Getting To 55 MPG
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Automakers Set To Steer Customers To Hybrids

Attendees at the Los Angeles Auto Show look at the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid concept car. Toyota's Prius is the best-selling hybrid on the market, but almost every carmaker has some form of hybrid technology.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 11:40 am

Second in a three-part series

Hybrid cars will take a lot of floor space at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning this weekend, but they still represent a tiny portion of the U.S. car market.

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Hard Times: A Journey Across America
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Economy Mutes A Longtime Louisville Record Shop

Timmons browses the racks of his now-closed business. The record store will have a final clearance sale on Nov. 29.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:02 am

Part of a monthlong series

In Louisville, Ky., local businessman John Timmons is trying to figure out what's next after selling music for more than a quarter of a century.

Timmons owned ear X-tacy records for 26 years here. The shop closed at the end of October. On a recent visit, dead roses, farewell notes and other mementos are taped to the glass doors. Fans of the shop have also been slipping notes of support under the door.

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Your Money
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Wal-Mart Lures Bank Customers Frustrated By Fees

Linda Black of Nashville, Tenn., says she left Bank of America after repeatedly being hit by fees. She now uses the Walmart MoneyCard instead, which has a flat fee of $3 a month.
Blake Farmer for NPR

The Occupy Wall Street movement has directed much of its anger at giant banks, which are no strangers to customer complaints. Some of those who have been burned by high fees in recent years are now satisfying their banking needs with a giant retailer instead, as Wal-Mart surges into the financial sector with a pre-paid, reloadable debit card called the MoneyCard.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Selling Water, Health Care In The Developing World

In a Healthpoint clinic in the village of Mallan in Punjab, India, lab technician Navdeep Sharma draws Suba Singh's blood sample. Part of Healthpoint's business plan is to offer cheap diagnostic tests at its clinics. Diagnosing and treating people in a single visit is one key to delivering affordable health care.
Soma Vatsa for NPR

In rural India, deep in Punjab — about 90 minutes from the Pakistani border — getting clean drinking water is a challenge. Well water often has high levels of dangerous chemicals. Surface water is contaminated with pesticides and agricultural waste.

Getting adequate health care is equally challenging. Government hospitals are often far away, and lines are long.

Here, in places like a dusty rural town called Rajiana, a 2-year-old company called Healthpoint Services is trying to figure out how to bring clean water and health care to rural communities on a global scale.

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National Security
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

Does Supercommittee Failure Imperil Pentagon?

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies on Capitol Hill on Nov. 15. He said the proposed cuts to the Pentagon budget would lead to a hollow force.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 2:46 pm

The congressional supercommittee's failure to act is supposed to trigger hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts for the Pentagon starting in 2013. But even cuts that large don't come close to cutbacks in military spending in years past.

The Pentagon already plans to cut about $500 billion from its budget over 10 years. Now, it faces another $500 billion in cuts. For the military, that's the worst case: 10 years, $1 trillion in cuts.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Tue November 22, 2011

In 'The Artist,' A Silent Look At Old Hollywood

Silent Screen idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) and Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), a young and upcoming dancer, share a vivacious moment on stage in Michel Hazanavicius's film The Artist.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 9:18 am

Director Michel Hazanavicius met me at the Bradbury building in downtown L.A. It's the location of a key scene in his audacious new movie The Artist, which takes place just at the moment when talking pictures supersede silent films.

"It's mythic," said Hazanavicius of the era during which Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were stars.

In the scene shot here, a dashing film star reminiscent of Fairbanks bumps into his lovely young protégé on the building's remarkable staircase. He's on his way down; she's on her way up.

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The Two-Way
6:36 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

U.N. Says AIDS Epidemic Is Stabilizing

Executive Director of UNAIDS Michel Sidibé holds up a copy of the UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report 2011 as he addresses a press conference.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

In a report released today, the United Nations say the AIDS epidemic has stabilized. The number of people newly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, has remained the same since 2007.

The AP reports:

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Economy
6:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama Blames Republicans For Debt Panel's Failure

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

President Obama Monday put the blame for the supercommittee's failure squarely on congressional Republicans — and their unwillingness to consider higher taxes on the wealthy. Obama also threatened to veto any effort to escape from the automatic spending cuts agreed to in August without a balanced plan to reduce the deficit. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Scott Horsley for more.

Economy
6:17 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee Fails To Reach Debt Deal

The bipartisan supercommittee says it failed to reach a deficit-reduction deal. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

Politics
5:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Four Reasons The Supercommittee Isn't So Super

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a member of the congressional supercommittee on the deficit, fends off reporters as he arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 5:12 pm

When the bipartisan supercommittee on the federal debt was formed four months ago, there was more than a little skepticism that the 12-member group could come up with $1.2 trillion in savings and avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts.

On Monday, with the deadline fast approaching and no plan in sight, it looked like the skeptics were on the verge of being proved right.

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