Europe
2:52 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Berlin's Frenzied Fireworks Have Locals Leaving, Hiding On New Year's

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

New Year's Eve in Berlin is a big draw for tourists from around the world. Revelers pack the streets around the Brandenburg Gate and greet the stroke of midnight with music, champagne and mulled wine. But for many residents of the German capital, the holiday can be a frightening and often dangerous experience. As NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports, thousands of people armed with fireworks transform the city's streets into what feels like a war zone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Middle East
2:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

In Syria, Conflict In Cyberspace Complements Ground War

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For Syrians who remain in their country, you might think that computer security would be a low priority, but with a civil war raging, so, too, is an electronic war between groups allied with President Bashar al-Assad and rebel forces. Anti-Assad groups use cyberspace to recruit fighters and coordinate with allies.

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Middle East
2:47 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Of 2.3 Million Syrians Displaced By Civil War, 45 Found Home In U.S.

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. And we begin this hour with a number, 45. It's for our series Number of the Year where we explore the biggest stories of 2013 through numbers. What's 45? It's how many Syrians were accepted as refugees into the United States this year, a tiny number compared to the some 2.3 million people who've been displaced by the fighting in Syria.

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Around the Nation
2:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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Sports
2:28 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Icing On The Puck: Hockey Fans And The NHL Winter Classic

NHL Winter Classic hockey game seat pads are displayed at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor ahead of the New Year's Day outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.

Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.

"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."

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The Two-Way
2:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Judge Upholds Key Provisions Of N.Y. Gun-Control Law

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg displays a confiscated AR-15 assault rifle in East Harlem as District Attorney Cy Vance (right) looks on during a news conference in October 2012 in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

A federal judge has largely upheld New York's tough gun control law passed in the weeks after the Sandy Hook school shooting.

Judge William Skretny in Buffalo rejected arguments from opponents that its ban on large-capacity magazines and the sale of semi-automatic rifles infringed on Second Amendment rights.

He ruled that the provisions were constitutional because the state has an "important governmental interest" in public safety in a suit brought by the New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Congress Lets Dozens Of Tax Breaks Expire

If you use up all your rum on New Year's Eve and buy a replacement bottle in 2014, your purchase is going to be a little less rewarding for Puerto Rico.

A rum tax rebate program that sent nearly $200 million to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 2013 will expire at midnight on Dec. 31. It's just one among 55 tax breaks set to expire at the end of the year.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fighting Intensifies In South Sudan Despite Calls For Cease-Fire

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Both sides in the conflict in South Sudan agreed to meet tomorrow in Ethiopia to discuss a cease-fire. It's hoped that a speedy end to the power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ousted deputy Riek Machar can avert an all-out ethnic civil war. But even as both sides prepare to negotiate, a fierce battle was underway for control of the strategic city of Bor. NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cabbing Home From That New Year's Party? Expect To Pay A Premium

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.

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NPR Story
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation Begins Into Fiery North Dakota Oil Train Crash

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.

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