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The Two-Way
8:51 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 3:51 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
8:46 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

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
7:35 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

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:47 am

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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The Record
7:29 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Top 10 Top 40 For 2014

The Two-Way
6:56 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Calling U.S. A 'Cesspool,' North Korea Warns Against Escalation

Workers remove a poster for The Interview from a billboard in Hollywood, Calif., after Sony canceled the movie's Christmas release due to a terrorist threat. The hacking of Sony's networks has sparked a war of words between the U.S. and North Korea.
ROBYN BECK AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:39 pm

The "whole U.S. mainland" would be under threat of attack if America were to seek vengeance for last month's Sony hacking, North Korea says. An official at its defense commission called the U.S. a "cesspool of terrorism" after President Obama called the hack "cyber-vandalism."

North Korea's National Defense Commission, which is headed by the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, said its military was ready to fight America "in all war spaces including cyber warfare space," issuing a wide threat that specified targets in the U.S.

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Around the Nation
6:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

JFK Assured 8-Year-Old Girl That Santa Was Safe

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

Around the Nation
6:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

After 20 Years, Lost Luggage Is Returned To Tuscon Woman

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I once lost my luggage while traveling over the holidays and it turned up two weeks later. That's nothing compared to what a Tucson woman went through - for her it was 20 years.

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NPR Ed
6:23 am
Mon December 22, 2014

An Update On LA's iPad Program

NPR Ed is updating some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

The 650,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District expected to be tapping and scrolling on their very own iPads by now, halfway through the school year.

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Movies
4:37 am
Mon December 22, 2014

For Updated 'Annie', The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:37 am

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

Author Interviews
4:30 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Beyond The Bird On It: 'Twee Is About Shopping'

Twee is an almost paradoxical combination of the hypermaterialistic and artisanal and crafted, says Marc Spitz, author of Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film.
Cienpies Design & Communication iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:04 pm

Don't be mistaken: There's a powerful economic force behind the proliferation of cutesy, homespun goods that combine an old-fashioned and highly modern aesthetic.

Twee's hallmarks are handcrafted, anachronistic or vintage items — like albums on vinyl, sweaters from the thrift store and, as distilled in a sketch on the show Portlandia, pretty much anything with a bird on it. It's as much an aesthetic as it is a lifestyle, like punk or hip-hop.

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Politics
4:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Treasury Nomination Sparks Fight Among Democrats

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:37 am

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

NPR Story
4:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

School Hearing Clears Florida State's Jameis Winston Of Sex Allegations

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 6:37 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Latin America
4:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Cuba's Jews, Catholics Have Very Different Takes On The U.S. Thaw

A member of the activist group Women in White is arrested during a demonstration to commemorate Human Rights Day in downtown Havana, on Dec. 10. Members of the opposition movement say they feel betrayed by the U.S. decision to restore ties with Cuba's communist regime.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:33 pm

In Havana, two religious communities are celebrating the holiday season but have taken very different approaches to the news that relations between the U.S. and Cuba are warming.

For Jews who belong to Temple Beth Shalom in Havana, their numbers may be small, but size doesn't matter.

On Sunday night, a couple hundred people filled the temple's sanctuary to light six Hanukkah candles, watch teens put on a play, and clap to a group of toddlers dancing to the holiday classic "Eight Little Candles," sung in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language.

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The Salt
2:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

Sister Elizabeth feeds Yoda, a water buffalo calf at the ranch. The nuns bought the buffalo to make mozzarella.
Sonja Salzburg for Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 8:36 am

Many beer aficionados are familiar with the rare breweries run by Trappist monks. The beer is highly sought after, but it's not the only food or drink made by a religious order. Many abbeys and convents have deep roots in agriculture, combining farm work with prayer.

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Energy
2:44 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Heating New England Homes: The Good And Bad News

Low heating oil prices mean New Englanders don't have to bundle up at home this year, but they will have to watch their rising electric bills.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:34 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces. But cheaper heating oil is refilling consumers' pockets just as high electric prices are emptying them out.

For example, a heating oil truck delivers 600 gallons of heating oil every two weeks to an old, four-story brick building in Concord, N.H. At last year's oil prices, each refill would have cost around $2,200. Right now, it's more than $300 cheaper.

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Shots - Health News
2:43 am
Mon December 22, 2014

A Family's Long Search For Fragile X Drug Finds Frustration, Hope

Katie Clapp shares a laugh with her son Andy Tranfaglia, 25, at their home in West Newbury, Mass. Andy has a rare genetic condition called fragile X syndrome.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:17 am

For a few weeks last year, Michael Tranfaglia and Katie Clapp saw a remarkable change in their son, Andy, who'd been left autistic and intellectually disabled by fragile X syndrome. Andy, who is 25, became more social, more talkative and happier. "He was just doing incredibly well," his father says.

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Author Interviews
6:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Smashing Snow Globes: A Writer On Essays, Novels And Translation

Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is the author of the novel Faces in the Crowd and the book of essays Sidewalks. She is currently working on the novel The Story of My Teeth.
Alfredo Pelcastre Coffee House Press

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:29 am

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City, but she'll admit with a laugh that where she's from is a complicated question. She lived there for only two years before packing up for, at various times, Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India, Spain and France.

These days, Luiselli lives in Harlem. And that's the neighborhood where her novel Faces in the Crowd is set: both the Harlem of the recent past and the Harlem of the Harlem Renaissance, along with present-day Mexico City.

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Latin America
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Still Few Answers In Disappearance Of 43 Students In Mexico

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

Around the Nation
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Questions Linger In Fatal Shooting Of New York City Police Officers

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

Parallels
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:41 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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Music Interviews
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Anthony Hamilton Brings Home Holiday Funk

Anthony Hamilton's first Christmas album is called Home for the Holidays.
LaVan Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Once a pop artist has been working long enough, the Christmas album feels like an inevitability. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try it out, but he was wary of falling into cliché and repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years.

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My Big Break
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

As a child, Emily Blunt had a stutter that was so bad, she could hardly say her own name. "The misdiagnosis [was] that I was a tense child," Blunt says. "And I wasn't. I was desperate to speak."
John Phillips AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:07 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You may know British actress Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, where she played the senior assistant to Meryl Streep's fashion editor, or The Edge of Tomorrow, where she coaches Tom Cruise in combat skills as he relives a battle over and over again.

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Code Switch
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Whiteness Project participants were filmed talking about race. The project doesn't use their names, to encourage frankness.
Feral Films, Inc.

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:07 pm

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Man Who Killed Officers Told Passersby: 'Watch What I Am Going To Do'

New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Sunday that a gunman told bystanders to follow him on Instagram, then shot and killed two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Stephanie Keith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:56 am

The gunman who killed two officers in a Brooklyn neighborhood of New York on Saturday told passersby moments before the shooting to "watch what I am about to do," a senior police official says.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Kurdish Forces Push Offensive To Retake Sinjar From ISIS

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani speaks with the media at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, on Sunday. Barzani was visiting an area that was recently retaken from ISIS militants.
STRINGER/IRAQ Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 3:46 pm

Kurdish fighters, supported by coalition warplanes, pushed into the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, days after breaking a siege of a mountain where ethnic Yazidis had been trapped for months by Islamist extremists.

Massoud Barzani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader claimed his peshmerga forces had already taken a "large area" of the town of Sinjar, which has been held since August by fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Sun December 21, 2014

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:47 pm

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

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Games & Humor
11:13 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Photo Illustration by NPR

Santa sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake ... but how does he do it? Sure, the elves lend a hand — but, as it turns out, hours of surveillance video make the job a lot easier.

This year, we present an audio Christmas card to share the real* story on how the North Pole decides who's naughty or nice.

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Race
10:02 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Bound By A Plantation, Two Georgians Remember A Special Christmas

Martha McCullough shows off a photo of her grandfather, Christmas Moultrie, who was born on the Mulberry Grove Plantation before Gen. Sherman's army burned it down ahead of the capture of Savannah in 1864. Both McCullough and Hugh Golson, a descendant of the plantation's owner, knew Moultrie as children.
Carl Elmore Courtesy Savannah Morning News

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:46 pm

On Dec. 21, 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman captured the city of Savannah, ending his March to the Sea.

In the days leading up to Savannah's surrender to the Union, Sherman's troops burned the nearby Mulberry Grove Plantation. They also freed hundreds of slaves, including a baby boy who would grow up on the land as a free man.

Now, 150 years later, the descendants of some of the people living on that plantation still share a special connection to that man.

Hugh Golson, a retired history teacher, is a wiry white man in his mid-60s with bright blue eyes.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Tunisia, Cradle Of Arab Spring, In Historic Presidential Vote

Tunisian voter Dina Ghlisse, 19, displays her finger with the indelible ink mark after voting in La Marsa, on the outskirts of Tunis, on Sunday. More than three years after Tunisia sparked the Arab Spring, the country is choosing a president.
Hassene Dridi AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:46 pm

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Tunisians are going to the polls today to choose a president in a runoff election that represents a choice between the country's interim leader, swept to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, or a candidate with ties to the ousted regime.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

Sony Pictures Studios headquarters building is seen in Culver City, Calif., on Friday. President Obama has criticized Sony for cancelling distribution of The Interview following after the studio was hacked by North Korea.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:40 pm

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

President Obama told CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cyber-vandalism." But he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.

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