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The Two-Way
12:41 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

FBI Formally Accuses North Korea In Sony Hacking

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:50 pm

Updated at 12:40 p.m. ET

The FBI said it now has enough information to conclude that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures.

The FBI tied the attack to North Korea because the malware used in the attack had the hallmarks of software written by the country in the past.

"For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks," the FBI said in a statement.

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The Salt
12:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold

Even in the coldest months, we relish the refreshing, icy taste of peppermint — in seasonal treats like peppermint bark, peppermint schnapps, even peppermint beer.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:59 am

Beginning next year, colleges and universities will be judged on three broad criteria when it comes to meting out federal financial aid: access, affordability and student outcomes, according to a new "framework" released by the Education Department.

The ratings plan was first announced by President Obama in August 2013, but the framework announced today is only an interim step. Public input is being sought by Feb. 17 on the proposed system.

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It's All Politics
11:38 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

Workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in July 2007 in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska near the village of Iliamma.
Al Grillo AP

Three advocacy organizations — across ideological lines — are telling congressional investigators to back off in a probe of EPA ties to a leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana are leading the investigation. They contend that NRDC lobbyists have exerted too much influence over EPA on the issues of carbon reduction and the proposed Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay, Alaska.

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Goats and Soda
11:30 am
Fri December 19, 2014

A Nurse's Desperate Plea: Show Me The Ebola Money

A body bag and some wooden sticks were used to fashion this stretcher.
Courtesy of Karin Huster

I found her curled up in the fetal position on the ground, under a piece of cardboard wet from the rain, breathing quietly. Dried blood all around her mouth. Naked. Most likely she had stumbled from her ward in the middle of the night, making it past the gates meant to separate the area where patients live from the triage area, where ambulances pull in — gates that frustratingly still won't close.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

FIFA Votes To Release At Least Some Of The Controversial World Cup Report

FIFA president Sepp Blatter attends a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco, on Friday.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:51 am

Soccer's governing body is sticking to its guns.

FIFA has voted not to revisit the bidding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. It also decided to release, at some later date, at least part of a 430-page confidential report produced by American lawyer Michael Garcia.

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Shots - Health News
10:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which?

Having warm, supportive parents early on correlates with success in adulthood.
Agent Illustrateur/Ikon Images

Most of us don't remember our first two or three years of life — but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood.

Just how they influence us and how much is a question that researchers are still trying to answer. Two studies look at how parents' behavior in those first years affects life decades later, and how differences in children's temperament play a role.

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The Two-Way
9:54 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Thailand Says It Was Unaware Of CIA 'Black Site' On Its Soil

Abu Zubaydah, an alleged al-Qaida operative who was reportedly subjected to waterboarding at a secret location in Thailand in 2002.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:19 am

Thailand's prime minister says his government had no knowledge of a secret location inside the country where the CIA is said to have waterboarded top al-Qaida operatives in 2002.

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Shots - Health News
9:51 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

NYU Langone Medical Center is one of the teaching hospitals being penalized by Medicare for too many medical errors.
Joshua Bright AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:34 am

Medicare has begun punishing 721 hospitals with high rates of infections and other medical errors, cutting payments to half the nation's major teaching hospitals and many institutions that are marquee names.

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TED Radio Hour
9:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Are We Wired To Be Compassionate?

"We're designed to convince ourselves that our very selective deployment of compassion is thoroughly justified" — Robert Wright
courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Robert Wright's TED Talk

Author Robert Wright says humans are not only wired to be compassionate but we have evolved to feel compassion out of self-interest.

About Robert Wright

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TED Radio Hour
9:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

How Can We Make The World More Compassionate?

"I've become acutely aware of the centrality of compassion in all the major world faiths" — Karen Armstrong
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Karen Armstrong's TED Talk

Religion scholar Karen Armstrong describes how compassion is the core principle in all world religions — in the form of the golden rule.

About Karen Armstrong

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TED Radio Hour
9:34 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Why Aren't We More Compassionate?

"Compassionate concern activates the same system you see in every mammal when a parent cares for the young" — Daniel Goleman
Robert Leslie TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Just A Little Nicer.

About Daniel Goleman's TED Talk

Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, examines why we aren't more compassionate more of the time.

About Daniel Goleman

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Fri December 19, 2014

To Finish Up Year, Obama Will Hold A Press Conference

President Barack Obama speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on Dec. 17.
Doug Mills AP

President Obama will close out 2014 with his traditional end-of-year press conference.

The press conference is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET., and it's bound to be eventful because Obama has a lot to talk about.

Among the news events that will likely come up:

-- The normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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Europe
7:54 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Great-Great Grandmother's Gift List Keeps Growing

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:10 am
Fri December 19, 2014

What's Next For Cuba? The Headlines That Tell The Story

A tourist takes a cab ride in a classic American car as the driver takes him past the Capitolio in Havana, Cuba on Thursday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Two days after the U.S. and Cuba decided to end a more than 50-year estrangement, the natural question is: What's next?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reports that the process of normalizing diplomatic relations will be pretty straight forward and is likely to be done quickly.

"We can do that via an exchange of letter or notes. It doesn't require a formal sort of legal treaty or agreement," Roberta Jacobson, assistant secretary of state for the western hemisphere, said during a briefing on Thursday.

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Details On The Administration's New College Ratings System

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:52 am

Today the Education Department released long-awaited details on a plan to hold colleges accountable for their performance on several key indicators, and officials said they'll be seeking public comment on the proposals through February.

"As a nation, we have to make college more accessible and affordable and ensure that all students graduate with a quality education of real value," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

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Book News & Features
7:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

3 Business Best-Sellers Show Inequality Is Now The Hot Topic

Best-selling business books typically tell you how to get rich — either by becoming a better worker or investor, or perhaps by learning the secrets of successful entrepreneurs.

And in 2014, readers could find plenty of books promoting pluck and hard work, such as MONEY Master the Game and The Innovators.

But three books broke the pattern, generating headlines and big sales by focusing on unfair aspects of wealth creation.

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Sports
6:22 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Michael Jordan Sneakers Sell For More Than $33,000 At Auction

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Your Money
5:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When Nonprofit Hospitals Sue Their Poorest Patients

Keith Herie is swamped in debt from medical issues he and his wife encountered starting about a decade ago. Heartland hospital is seizing 10 percent of his paycheck and 25 percent of his wife's wages, and has placed a lien on their home.
Steve Hebert for ProPublica

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:32 am

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Mo., lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of modern brick and glass buildings. Everyone in town knows Heartland Regional Medical Center — many residents gave birth to their children here. Many rush here when they get hurt or sick.

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NPR Story
5:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Cuban-American Congressional Leaders Vow To Fight Obama's Proposals

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
5:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Transparency Vs. Privacy: What To Do With Police Camera Videos?

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Story
5:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Exchange Of Spies Was Critical To U.S.-Cuba Deal

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
5:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Tourism Industry Gears Up For Lifting Of Cuban Travel Ban

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:19 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
4:03 am
Fri December 19, 2014

For An Island Trapped In The '50s, An Instant Digital Revolution

Cubans try to connect to the ETECSA server during a May 9 service outage as they wait with other customers outside the offices of the state telecom monopoly in Havana, Cuba. Cuba's government has blamed technological problems on a U.S. embargo. Critics of the government have said it deliberately strangles the Internet to mute dissent. Changing U.S.-Cuba relations may prove who's right.
Franklin Reyes AP

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:55 am

This week's historic agreement between the U.S. and Cuba to reinstate diplomatic relations after decades of silence could launch a digital revolution in the island nation.

According to the White House, only 5 percent of Cubans have access to the open Internet, comparable to North Korea. As part of the deal, that could change overnight.

Status Check

Maribel Fonseca, a teacher in Miramar, Cuba, has never seen the Internet. A few of her more privileged students have been online.

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Science
4:02 am
Fri December 19, 2014

7 Miles Beneath The Sea's Surface: Who Goes There?

The research vessel Falkor in August 2013.
Courtesy of Mark Schrope

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:11 am

A ship full of marine scientists is floating over the deepest part of the world: the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench. They're sending down probes to study life in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

This week the researchers are targeting the two deepest spots in the trench — the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep — which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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Movie Interviews
4:01 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Eye-Opening Saga Of Walter And Margaret Keane, Now On Screen

Amy Adams stars as painter Margaret Keane in the new movie Big Eyes.
Leah Gallo The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:45 am

It's a story almost too strange to be true: Throughout much of the 1960s and '70s, the wistful, wide-eyed children of painter Walter Keane were absolutely everywhere.

Paintings and posters of the big-eyed waifs, often in rags, their hair unkempt, brought fame and fortune to the charming, smooth-talking artist — along with widespread critical disdain.

But years later, it emerged that the art was actually the work of Walter's wife, Margaret Keane. She painted in secret, behind closed doors, and he publicly claimed the work as his own.

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NPR Ed
3:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Administration's College Ratings: How It Looks On Campus

Main Hall on the campus of Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va.
Parker Michels-Boyce Randolph College

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:59 am

It's late afternoon. Most classes at Randolph College are done for the day but students have begun gathering in the lobby of the elegant, century-old main hall.

A student taps on a piano while he and four classmates wait for their philosophy professor. After-hour sessions like these are a key feature of this small, private liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Va.

It markets itself nationally as a "unique, nurturing community of learners", well worth the $45,000 a year in tuition, room and board.

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Economy
6:08 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Opportunity, Caution Seen For U.S. Banks As Cuba Rules Ease

President Obama announces changes to U.S. policy on Cuba, including relaxing restrictions on U.S. banking in the country, in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.
Doug Mills / Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Among the changes to U.S. restrictions on Cuba President Obama announced Wednesday was a relaxation of the rules barring U.S. banks from doing business there.

Americans traveling in Cuba will now be able to use their credit cards and ATM cards, but many U.S. banks see the new rules as something of a legal minefield.

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Asia
6:07 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

North Korea Has Invested Heavily In Cyberattacks

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Latin America
6:01 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

What Will Full Diplomatic Relations With Cuba Look Like?

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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