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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Thailand Says It Was Unaware Of CIA 'Black Site' On Its Soil

Abu Zubaydah, an alleged al-Qaida operative who was reportedly subjected to waterboarding at a secret location in Thailand in 2002.
Anonymous AP

Thailand's prime minister says his government had no knowledge of a secret location inside the country where the CIA is said to have waterboarded top al-Qaida operatives in 2002.

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A Blog Supreme
7:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

An Upset Either Way: Steve Lehman And Wadada Leo Smith Triumph

Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman.
Scott Groller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:17 pm

Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.

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Monkey See
7:53 am
Fri December 19, 2014

A Different 'Annie,' But Still A Good Kid

Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis star in the latest incarnation of the musical Annie.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:19 am

The sun'll come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun

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Shots - Health News
7:51 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the teaching hospitals being penalized by Medicare for its rate of medical errors.
Joshua Bright AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:18 pm

Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half of the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
7:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Playlist: What Music Means

These TED Radio Hour stories get musical.
iStock

In this playlist, TED speakers share stories about composing songs after years of writer's block, the culture of sampling, and a glimpse inside a jazz musician's brain.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Extras: TED Radio Hour
7:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Playlist: Writers On Writing

TED speakers share their ideas about creativity and the writing process.
iStock

What makes for a great read? How does a single idea grow into a novel? In this playlist, TED speakers explore the nature of creativity, the source of a good story, and the impact of the written word.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

TED Radio Hour
7:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Is It Enough To Be Politically Correct?

"It's almost a meditative practice. To think, 'What emotionally can I connect with?' " — Sally Kohn
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 10:59 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Sally Kohn's TED Talk

Political pundit Sally Kohn says we shouldn't worry as much about being politically correct; instead, she says, we need to focus on being emotionally correct.

About Sally Kohn

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TED Radio Hour
7:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Are We Wired To Be Compassionate?

"We're designed to convince ourselves that our very selective deployment of compassion is thoroughly justified" — Robert Wright
courtesy of TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:02 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Robert Wright's TED Talk

Author Robert Wright says humans are not simply wired to be compassionate — we have evolved to feel compassion out of self-interest.

About Robert Wright

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TED Radio Hour
7:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

How Can We Make The World More Compassionate?

"I've become acutely aware of the centrality of compassion in all the major world faiths" — Karen Armstrong
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:04 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Karen Armstrong's TED Talk

Religion scholar Karen Armstrong describes how compassion is the core principle in all world religions, in the form of the golden rule.

About Karen Armstrong

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TED Radio Hour
7:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Why Aren't We More Compassionate?

"Compassionate concern activates the same system you see in every mammal when a parent cares for the young" — Daniel Goleman
Robert Leslie TED

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 11:05 am

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Daniel Goleman's TED Talk

Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, examines why we aren't more compassionate more of the time.

About Daniel Goleman

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri December 19, 2014

To Finish Up Year, Obama Will Hold A Press Conference

President Barack Obama speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 17.
Doug Mills AP

President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET., and it's bound to be eventful because Obama has a lot to talk about.

Among the news events that will likely come up:

-- The normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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Europe
6:22 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Great-Great Grandmother's Gift List Keeps Growing

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Ed
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

New Federal College Ratings Will Consider Aid, Total Cost, Employment

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:12 pm

Today the Education Department released long-awaited details on a plan to hold colleges accountable for their performance on several key indicators, and officials said they'll be seeking public comment on the proposals through February.

"As a nation, we have to make college more accessible and affordable and ensure that all students graduate with a quality education of real value," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

What's Next For Cuba? The Headlines That Tell The Story

A tourist takes a cab ride in a classic American car as the driver takes him past the Capitolio in Havana, Cuba on Thursday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:10 am

Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes. It doesn't require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement," Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for the western hemisphere, said during a briefing on Thursday.

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

3 Business Best-Sellers Show Inequality Is Now The Hot Topic

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:30 pm

Best-selling business books typically tell you how to get rich — either by becoming a better worker or investor, or perhaps by learning the secrets of successful entrepreneurs.

And in 2014, readers could find plenty of books promoting pluck and hard work, such as MONEY Master the Game and The Innovators.

But three books broke the pattern, generating headlines and big sales by focusing on unfair aspects of wealth creation.

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Sports
4:22 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Michael Jordan Sneakers Sell For More Than $33,000 At Auction

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Asia
3:26 am
Fri December 19, 2014

After Taliban Attack On School, Pakistanis Are Distraught, Angry

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:17 am
Fri December 19, 2014

U.S. Authorities Investigate, Sony Reels From Computer Hack

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Latin America
3:14 am
Fri December 19, 2014

State Department To Begin Steps To Restore Ties With Cuba

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book Reviews
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

5 Under-The-Radar Reads From Librarian Nancy Pearl

Nataliya Arzamasova iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

Librarian Nancy Pearl occasionally joins Morning Edition to talk about books she loves that you might not have heard of. As she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, her latest batch of under-the-radar reads includes some older books as well some new ones.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Cuban-American Congressional Leaders Vow To Fight Obama's Proposals

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Transparency Vs. Privacy: What To Do With Police Camera Videos?

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Exchange Of Spies Was Critical To U.S.-Cuba Deal

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Your Money
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients

Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:32 am

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

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Business
3:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Tourism Industry Gears Up For Lifting Of Cuban Travel Ban

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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All Tech Considered
2:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

For An Island Trapped In The '50s, An Instant Digital Revolution

Cubans try to connect to the ETECSA server during a May 9 service outage as they wait with other customers outside the offices of the state telecom monopoly in Havana, Cuba. Cuba's government has blamed technological problems on a U.S. embargo. Critics of the government have said it deliberately strangles the Internet to mute dissent. Changing U.S.-Cuba relations may prove who's right.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 2:11 pm

This week's historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to reinstate diplomatic relations after decades of silence could launch a digital revolution in the island nation.

According to the White House, only 5 percent of Cubans have access to the open Internet, comparable to North Korea. As part of the deal, that could change overnight.

Status Check

Maribel Fonseca, a teacher in Miramar, Cuba, has never seen the Internet. A few of her more privileged students have been online.

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Science
2:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

7 Miles Beneath The Sea's Surface: Who Goes There?

The research vessel Falkor in August 2013.
Courtesy of Mark Schrope

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:11 am

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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StoryCorps
2:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

Col. Harry Shoup came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." He died in 2009.
Courtesy of NORAD

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 7:45 pm

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

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