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World Cafe
8:52 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Latin Roots: A Puerto Rican Christmas

Some of the traditional instruments played during Puerto Rican caroling.

Musician, record producer and writer Rachel Faro visits World Cafe for part two of this week's special holiday edition of Latin Roots. During Wednesday's episode, Faro discusses Christmas celebrations in Puerto Rico and how they differ from the holiday traditions in the Puerto Rican communities of New York. One of the songs she plays, by Willie Colon, is a classic that brings traditional music from the island to the big city.

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World Cafe
8:39 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Fab Four: A Beatles Cover Band On World Cafe

The Fab Four.
Courtesy of the artist

World Cafe's special Christmas Day episode continues with The Fab Four, a California-based band of dedicated Beatles impersonators. The group takes on many elements of the influential English band, from sporting mop-tops to covering Sgt. Pepper and beyond.

This year, The Fab Four released Hark!, which features mash-ups of Christmas classics and Beatles favorites. The band members join host David Dye in the WXPN studios to talk about the record.

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World Cafe
8:34 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Nick Lowe On World Cafe

Nick Lowe.
Courtesy of the artist

Our guest for a special Christmas Day episode of World Cafe, Nick Lowe, has been making records since the 1970s. With beginnings as a rocker, Lowe has since developed a new following for his sly, country-tinged records. His new Christmas album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, fits squarely into that category. In addition to performing a live set, the English musician discusses how he gets into the Christmas spirit.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Wed December 25, 2013

U.S. Embassy In Kabul Hit By Indirect Fire

Afghans stand near a crater from an attack reportedly targeting the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Wednesday.
Ahmad Nazar AP

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 11:10 pm

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, was hit by indirect rocket fire Wednesday morning, officials say. NPR's Sean Carberry reports for our Newscast unit that no one was injured.

"They hit in an open area; they didn't strike any of the embassy buildings. There was no damage to embassy facilities, and there were no causalities," he said.

Embassy officials say they are investigating. Taliban insurgents claimed they fired rockets at the embassy, but they often make claims that turn out to be exaggerated or untrue.

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Books
6:16 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Writing 'Rudolph': The Original Red-Nosed Manuscript

In 1939, Montgomery Ward in Chicago asked one of its admen to write a story for the department store's own children's book.
Rauner Special Collections Library Dartmouth College

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:20 am

Everybody knows Rudolph was the last reindeer to join Santa's crew, but few people know about the department store copywriter who brought his story to the world.

The year was 1939, the Great Depression was waning and a manager at Montgomery Ward in Chicago decided that the store should create its own children's book for the annual holiday promotion.

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Around the Nation
4:29 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Milwaukee Hopes Cheese Brine Is Cheap Road De-Icer

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Around the Nation
4:05 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Fans Keep Jimmy Stewart Museum From Closing

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

The 1946 Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart, has a miracle ending. An angel named Clarence saves Stewart's character, George Bailey, from suicide. The townsfolk of Bedford Falls save George from financial ruin. Now, the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Pennsylvania has gotten a reprieve. With few visitors, its doors were about to shut. But fans sent in donations. Some were big but one envelop contained a single dollar - the return address marked: Clarence.

Africa
3:42 am
Wed December 25, 2013

South Sudan's Political Rift Leads To Violent Deaths

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

This is a sound you might not expect to hear in a nation being torn up by violence.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

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The Salt
3:03 am
Wed December 25, 2013

When Is Cinnamon Spice Not So Nice? The Great Danish Debate

Ah, the cinnamon swirl: They're beloved by the Danish, but the traditional recipe for these pastries may be too spice-laden for European Union law.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 8:15 am

Who doesn't love a Danish pastry?

And in Denmark, they like their pastries sprinkled with plenty of cinnamon.

But now, Denmark's bakers are being told that their time-honored recipe for the beloved kanelsnegle — or cinnamon swirl — may be unhealthy and against the law. Recent testing by the Danish government found that a large number of the rolls had too much cinnamon — more than the recommended limits set by the European Union.

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NPR Story
1:48 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Nativity Scenes Liven Centuries-Old French Village

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The medieval village of Flavigny, France has livened up its winter streets with nativity scenes, 85 of them exhibited in windows of houses throughout the town. This centuries-old village has been doing this for five years now and it's bringing in crowds of tourists.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley was one of them and she sent us this Christmas postcard.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

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