5:13am

Sat December 29, 2012
Commentary

Recalling Battles Of Congress Past

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is nothing new about the Congress coming to a hostile halt at a critical moment - fussing and fuming, holding impromptu news conferences at the Ohio Clock - that's a nearly 200-year-old timepiece that counts the hours outside the Senate Chamber - or representatives stopping to chat in the beautiful Rayburn reception room outside the House with George Washington looking disapprovingly down from his portrait.

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4:31am

Sat December 29, 2012
The Record

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

4:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently on Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described the tone of the discussion to head off across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts as "candid." An aide to House Speaker John Boehner put out a statement that noted that the group agreed the next step should be the Senate's — a tacit acknowledgement that Boehner is no longer the lead negotiator with President Obama.

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4:22am

Sat December 29, 2012
Europe

Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption: Unresolved Issues In France

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 7:14 pm

A man wears a costume reading "Dad" and "Mom" during a demonstration against gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Nice, France, in October.
Valery Hache AFP/Getty Images

France is known as a tolerant country on many social issues, yet the country is embroiled in a debate about same-sex marriage and adoption.

President Francois Hollande is following through on a campaign promise to bring full rights to gay couples. France legalized civil unions more than a decade ago, though same-sex couples must still go abroad to marry or adopt.

But opposition to Hollande's measure has been unexpectedly fierce, something the Socialist government wasn't expecting.

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4:21am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

We have reached the last weekend of the year, and Washington still has not reached a deal to avert the big tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

President Obama met with top congressional leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House, and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate.

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1:03am

Sat December 29, 2012
Music Interviews

Johnny Cash's Boyhood Home Tells The Story Of A Town

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

The Cash family house today.
Michael Hibblen

It's been almost a decade since Johnny Cash died, but fans still travel from around the world to see the place the music legend often described as key to his development: his boyhood home in the eastern Arkansas town of Dyess. The small house will soon serve as a museum — not only as a tribute to Johnny Cash, but also to tell the history of the town.

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Jane Ciabattari is the author of the short-story collection Stealing The Fire. Her reviews, interviews and cultural reporting have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Daily Beast, the Paris Review, the Boston Globe, The Guardian, Bookforum, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Columbia Journalism Review, among others. She is a former president of the National Book Critics Circle.

6:11pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Nishant Choksi

Hortense Calisher, a virtuoso of the form, once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." It's a definition that suits the remarkable stories published this year by three literary superstars, and two dazzling newcomers with voices so distinctive we're likely to be hearing from them again. These stories are intense, evocative delights to be devoured singly when you have only a sliver of time, or savored in batches, at leisure, on a winter weekend.

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4:45pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

President And Congress Extend FISA Wiretapping Act To 2017 [Updated]

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:16 pm

National Intelligence Director James Clapper leaves the Capitol after briefing members of Congress earlier this month. The Senate voted Friday to extend the FISA Amendments Act to 2017, granting federal agencies wide surveillance powers.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The FISA Amendments Act has been approved for another five years, as the Senate voted to renew the law that grants the government wide surveillance authority. President Obama has said he intends to sign the measure, which senators approved by a 73-23 margin Friday morning. It had already won approval in the House.

Update at 6:10 p.m. Dec. 31: Obama signs FISA extension.

The president signed the FISA extension Sunday. Our original post continues:

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4:38pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Victim Of Brutal Rape In India Dies In Singapore Hospital

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:51 pm

A woman who survived a brutal gang-rape on a bus in India has died, according to reports. Earlier Friday, hospital officials in Singapore, where the 23-year-old student was being treated, had warned that her condition was worsening.

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