6:09pm

Tue November 22, 2011
Law

Government Whistle-Blowers Gain New Advocate

Carolyn Lerner is the new head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
Peter Krogh Courtesy of U.S. Office of Special Counsel

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is one of those small corners of the government with an important mission: It's supposed to help protect federal whistle-blowers and shield civil service workers from politics.

But during the Bush years, the office was engulfed in scandal. It was raided by FBI agents, and its chief was indicted for obstructing justice.

It's into that unsettled environment that the new leader, Carolyn Lerner, arrived five months ago. And good government groups say she's already taking the office in new directions.

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4:43pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Two-Way

FCC Joins Justice Department In Opposing AT&T, T-Mobile Merger

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

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants AT&T to prove that its merger with T-Mobile would be "in the public interest." Julius Genachowski sent the request for a hearing to the other three commissioners.

The move throws another roadblock in the proposed $39 billion merger. As we reported back in August, the Justice Department is already suing AT&T over the merger.

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4:30pm

Tue November 22, 2011
Around the Nation

Calling Home For The Holidays, Via Video From Iraq

Lindsey, Natalie and Paul Santana (seen via webcam), the day after Natalie's birth. "The hospital staff was so incredible to arrange for the Internet connection to make that possible," Lindsey says. She calls their Skype chat that day "such a great memory for us."
Lindsey Santana

For Lindsey Santana and her young family, video Web chats via Skype are an integral part of their lives. Her husband, Capt. Paul Santana, is a helicopter pilot serving in Iraq. And their video phone calls have helped them make the best of things during his deployment, which continues past this Thanksgiving.

The couple was also linked via video during the birth of their first child, Natalie, in West Virginia this past summer. And since then, Paul has been able to see his daughter "at least a few times a week," Lindsey tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer.

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3:53pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Two-Way

McCain Says Report Backs Comments About Immigrants Causing Wildfires

Sen. John McCain says a new report from the Government Accountability Office backs some of the controversial comments the Republican from Arizona made over the summer.

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3:07pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Salt

Revived Thanksgiving Tradition: Oyster Ice Cream

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 9:00 am

Serve this for T-Day, and you'll be in sync with history.
iStockphoto.com

Chef José Andrés grew up in Spain, but he has embraced Thanksgiving as a window into American history. That's why the guests at his Thanksgiving dinner might be starting off with oyster ice cream.

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3:05pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Salt

Eating Canned Soup Makes BPA Levels Soar

The soup aisle at a grocery store in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

If you read the ingredient list on a can of soup, you're likely to see items like carrots, wild rice, perhaps some noodles. What you won't see listed: BPA.

But a little canned soup for lunch can dramatically increase exposure to the chemical, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study confirms that canned food is a source of BPA exposure. But it does nothing to clear up the question of whether this sort of exposure to BPA has health consequences.

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3:04pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Two-Way

Second Set Of 'Climategate' Emails Hit The Web

In a repeat of 2009, a second set of stolen emails from climate scientists at major universities has been released to the public.

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2:54pm

Tue November 22, 2011
The Salt

When Thanksgiving Means Making Reservations, Not Turkey

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 3:52 pm

Restaurants appeal to "activity-rich time-poor" Americans on Thanksgiving, the National Restaurant Association says.
STEPHAN ZABEL iStockphoto.com

The moment of last-minute head counts and late-night runs to the supermarket has nearly arrived. But a small but proud segment of the population simply smiles and puts their feet up. They're having Thanksgiving dinner served to them in a restaurant.

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Alex Blumberg is a contributing editor for NPR's Planet Money. He is also a producer for the public radio program This American Life, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University. He has done radio documentaries on the U.S. Navy, people who do impersonations of their mothers and teenage Steve Forbes supporters. He won first place at the 2002 Third Coast International Audio Festival for his story "Yes, There is a Baby." His story on clinical medical ethicists won the 1999 Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI) award for best radio documentary.

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