World
11:14 am
Wed December 21, 2011

2011 Has Been A Rough Year For Dictators

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, whose death was announced Monday, was in power for 17 years. He succeeded his father, who ruled for nearly a half-century. Kim is shown here on Aug. 24 during a visit to Russia.
Dmitry Astakhov AFP/Getty Images/Emily Bogle

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

Dictators suddenly seem to have a lot less longevity. This year, several of the world's longest-serving autocrats have either died or been ousted from power.

The death of North Korea's Kim Jong Il from heart failure had nothing to do with the Arab uprisings that ousted four leaders who had been in power for decades — Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Moammar Gadhafi of Libya, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia.

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Music Reviews
11:09 am
Wed December 21, 2011

El Rego: A Singer From Benin With Soul And Funk

El Rego, the godfather of Benin funk, and his band The Commandos.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:16 am

It may seem counter-intuitive, but the history of world music proves that unfamiliar instruments and rhythms cross borders much more readily than vocal styles. There's no question that, starting in the late '60s, soul and then funk became very popular in sub-Saharan Africa. Decades of reissues show that a lot of players found their way into electric guitar, and that enriching the big beat of the West was a cinch for African percussionists.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:02 am
Wed December 21, 2011

After 25 Years In Woman's Stomach, A Pen Still Writes

CT scan proves woman was right. She did swallow a pen 25 years ago.
Courtesy of BMJ Case Reports

Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:32 am

You might have heard about the case on Wednesday's Morning Edition.

Twenty-five years ago, a British woman who saw a spot on a tonsil tried to get a better look using a pen and a mirror. She slipped and the pen went down her throat.

Neither the woman's husband nor her doctor believed her. X-rays at the time didn't detect the pen. Now, "they are eating their words," as NPR's Linda Wertheimer put it.

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Movie Reviews
10:52 am
Wed December 21, 2011

Stirring Adventures, At Home (In A Zoo) And Abroad

Matt Damon gets up close and personal with one of his new four-legged family members in We Bought A Zoo.
Neal Preston Twentieth Century Fox

After being force-fed a steady diet of Oscar hopefuls for almost a month, I may just be ready for empty-calorie time at the cineplex. But I have to confess a sense of relief this week, as I watched entertainments that didn't seem to want to do anything other than show an audience a good time.

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Anti-Government Protests Roil Egypt
10:40 am
Wed December 21, 2011

A Foreign Correspondent Reflects On The Arab Spring

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Photographer Moises Saman captured this shot of two activists in Hama, Syria. Saman and journalist Anthony Shadid entered the city for several days last July. The rest of Saman's images can be found here.
Moises Saman The New York Times

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 11:55 am

Veteran war correspondent Anthony Shadid spent much of the past decade in Baghdad covering the Iraq war, first for The Washington Post and then for The New York Times. Last December, Shadid left Baghdad for his home in Beirut, Lebanon, where he's been based for more than a decade.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Wed December 21, 2011

Criminal Charges For English Soccer Star John Terry Over Alleged Racial Abuse

John Terry, right, and opponent Anton Ferdinand during the English Premier League on Oct. 23 in which it's alleged that Terry hurled a racial slur at Ferdinand. Terry denies doing that. He's going to face criminal charges.
Nick Potts AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 10:22 am

One of England's biggest soccer stars is going to face criminal charges for allegedly aiming a racial slur at an opponent.

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Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?
9:52 am
Wed December 21, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Jon Huntsman

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman speaks in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 1:58 pm

He is former governor of Utah and the namesake of a very rich man. His father, a Salt Lake City bazillionaire, owns a chemical company that really blossomed when it created packaging for McDonald's Big Macs. His father also served in the Nixon administration, so Jon Huntsman Jr. lived in Washington as a young boy.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:49 am
Wed December 21, 2011

Patients Want To Read Doctors' Notes, But Many Doctors Balk

Wouldn't you love to know what she's jotting down? Of course you would.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:17 am

Doctors write about their patients all the time, in notes detailing office visits and treatments. But for patients, those notes are a closed book.

Maybe the doctor has scribbled that the patient was "difficult," as Elaine discovered when she peeked at her chart in a memorable Seinfeld episode. When her dermatologist saw her snooping, he grabbed the chart out of her hands.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed December 21, 2011

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In November; Previous Years Revised Down

A "sold" sign outside a home in Pasadena, Calif., in September 2009. New data show fewer such sales that year.
David McNew Getty Images

While it says sales of existing homes rose 4 percent in November from October and were 12.2 percent above the level of November 2010, the National Association of Realtors also reported today that revisions to its data show there were about 2.9 million fewer homes sold from the start of 2007 through the end of 2010 than previously thought.

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The Salt
8:57 am
Wed December 21, 2011

South Dakota Buffalo Farmers Relish Bison Meat Boom

Shane Brown, a butcher with the Wild Idea Buffalo Company, labels packages of ground bison.
Charles Michael Ray/SDPB

2011 wasn't a banner year for the stock market, and anyone heavily invested in the Euro zone might be biting their nails right now. But if your business is buffalo, you may be looking at some very happy holidays.

The buffalo market is booming. Look no further than the buffalo ambling across the wide open South Dakota prairie munching on grass as they go. Bison raised on grass don't require corn or grains to fatten up. That's part of why they're seen by many as better for the environment.

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