Earth Notes
5:53 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Earth Notes: A Sunny Future for Desert Power—But What About the Tortoises?

Agassiz Desert Tortoise
Credit Gerald and Buff Corsi © California Academy of Sciences

Sunshine is endemic to the desert Southwest. So is a venerable reptile, the Agassiz’s desert tortoise.

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Around the Nation
5:51 am
Wed December 12, 2012

For Alabama Boy 12-12-12 Is Special

Kiam Moriya was born in 2000 at 12 minutes past noon. So Wednesday afternoon, the young man can say: I turned 12 at 12:12 on 12-12-12. He told Yahoo News he's marking the occasion with donuts arranged in the shape of the number 12.

The Two-Way
5:20 am
Wed December 12, 2012

'Global Chorus Of Condemnation' After North Korea's Rocket Launch

A North Korean military band performed today in Pyongyang to celebrate the country's rocket launch. Other nations, though, condemned the launch.
Kyodo Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:52 pm

  • Louisa Lim on 'Morning Edition'

"The global chorus of condemnation has been loud and clear," after North Korea's successful launch of a long-range rocket that carried a satellite into space, NPR's Louisa Lim said today on Morning Edition.

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NPR Story
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Do Unions Still Have Clout In Michigan?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The contentious fight over labor rights has been unfolding throughout the Midwest in the last couple of years. Michigan is only the latest example.

NPR's national political correspondent Don Gonyea joins us now to explore the broader impact of all this. Good morning, Don.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So how is what has happened in Michigan different from what we've seen over the past couple of years in Wisconsin and Ohio, where Republican governors also took on labor unions?

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NPR Story
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Protests Against Egypt's Constitution Dwindle

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:24 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Egypt's protest movement against the controversial draft constitution appears to be losing steam. The opposition had hoped to fill the streets last night with protestors, but calls to demonstrate only generated a lackluster turnout. Voting on the new constitution begins today for Egyptians living abroad. Voters in Egypt are expected to begin casting ballots on Saturday as President Mohammed Morsi plans. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has this report from Cairo.

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Around the Nation
3:56 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Is California Up Next For An Oil And Gas Boom?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:05 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Wed December 12, 2012

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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It's All Politics
1:32 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:58 am

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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Shots - Health News
1:31 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:15 am

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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The Salt
1:05 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:39 am

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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