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Morning Edition provides news in context, airs thoughtful ideas and commentary, and reviews important new music, books, and events in the arts. All with voices and sounds that invite listeners to experience the stories.
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The United Arab Emirates has been building its military strength for decades, but in 2014 it came out in the open as an ambitious regional power — and one that's openly allied with the United States.

The tiny country, perched on a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, has a reputation for flashy displays — usually of wealth and commerce from shopping hub Dubai. But lately it has taken to showing off its military strength.

When it comes to learning to read, educators agree: the younger, the better. Children can be exposed to books even before they can talk, but for that a family has to have books, which isn't always the case.

There are neighborhoods in this country with plenty of books; and then there are neighborhoods where books are harder to find. Almost 15 years ago, Susan Neuman, now a professor at New York University, focused on that discrepancy, in a study that looked at just how many books were available in Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods. The results were startling.

Give A Goat Your Old Christmas Tree

Dec 26, 2014
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Delivery drivers plan their route with as many right turns as possible. Left turns - they're just a hassle. But get this - there is a species of ant that prefers left turns. And this got NPR's Richard Harris curious.

Do Fish Have Fingers?

Dec 26, 2014
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Dog Races To Catch Up With Ambulance

Dec 25, 2014
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A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film.

In the satirical film, which is at the center of a geopolitical tussle, Seth Rogen and James Franco play television producers who get an interview with Kim but are then hired by the CIA to "take him out."

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Rand Paul Gets In On Festivus Actions

Dec 24, 2014
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Those seeking holiday joy could look for it in places with seasonal names like Christmas, Fla., Santa Claus, Ind., or Snowflake, Ariz. — but you don't have to leave home to enjoy Rudolph, Wis.

For most of the year, the tiny town of Rudolph — population just a few snowflakes north of 400 — is best known for the cheese factory off Main Street. But around Christmas, people around the world covet a Rudolph, Wis., postmark on their cards and letters.

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Singer Joe Cocker Dies Of Lung Cancer At 70

Dec 23, 2014
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This morning we are remembering a man and a voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS")

JOE COCKER: (Singing) A little help from my friends...

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The Woman Who Mistook A Hat For A Parrot

Dec 23, 2014
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Well, here's an idea for a lampooning December movie - it's the holidays and shipping companies can't get their act together. They disappoint millions of customers because they can't deliver gifts on time.

Time For A Holiday Favorite: 'Santaland Diaries'

Dec 23, 2014

You might not expect "Santa's Helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The writer and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he read on Morning Edition in 1992.

Instantly, a classic was born. Sedaris' reading has become an NPR holiday tradition. Click the "Listen" link above to hear Sedaris read his story.

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I once lost my luggage while traveling over the holidays and it turned up two weeks later. That's nothing compared to what a Tucson woman went through - for her it was 20 years.

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