Visiting the land of invented languages Linguist Arika Okrent speaks many languages, including several such as Klingon and Esperanto, which someone sat down and invented from scratch. In her new book "In the Land of Invented Languages," Okrent explores nine centuries of linguistic invention, and the belief that a better language could lead to a better world.4:54 p.m.
Health officials keep quiet about vaccine supplies The distribution process for the H1N1 flu vaccine in Minnesota has been shrouded in secrecy to this point. Some Minnesota clinics have withheld information from the public about their vaccine supplies. And the state Health Department has deliberately kept quiet about which clinics and hospitals have received doses.5:20 p.m.
Obama, Hu Pledge Cooperation
President Obama met with his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, for wide-ranging talks on the challenges facing their two countries. The two discussed how they can pursue a more balanced economic strategy, cooperate on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and the spread of nuclear weapons.
Human Rights Official Decries China's Secret Jails
Human Rights Watch is calling attention to what it says are "severe rights abuses" in a network of secret detention centers in China, known as "black jails." Brad Adams, the group's Asia director, tells NPR there is no due process for the detainees, who say they were jailed for filing grievances with the government.
Watchdog Says Fed Paid Too Much In AIG Bailout
The Federal Reserve could have paid less to banks that made risky deals with insurance giant AIG, a government watchdog reports. Treasury officials say the Fed was acting to avert a crisis and that it needs better financial regulatory tools.
Game Over For New England Retailer
Bowl & Board succumbed to the recession this fall after 43 years in business. But the end was somewhat anticlimactic. After liquidation specialists swarmed through the store taking inventory, owner Mark Giarrusso prepared for the store's final sale.
Dictionary Picks 'Unfriend' As Word Of The Year
The New Oxford American Dictionary's 2009 Word of the Year can trace its origins back to the 17th century. The word: "unfriend." Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer at Oxford University Press, says the Oxford English Dictionary provides a citation for "unfriend" from 1659.
Marines Welcome Replacements To The Afghan Fight
Marines from "America's Battalion," the 2/8, are returning home this month from Afghanistan after a six-month deployment. But before they go, they are passing along vital knowledge of the enemy and the terrain of Helmand province to the Marines replacing them.
DEA Agent Killed In Afghanistan Remembered
Michael Weston was among the three agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration who was killed recently in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Graduating from Harvard Law School would provide bragging rights for many, but Weston was different. He skipped the usual path of joining a top law firm, instead choosing to serve as a U.S. Marine and later a DEA agent.
Nation's Oldest Gay Newspaper Closes The Washington Blade, an influential newspaper that serves Washington, D.C.'s gay community, was shut down Monday when its owner, Window Media LLC, ceased operations. The paper's editor, Kevin Naff, says the staff has met and laid out plans for a new publication.
Listeners respond to the story on what to call the year 2010. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read from listeners' e-mails.
Story Specialists: Doctors Who Write
The history of literature is filled with authors who also performed surgery or scribbled prescriptions. Lynn Neary speaks with two doctors who are also fiction writers — Abraham Verghese and Terrence Holt — about the link between medicine and writing literature.