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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Thu December 26, 2013

It Was 50 Years Ago Today: 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' Hit U.S.

Paul McCartney, left, and John Lennon during a November 1963 Beatles show in London. The next month, the band had its first big hit in the U.S. and Beatlemania started to sweep America.
AP
  • The opening of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'

If you don't smile after clicking "play" on the box above ... well, then either we're too old or you're too young.

It was 50 years ago today, Kabir Bhatia from member station WKSU in Cleveland reminds our Newscast Desk, that Capitol Records released the Beatles' I Want To Hold Your Hand in the U.S.

The fab four, as he says, had "sold millions of records in Europe throughout 1963, but had flopped in the U.S. after several releases on small, regional labels."

Then came I Want To Hold Your Hand.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Thu December 26, 2013

American Kidnapped By Al-Qaida In Pakistan Seen In Video

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 10:41 am

An American development worker and Peace Corps veteran who was kidnapped more than two years ago from his home in Pakistan by men claiming to be affiliated with al-Qaida, asks President Obama in a newly released video "to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release."

Warren Weinstein, 72, is also heard saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."

According to The Associated Press:

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Arts & Life
8:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

The Surprising Vision of Artist Faith Ringgold

Legendary artist Faith Ringgold began her career in 1963 — the same year as the March on Washington. She talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about her life, work and why no one originally wanted to hear her story.

Africa
8:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Revealing The Sometimes Ugly Truth Of Nigeria

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:16 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Books
8:19 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Civil Rights Turmoil In Verse: Retelling Medgar Evers' Story

Medgar Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. The civil rights leader was killed in 1963.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:46 am

A new book of poetry narrates the life and death of civil rights leader Medgar Evers through a series of imagined monologues. Evers was the first NAACP field secretary in Mississippi. In that role, he organized boycotts, investigated and brought attention to the murder of Emmett Till, and helped James Meredith integrate the University of Mississippi.

Evers was gunned down in his Jackson, Miss., driveway by KKK leader Byron De La Beckwith in 1963. But it took more than 30 years for De La Beckwith to be convicted of his murder.

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Jobless Claims Fell Sharply Last Week

A "help wanted" sign earlier this year in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Just as last week's figures may been distorted by temporary factors related to the holiday season that made things look worse than they really are, the word Thursday that there's been a sharp drop in claims for unemployment insurance needs to be accompanied by the same sort of caveat.

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The Two-Way
7:18 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Greenpeace Activists Start Getting Visas To Leave Russia

In St. Petersburg on Thursday, Greenpeace International activist Anthony Perrett, a British citizen, showed the Russian transit visa that's now in his passport.
Olga Maltseva AFP/Getty Images

The next step has been taken in what some observers say is Russian President Vladimir Putin's bid to burnish his country's reputation before February's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi:

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:01 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Day 2: An 'Ask Me Another' Holiday Puzzle

Art Chung

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:45 am

This is the second day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Keep your mind sharp over the holidays with this quiz, which pays homage to some of the great pop cultural icons surrounding Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus and more.

Email us your finished puzzle at askmeanother@npr.org, or tweet it to us @NPRAskMeAnother.

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The Two-Way
5:47 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Apologies, Promises From UPS And FedEx About Delivery Delays

UPS delivery man Vinny Ambrosino was dressed for the holiday season on Tuesday as he delivered packages in New York City. Not all the things ordered for Christmas got to their destinations on time.
Carlo Allegri Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:28 pm

Update at 8:20 p.m. ET. Amazon, UPS, Offer Refunds:

The Washington Post reports:

"Amazon and UPS said Thursday they would offer refunds to customers who did not receive their Christmas orders on time, after a surge in last-minute online shopping caught the shipping giant off guard."

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Around the Nation
5:21 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Honest Taxi Driver Named Cabbie Of The Year

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

We told you on Wednesday about a Las Vegas cab driver who found $300,000 in the back seat. He gave the cash to his dispatcher, and it was returned to the passenger. As Cabbie of the Year, he'll get a $1,000 prize and dinner for two at a swank restaurant.

Around the Nation
4:58 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Illinois Man Tries To Profit Off Fake 'Star Trek' Device

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

An Illinois man was accused of soliciting $25 million from investors for a fictitious device. Named after Dr. McCoy in the science-fiction series, it supposedly delivered medical data like the tricorder on the TV show. Prosecutors said his actions were valid only in another dimension.

The Two-Way
4:56 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Japan's Abe May Have Hoped To Anger Others With Shrine Visit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, follows a Shinto priest during his visit to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on Thursday.
Franck Robichon EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:01 am

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surely knew that his visit Thursday to a Shinto shrine honoring Japan's dead from World War II would be followed by protests from China and South Korea.

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Education
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

School Testing Systems Should Be Examined In 2014

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

Our series on the future continues with a discussion about education. Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Linda Darling-Hammond, a former adviser to President Obama, who is dismayed to see his administration build on the high-stakes testing requirements introduced by the Bush administration.

Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

The Secret Protectionism Buried Inside NAFTA

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now NPR's Zoe Chase, from our Planet Money Team, reminds us about one industry that played a big role in NAFTA's passage: men's underwear.

ZOE CHACE, BYLINE: Now you're used to the labels: made in Mexico, made in China, made in Bangladesh. But back in the '80s, when they were first talking about NAFTA, about half of American clothing was made in America, by people like this.

BERTHA MARR: Graduated from the eighth grade, then went straight on in to working at Fruit of the Loom.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Wave Of Illegal Immigrants Gains Speed After NAFTA

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

The North American Free Trade Agreement, known as NAFTA, turns 20 next week. Hailed as a boon for regional trade, it had some undesirable effects. It hastened a trend away from small farmers, and speeded illegal immigration to the U.S.

Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Chinese Military Uncovers Secret Tunnel

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

The underground passageway goes from the city of Shenzhen to Hong Kong. It's outfitted with concrete walls, interior lighting and rail tracks, presumably intended to transport goods. Chinese authorities believe a gang intended to use the tunnel to smuggle cell phones and other electronics to Hong Kong — which has lower tariffs than the mainland.

Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Frustrated Documentary Maker Opens Cafe In West Bank

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, economic growth has been slowing this year. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed an ambitious plan to lure large-scale foreign investment. But details of his plan remain under wraps. Small businesses make up the vast majority of companies in the West Bank.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Emily Harris has this profiles of one new one.

EMILY HARRIS, BYLINE: Before opening a cafe, Palestinian Tariq el-Ayyan worked on documentary films.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Southwest Airlines Lags In On-Time Arrivals

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

Southwest Airlines finished last in on-time arrivals in October — the last month for which statistics are available. According to the Department of Transportation, Southwest's on-time arrival rate was 78.8 percent. It was the second month in a row the airline came in at the back of the pack.

Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Pacific Northwest Suffers After China Bans Shellfish Imports

A geoduck farm near Totten Inlet, Washington.
KBCS/Bellvue/Seattle/Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:23 am

China has closed its doors to all shellfish imports from an area that stretches from northern California to Alaska. The state of Washington says it's losing as much as $600,000 a week.

Among the shellfish not being harvested is the geoduck, a long-necked clam that can fetch up to $150 per pound in China. It's a major export for the Pacific Northwest.

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Business
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Drug Stores Rx For Profits: Offer More Than Prescriptions

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 5:49 am

Earnings are skyrocketing at drug stores — Walgreens alone saw its earnings grow nearly 70 percent in the last quarter. Drug stores no longer handle just prescriptions and selected sundries. Big chains now compete with grocery stores and sandwich shops. Consumers are also shopping there for holiday gifts.

Author Interviews
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Shavit's 'My Promised Land Examines Israel's Complexities

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 6:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Recently my colleague Steve Inskeep heard an Israeli journalist give a talk. The journalist said that people in Israel had over the past few decades forgotten their nation's narrative.

ARI SHAVIT: We've lost this basic understanding that we are the ultimate victims of the 20th century. We are the ultimate victims of Europe. And Israel, with all its flaws, is a remarkable project of life-saving of a nation that was facing extinction and took its own fate in its own hands and tried to save itself and in many ways succeeded.

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Around the Nation
2:50 am
Thu December 26, 2013

After Okla. Tornado's Devastation, A Search For Safety And Shelter

Crews work on a safe room for the new Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Okla., behind crosses erected for the seven students who died in the May tornado.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the most painful stories of 2013 came from a small community in Oklahoma, the town of Moore. It was hit by a monster F5 tornado in May. Two dozen people died. More than a thousand homes were wiped away. The damage was estimated at $2 billion. But when NPR's Wade Goodwyn returned to Moore recently, he found the worst damage might not be visible.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Stand in the middle of Lakeview Drive in Moore, and you're surrounded by a lot of wide-open Oklahoma. Turns out an F5 tornado can clear quite a stretch of land.

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The Salt
1:18 am
Thu December 26, 2013

More People Have More To Eat, But It's Not All Good News

The Brazilian agricultural sector exported for a value of $94,590 million in 2011. One of its largest exports is soybeans, like these in Cascavel, Parana.
Werner Rudhart DPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:03 am

Among the things to celebrate this holiday season is the fact that there are fewer hungry people in the world. Just how many? Well, since 1965, researchers in Europe have been tracking the world's food supply and where it's going.

The good news is: The percentage of the world's population getting what the researchers say is a sufficient diet has grown from 30 percent to 61 percent.

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It's All Politics
1:17 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Gun Control Lobby Takes Note Of Opposition's Success

Supporters for gun rights gather outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation headquarters in Newtown, Conn., on March 28.
Jessica Hill AP

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:13 pm

For gun control advocates hoping to see federal gun laws tighten after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., 2013 was a disheartening year. A narrow provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate.

For gun rights activists, the death of that legislation proved once more their single-issue intensity and decades-long grass-roots organizing were enough to prevail. Those are also valuable lessons for their opponents.

A 'Voice' For Lost Children

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Photography
1:16 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus

Untitled (Kate #18) by Chuck Close.
Chuck Close Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:45 am

When someone takes our picture, we usually deliver a mile-wide grin, but there's not a smile in the room at the Phillips Collection's photography show in Washington.

The exhibit mostly consists of portraits of inner lives, taken by various photographers, and it's about the encounter between the two participants. Susan Behrends Frank curated the small show, called "Shaping a Modern Identity," which is running through Jan. 12.

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Book Reviews
3:27 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Written In Secret Behind The Iron Curtain, 'Corpse' Is Revived

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The fiction work of Soviet era writer Zigizmund Krzhizhanovsky never saw the light of day in his own time. He was known mostly as a theater, music and literally critic, but he also wrote fables and fiction for more than 20 years, none of which appeared in print until 1989. Well, a new volume of that work called "Autobiography of a Corpse" has just come out here in the U.S. It's translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull, and Alan Cheuse has our review.

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Arts & Life
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

The Dark Roots Of 'The Nutcracker' And The Man Who Wrote It

This is the time of year when one man's work is widely - if indirectly - celebrated. His name used to be hugely famous, but nowadays, it draws blank stares, even from people who know that work. E.T.A. Hoffman, who lived from 1776 to 1822 in the Kingdom of Prussia, was responsible for a work that is a staple the holiday season, the original author of The Nutcracker. You can read more about the story, which aired last Christmas, here.

Movies
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Another Life For The Surprisingly Multifarious Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller has revisited James Thurber's henpecked daydreamer Walter Mitty in a new film that lets him become more conventionally heroic. NPR's Bob Mondello charts the character's changing fortunes over the years.
Wilson Webb 20th Century Fox

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:26 pm

A short story, a radio show, a Danny Kaye vehicle — no, really — even an off-Broadway musical: James Thurber's nebbishy daydreamer Walter Mitty has had plenty of incarnations in his nearly 75 years. He's back again, this time in an expensive, effects-fueled drama from actor-director Ben Stiller, and we thought that rather than reviewing it, we'd have NPR's Bob Mondello survey the range of public lives lived by the character. Have a listen.

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Economy
2:47 pm
Wed December 25, 2013

Rising Home Prices Are Good News For Owners, Not So Much For Buyers

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel. And now, the latest in our series Number of the Year. We're taking numbers and exploring what they tell us about the year that was 2013. Today, NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports on the number 13. That is the estimated percentage of how much home prices have risen this year.

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