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Europe
2:45 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

In Brussels, Be Kind ... Or Be Fined

Tired of boorish behavior, the mayor of Brussels pushed for a new law that imposes stiff fines for infractions ranging from sexist, racist or homophobic comments to failing to clean up after your dog.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

The Grand Place in downtown Brussels can be a feast for the senses: the wafting scent of hot waffles, shop windows chock-full of chocolate, exquisite Baroque architecture.

But that's not all you'll find on the quaint cobblestone streets as the city that serves as both the capital of Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union. There's also puke, dog poop, trash, spit, drug addicts, drunks and brawls.

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Shots - Health News
2:28 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Administration Lays Down Rules For Future Health Insurance

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

You've got questions about the health law? The Obama administration has some answers. Finally.

Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional and the president's re-election made clear that big chunks of the law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, the administration is finally releasing rules of the road that states and insurance companies have been clamoring for.

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From Our Listeners
2:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Letters: Banning High School Football, Shoplifting

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 8:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last Wednesday, we discussed the dangers and benefits of high school football. Walt in Bakersfield, California wrote to say: I learned teamwork, perseverance and sacrifice of personal goals for larger good through football. At work, the word coachability is applied to people who will listen with humility and attentiveness. Other sports are more individualistically oriented. Please, consider these losses before you drop football.

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Books
2:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

The Key To Zen For Tony Bennett: 'Life Is A Gift'

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has won 17 Grammy Awards. He had his first No. 1 hit in 1951 with the song "Because of You."
Marion Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 1:36 pm

At 86, legendary singer Tony Bennett says he's at the top of his game and more passionate than ever about his art.

"I want to try to prove that at 100, I could sing as well as I was singing when I was 45 or 43," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I'd like to prove that if you take care of yourself, you can actually not regret the fact that you've become an old-timer, but you can just still improve and actually get better."

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Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'

iStockphoto.com

At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.

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World
1:58 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Blasphemy Charges On The Rise In Pakistan

Students demand the reopening of the Farooqi Girls High School in Lahore, Pakistan, in early November. A mob attacked the school in October, accusing a teacher of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. It takes just one accusation to lead to an arrest under Pakistan's stringent blasphemy laws.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:14 pm

Pakistan has had 27 blasphemy cases filed so far this year, a figure that alarms human rights groups, who say the law is frequently used to persecute religious minorities.

In a case that has drawn international attention, a judge on Tuesday dismissed blasphemy charges against a Christian girl, Rimsha Masih, ending a three-month order for her and her family.

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Author Interviews
1:30 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Model Career: 'Grace' Goes From Runway To Vogue

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:25 pm

Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.

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Iraq
1:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

'The Long Walk' To Defuse A Ticking Bomb

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you saw the movie "The Hurt Locker," you probably can't forget that scene at the start where a soldier puts on an 80-pound Kevlar suit and takes the long, lonely walk to diffuse an unexploded bomb. True enough, according to Brian Castner, but life as a bomb tech involves a great deal more, rushing in to investigate the scene of a bloody car bomb even as grieving relatives pull out the pieces of their loved ones and also ordering someone else to don the bomb suit and take that lonely walk.

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Digital Life
1:12 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

The Aesthetics Of First-Person Shooter Video Games

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 3:29 pm

First-person shooter games have become more cinematic and aesthetically pleasing over the years and dominate the video game industry. Stephen Totilo, editor in chief of online video game publication Kotaku, explains the appeal of point-and-shoot games.

Africa
1:08 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Conflict In Congo Escalates, Goes Largely Unnoticed

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 1:36 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Congolese rebels today captured the city of Goma, as government troops melted away and U.N. peacekeepers stood by. And if that sounds a bit like deja vu, you may be remembering a similar battle on the same ground four years ago, or parts of other wars that have ravaged the eastern part of Congo for nearly two decades now, wars blamed for the deaths of five million over those years, along with a long list of associated crimes including systematic rape, looting and child soldiers.

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