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1:19 am
Tue December 23, 2014

California DMV Prepares For Undocumented Residents Applying For Licenses

People celebrate after California Gov. Jerry Brown signed bill AB60 on Oct. 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. Also known as the Safe and Responsible Driver Act, it allows undocumented immigrants to apply for state driver's licenses.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

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

California residents who are living without documentation soon will be eligible to apply for driver's licenses, thanks to a new law that takes effect in the new year.

The state's Department of Motor Vehicles is expecting 1.6 million immigrants to apply in the first few years, and law enforcement, community groups and others are preparing for the surge.

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The Salt
4:21 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The 'Shroom Burger From Shake Shack

Mouth's eye view of the 'Shroom Burger.
NPR

If you haven't heard of Shake Shack, it's a hip, growing national chain where Americans go to stand in long lines. Also, it serves food.

We tried the 'Shroom Burger, a breaded and deep-fried cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom patty in a bun. It's topped with lettuce, tomato and the chain's special sauce.

Peter: In order to get the mushrooms stuffed with cheese, they plant the spores in a block of Velveeta.

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NPR Story
3:50 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

North Korea Has Severe Internet Outage After Days Of Instability

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:29 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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On Aging
3:50 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Services Offer A Means To Foil Widespread 'Elder Fraud'

More than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60.
iStockphoto.com

This is the season for generosity — and for con artists who take advantage of it.

Older adults are particularly vulnerable to scams; more than a quarter of the victims of financial fraud are over 60, according to the FTC. But now there are products on the market designed to protect seniors' nest eggs.

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All Tech Considered
3:50 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

What You Need To Know About Subprime Lending For Smartphones

Startup Better Finance is offering lease-to-own programs for high-end smartphones. But some customers say that retail stores, such as MetroPCS, aren't always clear about the lease terms up front.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:51 pm

If you visit a local strip mall or downtown shopping street, it's not hard to find a store where customers can lease-to-own. That is, you can pay over time and eventually, after some chunky fees, a flat screen TV or living room set is yours.

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Found Recipes
3:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Yule Have To Try This Gingerbread Buche De Noel

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says she makes a "Franco-American" buche de Noel with American flavoring and French technique.
Alan Richardson Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

Sweets this time of year take on all kinds of whimsical shapes: cookies cut into stars, stockings and gingerbread men, candy canes, peanut butter balls ... or logs covered in frosting.

Yes, really — logs.

Not real logs, of course — these are holiday cakes, rolled and frosted to look like a yule log and known as buche de Noel. Sometimes the cakes are dotted with little meringue mushrooms or edible holly leaves. While the cake may not be on every American's baking list, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says it's iconic in Europe.

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National Security
3:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Was Sony Pictures Hack 'Cyber Vandalism' Or Something More?

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

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

Music News
3:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

What A Failed Hip-Hop Experiment Can Teach Us About The Future Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Los Aldeanos' Aldo Rodriguez (left) and El B.
Daniel Hdez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:55 am

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Jailed Cuban Spy's Wife Is Pregnant — With A Little Help From The U.S.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

Adriana Perez is expected to give birth to a baby girl in about two weeks.

That wouldn't be remarkable, except that Perez's husband, Gerardo Hernandez, spent most of the last decade-and-a-half in U.S. federal prison for leading a Cuban spy ring.

Hernandez was released last week as part of a prisoner swap with Cuba. He returned to Havana and raised eyebrows when he was greeted by his very pregnant wife.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Lengthy, Widespread Internet Outage Reported In North Korea

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:54 am

Update, 10 p.m. ET: After more than nine hours and 30 minutes, Internet service has been restored in North Korea, according to technology news service Dyn Research. Access is only partial, Reuters reports, but the country's main news service and newspaper both are back online.

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Code Switch
3:21 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

A Very Code Switch Christmas TV Special

PBS

It's that time around Christmas, when all we can see
is the same set of specials on network TV.
There's
Frosty, and Charlie, and Ralphie, and Kevin
But not too much brown in this mostly white canon.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Is Your Heart Doctor In? If Not, You Might Not Be Any Worse Off

Gary Waters Getty Images/Ikon Images

If your cardiologist is away at a conference when you're having a stabbing feeling in your chest, don't fret. You may be more likely to live.

A study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found frail patients admitted to teaching hospitals with two common types of heart problems were more likely to survive on days when national cardiology conferences were going on.

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Remembrances
2:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Charismatic Singer Joe Cocker Dies At 70

Joe Cocker.
Ernesto Ruscio Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:54 pm

Joe Cocker died Monday at his home in Crawford, Colo., after what his publicist described as a hard-fought battle with small-cell lung cancer. He was 70.

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Digital Life
2:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

An 'Erasable Internet' Could Be Welcome In A Hackable World

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
2:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Scoring The Screen: Thomas Newman And the Music Of 'Shawshank'

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:28 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Seeing a movie isn't just about seeing. It's equally about hearing words and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS FILM SCORES)

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

'Dreamer' Immigrants Apply For Arizona Driver's Licenses

Ramon Maldonado takes his driving test with the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division. Many young immigrants protected from deportation under the Obama administration's new policies began pursuing driver's licenses in the state Monday.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 2:31 pm

Hundreds of people who entered the U.S. without documentation as children lined up to seek licenses in Arizona on Monday, days after the Supreme Court declined to support the state's ban on issuing licenses to young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents.

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Goats and Soda
2:22 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

The Khoisan Once Were Kings Of The Planet. What Happened?

In Namibia today, members of the ancient tribe of hunter-gatherers still forage. New genetic research reveals they were once the largest group of humans.
Stephan C. Schuster Penn State University

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:14 pm

Some 22,000 years ago, they were the largest group of humans on earth: the Khoisan, a tribe of hunter-gatherers in southern Africa.

Today, only about 100,000 Khoisan, who are also known as Bushmen, remain. Stephan C. Schuster, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, has published new research about the tribe, many of whom now live in poverty, their cultural traditions endangered. We spoke to Schuster about his study and the lives of the Khoisan.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

'Rolling Stone' Asks Columbia J-School To Investigate Flawed Rape Story

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 2:09 pm

Jann Wenner, the editor and publisher of Rolling Stone, says the magazine has asked Columbia Journalism School to investigate the editorial process that resulted in its flawed story about a University of Virginia student who said she was gang-raped during a fraternity party in 2012.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

Farming helped fuel the rise of civilizations, but it may also have given us less robust bones.
Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:28 am

Compared with other primates and our early human ancestors, we modern humans have skeletons that are relatively lightweight — and scientists say that basically may be because we got lazy.

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Parallels
1:02 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

The 85-Year-Old Widow Who's The Symbol Of Spain's Economic Woes

Carmen Martinez Ayuso, 85, prays during her eviction from her home in Madrid on Nov. 21. A professional Spanish soccer team, Rayo Vallecano, has come to her aid, promising to pay her housing costs for the rest of her life.
Andres Kudacki AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:29 pm

Carmen Martínez Ayuso lived a quiet life in her modest apartment in the southern suburbs of Madrid for 50 years. But at 85, she recently became a household name in Spain.

Now her anguished face is splashed across Spanish newspapers' front pages. She's a reminder that despite statistics showing the Spanish economy is on the mend, many people are still suffering.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Army General To Determine Fate of Bowe Bergdahl

This photo provided by Eugene R. Fidell shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl preparing to be interviewed by Army investigators in August.
Eugene R. Fidell AP

The Pentagon has forwarded its investigation into Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's disappearance from an Afghan outpost to a general courts-martial convening authority, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Bergdahl is the U.S. soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The U.S. gained his freedom in May by trading him for five jailed Taliban.

The Pentagon spokesman said today that action against Bergdahl could range from no further action to convening a court martial.

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

In Slovakia, Christmas Dinner Starts In The Bathtub

Ivan Babej AP

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 11:38 am

For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp.

But getting from river (or carp farm) to table is not so simple. As the tradition goes, the Christmas carp must first swim in the family bathtub for at least a day or two before being killed, cleaned and prepared.

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The Two-Way
12:13 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At Age 70

Singer Joe Cocker, famous for his powerful and raspy voice, has died at age 70.
Ron Wolfson Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 2:02 pm

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon December 22, 2014

1 Dead In Protest At Chinese-Backed Copper Mine In Myanmar

Farmers confront riot police at the site of the Letpadaung copper mine in northwestern Myanmar on Monday. A woman was fatally shot during a crackdown on protesters at the Chinese-backed copper mine.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:01 am

A crackdown on protesters at a Chinese-backed copper mine in Myanmar has left at least one person dead, the company that runs the project said today in a statement.

The statement from the company, Myanmar Wanbao, said it had "just been informed of the death of a female resident from Moe Kyo Pyin village," adding: "The events leading up to her death are still unclear." [Some news sources call the village Mogyopyin.]

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Milwaukee Prosecutor Won't Seek Charges In Police Shooting

A Milwaukee prosecutor says no charges will be filed against a police officer who shot and killed Donte Hamilton in April. Here, Maria Hamilton holds posters used in rallies that vent frustrations about the death of her son.
M.L. Johnson AP

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:38 am

Eight months after a police officer shot and killed a black man whom the officer had been trying to search, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says the officer acted in self-defense.

The incident occurred in a Milwaukee park around 4 in the afternoon. Officer Christopher Manney, who is white, was trying to frisk Dontre Hamilton when the altercation happened. The two exchanged punches. Manney fired his gun 14 times after Hamilton grabbed the officer's baton, striking him with it.

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The Two-Way
8:51 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with cardinals and bishops of the Curia at the Vatican on Monday. The pope said the Curia suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" and careerism.
Andreas Solaro AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:14 am

Pope Francis blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of lusting for power at all costs.

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The Two-Way
8:28 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Tunisian Election Puts Former Regime Figure In Presidency

A supporter of newly elected Tunisian presidential candidate Beji Caid Essibsi flashes the V-sign from a car as they celebrate the first results of the Tunisian elections in Sousse, Tunisia.
STR EPA /LANDOV

A tense runoff election in Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring in 2011, has ended with a win for Beji Caid Essebsi, a veteran of the country's autocratic regimes. Essebsi defeated interim leader Moncef Marzouki.

Affiliated with the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia Calls) party, Essebsi won Tunisia's first democratic presidential election by taking more than 55 percent of the vote. Election officials announced the results Monday.

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The Two-Way
8:21 am
Mon December 22, 2014

NYC Police Deaths: Details On Suspect; Rift Between Mayor And Police

People sing as they take part in a prayer vigil at the site where two police officers were shot to death in the Brooklyn borough of New York this weekend.
Carlow Allegri Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 2:55 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton says tensions in the city are at their worst since the 1970s. Bratton spoke two days after Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two police officers in New York. Brinsley had been arrested at least 19 times and reportedly had tried to hang himself last year.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Spain's Princess Cristina To Stand Trial On Tax Fraud Charges

Princess Cristina, seen here on April 5 in Barcelona, Spain, will face trial on tax fraud charges.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:46 am

Spain's Princess Cristina, sister of King Felipe VI, will stand trial on charges of tax fraud, becoming the country's first royal in modern times to face prosecution.

The allegations stem from Cristina de Borbon's alleged links to her husband's business affairs between 2007 and 2008.

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Business
6:47 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The 5 Business Stories That Made 2014 A Memorable Year

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen, stars of The Interview, arrive for the film's Los Angeles premiere on Dec. 11. The comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pulled from theaters after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. The FBI said the attack was traced to the North Korean government.
Jim Ruymen UPI/Landov

As the year's end approaches, economists are looking back and assessing the news stories that shaped 2014.

Though their lists may vary, most analysts are pointing to five developments that had very big impacts on the U.S. economy. These were the biggies for 2014:

Oil Prices Plunge

No one saw this one coming. When 2014 began, a barrel of crude oil was selling for about $110. It hovered there until late spring, when the price ticked up to nearly $115.

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