1:49pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Movie Interviews

Tarantino On 'Django,' Violence And Catharsis

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a slave owner, holds Django's wife captive.
Andrew Cooper The Weinstein Company

In Quentin Tarantino's new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays the title character, a freed slave turned bounty hunter searching for his wife and their plantation tormentors.

As is the case with all of Tarantino's films, Django Unchained is incredibly violent. We spoke to the director before the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and before critics had taken him to task for the film's brutality. The film also is being debated for the way it brings humor to the story of slavery.

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1:32pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Impact of War

Suicide Hotline Fights To Keep Vets And Troops Alive

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:06 pm

David Easterling, manager of the Suicide Prevention Program at Fort Riley in Kansas spray-paints Army boots white in 2009 as part of an on-base display to commemorate the six Fort Riley soldiers who committed suicide in 2008.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

At a suicide prevention center in upstate New York, America's troops and veterans are calling in for help.

And that help is needed more than ever. This past year witnessed a terrible death toll from suicide. For the first time in a decade of war, more active-duty troops have taken their own lives this year than have died fighting in Afghanistan.

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Michael Schaub is a writer, book critic and regular contributor to NPR Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Portland Mercury and The Austin Chronicle, among other publications. A native of Texas, he now lives in Portland, Ore.

1:00pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Obama, Congressional Leaders To Discuss Deal To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:50 pm

"The hour for immediate action is here. It is now," President Barack Obama said of a potential budget deal, after meeting with congressional leaders Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Days before a budget crisis deadline will hit the U.S. economy, President Obama says, "I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time."

The details of that agreement, which could avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect on Jan. 1, would likely come from discussions between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

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12:56pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Nishant Choksi

It's probably not true that truth is stranger than fiction, but in the hands of a great biographer, it can be just as compelling. Novelists can create unique and unforgettable characters — there's never been anyone quite like Jane Eyre or Ignatius J. Reilly — but there's no shortage of fascinating literary protagonists who just happened to exist in real life.

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12:36pm

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Tracking Gun-related Deaths, One Tweet At A Time

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 7:36 am

A makeshift shrine to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Slate and a citizen journalist are trying to track gun deaths across the nation since that Dec. 14 mass shooting.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

How many Americans died on Christmas Day from a gun shot? How many have been shot and killed since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn.?

No one knows for sure. Authorities pull together annual figures, but not daily reports on gun-related murders, suicides and accidental deaths.

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12:00pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Music Of The Baroque

Music Of The Baroque Brass & Choral Holiday Concert

Airs Friday, December 28 at 12:00 noon
Please join host Peter Van De Graaff as he guides you through music of the 16th and 17th centuries by composers such as Michael Praetorius, Thomas Ravenscroft, Elizabeth Poston, Stephen Paulus, Herbert Howells, J Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Gabrieli, Claudio Monteverdi and Peter Cornelius, among others. Brass instruments have long been associated with ceremony and celebration. Ubiquitous in Renaissance court pageantry, their connection to royalty and wealth lent an air of respectability to any occasion. Courts and churches capitalized upon the exalted status of brass instruments, flaunting their virtuoso players and composers in order to enhance their reputations. 

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11:28am

Fri December 28, 2012
Planet Money

What A Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Can Teach Us About The Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:27 pm

Drew Angerer Getty Images

The tortuous negotiations involved in the "fiscal cliff" talks are like a chess game.

To shed some light on the kinds of negotiation techniques that members of Congress might be using during the talks, we asked two negotiators to walk us through their tactics with examples from their everyday lives.

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11:26am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Two-Way

Port Strike Averted As Dock Workers, Terminal Operators Agree To Extension

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:46 pm

Longshoremen and East Coast and Gulf Coast port operators have agreed to an extension on labor negotiations, a federal mediator said Friday, averting a potentially crippling strike that would have halted container traffic at many of the nation's largest seaports.

Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: The temporary deal extends the contract to Feb. 6.

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11:11am

Fri December 28, 2012
World

Out Of Desperation, North Korean Women Become Breadwinners

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:06 pm

Women shop and trade at a market in Razon city, northeast of Pyongyang, in September. Most private trading, which is the only source of income for almost half of North Korean families, is done by women.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Imagine going to work every day and not getting paid. Then, one day, you're told there's no work to do — so you must pay the company for the privilege of not working.

This is the daily reality facing Mrs. Kim, a petite 52-year-old North Korean. Her husband's job in a state-run steel factory requires him to build roads. She can't remember the last time he received a monthly salary. When there are no roads to build, he has to pay his company around 20 times his paltry monthly salary, she says.

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