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December 13, 2014 | NPR · One of the many policy riders tucked inside the trillion-dollar spending bill reverses a rule that long-haul truckers take two nights off for every 70 hours they drive. Safety groups are angry.
 

Courtesy Ollie McClung Jr.
December 13, 2014 | WBHM · Fifty years ago Sunday, the Supreme Court told Ollie’s Barbecue in Birmingham, Ala., that the government had a right to order it — and all restaurants — to seat African-Americans.
 

Flickr
December 13, 2014 | NPR · The themed party trend is on us again, and holiday garb bedecked with bells, lights and way too much tinsel is selling fast. Show us your best holiday monstrosity — use the hashtag #NPRuglysweaters.
 

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December 13, 2014 | NPR · When Ben Edelman was overcharged for his takeout, he threatened legal action. After the story went viral, he apologized. It made NPR’s Scott Simon wonder if it might be better to be wise than right.
 

Reuters/Landov
December 13, 2014 | NPR · Russia, China and other emerging market countries have been buying up large quantities of gold, something governments and individuals have done for centuries during uncertain economic times.
 

Marilena Deli
December 13, 2014 | NPR · When record producer Ian Brennan met the Malawi Mouse Boys, they were selling mice as roadside snacks and singing together in church. Now, they’ve released two albums and toured the U.S.
 

AP
December 13, 2014 | NPR · The two leading Palestinian factions recently agreed to end a feud and work together. But in the Gaza Strip, the wounds have not healed from a nasty bout of infighting in 2007.
 

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December 13, 2014 | NPR · Many Jewish families celebrate the holiday by handing out gelt, chocolate coins covered in gold and silver. These days they’re treats for kids. But the practice began as a way to thank labor.
 

Dalia Khamissy for NPR
December 13, 2014 | NPR · Sophocles’ ancient Greek play chronicled a princess’ plight after a horrible civil war 2,000 years ago. Syrian refugee women in Beirut are incorporating their lives into a new production of the drama.
 

Handel and Haydn Society
December 13, 2014 | NPR · The group gave the first U.S. performance of Handel’s Messiah, and still plays it today. Yet the ensemble has constantly evolved.
 

 

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News

December 18, 2014 | NPR · The remarks come a day after President Obama announced the U.S. and Cuba would begin talks to normalize relations and open embassies following more than five decades of hostility.
 

AP
December 18, 2014 | NPR · An analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that immigrants are increasingly moving from “gateways” such as New York and Texas into states in Middle America.
 

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

Arts & Life

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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.
 

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December 18, 2014 | NPR · On Christmas Eve, many French-Canadians will gather after midnight Mass for reveillon, a lavish dinner party that lasts into the wee hours. The traditional centerpiece is a savory, spiced meat pie.
 

iStockphoto
December 18, 2014 | NPR · A long-awaited review of public libraries in the U.K. calls for them to expand digital services and offer a “retail-standard environment” akin to coffee shops.
 

Music

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.
 

Mountain Stage
December 18, 2014 | NPR · The singer and painter’s longstanding love of bossa nova is evident in this concert.
 

Courtesy of the artist
December 18, 2014 | NPR · Listeners chime in with their own favorites, including Chicano Batman and Helado Negro.
 

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