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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

It Just Needed A Little Love: An Ugly Spruce Ties A Town Together

This scraggly 50-foot Christmas tree in downtown Reading, Pa., became a symbol for a town hit by tough economic times to rally behind.
Ben Allen WITF

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:10 pm

Reading, Pa., is one of the poorest cities in the country. So when a shabby-looking, 50-foot Christmas tree went up in the middle of the city's downtown around Thanksgiving, many saw it as a metaphor for the city's troubles.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Questions Linger In Fatal Shooting Of New York City Police Officers

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

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

Europe
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Russia Continues To Cope With Sliding Economy

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

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

Code Switch
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Whiteness Project participants were filmed talking about race. The project doesn't use their names, to encourage frankness.
Feral Films, Inc.

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:07 pm

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

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Parallels
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:41 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Kurdish Forces Push Offensive To Retake Sinjar From ISIS

Iraqi Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani speaks with the media at Mount Sinjar, in the town of Sinjar, on Sunday. Barzani was visiting an area that was recently retaken from ISIS militants.
STRINGER/IRAQ Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 3:46 pm

Kurdish fighters, supported by coalition warplanes, pushed into the town of Sinjar in northern Iraq, days after breaking a siege of a mountain where ethnic Yazidis had been trapped for months by Islamist extremists.

Massoud Barzani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader claimed his peshmerga forces had already taken a "large area" of the town of Sinjar, which has been held since August by fighters of the so-called Islamic State.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Sun December 21, 2014

GOP Sens. Rubio, Paul Square Off Over Cuba Policy Shift

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, expresses his disappointment in President Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the U.S. and Cuba, on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:47 pm

In what could prove a sneak peek at the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a strong critic of President Obama's decision to open relations with Cuba, appears to be stepping up an attack on fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul over his support of the policy shift.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Tunisia, Cradle Of Arab Spring, In Historic Presidential Vote

Tunisian voter Dina Ghlisse, 19, displays her finger with the indelible ink mark after voting in La Marsa, on the outskirts of Tunis, on Sunday. More than three years after Tunisia sparked the Arab Spring, the country is choosing a president.
Hassene Dridi AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:46 pm

Updated at 12:20 p.m. ET

Tunisians are going to the polls today to choose a president in a runoff election that represents a choice between the country's interim leader, swept to power in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring revolution, or a candidate with ties to the ousted regime.

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The Two-Way
8:58 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Obama Calls North Korean Hack 'Cybervandalism'

Sony Pictures Studios headquarters building is seen in Culver City, Calif., on Friday. President Obama has criticized Sony for cancelling distribution of The Interview following after the studio was hacked by North Korea.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 1:40 pm

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

President Obama told CNN that he doesn't consider North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures an act of war, but instead a case of "cyber-vandalism." But he stands by his criticism of the movie studio for pulling the satirical film The Interview because its plot angers Pyongyang.

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The Salt
8:40 am
Sun December 21, 2014

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

The rellenong manok at La Cocina de Tita Moning, a restaurant in Manila. Chef Suzette Montinola uses a traditional recipe from the 1930s that belonged to her grandmother.
Aurora Almendral for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 10:50 am

Noche buena, the Christmas Eve feast in fervently Catholic Philippines, is deeply steeped in tradition. One of the mainstays of this decadent meal, usually eaten after midnight mass, is rellenong manok (rel-ye-nong ma-nok). It's a hybrid name: In Spanish, relleno means stuffed, and in Tagalog, manok means chicken.

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