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4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Joe's Big Idea

Could Glitter Help Solve NASA's Giant Telescope Problem?

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Larkin Carey, an optical engineer with Ball Aerospace, examines two test mirror segments designed for the James Webb Space Telescope. The mirror for the scope is extremely powerful, but heavy and pricey.
NASA

NASA is building a new space telescope with astounding capabilities. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will replace the aging Hubble Space Telescope and will provide unprecedented views of the first galaxies to form in the early universe. It might even offer the first clear glimpse of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star.

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4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Economy

GDP Growth At Highest Level Since 2003

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:03 pm

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

4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Around the Nation

Despite De Blasio's Appeal, Protesters March In New York

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Around the Nation

Near Police Killings, A Community With A Cycle Of Crime

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Around the Nation

FDA Allows Gay Men To Donate Blood

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Digital Life

Hashtag Activism In 2014: Tweeting 'Why I Stayed'

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

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

3:03pm

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Woman Who Challenged Facebook's Age Limit Dies At 114

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:03 pm

Anna Stoehr became an Internet celebrity at age 113, when she owned up to fibbing on her Facebook account so she could join the social network. It was an unpredictable turn of events for Stoehr, who was born before the Wright brothers took their historic first flight. She died Sunday at age 114.

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2:33pm

Tue December 23, 2014
NPR Ed

An Update From New Orleans

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:34 am

Students at KIPP Central City Primary School raise their hands during a social studies class on August 14, 2014 in New Orleans. The school's student body is nearly 100 percent black in a system that is 85 percent black.
Edmund D. Fountain for NPR

NPR Ed is updating readers on some of the top stories we've been following in 2014.

All this year, NPR Ed has been exploring the dramatic changes to the New Orleans school system, where more than nine out of ten children attend charter schools, most run by the state Recovery School District.

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2:28pm

Tue December 23, 2014
The Salt

Record Number Of Britons Are Using Food Banks

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

At the We Care food bank in Southeast London, customers pay 1 pound sterling, or about $1.60, for 10 items. The token payment is meant to ease customers' discomfort about having to use the food bank's services.
Ari Shapiro NPR

The United Kingdom is struggling with a situation that may sound familiar to Americans. The economy is expanding, unemployment is dropping, yet growing numbers of people don't have enough food to eat.

Six months ago, Peter Brogan was among those Britons going hungry. He'd lived a comfortable middle-class existence for the first 50 years of his life, with a house, a job and a relationship. Then the relationship fell apart, and so did his life. Between alcoholism and depression, he couldn't keep his head above water.

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1:54pm

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

FDA Proposes End To Lifetime Ban On Gay Blood Donors

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:40 pm

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

Men who haven't had sexual contact with other men in a year will be allowed to donate blood under a policy change the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it will recommend.

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1:47pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Goats and Soda

Floating Toilets That Clean Themselves Grow On A Lake

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 11:03 am

During the dry season, human waste makes the water putrid along the floating village of Prek Toal on Tonle Sap Lake.
Courtesy of Taber Hand

Imagine you live on a floating lake house. Open air. Chirping crickets. Clear, starry nights. Everything seems great until you need to use the bathroom.

The natural instinct might be to make a deposit in the water. But that wouldn't be safe. Microbes in your feces would contaminate the water and could cause outbreaks of deadly diseases, like cholera.

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1:11pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Arts & Life

Serial Host Sarah Koenig Says She Set Out To Report, Not Exonerate

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:32 pm

The Serial podcast is Sarah Koenig's reinvestigation of the murder of Hae Min Lee, a Maryland high school student who was strangled in 1999. Lee was found in Baltimore's Leakin Park. Her schoolmate and ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder and is serving a life sentence.
Courtesy of Serial

Sarah Koenig didn't expect her new podcast, Serial, to get so much press, but she says the attention helped keep her on her toes: "It was just a constant reminder of how careful we needed to be," Koenig tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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1:00pm

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

'The Interview' To Play In More Than 200 Theaters On Christmas Day

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:32 am

A poster for The Interview. Some theaters now say they will show the comedy, which Sony Pictures had pulled following threats.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

More than 200 theaters will now show The Interview on Christmas Day, a spokesperson for Sony Pictures tells NPR.

Sony had pulled the controversial comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after ominous threats were made, allegedly by a group that hacked the studio's emails. The nation's largest theater chains had also said they won't show the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.

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12:28pm

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

WATCH: Monkey Revives Dying Friend At Indian Train Station

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:50 pm

A screengrab of a monkey reviving his friend in Kanpur, India.
YouTube

Monkey see. Monkey do.

A monkey in Kanpur, India, fell unconscious alongside train tracks after walking on a power line. A friend jumped in and used resuscitation techniques not unfamiliar to EMTs [not the biting].

A passenger on the platform captured the whole thing. You can watch what happened here:

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11:45am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Salt

For Australian Christmas, Everything's Overturned But The Pudding

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 11:58 am

Australian Christmas today is characterized by gastronomic eclecticism. Many of us have abandoned the old British customs — except for the rich and alcoholic Christmas pudding.
Edward Shaw iStockphoto

Americans know Australia as the land Down Under, and one consequence of this geographical flip is that Christmas here falls at the height of summer.

Our 100-degree temperatures aren't exactly conducive to cooking with a hot oven — although early colonists gave it their best shot.

But it wasn't long before Australians began to rebel, ditching the formal dining room for the pleasures of a picnic spread at the beach or a shady glade. Over the years, many of us have abandoned the old British customs altogether.

Except for Christmas pudding.

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11:41am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

New York's Rep. Michael Grimm Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:49 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm, seen here after voting in the Staten Island borough of New York City, was indicted on 20 criminal counts earlier this year.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Rep. Michael Grimm, the New York Republican who won re-election despite being indicted on 20 criminal counts related to a restaurant he owns, pleaded guilty to one charge of felony tax evasion Tuesday. He'll be sentenced in June; calls for him to leave Congress began Tuesday morning.

Grimm, a former FBI agent who represents Staten Island and south Brooklyn, had previously pleaded not guilty to charges that included mail fraud and perjury.

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11:39am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Irish Court Weighs Ending Life Support For Brain-Dead Pregnant Woman

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 4:05 pm

Ireland's High Court is hearing a case about a brain-dead woman who has been kept on life support — over the objections of her parents and her partner — so her fetus may have a chance at survival.

"My daughter is dead; the chances of the fetus surviving are minimal, we have been told," the father of the unnamed 20-something-year-old woman told the court today. "I want her to have dignity and be put to rest."

Her father said he was told she had died on Nov. 29.

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11:17am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Salt

Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They're Cracked Up To Be

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:49 pm

Cage-free eggs for sale in 2008 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Joel Kramer/Flickr

You're in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you're staring at a wall of egg cartons. They're plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.

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11:07am

Tue December 23, 2014
Shots - Health News

Being Thin Doesn't Spare Asian-Americans From Diabetes Risk

iStockphoto

We know that you can be fat while still fit, but how about skinny and unhealthy? This may be the case for many Asian-Americans who look slim, but actually face a higher risk of diabetes than people belonging to other ethnic groups.

As a result, Asian-Americans should consider getting tested for diabetes at a lower body mass index than previously recommended, according to new guidelines published Tuesday by the American Diabetes Association.

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10:40am

Tue December 23, 2014
Parallels

Kurds Put Their Independence Dreams On Hold

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:42 pm

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters arrive Saturday in Sinjar in northern Iraq, where they have made gains against the Islamic State. The Kurds were talking about independence this summer, but now appear focused on fighting the Islamic State.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Soon after Kurdish peshmerga fighters broke a siege by Islamic State extremists around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, Kurdish television reporters arrived to broadcast the riotous celebrations.

This was the largest gain by the Kurds against Islamist militants since August, when Islamic State fighters, also known as ISIS, threatened Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

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10:36am

Tue December 23, 2014
Goats and Soda

In The Village: Wilbur Goes Home

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:48 pm

Wilbur Sargunaraj visits a small house with a thatched roof, a medium-sized house and a "gigantic mansion" in his father's village.
Produced by Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR, John W. Poole and Ben de la Cruz/NPR.

If a guy wearing pajama pants and a necktie and sunglasses rang your doorbell and asked to make a video of your home, you'd probably slam the door so fast you'd shatter his lenses.

That's not what happened when Wilbur Sargunaraj went calling on various homeowners in his father's home village in the Tirunelveli district in southern India.

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10:31am

Tue December 23, 2014
Shots - Health News

Can I Keep My Marketplace Insurance If I Enroll In Medicare?

Sally Elford Getty Images/Ikon Images

We have received a bunch of questions about enrolling in Medicare lately. Here are answers to two that came up recently.

My wife has been automatically re-enrolled in a silver policy on the Oklahoma health insurance marketplace. She will turn 65 and be enrolled in Medicare on May 1, 2015. Can she keep her silver policy when she is enrolled in Medicare? And, if she does, will she automatically lose her premium subsidy? Do we have to cancel the policy or will the insurer do it automatically?

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10:18am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Keurig Recalls 7 Million Coffee Machines Following Reports Of Burns

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 12:50 pm

Keurig is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31).
Brian Snyder Reuters /Landov

Keurig, the company that makes the popular single-serve coffee machines, is recalling 7 million Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with the model number K10 (previously identified as B31), the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today.

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9:53am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Algerian Army Kills Leader Of Group That Beheaded Frenchman

A picture of French tourist and mountain guide Herve Gourdel, 55, who was killed after being kidnapped on Sept. 21 while hiking in Algeria's Djurdjura National Park. The leader of the group that killed Gourdel has been killed in a military attack.
Farouk Batiche AFP/Getty Images

A man who led a group that beheaded a French journalist has been killed in an attack by Algeria's military. Abdelmalek Gouri had been a wanted criminal in Algeria for nearly 20 years. His Islamic State splinter group claimed responsibility for killing hiker Herve Gourdel in September.

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9:14am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

U.S. Economy Grew At A 5 Percent Rate; Dow Surpasses 18,000

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:55 pm

The U.S. economy grew at a surprisingly fast 5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2014, up sharply from the 3.9 percent of the last revision. The figure blew past the consensus estimate of 4.3 percent put forth by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

It's the fastest the U.S. economy has grown in one quarter in more than a decade: The GDP grew at a 6.9 percent pace in the third quarter of 2003.

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: Dow Tops 18,000 For First Time

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8:29am

Tue December 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Orangutan Declared To Have Basic Legal Rights In Argentina

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 9:48 am

Sandra, an orangutan owned by the Buenos Aires Zoo, was given the right to leave the zoo after a court ruled she was entitled to more desirable living conditions.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

In what may be a first, an appeals court in Argentina has recognized a nonhuman as having basic legal rights. A Buenos Aires judge ruled in favor of advocates who are calling for more freedom for a 28-year-old orangutan who was born in a zoo.

The advocacy group filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the orangutan's behalf, which would require proof of a justified detention.

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7:44am

Tue December 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

Is Sony Hack Really 'The Worst' In U.S. History, As CEO Claims?

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:54 pm

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton says the computer hacking against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." Experts say other attacks have affected more people.
David McNew Reuters/Landov

The CEO of Sony Pictures has been saying that the cyberattack against his company is "the worst cyberattack in U.S. history." And you can see where he's coming from. An entire feature film got canned — at least for now. And his corporate networks were so damaged, Sony workers had to revert to using fax machines to communicate. That said, "the worst" is a big claim.

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7:03am

Tue December 23, 2014
Monkey See

Videos Of Ray Rice, Eric Garner Among Biggest Media Moments Of 2014

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:08 pm

Protesters in Boston during a December demonstration against the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in New York City and Ferguson, Mo.
Charles Krupa AP

6:58am

Tue December 23, 2014
Europe

The Woman Who Mistook A Hat For A Parrot

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:28 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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6:58am

Tue December 23, 2014
Around the Nation

Christmas Tree And Menorah Conrolled By Tweets

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 7:28 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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