Politics
3:19 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Who Is Susan Rice?

Ambassador Susan Rice speaks at U.N. headquarters on April 14.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:21 pm

Susan Rice is in many ways a prototypical Obama administration official: young, ambitious and accomplished, with a reputation for being direct and — at times — confrontational.

But unlike her colleagues, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is embroiled in a lingering controversy, over what she knew and what she said in the days after September's attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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It's All Politics
3:13 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Roughing Up Rice: GOP Senators Play The Personal And Political

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice leaves a meeting with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:30 pm

The GOP's roughing up of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, thought to be President Obama's top pick for his second-term secretary of state, brings to mind the last time the Senate rejected a commander in chief's choice for that most crucial position.

It was some six decades ago, and after bitter and tumultuous hearings — think allegations of communism and homosexuality, as well as a high-profile suicide — that senators dumped the president's nominee by a vote of 74-24.

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Movie Interviews
3:07 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Marion Cotillard, Diving Deep In 'Rust And Bone'

In Rust and Bone, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard plays an orca trainer who loses her legs in a freak accident.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

The latest film for Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone, is a French art film about two broken individuals who find love at the edge of the sea. It's poetic, lyrical — and not necessarily playing at a theater near you.

That was not the case earlier this summer, when Cotillard appeared as one of the central characters in the blockbuster Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Pelosi: The Fiscal Cliff Debate Is 'A Clear One; The People Have Spoken'

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi smiles while speaking to the media.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 5:47 pm

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader in the House, says she's optimistic that Democrats and Republicans will reach a deal that would avoid triggering a wide array of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to take effect in the new year and that experts say could send the economy into a recession.

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Music Reviews
2:34 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

'Buddy And Jim': Friends In Life And Songwriting

Musicians and friends Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale team up on a new album of country duets called Buddy and Jim.
Michael Wilson photo/Paul Moore design Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:04 pm

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale are singer-songwriters who've each written hits for country and rock acts, and have enjoyed extensive solo careers as performers and producers. Buddy and Jim is their first collaboration, a mixture of original songs and covers from earlier decades of country, rock, folk and soul music.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Economy Is Growing At A 'Measured Pace,' Federal Reserve Says

Shoppers at a Target store in Westbury, N.Y., last week. Consumer spending drives the economy. And the holiday shopping season is crucial for retailers.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

The nation's economy "expanded at a measured pace" in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve Board reports in its latest anecdotal look at how things are going across the U.S.

The central bank's Beige Book review of conditions in its 12 bank districts finds that:

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World
2:23 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

All Over The Map: Cartography And Conflict

A map in China's new passports shows disputed islands and territorial waters as belonging to China, which has angered several of its neighbors.
He Yuan EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:28 pm

Alexander Murphy recalls visiting a Guatemala museum some years ago and gazing up at a huge relief map of the country. Something about the borders struck the University of Oregon geography professor as out of place.

"And then I realized, 'Wait, all of Belize is shown as part of Guatemala,' " Murphy says. That's when he remembered a decades-old territorial dispute between the two Central American neighbors.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:12 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Astrotheology: Do Gods Need To Be Supernatural?

Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:08 am

Call it the ponderous effect of the holidays, but today I'd like to share some reflections on our search for meaning.

Humans are limited beings. We are also creative and innovative, and by the diligent application of reason and, in different but complementary ways, by exercising our artistic expression, we manage to amplify our understanding of the world and of ourselves.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Social Conservative Politics, A Congressman Returns

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 2:21 pm

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, discusses the role of social conservatives in the GOP politics. Incoming congressman Rick Nolan talks about his return to the House after more than thirty years. NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin recaps the week in politics.

Health Care
2:06 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Preparing For The Looming Dementia Crisis

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 3:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The number of us affected by dementia, nearly five and a half million for Alzheimer's alone, can only go up as the huge cohort of baby boomers ages. Doctors and researchers have thus far made more progress toward early diagnosis than to any effective treatment, but institutions, from long-term care facilities to state and federal agencies to doctors' offices, seem unprepared for what science reporter Stephen Hall describes as the dementia plague.

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