4:30pm

Wed December 5, 2012
U.S.

White House To Seek Emergency Sandy Funds

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 9:24 am

Cleanup continues on the site of a demolished home on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York on Nov. 29.
Seth Wenig AP

Billions in damages and not enough in the bank account — that's where federal officials find themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The White House says it will send an emergency funding request to Capitol Hill this week — expected to be $50 billion to $60 billion. Top administrators told Congress on Wednesday that they want at least some of that money to go toward preventing the kind of devastation caused by Sandy and other recent storms.

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3:52pm

Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

For The Aerospace Industry 'Fiscal Cliff' Represents A Red Alert

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 4:05 pm

It's red alert time for aerospace industry executives, workers and contractors.

As they mingled today at the Aerospace Industries Association's annual Year-End Outlook luncheon at a Washington Grand Hyatt, the bright red electronic digits kept counting down for them.

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3:47pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Environment

In Arid West, Cheatgrass Turns Fires Into Infernos

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:36 pm

The Constantina Fire burning in Long Valley, Calif., in 2010, very likely started in cheatgrass.
Courtesy of Nolan Preece

Cheatgrass is about as Western as cowboy boots and sagebrush. It grows in yellowish clumps, about knee high to a horse, and likes arid land.

One thing cheatgrass does is burn — in fact, more easily than anyone realized. That's the conclusion from a new study that says cheatgrass is making Western wildfires worse.

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3:47pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Around the Nation

Texas Twang Fixin' To Ride Off Into The Sunset

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 7:25 pm

Lyndon Johnson, then the vice president-elect, with a prize-winning Hereford bull on his ranch near Johnson City, Texas, in 1960. Linguists say the twang that has long been synonymous with Texans is fading.
AP

3:44pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Economy

A Thin Line: Economic Growth Or Corporate Welfare?

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 7:59 am

In her series for The New York Times, reporter Louise Story says that the manufacturing sector — automakers, in particular — benefit the most from incentive packages.
Ricardo Azoury iStockphoto.com

In her new series for The New York Times called "The United States of Subsidies," investigative reporter Louise Story examines how states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year in tax breaks and other financial incentives to lure companies or persuade them to stay put.

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3:33pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Music Interviews

For One Day, NPR Gets A House Band: Los Straitjackets

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 5:00 pm

Los Straitjackets' members rehearse in NPR's Studio 4A.
Christopher Parks NPR

We call them "buttons" and "deadrolls" — and, less cryptically, "breaks" — but most NPR listeners know them as the interstitial music spots that pepper NPR's newsmagazines. They add shading, mood, energy and other nonverbal context to our stories.

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3:30pm

Wed December 5, 2012
It's All Politics

Celebrities And The Senate: Would Ashley Judd Stand A Chance?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 3:48 pm

Ashley Judd acknowledges the crowd during a University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball game at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., in January.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Could an actress and political activist with no electoral experience give the Senate's top Republican a race in very red Kentucky?

It would be a long shot, say political experts, even though Ashley Judd has deep roots in the state, calling herself an "at least 8th generation Eastern Kentuckian."

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3:24pm

Wed December 5, 2012
The Two-Way

Jets' Coach Rex Ryan Sticks By His Man: Mark Sanchez Will Start Sunday

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 3:57 pm

Quarterback Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets looks on near the end of the game against the New England Patriots Nov. 22.
Rich Schultz Getty Images

If there is one decision football fans have argued over intensely over the past few months is whether embattled Jets' quarterback Mark Sanchez should be allowed to start another game.

During his previous outing, Rex Ryan, the team's coach, pulled him late in the third quarter, after the home crowd booed him mercilessly after a disasterous performance in which he completed 10 of 21 passes for 97 yards.

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2:59pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Middle East

Israel, Christians Negotiate The Price Of Holy Water

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 8:13 am

Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem (center), splashes holy water toward worshippers after the washing of the feet ceremony in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem in 2009, during Easter celebrations. A crisis was narrowly averted recently when the church's $2.3 million water bill was waived.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

One of the holiest sites in Christendom has also been one of the most contested. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem lies on the site where Jesus Christ is said to have been crucified and buried.

Multiple Christian denominations share the church uneasily, and clerics sometimes come to blows over the most minor of disputes. The Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and the Syriac Orthodox all have a presence in the church.

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2:44pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Movies

Revisiting, Reappraising Cimino's 'Heaven's Gate'

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 8:38 am

Jeff Bridges as John L. Bridges, Isabelle Huppert as Ella Watson and Kris Kristofferson as James Averill in the 1980 Western Heaven's Gate, a director's cut of which was released in November.
Criterion Collection

The director Francois Truffaut once remarked that it takes as much time and energy to make a bad movie as to make a good one. He was right, but I would add one thing: It takes extraordinary effort to make a truly memorable flop.

The best example is Heaven's Gate, the hugely expensive 1980 movie by Michael Cimino that is the most famous cinematic disaster of my lifetime. It's part of that film's legend that it not only took down a studio, United Artists, but was the nail in the coffin of Hollywood's auteur filmmaking of the 1970s.

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