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The Two-Way
9:20 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Revisiting Istalif, Famed For Pottery And Picnics

A man in Istalif last year.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 9:24 am

Hearing Renee Montagne's Morning Edition report today about the village of Istalif, Afghanistan, brought back memories for this blogger.

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Shots - Health Blog
7:55 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Americans Say Security Checks Are A Bigger Health Concern Than Flights

A Transportation Security Administration volunteer demonstrates a full-body scanner at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in March 2010.
Scott Olson Getty Images

If you're heading for the airport humming I'll Be Home For Christmas, all of us at Shots hope your trip goes without a hitch.

With all the comings and goings of the holiday season on our minds, we recently asked Americans a few questions and air travel and health.

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The Two-Way
7:55 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Vaclav Havel, Hero Of The 'Velvet Revolution,' Laid To Rest

A picture of former Czech President Vaclav Havel lay among candles and floral tributes as people gathered in Prague on Thursday to honor him.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Arlington Cemetery: Possible Problems With 64,230 Graves Or Records

A review of 259,978 gravesites and more than 510,000 records at Arlington National Cemetery has identified 64,230 cases of potential problems that range from minor mistakes in files to errors on gravestones, according to a U.S. Army report delivered to Congress on Thursday.

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Europe
6:58 am
Fri December 23, 2011

100-Year-Old Christmas Letter Printed In 'Irish Times'

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 7:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. An Irish man received a touching Christmas gift when 100-year-old letter from his mother to Santa was printed in the Irish Times. He had never seen the letter. The slightly-scorched note had been stuck in the chimney of his mother's childhood home in Dublin for more than 80 years until the current owner discovered it. Annie Howard was just 10 in 1911 when she asked Santa for gloves, toffee and a baby doll.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
6:51 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Pa. Rhyming Judge Pens Again

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 6:55 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Pennsylvania, a State Supreme Court judge known for writing opinions in rhyme is at it again. Justice Michael Eakin was writing for the majority in an insurance fraud case. He produced six pages of verse with gems like: Convictions for the forgery and theft are approbated; the sentence for insurance fraud, however, is vacated. A colleague wrote a dissent which did not rhyme. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Payroll Tax Cut's Last Hurdle Cleared: House Gives 'Unanimous Consent'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Capitol Hill Thursday (Dec. 22, 2011).
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 12:35 pm

(This post was retopped with the latest news at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Marking the end of the latest pitched political battle in Washington, President Obama said this afternoon that Congressional approval of measures to extend for another two months a payroll tax cut and benefits for the long-term unemployed is "good news just in the nick of time for the holidays."

"I said it was critical for Congress not to go home without preventing a tax increase" and the expiration of the long-term jobless benefits, Obama said, "and I'm pleased to say they've got it done."

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Asia
3:29 am
Fri December 23, 2011

With N. Korea In Flux, Neighbors Reassess Policies

South Korean soldiers face a North Korean soldier standing at the border village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea on Thursday. North Korea's neighbors are reassessing their policies following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Wally Santana AP

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 9:23 am

The boundary between North Korea and South Korea has been called the world's most dangerous border. But on Thursday, the most dangerous thing about it appeared to be the biting cold and bone-chilling wind, with one Korean soldier jokingly describing the temperature as "hell."

At the Joint Security Area where the actual demarcation line is, half a dozen South Korean soldiers stood at the alert, facing off against one solitary North Korean soldier in khaki. The only unusual sign was the North Korean flag flying at half-staff.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

NBA Kicksoff Shortened Season On Christmas Day

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 5:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Professional basketball was on a long break because of the lockout, but on Christmas Day the NBA kicks off its shortened season with a five-game package featuring exciting games and glittering superstars. There's a rematch between defending champion Dallas and everybody's favorite team to hate, the Heat from Miami. Younger folks ready to break through playing for Chicago and Oklahoma City are in action, as are the storied Boston Celtics and the L.A. Lakers.

To preview these games we turn to NPR's Tom Goldman. Good morning, Tom.

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NPR Story
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Business News

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 6:39 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with bad Apple.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The frenzy for Apple's phone 4S has failed to catch on in much of Europe. Given the product's high price and the region's weak economies, shoppers just haven't bitten. Apple's market share has dropped in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Though, the British never wants to fall in with the continent have fallen hard for the phone. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

World
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

2011 Was A Bad Year For Dictators

Over the last year, many dictators have fallen from power. To name a few: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died. Linda Wertheimer talks to Susan Glasser, with Foreign Policy magazine, about the year that was and which of the world's remaining strongmen need to worry about what 2012 has to offer.

Food
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

A Holiday Treat Can Be As Easy As 5 Min. Pie

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 8:27 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And, Linda, I gather that you have a much more attractive recipe to share with us.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Well, at least attractive because fast. It's called Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart from the "Food52 Cookbook" by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Here's what you need: a blender, a thin-skinned lemon, a stick of butter, four large eggs, a cup and a half of super fine sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla.

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Business
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

UPS's Hub Braced For Holiday Shippers

Thursday was the busiest day of the year for shipper UPS. Rick Howlett of member station WFPL went to the company's hub in Louisville, Kentucky, to find out what the day was like.

Business
3:00 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Bell Maker Tries To Revitalize The Industry

Few things announce the arrival of Christmas-time like the sound of bells. And chances are many of the bells you hear this holiday season can be sourced to one small, family-owned manufacturing business in Connecticut. Bevin Brothers was founded 180 years ago.

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