6:00am

Sat December 3, 2011
Politics

Congress Tries, But Still Can't Save Payroll Tax Cuts

People who are lucky enough to have jobs could still see a cut in their paychecks next month unless Congress votes to extend a payroll tax cut. NPR's Scott Horlsey and Tamara Keith join host Scott Simon to talk about the status of the cut.

6:00am

Sat December 3, 2011
The Salt

Diners' Guide Rates Working Conditions Inside Restaurants

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 6:03 am

Culinary student Nadya Dunkley cooks chicken at Colors Restaurant in New York. The restaurant scored highly in a new guide that rates restaurants based on the way they treat employees.
Kathy Willens AP

Move over Zagat and Yelp. There's a new diners' guide in town, designed to help consumers choose restaurants based on what's happening behind the kitchen door. But this isn't about what's on the plate; it's a rare survey of the working conditions and employment practices of restaurants.

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5:56am

Sat December 3, 2011
Around the Nation

Decking The Halls: A White House Tradition

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:13 am

Ornaments made to honor loved ones decorate the Gold Star Families Tree.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

A group of more than 100 volunteers helped decorate the White House this year, covering the mansion in Christmas trees, cookie ornaments and several versions of the Obamas' dog, Bo. The real stars, however, were the military families who joined the celebration.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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5:41am

Sat December 3, 2011
Politics

Gingrich's Popularity: A Winning Boost?

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 6:36 pm

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has seen a recent bump in the polls. More criticism is sure to come, but Gingrich says he doesn't think attacks from other candidates will be effective.
Richard Shiro AP

Newt Gingrich is now the focus of the race to become the GOP presidential nominee — and with that comes the heat. His main opposition, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney went on the attack Friday, but Gingrich insists he'll stay positive. The big question is whether the former House speaker can sustain his surge in the polls.

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5:08am

Sat December 3, 2011
Economy

Behind Unemployment Figure, A Nuanced Outlook

NPR

The U.S. unemployment rate took a big tumble in November, from 9 percent to 8.6 percent, according to the government's monthly jobs data. Still, it's probably too soon pop the champagne corks. A combination of forces caused the big drop, some good and some bad.

Getting a big fall in the unemployment rate is always good news in the White House, but President Obama was careful not to gloat at an appearance Friday in Washington.

"This morning we learned that our economy added another 140,000 private sector jobs in November. The unemployment rate went down," he said.

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5:00am

Sat December 3, 2011
The Two-Way

Son's Funny And Loving Obituary About Dad Charms Readers

"Robert Spiegel's passion for Russian literature, the New York Mets, ethnic cooking and beagles endeared him to generations of students and colleagues at Central Connecticut State University," The Associated Press says. "Now, through the power of social media, the 77-year-old former English professor's obituary is charming strangers, as well."

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4:03am

Sat December 3, 2011
Ron Paul

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 1:42 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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3:00am

Sat December 3, 2011
Europe

Turks Enjoy A Little Schadenfreude At EU's Expense

A woman walks up the stairs of Galata Bridge in Istanbul. With the financial crisis in the eurozone, Turks are rethinking their years-long bid to be a part of the European Union.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

As he prepares for the midday rush, Mustafa Baljan puts the finishing touches on the kebabs, salads and stews that make up many a working Turk's lunch. As the steam carries the scent of lamb and garlic into the street, the 37-year-old restaurant owner considers a popular question: With European economies on the ropes, should Turkey still be seeking to join the European Union?

"Are you kidding? Of course I don't want to join," Baljan says. "Countries are going bankrupt. Why would we want to join a union like that?"

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12:43am

Sat December 3, 2011
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Danny Burstein, Michio Kaku

Originally published on Sat December 3, 2011 12:59 pm

Michio Kaku is an author and the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York. His books include Hyperspace, Visions and Beyond Einstein.
Andrea Brizzi Doubleday

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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4:14pm

Fri December 2, 2011
The Two-Way

Justice Withdraws Inaccurate 'Fast And Furious' Letter It Sent To Congress

Under fire for losing track of weapons that turned up at crime scenes along the Southwest border, the Justice Department has taken the extraordinary step of formally withdrawing an inaccurate letter about the episode that it sent to Congress earlier this year.

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