All Things Considered for Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tens of thousands of South Africans, joined by global dignitaries, gathered at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium in Soweto Tuesday to honor Nelson Mandela, who died last week.
President Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela Tuesday. It is believed to be the first handshake between leaders of the two countries since President Clinton greeted Raul's brother Fidel Castro at a U.N. meeting in 2000.

Study: Organic Milk Contains More Healthy Fatty Acids

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.
One day after the government sold off its stake in General Motors, the automaker announced a new CEO Tuesday. Mary Barra will become the first female head of a major auto company.

French-Backed Forces Try To Stem Bloodshed In CAR

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.
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.
The once-sleepy tourist town of Noel, Mo., in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, is now home to hundreds of immigrants and newly arrived refugees, thanks largely to the huge Tyson Food Inc. poultry plant. And since the town lacks the infrastructure to serve these new residents, schools have become the de facto safety net.

New Orleans' Rat Fighters Go Beyond Baiting Traps

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.

To Get Olympic Snow, Machines Give Nature A Nudge

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.
Seattle broke the Guinness World Record for largest snowball fight in January with 5,834 participants. St. Paul, Minn., hopes to top that next month during its Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival. For more, Melissa Block speaks with Joe Alton, a project manager for the carnival and its snowball-fight organizer.
Officials at the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and the SEC signed off on new banking rules Tuesday. Under the so-called Volcker rule, banks will be barred from trading in their own accounts, but will still be able to buy and sell on behalf of clients. Big investment banks will no longer be able to own hedge funds or private equity firms. The new regulations took more than three years to complete.
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.
Thousands gathered to remember and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela Tuesday despite a downpour of rain. As one attendee said, "Mandela endured 27 years in prison. I can suffer through a day of rain."

Despite Big Market In Florida, Obamacare Is A Hard Sell

Far from the glitz of South Beach or the tourist mecca of the Magic Kingdom is northern Florida. Information about the Affordable Care Act can be hard to come by for residents, many of whom are working poor and could benefit from the law.
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.
Inflation in Venezuela — which has hit 54 percent this year — is among the world's highest. Basic goods like toilet paper and milk are out of reach for the average consumer. Presidential orders for business owners to empty their warehouses and slash prices are delighting shoppers, but dismaying shop owners.
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.
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.
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.
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