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Health
1:10 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Milwaukee's 'Misery Index': Infant Mortality

As Milwaukee lost industrial jobs, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed in some parts of the city.
Rick Wood Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Impoverished Third World countries often find themselves at the bottom of lists when it comes to infant mortality rates. There is a part of Milwaukee where the infant mortality rate is worse than in parts of rural China. One baby dies for every 59 that make it.

John Schmid reported on this shift in the city's health for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a part of its series "Empty Cradles."

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The Record
11:34 am
Sun December 4, 2011

From Knee-To-Knee To CD: The Evolution Of Oral Tradition In Mountain Ballads

Left to right: Melanie Rice, her son Ezra Penland and grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.
Laurin Penland

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 9:04 pm

My 5-year-old nephew, Ezra, sits between his mother and grandmother on a porch-swing covered in old quilts. An expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Madison County, N.C., spreads out before them.

The porch used to be a really important part of mountain music. Ezra's mother, Melanie, sings one of the old ballads, just like her ancestors used to do 200 years ago.

The hope is that if Ezra hears the ballads, he'll start to learn them, just as he's learned the names of the trees on his farm, says his grandmother Sheila Kay Adams.

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Religion
10:55 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Chaplains Wanted For Atheists In Foxholes

Retired Army captain and Iraqi war veteran Jason Torpy says the chaplains employed by the U.S. military can't relate to people like him. He's an atheist.

He's also the president of a group that's trying to get the armed forces to become more inclusive by hiring atheist chaplains. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers wants the military to provide for the estimated 40,000 atheists, agnostics and humanists who serve in U.S. forces.

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Middle East
10:35 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Iran Says U.S. Drone Shot Down

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 4:18 pm

Iran's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along the country's eastern border, the official IRNA news agency reported Sunday. But a U.S. defense official said there was no indication it was brought down by hostile fire.

An unidentified military official quoted in the report warned of a strong and crushing response to any violations of the country's airspace by American drone aircraft.

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Animals
7:45 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Name That Tune: Identifying Whale Songs For Science

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 11:34 am

Marine biologists are turning to citizen scientists, sitting at home in front of their computers, to help unlock the secrets of whale songs.

In Pixar's aquatic adventure Finding Nemo, Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, attempts to communicate with a whale to find the missing title character. She speaks in a loud, slow drawl to the whale, but when that fails, she says, "Maybe a different dialect."

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Economy
7:26 am
Sun December 4, 2011

How Europe's Troubles Could Become Ours, Too

Daniel Kryger, left, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. If the European Union can't agree on a plan, its debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 2:04 pm

This week, European leaders will huddle in intense meetings, trying to work out a comprehensive plan to solve crushing debt problems.

Higher stakes are hard to imagine.

If all goes well at a summit in Brussels, the political leaders will make an announcement Friday, spelling out their long-term commitment to a plan to loosen a choking tangle of debt troubles. If they can't agree on a plan, the EU debt crisis could lead to the kind of financial chaos that economists say surely would hurt the United States.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Cain Out; Political Favor Shifts Toward Gingrich

Insurgent candidate Herman Cain suspended his campaign on Saturday. As Cain has fallen back, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has emerged as the leading alternative to one-time presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney. NPR's Mara Liasson talks with host Audie Cornish about the changing political climate.

Presidential Race
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

'Life Can Be A Challenge': Cain Suspends Run

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 9:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Herman Cain delivered his views to at Atlanta crowd of disappointed supporters.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

HERMAN CAIN: With a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign.

(SOUNDBITE OF CROWD REACTION)

CORNISH: It was the last stop on the always unconventional journey for the former pizza chain CEO.

NPR's Tamara Keith has this look back at the Cain Train.

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World
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Pakistan Awaits U.S. Apology Over Deaths

Originally published on Sun December 4, 2011 9:13 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

The U.S. relationship with Pakistan is in crisis after last weekend's deadly border incident in which NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghan border. The Pakistanis have cut off a key NATO supply line to Afghanistan, and they refused to take part in an upcoming conference on Afghanistan, which begins tomorrow.

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Environment
7:00 am
Sun December 4, 2011

Tough Work Lies Ahead In Climate Talks

In Durban, South Africa, thousands of men and women poured into the streets in front of the International Conference Center, where United Nations talks about climate change are taking place. Host Audie Cornish speaks with NPR's Richard Harris, who is at the conference.

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