9:50am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Michigan Lawmakers Poised To Pass Right-to-Work Bill, Outraging Union Protesters

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:06 pm

Union members from around the country rallied outside the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing as lawmakers voted on the right-to-work legislation.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Update at 6:00 p.m. ET:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law two controversial "right-to-work" bills passed earlier Tuesday by the state's House. This officially makes Michigan the 24th right-to-work state in the nation.

The two bills give both public and private employees so-called right-to-work protections — controversial pieces of legislation that have sparked protests in and around the state capitol in Lansing.

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9:50am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

World's Most Expensive Whisky? It's Not The One We Toasted

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 9:38 pm

The record-holder, according to Guinness: A bottle of 64-year-old Macallan whisky in a Lalique Cire Perdue decanter. In 2010 it sold for $460,000.
Alpha /Landov

On Sunday, Weekend All Things Considered aired an interview with Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman. He talked about the $94,000 that a buyer recently paid at auction for one bottle of Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve 55 Year Old whisky.

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9:09am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Today's Three Stories To Read About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 12:18 pm

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House on Nov. 16.
Toby Jorrin AFP/Getty Images

As we've said now several times, "the White House and congressional leaders continue to talk about taxes, spending cuts and how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to go into effect."

As NPR and others cover the story, we're pointing to interesting reports and analyses. Here are some of the latest.

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8:06am

Tue December 11, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Defector: Assad Will Use Chemical Weapons If He's Desperate

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 2:25 pm

Syrian President Bashar Assad in 2009.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

If Syrian President Bashar Assad gets desperate enough he will use chemical weapons against his own people, the former chief of staff for that country's chemical weapons tells NPR's Deborah Amos.

Maj. Gen. Adnan Sillu, who defected in July and is now in Turkey, is convinced that if rebel forces close in on Damascus, Assad will order the use of mustard gas, sarin or other chemicals in a "last desperate act," Deb reported today on Morning Edition.

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7:39am

Tue December 11, 2012
Europe

Noah's Ark Replica Docks In Netherlands

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene, with news that Noah's Ark has docked in the Netherlands. Well, sort of. Johan Huibers built a full-scale replica of the ark on a river, staying as true as he could to God's instructions to Noah. The giant floating hulk opened to the public with some real animals: rabbits and parakeets. The bison and tigers are life-sized sculptures. There are modern creature comforts, like two cinemas and a restaurant. And on opening day, by God, it rained. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

7:34am

Tue December 11, 2012
Around the Nation

Phoenix Man Lights Cactus To Celebrate Hanukkah

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The spirit of Hanukah is aglow in the desert. For the seventh straight year, a man in Phoenix is lighting up the tips of a giant cactus to celebrate the holiday. Mel Kline's cactus is called a saguaro. It has a middle trunk and eight arms, perfect for a menorah. And at 30 feet tall, it attracts hundreds of visitors. The Arizona Republic reports that Kline bought the cactus 35 years ago. His wife wanted a maple tree. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Digital Life

FTC: Apps For Children Raise Privacy Concerns

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

The Federal Trade Commission has released a report taking to task the makers of mobile apps for children. It says apps are not transparent enough about the personal information they collect. It's the latest sign the Obama administration is concerned about children's privacy online.

6:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
National Security

U.S. Adds Syrian Rebel Group To Terror List

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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5:36am

Tue December 11, 2012
Economy

What Happens If We Fall Off The 'Fiscal Cliff'?

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

iStockphoto.com

Lines of communication remain open in an effort to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff," according to the White House and House Speaker John Boehner.

If no deal is reached between now and the end of the year, would the consequences be that drastic?

To answer that question, let's imagine it's January and the nation has gone off the "fiscal cliff." You don't really feel any different and things don't look different, either. That's because, according to former congressional budget staffer Stan Collender, the cliff isn't really a cliff.

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3:18am

Tue December 11, 2012
Author Interviews

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Originally published on Tue December 11, 2012 10:55 am

Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel and her magazine have revived her book club, now known as Book Club 2.0.
Charles Sykes AP

Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey announced an updated version of her popular book club, this time called Book Club 2.0. Her first pick, Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild, experienced best-seller list success thanks to what some people are calling the "Oprah bump." And last week Winfrey announced her second pick, a novel called The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, a first-time author.

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