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Science
1:02 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 7:11 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 β€” the Sirena Deep and the Challenger Deep β€” which each extend down about 7 miles beneath the ocean's surface.

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Movie Interviews
1:01 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 6:45 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 β€” 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
12:59 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Administration's College Rating System: How It Looks On Campus

Tuition, room and board at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., costs $45,000 a year.
Parker Michels-Boyce Randolph College

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:23 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-hours 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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NPR Story
5:41 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Portland Regional Government Approves Climate Strategy

Portland's regional government approved a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29 percent over 20 years.
Robert Ashworth/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/theslowlane/6111795654/in/photolist-aj5xV9-A2Ljj-pnF8-3KgewP-h4oj9-5sGrBy-6th1w2-qLMEd-94AzPm-cHEBt5-4xTLbM-yyRcK-8fmZZ9-oAWwNT-5s5wSw-5Mud4g-69n5vQ-5sGBeC-5sCdFp-cwReMh-

Portland's regional government approved a climate strategy Thursday that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the metro area by 29 percent over 20 years.

The strategy was required by a state law passed in 2009.

It includes options for encouraging public transit, biking and walking. It outlines street and highway improvements to move traffic more efficiently. And it calls for cleaner fuels and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

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Economy
3:32 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

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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Latin America
3:01 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

What Will Full Diplomatic Relations With Cuba Look Like?

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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

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Asia
2:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

North Korea Has Invested Heavily In Cyberattacks

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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

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Movies
2:49 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Risky Comedies Could Be In Jeopardy After 'Interview' Is Pulled

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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

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Last month's cyberattack on Sony pictures is now a national security matter. U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea is behind the incident and today the White House said it's taking hacking attacks seriously.

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Energy
2:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

No Fracking In New York? That's OK With Pennsylvania

Leslie Roeder of New York City cheers outside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office on Wednesday after the state announced a ban on hydraulic fracturing.
Andrew Kelly Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:23 am

Pennsylvania's fracking boom has led to record-breaking natural gas production, but its neighbor, New York, announced Wednesday it was banning the practice. Industry and environmental groups say New York's decision could be good for Pennsylvania.

New York's ban comes six years after the state placed a temporary moratorium on fracking to study the gas drilling technique. Now, officials question fracking's economic benefits and cite environmental risks.

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The Salt
2:09 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

What The Change In U.S.-Cuba Relations Might Mean For Food

Sugar, coffee, fruit juice for babies, oil and salt inside a market subsidized by the government in Havana on July 11, 2013.
Enrique De La Osa Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 5:14 am

It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani SΓ‘nchez.

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Monkey See
2:07 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

Adnan Syed
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

A review panel says changes are needed at the Secret Service β€” along with a better fence at the White House. Here, members of the Secret Service Uniformed Division stand in front of the White House.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:46 pm

The Secret Service must both change the way it trains agents and hire more of them, according to a panel that reviewed the agency that has endured a string of embarrassing lapses in recent months. The panel says its suggestions are "a road map for reform" under a new director.

Some of those suggestions are inherently practical β€” such as one that states "the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection."

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

U.S. Announces Protections For Transgender Workers

The Justice Department is broadening a civil rights law to include protections for transgender workers, a reversal from how the Bush administration interpreted the measure.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the law, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, will now ensure that workers who sue over discrimination in the workplace will get fair and consistent treatment.

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Law
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Makes Court Appearance In Pretrial Hearing

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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Law
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Justice Department Sues Over Conditions At Rikers Island Jail

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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Music
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Music A Longtime Feature Of Cuba-U.S. Cultural Exchange

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

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

Business
1:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New Popularity Of L.L. Bean Boots Sparks Scramble To Fill Orders

A surge in popularity of L.L. Bean boots has the Maine company scrambling to fill orders.
Murray Carpenter NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

L.L. Bean's iconic rubber and leather boots β€” long worn by practical and preppie New Englanders β€” have swung back into fashion with young people and are more popular than ever.

The recent surge in demand has the company scrambling to fill orders, upgrading its manufacturing equipment and adding a third shift at its Maine boot factories.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Administration Won't Rule Out Raul Castro Visit To White House

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:54 am

The White House today said it "wouldn't rule out a visit from President Raul Castro" to Washington, 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.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Immigration Is Driving Broad Demographic Shifts In U.S., Report Says

Navy Petty Officer Jimmy Dial (left) sits with his daughter, Kimberly, beside U.S. Army soldier Henri Blandon and his daughter as the men's wives and the girls' mothers become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony last month in Ontario, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:38 pm

Native-born Americans are making up a smaller percentage of those living in some areas of the U.S. as immigration moves to become the key factor in population growth within the next quarter-century, according to a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts that examined county-level census data.

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Parallels
1:05 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

In Latin America, Not Everyone Is Thrilled With The U.S.-Cuba Thaw

Cuban President Fidel Castro (left) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Barinas, Venezuela, in 2000. The two formed a close partnership, which has continued with their successors. However, the prospect of normal ties between the U.S. and Cuba may also have an impact on relations between Cuba and Venezuela.
Jose Goitia AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:18 pm

Latin American governments have long viewed Cuba as the region's David facing off against the Goliath of the United States. So from Mexico to Argentina, leaders are endorsing Wednesday's announcement that the two nations intend to normalize relations.

But this could prove awkward for Venezuela, which has been Cuba's closest ally and a fierce critic of Washington.

In public, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is praising the rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba.

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