CNN Radio News Day: December 4, 2012
The Dar Al-Shifa hospital in the northern city of Aleppo on December 2, 2012, after part of it was bombed by a regime aircraft in November.
December 4th, 2012
04:31 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: December 4, 2012

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

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(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • NATO's secretary-general Tuesday served warning to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad that any use of chemical weapons by his regime would trigger an immediate international response.  The warning follows that of U.S. President Barack Obama yesterday, calling any chemical weapon use "totally unacceptable."  A U.S. official says there are "worrying signs" that Syria is mixing chemicals to make deadly sarin gas.  Leonard Spector with the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies says it's a notable development:

    "The fact that it's being mixed at this moment, if that's what the intelligence is saying, is a very serious change of circumstances."  

  • It's perhaps a student's worst nightmare – longer school days.  Starting next year, select public schools in five states will expand their calendars as part of the so-called 'time collaborative'.   The National Center on Time and Learning created the pilot program to add 300 hours to the school year:

"Both a longer year and a longer day are allowing students to have a deeper access to the curriculum and all the core subjects", says the group's founder and president, Jennifer Davis.

  • It appears Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse as they look for a way to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, which arrives in 28 days.  That's when a blend of tax hikes and spending cuts would kick-in.  President Obama on Tuesday met with a bi-partisan group of state governors.  Arkansas' governor said there was no specific mention of Medicare, even though the health insurance program for seniors is one of the largest drivers of deficit growth.  CNN senior writer Tami Luhby says comprehensive reform of Medicare is going to be complicated and controversial:

"It's unlikely that we'll have something very big, but there will likely be either some smaller attempts at Medicare reform, or there will be a promise to do it in 2013."

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