Tue November 29, 2011

Modern Greeks Return To Ancient System Of Barter

In Volos, optician Klita Dimitriadis accepts partial payment in Local Alternative Units, or TEMs. She then spends the TEMs at a monthly farmers market, or exchanges them for other services.
Sylvia Poggoli NPR

It's Sunday in Volos, a fishing village nestled in a large bay in central Greece, and fishermen display their daily catch, which this day includes codfish, sardines and octopus.

Prices have been slashed, but customers are few.

Fisherman Christos Xegandakis laughs bitterly. He says business is so bad, it's time to start swapping goods.

"Give me two kilos of potatoes, and I give you a kilo of fish," he says. "Why not?

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Tue November 29, 2011

Is Bankruptcy 'Business As Usual' For Airlines?

Passengers check in at an American Airlines ticketing counter at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday. American's parent company, AMR, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to cut costs and unload massive debt.
Richard W. Rodriguez AP

As American Airlines struggled to keep up with its rivals in recent years, it could at least boast something that competitors could not: The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had never gone bankrupt. Not anymore.

On Tuesday, American's parent, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing $10 billion in loses over the past decade. In a statement, it said it took the step in hopes of bringing down costs and emerging more competitive.

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Tue November 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Atlanta Man Wins Lottery For The Second Time In Three Years

Delma Kinney collecting his 2008 jackpot.
screenshot 11 Alive

They say lightning doesn't strike in the same place twice, right? It's also a popular belief that you're more likely to get hit by lightning than to win the lottery.

So, I think we're safe in saying that Delma Kinney, an Atlanta man who will turn 51 Dec. 5, has beat the odds, winning a million-dollar lottery twice in three years.

The AP reports:

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Tue November 29, 2011
Business and the Economy

December Economics in Lexington

December’s the month when Lexington officials scrutinize city revenues with a sharp pencil.   It’s marks the halfway point in the fiscal year.  Lexington Finance Commissioner Jane Driskoll says their review of revenues will help them if budget adjustments are needed in  20-12.  “We can see where we are to date and can make projections for the end of the year, so six months into it is a good touchstone and a good place to pause and determine if we need to make any changes for the rest of the year,” said Driskoll.

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Tue November 29, 2011
Middle East

Report Says Syrian Forces Have Killed 256 Children

Syrian has come under increasing international pressure in recent days. On Monday, Syrians protested in the capital Damascus against the Arab League's decision to impose sanctions. Syria has also come under sharp criticism from an independent commission that accused the security forces of systematically carrying out abuses against anti-government demonstrators.
Yin Bogu Xinhua /Landov

An independent commission has released a blistering human rights report that says Syria's security forces have carried out widespread abuses against protesters, including murder and torture.

The commission, appointed by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, based its report on interviews with more than 220 witnesses or victims of abuse by Syrian security forces. The panel says it collected a solid body of evidence and identified patterns of human rights violations.

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Tue November 29, 2011
NPR's Back Seat Book Club

Kids' Book Club Takes 'Tollbooth' To Lands Beyond

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 am

Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.

Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.

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Tue November 29, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky 25th on Forbes' Business List

Kentucky is ranked 25th nationally on Forbes’ annual Best States for Business list, up six spots from last year and 19 spots since 2008. “I have dedicated my administration to creating a pro-business climate in which economic development opportunities can flourish,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “I am pleased to see the Forbes’ Best States for Business list reflect our efforts. “Not only are we working hard to bring exciting new industries to the state, but we are also partnering with our existing business community like never before to create jobs for all Kentuckians.”


Tue November 29, 2011
State Capitol

Tree Tradition Broken in Tough Economy

In a tough economy, Kentucky will avoid even the minimal cost of hauling in an official Christmas tree, opting instead to decorate an evergreen growing on the Capitol’s front lawn. Finance Cabinet spokeswoman Cindy Landham said Monday that Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration opted not to follow the traditional route of issuing a public request for a donated tree that state workers typically load aboard a truck and haul to Frankfort. The move is drawing kudos from environmentalists, including leaders of the forest protection group Heartwood that has a strong contingent in Kentucky.


Tue November 29, 2011
NPR Story

American Airline's Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy

American Airline's parent company AMR has filed for bankruptcy protection. American will continue to operate its flights as usual. The airline will use bankruptcy to off-load some of the debt that is weighing it down.


Tue November 29, 2011
NPR Story

Gingrich Campaigns In S.C.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is campaigning this week in South Carolina, which holds its primary on January 21. Gingrich has been surging in the polls recently, though he's drawn attacks from his Republican rivals over remarks on immigration at a debate last week. But many voters in South Carolina are not bothered by Gingirch's position on immigration.