A bill to allow civil unions in Colorado gets its first hearing at the capitol tomorrow. The measure’s passage is certain, but a large crowd is still expected to testify before lawmakers. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.

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News

Reuters/Landov
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The decision to normalize relations is driving all kinds of speculation about American food companies opening up shop in Cuba. But analysts say: Don’t expect to see McDonald’s there anytime soon.
 

December 18, 2014 | NPR · In independent review panel calls for changes ranging from a better fence at the White House to a new approach to training and leadership within the Secret Service.
 

December 18, 2014 | NPR · The Justice Department’s move is a reversal from how the Bush administration interpreted Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
 

Arts & Life

Film Movement
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The film If You Don’t, I Will has some strong dialogue and performances, but its tale of a marriage in peril sags too often in its recounting of the journey.
 

Courtesy of Serial
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Serial, the hugely popular (and sometimes controversial) podcast spun off from This American Life, wraps up its first season today. Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.
 

Getty Images
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Ahead of The Colbert Report‘s last episode, Fresh Air listens back to interviews with Colbert. “I didn’t realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices,” he said.
 

Music

December 18, 2014 | NPR · Cuban rhythms and melodies have been part of what’s been called the most American of art forms — jazz — ever since Jelly Roll Morton first heard them in the port of New Orleans and used them in his music. Josephine Baker performed in Cuba and Nat King Cole recorded there. But the revolution made cultural exchange all but impossible and even supposedly open-minded artists and musicians took sides.
 

December 18, 2014 | NPR · In contrast to many of her peers, Portland-based musician Lori Henriques’ music for kids is rooted in jazz. Her latest album is How Great Can This Day Be.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 18, 2014 | NPR · When she’s at her most vulnerable as a woman, she’s at her best creatively. The same way Mary J. Blige’s pain drove My Life, Nicki’s believable heartache steals the show on The Pinkprint.
 

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