.
Courtesy of Hongkou District Court

After years of covering China, I finally set foot in a Chinese courtroom last week. Foreign reporters need government permission to enter Chinese courts and past attempts had gone nowhere.

Read more

12:23am

Thu December 13, 2012
Religion

From Gang Member To Hip-Hop Church Leader

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

Pastor Troy Evans of Edge Urban Fellowship in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Edge Urban Fellowship

Troy Evans preaches at Edge Urban Fellowship in a rundown Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood known for prostitution. Inside what looks like an abandoned office building are walls covered by graffiti. There are tattooed people wearing baseball caps and jeans. Three 20-year-old men holding mics get ready to bust out some elaborate dance moves.

It may seem like a hip-hop show, but it's actually church.

Read more

12:22am

Thu December 13, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:03 am

A woman with the Army Corps of Engineers documents a destroyed home last month in a residential area of New Dorp Beach on Staten Island in New York City.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

So New Yorkers, local politicians and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to defend themselves from what climate experts call "the new normal."

Read more

Pages