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Not everybody gets a break on holidays. In some professions, including this one, working on Christmas or New Year's Eve is just part of the territory. We asked our listeners who are working this holiday season to tell us about it.

Advent Calendars Now Offer Treats For Grown-Ups

Dec 23, 2017

For kids who celebrate Christmas, there is something irresistible about an Advent calendar. In households where treats are doled out sparingly, knowing that you'll be getting one chocolate a day for 24 days in a row feels like a kind of miracle.

But eventually, those kids grow into adults who can buy their own candy whenever they want and the traditional Advent calendar loses its childhood appeal.

Drones are continuing to take off as Christmas gifts.

This holiday season, shoppers will buy nearly 1.6 million drones, up 31 percent from last year, according to the Consumer Technology Association.

But on Christmas morning, remember this warning: If they weigh more than 0.55 pounds, the high-flying gadgets have to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.

A registrant must attach a drone ID number, linked to the owner's name and address, and pay a $5 fee.

Our own Stacey Vanek Smith had to pay through the nose to fly home for Christmas. And not just because it was Christmas — her ticket was way more expensive than usual.

As we say in the news business: Stacey is not alone. Airfare dynamics have changed a ton in the past few years.

On today's show: Why it's getting cheaper to fly to some types of cities and more expensive to fly to others. Also: Why Stacey will probably get a better deal next year.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is questioning whether the law that encourages drugmakers to develop medicines for rare diseases is working the way it should.

In an interview this week, Gottlieb said the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 has provided "an enormous amount of public health value" over the years. But the "market has changed," he said, and it's time to ask: "Do we have the right incentives in place?"

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I'm Ari Shapiro with news that you're not crazy. Apple has confirmed something that iPhone users believed for a long time. When your iPhone gets older, it slows down. And this often happens around the same time the company releases a fancy new phone.

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A horse-drawn carriage company in Philadelphia is shutting down at the behest of city officials, after inspectors found the company was violating building codes and animal welfare laws.

The Philadelphia Carriage Co.'s horses will be handed over to the city and ultimately sent to a sanctuary, The Associated Press reports. The company's closure means one company continues to offer horse-drawn carriage tours in the historic section of the city.

The city has spent six months attempting to get control of the horses, the AP writes.

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An episode of the Netflix anthology series Easy follows a group of neighbors who band together to stop a baseball-capped thief from stealing packages right off their doorsteps.

The episode examines the cultural implications of a world altered by the internet, online shopping and the dominance of Amazon Prime.

"It's not about the package itself or the contents of the package," says one woman in the TV series. "We're a community; there are children here. I mean, it starts with packages, who knows? I just feel unsafe."

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

Following in the footsteps of the Oregon Trail fur traders, Americans are again flocking to the West in great numbers, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But of course, this time they aren't making the journey in covered wagons.

Updated at 7:14 p.m. ET

After a monumental legislative victory on taxes this week, Republicans in Congress have been scrambling to avoid a chaotic government shutdown that could overshadow their signature tax bill before it even gets signed into law.

Confirming iPhone owners' suspicions that Apple purposefully slows the operation of older phones, Apple says that it does just that — and that slowing down processors makes it easier for old batteries to perform after they've begun to lose capacity.

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Earlier this year, the Gallup organization set out to identify the top concerns everyday Americans have about money. Researchers asked more than a thousand people across the country, "What is the most important financial problem facing your family today?" Their top answer: the cost of health care.

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Thirty-seven years ago, sexual harassment in the workplace became illegal. That led to the creation of the first harassment training videos. This one, called "Power Pinch," is narrated by a man sitting in a bar.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "POWER PINCH")

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Who Does The Tax Plan Really Benefit?

Dec 20, 2017

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President Trump celebrated his first major legislative victory today - the giant tax bill now awaiting his signature.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Today's Planet Money indicator is zero. Earlier today, a bill transforming America's tax code was approved by congress with zero Democratic votes.

On today's show, we talk with Josh Barro. He points out a problem Democrats have been struggling with for a while: Most Democratic candidates promise not to raise taxes on the middle class, but also want to expand social programs.

Barro argues that, in the long run, the Republican tax bill could help the Democrats solve this problem.

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The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Uber is a transport service, not merely a tech platform, citing the "indispensable" link the company creates between drivers and passengers. Siding with taxi drivers in Spain, the court said Uber should be regulated in the EU.

Carolina Panthers For Sale

Dec 20, 2017

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Updated at 2:50 a.m. ET Wednesday

A tour bus destined for Mayan ruins in eastern Mexico flipped over on a two-lane highway early Tuesday, leaving a dozen people dead and many more injured.

Among those hurt were seven Americans and two Swedish tourists, according to a spokesman for the Quintana Roo state Civil Defense agency, which also said it was looking into the cause of the crash.

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