It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Can Congress Really Compromise On Extending The Payroll Tax Cut?

Congress returned to Washington Monday with a pile of unfinished business, and no clarity on a path to getting it done. At the top of the congressional to-do list this week is extending a payroll tax holiday that meant about $1,000 in extra take-home pay for the typical family this year. It is set to expire at the end of the month.

Congressional leaders from both parties say the payroll tax cut is a must-pass measure. It's just not entirely clear how it's going to happen.

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Afghanistan
3:52 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

Afghan President Pleads For Long-Term Aid

Afghan President Hamid Karzai calls Monday on the international community to keep up its support for Afghanistan. More than 100 countries attended the conference in Bonn, Germany.
Oliver Berg AFP/Getty Images

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

A decade ago, shortly after the Taliban had been driven out of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, the international community gathered in Bonn, Germany, to talk about rebuilding Afghanistan.

On Monday, more than 100 countries again gathered in Bonn, this time to see how they could maintain support for Afghanistan after the U.S. and NATO wind down their combat operations in three years.

Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, said he was grateful for all the help his country has received, and he appealed to the international community to keep it up.

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It's All Politics
3:49 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

As His Past Emerges As An Issue, Front-runner Gingrich Spars And Parries

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to the media at the Union League Club following an earlier meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Dec. 5 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 7:02 am

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had little time to savor his weekend appearance atop the Des Moines Register's influential Iowa caucus poll before front-runner reality set in.

The former House Speaker on Monday sparred with fellow candidate Ron Paul over the relevance of businessman/reality show host/would-be debate moderator Donald Trump's opinion.

He was questioned at a New York City fundraiser about the "baggage" he brings to the race.

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

NASA Says New Planet Is A 'Major Milestone' In Finding 'Earth's Twin'

An artist's conception of Kepler-22b.
NASA

Scientists at the NASA's Ames Research Center said today that for the first time, they have found a planet that orbits a star a lot like the sun and is smack in the middle of the "habitable zone."

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

NPR correspondent Alix Spiegel works on the Science desk and covers psychology.

Arriving at NPR in 2003, much of Spiegel's reporting has been on emotion mental health. She has reported on everything from the psychological impact of killing another person, to the emotional devastation of Katrina, to psycho-therapeutic approaches to transgender children.

As NPR's correspondent covering campaign finance and lobbying, Peter Overby totes around a business card that reads Power, Money & Influence Correspondent. Some of his lobbyist sources call it the best job title in Washington.

Overby was awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia silver baton for his coverage of the 2000 campaign and the 2001 Senate vote to tighten the rules on campaign finance. The citation said his reporting "set the bar" for the beat.

In 2008, he teamed up with the Center for Investigative Reporting on the Secret Money Project, an extended multimedia investigation of outside-money groups in federal elections.

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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