One of the more controversial bills introduced in the state’s legislative session is scheduled to die before it even gets a hearing. A Republican house member says he plans to kill his own bill that would have adopted an Arizona style immigration law. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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News

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December 17, 2014 | NPR · For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has lead to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.
 

December 17, 2014 | NPR · President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued.
 

Baltimore Sun/TNS /Landov
December 17, 2014 | NPR · American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison where he suffered ill health. Then, on Tuesday, his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, told him in a phone call that he was going home.
 

Arts & Life

Universal Pictures
December 17, 2014 | NPR · Louis Zamperini was an Olympian before he enlisted in World War II and became a prisoner of war. Jolie says he told her to “make a film that reminds people that they have greatness inside themselves.”
 

Sony Pictures Entertainment
December 17, 2014 | NPR · As an African-American Annie arrives on movie screens, critic Bob Mondello looks at other cross-cultural reinventions, from Pearl Bailey’s Dolly to the Americanization of Carmen as Carmen Jones.
 

December 17, 2014 | NPR · In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and ’30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 17, 2014 | WXPN · Hailu Mergia, a keyboard player and Ethiopian music star who lives in the U.S., will get you anywhere you need to go in our nation’s capital.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 17, 2014 | NPR · The World Cafe host’s favorite albums from this year abide by his mantra: they put good songs first, and present them simply and authentically.
 

Courtesy of the artists
December 17, 2014 | NPR · The results are in! St. Vincent’s self-titled album was by far the most popular record in our listener poll for the best music of 2014. On this week’s show, we count down the Top 25.
 

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