Business
3:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Post Office To Move Forward With Cuts

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:46 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In this country, the Postal Service is set to announce that it's moving ahead with a series of cuts and changes starting in the spring. NPR'S Allison Keyes reports.

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World
3:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Russia's Election Results A Setback For Putin

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 7:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Russia's ruling party fared worse than expected in a parliamentary election yesterday. Incomplete results show the party barely winning a majority. And that is a sharp drop in support for the United Russia Party from the last election, which is seen as a setback for Vladimir Putin, the man who has dominated Russia for more than a decade. It's his party.

To talk about the vote we've called Masha Lippman, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. She's on the line from there. Welcome back to the program.

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Afghanistan
3:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Diplomats Meet In Germany On Afghanistan's Future

A big international conference is being held in Bonn, Germany, on Monday to help draw up a roadmap for Afghanistan after combat operations there cease at the end of 2014. But Pakistan — a critical player in the Afghanistan conundrum — has said it's boycotting the conference after NATO troops killed 24 Pakistani soldiers during an attack in late November.

Latin America
3:00 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Once A Risky Bet, Latin America Tapped To Aid Eurozone

The International Monetary Fund used to bail out deadbeat nations in Latin America. Now, in a role reversal, the IMF's new director, Christine Lagarde, is seeking the region's help in containing Europe's worsening debt crisis. Officials in Brazil, now the world's seventh-biggest economy, say they're putting together an IMF loan. And Lagarde says the whole region can provide Europe with lessons on how to manage the economy.

National Security
4:15 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Cutting Retiree Benefits A Sore Subject For Military

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey take part in a news conference at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has said certain cuts in defense spending would endanger national security, invite aggression and devastate Defense Department operations.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 1:58 pm

Bean counters at the Pentagon are working long hours to figure out how to cut close to a trillion dollars from the Department of Defense budget over the next 10 years.

Those were the Pentagon's marching orders after the congressional supercommittee failed to come up with a plan to slash the country's deficit. Pentagon officials are looking at cutting weapons programs, troop levels and possibly even some base closures.

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Your Money
4:13 pm
Sun December 4, 2011

Why Buy Toys When You Can Rent?

If you've shopped at a toy store recently, you know that you can easily spend hundreds of dollars on just a few items. So why not just rent the toys instead? Weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rachel Martin tells us how toy rental websites work.

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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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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