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.

1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

Kim's Death Met With Joy, Concern In Koreatown

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 4:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Many Koreans who live in the United States are following the situation in North Korea closely. Southern California is home to a huge Korean community.

And as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, news of Kim Jong Il's death has been greeted there with shock and anxiety.

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1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

Attention Turns To Apparent Successor To Kim

With the death of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Il, attention has turned to the successor he named before he died. Little is known about his third son, Kim Jong Un. Robert Siegel talks with an author who goes by the penname James Church. Church has written a series of fiction books set in North Korea, and he is a former western intelligence officer who has been to North Korea many times.

1:00pm

Mon December 19, 2011
NPR Story

After Kim's Death, Anxiety Among Neighbors

As North Korea mourns the death of its leader Kim Jong Il, both South Korea and China have reacted to the risk of instability on their borders. The South Korean military has been placed on alert, and there are reports that the Chinese have closed their border with North Korea. Robert Siegel talks to NPR's Louisa Lim, who is watching events from the South Korean capital, Seoul.

12:55pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Scientists Pinpoint Source Of Stonehenge's Inner Stones

The sun rises behind Stonehenge as revellers celebrate the pagan festival of 'Summer Solstice' in 2010.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

It took scientists nine months, but they are now sure the inner stones of Stonehenge came from Pembrokeshire, Wales, about 160 miles from the Stonehenge site.

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12:25pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Don't Panic, It Wasn't Lil' Kim

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:28 pm

In case anyone's confused. Kim Jong Il is at left. And Lil' Kim is still with us.
Korean Central News Agency / Ian Gavan AFP/Getty Images

Just the headline of this Buzz Feed post made us laugh.

"25 People Who Thought Lil Kim Died."

It's funny either way:

-- If some folks were confused by the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

-- Or if they were just making mischief.

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12:01pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: So Far, 2011 Safest Year On Record For Air Travel

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:03 pm

An airplane takes off.
iStockphoto.com

2011 is shaping up to be the safest on record for airline travel, according to analysis of United Nations data by a trade group.

The International Air Transport Association reports that January to November of 2011 are the safest months on record since the U.N. started keeping data in 1945. The 11-month period has also seen a 22 percent improvement in safety from last year.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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