Business
11:02 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Investors Endure Another Disappointing Year

For Americans saving for retirement, 2011 was another lackluster year, filled with lots of risks but few rewards.

Savers who tried to avoid risks by putting money into federally insured savings accounts earned almost no interest. The money just sat there, even as inflation ate away at its value, with consumer prices rising nearly 3.5 percent this year.

And for those who invested in a broad array of U.S. stocks, the results were — at best — mixed.

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Election 2012
11:01 am
Tue December 20, 2011

In Iowa, The Final GOP Ground Game Takes Shape

A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry passes out stickers on Dec. 16 in Cherokee, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:11 am

Two weeks from Tuesday, Iowa voters will head out to almost 1,800 caucus sites to help select a Republican presidential nominee. It could be cold. It could also be snowing. And the campaigns know they'll have to work hard to make sure their supporters show up. Those get-out-the-vote efforts could make all the difference in a race that now appears to be up for grabs.

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The Salt
10:51 am
Tue December 20, 2011

With Hanukkah Microbrews, A Taste of Jewish History

An early predecessor to the Hanukkah brews of today, Russian Jew Max Lapides stands with his sons in front of the Bauernschmidt Brewery Saloon in Baltimore, circa 1900.
Gift of Rose Sacks. Courtesy of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, 1988.227.1

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 11:32 am

During the holidays, many beer manufacturers roll out seasonal brews. But there's a relative newcomer for the festival of lights: Hanukkah beer.

Lompoc Brewing, in Portland, Ore., is one small, craft brewery that has added it to its winter lineup.

"We had a Jewish gentleman here ... and he wanted to make a Hanukkah brew," says David Fleming, the head brewer. "So we thought it was a great idea. We already had six Christmas beers going anyhow, so why couldn't we have a seventh one for Hanukkah?"

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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Cool Video: Massive Cloud 'Waves' Roll Over Alabama

Huge clouds roll over Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 16, 2011.
ABC 33/40

Originally published on Tue February 7, 2012 4:28 pm

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It's All Politics
8:59 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Flagging In Polls, Gingrich Urges Voters To Reject Negative Campaigning

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich makes remarks at a town hall meeting at Level 10 Apparel's screen-printing warehouse, in Hiawatha, Iowa, Dec. 19.
MIKE THEILER UPI /Landov

New polls — both in Iowa and nationwide — show front-running GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich losing his edge. Over at the New York Times' blog FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver's latest forecast shows Ron Paul taking the lead in Iowa.

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The Two-Way
8:55 am
Tue December 20, 2011

VIDEOS: Lights Go Out At Candlestick During 'Monday Night Football'

Most of the lights were out, but between camera flashes and emergency back-ups it wasn't pitch black when there were two power failures Monday night at San Francisco's Candlestick Park.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

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Shots - Health Blog
8:52 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Hospitals That Serve The Poor Struggle With Readmissions

Hospitals across the country are trying to clamp down on frequent readmissions in anticipation of new penalties Medicare is readying. But it's a bigger problem at hospitals that treat lots of low-income patients.

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The Salt
8:49 am
Tue December 20, 2011

11 Food Gifts We'd Like To See On The Doorstep

Artichokes for Christmas? For some veggie lovers, a box from Pezzini Farms may be the perfect gift.
Ethan Taniguchi for Pezzini Farms

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 9:26 am

When it comes to a gift that embodies the warmth and sharing of the holidays, food wins every time. This week, millions of boxes of treats are jetting across the country, spreading cheer and calories. We asked the denizens of NPR's science desk what food they're hoping to find on their doorsteps this week. Here are their picks, from traditional to outré.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Top Stories: Blizzard, North Korea, Payroll Tax Dispute

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 8:25 am

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Home Construction Rose In November; 2011 Still A Weak Year

There was a 9.3 percent rise in "housing starts" last month vs. October, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.

"Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 447,000," the agencies say. "This is 2.3 percent above the revised October figure of 437,000." The really big increase was in construction of buildings with five or more living units. Starts in that category were up 32.2 percent.

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