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7:01 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Most Economists Say Happy New Year — Really

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:29 am

As the new year begins, most economists' annual forecasts are brimming with good cheer.

"The economic news remains broadly encouraging," the Goldman Sachs forecasters write in their 2014 outlook.

And the brighter prospects are not limited to this country. "The global economy is likely to emerge in 2014 with modest growth of 3.3 percent compared with 2.5 percent this year," according to Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at the forecasting firm IHS Global Insight.

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Europe
5:19 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Ice Cream Truck Switches From Jingles To Text Messages

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 5:39 am

Sweden's icy winter leads a lot of people indoors which didn't deter one enterprising ice cream truck driver. He simply played his truck's jingle louder. So loud, that residents complained. Which led the ice cream company to come up with a quieter substitute to the traditional jingle: texting.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Wed January 1, 2014

ID Card Finally Fits Hawaiian Woman's Last Name

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with a short update on a woman with a very long name.

JANICE KEIHANAIKUKAUAKAHIHULIHE'EKAHAUNAELE: Janice Keihanaikukauakahihulihe'ekahaunaele.

MONTAGNE: OK, she goes by Loke. Last fall, she began a push to get all 36 characters of her surname on her Hawaiian I.D. The state would only accept 35. Now its transportation department says it will allow 40 characters. Next challenge: Getting Loke's full name on her Social Security Card.

The Two-Way
3:05 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Former First Lady Barbara Bush Is Hospitalized

Former first lady Barbara Bush in March 2012.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 3:10 am

Barbara Bush, 88, is in a hospital in Houston with a respiratory-related issue, according to her husband's office.

She was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday, a statement from the office of former President George H.W. Bush reads.

The statement says the former first lady "is in great spirits."

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NPR Story
2:41 am
Wed January 1, 2014

New Year's Celebrations Move Around The Globe

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So how did you ring in the New Year this year: among friends with a pop of champagne and a kiss? Or did you join with the millions of celebrants in cities all around the world, who gathered in public places, to bring in 2014 with a bang. In London, a spectacular fireworks display kicked off with Big Ben chiming in the New Year.

(SOUNDBITE OF A CROWD AND BIG BEN)

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NPR Story
2:41 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Alarm Clock Sets Off A Real Wake-Up Call

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Around New Year's lots of us are thinking about time and how we spend it. Yesterday we heard about an unusual wristwatch that challenged how we look at time and today we bring you a story about an alarm clock designed to help you stick to those New Year's resolutions.

The Chicago based company Fig believes the clock will help keep people motivated to meet their life goals. NPR's Alix Spiegel took a look and found the clock led her into some much deeper issues.

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NPR Story
2:41 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Rose Bowl Highlights College Football Game Day

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

January 1st is the day college football fans dream about - or, at least they used to. Not too long ago, it featured the big event: the last and biggest of the bowl games. We'll have to wait until next Monday for the BCS championship, but no worry, there are still some good games on tap for today. And here with a preview is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.

MONTAGNE: Six games today, Mike. Which are the big ones?

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The Two-Way
2:33 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Dying Lawyer Convicted Of Aiding Terrorism Leaves Prison

Attorney Lynn Stewart smiles at her husband Ralph Poynter, as they leave Federal Court in Manhattan in 2005 after she was convicted on all five charges regarding aiding terrorism, assisting terrorism and making false statements.
David Karp AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:47 am

Former defense lawyer Lynne Stewart, 74, who's suffering from breast cancer, has been released from a Texas prison.

In 2005, Stewart was convicted of helping blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman communicate with followers while he was serving a life sentence for plotting to blow up landmarks in New York City.

Government attorneys requested the early release for Stewart because the cancer has metastasized to her lungs and bones.

Doctors say she has less than 18 months to live.

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Animals
1:06 am
Wed January 1, 2014

RoboCop? How About RoboPenguin!

Two African penguins stretch their flippers at the Maryland Zoo.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

At the American Physical Society's fluid dynamics conference this winter, there was a healthy infusion of biology. In between talks on propellers and plane wings, there were presentations about flying snakes, fire ants, humpback whales and hummingbirds. Physicists from all over the world are turning to the natural world to help them solve engineering problems.

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The Salt
1:04 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Malawian Farmers Say Adapt To Climate Change Or Die

Villages in the Lower Shire valley of Malawi, like this one named Jasi, rely heavily on subsistence farming and steady rainfall, and are struggling to produce steady harvests.
Jennifer Ludden/NPR

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

Rain is so important in Malawi's agriculture-based economy that there are names for different kinds of it, from the brief bursts of early fall to heavier downpours called mvula yodzalira, literally "planting rain." For generations, rainfall patterns here in the southeast part of Africa have been predictable, reliable. But not now.

In the village of Jasi, in the hot, flat valley of Malawi's Lower Shire, farmer Pensulo Melo says 2010 was a disaster.

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