4:56pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Sports

With Two Weeks Left In Regular Season, NFL Playoff Chatter Begins

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, some football talk. Two weeks to go in the National Football League's regular season and sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now to discuss playoff permutations and other football news. Hi, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Robert.

SIEGEL: Two weeks, of course, is a long time in the NFL. What teams are playoff-bound or likely to be?

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4:51pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Asia

Japan's Economic Woes Offer Lessons To U.S.

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

Japan's economy has been struggling for two decades and faces some of the same problems the U.S. has. Here, a man in Tokyo passes an electronic board displaying falling global markets.
Yuriko Nakao Reuters/Landov

In the 1980s, Japan appeared to be a world beater — the China of its day. Japanese companies were on a tear, buying up firms in the U.S. and property around the world.

But these days, Japan is considered a cautionary tale for post-industrial economies around the world. The country is facing its fourth recession in what are commonly known as the "lost decades."

Japan's story resonates this holiday season as American politicians try to reach a debt deal.

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4:45pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Asia

Australians Urge U.S. To Look At Their Gun Laws

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

After a 1996 mass killing, Australia tightened its gun laws. Here, graffiti covers the wall of the hospital holding the suspect of the massacre that left 35 people dead.
Rick Rycroft AP

A the U.S. wages a debate on its gun laws, some Australians are urging Americans to consider their experience.

For Australia, the turning point came on April 28, 1996, when a lone gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle in Port Arthur, a popular tourist destination in the state of Tasmania.

Cathy Gordon was there that day, escorting six visiting musicians as part of her job with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. They were leaving a cafe just as the shooter, Martin Bryant, pulled out an AR-15 assault rifle.

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4:45pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Movie Interviews

Tom Hooper On The Magic Of 'Les Miserables'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 12:43 pm

Tom Hooper won an Academy Award for best director for The King's Speech last year.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

One of the world's most beloved musicals is now a movie. Les Miserables was spun from the epic 19th century novel by Victor Hugo. It's a story about the desperately poor underclass in Paris.

The protagonist, the ex-prisoner Jean Valjean, is hunted by the merciless Inspector Javert. It's about morality, revolution and, of course, love.

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4:45pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Around the Nation

An Urban Tree Farm Grows In Detroit

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

Mike Score, president of Hantz Farms, shows off a small-scare version of what Hantz Woodlands will look like.
Sarah Hulett for NPR

An entrepreneur says he's got a plan to curb urban blight in parts of Detroit. He's buying up acre after acre of abandoned lots and planting thousands of trees. But where backers of the plan see a visionary proposal, critics see a land grab.

Entrepreneur and Detroiter John Hantz, owner of Hantz Farms and the tree-planting effort called Hantz Woodlands, wants to plant at least 15,000 trees on about 140 acres. Hantz promises to clear out all the trash and keep the grass cut, things the city cannot afford to do now.

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4:43pm

Fri December 21, 2012
It's All Politics

House GOP Leaves 'Lump Of Coal' In 'Fiscal Cliff' Negotiations

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., speaks to reporters about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations at the Capitol on Friday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In 10 days, virtually all Americans will be hit with a tax increase and deep government spending cuts will follow shortly behind. That is, unless Congress and President Obama can find a way to avert the "fiscal cliff."

It's not looking very promising at the moment. On Thursday night, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pulled the plug on a measure he was calling his "Plan B" and sent his members home for Christmas.

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4:25pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Shots - Health News

Online Education Didn't Boost Colon Cancer Screening Much

Kristen Miller, a colonoscopy patient, sits with Dr. Stephen Hanauer at the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago in 2010. They're looking at an interactive computer program describing benefits and risks of the procedure.
Brian Kersey AP

Turn 50, and you can pretty much count on an invitation to join the AARP and a referral to the gastroenterologist to be screened for colon cancer.

Two-thirds or less of people ages 50-75, the target range for colorectal cancer screening, are up-to-date on testing, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

That's better than it used to be, but still isn't up to par. The national screening goal is 70.5 percent of eligible people in 2020.

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4:21pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Let It Snow: The Piano Jazz Holiday Show

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:00 am

Let it snow.
Keene and Chesire County Historical Photos via Flickr

Piano Jazz swings in the holiday season, as Marian McPartland and her guests from seasons past, present and future share favorite memories and unique musical performances of Christmas classics and original holiday tunes.

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4:18pm

Fri December 21, 2012
U.S.

For NRA, There's Nothing To Debate About Guns

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 4:33 pm

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, holds a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

The National Rifle Association won itself no new converts with its news conference Friday.

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4:00pm

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Darwin The 'IKEA Monkey' Can't Go Home For Christmas, Judge Rules

Darwin, when he was on the lam at IKEA.
ABC News

(Now, for something completely different.)

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