NPR Story
4:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a sale at Sears.

Sears says it is spinning off outlet, hometown and hardware stores. The deal is expected to help the company raise up to $500 million. It's also selling some of its other properties in a separate deal.

This comes after Sears said in December it would close about 100 stores after an abysmal holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
1:44 am
Fri February 24, 2012

N.H. GOP Moves To Revise State's Contraception Law

New Hampshire, one of the least religious states in the nation, has become the latest front in the political battle over contraception. State GOP leaders oppose the new federal rule compelling insurers to provide birth control to employees of religious organizations. They want to change a 12-year-old state law that requires contraceptive coverage under insurers' prescription drug policies.

It's hard to miss the politics fueling state House Speaker William O'Brien's push to carve out a religious exemption from the contraception mandate.

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Television
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

For Asians And Latinos, Stereotypes Persist In Sitcoms

Han Lee (Matthew Moy), owner of the Brooklyn diner where Max (Kat Dennings, left) and Caroline (Beth Behrs, right) work, joins the two women as they count their earnings on 2 Broke Girls.
Cliff Lipson CBS

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:50 am

I was flipping around TV channels one evening, and I noticed something amazing. There was a glorious absence of black actors playing maids, sassy, streetwise pimps or bug-eyed buffoons.

And then I saw Han Lee.

On CBS' hit comedy 2 Broke Girls, he owns the diner in Brooklyn where the show's sassy heroines just happen to work. He's a walking bundle of stereotypes: Broken English. Socially awkward. Mostly asexual. His heavy accent is always good for a laugh or two.

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Planet Money
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

A Revival In American Manufacturing, Led By Brooklyn Foodies

Every week, Robert Stout of Kings County Jerky slices meat by hand.
Adam Lerner adamlerner.net

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 10:56 am

One day Chris Woehrle decided to finally leave his corporate job and pursue his dream: to become an artisanal food craftsman. And so, every day at home, he'd basically pickle stuff.

"I had a refrigerator full of plastic food buckets that were full of pickles and kimchee and sauerkraut and harissa and salsa and ketchup and mustard and, you know, any kind of craft food you could make," Woehrle says.

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Hollywood Jobs
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

The Extraordinary, Ordinary Life Of Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne's The Descendants has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editor and Best Actor. Payne co-wrote and directed the film, which stars George Clooney as an indifferent dad struggling to raise two daughters.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Alexander Payne watches a movie every day — or tries to, anyway. Lately, the writer and director of The Descendants has been busy going to nomination and awards dinners, in advance of Sunday's Oscar night — when the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes could be his.

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Media
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

With Sale, Phila. Reporters Fear Loss Of Integrity

The publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has been accused of interfering with coverage of the newspapers' pending sale.
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:50 am

Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.

But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.

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Europe
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Portuguese Seeking Opportunities In Former Colonies

Protesters against government austerity measures march in front of the Finance Ministry in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this month. The country's debt crisis has prompted Portuguese workers to look to their country's former colonies for jobs.
Patricia de Melo Moreira AFP/Getty Images

Portugal is burdened with such big debts that some are calling it "the next Greece." Unemployment is soaring, and the debt continues to rise, despite draconian austerity measures.

But Portugal has something Greece doesn't have: former colonies, rich in natural resources and in need of labor, both skilled and unskilled. And in a type of role reversal, some Portuguese are now traveling to those places in hopes of improving their lives.

Antonio Valerio, who is studying pharmaceutical science at a university, is among those who see no future in Portugal.

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Middle East
12:01 am
Fri February 24, 2012

With President Leaving, Yemen Steps Into A New Era

A Yemeni man shows his ink-stained thumb after he voted in the presidential election in Yemen's capital on Feb. 21. The one-candidate election ends President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year hard-line rule.
Mohammed Huwais AFP/Getty Images

Yemen has become the latest Arab country to depose its dictator.

On Monday, the country's longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is set to hand power to his vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, as part of an agreement reached late last year. The agreement was backed by the U.S., Europe and Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors. It was ratified by more than 60 percent of Yemen's voters earlier this week.

Now, the real work begins.

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Religion
10:41 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

How To Properly Dispose Of Sacred Texts

On Feb. 21 outside Bagram Airfield, Afghan demonstrators show copies of Qurans allegedly set on fire by U.S. soldiers at a NATO airbase outside Kabul.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:24 pm

The Quran is considered to be the speech of God to humankind — word for word — explains Imam Johari Abdul-Malik.

"The traditional way of disposing of used or damaged copies of the text of the Quran is by burning it," he says.

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StoryCorps
10:00 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Man Gives U.S. Vets Two Things: Haircuts, And Hope

The barber shop run by Anthony Bravo Esparza — whom everyone knows as "Dreamer" — is a fixture at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System's West Los Angeles Campus.
Paula Berger

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 11:49 am

To help U.S. troops ease back into civilian life, veteran Anthony Bravo Esparza offers them a haircut, and a safe and friendly place to hang out. Esparza — known to his friends as "Dreamer" — sees it as a way to help former soldiers find their way.

Dreamer's barbershop is easy to find; it's set up inside a trailer in the parking lot of the West Los Angeles Medical Center campus of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

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