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Trump Arrives In Utah To Declare Monument Reductions

President Donald Trump has signed proclamations to formally scale back two sprawling national monuments in Utah: Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

South Korea's president delivered this message yesterday to North Korea: It will respond strongly to any provocations under North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un. However, in a televised speech, Lee Myung-bak also promised that North-South relations could improve if Pyongyang halts its nuclear weapons program.

Reporter Doualy Xaykaothao recently hit the streets of Seoul, to find out what South Koreans think of the power shift in the north. And for many the answer is simple: They don't care.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

American Idol, The Sing-Off, The Voice — there's no shortage of over-the-top, glitzy, ratings-driven music competitions on TV. And now Aretha Franklin is getting in on the singing contest circuit, but she's turning her searchlight on the world of classical music. That's right — the Queen of Soul is searching for the next great opera singer.

Fed Will Now Forecast Interest-Rate Changes

Jan 3, 2012

The Federal Reserve will now tell the public its expectations for short-term interest rates. In the minutes of the Fed's Open Market Committee Dec. 13 meeting , the Fed said it would update that forecast four times a year, beginning after its Jan. 24-25 meeting.

The AP reports:

One of the more surprising moments in U.S. foreign policy last year occurred when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Myanmar, long ruled by a repressive military government and shunned as a pariah nation.

The six-word memoir conceit grew into a popular series of books, but the editors know it's tough to share a meaningful story in so few words. So Smith Magazine released The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-Changing Stories from 125 Writers and Artists Famous and Obscure, a collection of longer tales.

Larry Smith,editor of the collection, joins NPR's Neal Conan to talk about the moments included in the book, and to hear listeners' stories of the moments that changed their lives.

Tell us: When was the moment your life changed?

Body Found On Queen Elizabeth II's Country Estate

Jan 3, 2012

A dog walker found a body on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. The royals spend the holidays every year on the sprawling, 20,000-acre estate.

The Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement saying the female body was found on Sunday, while the Royals were at home, and that the office has launched a murder investigation.

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.

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The Latest From NPR

President Trump went to Utah on Monday. The official purpose of his trip was to announce the reduction of two national monuments in the state, though he could have signed those orders in the Oval Office.

But the journey west may have served a political purpose for the president — to keep a political rival out of Washington.

Republicans say the tax-cutting overhaul being debated in Congress will jump-start the U.S. economy, leading to a lot more investment and hiring by companies.

But some economists say the tax plans — which would sharply cut corporate and business taxes and eliminate numerous deductions for individuals — come at precisely the wrong time. Lower taxes could also be undercut by Federal Reserve policymakers, who are gradually raising interest rates, they say.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

Maltese police have arrested 10 suspects in connection to the October assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was renowned for her unflinching scrutiny of the corrupt and powerful on the Mediterranean island nation.

All of the suspects are from Malta and most have criminal records, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports, citing Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Frank reports that the FBI is assisting with the investigation into Caruana Galizia's murder, which drew international attention:

Former Rep. Corrine Brown has been sentenced to five years in prison for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors who believed their money was going to charity. A federal judge on Monday sentenced the Florida Democrat, who was voted out of office last year, on 18 crimes ranging from conspiracy to fraud.

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