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Economy
2:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Despite Some Clouds, U.S. Economic Forecast Looks Sunny

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:25 pm

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2:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Research Suggests Generosity Is Hardwired Into Our Brains

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:02 am

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2:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Sending Your Holiday Mail By Way Of Rudolph, Wis.

Around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters.
Carrie Antlfinger AP

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:18 am

Those seeking holiday joy could look for it in places with seasonal names like Christmas, Fla., Santa Claus, Ind., or Snowflake, Ariz. — but you don't have to leave home to enjoy Rudolph, Wis.

For most of the year, the tiny town of Rudolph — population just a few snowflakes north of 400 — is best known for the cheese factory off Main Street. But around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters.

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Shots - Health News
12:25 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Obama Administration Downplays Court Challenge To Health Law

Elisa Carrero assists Julian Gauiria, of Paterson, N.J., with enrollment in the health insurance exchange in November. Signups continue to be brisk, health officials say.
Tyson Trish North Jersey/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:24 am

This time last year, federal officials were scrambling to get as many people enrolled in health insurance through HealthCare.gov as they could before the start of the program on Jan. 1.

Now, with the technical problems mostly fixed, they're facing a different problem: the possibility that the Supreme Court might rule that the subsidies that help people afford coverage are illegal in the 37 states where the federal government is running the program.

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Sweetness And Light
12:24 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Deford: It's Hard To Write A Christmas Story About Sport

A sculpture at Britannia stadium in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent commemorates the Christmas Truce, a legendary soccer game played between German and British troops in December 1914.
Rui Vieira AP

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:02 am

Several years ago, I wrote a sports Christmas story. It was about a greedy basketball superstar who, imbued with Yuletide cheer, helps save his small-market franchise.

A big-time producer wanted to make a TV movie out of it. So off I went to Hollywood to turn my story into a script and thereby, in keeping with the Christmas spirit, make a killing.

Let me tell you: It's hard to write a Christmas story about sport.

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Goats and Soda
12:23 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Christmas In Liberia: Ebola Fears, No Snow, Holiday Spirit

A man peddles plastic Christmas trees and lights in downtown Monrovia.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:43 am

Ebola has cast a shadow over Liberia, but it can't stop Christmas.

Despite the trauma of the past year, Liberians are trying to have a happy holiday season. Carols are playing on the radio and there's lots of decorating — and painting — going on.

"At a certain time of the year we want our homes to look good," says journalist Siatta Scott Johnson. "It's like a competition in Liberia when it comes to the festive season."

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Parallels
12:22 am
Wed December 24, 2014

For Syria's President, The Year Ends Better Than It Began

Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in July, appeared to be in a tough position at the beginning of the year. But many analysts say his hold on power grew stronger over the course of 2014, due in part to the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State.
SANA AP

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 6:12 am

At the beginning of 2014, Syrian President Bashar Assad had agreed to send his ministers to take part in negotiations in Switzerland, and his future as Syria's ruler was not looking very bright.

He was accused of killing tens of thousands of his own people in a civil war that was nearly three years old. The opposition was demanding Assad's ouster. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Switzerland and called loudly for a political transition in Syria. He was clear about who would not be involved.

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Around the Nation
12:20 am
Wed December 24, 2014

The Year In Air Travel: Packed Planes And More Perks — For A Price

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:37 am

It's been a good year for commercial airlines.

With the economy recovering, more people are getting on planes and flying for both business and pleasure. And the cost of fuel, one of the airlines' biggest expenses, is dropping.

But as anyone traveling for the holidays can tell you, airfares remain high. And many frequent fliers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport say they wouldn't give the airlines perfect grades this year.

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Shots - Health News
12:18 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets

Dr. Michael Poshkus treats inmates with hepatitis C at the John J. Moran Medium Security facility in Cranston, R.I. Some 12 to 35 percent of inmates nationwide are afflicted with the chronic liver disease.
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:02 am

Every week, Dr. Michael Poshkus visits the John J. Moran Medium Security prison in Cranston, R.I., to see patients infected with hepatitis C.

Until recently, their only treatment option was a weekly injection in the stomach for at least a year. It worked less than half the time and caused debilitating side effects. But everything has changed.

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Dance
3:58 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

In Seattle, Maurice Sendak's 'Wild' 'Nutcracker' Reaches Its Final Act

Stowell (right) says Sendak (left) needed some convincing before he signed on to design a new Nutcracker. Their version of the ballet debuted in 1983.
David Cooper Pacific Northwest Ballet

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:32 pm

In Seattle, the Pacific Northwest Ballet performs The Nutcracker to that same ubiquitous Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score. The ballet tells the story of Clara, a young girl whose grandfather gives her a nutcracker at a party. One night, Clara goes searching for her nutcracker and walks right into a battle between a regiment of toy soldiers and a wily team of oversized rodents.

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Economy
3:46 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

A Backlash Brews Against Low Pay On The Factory Floor

Nissan workers at a plant in Canton, Miss. The auto company received financial incentives, including tax relief, from the state for the factory.
Rogelio V. Solis AP

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 10:37 am

Forty years ago, a manufacturing job was often a ticket into the middle class. That's not the case today. Wages for manufacturing jobs are plummeting, and some states are questioning whether competing for those jobs is still worth it.

For Cynthia Hunter, a $9-per-hour manufacturing job offer meant she could stay in the workforce after taking a buyout from her management job at Exxon Mobil in 2012.

"I was scared to stay out of the marketplace," says Hunter, 58. "I mean, I have worked all these years, and I never in my life collected unemployment — ever."

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Satanic Temple's Holiday Display Vandalized In Florida Capitol

The Satanic Temple holiday display at the Florida Capitol on Monday — before it was vandalized.
Aaron Deslatte TNS /Landov

A woman was in custody today after damaging a Satanic Temple holiday display — a diorama of Lucifer falling into the flames of hell — in Florida's Capitol.

John Porgal, the regional director of American Atheists, told NPR member station WFSU that the group plans to press charges. And, he said, the display would stay as it is.

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Religion
2:09 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Pope To Vatican Leaders: In-Fighting Must Stop

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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Technology
2:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

North Korea's Internet Outage Could Just Be Bad Timing

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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Europe
2:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Despite Russia's Woes, Putin Shows No Signs Of Bending On Ukraine

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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

The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Number Of Cars Earning Top Safety Awards Nearly Doubles

The 2015 Subaru Outback was one of the carmaker's seven models that won the highest safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Eric Thayer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:32 am

If you're looking for a new car or SUV, it should be easier to find a safe one from the current models: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the number of vehicles winning its two safety awards jumped from 39 to 71 for the 2015 model year.

The rise came despite tougher standards for current models to earn the IIHS's best ratings.

The winners range from the Chevrolet Spark and Volvo S60 to the Honda Odyssey. You can see a full list, broken down by market segment, at the IIHS website.

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Movies
1:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:28 pm

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

Movies
1:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Sony Will Show 'The Interview' In Some Theaters

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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

Latin America
1:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Cubans Celebrate The Return Of Three Last Spies

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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Latin America
1:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

In Miami, Mixed Emotions Over Release Of Cuban Spies

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:26 pm

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