4:00am

Fri December 23, 2011
Politics

House Leaders Do An About-Face On Tax Extension

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 6:39 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

It appears as if the bitter fighting in Congress is about to come to an end just in time for Christmas. Today, the House and the Senate are expected to approve an extension of the payroll tax holiday and benefits for the long-term unemployed. This required a major reversal for House Republicans who, earlier this week, voted to reject a nearly identical compromise.

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4:00am

Fri December 23, 2011
NPR Story

UPS's Hub Braced For Holiday Shippers

Thursday was the busiest day of the year for shipper UPS. Rick Howlett of member station WFPL went to the company's hub in Louisville, Kentucky, to find out what the day was like.

4:00am

Fri December 23, 2011
NPR Story

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 7:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with bad Apple.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The frenzy for Apple's phone 4S has failed to catch on in much of Europe. Given the product's high price and the region's weak economies, shoppers just haven't bitten. Apple's market share has dropped in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Though, the British never wants to fall in with the continent have fallen hard for the phone. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Chompsgiving To Chew Year's: Holiday Dishes

When Ambrosia Salad Spells Dread

Esther's ambrosia salad
Daniel E. Davis

Part of an ongoing series on unique holiday dishes

Daniel Davis, a tall, thin birch tree of a man, is willing to eat almost anything. Indeed, cooking and eating are two unadulterated pleasures in Dan's life. But he recently revealed to me, his wife, that there is one dish that, as a kid, he actually feared as Christmas drew near: ambrosia salad.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Record

Austin: The Brooklyn Of The South

A musician performs at the Bat Bar during SXSW 2011 in Austin, Texas.
Katie Hayes Luke for NPR

Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas, is one of the city's premiere live music districts. Guitar-shaped Christmas decorations hang on light poles, and the street is alive with bands and bars. Tonight you can hear ­­­­­­­­Austin Heat at the Thirsty Nickel, Mike Milligan and the Altar Boys at Maggie Mae's, or you could catch Misbehavin' at the Dizzy Rooster.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Ron Paul

Ron Paul Has Support In Iowa, But Old Issues Linger

Texas Congressman Ron Paul is anything but an establishment GOP candidate. Yet, he is at the top of the polls in Iowa, largely because his message appeals to more than just the typical Republican caucus-goer. That was made clear when he met John McCarthy and Michelle Godez-Schilling, both of whom attended a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa.

"I would like to say I'm an independent, and for the first time in my life I'm affiliated with one of the two major parties because of you," McCarthy told Paul.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Still No Job: Over A Year Without Enough Work

For Black Americans, A Longer Time Without Work

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 11:32 am

Willa Booker, 53, has been out of work for more than two years. A former medical records administrator in Chicago, Booker says she just wants someone to give her a chance.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Although the U.S. gained more than 120,000 jobs last month, the numbers of long-term unemployed barely shifted, and unemployment rates for African-Americans continued to go through the roof.

A recent NPR and Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows that although the long-term unemployed face many of the same difficulties regardless of race, there are distinct differences between blacks and whites struggling to find work.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Afghanistan

Ten Years Of Hanging On As An Afghan Potter

Abdul Wahkeel at his pottery stall in the Afghan village of Istalif. He was among the first potters to return after the fall of the Taliban.
Jim Wildman NPR

After the fall of the Taliban, Abdul Wahkeel was the first potter to return to the Afghan village of Istalif.

Istalif had been home to generations of potters who crafted teapots, dishes and pots that glow a jewel-like blue. But Wahkeel and other villagers left after the Taliban torched workshops, smashed pottery and — it was said — killed birds in their cages.

When NPR's Renee Montagne first arrived in Istalif in 2002, she heard Wahkeel's story as he was centering clay on his potter's wheel.

"It is two months now that I have returned back to my home," he told her.

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12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
Animals

Myth Busting: The Truth About Animals And Tools

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 1:28 pm

A tufted capuchin uses a stone hammer to crack open a nut in Brazil's Parnaiba Headwaters National Park.
Ben Cranke Getty Images

12:01am

Fri December 23, 2011
World

Italians Are Mostly Window Shopping This Christmas

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 10:19 pm

A woman gazes into a shop window in downtown Rome. Due to tough austerity measures, even wealthy Italians are buying less this holiday season.
Max Rossi Reuters

A tour of how Christmas shopping is going in Italy starts with Via Condotti — Rome's premier shopping street.

It features high-end stores like Prada, Gucci, Armani, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Ferragamo. But salespeople are standing idly by the door. There's a yawning emptiness in these shops.

Two streets down, the only Christmas sound is a recording of a children's chorus singing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo." But even in a toy store, well-dressed customers leave without buying.

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