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3:17pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Energy

A Debate Over Who Regulates Gas 'Fracking' in Pa.

A drilling rig looms behind a barn in Tioga County, Pennsylvania.
Scott Detrow StateImpact Pennsylvania

A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities' ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — or "fracking." And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.

State lawmakers are grappling with how to update Commonwealth's decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.

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3:13pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Survey: Americans Will Forfeit $34 Billion Worth Of Vacation Days In 2011

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 3:28 pm

A traditional arabic Dhow sails in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

For the past few years, the travel site Expedia has conducted a survey about the world's vacation habits and like in years past, this year's survey found that the United States is one of the countries that gives its workers fewer vacation days and one of the countries in which workers leave the most number of vacation days unused.

CNN Money reports:

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3:01pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Opinion

A Father's Promise, Reinvented And Renewed

istockphoto.com

Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and an NPR commentator.

When I was five, my father made a promise he never intended to keep. He had returned from a long trip, with presents. I got a fossilized shark tooth, and spent the next month asking about fossils.

At some point, my father made the mistake of describing a massive fossil bed somewhere in Germany. I begged him to take me. There were good reasons that could never happen. Dad knew nothing about fossils; Germany was far away; I was five. But I would not be deterred.

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2:41pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Economy

Stocks Soar, But How Strong Is The Economy?

The U.S. economy is experiencing its strongest across-the-board growth of the year, as private companies hire more people, some manufacturers expand and the stock market surges on a plan to ease Europe's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 490 points Wednesday, an increase of more than 4 percent.

But analysts say the economy isn't growing robustly enough to lower unemployment, stem government layoffs or revive a housing market that remains extremely weak.

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1:40pm

Wed November 30, 2011
It's All Politics

In South Carolina, A Resurgent Gingrich Attracts Jubilant Crowds

House Speaker Newt Gingrich talks with Rep. John Kasich of Ohio while President Bill Clinton signs the Balanced Budget Agreement on the South Lawn of the White House in 1997.
PAUL J. RICHARDS AFP/Getty Images

Newt Gingrich traveled across South Carolina this week appearing at a number of town-hall-style meetings where he talked to voters and answered questions — mostly the same questions at every stop. He talked about the improving the economy, creating a new immigration policy, repealing President Obama's health care reform plan and transforming Washington.

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1:38pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

80-Year-Old Says He Accidentally Left His Life Savings In Donated Suit

A Goodwill store.
screenshot WQAD

This is a pretty heartbreaking story: An 80-year-old man donated a suit to a Goodwill store in western Illinois. The problem is that he didn't realize until it was too late that his $13,000 life savings were in the suit's pocket.

The AP reports:

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1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut in Scranton, Pa.

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 4:49 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

President Obama took his call for payroll tax relief to Scranton, Pennsylvania today. It was his ninth visit to the state this year, underscoring the role that Pennsylvania will play in the 2012 election. The president told a crowd at Scranton High School that extending the payroll tax cut should trump partisan politics.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Send your senators a message. Tell them - don't be a Grinch.

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1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Occupy Chicago: A 'Dry Run' For Upcoming Events

In Chicago, city officials and demonstrators say the recent Occupy Chicago protests are a sort of dry run for next year's simultaneous NATO and G-8 summit meetings.

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
NPR Story

Letters: Berea College; Ruth Stone; 'Moves Like Jagger'

Melissa Block and Guy Raz read emails from listeners about a report on Kentucky's Berea College, about Melissa's remembrance of Vermont poet Ruth Stone, and about the other person responsible for that mega-hit earworm "Moves Like Jagger."

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Economy

Central Banks Act To Avert Banking Crisis

The major central banks of the world moved Wednesday to prevent a banking crisis in Europe. They're providing more liquidity to the European banking system in hopes that big banks there will remain solvent and continue to make loans. The coordinated move by the central banks sent stock markets soaring. But it will not even begin to fix Europe's fundamental economic problems.

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Remembrances

Comedian Patrice O'Neal Dies At 41

Guy Raz remembers Patrice O'Neal — a stand-up comedian who took on controversial topics like race, AIDS and his own struggle with diabetes. O'Neal died on Tuesday. He was 41 and lived in New Jersey.

1:00pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Strange News

A Look At Famous To-Do Lists

Even the most famous among us need to make a memo for the mundane. Melissa Block and Guy Raz tell us what a few American icons — from JFK to Johnny Cash — once had on their to-do lists.

12:55pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Health Law's Popularity Rises ... Ever So Slightly

Can you say blip?

Apparently that's what last month's all-time low popularity numbers were for President Obama's health overhaul law, according to this month's tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Overall, the federal Affordable Care Act still remains slightly more unpopular (44 percent) than popular (37 percent), but that's down from last month's 51-34 split.

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12:41pm

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Security Expert Finds Secret Software On Phones Logs Nearly Everything

A screenshot showing CarrierIQ in action.
screenshot YouTube

That headline is pretty spectacular, but the software researcher Trevor Eckhart found in his HTC Android phone does just that. Eckhart posted a video on YouTube on Monday showing how the software works:

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11:32am

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Despite Warnings From Inspector, One Iowa Town Still Battles Toxic Air

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:35 am

The Grain Processing Corp. plant in Muscatine, Iowa.
Chris Hamby Center for Public Integrity

11:13am

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Prosecutors Say John Hinckley Is Still A Threat

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 11:15 am

The Justice Department says the man who shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan in 1981 still poses a threat to public safety.

Prosecutors are fighting an effort by John Hinckley to win more freedom from a mental hospital where he's been confined for decades.

During a hearing in Washington, the prosecutors said the government has been watching Hinckley.

Secret Service agents followed Hinckley last summer, when he said he was going to the movies during visits to his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va.

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10:47am

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

First 'Penn State Scandal' Civil Suit Filed

The first civil lawsuit brought by an alleged victim of Jerry Sandusky is from a man who says he was sexually abused as a young boy more than 100 times by the former Penn State assistant football coach.

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10:38am

Wed November 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Deputies, Movers Refuse To Evict 103-Year-Old Georgia Woman

Originally published on Wed November 30, 2011 10:39 am

Vita Lee, 103, lives in northwest Atlanta.
screenshot WSBTV

Vita Lee has lived in her Northwest Atlanta home for 53 years. But after a second mortgage was taken out on her home, she faced foreclosure and police planned to evict her yesterday.

But as Atlanta's WSB-TV reports, once Fulton County sheriff's deputies and the movers looked at the 103-year-old Lee, they declined to move forward with the eviction.

WSBTV reports:

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10:13am

Wed November 30, 2011
Digital Life

Interpreting The Constitution In The Digital Era

GPS monitors can track your every movement. Brain scans can now see lies forming in your brain. And advancements in genetic engineering may soon allow parents to engineer what their children will look and be like.

These new technologies are "challenging our Constitutional categories in really dramatic ways," says George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen. "And what's so striking is that none of the existing amendments give clear answers to the most basic questions we're having today."

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10:05am

Wed November 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

HIV Treatment Lags In U.S., Guaranteeing More Infections

The latest numbers from CDC show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective antiviral treatment; effective treatment rates are lowest among African-American men.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

The United States is doing a pretty miserable job of treating people with HIV.

The latest numbers show that only 28 percent of the nation's 1.2 million HIV-infected people are getting effective treatment — that is, antiviral medications to keep the virus in check.

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