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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Poland, Lithuania Nervous Over Reports Of Russian Missiles

An undated file picture shows Russian missile complex "Iskander" on display during a military equipment exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 8:38 am

Poland and Lithuania say they are worried over Russian news reports that Moscow has placed nuclear-capable missiles in its Baltic territory of Kaliningrad, which lies between the two countries.

"Further militarization of this region, bordering the Baltic states and NATO, creates further anxiety, and we will be watching the situation there closely," Lithuania's Defense Minister Juozas Olekas said, describing the deployment as "alarming."

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Europe
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

The Shipping Forecast: From Britain's Seas Into Its Soul

Fisherman Teddy Head tells a story to a group of children while mending his nets in Hastings in 1952. The fishermen of Hastings are tightknit; fathers, brothers and sons work together in rugged boats no more than about 30 feet long. Some families in Hastings have worked this way for centuries.
Fred Morley Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 2:29 pm

It is a bizarre nightly ritual that is deeply embedded in the British way of life.

You switch off the TV, lock up the house, slip into bed, turn on your radio, and begin to listen to a mantra, delivered by a soothing, soporific voice.

"Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty, Forth, Tyne, Dogger ...." says the voice.

You are aware — vaguely — that these delicious words are names, and that those names refer to big blocks of sea around your island nation, stretching all the way up to Iceland and down to North Africa.

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Education
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Fiscal Strains Push Community Colleges To Look Hard At Their Mission

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From, NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

City College of San Francisco is one of the biggest community colleges in the country and it may be about to close. Its accreditation is in jeopardy. The problems aren't in the classroom, they're financial and administrative. And a lot of people in higher education are watching closely.

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Economy
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

As Bernanke Readies To Leave Fed, Investors Wonder About Stimulus

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

This week the Fed's influential Open Market Committee meets to discuss some unfinished business. With Chairman Ben Bernanke getting ready to turn things over to Janet Yellen, Fed policymakers must decide whether it's time to start winding down the "quantitative easing" program put in place years ago to protect the recovery.

Environment
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Scientists Find Tiny Exfoliating Beads In Great Lakes Fish Guts

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Tiny plastic beads used in some cosmetics and toothpaste are making their way into the bellies of fish in the Great Lakes, and it's raising concern among environmentalists. Dr. Sherri Mason, a chemistry professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has been researching the issue, and she joins Audie Cornish to explain what this means for the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Business
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

For 2014, Detroit Steps Up Its Game With Lighter, Smaller Autos

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now we're going to look ahead at emerging trends in the auto industry and what kinds of cars we'll be seeing in 2014. I'm joined by Dan Neil. He's automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Dan, welcome back to the program.

DAN NEIL: Hi, Melissa.

BLOCK: And we just heard U.S. automakers have managed to turn it around. I'm curious to hear whether there's one new car coming out that you think really captures that turnaround.

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The Salt
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening

Hermine Ricketts says she gardens for the food and for the peace it brings her.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

In tropical South Florida, it's growing season. Temperatures are in the 80s, there's lots of sun and good rain, and normally, Hermine Ricketts' plants would already be in the ground.

"By now, this should be probably Red Sails lettuce, which is a beautiful color lettuce, or purple mizuna, which is a beautiful filigreed purple leaf," she says.

But this year, Ricketts' vegetable planting has been derailed by a legal fight over what she can plant and where she can plant it.

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Remembrances
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Oscar And Academy Award-Winning Actress Joan Fontaine Dead At 96

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:06 pm

Film star Joan Fontaine died Sunday at age 96. She was best known for her roles in films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, including Suspicion, which earned her an Academy Award in 1941.

Movie Interviews
4:20 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Spike Jonze Opens His Heart For 'Her'

Joaquin Phoenix plays a man in love with an operating system in director Spike Jonze's latest film, Her.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:49 pm

Writer-director Spike Jonze's latest movie, called simply Her, is about a lonely man who falls in love ... with his operating system. The two lovers — Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) — never meet face to face. In fact Samantha has no face, not even an avatar.

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Shots - Health News
3:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Novice Neurosurgeons Train On Brains Printed In 3-D

A simulated patient at the University of Malaya makes use of different materials to mimic the look and feel of human tissue.
Courtesy of Vicknes Waran

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:58 am

There's no such thing as too much practice when it comes to brain surgery.

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Mountain Stage
3:40 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Steep Canyon Rangers On Mountain Stage

The Steep Canyon Rangers performing live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

The Steep Canyon Rangers appear on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. One of the fastest-rising bands in bluegrass, the group earned both critical and popular praise for its work in support of comedian and banjo wizard Steve Martin. The Rangers-Martin collaboration Rare Bird Alert was nominated for a Grammy, and the group followed it with Nobody Knows You, which took home 2013's Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album.

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The Two-Way
3:33 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Russia Reportedly Near To Signing Loan Guarantee For Ukraine

Anti-government protesters gather on Independence Square on Friday in Kiev, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Russia is reportedly on the cusp of agreeing to a major loan guarantee for economically troubled Ukraine in an effort to keep the former Soviet republic in its sphere of influence, even as anti-government protesters in Kiev push for closer ties with Europe.

Reuters says:

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NPR Story
3:33 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Blacks Innovating In America

NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 2:10 pm

NPR's Tell Me More with Michel Martin is hosting a Google+ Hangout On Air focusing on innovative African-Americans in technology, science and engineering.

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Planet Money
3:25 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

50 Years Of Government Spending (And The New Budget Deal), In 3 Graphs

tk
Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:40 am

Over the past 50 years, both the way the federal government spends money and what the government spends money on has changed a lot.

It used to be that most spending was what wonks call "discretionary spending." This is money that has to be approved every year by Congress.

Today, most government spending is what wonks call "mandatory spending." This is money that is spent according to formulas that exist in the law. To change mandatory spending, Congress has to change the law.

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World Cafe
3:11 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

World Cafe Next: Ryley Walker

Ryley Walker.
Courtesy of the artist
  • Hear Two Songs By Ryley Walker

This week's pick for World Cafe: Next is Chicago guitarist Ryley Walker. The singer-songwriter recently released a psych-folk EP titled The West Wind, which features swirling guitars and jazzy excursions that are easy to get lost in.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Grinch Sandwich

The Grinch sandwich: It has the power to ruin Christmas.
CBS/Photofest

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:54 pm

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World Cafe
2:59 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Nels Cline On World Cafe

Nels Cline.
Yuka C. Honda Courtesy of the artist

This segment, from April 15, 2009, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Man Who Bilked Millions From Navy Charity Donors Gets 28 Years

Bobby Thompson, whom authorities have identified as Harvard-trained attorney John Donald Cody, looks at the jury as his verdict is read in Cleveland in November.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:33 pm

A man found guilty of masterminding a $100 million fraud involving a Navy veterans charity has been sentenced to 28 years in prison and slapped with a $6 million fine.

Harvard-trained attorney John Cody, 67, went by the alias Bobby Thompson. He was convicted in November of 23 counts, including identity fraud and using a false name in a scam that spanned 40 states, Reuters says.

The news agency writes:

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Federal Judge Rules NSA Bulk Phone Record Collection Unconstitutional

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:31 pm

A federal judge in Washington says the National Security Agency's program for bulk phone record collection violates Americans' reasonable expectation of privacy.

The ruling (pdf), however, has been stayed pending a likely appeal.

Judge Richard Leon says the sweeping NSA collection of U.S. phone metadata constitutes an unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment.

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Music Interviews
2:39 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Pianist Jimmy Amadie

Jimmy Amadie.
Courtesy of the artist

For decades, Jimmy Amadie played solely in his home, heard only by his students when he'd play for them during lessons. His performing career was derailed because of severe hand problems. But later in life, he achieved some fame for his albums — and for the story of what he'd had to overcome to make it possible for him to record. Amadie died of lung cancer on Dec. 10. He was 76.

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