When Jerral Hancock came home from serving in Iraq six years ago, he received a hero's welcome in the Mojave Desert town of Lancaster, Calif. He'd been severely wounded but looked forward to returning to his family and getting on with his life.
But sometimes, celebrated homecomings can be short-lived. Things took a painful turn for Hancock a few years ago; his wife left and he became a single father of two. But with the help of an enterprising group of young people, Hancock and his children have brighter days ahead.
Six brand new Challenger corporate jets sit on a showroom floor waiting to be picked up here at the Bombardier Aerospace plant on the outskirts of Montreal. Manager Frank Richie watches as technicians polish the gleaming aircraft and make last-minute adjustments. Each one is personalized, from the leather trim inside to the fancy paint job on its exterior.
Through a side door, you enter an enormous assembly line for more than a dozen other Challenger jets. The factory floor spans nearly 900,000 square feet.
Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 12:14 am
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had a Christmas Day warning for Britons: "A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all."
Britain's Channel 4 televised Snowden's short address as the network's "Alternative Christmas Message," an annual address delivered by a public figure that mimics the style of Queen Elizabeth's Royal Christmas Message. You can watch the full 1:43 video at Channel 4's website.
Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:02 am
When it comes to the rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, there are many factors to blame.
Diet and exercise sit somewhere at the top of the list. But the genes that some of us inherit from Mom and Dad also help determine whether we develop the disease, and how early it crops up.
Now an international team of scientists have identified mutations in a gene that suggests an explanation for why Latinos are almost twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as Caucasians and African-Americans.
The 1946 Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart, has a miracle ending. An angel named Clarence saves Stewart's character, George Bailey, from suicide. The townsfolk of Bedford Falls save George from financial ruin. Now, the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Pennsylvania has gotten a reprieve. With few visitors, its doors were about to shut. But fans sent in donations. Some were big but one envelop contained a single dollar - the return address marked: Clarence.
The economist Nariman Behravesh puts out an economic forecast every year. And he's predicting the U.S. economy will do better in 2014, which will help of the unemployed and also the long-term unemployed. He spoke to my colleague Steve Inskeep.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The U.S. unemployment rate has gone down to 7 percent in the year that's just ending. Where is it heading next?
Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 9:15 am
Who doesn't love a Danish pastry?
And in Denmark, they like their pastries sprinkled with plenty of cinnamon.
But now, Denmark's bakers are being told that their time-honored recipe for the beloved kanelsnegle — or cinnamon swirl — may be unhealthy and against the law. Recent testing by the Danish government found that a large number of the rolls had too much cinnamon — more than the recommended limits set by the European Union.
Now for the 13th year in a row, U.S. troops are spending Christmas in Afghanistan. For the 7,500 of them based in the eastern part of the country, Major General James McConville is providing the closest thing to a visit from Santa.
NPR's Sean Carberry has been traveling with McConville - not by sleigh, but in the air.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
Pope Francis is celebrating his first Christmas as pope at the Vatican. He's had quite a year. Time Magazine hailed him as the People's Pope when they named him Person of the Year. And this week, NBC called the pope's question: Who am I to judge, the most powerful phrase of the year.
NPR's Nathan Rott went out to see how American Catholics in the pews feel about the new pontiff.
The medieval village of Flavigny, France has livened up its winter streets with nativity scenes, 85 of them exhibited in windows of houses throughout the town. This centuries-old village has been doing this for five years now and it's bringing in crowds of tourists.
NPR's Eleanor Beardsley was one of them and she sent us this Christmas postcard.
As we approach the end of 2013, we've been looking at numbers that tell the story of this year in different ways. Today's number: 38. That's the percentage of Americans who live in a state where same-sex marriage is now legal. Supporters of same-sex marriage say that percentage is likely to grow dramatically in just a few more years. NPR's Richard Gonzalez reports.
RICHARD GONZALEZ, BYLINE: When the history of the legal and political battle over same-sex marriage is written, this will likely go down as the banner year.
OK. Time to hear from our film critic, the Kenneth Turan. He says the works of Charles Dickens have been made into literally hundreds of films and TV episodes, but almost nothing has been done with the great author's life. Until now and the film "The Invisible Woman."
Holidays have long been made for sports. Football has all but replaced the turkey as the signature of Thanksgiving. For decades, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day meant stadiums filled for baseball double-headers. It's almost as if games are now an excuse for holidays, rather than the other way around.
So I now wish you a Merry NBA Day! There will be five nationally televised pro basketball games, lasting 13 straight hours, on Wednesday.
Around Thanksgiving, The Race Card Project brought us the story of a woman who grew up in a Filipino family but desperately wanted to be anything but Filipino. When Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil was a child, she shied away from her family's traditional meals, including the rice that's a staple in Filipino cooking.
But recently, she's become committed to keeping those food traditions alive.
Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 10:41 pm
As a Christmas gift to readers, Kitchen Window has compiled some of the most popular stories of the year for another look. As always, you were interested in a variety of subjects, from the simple procedure to the leap of faith, and showed an interest in trending topics — like gluten-free and DIY.