1:00pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama, Congressional Leaders To Discuss Deal To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:50 pm

"The hour for immediate action is here. It is now," President Barack Obama said of a potential budget deal, after meeting with congressional leaders Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Days before a budget crisis deadline will hit the U.S. economy, President Obama says, "I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time."

The details of that agreement, which could avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect on Jan. 1, would likely come from discussions between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

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11:26am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

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11:11am

Fri December 28, 2012
World

Out Of Desperation, North Korean Women Become Breadwinners

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Women shop and trade at a market in Razon city, northeast of Pyongyang, in September. Most private trading, which is the only source of income for almost half of North Korean families, is done by women.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Imagine going to work every day and not getting paid. Then, one day, you're told there's no work to do — so you must pay the company for the privilege of not working.

This is the daily reality facing Mrs. Kim, a petite 52-year-old North Korean. Her husband's job in a state-run steel factory requires him to build roads. She can't remember the last time he received a monthly salary. When there are no roads to build, he has to pay his company around 20 times his paltry monthly salary, she says.

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10:57am

Fri December 28, 2012
Around the Nation

Is Kwanzaa Still A Thing?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:02 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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10:57am

Fri December 28, 2012
Technology

The Year In Tweets

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:02 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, are you invited to any parties for Kwanzaa, which is going on now? If the answer is yes, you're not alone. If the answer is no, you're not alone, either. We'll ask just how widely observed is this inspired-by-Africa, made-in-America celebration.

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10:57am

Fri December 28, 2012
Barbershop

Is 'Django Unchained' The 'Blackest Film Ever'?

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:08 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, all kinds of folks made their debut on Twitter this year, including His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI. We decided we wanted to talk about the best and worst of 2012 on Twitter. That's coming up later in the program.

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9:46am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

As Water Level Falls, Concerns About Mississippi River's Barge Traffic Rise

This WWII-era minesweeper once was a floating museum in St. Louis. Swept away in a 1993 flood, it has been under water in the river for most of the years since. But the ship has been exposed as the river's water level has fallen. (Photo taken on Dec. 14.)
Army Corps of Engineers

With a gauge at the tricky section of the Mississippi River near Thebes, Ill., already registering a remarkably low water level — and projections that it will fall further in coming days and weeks — trade groups are warning that barge traffic through that part of the river may have to halt completely as soon as next week.

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9:00am

Fri December 28, 2012
Top Stories

Jobless benefit rolls drop 7 percent with new rule

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — About 7 percent of Tennesseans previously receiving jobless benefits have been dropped for failing to verify that they were searching for work.

That's according to an audit by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported in the Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/VkcRbq).

New rules that went into effect on Sept. 1 require Tennesseans receiving jobless benefits to document at least three job searches a week.

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8:58am

Fri December 28, 2012
Top Stories

Austin Peay leads state in retention, graduation

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Austin Peay State University is leading Tennessee's four-year institutions in increasing student retention and graduation rates.

In recognition of its success, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended the school receive a 13 percent funding increase for the 2013-14 school year.

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8:56am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Salt

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:41 am

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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