All Things Considered for December 10, 2013
Dec 10, 2013 — This week we're looking back at the year in music with a peek at NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2013. It's the annual list assembled by our in-house experts, including NPR music writer and editor Stephen Thompson. He tells Audie Cornish about his picks in the world of indie pop.
Dec 10, 2013 — In Brazil, an investigative commission has released a report that says ex-president Juscelino Kubitschek, thought to have died in a 1976 car accident, was murdered by the 1970's military regime.
Dec 10, 2013 — President Hasan Rouhani has presented a draft budget for the coming Iranian fiscal year, which begins in March. It stands in stark contrast to the rosy revenue estimates and big-spending budgets of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Economists say in real terms, accounting for Iran's still-high inflation rate, the Rouhani budget is a whopping 70 percent smaller on the spending side. And despite the optimistic talk from Iran's oil minister, the budget does not assume any significant rise in oil and gas revenues. Analysts say Rouhani's clear-eyed fiscal approach is a welcome change. But it puts even more pressure on nuclear negotiators to reach a comprehensive agreement with six world powers that will lead to the lifting of oil and banking sanctions, so the private sector can begin to fill the void left by the shrinking public spending.
Dec 10, 2013 — Federal regulators moved to tighten banking rules to curb risky trading on Wall Street Thursday. The so-called Volcker rule, part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, would preclude banks from making risky bets on their own accounts. Audie Cornish talks to Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, for more on what the rules will mean.
Dec 10, 2013 — Democrats who control the Senate invoked the so-called "nuclear option" to make it easier for them to approve President Obama's nominations several weeks ago. On Tuesday, they put that option to use, ramming through approval for a new appeals court judge and unblocking the nomination of a new director for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Dec 10, 2013 — French-backed African forces are making some headway to restore calm in the capital of Central African Republic. But humanitarian groups say the international response has been too slow as the conflict in the mineral-rich country takes on sectarian tones, pitting Muslims against Christians.
Dec 10, 2013 — The journal PLoS ONE has a new study that finds organic whole milk has more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. It's being cited by organics advocates as clear evidence that organic milk is more nutritionally beneficial than conventional milk.
Dec 10, 2013 — The cold snap that hammered Dallas five days ago is still creating problems. Thousands of people remain without power. Some truckers remain trapped at rest stops. And an unusual phenomenon called "cobblestone ice" is hampering crews from de-icing interstate bridges, overpasses and off-ramps.
Dec 10, 2013 — The 2014 Winter Olympics will unfold in a resort town on the relatively warm Black Sea — a testament to how far man-made snow has come in recent years. The strategy to supply snow includes a massive system of more than 550 machines — plus insulated blankets to protect piles of already-made white stuff.
Dec 10, 2013 — Since Hurricane Katrina, the hated rodents have flourished in piles of trash and blighted buildings. But when simply setting traps didn't work, city officials decided to take a more methodical approach to rat control. They're attacking the problems that invite the rats — and they're winning.