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Update at 6:56 p.m. ET. French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that the next round of rescue loans will not be paid, until after Greeks vote on whether to accept the terms of the bailout package.

This is significant, because Greece has said it will run out of money some time this month and the referendum is so far slated for early December.

Japanese Town Hopes For Post-Tsunami Reinvention

Nov 2, 2011

Long before the March 11 tsunami swallowed downtown Kesennuma, the city of 70,000 on Japan's northeast coast was on the skids.

Kesennuma, in Miyagi Prefecture, built its fortunes around the sea: building, outfitting and repairing small boats; harvesting and processing seafood; even serving up shark fin and sushi to tourists.

But over the past decade, overfishing, soaring gas prices and an aging workforce have taken their toll. Shopkeepers watched their once-thriving town fade into irrelevance.

Federal Reserved policymakers were a bit more upbeat about the economy than in their last statement, but that's not saying much. Fed officials say the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent well into 2013. Chairman Ben Bernanke took questions after Wednesday's Fed meeting and said the best way to combat increasing inequality is to have an economy that creates jobs. Guy Raz talks with NPR's Jim Zarroli for more.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And I'm Guy Raz.

The British consider St. Paul's Cathedral a national treasure. The marriage of Charles and Diana took place there, as did Churchill's funeral. These days, though, the London landmark is also the backdrop for another kind of drama- a protest camp modeled on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

NPR's Philip Reeves says it's causing upheaval in the heart of British society.

In a press conference following a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke painted a mixed picture of the economy.

The bottom line, he said is that "the pace of progress is likely to be frustratingly slow."

Secret To A Long, Healthy Life: Bike To The Store

Nov 2, 2011

What would you say to a cheap, easy way to stay slim, one that would help avoid serious illness and early death? How about if it made your neighbors healthier, too? It could be as simple as biking to the store.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin were wondering if getting people out of their cars just a wee bit would create measurable improvements in health. health. So they gathered up data sets on obesity, health effects of pollution, and air pollution caused by automobiles in 11 Midwestern cities, and did a mashup.

For a lot of farm kids, "learning to drive" means learning to drive a tractor before ever driving a car.

Here we go again with the race-card business.

Questioning the motives of those seeking the truth about the sexual harassment allegations against him when he led the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain said he suspects critics on the political left of attacking him for racial reasons.

A few months ago, Kansas seemed ahead of the game in preparing for an important requirement of the federal health law. The state had started to plan for exchanges — online marketplaces to help individuals and small businesses compare and buy health insurance.

But politics is intervening.

Syria Accepts Arab League Plan To End Crisis

Nov 2, 2011

Syria accepted an Arab League proposal calling for it to withdraw armored vehicles from the streets and stop violence against protesters in a bid to end the country's seven-month-old political crisis that has led to the deaths of some 3,000 people.

The agreement was announced by Qatar's Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who urged Damascus to follow through with action on the ground. Syria has continued its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters despite international condemnation and previous promises of reform.

The Arab League, which had sent a delegation to Syria to try and bring the seven-month conflict between protesters and the government to an end, announced that Syria had agreed to withdraw its military from residential areas and release political prisoners.

The AP reports:

The proposal calls on Syria to withdraw all tanks and armored vehicles from the streets, stop violence against protesters, release all political prisoners and begin a dialogue with the opposition within two weeks.

Women who raise a glass just a few times a week appear to have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those who are teetotalers.

A study that looked at the drinking habits and development of breast cancer in more than 100,000 nurses found those who drank more had a small but detectable increase in breast cancer compared with those who drank less.

Citing stronger economic growth, the Federal Reserve announced it is not making any changes to its monetary policy.

As the AP reported earlier, economists were expecting this wait-and-see approach because they figured the Fed would want time to assess whether its policy from August and September was spurring growth.

The schedule for the first four Republican presidential caucuses and primaries appeared officially set Wednesday with New Hampshire announcing that it would hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.

That would come exactly seven days after the Iowa caucuses, which were moved to Jan. 3, the first Tuesday of the new year, and which will kick off the process by which Republicans will choose their party's nominee to contest President Obama for the White House.

Nothing is more basic and simple than food. Yet it comes to us courtesy of a long, complicated supply chain that spans the globe.

That chain delivers food cheaply — but it can break. Four years ago, it blew up in most spectacular fashion, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on rice for sustenance. That crash — the great rice crisis of 2008 — was a true disaster for some of the poorest people in Asia and West Africa.

The news today that Pakistan's cabinet has moved to normalize trade with India — giving its neighbor "Most Favored Nation" status — is being viewed as a positive first step toward the possible normalization of diplomatic relations between the two nuclear rivals.

Weekend Edition Sunday host Audie Cornish will be filling in for Michele Norris on All Things Considered for a year, starting in January, NPR just announced.

The Paris offices of a French newsweekly that in its latest issue "invited" the Prophet Muhammad to be a guest editor and satirically wrote of what a "soft version" of Sharia law might be like, were burned early today.

According to The Associated Press:

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