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Middle East
4:18 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

As Syrian War Grinds On, A Rebel Keeps Reinventing Himself

In March 2011, at the beginning of the Syrian uprising, protester Ibrahim Abazid made a massive white flag out of a sugar sack. This picture of him waving the flag in his hometown of Dera'a became a hugely popular image. Now Abazid hopes to serve on a city council in Dera'a.
Courtesy of Ibrahim Abazid

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 5:51 pm

Ibrahim Abazid had no idea he would be part of a nationwide revolt in Syria — or that his role would keep evolving.

It was March 2011. Some teenagers in his hometown, Dera'a, got arrested for spray painting anti-government slogans outside a school. Rumors began circulating that the teenagers were being tortured while in detention in the southern town.

In the broader region, Arab protesters had been filling the streets for months. Dictators in Tunisia and Egypt had already fallen. Abazid and his friends went to pray.

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Around the Nation
4:18 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Finding New Meaning In The Loss Of A Son

Ronan at 2 years old. "I know Ronan's purpose in life was to shed light on this disease," says his mother, Maya Thompson. "This is why I will continue to fight for childhood cancer for the rest of my life."
Courtesy of Maya Thompson

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 5:00 pm

This is a story about loss and meaning. It's the story of a boy who died and a mother who tottered at the precipice of despair. It's about faith — not in God, but in the ability to build from ashes.

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It's All Politics
4:00 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Obama Administration Deported Record 1.5 Million People

Employees with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency search Guatemalan immigrants before they are put aboard a deportation flight to Guatemala City on June 24, 2011, in Mesa, Ariz.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 7:34 pm

Although President Obama supports setting a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants, his administration deported a record 1.5 million of them in his first term.

In addition, the latest data released by the government in recent days show that an unprecedented 409,849 people were deported for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The increase from the previous year occurred despite policy changes ordered by Obama to reduce the deportations of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants.

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National Security
3:38 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Hagel Would Be First Former Enlisted Soldier To Run Pentagon

Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in Amman, Jordan, in 2008.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 10:20 am

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is said to be on President Obama's short list to be the next defense secretary. But even the possibility of his nomination has stirred up opposition — particularly from members of his own political party.

If Hagel can survive a political ambush in Washington, he would be the first Pentagon chief who saw combat as an enlisted soldier.

The blunt-spoken Hagel favors deeper cuts in military spending and is wary of entangling America in long overseas missions.

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Movie Interviews
3:29 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

'White Christmas': A Concert With Rosemary Clooney

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Merry Christmas. Today we have something truly special, one of my favorite recordings in our archive. It's an onstage concert and interview with Rosemary Clooney, recorded in 1997, five years before her death. Christmas is a perfect time to listen back to this because she starred with Bing Crosby in the classic 1954 film "White Christmas."

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Movie Interviews
3:26 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Fact-Checking 'Hitchcock:' The Man, The Movie And The Myth

Alfred Hitchcock pictured with his wife, Alma Reville. The couple's romance stands at the center of the 2012 film Hitchcock.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 7:22 pm

It's awards season for Hollywood as the film industry starts doling out accolades. And this year, some of the films hoping to grab the attention of voters will have these words in common: "inspired by true events."

Think Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty — and, of course, Hitchcock.

In the film, Anthony Hopkins plays the legendary film director, and Helen Mirren plays his wife, Alma Reville.

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Television
3:25 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Beyond 'Downton': BBC Imports That Got Away

Trixie (Helen George, left), Chummy (Miranda Hart), Jenny (Jessica Raine) and Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) are midwives serving London's poor East End in the 1950s.
Laurence Cendrowicz PBS

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 6:50 am

There was so much great stuff in arts and entertainment this year that we just couldn't report on all of it as it was happening. So we're playing a little catch-up on the ones that got by us.

In 2012, the BBC delivered some thrilling new TV dramas to its two primary outlets in the U.S.: PBS, which has been programming its shows for decades, and the cable channel BBC America.

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Planet Money
3:24 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

All The Holiday Presents You Bought (And Returned), In 2 Graphics

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 3:39 pm

Buying presents for your loved ones is hard. Nothing is worse than seeing a friend or a relative open one of your gifts and look terribly disappointed.

The solution: a gift receipt! More and more people are now providing gift receipts with their presents, according to the National Retail Federation.

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Best Books Of 2012
3:24 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Best Books Of 2012: The Complete List

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:43 pm

Use the list below to browse NPR's Best Books Of 2012 recommendations. Each critic's list is presented separately. Click on the article names to read our critics' comments about the books.


Well-Versed: Five Poets With Punch
Recommended by Kevin Young

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The Record
3:24 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

The Week In Music: What To Stay In From The Cold And Read Now

Bundle up like Ghostface (right) and Styles P and you'll be fine. Their group Wu Block played New York City on Wednesday.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 4:16 pm

There are long reads and then there are long reads. And now that the winter solstice has passed, we have more daylight to read them by. Slate indulges big time with its annual Music Club.

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