12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Asia

Not-So-Happy New Year: Rail Website Woes In China

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 10:33 pm

People line up to buy train tickets at Changsha Railway Station in Changsha, in southern China's Hunan province on Dec. 28, 2011. Million of Chinese are expected to cramp onto China's train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese lunar new year that starts on Jan. 23, 2012.
AP

During China's Lunar New Year holiday, more than 200 million people will travel home. It's the world's largest annual migration, and every year, Chinese tell horror stories about trying to get train tickets.

This season, the holiday falls on Monday, and it was supposed to be different: For the first time, China's rail ministry created a website to reserve seats. But things didn't work out as planned.

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12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Dissolvable Tobacco Products Draw FDA Scrutiny

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a gathered a group of scientists and other experts to study flavored melt-in-your-mouth tobacco products.

The panel, meeting this week, will hear from two camps of stop-smoking advocates: those who worry that dissolvables are a gateway to smoking and others who say they help people kick the habit.

Gregory Conley, a 24-year-old law student at Rutgers University, pops a dissolvable during class or while he's studying.

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12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Planet Money

Katy Perry's Perfect Game

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 3:55 pm

Felipe Dana AP

If you listen to commercial radio, this is not news: Katy Perry had a huge year. She went No.1 five times. She was the most played artist on the radio. But the record industry is so weird, it's hard to know whether this kind of success translates into huge amounts of money.

So we asked.

I walked over to Katy Perry's record label. She's on Capital, which is under EMI. I met Greg Thompson, executive vice president of marketing and promotion at EMI.

"Did you guys end up in the black?" I asked.

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12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Your Money

How Property Taxes Climb, Even If Home Value Drops

Shaker Heights in Cleveland has some of the highest property tax rates in the state (roughly $3,700 per $100,000 of assessed home value).
Brian Bull WCPN

Millions of homeowners are finding out that their property taxes are either holding steady or climbing, even as their house may be worth much less. There may not be much they can do about it.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's fiscal officer, Wade Steen, has been taking many calls from unhappy homeowners. He says they most often live in a community where voters passed a recent levy. That's a property tax measure that boosts funding for things such as schools and libraries.

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12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Africa

For Moroccan Activists, The King's Reforms Fall Short

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 8:42 am

Morocco's King Mohammed VI introduced reforms after protests began last February. But activists say the measures didn't go far enough and they are still taking to the streets. Here, the king is shown in his palace in Rabat on June 17.
Azzouz Boukallouch AP

When a pro-democracy movement took to the streets of Morocco last February, King Mohammed VI, who has been on the throne for more than decade, responded swiftly.

Within weeks, the king had proposed a new constitution and snap elections. The Moroccan example of reforms without violence was hailed by some as a model.

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12:01am

Fri January 20, 2012
Monkey See

Stephen Colbert Wants You To Know: That's Definitely Not His SuperPAC

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Comedian Stephen Colbert appears before the Federal Election Commision in Washington, June 30, 2011. The FEC granted Colbert's request to form a political action committee.
Cliff Owen AP

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert is running for president. He's parodying the process — including, now, superPACS — in the same way he has parodied cable news. He's getting plenty of attention, but to really look into his political practical joke, I needed to go upstairs and find Peter Overby, NPR's man on campaign finance. I warned him it would seem like a dumb question, but I needed his help. What, exactly, is a superPAC?

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11:57pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Coriolanus': A People's Hero Turns On His Own

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:16 pm

Bare-Knuckle Politics: The battle-hardened Roman general Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes) runs for office at the urging of his mother (Vanessa Redgrave) — but it turns out he's no booster of majority rule.
Larry D. Horricks The Weinstein Co.

Ralph Fiennes showed up for a frenzied cameo near the end of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, and her hand-held, adrenaline-charged approach clearly inspired his film of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, which he both acts and directs the bloody hell out of.

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10:00pm

Thu January 19, 2012
StoryCorps

Using A New Voice To Enjoy Life After Cancer

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 12:01 am

Rene Foreman visited StoryCorps in Los Angeles with her daughter Michelle.
StoryCorps

In 1999, Rene Foreman was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She underwent surgery that saved her life; it also took her voice box. To speak, Rene now uses an electrolarynx — a small device that she holds against her throat to produce her voice, electronically.

Discussing how having a synthesized voice has changed her life, Rene, 70, told her daughter Michelle that the electrolarynx helps her to enjoy each day, even if it also makes her stand out in some ways.

Of those times, Michelle asks, "How do you feel when people turn around and look at you?"

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8:00pm

Thu January 19, 2012
The Record

Megaupload Shut Down By The FBI

Originally published on Fri January 20, 2012 4:37 pm

Courtesy of Megaupload.

Click the link above to listen to Laura Sydell's conversation with Morning Edition's David Greene about the Megaupload indictment and the attack on the Department of Justice's website by the group Anonymous.

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6:26pm

Thu January 19, 2012
Opinion

For Two City Slickers, Survival Of The Savviest

A wagon makes its way across the country.
istockphoto.com

Rhoda Janzen is the author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

Recently my friend Peggy and I decided to make a jaunt from my house in Southwestern Michigan, across the state to Detroit. We took her car. At day's end we pulled into my remote driveway on Lake Allegan. It was then I realized that didn't have my keys. They were in fact, hanging in the little key box in my laundry room.

Oh no.

I had no way of getting into my home.

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