Commentary
10:49 am
Wed December 7, 2011

'Occupy': Geoff Nunberg's 2011 Word Of The Year

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 3:04 pm

Geoff Nunberg, the linguist contributor on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, is the author of the book The Years of Talking Dangerously.

If the word of the year is supposed to be an item that has actually shaped the perception of important events, I can't see going with anything but occupy. It was a late entry, but since mid-September it has gone viral and global. Just scan the thousands of hashtags and Facebook pages that begin with the word: Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Slovakia. Occupy Saskatoon, Sesame Street, the Constitution. Occupy the hood.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Prosecutor Won't Seek Death Penalty For Mumia Abu-Jamal

One of the highest-profile murder cases in recent decades just took another important turn: "Philadelphia's district attorney announced this morning that he will not continue to seek the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal," WHYY reports.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Though Accusers Are 'Credible,' No State Charges Against Syracuse Coach

A local prosecutor says he believes two men who have alleged that a former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach sexually abused them when they were children are credible — but can't pursue charges because the statute of limitations has passed.

The Associated Press reports that the decision by Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick only means that there won't be a case brought against Bernie Fine under state law. "A federal probe is ongoing," AP notes.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Shouldn't Rush Be In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson (left) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Pardon this blogger for a moment of venting.

We've heard today that the new inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the performers category are Guns N' Roses, the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan and The Small Faces.

I don't have any problem with the honorees.

As usual, it's who still isn't in the hall that irks me.

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It's All Politics
9:34 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Gingrich's Proposals On Child Labor Stir Attacks, But Raise Real Issues

Newt Gingrich's proposal to put poor children to work because, he says, they're not learning the "work habit" in public housing projects has been condemned by critics as worthy of a Dickens novel.

Those who followed the GOP presidential candidate's tumultuous legislative career in Washington say Gingrich's latest foray into child welfare is not an anomaly.

As House Speaker in the mid-1990s, Gingrich proposed banning welfare benefits for children born to unmarried young women and using the funds to build orphanages for youngsters whose parents were failing them.

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The Two-Way
9:05 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Mexico Says It Blocked Plot To Smuggle Gadhafi's Son Into Country

Saadi Gadhafi at January 2010 news conference in Tripoli.
Mahmud Turkia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 9:10 am

A report in Canada's National Post that former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's "playboy son Saadi made plans to flee to a Mexican beach resort whose celebrity visitors include Kim Kardashian, Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga," has prompted Mexico's interior secretary to say today that his country's intelligence service has broken up the plot, The Associated Press says.

According to the AP:

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Shots - Health Blog
8:44 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Call Now To Get A Medicare Enrollment Extension

If you need more time to make a decision on your Medicare plan, get on the phone right away.
iStockphoto.com

Federal officials are extending today's deadline some people picking a Medicare prescription drug or private health plan because of the crush of last-minute sign-ups.

There's a catch. The extension is available only to seniors who seek official help with their decision by the close of business today, said a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

And one other thing, the extension is only three days long.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Attack's 70th Anniversary: Memories, Moment Of Silence

Dec. 7, 1941: The USS Shaw explodes during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

On this 70th anniversary of the date "which will live in infamy," there will be a moment of silence in Hawaii at 7:55 a.m. (12:55 a.m. ET) to remember the 2,390 Americans who died when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

It was 7:55 a.m. local time when the attack began — a strike that would push America into World War II.

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Europe
7:57 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Anti-Mafia Police Nab Fugitive Mobster In Italy

Italian policemen celebrated Wednesday outside police's headquarters in the town of Caserta following the arrest of Michele Zagaria, the boss of the Casalesi clan.
Roberto Salomone AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 11:30 am

One of Italy's most-wanted mobsters was captured by Italian anti-mafia police units Wednesday after spending 16 years on the run.

Michele Zagaria ran one of bloodiest clans of the Naples mafia, which is known as the Camorra. He was found hiding under 15 feet of reinforced concrete in an underground bunker in his hometown of Casapesenna, north of Naples.

NPR's Sylvia Poggioli said that Zagaria reportedly told police: "You have won. The state has won." He had been on the run since 1995.

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