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Commentary
2:00 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Week In Politics: Jobs Bill; Spending Bill; GOP Presidential Race

Michele Norris speaks with our regular political commentators E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Senate Blocks Stopgap Bill

A federal loan program to build more fuel-efficient cars became the latest budget flash point, with House Republicans wanting to raid the fund to help pay for FEMA disaster aid. Senate Democrats refused to go along. The standoff comes in a bill that would fund the entire government beyond next week.

Planet Money
12:53 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

Germany's Painful Unemployment Fix

Marchers demonstrate against the German labor reforms, known as Hartz IV. (November 5, 2005)
Sean Gallup Getty Images

As the U.S. and much of Europe struggle to bring down unemployment rates, one country stands apart: Germany, where the unemployment rate is just 6.2 percent.

The story of how Germany got here goes back nearly a decade.

In 2002, Germany looked a lot like the United States does today: it had no economic growth, and its unemployment rate was 8.7 percent and climbing.

Gerhard Schroeder, the German chancellor at the time, made an emergency call to a trusted friend.

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NPR Story
10:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Palestinian President Asks U.N. For State Recognition

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 2:00 pm

The president of the Palestinian Authority has asked the U.N. to recognize his state. The Israelis say such a move would violate past agreements and are threatening retaliation. U.S. and European diplomats are scrambling to head off what could be a diplomatic train wreck.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Set To Debate

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 5:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

The Republican candidates for president will gather for another debate tonight, this time in Orlando, Florida. It's sponsored by Fox News and YouTube, and some of the questions will be submitted by homemade video from voters. The debate also comes as a new two-man dynamic is emerging in the race: Texas Governor Rick Perry versus former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson is in Orlando and she joins us now.

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Business
2:00 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

What's Driving The Market Plunge?

Stock markets from Tokyo to New York were down sharply Thursday. Major European indices were down 4 percent and 5 percent. In the U.S., the Dow and S&P fell more than 3 percent. Melissa Block talks with NPR's John Ydstie about what's driving the selloff.

Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Book Review: 'Apricot Jam'

Apricot Jam is a newly posthumously published collection of short pieces by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Letters: Federal Reserve; Obesity, Sexual Health

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 5:01 pm

Transcript

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

It's time now to hear your comments on yesterday's program. And first, criticism for something we did not say in our story on the history of Federal Reserve bashing.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Our story did include the voices of several Republican presidential candidates and even a song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "END THE FED")

STEVE DORE: (Singing) The Fed Reserve must cease to be. Must end the Fed Reserve...

BLOCK: But we did not include any mention of Ron Paul.

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You Must Read This
6:00 am
Thu September 22, 2011

In A Girls-Only World, A Land Of Brainy Beauty

sultana

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 6:28 pm

I first came across Sultana's Dream while doing research for a novel set in Bangladesh. I had traveled to Dhaka, the capital city, and stumbled on the Liberation War museum, where my visit coincided with an exhibition on the story.

I became fascinated by the life of its author, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, when I learned that, like me, she had been raised by a progressive Muslim family and actively encouraged to seek an education.

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Music Interviews
1:53 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Fountains Of Wayne: Transcending Time And Place

Fountains of Wayne's new album is Sky Full of Holes. Left to right: Adam Schlesinger, Jody Porter, Chris Collingwood, Brian Young.
Courtesy of the artist

Often, you only need to hear a few lines to know you're listening to a Fountains of Wayne song. "Richie and Ruben," from the new album Sky Full of Holes, introduces its title characters as the kind of hapless losers the band loves to write about: "They opened up a bar called Living Hell / Right from the start, it didn't go too well / They didn't have the vibe or quite the right clientele."

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