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National News From NPR

Rapprochement With Cuba: What It Includes And Excludes 
  Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:11:00 -0500 
    President Obama's move to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba does not lift the trade embargo. That jurisdiction belongs to Congress, but do the upcoming changes all but undermine the embargo?

Obama Announces Diplomatic Thaw With Cuba 
  Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:11:00 -0500 
    In re-opening ties with Cuba, the president follows through on strategy he outlined during his first White House campaign. He believes engagement with Cuba is a more powerful tool than isolation.

Mixed Reactions In Miami On Diplomatic Overtures To Cuba 
  Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:11:00 -0500 
    When he announced the release of Alan Gross and plans to resume diplomatic ties with Cuba, Obama also referenced Miami. Some Cuban Americans welcome the changes, others see the action as a betrayal.

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As Anyplace Else On Earth 
  Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:36:00 -0500 
    Polar bears continue to take a hit in regions with the greatest loss of snow and ice, the latest report card on the Arctic shows. Meanwhile, plankton are thriving as the sea heats up.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Drivers Licenses For 'Dreamers' 
  Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:02:00 -0500 
    Arizona's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court failed to prevent the state from having to issue driving permits to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.

S.C. Judge Says 1944 Execution Of 14-Year-Old Boy Was Wrong 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:11:00 -0500 
    In her ruling, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen wrote that she found that "fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process exist in the 1944 prosecution of George Stinney, Jr."

The U.S. Says North Korea Ordered The Sony Hack. How Do We Respond? 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:04:00 -0500 
    The cyberattack successfully achieved its unusually public goals. The question, reporter David Sanger says, is how the United States can punish what already is the world's most-sanctioned nation.

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:39:00 -0500 
    The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of confidential data has its origins in North Korea, U.S. intelligence officials say.

Satanist And Christian Holiday Displays To Go Up At Michigan Capitol 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 19:16:35 -0500 
    The situation has brought controversy — and energized Christians who realized that a planned Nativity scene was in danger of being canceled.

U.S. Deal May Not Change Life Much For Everyday Cubans 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:16:00 -0500 
    Melissa Block talks to Steve Wicary, a freelance journalist based in Havana, about reactions on the ground in Cuba, to the announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will normalize relations.

Sen. Marco Rubio: Obama's Cuba Deal Is Bad Foreign Policy 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:07:14 -0500 
    We hear Cuban-American reaction and some of what Cuban President Raul Castro had to say today.

Fed: Interest Rates Could Rise As Early As May 2015 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:45:00 -0500 
    After a two-day meeting, Federal Reserve policymakers say they will be "patient" before starting to raise interest rates from historically low levels.

Rep. Van Hollen: Alan Gross' Release A 'Miraculous' Moment 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:35:54 -0500 
    Melissa Block talks to Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen of Maryland about the release of Alan Gross. Van Hollen is one of the lawmakers who flew to Cuba to bring Gross back to the U.S.

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:34:00 -0500 
    President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued.

Alan Gross' Release: How It Went Down 
  Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:31:00 -0500 
    American Alan Gross had spent more than five years in a Cuban prison where he suffered ill health. Then, on Tuesday, his lawyer, Scott Gilbert, told him in a phone call that he was going home.
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