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1:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:49 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Was 2012 The Year That American Orchestras Hit The Wall?

In Minneapolis, the locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are appealing for public support.
Courtesy of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

2012 will go down as a year of orchestral turmoil in the U.S.: Strikes, lockouts and bankruptcies erupted time and again as once seemingly untouchable institutions struggled financially.

There's been particularly little seasonal cheer in Minnesota's orchestral community. Protests erupted after management at the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra each locked out their musicians, after the musicians had rejected contracts that cut their salaries by tens of thousands of dollars and reduced the size of the orchestras.

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Business
1:40 am
Tue January 1, 2013

'Fiscal Cliff' Statement From President Obama

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:16 am

The White House released this statement from President Obama at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday:

Leaders from both parties in the Senate came together to reach an agreement that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support today that protects 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners from a middle class tax hike. While neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, this agreement is the right thing to do for our country and the House should pass it without delay.

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NPR Story
6:26 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

With Deadline In Sight, No Final Deal On Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. There's good news and bad news on the so-called "fiscal cliff," just hours before the nation is set to slide over it. The good news is that top negotiators for the Senate and the White House are by all accounts this close to a deal. The deal would prevent a major income tax hike for most Americans. That starts tomorrow.

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It's All Politics
5:03 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Chief Justice John Roberts On Fiscal Woes: Don't Look At Us

Chief Justice John Roberts speaks in Farmington, Pa., in June.
Ann Wilkins AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:22 pm

Chief Justice John Roberts wants everyone to know the federal judiciary is doing its part to keep down government costs. Roberts used his year-end report on the state of the courts to point out that the judicial branch consumes "a miniscule portion of the federal budget" — about $7 billion in fiscal year 2012, or two-tenths of 1 percent of the total government budget.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012: The World Celebrates 2013

Revelers count down to 2013 near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, where thousands gathered for the city's first public countdown to the New Year.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

It is New Year's Eve. And that means people will: go to parties and drink Champagne; ignore the hubbub and go to bed by 10; start cooking for New Year's Day; watch college football — or possibly some combination of the above.

You can see celebrations around the world by checking out a special photo feed on Instagram. The site shifts timezones to mark the latest to ring in the new year.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
4:21 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Could Post-Superstorm Sandy Rebuilding Energize The Economy?

Contractors Benny Corrazo, left, and Michael Bonade install a new set of sliding glass doors in a home that survived Superstorm Sandy in the Breezy Point section of New York on Dec. 20, 2012. Some economists say that reconstruction efforts may stimulate the economy.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm

Superstorm Sandy did tens of billions of dollars in damage to coastal areas of New York and New Jersey.

But there may be a silver lining to all that destruction: Some economists argue that reconstruction from Sandy could help stimulate the national economy in 2013. Still, others are more skeptical.

Charlie Messina uses a jackhammer to break up flood-damaged concrete in a basement in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Manhattan Beach. Messina owns a small business that does renovations.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

From 3-D Printers To Wired Glasses, The Tech Year Ahead

Google Glass will be part of a trend in 2013 of computing and connectivity in devices we don't generally think of as computers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 7:17 pm

It's unlikely 2013 will be the year that jet packs make it big, but the coming year could bring us a host of other new technology trends and products, such as 3-D printers for consumers, smarter smartphones and more connected devices like glasses and cars.

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Sports
3:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

After Losing Seasons, NFL Teams Clean House Of Coaches

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm

The NFL just wrapped up its regular season play. NPR's Mike Pesca talks to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel about key playoff matchups and possible coaching changes. He also has a sneak preview of college football's BCS championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama.

Politics
3:12 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

What Stalled Congress On The Fiscal Cliff?

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The simplest explanation to what's going on in Washington is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans command majorities in both Houses and control of the White House and you can throw in political realignment as an explanation. Liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats have been diminished to the point of near extinction. But even so, Democrats and Republicans in Congress in years past somehow managed to make deals and legislate despite profound differences.

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