2:33am

Wed December 12, 2012
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond

N.J. Spars Over Free Beach Access Post-Sandy

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

Superstorm Sandy caused massive beach erosion and damage to the Jersey shore. Some people say the beach restoration work, which will largely be paid for with federal tax dollars, will mostly help to protect expensive homes for the wealthy — people who have free access to the beach — while most communities would still be charging fees for public access.
Doug Mills AFP/Getty Images

At an oceanfront park in Long Branch, N.J., Tim Dillingham looks out over the beach in awe of how much the pounding waves and high waters of Hurricane Sandy have changed the Jersey shore.

Dillingham is the executive director of the American Littoral Society, a coastal conservation group. Before the storm, he says, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent years building up the beaches by pumping sand onto them.

But that shouldn't be a solution to restoring the shore, he says.

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2:32am

Wed December 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Farm Bill Becomes Fodder In 'Fiscal Cliff' Wrangling

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 am

A customer shops for nectarines at a farmers market in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Among the loose ends that lawmakers would like to tie up before the end of this lame-duck session is the farm bill, which is made up mostly of crop subsidies and food stamps.

The last farm bill expired in September. The Senate has passed a new one; the House has not. Farm-state lawmakers are urging leaders to include a farm bill as part of any budget deal to avert year-end tax increases and spending cuts.

But not everyone thinks that's a good idea.

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2:31am

Wed December 12, 2012
Shots - Health News

Democrats Draw Line On Medicaid Cuts

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 7:15 am

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks Tuesday as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill calling for no reduction in the Medicare and Medicaid budgets as part of the year-end budget talks.
Joshua Roberts Reuters /Landov

At least in public, Republicans have been clear that they see the current budget negotiations as a chance to address what they see as the source of Washington's deficit problem: major entitlement programs.

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2:05am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Salt

A Sign From Above? Needing New Roof, Monks Sell Rare Beer In U.S.

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:39 am

Beers made by Trappist monks at St. Sixtus Abbey's Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium are sought by connoisseurs. For the first time, the monks are exporting the beer overseas, including to the U.S.
Courtesy of Mark Lampert

The 12th day of the 12th month of 2012 is not a day of deliverance but of delivery for devout American fans of Westvleteren 12, brewed by the reclusive Belgian monks at St. Sixtus Abbey.

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9:03pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Sweetness And Light

NHL Lockout Leaves Fans Out In The Cold

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:44 am

Mike Bolt, keeper of the Stanley Cup, takes it off the ice on Dec. 7, 2012, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The NHL lockout enters its 88th day on Wednesday.
Darryl Dyck AP

The entertainment industry seems to give us only three things: sex, Justin Bieber and boxing.

Justin Bieber aside, don't producers know almost nobody cares anymore about boxing? But here we have Clifford Odets' period piece, Golden Boy, back on Broadway, and — achtung! — a musical of Rocky mounted in Germany.

Plus the usual same-old, same-old treatments are floating around. Eminem wants to make a boxing movie. Really. Worse, there are actual plans to have Sylvester Stallone fight Robert DeNiro in a boxing film. OMG — I am perfectly serious.

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8:34pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Asia

N. Korea Fires Long-Range Rocket

North Korea appears to have taken a step forward in its long-range missile program. The country has fired a long-range rocket in spite of warnings from the U.S. and the United Nations.

5:22pm

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Boehner Sends 'Fiscal Cliff' Counteroffer To White House

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 5:33 pm

Speaker John Boehner leaves his office Tuesday and walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Obama on the fiscal cliff.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The back and forth over the "fiscal cliff" continues: House Speaker John Boehner sent a new counterproposal to the White House on Tuesday that, according to a spokesman for the speaker, aims to "achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs."

Tuesday's offer from Boehner follows his remarks on the House floor in which he called on President Obama to identify what spending cuts the White House will accept as part of a "balanced approach" toward a deal.

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4:44pm

Tue December 11, 2012
It's All Politics

'Paris Hilton Tax' Vs. 'Death Tax': A Lesser-Known Fiscal Debate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Ben Franklin famously observed that nothing is certain but death and taxes.

So far, Congress hasn't repealed the former, but the future of estate taxes — a largely overlooked piece of the "fiscal cliff" — remains uncertain as this year draws to a close.

Until now, most of the year-end tax debate has focused on the income tax, but another battle could be brewing over estate taxes.

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4:20pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Middle East

U.S. Doctors Provide Supplies, Training To Syrians

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Dr. Mazen Kewara, an American vascular surgeon, trains Syrian doctors during a workshop in Antakya,Turkey.
Deborah Amos NPR

Syria's health care system is collapsing after 21 months of revolt. According to a new report by the World Health Organization, half of the country's public hospitals have been destroyed in the fighting.

Pharmacies are running out of medicine for even the most basic care. In rebel-controlled areas, field clinics and hospitals are overwhelmed. A group of Syrian-American doctors has stepped in to help, bringing in crucial supplies and providing training.

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4:14pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Education

Berkeley Receives $1M For Undocumented Students

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Meng So, coordinator of the University of California, Berkeley's Undocumented Student Program, says students he helps are from low-income families with no experience navigating a university such as Berkeley. So calls undocumented students "underground undergrads."
Carol Ness UC Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley is taking the DREAM Act a step further. On Tuesday, the school announced a $1 million scholarship fund specifically for undocumented students.

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