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EPA/Landov
December 18, 2014 | NPR · President Obama eased restrictions on Cuba this week, including a relaxation of rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there. But banks are awaiting details and are likely to proceed cautiously.
 

Reuters/Landov
December 18, 2014 | WITF · Environmental groups cheered New York’s decision to ban the practice, and some in the industry say when it comes to good-paying jobs, New York’s loss is Pennsylvania’s gain.
 

NPR
December 18, 2014 | NPR · L.L. Bean’s iconic rubber and leather boots have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever. The backlog stands at nearly 100,000 pairs; it will take months to catch up.
 

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. NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.
 

AP
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Cuba and Venezuela are close allies that often seemed to speak with a single voice when it came to bashing the U.S. But now they may be out of sync.
 

Bloomberg via Getty Images
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. That means jobs that in the U.S. are relatively safe and boring, like driving a bus, can be incredibly dangerous. It all starts with a phone call.
 

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

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.”
 

AP
December 17, 2014 | NPR · With the death of a northern white rhino in San Diego’s zoo this week, researchers are working to see whether they can save the species. They’d better hurry — only five remain.
 

AFP/Getty Images
December 17, 2014 | NPR · The Islamic State is not believed to be in the Gaza Strip. But a flier in its name was recently sent around the territory. Both Israel and Hamas are trying to use it to their advantage.
 

 

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News

December 19, 2014 | NPR · The Olympic gold medal winner gets no jail time for second conviction for drunk driving. He’ll be able to train for Rio with his 18-month supervised probation.
 

iStockphoto
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition throughout Latin America, but there are hundreds of different versions. Whose is best? That’s a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · Less than three years ago, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion. The photo-sharing service recently said it has more than 300 million users.
 

Arts & Life

iStockphoto
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition throughout Latin America, but there are hundreds of different versions. Whose is best? That’s a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · The biopic of landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicts a man whose mind is barely engaged by anything other than his work. He’s a mystery, and his art is magically indefinite — just like the movie.
 

December 19, 2014 | NPR · Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
December 19, 2014 | NPR · Three decades after her first interview with him, Fiona Ritchie meets up with the Scottish musician, who’s known for a long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.
 

Getty Images
December 19, 2014 | NPR · In a 2001 session, Shearing and host Marian McPartland reminisce about seasons gone by and play holiday songs, including “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Away In A Manger.”
 

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.
 

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