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Latin America
7:36 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Ready To Hit The Cuban Beach? Americans Still Have To Wait

A couple walks on the beach in the resort area of Varadero, Cuba. Varadero is home to upscale hotels and resorts that cater to foreign tourists, but there aren't yet enough to handle a potential influx of Americans.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:12 am

With President Obama beginning the process of normalizing relations with Cuba this week, many may envision soon soaking up the sun on a warm Cuban beach, sipping a refreshing rum drink.

In reality, that's not likely to happen for quite a while. But just the increased opportunity for travel between the two countries has those with longtime ties to Cuba already thinking about the possibilities it will bring.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Gunman Made Anti-Police Posts Before Killing NYPD Officers

Officer Rafael Ramos (left) and Wenjian Liu (right) were killed on Saturday in an ambush by a gunman in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
NYPD EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:22 pm

The gunman who ambushed and killed two New York City police officers in their patrol car before committing suicide reportedly posted messages on social media suggesting the assault was revenge for deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

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Race
6:20 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Two Cops Killed In Brooklyn; Fleeing Suspect Kills Himself

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:01 am

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
6:20 am
Sun December 21, 2014

On The Pakistani Taliban: 'You Can't Do Politics ... Killing Children'

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:01 am

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
6:20 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Filmmaker: Sony Hack Will Make Satirists Think Twice About Content

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:01 am

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Middle East
6:20 am
Sun December 21, 2014

With Election, Tunisia Solidifies Its Democracy Success Story

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:01 am

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

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It's Harder Than You Think

The photographer thought it was a goat. The photo editor thought it was a goat. Sure looked like a goat to the author of this post. It turns out to be a sheep, in Dakar, Senegal.
Claire Harbage for NPR

So perhaps you noticed a post I wrote last weekend about how you know if your goat is happy. Yes, scientists do study that.

The story had a cute picture of a goat at the top, taken by a photographer in Dakar, Senegal. The farmer told the photographer that the animal was his "goatie." And to our untutored eyes, it looked like a goat.

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Shots - Health News
2:40 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Why Does It Take A Movie Robot To Show What Nurses Really Do?

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 3:52 am

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The Salt
2:37 am
Sun December 21, 2014

For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse

Megan Walhood loves the unique toasty potato flavor of lefse. "There's something so comforting about soft, starchy things," she says.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:24 pm

For many Norwegian-American families, the biggest Christmas treat isn't foil-wrapped chocolate or sugar-dusted cookies. It's lefse, a simple flatbread.

Lefse are sort of like soft tortillas, made mostly out of mashed potatoes (with a little fat and flour mixed in to form a tender dough). They're usually spread with butter and sugar, or rolled up with a bit of lingonberry jam. And families that make them make them by the dozens.

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The Salt
4:40 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste.
iStockphoto.com

Here's an experiment: take a bite of whatever food you have nearby and listen to some music, something with high notes. Now, take another bite, but listen to something with low notes.

Notice anything?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste. They've found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.

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Food
3:16 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

If the bars of Los Angeles could talk, they'd have an awful lot of tales to tell — old Hollywood was full of famously hard drinkers. And while LA's watering holes are keeping their secrets, one author, Mark Bailey, has uncorked a slew of stories from the city's plastered past.

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Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Montana Shooter Found Guilty Despite State's 'Castle Doctrine'

Diren Dede, a 17-year-old German exchange student, was fatally shot in the head and arm when he entered the garage of Markus Kaarma in Missoula, Mont., on April 27. Kaarma said it was self-defense, but a Montana jury recently found him guilty of deliberate homicide.
Oliver Hardt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:30 pm

More than 30 states have laws that allow people to use deadly force if they have a reasonable fear for their life or property. But this week, a Montana jury said that type of law has its limits, finding a homeowner who shot a teenager in his garage guilty of deliberate homicide.

In the early hours of April 27, a motion detector alerted homeowner Markus Kaarma someone was in the garage of his home in Missoula, Mont. He went outside and almost immediately fired four shotgun blasts, killing 17-year-old Diren Dede, a German exchange student.

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Latin America
3:06 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

What Do Cubans Think Of Renewed U.S. Relations?

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

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

Latin America
3:06 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Renewed U.S.-Cuba Ties Could Mean Big Things For Cigar Market

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:40 pm

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Think Cuba, think cigars. David Savona is the executive editor of Cigar Aficionado magazine. David, welcome to the program.

DAVID SAVONA: Thanks, glad to be here.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Many States Now Have $2 Gasoline, Analyst Says

On Cue in Oklahoma City, was reportedly the first station to lower regular unleaded below $2 a gallon. Now, 24 states have $1.99 gasoline.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Remember when we told you earlier this month that a gas station in Oklahoma City had lowered its price for regular unleaded to $1.99 a gallon?

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Decorated Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward Dies At 95

This July 1943 photo provided by the Los Angeles Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., shows Lowell C. Steward after his graduation from flight training at Tuskegee Army Air Field, in Tuskegee, Ala. Steward, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday at age 95.
AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 1:45 pm

Lowell Steward, one of the famed World War II Tuskegee Airmen, has died at age 95 at a hospital in Ventura, Calif., his family says.

Steward, a Los Angeles native who flew 143 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross among other awards, died on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
10:58 am
Sat December 20, 2014

U.N. Reports More Than 7,000 Ebola Deaths Since March

Health workers rest outside a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in the town of Koidu, Kono district in Eastern Sierra Leone on Friday. The World Health Organization says the number of Ebola deaths in the current outbreak has exceeded 7,000.
Baz Ratner Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:58 am

The number of people who have died from the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola has crossed the 7,000 mark, the World Health Organization reports, after it recorded another 392 deaths from its previous total of 6,900 earlier this week.

The total number of infected, nearly all of them in West Africa, is at 19,031, up from 18,569 in the previous report. More than 99 percent of all infections and deaths have occurred in three countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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Movies
8:59 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

A worker carries a poster for the movie The Interview away from its display case at a theater in Atlanta. "It feels like the margin's narrowed about what kind of movies Hollywood will be making," says veteran Hollywood producer Stephanie Striegel.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:05 am

President Obama is not the only one thinking about the precedent set when Sony decided not to release the comedy The Interview. Around Hollywood, the action drew immediate rebuke as celebrities took to Twitter — like director and producer Judd Apatow:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel agreed, writing, "An un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent."

In writing rooms and comedy clubs in Los Angeles, however, the conversations are more nuanced.

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Simon Says
8:56 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists

In 1959, Fidel Castro imposed a law forbidding the import of foreign cars, so many Cubans drive and maintain older models.
Kate Skogen JetKat Photo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

I've always had a good time in Cuba. The people are friendly and funny, the rum is smooth, the music intoxicating and the beaches wide, white and soft.

But you're accompanied everywhere by government minders. They call them responsables. Any Cuban you interview knows your microphone might as well run straight to their government.

If you want to talk to someone with a different view, you have to slip out of your hotel in the middle of the night without your minder — though dissidents say other security people follow you.

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Sat December 20, 2014

4 Gitmo Prisoners Released For Return To Afghanistan

The entrance to Camp 5 and Camp 6 at the U.S. military's Guantanamo Bay detention center at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, in a photograph taken earlier this year.
Ben Fox AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 12:02 pm

Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The United States has released four Afghan detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who were returned to Afghanistan — the latest in a series of releases of inmates in recent weeks.

Reuters says: "The men were flown to Kabul overnight aboard a U.S. military plane and released to Afghan authorities, the first such transfer of its kind to the war-torn country since 2009, a U.S. official said."

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The Two-Way
7:48 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Russia Says It Won't 'Cave In' To New Western Sanctions

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in front of the map of the Russian Federation, with Crimea on the left of the map, during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday. The Kremlin has responded angrily to the latest round of U.S.-EU sanctions over the annexation of Crimea.
Alexei Druzhinin AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 1:30 pm

Russia, battered by the falling price of oil, its chief export, and a tumbling ruble, lashed out against the U.S. and EU for new sanctions that President Vladimir Putin says already account for "25 to 30 percent" of his country's eroding currency.

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Animals
7:13 am
Sat December 20, 2014

A Snail So Hardcore It's Named After A Punk Rocker

This spiky mollusk is called Alviniconcha strummeri, named after Joe Strummer, the late frontman for the Clash.
Taylor & Francis Online

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, found that when she talked to youngsters about sea snails, she communicated a little more effectively if she skipped the technical description and called them "punk-rock snails."

"Their entire shells are covered in spikes," Johnson explains. "And then the spikes are actually all covered in fuzzy white bacteria."

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Michel Martin, Going There
7:03 am
Sat December 20, 2014

'Going There' in 2014

Ferguson resident Frankie Edwards shows a rubber bullet wound he suffered during one of the nights of protests to NPR's Michel Martin (right) and Ferguson Mayor James Knowles (second from right) during the community conversation at Wellspring Church.
Whitney Curtis for NPR

We've been privileged in these last few months to share the stories of many Americans, some of them famous, but most of them not. We came together through some avenues we know well — books, music and theater. Sometimes, we found each other through pathways that have only recently become a big part of our lives, such as the #BeyondFerguson hashtag that brought so many young people to an August community meeting in that city. Our New Year's Resolution is to keep these honest and vital conversations going. We are going there.

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Sat December 20, 2014

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

A banner for The Interview is posted outside Arclight Cinemas, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on Wednesday. The theatrical release of the film has been cancelled following cyber attacks and threats believed to originate in North Korea.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 2:34 pm

North Korea, which denies that it had anything to do with a hack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, now wants to help the U.S. root out the real culprit. But true to form for Pyongyang, the dubious offer comes tinged with a threat of "serious" consequences should Washington decline.

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Sat December 20, 2014

12 Weeks To A 6-Figure Job

A student at the coder boot camp at General Assembly in New York City learns more than "Hello, world."
Courtesy of General Assembly

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:26 am

Marlon Frausto is in pursuit of the new American dream. Just a few weeks ago, he left his job, in Hispanic marketing for the legal industry, and moved to San Francisco.

Every day he wakes at 5:30 a.m., commutes 45 minutes by train, and studies until 9 or 10 at night. He's spending down his savings and says he's getting help from "my loving family."

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Sports
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

What A Thaw In Cuba Relations Means For Baseball

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How every week I look forward to saying, time for BJ Leiderman's Sports theme.

(MUSIC)

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Remembrances
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Bridwell Created A Big Red Dog That Grew With Readers' Love

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

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

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Fine Art
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Turner Was A Brute, But He Painted With Romantic Radiance

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Music Interviews
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Wexford Carols Brings Irish Holiday Relics To Life

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

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

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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NPR Story
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Cubans Blame Their Woes On The U.S. Embargo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 2:08 pm

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

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