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4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Hershey Buys Chinese Chocolate Company For $584 Million

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Nothing like a story about pizza to make you hungry. And then we bring you this, our last word in business, which is: Shanghai Golden Monkey. That's the Chinese candy maker that Hershey bought yesterday for almost $600 million.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hershey is not monkeying around. It may hold the largest share of the U.S. chocolate market, but only a small share of candy sales overseas.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

More Retail Chains Cater To Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. If you do Christmas shopping, time is running out. But starting today, Kohl's department stores want to help take some of the pressure off. For the first time ever, nearly all the retailers - more than 1,100 stores - will remain open 24 hours a day - 24 hours a day - five days straight. And this is a thing.

LaToya Dennis of member station WUWM reports.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

U.S. Deports 10 Percent Fewer People Last Fiscal Year

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

The Obama administration has released a figure that caught our attention. It's the number of people deported from the United States during the past fiscal year. For the first time, since the President Obama took office, that number is smaller than the year before.

NPR's Ted Robbins has a look at why.

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NPR Story
4:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

How Fraud Flourishes Unchecked In Medicare's Drug Plan

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:47 pm

With just a handful of prescriptions to his name, psychiatrist Ernest Bagner III was barely a blip in Medicare's vast drug program in 2009.

But the next year he churned them out at a furious rate — not just psychiatric drugs, but expensive pills for asthma, cholesterol, heartburn and blood clots.

By the end of 2010, Medicare had paid $3.8 million for Bagner's drugs — one of the highest tallies in the country. He added another $2.6 million the following year, records analyzed by ProPublica show.

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Africa
3:54 am
Fri December 20, 2013

U.N. Ambassador Laments Misery In Central African Republic

U.S. Ambassador to the Unitied Nations Samantha Power (right) listens to Lucy Mandazuto at a community hospital in Bangui, Central African Republic, on Thursday. Mandazuto was wounded in sectarian violence.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

You don't have to venture far to see the misery caused by the latest crisis in the Central African Republic.

On the edge of the airport in the capital Bangui, tens of thousands of people are sleeping out in the open with no basic services. It's here that Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, meets Martine Kutungai with her husband, a pastor, and their eight children.

Kutungai says she's terrified to go home because of the Seleka — Muslim rebels who toppled the government in March.

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The Salt
3:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Deep Dish Or Thin Crust? Even Chicagoans Can't Agree

A server dishes up a slice of deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria in Chicago. The 1-1/2-inch thick legendary pie, loaded with sausage, mushrooms, pepperoni and onions, was invented in Chicago.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart recently ranted against Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

"Let me explain something. Deep-dish pizza is not only not better than New York pizza — it's not pizza," said Stewart, calling it "tomato soup in a bread bowl. ... I don't know whether to eat it, or throw a coin in it and make a wish."

Some upset Chicagoans made their own wishes — which can't be repeated here.

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StoryCorps
3:34 am
Fri December 20, 2013

A Home-Cooked Dinner That's More Than A Meal

Willie Davis with his friend Yelitza Castro in Pineville, N.C.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 11:13 am

Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant who works as a housekeeper in Charlotte, N.C., cooks dinners for homeless men and women every other Saturday night. It's a tradition that started after she and her children spotted a man standing in the rain on a cold day with a sign asking for help.

Yelitza gave the man $5, she recalls, but her children wanted to take him out to dinner. She turned around to go back, but he was already gone.

"And we were thinking we have to do something," she says.

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The Two-Way
8:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Pa. Man Wins $1 Million Picasso With $140 Raffle Ticket

Picasso's 1914 cubist drawing L'homme au Gibus, or Man in the Opera Hat, is presented at Sotheby's auction house in Paris.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 1:50 pm

A Pennsylvania man who bought a raffle ticket for $140 has won the top prize — a Picasso worth $1 million.

Jeffrey Gonano, 25, entered a raffle put on by Sotheby's in Paris offering "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" as a fundraising event for the International Association to Save Tyre, an ancient Phoenician city in Lebanon.

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The Two-Way
8:34 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Update: Putin Critic Khodorkovsky Released From Prison

Former Yukos oil company CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky looks through the defendant's glass cage in a Moscow courtroom on Nov. 1, 2010.
Alexey Sazonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:24 pm

Update at 8:30 a.m. ET, Friday. Breaking News From Reuters:

"Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, left prison on Friday after a pardon from President Vladimir Putin ended a decade in jail that many saw as the fallen oil tycoon's punishment for daring to challenge the Kremlin."

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It's All Politics
8:31 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Will 2nd-Term Obama Show More Mercy Through Pardons?

President Obama speaks to reporters Wednesday in the Oval Office. On Thursday, Obama announced that he was granting a series of pardons and clemencies.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:47 am

President Obama came to office after bemoaning the disparity in sentences for crack versus powder cocaine offenses, and with a background as a community organizer and constitutional law teacher that had some progressives anticipating a robust use of the Constitution's "reprieves and pardons" power.

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Movie Reviews
8:05 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

A Man And His Machine, Finding Out What Love Is

In the sci-fi romance Her, a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) finds love in a rather unexpected place — with a computer operating system named Samantha.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 3:24 pm

Her is the best film of the year by a so-wide margin. It's gorgeous, funny, deep — and I can hear some smart aleck say, "If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?" Let me tell you, I'd like to!

I certainly identify with the protagonist, Theodore Twombly, who falls in love with his computer operating system, his OS, which calls itself — sorry, I gotta say "who calls herself" — Samantha, and who sounds like a breathy young woman.

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The Two-Way
7:43 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Senators Cross Aisle To Call For New Sanctions On Iran

A bipartisan measure defying President Obama would impose new sanctions on Iran if it breaks an interim deal to curb its nuclear program.

The "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act" would also compel the United States to back any Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Reuters says:

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The Two-Way
7:30 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

New York City Extends Smoking Ban To E-Cigarettes

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

New York's City Council has approved extending the city's strict smoking ban to include electronic cigarettes, which emit a vapor.

The measure was pushed by outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and backed by public health advocates in the city. It comes just weeks after New York became the first major city to raise the age for buying tobacco to 21.

Earlier this month, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said that "more research is needed on electronic cigarettes," but that "waiting to act could jeopardize the progress we have made over the last few years."

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World Cafe
6:08 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages On World Cafe

Barrence Whitfield.
Courtesy of the artist

Barrence Whitfield & The Savages reunited in 2011 after more than a decade apart; this year, the Boston band released a new album titled Dig Thy Savage Soul. The new record gives longtime fans the opportunity to relive fond memories of a group that packed clubs with sweaty souls back in the '80s.

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Mountain Stage
6:00 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Robbie Fulks On Mountain Stage

Robbie Fulks performs live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Robbie Fulks appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. As one of the pioneers of the alt-country movement, Fulks broke through with songs that are witty, sophisticated and poignant, often at the same time.

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Politics
5:57 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

President Obama's Rocky Year Falls Far Short Of Ambitions

By many standards, President Obama had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 6:52 pm

President Obama heads to Hawaii on Friday. He goes there for Christmas every year and always talks about how good it is to get away from Washington. This year, that's likely to be especially true.

It's been a rough year for the president, starting with the very first hours of 2013.

One year ago, when the ball dropped on Times Square and people sang "Auld Lang Syne," Obama was supposed to be in Honolulu. Instead, he was in Washington as the country went over the so-called fiscal cliff.

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All Tech Considered
5:49 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.S. Credit Card Security Lags

The U.K., Canada and other countries have been using more secure chip credit cards for years now. Why hasn't the U.S. caught up?
Martin Keene PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:47 pm

Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target. A possible weakness? The magnetic stripe on credit cards — which fraudsters can pull credit card numbers and expiration dates from to make counterfeit cards.

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Monkey See
5:46 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Infectious Collections: Stories And Poems To Convert Any Reader

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 8:57 am

This post is for everyone who passes right by the poetry section; all the bookish types who haven't read a short story since graduation. We know you're out there — and you're not alone.

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All Tech Considered
5:44 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

A City Turns To Lettuce Fields To Grow High-Tech Startups

A lettuce thinner created by an agricultural tech startup uses cameras and sensors to thin lettuce rows. Salinas, Calif., has hired a venture capital fund to help it attract other high-tech agricultural companies to the area.
Courtesy of Foothill Packing Inc.

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:46 pm

Salinas is just one hour south of California's Silicon Valley, but generations behind when it comes to technology. Many of its sprawling lettuce farms are stuck in the era of rakes and hoes.

City officials are hoping to change that — and also spur some job growth — by investing in high-tech agriculture.

At Taylor Farms in Salinas, Andrew Fernandez, the company's vice president of product, is stepping on heads of crunchy romaine lettuce, making his way over to a very big tractor. It's a water jet knife machine, and it's on the cutting edge of lettuce farming technology.

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Around the Nation
5:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Once A Mighty Bomber, A B-52 Meets Its End In The Desert

A view of a B-52 about to have its tail section cut at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 6:16 pm

A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

A crew used a circular saw to cut through the plane's aluminum skin, the tail section separating from the fuselage with a loud thunk and officially rendering the bomber useless.

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