Middle East
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Syria, Aleppo Today Is Must-See TV For Survival

Aleppo Today broadcasts are simple but relay crucial information — from tank movements to Internet connectivity — to the people who remain in the embattled northern Syrian town. It relies on a network of 70 correspondents to provide a 24-hour news stream.
Aleppo Today

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 12:42 pm

Every day, dozens of Syrians are killed and wounded in Aleppo, Syria's financial capital. Since July, President Bashar Assad's loyalists have mounted a relentless military campaign to dislodge rebels fighting for control of the northern city. Neither side can afford to lose.

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Business
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Gift Cards: What's New, What's Hot, What To Avoid

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Like it or not, we are now in holiday shopping season. And for gift givers who are simply stumped about what to get that special or not so special someone, there is always the gift card. They might be derided as impersonal, but Americans spend billions and billions of dollars on gift cards.

To help us sort through the array of gift cards, and also to give us some warnings about fees we might find, we called up Janna Herron. She writes about gift cards for Bankrate.com.

Janna, welcome to the program.

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Business
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Rock Star Parking? Hong Kong Spot Going For $88,000

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:08 am

Hong Kong is trying to cool its housing market, so investors are looking for other places to put their money. One Hong Kong developer recently sold 500 spaces for $167,000 each. The $88,000 spot goes on the auction block Thursday.

Business
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

As Battery Demand Falls, Can Energizer Keep Going?

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 6:15 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now, let's turn to today's business bottom line. As more people buy smartphones and other devices that run on rechargeable batteries - this will come as no surprise - sales of single-use, disposable batteries are dropping; and that is not without consequences. Energizer announced this month that the company will close three plants because of decreased demand. That is a 10 percent cut of its global workforce. Vermont Public Radio's Kirk Carapezza reports on one community that is feeling the pain.

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Business
7:33 am
Wed November 28, 2012

HP Mired In Messy Allegations

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

For decades, Hewlett Packard was a Silicon Valley icon. Today, the company is mired in messy allegations about accounting irregularities at a software firm it bought called Autonomy.

From Silicon Valley, NPR's Steve Henn reports Autonomy allegedly inflated its earnings prior to that sale.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Last week, HP's CEO Meg Whitman told investors the company was writing off more than $8 billion in losses, largely because of what happened at Autonomy.

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Business
7:03 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Online Businesses See Cyber Monday Sales Jump

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We begin NPR's business news with some cyber power.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The Monday after Thanksgiving is known as Cyber Monday because of all the online shopping deals that are offered up. And this year, online retailers had a field day. A survey by IBM of 500 online businesses found sales jumped 30 percent over last year, as millions of people went online to get their fix of holiday gadgets. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

World
5:14 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Afghan Women Make Their Mark On The Soccer Field

Former U.S. Olympian Lorrie Fair hugs Zahra Mahmoudi, the captain of the Afghan women's soccer team.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:05 am

Afghanistan first established a national women's soccer team just five years ago, and while they aren't yet World Cup material, they are making strides.

Last week, they got a little help from former U.S. Olympic soccer player Lorrie Fair, who staged a clinic in Kabul that was set up by the State Department.

Clad in her blue U.S. national team sweatsuit, Fair led the Afghan women through a series of exercises on the tennis court at the U.S. Embassy.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Victims Feel Slighted By Oklahoma Bombing Fund

A security guard walks along the edge of the reflecting pool, past the field of 168 empty chairs, at the Oklahoma City National Memorial in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

It has been almost two decades since a truck bomb blew apart the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. Almost immediately, donations poured in from around the world to help the community recover.

Today, millions of dollars remain in a private fund to assist victims and surviving family members. But some affected by the blast say that even with all that money available, they've been denied help.

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Around the Nation
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Educators Worry Revamped GED Will Be Too Pricey

Administrators at the adult education center are concerned that the GED overhaul will make it harder for many test takers to complete the exam.
Diane Orson WNPR

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:03 am

When Toni Walker is not in Hartford, Conn., serving as a state representative, she can usually be found at the New Haven Adult and Continuing Education Center.

"We basically educate approximately 800 people a day," says Walker, an assistant principal at the center. "It is open enrollment, so when somebody gets an epiphany and says, 'I need to get my high school diploma so that I can get a job,' they can walk through the doors, and they can get [their GED] here."

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World
5:13 am
Wed November 28, 2012

In Russia, Pro-Putin Youths Protest Mormons As 'Cult'

Activists from the Young Guard, which supports Russian President Vladimir Putin, have been protesting the Mormon church in Russia, calling it a "totalitarian cult."
Konstantin Zavrazhin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 7:48 am

Young supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin have staged several protests this month outside Mormon meeting houses, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is an "authoritarian sect" with connections to the CIA and FBI.

The protesters are members of the Young Guard, a youth organization of Putin's United Russia Party. They insist their actions have nothing to do with Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate and Mormon who called Russia the "No. 1 geopolitical foe" of the U.S.

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