It's All Politics
1:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

When It Comes To Entitlements, Obama Feels Heat From Left And Right

A protester at a fiscal cliff rally on Monday in Doral, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 2:12 pm

Despite his re-election and more Democratic seats in Congress, President Obama has far from a free hand to make the kind of comprehensive deal House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans are demanding — one that includes cuts to entitlement programs.

Strong resistance to that notion is coming from the political left, including warnings that while Obama won't have another re-election, most of his allies on Capitol Hill will be facing voters again.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Border Mexico

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:58 pm

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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Arts and Culture
1:23 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Audio postcard: carolers lobby with song

Carolers with Grass Roots Organizing
Jon Ingram KBIA

Grass Roots Organizing and the Community, Faith, and Labor Groups of Mid-Missouri added a political twist to holiday caroling in Columbia Monday. Together they caroled outside the headquarters of several Missouri politicians urging them to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well as raise taxes for the wealthy. Listen to this audio postcard to hear the carolers lobbying with song.

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Science, Health and Technology
1:02 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Missouri health care already changing under Affordable Care Act

Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking at the Affordable Health Care Act anniversary in March
SEIU International Flickr

Missourians are already seeing changes in healthcare coverage since the Affordable Care Act was first implemented. According to Ryan Barker,  Director of Health Policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health, changes already affecting Missourians include provisions allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, Medicare coverage of preventative services without a co-pay, and a new rule that requires some insurance providers to partially reimburse customers if they don’t limit overhead and administrative costs.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sitar Player Remembers The Legendary Ravi Shankar

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:04 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As you probably heard by now, the great sitar player Ravi Shankar died yesterday at the age of 92. His music arrived in most American ears thanks to George Harrison and the Beatles, whose interest triggered something of a sitar craze back in the late '60s. Harrison played the exotic instrument on a couple of tracks. The Rolling Stones followed suit on "Paint It Black." The electric sitar soon followed. But Ravi Shankar remained the unchallenged master. But what do I know? He's the only Indian-born sitar player I ever heard.

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flu Season 2012: What You Should Know this Year

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 1:56 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. This year's flu season started early. Eight states already report widespread flu activity, and doctors say it's a nasty strain this year, too. The good news is this year's vaccine is a good match. But even so, the flu will kill thousands more, probably tens of thousands of Americans, before it runs its course. Why? And what more can we do to reduce that number?

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Obama's Cabinet Reshuffle, What's Next For Hillary?

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:01 pm

President Barack Obama is expected to make some key changes to his second-term cabinet. As Hillary Clinton prepares to step down as Secretary of State, many wonder whether she will run for president in 2016.

The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:50 pm

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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Politics
12:10 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Aussies to Blame?; BuzzFeed Ethics; What Fiscal Cliff?; Skinny on Beef

Professor Charles Davis

Media criticism and critique from Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Lee Wilkins and Charles Davis.

The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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