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The Salt
12:13 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

A Hidden Hanukkah Tale Of A Woman, An Army And Some Killer Cheese

This Hanukkah lamp, made in Italy in the 19th century, depicts Judith holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Holofernes in the other.
The Jewish Museum, New York / Art Resource, NY

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:11 am

At Hanukkah, many Jewish families celebrate with foods such as latkes and donuts that are fried in oil. The tradition honors the story of the miracle that occurred when a one-day supply of oil burned for eight days inside a temple under siege by the enemy .

Some Jews also eat dishes like kugel, cheesecake or rugelah that all share one ingredient — cheese. But how did cheese make it onto the holiday menu?

It starts (as many of these tales do) with a woman. This woman was Judith.

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Shots - Health News
11:59 am
Tue December 4, 2012

A Polio Outbreak In Pakistan Reveals Gaps In Vaccination

A child is inoculated with the polio vaccine at a traffic checkpoint just outside Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. Roadside vaccinations help health workers reach children in mobile populations.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 6:55 am

Pakistan has made a lot of progress this year in wiping out polio. There are signs that one type of poliovirus is gone and transmission of other strains seems to be slowing.

But a recent outbreak of polio there has health officials concerned about the overall effectiveness of the effort to eliminate polio in that country.

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Books
11:45 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Fleeing North Korea Through 'Asia's Underground Railroad'

Though it is a capital offense to leave the country, more people attempt to flee North Korea each year.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 12:21 pm

North Korea remains one of the most isolated and repressive countries in the world.

Each year, though fleeing the country is a capital offense, a brave few attempt an escape to freedom using a secret network of safe houses and routes from North Korea to Southeast Asia.

In her book Escape from North Korea: The Untold Story of Asia's Underground Railroad, writer Melanie Kirkpatrick tells the harrowing stories of North Korean defectors who attempt to escape from a place she calls "hell on Earth."

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Tue December 4, 2012

NATO Approves Turkey's Request For Patriot Defense Missiles

An Israeli army Patriot missile battery is deployed at an unidentified base in central Israel.
Shaul Schwarz Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:49 am

NATO has announced that it will deploy Patriot defense missiles that Turkey had requested to protect itself against attacks from Syria that have so far killed five Turks.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Remembering Kim Jong-Il ... And His Parka

Kim Jong Il and his favorite parka in 2009.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:16 pm

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NPR Story
11:12 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Outgoing Political Mavericks Reflect On Careers

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 12:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan. When the 112th Congress adjourns, some of the most vivid politicians of our times will leave the stage. We've already spoken with Democratic Representatives Barney Frank and Dennis Kucinich. Today two political mavericks.

One ran for president of the United States, the other for vice president. Both at one time or another left their parties. Both left indelible marks on politics and on Washington, D.C.

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NPR Story
11:09 am
Tue December 4, 2012

To Fix The Debt, Compromise Is Key

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 11:58 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Later in the program, exit interviews with Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Ron Paul as they leave Congress after many years. But first we continue our Opinion Page series on the fiscal cliff.

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NPR Story
11:06 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Letters: Dementia Crisis, Dolly Parton

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 12:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. Last Tuesday, during our discussion about parents with a physical or cognitive disability, we heard from Maribeth(ph) in Denver: My daughter and son-in-law are congenitally deaf, she wrote. Both are graduates of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and lived there when their first child was born, who was hearing and did not suffer from not hearing spoken word from her parents.

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The Two-Way
10:43 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Europeans Summon Israeli Diplomats On Settlement Plan

Construction workers are seen at the E1 construction site near the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem in 2007.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:11 am

The U.S. has called the latest Israeli settlement plan "counterproductive," and now the Europeans have weighed in, with even more pointed criticism.

Israeli ambassadors to Britain, France, Denmark, Spain and Sweden were summoned Monday to hear opposition to the settlement plan.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Bloomberg Urged Hillary Clinton To Run For NYC Mayor

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as she is introduced to speak at the residence of the U.S. ambassador to Belgium in Brussels.
Kevin LaMarque AFP/Getty Images

The New York Times broke one of the more intriguing political stories of the week, last night: In a phone call "not long ago," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged Hillary Clinton to consider running for his job after she ended her tenure as secretary of sate.

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Television
10:06 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Boxes Of TV Fun, Old And New, For The Holidays

The new five-DVD, one-CD box set The Incredible Mel Brooks is crammed full with comedy gold — and includes Brooks and Carl Reiner (above) doing their iconic skit "The 2,000-Year-Old Man."
William Claxton Demont Photo Management, LLC

I'm biased, of course, because I'm a television critic — but to me, giving someone a gift of a TV show you yourself enjoyed tremendously is somehow very personal. You're giving something that you love, and that in many cases will occupy many hours, if not days, of their time. And during that time, they'll occasionally be reminded of you.

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Author Interviews
10:06 am
Tue December 4, 2012

'Inventing Wine': The History Of A Very Vintage Beverage

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:40 am

Wine is our original alcoholic beverage. It dates back 8,000 years and, as Paul Lukacs writes in his new book, Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures, was originally valued more because it was believed to be of divine origin than for its taste. And that's a good thing, Lukacs tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, because early wine was not particularly good.

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The Two-Way
9:34 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Betrayed By Metadata: John McAfee Admits He's Really In Guatemala

A Facebook page shows photos of John McAfee, the founder of the eponymous anti-virus company.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 8:05 am

The story of John McAfee just keeps getting weirder. If you remember, the McAfee anti-virus software founder is on the lam, wanted for questioning in Belize for the shooting death of Gregory Faull, another expat who lived near him.

McAfee claims he's innocent and the victim of a corrupt government who is trying to get him.

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Space
9:06 am
Tue December 4, 2012

NASA Scientists 'Very Careful' With New Mars Data

This photo, taken by NASA's Curiosity rover, shows Mars' Gale Crater, where the rover has taken samples for chemical analysis. Scientists believe that at some point in the very distant past, there was a riverbed here.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:22 pm

NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.

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It's All Politics
9:05 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Obama And Boehner Are Still Far Apart On Fiscal Cliff, But Don't Panic — Yet

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on Nov. 16.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 4:17 pm

It's apparently still too early for any of Washington's top policymakers to start blinking in the "fiscal cliff" stare-down. So there's no need to panic — yet.

That's the real message of Monday's congressional Republican counteroffer to President Obama's proposal for avoiding the "fiscal cliff," the combination of major tax increases and drastic spending cuts scheduled for the end of the year.

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Planet Money
9:05 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Bad News For U.S. Farmers: Europeans Still Don't Eat Much Peanut Butter

"This is how America Tastes!"
American Peanut Council

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 8:47 am

Despite the best efforts of U.S. peanut farmers, Europeans still don't eat much peanut butter.

This is a particular bummer for the farmers right now, because they're sitting on a peanut glut. This year's harvest was nearly twice as abundant as last year's (over 6.1 billion pounds), and the majority of those nuts are a variety (runner peanuts) that are often used for peanut butter.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Report: Man Given Boots By NYC Police Officer Has Apartment He Could Use

The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. That man was later identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Hillman.
Jennifer Foster NYPD via Facebook

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 9:02 am

Jeffrey Hillman's bare feet on a frigid night in New York City last month inspired a police officer to buy the seemingly homeless man a pair of warm boots — a moment captured in a heartwarming photo that went viral.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Tue December 4, 2012

In Damascus, Bracing For The Worst

A Syrian soldier aims his rifle during clashes in the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Sunday. There is frequent fighting in and around Damascus, and residents are increasingly worried about a major battle for the capital.
HOPD AP/SANA

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:47 am

Editor's Note: Throughout the Syrian uprising, the government has allowed few foreign journalists and other outsiders into the country, and there has been limited information about many parts of the country. In this essay, a Syrian citizen describes life in the capital Damascus. For security reasons, NPR is not identifying the author.

The people of Damascus seem to be bracing for the worst, fearing that a revolt now 20 months old is building to a ferocious fight for control of the capital.

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Politics
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Time For A 'Black Agenda' In The White House?

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program we are going to head to Central Africa to find out what's happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where an armed rebel group managed to take over one of the country's most important cities, despite the presence of a massive United Nations peacekeeping force. We'll talk about how that happened and why it matters with a reporter who is there on the ground. That's coming up later in the program.

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Parenting
8:41 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Son Questions Mother's Shaken Baby Conviction

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:33 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner and generally at this time, we check in with a group of parents who share their experiences and common sense advice.

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