Lawmakers are on the verge of wrapping up the state’s annual legislative session. As part of our weekly Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland takes a look at some of the highs and lows of the last four months.

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News

AP
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says the U.S. never told Thai officials of the existence of a safe house where top al-Qaida operatives were allegedly subjected to torture.
 

AP
December 19, 2014 | KHN · Medicare will cut payments to hospitals with high rates of patient infections and injuries. Half that nation’s academic medical centers will be docked by Medicare for making too many medical mistakes.
 

AP
December 19, 2014 | NPR · President Obama has a lot to talk about: From the recent protests in Ferguson to thawing relations with Cuba and Iran. Obama may also be asked about the cyber attack on Sony.
 

Arts & Life

Sony Pictures
December 19, 2014 | NPR · The new adaptation of Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx, isn’t the same Annie some of us knew in childhood. But on her own terms, she’s still a charmer.
 

iStock
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Our favorite interviews about music from the TED Radio Hour.
 

iStock
December 19, 2014 | NPR · In this playlist, TED speakers explore the nature of creativity, the source of a good story, and the impact of the written word.
 

Music

December 19, 2014 | NPR · A dancer’s desperate and purposeful choreography was shot in locations all over London using one-point perspective, a powerful accompaniment to this poetic post-hardcore track.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Could anyone have predicted the first and second place finishers in this year’s NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll? The poll master certainly didn’t — and he voted for both of them.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2014 | NPR · We had 140 jazz journalists weigh in on their favorite releases of the year. Here are their top overall picks, with top finishers in Latin jazz, vocal, debut and historical categories.
 

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