3:00pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Presidential Race

GOP Presidential Hopefuls To Debate In Iowa

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 6:10 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

And I'm Lynn Neary.

The Republican candidates gather for yet another debate tonight. This one is in Sioux City, Iowa. It's the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. And it comes as Mitt Romney and other candidates try to stop the surge of Newt Gingrich. Romney and his allies have been launching a furious assault on the former House speaker.

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3:00pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Remembrances

Founder Of Shakespeare & Co Bookstore In Paris Dies

The founder of a venerable literary institution in Paris has died at 98. George Whitman founded the Shakespeare & Co bookstore, across from the Notre Dame cathedral. The shop was a magnet for English speakers in the French capital.

2:58pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Commonwealth

Cabinet Maker Closes Perry County Plant

Major Perry County employer American Woodmark plans to close its plant, which produces parts for kitchen and bathroom cabinets, next spring. It's part of a series of moves the company, based in Winchester, Va., is making, including closing a plant in West Virginia, to combat a downturn stemming from the economy's struggles. The plant in Chavies employs 156 and was established in 2002.

2:37pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

Google's Brin Says Piracy Bills Puts U.S. Censorship On Par With China

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 2:46 pm

Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Google's co-founder Sergey Brin unleashed perhaps the most stinging criticism of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act that is working its way through Congress.

In a Google+ post, Brin said if the U.S. passed either SOPA, the House version of the bill, or the Protect IP Act, the Senate version, it would put the country in same league as China and Iran as far as Internet censorship is concerned. Brin said the bills were a "threat to free speech."

Brin writes:

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2:12pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan Shakes Up Politics More Than Policy

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, (left) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, present their plan for changing Medicare at the U.S. Capitol Thursday.
Tom Williams Roll Call/Getty Images

There's not much that's new in the Medicare proposal just unveiled by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)

So why is it getting so much attention? One word. No, not plastics. Politics!

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1:50pm

Thu December 15, 2011
5 Things...

5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann speaks at The Gift of Life movie premiere in Des Moines on Wednesday night.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

She was born Michele Amble. Her parents divorced when she was young. She studied political science and literature in college and was a student volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

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1:48pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Europe

Thousands Protest Alleged Election Fraud In Russia

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:56 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Tens of thousands of people have demonstrated in cities across Russia today to protest alleged vote-rigging in recent parliamentary elections. Protests reportedly took place in more than 50 cities, but the largest by far was in Moscow. Reporter Peter van Dyk is in Moscow and joins us. Peter, thanks so much for being with us.

PETER VAN DYK, BYLINE: Thank you.

SIMON: You were in the crowds. What were they like?

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1:30pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

A New Reason To Beat Your Own Chest: 'Drum Machine Shirt'

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 1:36 pm

Think Geek

12:52pm

Thu December 15, 2011
The Two-Way

During Call-In Show, Vladimir Putin Dimisses Russian Protesters

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual phone-in session with Russians in Moscow.
Alexei Nikolsky AFP/Getty Images

During a call-in show, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the massive protests against his 12-year rule were paid for by his opposition and supported by the West.

The AP reports:

"'The results of this election undoubtedly reflect the real balance of power in the country," Putin said on a marathon TV show that lasted 4 1/2 hours. "It's very good that United Russia has preserved its leading position.'

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12:48pm

Thu December 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Once Routine, Autopsies Now Scarce At U.S. Hospitals

Unlike the medical examiner's office in New Mexico, which routinely autopsies sudden or violent deaths, most U.S. hospitals perform postmortem examinations only rarely.
John W. Poole NPR

When a loved one dies unexpectedly in the hospital, getting answers to how and why isn't as easy as it was 50 years ago.

Back then, doctors would often order a clinical autopsy. But an investigation published today by ProPublica shows that hospital autopsies have become a rarity:

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