U.S.
3:47 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

A Brutal Chapter In North Carolina's Eugenics Past

Wallace Kuralt (left), the head of the Mecklenburg County welfare program in North Carolina, speaks to the Welfare Board in 1962. The county sterilized 485 people — about three times more than any other in the state. More than 7,000 people were sterilized in North Carolina.
Courtesy Charlotte Observer

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 12:53 pm

North Carolina is trying to make amends for an ugly chapter in its history during which more than 7,000 people were sterilized — many against their will. At least half of the states had eugenics laws, but only a handful kept their forced sterilization programs active after World War II.

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Politics
3:26 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved On Payroll Tax Deal

US Representatives walk down the House steps to leave for the Christmas holiday on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.
MICHAEL REYNOLDS EPA /Landov

Conservative Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers spent weeks vowing to oppose the short-term compromise bill extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance.

But in the end, the bill glided through the House, just before Christmas.

The final moments of this latest congressional showdown were fascinating not because of what happened but because of what didn't happen.

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The Salt
3:19 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Is There Really Such A Thing As Brain Food?

People who ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which are commonly found in fish, and in vitamins C, E and B, which are often found in vegetables, were less likely to have their brains shrink, and were more likely to score higher on the memory and thinking tests, a study found.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 5:32 pm

There has long been a hope that people in search of a fountain of youth for the brain could look no further than their dinner plate.

Just last month, researchers reported that people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be protecting their brains from Alzheimer's and other brain problems.

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Music Interviews
3:00 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Cut Copy: Wine Bottles And Electronic Beats

Cut Copy
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 29, 2011 7:03 am

As 2011 winds down, Morning Edition is looking at music we missed over the past 12 months. Cut Copy has been entertaining its fans for more than a decade with electronic music that mashes together all sorts of genres, from pop to ancient tribal music. The Australian group is led by Dan Whitford, who didn't think he had a future in music growing up.

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Asia
2:59 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

In Philippine Slums, Capturing Light In A Bottle

Filipino soldiers install solar light bulbs through a roof in a shantytown in Manila, Philippines. The bulbs are actually old plastic soda bottles filled with water and bleach, and powered by the sun.
Jay Directo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:32 pm

Sheila Royeras, her husband, her mother and two young daughters live in a single-room cement apartment in a poor neighborhood in Manila, Philippines. Like many such homes, it's mostly dark during the day, except for a small ray of sunlight that enters through an open front door.

But this is about to change.

On this morning, volunteers and local government workers arrive to hang low-tech solar light bulbs from the corrugated metal roof. The bulbs are very simple, very effective and the ambitious plan is to put them in 1 million homes this year.

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It's All Politics
2:55 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Complaining About Rivals' Attack Ads, Gingrich Fires Back Off The Air

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich heads for a caffeine fix with his wife Callista at Jitters Coffee Bar as he makes a campaign stop at the Southbridge Mall in Mason City, Iowa on Dec. 28.
Charles Dharapak AP

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Wednesday renewed his pledge not to run any negative ads in the closing days of the campaign for the Iowa caucuses. But campaigning in Mason City, Gingrich said that won't stop him from personally attacking the record of his opponents.

Gingrich spoke at a mall in Mason City and afterward grabbed a skim milk café au lait from the Jitters coffee bar.

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Economy
2:54 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

From Boom To Bust: The Year In Unemployment

In April, the Brooklyn Job Fair drew thousands of participants, including nearly 80 employers. That same month saw unemployment jump to 9 percent from 8.8 percent in March.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:32 pm

It may be hard to remember, but 2011 began with a bang on the jobs front. The White House seemed ready to break out the champagne when February's job growth report came out showing unemployment at the lowest in nearly two years.

But that celebratory mood didn't last long.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Crime Keeps Falling Despite A Recession — But Why?

iStockphoto.com

We've reported that crime continues to fall in the United States. The FBI said it was down for the first six months of the year and the Justice Department said violent crime was down 12 percent in 2010.

It's a 20-year trend. One that has continued, despite a recession when people expect crime to pick up.

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Election 2012
2:46 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum emerges from a cornfield during an August campaign stop in Dyersville, Iowa, at the farm where the movie Field of Dreams was filmed.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 6:32 pm

First in a series

Visiting a metal fabrication plant in Sioux City this December, Mitt Romney touted his successful business background, saying those qualifications are what America needs right now.

"I want to use the experience I have in the world of the free enterprise system to make sure that America gets working again. ... These are tough times," said the Republican presidential candidate. "You guys have jobs. Hope your spouses do. But I know these are tough times."

But not as tough in Iowa as in many other parts of the country.

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Europe
2:18 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

In Greece, A Muted Christmas Amid Tough Times

A homeless man begs for money during the launch of Christmas celebrations in Athens' central Syntagma Square, Dec. 9. Difficult economic times have meant subdued holiday activities — and even carolers, who traditionally receive money for their songs, are feeling the pinch.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

In Greece, caroling season runs through the Orthodox Christian holiday known as the Epiphany, celebrated on Jan. 6. Traditionally, children go door-to-door, playing the triangle and singing songs of the season. In return, people give them a few euros for presents.

But this Christmas, Greek retailers say sales fell 30 percent from last year. The unemployment rate is at record levels, crime is rising and austerity is dampening everyone's spirits.

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