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Stories for November 27, 2012

College Football: Pro and Con(servative) Views

Nov. 27
Frank Deford / NPR
Tease photo

What do anti-abortion beliefs, and patronizing Chick-fil-A, and a devotion to college sports have in common? Hmm.

California Lawmakers Seek Probe Of Refineries, Gas Spikes

Nov. 27
KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

Six Democratic senators representing states along the Pacific Coast asked the Justice Department on Tuesday to investigate the role of oil refineries in gas spikes that occurred in May and October even as crude oil prices were declining.

Virtual Tour Of San Onofre Now Available Online

Nov. 27
City News Service
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A virtual tour of the troubled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County has been uploaded to the Internet, according to its operator.

City Council Sets 50-Year Lease With San Diego Civic Theatre

Nov. 27
James R. Riffel, CITY NEWS SERVICE

The City Council today unanimously passed a 50-year lease with the organization that operates the San Diego Civic Theatre.

NATURE: Animal Odd Couples

Nov. 27
NATURE: Animal Odd Couples  Tease photo

Despite the odds, there are countless stories of the most unlikely cross-species relationships imaginable: a goat guiding a blind horse; a doe who regularly visits her Great Dane surrogate mother; a juvenile gibbon choosing to live with a family of capuchins, and so on. Instincts gone awry? The subject has mystified scientists for years. Now, NATURE investigates why animals form these special bonds.

San Diego Zoo's Solar-Powered Parking Lot Opens

Nov. 27
By Tom Fudge
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A facility that will use solar energy to charge plug-in electric vehicles and feed the electrical grid has opened in the San Diego Zoo's parking lot.

New Report Offers Cautionary Note On Desal Contract

Nov. 27
By Alison St John
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San Diego County Water Authority is poised to vote on a 30-year contract to buy desalinated water. A new report warns against getting in too deep.

Alamo Flap Highlights Mismanagement At Monument

Nov. 27
By David Martin Davies
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After a two-year investigation into the operations of the Alamo the Texas Attorney General’s office called into question the stewardship of the popular Texan shrine.

Christmas With Nathan Pacheco

Nov. 27
Christmas With Nathan Pacheco  Tease photo

This Christmas, renowned recording artist Nathan Pacheco gives the gift of music, capturing the spirit of the season with inspirational, moving performances of holiday favorites including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “White Christmas,” “Silver Bells” and an unforgettable rendition of the ultimate Christmas song, “O Holy Night.”

Four Commonly Used Antipsychotic Drugs Don't Work

Nov. 27
Midday Edition
By Kenny Goldberg
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Antipsychotic drugs are widely prescribed to treat dementia-related mood disorders, but a new study finds they're not effective.

Great Performances: Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby

Nov. 27
Great Performances: Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby  Tease photo

Legendary rocker Rod Stewart’s first solo holiday special, with songs produced by “Hitman” David Foster, features 13 classic songs, ranging from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to “Auld Lang Syne,” and including duets with Michael Bublé (“Winter Wonderland”), Cee-Lo Green (“Merry Christmas, Baby”), Mary J. Blige (“We Three Kings”) and even Ella Fitzgerald (“What Are You Doing on New Year’s Eve?”).

HIV Infections Rise Among Young Black Men In U.S.

Nov. 27
Michaeleen Doucleff / NPR
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The latest data on HIV rates in American teenagers and young adults offer a sobering message.

HIV Infections Rise Among Young Black Men

Nov. 27
Michaeleen Doucleff / NPR
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The latest data on HIV rates in American teenagers and young adults offer a sobering message.

USS Vandegrift Returns To San Diego On Wednesday

Nov. 27
By Beth Ford Roth
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The USS Vandegrift is scheduled to return to its homeport of San Diego on November 28, after a six-month deployment. The deployment was notable because the Navy removed the ship's commanding officer from his post after a "rowdy, booze-fueled" port visit to Russia.

André Rieu: Live In Tuscany

Nov. 27
André Rieu: Live In Tuscany  Tease photo

This special was filmed in Cortona, a small town in Tuscany, Italy, at the Piazza Della Republica. Filmed outside in this beautiful village, the buildings with balconies made a perfect setting for the audience, André Rieu, and the Johann Strauss Orchestra.

City Council Votes To Save Job-Training Program

Nov. 27
By Katie Orr and City News Service

The San Diego City Council today approved spending $200,000 to save a job-training program from going dormant a second time.

Lame Duck GOP Senators Introduce Immigration Bill, But With No Path To Citizenship

Nov. 27
By Nick Blumberg
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Two Republican senators have introduced legislation to provide legal status for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children. But the bill wouldn’t create a special path to citizenship.

As Colleges Retool Aid, Can Entry Stay Need-Blind?

Nov. 27
Tovia Smith / NPR

With money coming in more slowly than the financial aid given out, schools say they are nearing the breaking point, and even the most selective elite universities are rethinking their generosity.

US Military Death Toll In Afghanistan Reaches 2,030

Nov. 27
Associated Press
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As of Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at least 2,030 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

DeMaio Praises Colleagues During Last Council Meeting

Nov. 27
City News Service
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Councilman Carl DeMaio praised his colleagues during his last official meeting today for their hard work on behalf of constituents.

Rants And Raves: The Return Of SchlockFest

Nov. 27
By Beth Accomando
Rants And Raves: The Return Of SchlockFest Tease photo

If you have a tight holiday budget, here's the perfect solution: free entertainment at the San Diego Public Library with the return of SchlockFest on November 28 at 6:30pm.

Powerball Jackpot Is $500 Million; Now Will You Buy A Chance?

Nov. 27
Mark Memmott / NPR
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We know there's only a 1 in 175 million chance of winning. Even then, you might have to share the prize.

Kennedy Center's New Organ No Longer A Pipe Dream

Nov. 27
Nina Totenberg / NPR
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It was almost spooky. Each night after 11 p.m., when nothing was stirring in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, two men would enter. One would sit at the organ, playing a key or series of keys, and the other would crawl around inside the organ pipes, 40 feet off the floor. The process went on for months.

Rick Steves' European Insights

Nov. 27
Rick Steves' European Insights  Tease photo

In this special 30-minute collection of never-before-seen clips, Rick Steves' European Insights brings art and history to life in Pisa, provides a thoughtful assessment of history we can learn from at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden, and the Danish Nazi Resistance Museum in Copenhagen — and brings us up to speed on breathtaking developments in Europe, with a look at its ethnic diversity and investment in its infrastructure.

Tourism Marketing Tax Approved, But Is It Legal?

Nov. 27
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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The San Diego City Council voted on Monday to extend for 40 years the pilot program taxing hotel rooms by up to 2 percent. The funds collected in the Tourism Marketing District will go exclusively to marketing San Diego and its amenities to tourists.

Why The Young Are Not Leading The Fight Against Climate Change

Nov. 27
Midday Edition
Evening Edition
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Many look to the young to take up the fight against climate change, but one San Diego author says the very people who should be agitating for solutions don't even know what the problem is.

ACLU Sues To Allow Women In Combat

Nov. 27
By Beth Ford Roth
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The ACLU of Northern California has filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon policy that bans women from combat.

Pull-Ups To Be Physical Fitness Requirement For Female Marines

Nov. 27
By Beth Ford Roth
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The Marine Corps will soon require female Marines to perform pull-ups as part of the Corps' physical fitness requirements. The Marine Corps will implement the change in two phases, with the first phase beginning January 1, 2013.

Navy Quarterback Hospitalized After Car Crash

Nov. 27
By Beth Ford Roth
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Navy third-string quarterback Ralph "Rafi" Montalvo is in a medically-induced coma today fighting for his life, after suffering a critical head injury in a car accident on Thanksgiving. The team is grappling with the tragedy as it prepares to play its rival Army on December 8.

Taking Aim At Restrictions On Medical Questions About Gun Ownership

Nov. 27
Michelle Andrews / NPR
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The way some doctors see it, asking patients whether they own a gun is no more politically loaded than any other health-related question they ask.

Rare Meat Allergy Caused By Tick Bites May Be On The Rise

Nov. 27
Gretchen Cuda Kroen / NPR

Some people are allergic to peanuts, others to shellfish, fruits, or wheat. But this rare allergy is a carnivore's worst nightmare: A tick bite that can cause a case of itchy red hives every time you eat meat. Yup, get bit by one of these buggers and you may be saying farewell to your filet Mignon.

Smoke From Controlled Burn Visible In San Diego's East County

Nov. 27
City News Service

Smoke may be visible over areas in Cuyamaca and Julian today as firefighters and state parks personnel carry out a brush-clearing operation in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Australia Apologizes To Military Victims Of Abuse

Nov. 27
Associated Press
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Australia's defense minister on Monday apologized to military personnel past and present who were sexually abused or otherwise mistreated during their service. He also started an inquiry into hundreds of allegations of abuse over six decades.

San Diego Domestic Violence Contracts Probed

Nov. 27
Associated Press

A San Diego program to help victims of domestic violence is under investigation for allegedly making illegal contracts.

City As Blender: Tijuana's New Mix Of Music, Crowds, And Cultures

Nov. 27
Evening Edition
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By 2009, Tijuana had become a shadow of its former self. Known for bars, clubs, and general debauchery, the city's nightlife had ground to a crushing halt. Drug violence scared away tourists, and even locals stayed indoors. Yet today, the city is emerging from hibernation.

Are Cycle Tracks A Better Way To Bike?

Nov. 27
By Tom Fudge
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Protected bike lanes are an emerging idea that could make San Diego cycling safer and more popular.

Fiscal Cliff Compromise: Devil Is In The Definition Of Revenue

Nov. 27
Tamara Keith / NPR

A grand bargain, a compromise to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, could all come down to one word: revenue. It's now widely agreed that steering away from the cliff -- the combination of spending cuts and tax increases set to hit at the start of the year -- will require some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts. The central sticking point could well be whether President Obama and Congress can agree on the definition of revenue.

To Fight Tick-Borne Disease, Someone Has To Catch Ticks

Nov. 27
Bradley Campbell / NPR
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Most people try to avoid ticks. But not Tom Mather.

Companies That Were 'Naughty And Nice' In 2012

Nov. 27
NPR Staff / NPR

For holiday shoppers, retailers' approach to fees, returns and other practices can bring praise or anger. And when customers rant or rave, Consumer Reports takes note -- and compiles them into its annual "Naughty and Nice" list of companies.