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Around the Nation
5:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Once A Mighty Bomber, A B-52 Meets Its End In The Desert

A view of a B-52 about to have its tail section cut at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 6:16 pm

A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

A crew used a circular saw to cut through the plane's aluminum skin, the tail section separating from the fuselage with a loud thunk and officially rendering the bomber useless.

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Shots - Health News
5:16 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Poll: Americans Favor Age Restrictions On Morning-After Pill

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:50 pm

Emergency contraception has been embroiled in controversy pretty much from the start.

But this year the legal wrangling over who can buy the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill without a prescription came to an end. A federal judge in New York ruled in April that the morning-after pill also had to be made available over the counter to girls 16 and under.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Dozens Hurt In Ceiling Collapse At London's Apollo Theatre

A rescue operation is underway at the Apollo Theatre in London after part of the roof collapsed during a performance, trapping people inside.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:17 pm

(This post was updated at 6:00 p.m. ET)

London's emergency services personnel say 88 people have been injured, several of them seriously, in the collapse of part of the ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in central London during an evening performance. Officials say there have been no fatalities.

Emergency services officials tell news agencies that seven of those are seriously hurt. The BBC quotes a spokesman for the theater as saying 720 theatergoers were in attendance at the time of the collapse.

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Dennis Rodman In North Korea 'To Open Doors For America'

Former U.S. basketball superstar Dennis Rodman arrives in Pyongyang on Thursday.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:07 pm

Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday for his third visit this year to the hard-line Stalinist country, saying he will train the country's national basketball team and see his "friend," leader Kim Jong Un.

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Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

One Ohio Mall Store Offers Nothing For Sale, Just Faith And Cheer

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Christmas is less than a week away and shoppers continue their quest for the perfect gift at the perfect price. But at one shop in a southwest Ohio mall, Roman Catholic friars are offering their presence for free.

Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

New York City Considers Ban On E-Cigarettes

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

The New York City Council is slated to vote on a bill today that would add electronic cigarettes to the city's smoking ban. If the bill passes, use of e-cigarettes would be prohibited from public and private venues such as beaches, parks, restaurants and offices.

Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Hackers Stole 40 Million Credit, Debit Card Numbers From Target

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.

Television
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch Suspended Over Anti-Gay Comments

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A controversy has plagued a powerful and lucrative multimedia empire: "Duck Dynasty."

(SOUNDBITE FROM TV SERIES "DUCK DYNASTY")

JASE ROBERTSON: Willie, do you even know how to fish?

WILLIE ROBERTSON: Son, I can catch any fish in that water.

ROBERTSON: Let's have a competition.

SI ROBERTSON: They compete in everything, whether it be horseback riding, throwing horseshoes, playing baseball, all that.

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NPR Story
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Lawmaker Retirement Season Starts Ahead Of 2014 Midterm Elections

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

It's the start of retirement season in the House as members head home after a long, difficult year. Three House members — two Republicans and a Democrat — announced their retirements from Congress this week, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Politics
4:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

How The Government Spent $2 Billion Paying Workers To Not Work

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:42 pm

Two billion — that's the number of dollars the federal government lost during the partial government shutdown, paying furloughed employees not to work.

NPR Story
4:39 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

From Hollywood Stardom To The Cloistered Life

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood in the 1950s and early 1960s. She appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the film "Loving You." In 1963, she chose the life of a nun. (Ignatius Press)

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

She made her film debut opposite Elvis Presley in 1957′s “Loving You,” was nominated for a Tony Award for “The Pleasure of His Company” and co-starred in the spring break classic “Where the Boys Are.”

But in 1963, she stunned the film world when she entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis to become a cloistered Benedictine nun.

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

The 'Affluenza' Defense

Ethan Couch, 16, was sentenced to 10 years probation after admitting to driving drunk in a crash that killed four people and injured several others. (Screenshot from WFAA-TV video)

On Tuesday, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office announced that it is seeking additional charges against 16-year-old Ethan Couch.

There has been widespread public outrage that Couch did not receive any jail time after he admitted to driving drunk in a crash that killed four people. A judge sentenced him to 10 years of probation and a year of in-patient treatment at a California rehab center that costs $450,000 per year — to be paid by his parents.

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NPR Story
4:39 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Target: Problem Is Fixed, But Customers Should Check Charge Accounts

Target Corp. said information from some 40 million Target shoppers' credit and debit cards was stolen in the three weeks after Thanksgiving. (Jay Reed/Flickr)

Target says it’s fixed the problem that allowed credit and debit card information on as many as 40 million accounts to be stolen. It says credit card holders can continue to shop at its stores.

But the chain also says customers should check their statements carefully for unauthorized charges.

Customers who see suspicious activity in their accounts are being told to call Target at 866-852-8680.

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Code Switch
3:50 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Is A 'Pathway To Citizenship' The Right Concern?

Immigrants hold miniature U.S. flags as they listen to a video broadcast from President Obama during a naturalization ceremony in New York City.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Obama Issues Year-End Commutations For Drug Crimes

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:28 pm

President Obama has commuted the sentences of eight people convicted of drug crimes, saying their terms were unusually harsh due to a system that treated crack cocaine as a more serious offense than powder cocaine.

The president also pardoned 13 others convicted of various other offenses.

The commutations come after the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which is aimed at reducing disparities in the way the law treats cocaine possession.

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