Can We Expect An Organic Milk Shortage In 2012?

Jan 3, 2012

It's been a tough few months for dairy, with Norway's butter shortage and now an ominous cloud looming over 2012 for some drinkers of organic milk.

Letters: Lives Lost In 2011 And Farm Work

Jan 3, 2012

NPR's Neal Conan reads from Talk of the Nation listener comments on previous show topics, including our annual show remembering remarkable lives lost, and a recent proposal to change the laws governing what work children may do on farms.

Crime rates dropped sharply in the past twenty years, according to FBI data, a trend that continues despite the recession and a recent decrease in prison populations. Criminologists see a clear trend, but can't fully explain what's driving the decline in violent and property crime rates.

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. And when many of them try to take off the extra pounds, their bodies fight to stay fat. Tara Parker-Pope, who described "The Fat Trap" in The New York Times Magazine, and Dr. Arthur Frank talk about why some people appear more biologically prone to obesity.

When Facebook engineer Arturo Bejar observed users were reporting pictures of themselves, not those with illegal content, he recognized the need for a better way for users to resolve internal conflicts. Bejar talks about how Facebook is trying to encourage compassion in online social interaction.

A major medical group issued ethical guidelines on Monday that take the provocative position of urging doctors to consider cost-effectiveness when deciding how to treat their patients.

The American College of Physicians, the second-largest U.S. doctors' group after the American Medical Association, included the recommendation in the latest version of its ethics manual, which provides guidance for some 132,000 internists nationwide.

We knew defense cuts were coming, but The New York Times is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will unveil $450 billion in cuts this week. With the announcement, reports the Times, will also come a new philosophy for the Pentagon.

The Times reports:

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

Most everyone's spirits are a bit deflated after the holidays. So, as a literary antidote, I recommend a just-published anthology called New York Diaries: 1609 – 2009. Editor Teresa Carpenter has collected four centuries worth of diary excerpts written by people, great and small, who've lived in or just passed through one of the greatest cities in the world.

U.S. Defiant As Iran Threatens Its Aircraft Carrier

Jan 3, 2012

Iran issued a threat to a U.S. aircraft carier, today, which further complicates the tense relationship between the two countries. The threat comes just a day after Iran performed naval maneuvers in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Two airlines in the Middle East say they have been exempted from a two-month-old ban on carrying large electronic devices aboard direct flights to the United States.

Five years ago, the Justice Department concluded that juvenile courts in Memphis, Tenn., failed to give due process to children.

Civil rights investigators uncovered significant racial disparities, and they reached a deal to fix some of those failings.

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