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Latin America
3:07 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Ruling Party Leads Election Vote Totals In Honduras

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Central American country of Honduras held a presidential election yesterday. Honduras suffers from extreme poverty and it has one of the world's highest murder rates. The nation's politics have been dominated by elites and the military. Now, so far the vote count appears to favor the candidates from the right wing ruling party, but this election offered a little more choice than usual. Here's NPR's Carrie Kahn.

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Television
1:03 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Bill Cosby, Still Himself After All These Years

Bill Cosby performs his stand-up special, Far From Finished. The actor and comedian has been working in show business for 50 years.
Erinn Chalene Cosby Comedy Central

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Comedian Bill Cosby has been in show business for 50 years, and he celebrated on Comedy Central over the weekend with a stand-up special — his first in 30 years — called Far From Finished.

That earlier special, called Bill Cosby Himself, inspired one of the most popular sitcoms in TV history: The Cosby Show, starring Cosby as paterfamilias Cliff Huxtable. It was a show that was really the first of its kind, capturing life in a highly educated upper-middle-class African-American family.

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Code Switch
12:55 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Hollywood's New Strategy: Supporting Chinese-Made Blockbusters

Hollywood's version of Iron Man 3 shown in China played down the rather unfortunately named baddie, The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley.
Marvel

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

If you've seen the 2012 science fiction movie Looper, you might remember a telling exchange when a time-traveling hitman (Bruce Willis) sits down with a young version of himself (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and offers some advice.

"You should go to China," Willis says firmly.

Gordon-Levitt resists: "I'm going to France."

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Shots - Health News
12:54 am
Mon November 25, 2013

In Pregnancy, What's Worse? Cigarettes Or The Nicotine Patch?

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:41 am

Lots of studies have shown that cigarette smoke isn't good for a fetus. So many pregnant women use nicotine gum or skin patches or inhalers to help them stay away from cigarettes.

A few years ago, Megan Stern became one of those women. "I smoked heavily for the first seven weeks of my pregnancy because I didn't know I was pregnant," she says. "It was an accidental pregnancy, and I found out while I was in the emergency room for another issue."

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Middle East
12:52 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Crippled By Sanctions, Iran's Economy Key In Nuclear Deal

A man pushes his cart loaded with fuel containers in Tehran, Iran. Sanctions on Iran's oil have put a serious dent in the country's economy, pushing up the inflation rate to 40 percent.
Vahid Salemi AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

Some of the sanctions against Iran will be eased under an agreement reached between Iran and six world powers over the weekend. In return, Iran promises to temporarily curb part of its nuclear program.

There's widespread agreement that sanctions have worked, squeezing Iran financially and bringing its leaders to the negotiating table. Iran's economy is, by any measure, in terrible shape.

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Mon November 25, 2013

'Foreverly' Yours: Billie Joe Armstrong And Norah Jones Get Close

Foreverly, a new album from Norah Jones and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, was released today.
Marina Chavez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

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Business
3:52 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Reviving Las Vegas With Less Sin, More City

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 5:38 am

In Nevada, there is no income tax. And if you've ever been to Las Vegas then you know why — they don't need one.

More than 30 million tourists a year stumble down the Las Vegas Strip, and many of those tourists come to gamble, leaving behind a ridiculous amount of money. For decades, business boomed.

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Law
3:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

A Special Agent's Secret Job: Hit Man

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employs special agents who pose as hit men to stop contract killings.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 5:40 am

GQ Magazine correspondent Jeanne Marie Laskas calls him "Special Agent Charles Hunt," but that's not his real name. He's sometimes known as "Thrash" or "Hammer," Laskas says (also not his real name).

That's because Hunt is a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, specializing in deep undercover work. Specifically, he poses as a contract killer.

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Food
3:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

How Johnnie Walker Is Chasing The World's Middle Class

Johnnie Walker's success has come in part from emerging markets, like Mexico, Brazil and China.
Charley Gallay Getty Images for Johnnie Walker

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 9:39 am

Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky is just about everywhere. You can find the distinctive square bottle in bars, liquor stores and supermarkets from Milwaukee to Mumbai.

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Music Interviews
3:01 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

In A Tale Of Two Sisters, The Story's In The Songs

The new Disney film Frozen is the tale of sisters Anna and Elsa, whose relationship is captured in music by songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez.
Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 3:52 pm

When you hear the name "Disney," you might picture a few things — Ariel the mermaid perched on a rock, or Mrs. Potts observing the blossoming love between a beauty and a beast. But just as important is what begins playing in your head: The songs that accompany these moments are perhaps even more iconic than the characters who sing them.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Swiss Voters Reject Measure Curbing Executive Pay

Members of the Swiss trade union Unia, supporting a referendum to limit the pay of executives to 12 times that of a company's lowest-paid employee, demonstrate in Zurich in August.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters/Landov

Swiss voters rejected a measure on Sunday that would have capped executive pay to no more than 12 times that of the company's lowest paid worker.

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The Two-Way
12:36 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

China Expands Air Defense Zone Over Disputed Islands

Japanese Coast Guard vessels sail alongside Japanese activists' fishing boat, not in photo, warning the activists away from a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.
Emily Wang AP

In a move that angered Japan, China expanded its air defense zone to include a group of uninhabited islands claimed by both countries.

The Chinese government released a map and coordinates on Saturday that show the zone covers most of the East China Sea, including the islands.

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Economy
12:09 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Many Americans Will Be Giving Thanks For Lower Prices

Gas prices are down compared with last year, but slumping consumer confidence could dampen Thanksgiving holiday travel.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:11 am

When Americans drive to their Thanksgiving gatherings this week, they will have one more blessing to count: lower costs.

Gasoline is cheaper than last year. Turkey prices are down, too. And retailers are joining in, offering big discounts on TVs and other goods.

For people who watch every penny, this Thanksgiving will be a good time for pinching.

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Vatican Puts St. Peter's Bones On Display For The First Time

For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, relics of St. Peter the apostle (fragments of bone) are displayed for veneration.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:43 am

In the Vatican today, a surreal scene:

That's Pope Francis, the 266th Bishop of Rome, holding what the church believes are the bone fragments of St. Peter, the apostle and the first bishop of Rome.

Pope Francis cradled the relics during a mass at St. Peter's Square, which marked the end of the global church's Year of Faith. It was also the first time the Catholic Church has displayed the relics in public.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Winter Storm System Blamed For 8 Deaths Moves East

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:43 am

An already deadly winter storm system is moving toward the the East on Sunday.

As The Associated Press reports, the system has already been blamed for eight deaths in the West and meteorologists are warning of widespread snow, freezing temperatures and strong winds.

The AP adds:

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Afghanistan
8:31 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Afghan Assembly Approves Security Plan, But Karzai Delays

Afghan President Hamid Karzai attends the Loya Jirga in Kabul on Sunday.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:50 am

A grand assembly of Afghan tribal elders and civil society leaders — the Loya Jirga — resoundingly approved an agreement to allow 3,000-9,000 U.S. troops to stay in the country after the NATO mission ends next year.

However, it remains unclear when — or if — President Hamid Karzai will sign the agreement.

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The Two-Way
8:02 am
Sun November 24, 2013

LISTEN: A Joyous Moment In Typhoon-Ravaged Tacloban

Sunday, Typhoon survivors watch the boxing match between Philippine hero Manny Pacquiao and American boxer Brandon Rios at the Tacloban Convention Center, which had been used as an evacuation center.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 9:48 am

The city of Tacloban in the Philippines was essentially leveled by Typhoon Haiyan. Over the past few weeks, residents of the city have been attending burials and picking up the pieces. But this afternoon, thousands gathered to watch the country's favorite son, Manny Pacquiao, box 12 rounds against Brandon Rios.

As NPR's Jonathan Blakely describes the scene, fans gathered at a plaza near city hall in the soaring heat and they watched the fight on a large screen powered by a generator.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun November 24, 2013

What You Should Know About The Iran Nuclear Deal

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius react during a statement early Sunday in Geneva.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 6:37 am

(This post was last updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.)

Just before the sun rose on Geneva on Sunday, international negotiators emerged to announce Iran and world powers had reached a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program for six months while the two sides work out a permanent, more sweeping solution.

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Latin America
6:23 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Amid Crime And Poverty, Hondurans Go To The Polls

Honduran presidential candidate Xiomara Castro greets supporters during a campaign rally in Tegucigalpa last week.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:50 am

Voters go to the polls in Honduras to elect a new president on Sunday. It's the first open election with all parties participating since a coup overthrew the left-leaning government in 2009.

The elections come at a difficult time for the longtime U.S. ally. Two-thirds of its people live in poverty, unemployment is soaring and the murder rate is one of the highest in the world due to drug traffickers and gang violence.

The Gang Tax

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Around the Nation
6:23 am
Sun November 24, 2013

More Kids Roll In Style In Tricked-Out, Giant Wagons

Brenda Lemus and her family tour the Los Angeles County Fair. They bought their wagon here, complete with canopy and storage space, six years ago.
Molly Callister for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 11:33 am

Outside the giant river otter exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, 5-year-old Emily checks out the sights while her baby sister lounges in a canopy-covered wagon.

The girls' aunt, Maggie Hathaway, is among a growing number of parents and caregivers who are rolling their kids around in wagons instead of strollers. "Sea World, or the fair — anywhere where ... the little one wants to lay down," she says.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Colorado Ads Use Sex And Alcohol To Sell Health Insurance

This controversial ad riffing off the legendary "got milk?" campaign is one of several marketing health insurance to young people in Colorado.
Thanks Obamacare campaign

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 11:41 am

Try this on for size: The Affordable Care Act is good for young adults because it'll save them money on health care, leaving them more to spend on liquor and birth control.

That's one way to interpret the message from a provocative new ad campaign in Colorado. Not everyone is thrilled with it.

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Parallels
3:41 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Spain Has Been In The 'Wrong' Time Zone For 7 Decades

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, talks with Spain's Generalissimo Francisco Franco, in Hendaye, France, October 23, 1940, in Hitler's railway carriage. Later, Franco moved Spain's clocks ahead an hour to be aligned with Nazi Germany.
AP

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 5:31 am

It was 1940 and World War II was raging. Nazi Germany occupied Norway, Holland, Belgium, then France. Fascist Italy had already joined with Adolf Hitler. The Fuhrer wanted Spain's support next.

So on Oct. 23, 1940, Hitler took a train to the Spanish border to woo Spain's Fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.

But Spain was in ruins from its own Civil War in the late 1930s, and Franco didn't have much to offer. He stayed neutral, but switched Spain's clocks ahead one hour, to be in line with Nazi Germany.

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Business
4:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

What Have Mortgage Settlements Done For Homeowners Lately?

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $13 billion settlement over faulty mortgage securities with the Justice Department on Tuesday, though it did not admit any wrongdoing.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 12:51 pm

This week, JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department over the sale of faulty mortgage securities that led to the financial crisis. It's the largest settlement with a single company in U.S. history.

From that settlement, $4 billion must go to help the millions of families who saw the values of their homes plummet and who still struggle to keep up with mortgage payments.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:07 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

A Sound Of Fear, Forged In The Shadow Of War

Stanley Kubrick's The Shining strikes its terrifying tone with help from the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, whose music underscores several of its tensest scenes.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:09 am

The Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki turned 80 on Saturday. You may think you've never heard Penderecki's music, but I'm guessing you have — because I'm guessing you've seen The Shining.

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Technology
3:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Online Streaming Deal Could Mean All Homer Simpson, All The Time

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 4:07 pm

After a fierce bidding war, FX spinoff cable network FXX won the rights to make all seasons of TV's longest-running scripted show, The Simpsons, available for online streaming. It may be the largest TV syndication deal ever. Anthony Breznican, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, says the deal shows how networks are trying to capitalize on the "binge watching" trend. The deal gives FXX the right to air more than 500 episodes of The Simpsons, now in its 25th season on Fox.

Afghanistan
3:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

In Afghanistan, Tribal Elders Get A Say In Security Pact With U.S.

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 5:15 pm

In Afghanistan, a grand assembly of some 2,500 tribal elders, politicians and civil society elites are meeting to decide whether to approve a security agreement with the United States. Approval by the grand assembly, called a loya jirga, would be in addition to the OK of the Afghan government. But as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has noted, the agreement can't go forward without the backing of the Afghan people. The security agreement would allow as many as 9,000 U.S. troops to remain in Afghanistan after the current NATO mission ends next year.

Book Reviews
3:14 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

An Inside Look That Strips The Face Paint Off The NFL

New York Jets tight end Josh Baker celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter in the game against the New York Giants in 2011.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:44 pm

Nicholas Dawidoff's Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football may be the best book I've ever read about football. It is certainly the most detailed account of the players inside the helmets and the coaches obscured from an enthralled public by large, laminated playsheets.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Thousands Protest Venezuelan President's Decree Powers

Venezuelan opposition leader and Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles speaks during a mass protest in Caracas on Saturday.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 4:29 pm

Thousands of Venezuelans hit the streets of Caracas today to protest the sweeping decree powers recently vested upon President Nicolás Maduro.

Leading the protest was opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who lost against Maduro by a razor-thin margin in April.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

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Law
2:21 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Examining The 'Red Flags' In A Massachusetts Crime Lab Scandal

Former state chemist Annie Dookhan, left, stands alongside her attorney on Friday. She admitted faking test results in criminal cases and was sentenced to 3-to-5 years in prison.
David L. Ryan AP

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 4:07 pm

Former chemist Annie Dookhan began serving a 3-to-5 year sentence in a Massachusetts prison on Friday after pleading guilty to falsifying tests of drug evidence and helping to create one of the nation's largest drug lab scandals.

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley says the state is taking steps to improve forensic testing:

"It is certainly lessons learned," she says. "We hope that we've made changes in the system that will mean this unique case will not happen again in Massachusetts."

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Business
2:21 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Electric Bus Fleet Brings Chinese Manufacturing To America

BYD's North American headquarters is located in Los Angeles. Next year, the Chinese-based auto manufacturer will roll out electric buses in LA and Long Beach.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 5:15 pm

Public transit vehicles may be the key to China's success in the U.S. auto market. Chinese company BYD, based in Shenzhen, is manufacturing electric buses. It's an appealing option for a place like California, where emission standards are strict.

At BYD's North American headquarters in Los Angeles, one of the 40-foot electric K9 buses sits on display. BYD Fleet Sales Manager James Holtz sits in the driver's seat and pushes the power button on the dashboard.

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