7:23am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

East German Political Prisoners Made Some Of Its Products, IKEA Admits

Denis Charlet AFP/Getty Images

News outlets in German and Sweden have been reporting for the past year that some of the products made in past decades for Swedish furniture giant IKEA were produced by political prisoners in Cold War-era East Germany.

Today, IKEA conceded that the reports are true and that some of its "representatives" were aware of what was happening.

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6:46am

Fri November 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Can A Lame-Duck Congress Save The Day?

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:23 pm

The Capitol on Monday, as Congress prepared to return for its post-election lame duck session.
Alex Brandon AP

As the lame ducks waddle up to Capitol Hill for the final few weeks of this Congress, some political observers are hoping they will bring the "Spirit of 2010" with them.

Despite all the partisan bickering, the lame-duck session two years ago — bolstered by a bevy of outgoing Democrats with nothing to lose — actually got big things done, including the $850 billion stimulus and tax cut deal, a measure setting in motion the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," passage of the defense authorization bill and an arms treaty.

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6:22am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

No More Twinkies? Hostess Brands Is Shutting Down

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 7:53 am

Stock up now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Carrying through on its warning about what could happen, the management of Hostess Brands announced this morning that the company is going out of business and laying off its 18,500 employees.

At issue: According to Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn, "we simply do not have the financial resources to survive an ongoing national strike."

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5:53am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Petraeus Supports White House On Post-Benghazi Accounts, Lawmakers Say

Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 10:44 am

Sept. 11: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was aflame after coming under attack.
AFP/Getty Images
  • Dina Temple-Raston on 'Morning Edition'
(We added a new top to this post at 12:40 p.m. ET to round up the latest developments.)

The White House did not insert politics into the process of determining what could be said about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in the days immediately afterward, former CIA Director David Petraeus told Congress this morning, according to lawmakers who were inside closed briefings today.

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5:31am

Fri November 16, 2012
Business

Shortage Of Nintendo's New Wii U Expected

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

For those who want to buy Nintendo's new video game console, you may have to wait a while. The Wii U goes on sale Sunday, but many stores have already sold out pre-orders. On Amazon, you can find the new console, but for much more than Nintendo's $350 price.

To find out what's the big deal for gamers and for Nintendo is, we've called Daisuke Wakabayashi. He covers Japanese video game companies for The Wall Street Journal, and joins us from Tokyo.

Good Morning, Dai.

DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI: Good morning.

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5:29am

Fri November 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Both Sides 'Ready To Escalate' As Israel And Hamas Fire Away

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:26 am

Israeli tanks on the border with the Gaza Strip earlier today. Israeli officials have said they are prepared to mount a ground offensive.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images
  • NPR's Anthony Kuhn talks with Steve Inskeep

Even though there were talks of a ceasefire to coincide with the visit of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, today, the fighting has instead escalated.

Avital Leibovich, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that for the first time, rockets fired from Gaza hit an area outside Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the West Bank, said that the "escalation is at its peak," both in Gaza and out of Gaza.

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5:21am

Fri November 16, 2012
Around the Nation

Colorado Charity Sends Underwear To Sandy Victims

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. People trying to help victims of Hurricane Sandy have hit bottom. People sent clothes but did not think to send underwear. Apparently this is a regular problem for people in need. Enough so that a Colorado nonprofit called Underwearness exists to send underpants to the needy. They raise money with an annual race, which people run without any pants. This nonprofit is sending 2,500 pairs of kids' underwear to storm-soaked Staten Island. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

5:13am

Fri November 16, 2012
Asia

Sips And Dips: Spa Celebrates Beaujolais Noveau

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. A Japanese spa resort made quite a splash yesterday in a pool spiked with Beaujolais Nouveau, the first vintage of the season from the famous French wine region. The fresh and fruity drink was released yesterday. The spa near Mt. Fuji celebrated with wine in glasses, as well: sips and dips for spa customers. The spa also promised beautiful, smooth skin. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

3:26am

Fri November 16, 2012
Economy

Everyone 'Has To Participate' To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Listen carefully to both President Obama and Republican leaders, and you hear hints of room for compromise. They're talking of taxes and spending as a deadline approaches, December 31st, when higher taxes and spending cuts would take effect. That would reduce the federal deficit, but also damage the economy, according to forecasters.

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3:17am

Fri November 16, 2012
Business

FHA Faces Shortfall From Mortgage Losses

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with more mortgage problems.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Independent auditors released a report this morning, showing that the Federal Housing Administration is facing a shortfall from losses on the mortgages it insures. The Obama administration says it's going to take steps to prevent a taxpayer bailout.

As NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, the FHA has been struggling since the foreclosure crisis hit four years ago.

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