7:58am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

#MomentForSandyHook In Memory Of Newtown Victims

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:38 am

Stuffed animals and flowers at a makeshift memorial near the entrance to the grounds of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Update at 9:36 a.m. ET: In Newtown and across the nation, bells rang starting at 9:30 a.m. ET, to honor the 20 children and six adults killed one week ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. And on the Web, it appears many did take part in #MomentForSandyHook — judging from the sharp slowdown in our Twitter feed.

Our original post:

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7:26am

Fri December 21, 2012
Around the Nation

Seattle House Is Too Small For Christmas Tree

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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7:21am

Fri December 21, 2012
Around the Nation

Holiday Lights Flip Neighbors 'The Bird'

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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7:14am

Fri December 21, 2012
The Two-Way

Apocalypse Not? Seems Like It

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:24 am

This morning on a beach in Brazil, some celebrated summer's first day — and the news that the world didn't end.
Antonio Scorza AFP/Getty Images

So, it looks like all that talk about the Mayan calendar and the end of the world coming today was just ... talk.

But the fun continues. NASA's Voyager 2 Twitter feed, for instance, has this:

"END MAYACAL BTUN 12.19.19.17.19 SHUTDOWN:UNIV(12) BEGIN BTUN 13.0.0.0.0 BOOT:UNIV(13)."

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5:15am

Fri December 21, 2012
Politics

Obama Focuses On Newtown, 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Action last night in the House of Representatives suggests just how hard it could be to pass a solution to the tax increases and spending cuts due at the end of the year.

INSKEEP: House Speaker John Boehner has yet to reach a deal with President Obama, so he sought to put his own plan before the House last night.

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5:15am

Fri December 21, 2012
Business

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And now you can consider this. It's our last word in business today: A Bluetooth bathroom. The Japanese are known for being on the cutting edge of tech, and now that extends to the edge of the toilet seats.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A Japanese company recently announced a smartphone-controlled toilet. Yup. Using a smartphone app, you can flush - that means not having to touch the handle at all.

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4:56am

Fri December 21, 2012
Politics

Plug Pulled On 'Plan B,' House Breaks For Christmas

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

House Speaker John Boehner pauses during a news conference Thursday. House GOP leaders abruptly canceled a vote on his measure after they failed to round up enough votes for it to pass.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

House Speaker John Boehner was dealt a major defeat Thursday night. After spending most of the week trying to round up votes for his "Plan B" to extend tax cuts for virtually everyone, he pulled the measure without a vote and sent the House home for Christmas. The clock keeps ticking toward the end of the year, when automatic tax increases and spending cuts are set to hit.

Early Thursday, Boehner expressed confidence not only that his bill would pass but that the Democratic-controlled Senate would feel so much pressure, it would be forced to consider it, too.

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3:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
Research News

Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Science Skills

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:49 pm

If you're a student at the halfway point of the academic year, and you've just taken stock of your performance, perhaps you have reason to feel proud of yourself.

But a recent study suggests some of the pride you feel at having done well — especially in science — may be unfounded. Or at least your sense of your performance may not be a very accurate picture of how good you actually are.

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3:52am

Fri December 21, 2012
Planet Money

When The Doctor Works For The Insurance Company

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

This won't hurt a bit.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Some insurance companies are taking a page out of their own history books: running their own doctors' offices and clinics. Though the strategy previously had mixed results, insurers think that by providing primary care for patients, they might reduce costly diseases and hospital stays in the long run.

Dr. Michael Byrne spent eight years working for a Brooklyn hospital and he saw firsthand why the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world.

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3:50am

Fri December 21, 2012
Shots - Health News

Medicare Starts To Reward Quality, Not Quantity, Of Care

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

In a push to improve quality, Medicare will pay some hospitals more and others, including Boston's Massachusetts General, less.
Steven Senne AP

It's no longer enough for hospitals to just send a bill to Medicare and get paid.

The nation's biggest insurer is starting to dole out bonuses and penalties to nearly 3,000 hospitals as it ties almost $1 billion in payments to the quality of care provided to patients.

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