Afghanistan
11:01 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Ten Years Of Hanging On As An Afghan Potter

Abdul Wahkeel at his pottery stall in the Afghan village of Istalif. He was among the first potters to return after the fall of the Taliban.
Jim Wildman NPR

After the fall of the Taliban, Abdul Wahkeel was the first potter to return to the Afghan village of Istalif.

Istalif had been home to generations of potters who crafted teapots, dishes and pots that glow a jewel-like blue. But Wahkeel and other villagers left after the Taliban torched workshops, smashed pottery and — it was said — killed birds in their cages.

When NPR's Renee Montagne first arrived in Istalif in 2002, she heard Wahkeel's story as he was centering clay on his potter's wheel.

"It is two months now that I have returned back to my home," he told her.

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Animals
11:01 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Myth Busting: The Truth About Animals And Tools

A tufted capuchin uses a stone hammer to crack open a nut in Brazil's Parnaiba Headwaters National Park.
Ben Cranke Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 12:28 pm

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World
11:01 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Italians Are Mostly Window Shopping This Christmas

A woman gazes into a shop window in downtown Rome. Due to tough austerity measures, even wealthy Italians are buying less this holiday season.
Max Rossi Reuters

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 9:19 pm

A tour of how Christmas shopping is going in Italy starts with Via Condotti — Rome's premier shopping street.

It features high-end stores like Prada, Gucci, Armani, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Ferragamo. But salespeople are standing idly by the door. There's a yawning emptiness in these shops.

Two streets down, the only Christmas sound is a recording of a children's chorus singing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo." But even in a toy store, well-dressed customers leave without buying.

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StoryCorps
9:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

A Bowlful Of Memories About A Mama Named Sugar

Cora Lee Collins was called Sug by everyone, including her children.
Courtesy of Penelope Simmons

Everybody loved Cora Lee Collins — known to all, including her children, as Sug.

"Oh, I called her Mama, too, but I called her Sug," her daughter, Penelope Simmons, tells her own daughter, Suzanne Wayne. "When she was a little kid, she would climb up on the kitchen table and eat sugar out of the sugar bowl, and so they started calling her Sugar."

Simmons grew up in Lake Charles, La., with two brothers, Otis and Jamie. "Sug loved us, but she was nowhere near a hovering mother. I mean, we did run wild."

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All Things New Orleans
7:37 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

All Things New Orleans: Media Saturation, Prospect.2, and Louis Armstrong

Gwen Thompkins contemplates the effects of media over-saturation; Paul Maassen speaks with the powers behind Prospect.2; and music writer Richard Harris reviews a new boxed set of Louis Armstrong's material.

Jack Hopke is your host for WWNO's weekly news magazine.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Need A Hug? Go To 'The Nicest Place On The Internet'

Sometimes, we bring you bad news. Sometimes the good. But other times, we just like to share something sweet.

And as Gizmodo said yesterday: "The holidays are here. The year is finishing up. It's late. It's cold. It's about time to go to the nicest place on the Internet."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:20 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Report: Cuts In Federal Funding Put Public Health Preparedness At Risk

Oregon health authorities quickly traced an August outbreak of foodborne illness to a strawberry field in the state. But will they be so swift next time?
iStockphoto.com

Do you remember the E. coli outbreak that started in an Oregon strawberry patch this August?

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It's All Politics
4:19 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

With 'Lie Of The Year' Controversy, Fact Checking Comes Under Scrutiny

A screen grab from "America the Beautiful" by The Agenda Project. According to PolitiFact, videos like this one used elderly actors to falsely suggest that Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare plan would adversely affect current senior citizens.
The Agenda Project YouTube

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 9:08 pm

The fact-checking movement has been gaining momentum and gaining fans. Journalistic fact checkers serve as referees by calling foul — and fair — on various assertions by politicians, public figures and pundits with heavily documented analyses. But a slow-burn backlash flared into the open this past week.

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World
4:17 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

U.S.-Pakistan: A Year Of Worsening Ties

Pakistanis attend a funeral in Peshawar on Nov. 27 for the two dozen Pakistani soldiers killed in a NATO attack a day earlier.
Mohammad Sajjad AP

Key events in the recent rift between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The Salt
4:16 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Disposable Pans Can Cook More Than The Christmas Goose

Beware of throw-away aluminum roasting pans, burn doctors say.
James Bo Insogna iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 7:25 am

For no muss or fuss clean-up, a disposable aluminum roasting pan seems like a great way to reduce holiday home chef stress. But beware: Burn specialists say many such pans aren't built to handle the oversized birds or other hunks of meat on your menu.

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