Larry Abramson is NPR's National Security Correspondent. He covers the Pentagon, as well as issues relating to the thousands of vets returning home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prior to his current role, Abramson was NPR's Education Correspondent covering a wide variety of issues related to education, from federal policy to testing to instructional techniques in the classroom. His reporting focused on the impact of for-profit colleges and universities, and on the role of technology in the classroom. He made a number of trips to New Orleans to chart the progress of school reform there since Hurricane Katrina. Abramson also covers a variety of news stories beyond the education beat.

The Two-Way
3:30 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Record Folders: 54,000 Feet Of Paper; 13 Folds; One New Standard

The St. Mark's School record folders.
Courtesy of St. Mark's School.

Using 54,000 feet of toilet paper and the 825-foot long "Infinite Corridor" at MIT as a workspace, students from a small boarding school in Massachusetts say they broke an unofficial record for folding paper on Sunday.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:06 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Young People Put Dent In Nursing Shortage

Lots of new nurses, like these graduating from New York University in 2009, are helping to fill openings.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

You know that shortage of nurses people have been warning about for about the last decade or two? Fuhgeddaboudit!

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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Happy Holidays: Stories Of Crime And Redemption

The missing Santa and penguins as seen on McClaren's reward poster.
Jason McClaren via Herald Times

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 2:21 pm

We don't usually share local crime stories, but two of them stuck out today. And one of them provides some hope. We'll start with the sad one:

Fox 8 Cleveland reports that a burglar has "ruined" Christmas for a Painesville, Ohio family. The burglar allegedly broke into the home, took their TV, an Xbox, a laptop and worst of all perhaps, then took all the newly-bought presents underneath the Christmas tree:

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Afghanistan
2:12 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Angry Pakistan Boycotts Meeting On Afghanistan

Pakistani students protest the cross-border NATO air strike on Pakistani troops, in a march at the U.S. consulate in Karachi, Dec. 2. Pakistan said it could not attend the Bonn conference on Afghanistan unless its security was ensured.
Rizwan Tabssum AFP/Getty Images

The United States and dozens of other countries convened in Bonn, Germany, Monday to discuss Afghanistan's future. But Pakistan, a key player in any Afghan settlement, boycotted the conference.

Pakistani leaders were deeply angered by the killing of 24 of their soldiers in a NATO airstrike along the Afghan border last month.

Many in Pakistan say relations between the United States and Pakistan have never been worse, though there may be signs of a coming thaw.

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Europe
2:06 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Russian Voters Send Putin A Message

A Russian woman votes Sunday at a mobile ballot box in the western village of Shelomets. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's United Russia party received around half the vote and will control the next parliament, but its majority was significantly reduced.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

After 12 years with his authority virtually unchallenged, Vladimir Putin now appears to be facing an electorate that's showing signs of weariness with his rule.

Putin still seems to have a lock on another presidential term as the country prepares for that election in March. Nevertheless, his party – United Russia – received a clear rebuke in parliamentary elections held Sunday.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

FAA Administrator Charged With DWI

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 1:28 pm

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration, who among other duties is in charge of the nation's air traffic controllers, was charged with driving while intoxicated Saturday night in Fairfax, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

And Federal News Radio says Jerome "Randy" Babbitt has now been "placed on a leave of absence." The Associated Press reports that the leave was "at Babbitt's request."

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Crippled Japanese Nuclear Plant Continues To Leak Radioactive Water

This handout picture, taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) shows radioactive water on the floor inside the building of a water treatment facility at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
TEPCO AFP/Getty Images

Over the weekend, the company that runs the Japanese nuclear plant crippled by the earthquake and tsunami in March said they had detected another leak of radioactive water. This time, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) said, 45 tons of contaminated water had been found outside the cooling system and about 300 liters of it had leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

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Newt Gingrich
12:27 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Gingrich's Health Care Consultancy: Is It Lobbying?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, shown at an event on health care on Capitol Hill this March, founded the Center for Health Transformation.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:27 pm

In between his speakership and his presidential candidacy, Newt Gingrich built a network of organizations to promote his causes — and himself.

Informally known as Newt Gingrich Inc., those entities have flourished. But questions linger, especially about two of them: the Gingrich Group, a for-profit consulting firm; and a unit of the Gingrich Group called the Center for Health Transformation.

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Humans
12:21 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

For Creative People, Cheating Comes More Easily

New research suggests that people who are more creative are more likely to cheat.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 6:22 pm

Five months after the implosion of Enron, Feb. 12, 2002, the company's chief executive, Ken Lay, finally stood in front of Congress and the world, and placed his hand on a Bible.

At that point everyone had questions for Lay. It was clear by then that Enron was the product of a spectacular ethical failure, that there had been massive cheating and lying. The real question was: How many people had been dishonest? Who was in on it?

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