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As Water Level Falls, Concerns About Mississippi River's Barge Traffic Rise

The drought gripping the nation's midsection has made the river very hard to navigate from St. Louis to Cairo, Ill., where it meets the Ohio River. By next week, barge traffic may have to halt altogether in that section, trade groups warn.
NPR

Little Hope, Low Expectations, Lots Of Gloom: 'Fiscal Cliff' Talk Is Dreary

President Obama and congressional leaders will meet this afternoon. There's not much talk about a deal being reached that bridges their differences over taxes and spending. But at least a few lawmakers are still optimistic.
NPR

Remembering Gen. Schwarzkopf, 'Military Hero Of His Generation'

The general who led coalition forces during the successful 1991 war to push Iraqi troops out of Kuwait, "removed the scar of Vietnam" from officers who had also served in that earlier war, says retired Maj. Gen. Robert Scales Jr.
NPR

Author Offers Unique Reward To Finder Of His Dog

Dennis Lehane, who wrote the darkly compelling novels Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, has lost his beloved rescue dog. The novelist describes Tessa as "immeasurably sweet." To the finder, Lehane will name a character after you in his next novel.
NPR

Russia's Putin Signs Controversial Adoption Bill

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a measure that would ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The ban is designed as retaliation for a new U.S. law that sanctions Russian officials accused of human rights violations.
NPR

Decades Later, Student Finds Teacher To Say 'Thank You'

When John Cruitt's mother died, his teacher was there to help him cope. More than 50 years later, Cruitt sought to find the woman who, he says, changed his life.
NPR

Assessing Hillary Clinton's Legacy

She is about to step aside as secretary of state and "step off this incredibly high wire." She generally gets high praise, though some critics say her role was limited on the major foreign policy questions of the past four years.

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