Latin America
3:37 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

In Venezuela, An Abduction Highlights A Scourge

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, seen here at a news conference on Saturday, has much to smile about: He was rescued just two days after he was kidnapped. Not all Venezuelans are that lucky. The government's own statistics show that 895 kidnappings were reported last year.
Leo Ramirez AFP/Getty Images

Wilson Ramos came home to a hero's welcome in Valencia, Venezuela, to neighbors celebrating his rescue by commandoes just two days after the Washington Nationals catcher was abducted.

His mother wrapped her arms around him, crying, "How good God is."

It ended happily for Ramos, who was in the country to play in the Venezuelan winter league. But it's not uncommon for hostages to die in Venezuela, and the usual path to freedom involves paying a big ransom.

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Politics
12:06 pm
Sun November 13, 2011

Supercommittee Debt Deal Appears Elusive

The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on Sunday called deliberations a "roller-coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.

Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."

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Marilyn Geewax is a senior editor, assigning and editing business radio stories. She also serves as the national economics correspondent for the NPR web site, and regularly discusses economic issues on Tell Me More and Here & Now.

Her work contributed to NPR's 2011 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news for "The Foreclosure Nightmare." Geewax also worked on the foreclosure-crisis coverage that was recognized with a 2009 Heywood Broun Award.

The News Tip On Weekend Edition Sunday
8:01 am
Sun November 13, 2011

The News Tip: Saying It's Over Doesn't Make It So

Two weeks ago, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain found himself fending off reports of sexual harassment published in the Washington political newspaper Politico.

"As far as we're concerned ... enough said about the issue. There's nothing else there to dig up," he said.

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Economy
7:51 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Gen X Takes The Housing Hit; Boomers Only Grazed

Prices are about a third lower than they were in 2006, and they are continuing to drop in most cities. The National Association of Realtors says that this summer, prices fell nearly 5 percent compared with last year.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 10:11 am

At this time five years ago, the white-hot U.S. housing market was starting to cool. Before long, it would slip into a deep freeze.

The thaw still hasn't come. The latest statistics show residential real estate prices are continuing to drop — a trend that could have a long-lasting impact on the net wealth of younger homeowners who bought property during the housing bubble.

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Politics
7:33 am
Sun November 13, 2011

GOP Candidates Unite Against Obama's Foreign Policy

Republican presidential hopefuls participate in the South Carolina presidential debate at Wofford College on Saturday. It was the first debate of the season focused on foreign policy.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama's handling of Iran, Afghanistan and the Arab Spring during a debate Saturday night in South Carolina. It was the first of this year's debates in which foreign policy was the dominant topic.

Although the candidates aimed most of their firepower at the sitting president, the forum did expose some fault lines within the Republican ranks.

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Sylvia Poggioli is senior European correspondent for NPR's international desk covering political, economic, and cultural news in Italy, the Vatican, Western Europe and the Balkans. Poggioli's on-air reporting and analysis have encompassed the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the turbulent civil war in the former Yugoslavia and how immigration has transformed European societies.

Since joining NPR's foreign desk in 1982, Poggioli has traveled extensively for reporting assignments. Most recently, she travelled to Norway to cover the aftermath of the brutal attacks by an ultra-rightwing extremist; to Greece, Spain, and Portugal for the latest on the euro-zone crisis; and the Balkans where the last wanted war criminals have been arrested.

Research News
7:00 am
Sun November 13, 2011

'Copiale Cipher': Mysterious Code Broken At Last

Until now, a 250-year-old encoded text titled the Copiale Cipher baffled cryptographers and historians with bizarre symbols and seemingly random letters. Computer scientist Kevin Knight and two Swedish researchers have broken the code to the 105-page manuscript, and NPR's Daniel Hajek reports on what the Cipher revealed.

Around the Nation
7:00 am
Sun November 13, 2011

18-Year-Old Wins Father's Mayoral Seat

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: A political dynasty is emerging in Northern Iowa. This past week, Jeremy Minnier was elected mayor of Aredale, Iowa, like his father before him. Jeremy says his dad was happy but nervous about his Election Day victory.

MAYOR JEREMY MINNIER: He was supportive of it. He didn't know that. He said, I think you are taking something under your hands that you're not going to be able to handle, because he knew what it was like.

CORNISH: He thinks his dad and others are getting too caught up on a number. Jeremy Minnier is just 18 years old.

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Sports
7:00 am
Sun November 13, 2011

Penn State Suffers Defeat On Top Of Scandal

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. It's been a difficult and emotional week at Pennsylvania State University. The scandal involving child sexual abuse allegations and a potential cover-up is entering its second week. And yesterday, the school's football team played its game without long-time coach Joe Paterno, and lost to Nebraska. NPR's Jeff Brady was there.

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