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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Unveils 'New Approach' On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

President Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties.
Doug Mills UPI /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:41 am

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.

Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Wed December 17, 2014

In Pictures: After Horrific Attack, Pakistan Picks Up The Pieces

The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair (center) comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, who was a teacher at the school that was attacked.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:15 am

Pakistan is picking up the pieces today after an attack on a school by Taliban militants left 145 people dead.

It's a heart-wrenching story. We've collected the news in a different post. Here, we'll tell the story visually, but fair warning — the photographs are representative of the horrific attack, so they're tough to look at:

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Animals
4:53 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Stray Cat In Russia Feasts On Fish

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Two-Way
4:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

As Pakistan Mourns, Prime Minister Removes Moratorium On Death Penalty

Chairs are upturned and blood stains the floor at the Army Public School auditorium the day after Taliban gunmen stormed the school in Peshawar, Pakistan.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:27 am

A day after a horrific Taliban attack on a school that left 145 people dead, Pakistan began to take stock.

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Europe
3:58 am
Wed December 17, 2014

AP Photographer Snaps Engagement Photo

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
2:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Senate Adjourns, GOP To Take Over In January

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The 113th Congress has officially come to a close. The Senate adjourned late last night after passing a bill to extend tax breaks and confirming a slew of nominations. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports.

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NPR Story
2:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Pakistan Observes 3 Days Of Mourning After School Attack

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:33 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
2:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Expected To Impose New Sanctions On Russia

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:15 pm

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NPR Story
2:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

DOJ Intervention May Help Conn. Police Regain Community's Trust

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:29 am

Copyright 2014 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.

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Shots - Health News
2:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Too Little, Too Late For Many New Yorkers Seeking Hospice

Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog, Coco, greet hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.
Amy Pearl WNYC

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:27 pm

Sandra Lopez and her Chihuahua, Coco, were inseparable. He followed her everywhere, and kept Lopez's mood up when she was in pain — which was often.

On Oct. 15, 2014, Lopez died at age 49 of melanoma that had slowly spread throughout her body over the course of two years.

Lopez was in and out of the hospital in 2014, but during the months she was home, a hospice nurse from the Metropolitan Jewish Health System visited once a week to help manage the pain, backed up by a 24-hour, nurse-staffed phone line that Lopez called often.

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Around the Nation
12:45 am
Wed December 17, 2014

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri.
Courtesy of Mike Lee

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:29 am

Crop-dusting pilots are the adrenaline junkies of the agriculture world. They whiz through the air, flying under power lines to sow seeds or spread pesticides on farmers' fields.

It's a dangerous job, and now these pilots are facing a new challenge — short towers that can sprout up in fields overnight. These towers are used to gather data for wind energy companies.

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NPR Ed
12:42 am
Wed December 17, 2014

An Alternative To Suspension And Expulsion: 'Circle Up!'

A restorative justice circle at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif.
Sam Pasarow/Edna Brewer Middle School

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:36 am

One by one, in a room just off the gym floor at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., seventh-graders go on the interview hot seat.

Some 80 students have applied to be "peer leaders" in the school's new, alternative discipline program called "restorative justice."

Kyle McClerkins, the program's director, grills them on aspects of adolescent life: "What is the biggest challenge for middle school girls? What has changed about you from sixth grade to now?"

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The Two-Way
10:45 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Senate OKs Judicial Nominees, Tax Extensions Before Republican Takeover

Senator Harry Reid of Nev. on Tuesday, walks to one of his final meetings as the Senate Majority Leader. In January, Republicans take over the majority.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:27 am

In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Bill Cosby Won't Be Charged Over 1974 Molestation Claim

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:22 am

Citing the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says it won't pursue child sexual abuse charges against comedian Bill Cosby, who has been the subject of numerous allegations made by more than a dozen women.

Prosecutors "noted the statute of limitations at the time of the alleged incident was three years," The Los Angeles Times says.

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Business
2:47 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Shopping On Shore Leave: How Seafarers Head To The Mall

First Officer Dheeraj Singh spends most of his time at the helm of a container ship, but on a three-hour shore leave from the Port of Oakland, he visits Old Navy at Bay Street Mall in Emeryville, Calif.
Julie Caine KALW

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:46 am

Many of us are making lots of trips to the mall right now, but what if you could only go shopping for just a few hours once a month? That's what life is like for container ship crews who bring the vast majority of consumer goods from Chinese factories to stores in the U.S.

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Around the Nation
2:35 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

On Nebraska's Farmland, Keystone XL Pipeline Debate Is Personal

Susan and Bill Dunavan own 80 acres of land in York County.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:46 am

Drive down gravel Road 22 in Nebraska's York County, past weathered farmhouses and corn cut to stubble in rich, black loam soil, and you'll find a small barn by the side of the road.

Built of native ponderosa pine, the barn is topped with solar panels. A windmill spins furiously out front.

Known as the Energy Barn, it's a symbol of renewable energy, standing smack on the proposed route of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline — a project of the energy giant TransCanada.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:22 pm

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The Salt
2:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:22 am

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

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Middle East
1:48 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Peshawar School Was 'Almost Obvious' Target For Pakistani Taliban

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We begin this hour with today's shocking terrorist attack in Pakistan. Gunmen entered a military-run school in Peshawar and began executing children. The military says 132 students and nine staff members were killed.

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