3:21pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

AT&T Drops Bid To Purchase T-Mobile USA

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:27 pm

This June 2, 2010, file photo shows the AT&T logo in Washington, D.C.
Etienne Franchi AFP/Getty Images

After the federal regulators raised questions about AT&T's bid to buy T-Mobile USA, the telecommunications company said it was scrapping its $39 billion bid. The merger would have made AT&T the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

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2:53pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Economy

Some Jobless Saved By The Salvation Army Bell

Lynn Smith has been ringing a Salvation Army bell since Thanksgiving outside a grocery store in Ventura, Calif. A former travel agent, she works 8 hours a day for minimum wage.
Glorida Hillard For NPR

The Salvation Army bell ringers and their iconic red kettles have been a familiar sight during the holidays for more than 120 years. Although in the past bell ringers were primarily volunteers, for many behind the kettle today, the temporary job has become a life saver.

For first-time bell ringers Lynn and Rusty Smith, it's helping keep them afloat during tough economic times. They work 8 hours a day ringing a Salvation Army bell for minimum wage.

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2:34pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Three Books...

Hell-Raising Heroines: Three Ladies With Spitfire

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:19 pm

James FL USA via flickr

In this age of bland romantic comedy leads, when the feminine ideal seems to mix two parts sweetly smiling Jennifer Aniston with three parts saucer-eyed Rapunzel, nothing can bring more satisfaction than the antiheroine.

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2:16pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Newt Gingrich

To Win Over Iowans, Gingrich Aims At Judges

In the final leg of the campaign in Iowa, the Republican presidential candidates are talking about judges. No one has made them a bigger issue than Newt Gingrich.

Overhauling the judiciary has become one of his key proposals on the stump.

Conservatives have used "activist judges" as a battle cry for many election cycles now. But in Iowa, the issue has special resonance since the judiciary became a potent political issue two years ago.

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2:12pm

Mon December 19, 2011
North Korea In Transition

North Korea's Likely Leader: Young And Untested

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:10 pm

Kim Jong Un, who is expected to become North Korea's next leader, claps after inspecting the construction site of a power station. This undated photo was released by the Korean Central News Agency on Nov. 4, 2010.
AP

North Korea has yet to formally name its new leader, and it may take a while before it does. But there's a clear favorite. Kim Jong Un was anointed back in 2009 to succeed his father, Kim Jong Il, the country's longtime leader, whose death was announced on Monday.

If Kim does follow his father and grandfather as ruler of the secretive nation, he will face huge challenges. He's not yet 30 years old, and yet would be running a society that inherently favors leaders seen as experienced and wise, rather than young and untested.

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1:23pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Salt

To Party Like A Rock Star, They Suggest Buying Their Booze

Originally published on Thu January 5, 2012 3:40 pm

At the national release of "AC/DC The Wine" in Melbourne, varieties included Back in Black Shiraz, Highway to Hell Cabernet Sauvignon and You Shook Me All Night Long Moscato.
William West AFP/Getty Images

The year 2011, it seems, was a good one for celebrity booze. The famous fellows who launched their own labels this year weren't your run-of-the-mill rappers touting trendy liquors or champagnes, though. (I'm looking at you, Diddy.) Instead, several aging rockers, a professional athlete, and an actor decided the time had come to hawk wine, spirits or beer.

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1:10pm

Mon December 19, 2011
North Korea In Transition

U.S. Treads Cautiously With North Korean Transition

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 6:19 pm

North Korean residents line up to receive food rations at a Red Cross distribution center in Tongsin, North Korea, in 1997. Discussions over U.S. food aid to the reclusive country were to take place Monday. "You could, in a very real sense, see the needs for food assistance," said an official with Mercy Corps, after a September 2011 visit to the country.
Lasse Norgaard AP

The changing of the guard in North Korea poses clear risks for the United States.

Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong Un is the likely successor. But he's still in his 20s and has had little time to prepare to take over the country. Analysts say that because he's weak, he won't be in any position to get back to nuclear disarmament talks and make concessions.

Kim Jong Un may also be tempted to take provocative actions to establish his leadership credentials, and the Obama administration has to take all this into account as it decides on next steps.

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1:05pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Generic Lipitor Now At Stores Near You

It's here. The cholesterol-fighter Liptor, the biggest hit in the history of the pharmaceutical industry, is now widely available in generic form.

The Pfizer drug finally lost its U.S. patent protection at the end of November, opening the door for cheaper substitutes (atorvastatin, generically) and ending the monopoly for one of the most profitable brand-name products of any kind.

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1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
Technology

'Wired' Editor Discusses 2011's Best Apps

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel, and it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

Letters: Christopher Hitchens; Homemade Marshmallows

Lynn Neary and Robert Siegel read emails from listeners.

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