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All Tech Considered
8:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In Its Strange Journey, 'The Interview' Becomes An Art House Film

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will show The Interview starting on Christmas Day.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:59 am

A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film.

In the satirical film, which is at the center of a geopolitical tussle, Seth Rogen and James Franco play television producers who get an interview with Kim but are then hired by the CIA to "take him out."

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Police Kill Young Man In Missouri; 'It's Not What People Portray,' Mayor Says

Surveillance video shows a scene leading up to a police officer shooting and killing an armed man at a gas station in Berkeley, Mo. The St. Louis County Police Department is investigating the case, in which an 18-year-old man died.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 12:36 pm

Updated at 12 p.m. ET

Protests over a police killing have returned to the St. Louis area, after a Berkeley, Mo., police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black man Tuesday night. The authorities say he was armed; the shooting took place shortly after 11 p.m. outside a gas station in the St. Louis suburb that's just 2 miles west of Ferguson.

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Middle East
6:54 am
Wed December 24, 2014

British Citizens Warned To Behave In The United Arab Emirates

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:02 am

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

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Around the Nation
6:35 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Rand Paul Gets In On Festivus Actions

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:02 am

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

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The Salt
6:33 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Guyanese Christmas Gives A Whole New Meaning To Slow Food

Pepperpot, a traditional Guyanese Christmas dish, is basically a stew of aromatics and tough meat parts like shanks, trotters and tails that benefit from a long cooking.
Courtesy of Cynthia Nelson Photography

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 10:00 am

There are some Christmas foods you make far in advance that just get better and better with age and anticipation. Like British fruitcakes that age into their boozy ripeness, and German gingerbread cookies called lebkuchen that get softer and spicier as they mature.

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Movies
5:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

More Than 200 Theaters To Show 'The Interview' On Christmas Day

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:46 am

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

Economy
5:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

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

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 3:25 pm

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

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NPR Story
5:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Research Suggests Generosity Is Hardwired Into Our Brains

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:02 am

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NPR Story
5:02 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 11:18 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
3:25 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 10:24 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
3:24 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 8:02 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
3:23 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 8:43 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
3:22 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 9:12 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
3:20 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 10:37 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
3:18 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 8:02 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
7:32 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

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
6:46 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 1:37 pm

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
5:36 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

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:45 pm

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
5:09 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Pope To Vatican Leaders: In-Fighting Must Stop

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

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Europe
5:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

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

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

Technology
5:00 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

North Korea's Internet Outage Could Just Be Bad Timing

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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The Two-Way
4:22 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 8:32 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
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

How To Compose Music For A Movie About Music

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:28 pm

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

Movies
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Sony Will Show 'The Interview' In Some Theaters

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

Latin America
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Cubans Celebrate The Return Of Three Last Spies

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

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Latin America
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

In Miami, Mixed Emotions Over Release Of Cuban Spies

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

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Joe's Big Idea
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Could Glitter Help Solve NASA's Giant Telescope Problem?

Larkin Carey, an optical engineer with Ball Aerospace, examines two test mirror segments designed for the James Webb Space Telescope. The mirror for the scope is extremely powerful, but heavy and pricey.
NASA

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

NASA is building a new space telescope with astounding capabilities. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will replace the aging Hubble Space Telescope and will provide unprecedented views of the first galaxies to form in the early universe. It might even offer the first clear glimpse of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star.

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Economy
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

GDP Growth At Highest Level Since 2003

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:03 pm

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

Around the Nation
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Despite De Blasio's Appeal, Protesters March In New York

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

Around the Nation
4:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Near Police Killings, A Community With A Cycle Of Crime

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

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