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The Two-Way
9:07 am
Thu December 19, 2013

New Mexico's High Court OKs Same-Sex Marriage

Gail Stockman, 60 (left), and Beth Black, 58, of Albuquerque, N.M., prepare to marry at a massive wedding in August, along with other same-sex couples.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 1:22 pm

New Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that same-sex marriage is legal, validating initiatives in several counties allowing the practice in the absence of a specific state law.

The ruling on Thursday means that New Mexico joins 16 states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage.

The Associated Press says:

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Jurors Hear Kate Middleton's Voicemails; Some From William

The Duchess of Cambridge (formerly Kate Middleton).
Facundo Arrizabalaga EPA/LANDOV

The hacking scandal in the U.K. has now gone really royal.

"Voicemails left for Kate Middleton by [then-boyfriend] Prince William were hacked by the News of the World, the phone-hacking trial has heard," the BBC writes. "In one message William used the pet name 'babykins.' "

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The Salt
8:36 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Geeky Gamers Feast Upon Settlers Of Catan Cookbook

The deconstructed, hexagonal salad nicoise: perfect for all your gourmand geek friends.
Courtesy of Chris-Rachel Oseland

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:15 am

We've discovered a text that could rank among the geekiest of all cookbooks. It's based on Settlers of Catan, that German civilization-building board game with the cult following.

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Methodist Minister Who Officiated At Gay Wedding Is Defrocked

Accompanied by his wife Brigitte, right, Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon, Pa., departs Thursday after meeting with officials at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church in Norristown, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:02 am

Leaders of the United Methodist Church have defrocked a Pennsylvania minister who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast Desk.

John reports that:

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The Salt
7:33 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Hold The Cheese: Israelis Sway Domino's To Make Vegan Pizza

Watch out Crazy Cheese: Vegan pizza is coming.
Dan Lev Domino's

In the U.S., Big Pizza is locked in a battle that's as much a testament to gluttony as it is to food science: How much cheese can you possibly stuff inside of wheat dough?

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Economy
7:25 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Why Congress Didn't Extend Unemployment Benefits

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Education
7:25 am
Thu December 19, 2013

School Leaders On What Determines Student Success

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, it is the season of giving - along with really corny ads reminding you about that. In a few minutes, we'll talk about the best and worst of charity video campaigns according to one advocacy group. That's coming up.

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It's All Politics
7:17 am
Thu December 19, 2013

How To Master The Fine Art Of Political Symbolism

Supporters of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott fan themselves to cope with the heat during a July 14 event to announce Abbott's 2014 campaign for governor in San Antonio.
Darren Abate AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:19 am

Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.

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NPR Story
7:11 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Target Warns Customers After Card Security Breach

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Target customers who are being targeted.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: OK. If you did any holiday shopping at Target recently, you might want to take a careful look at your credit and debit card statements. The company has confirmed that up to 40 million customers could be affected by a major credit card data breach. NPR's Elise Hu has been following the story, and joins us in the studio. And, Elise, who's affected by this?

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Michigan Man Will Stand Trial For Porch Shooting

Theodore Wafer, who will be tried for second-degree murder.
Paul Sancya AP

A case that put race relations in the spotlight once again — the shooting death of a 19-year-old African-American girl from Detroit on the porch of a white man's home in suburban Dearborn Heights — will be going to court.

The Detroit News writes that:

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The Protojournalist
6:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

100 Years Of Solvitude: A Reported Crossword Puzzle

Word-Cross creator, 1938.
Bettmann/Corbis

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 10:17 am

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913.

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Economy
6:05 am
Thu December 19, 2013

The Washington Two-Step: Dancing Back To Normal

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveil a budget deal Dec. 10 in Washington.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:24 am

Time and again, business leaders say the one thing they want out of Washington is more certainty.

But rarely do they get their wish.

In recent years, business owners have found themselves wondering whether their government would default on its debts, shut down national parks, change tax rules, cancel supplier contracts, confirm key leaders at federal agencies or hike interest rates.

Finally on Wednesday, they saw policymakers take two big steps toward a more certain future.

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The Two-Way
4:54 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Neighboring Crises In South Sudan, Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 12:39 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': NPR's Michele Kelemen reports from the Central African Republic

There's disturbing news this morning from neighboring nations in Africa:

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The Two-Way
3:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Existing Home Sales Dip, But Prices Rise

A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:33 am

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: The day's second major economic indicator is another good news/bad news report.

The good news is that prices of existing homes continue to rise, the National Association of Realtors says.

"The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.4 percent from November 2012," according to NAR.

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The Two-Way
3:28 am
Thu December 19, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Dad Doubles Down; Palin Defends Him

Four of the stars of Duck Dynasty, from left to right: Phil Robertson, Jase Robertson (Phil's son), Si Robertson (Phil's brother) and Willie Robertson (Phil's son).
Zach Dilgard AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:36 am

Saying that his mission "is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together," Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson isn't backing away from the comments he's made about gays that have led A&E to suspend him from the popular show indefinitely.

Robertson, in a statement to Fox News' FOX411, goes on to say:

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The Two-Way
3:26 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Book News: Memoir Coming From Obama's Half-Brother

Mark Obama Ndesandjo. His half-brother is President Obama.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 9:31 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
2:01 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Handcuffed Suspect Proposes To Girlfriend, She Says 'Yes'

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

In Elk City, Oklahoma, you have the right to remain silent or make a proposal of marriage. A man being arrested for allegedly writing bad checks asked the officer if he could have a moment because he had been just about to propose to his girlfriend. The cop said he couldn't remove the man's handcuffs, but he did help him out by getting the ring from his coat pocket. Police Chiefs Eddie Holland called the incident, quote, policing with a heart. And in case you were wondering, the woman said yes.

Around the Nation
1:58 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Chicago TV Anchor Wrestles With Alligator Story

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. A Miami man tried to join the barter economy. He captured a small alligator, took it to a store, offered to trade it for a 12-pack. His attempt made news on Chicago TV, where the anchor tried to tell the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried to trade it for beer.

INSKEEP: But has to pause 44 seconds, laughing.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV NEWSCAST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I think he's lost it.

The Two-Way
1:47 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Breach At Target Stores May Affect 40 Million Card Accounts

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:04 am

Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 — the heart of the holiday shopping season.

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Africa
1:07 am
Thu December 19, 2013

U.S. Diplomat Tours Central African Republic

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The American ambassador to the United Nations is visiting Central African Republic today. Before becoming a diplomat, Samantha Power was a journalist who wrote about stopping genocide. And now she is visiting a country where there's fear of one. Fighting between Muslims and Christians has killed nearly 1,000 people. NPR's Michele Kelemen is traveling with Ambassador Power. She's on the line. Hi, Michele.

MICHELE KELEMEN, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

INSKEEP: Where are you now, and what have you seen?

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NPR Story
12:29 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Researchers Try Paying Kids To Eat Their Veggies

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our last word in business presents a somewhat crass approach to getting kids to eat healthy.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You say this: Eat your vegetables. There's money in it for you.

GREENE: Researchers, teachers, parents have tried everything to get kids to eat their vegetables - pile their plates, give tons of options, nothing seems to work.

INSKEEP: Researchers at Brigham Young and Cornell Universities have come up with a last-ditch effort - just pay the kids.

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NPR Story
12:29 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Millions Of Credit Cards Affected By Data Breach At Target

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Target customers targeted.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: This is the story of a recent cyber-attack on Target customers around the country, which is now under investigation by the giant retailer. Over 1,500 stores may have been compromised, and at least one million customers. It's being described as one of the largest retail breaches to date. The credit card data was apparently stolen with software installed on the machines customers use to swipe their cards.

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Business
11:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Even If FCC Relaxes Rules, Delta Won't Allow In-Flight Calls

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If you ever fly, you've heard it countless times: You cannot use your cellphone while en route to your destination. Federal rules will not allow it. That could change now, as the FCC considers relaxing those rules. But in advance of that decision yesterday, Delta Airlines said it plans to remain committed to high altitude quiet time.

Here's NPR's Kathy Lohr.

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NPR Story
11:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Senate Follows House, Passes Budget Deal

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Despite some very loud grumbling, both chambers of Congress have approved a two-year federal budget plan. This drops the odds of a federal government shutdown early next year, but it certainly does not end the debate over federal spending.

INSKEEP: NPR's Tamara Keith is on the line this morning to talk about one figure from the agreement, which suggests the scale of budget fights ahead. And Tamara, what's the figure?

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NPR Story
11:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Task Force Recommends Changes At Maryland's Prisons

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:12 am

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jennifer Ludden. A scandal at a Baltimore jail this year prompted Maryland to review procedures that all of its state and local detention centers. Dozens of correction officers and others are accused of conspiring with gang members in the jail, smuggling in drugs, even having sex with inmates.

GOVERNOR MARTIN O'MALLEY: I share the public's revulsion at these allegations and we have a zero tolerance policy towards corruption of any kind.

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Shots - Health News
10:26 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Congress Poised To Permanently Fix Its Medicare Payment Glitch

It's health results — not the number of treatments — that should count, leaders say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:56 am

The two-year budget deal approved by the Senate on Wednesday is aimed at preventing another government shutdown.

It also includes a familiar annual rider — language to avert a steep pay cut to doctors who treat Medicare patients. But this time might be different, with a fix that lasts. After more than a decade of temporary solutions, it appears Congress might be on the verge of permanently solving its persistent problem in the way it makes Medicare payments to doctors.

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Parallels
10:06 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Brazil's Post Offices Help Deliver Christmas Wishes

Volunteers look through children's letters to Santa at a post office in Salvador in northeastern Brazil's Bahia state. The campaign is part of a more than 20-year tradition to help those less fortunate to have gifts for the holiday.
Raul Spinasse DPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:47 pm

"Dear Father Christmas," the letter reads, "my name is Larissa. I know that you are very busy and that you live a long way away in the North Pole, but I'd like to ask you for a gift because my mother doesn't have enough money to buy what I want."

There are piles of similar letters — many decorated with stickers, drawings and hand prints — lying on makeshift tables in the main hall of the post office in downtown Sao Paulo.

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Animals
10:05 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Russian Demand Fuels Comeback Of North American Fur Market

A model displays a creation by Russian designer Igor Gulyaev during the Volvo Fashion Week in Moscow on Oct. 27, 2011.
Mikhail Metzel AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

North American fur is booming.

Not in North America, necessarily, but "you can't keep fur in stock in Russia," says furrier Greg Tinder. "The higher the price tag you put on it, the faster it sells."

Tinder, who left Saks Fifth Avenue to start his own label, says the East has always been a furrier's dream — think big, plushy Soviet-era hats. But now, with Russia's economy on the rise, there's some new money on the block, and designers know that.

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All Tech Considered
10:04 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Bay Area's Steep Housing Costs Spark Return To Communal Living

Residents of the Embassy House, a communal home near San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, eat dinner together every Sunday.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:08 am

This week, we're exploring the San Francisco Bay Area and the way income inequality is affecting the region. Check out the other pieces of the week, aggregated on this page.

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The Salt
10:00 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

This Stanford Ph.D. Became A Fruit Picker To Feed California's Hungry

Sarah Ramirez runs an organization that brings excess produce to the hungry. Here, she gleans apples from a front yard.
Scott Anger KQED

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:16 am

By some estimates, we Americans throw away about 40 percent of our food, from the cabbage that's wilting in our refrigerators, to the fruit that's falling off the orange tree in our neighbor's backyard.

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