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Parallels
5:54 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Japan's State Secrets Law: Hailed By U.S., Denounced By Japanese

A November demonstration against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Designated Secrets Bill drew thousands of protesters. The Japanese Parliament has since passed the law, under which people convicted of leaking classified information will face five to 10 years in prison.
Franck Robichon European Pressphoto Agency/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:31 pm

Earlier in December, the normally sedate Japanese Parliament disintegrated into chaos. Opposition party members screamed, pounded the speaker's desk and flapped papers in his face — but all in vain.

In a shocking display of brute force, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, railroaded into law a sweeping, vague and hastily drafted secrets protection bill.

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation Begins Into Fiery North Dakota Oil Train Crash

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Residents of Casselton, North Dakota are starting to return to their homes. That's after yesterday's fiery crash of two freight trains, one carrying crude oil. From Fargo, Prairie Public's Todd McDonald reports.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cabbing Home From That New Year's Party? Expect To Pay A Premium

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fighting Intensifies In South Sudan Despite Calls For Cease-Fire

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:38 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Both sides in the conflict in South Sudan agreed to meet tomorrow in Ethiopia to discuss a cease-fire. It's hoped that a speedy end to the power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ousted deputy Riek Machar can avert an all-out ethnic civil war. But even as both sides prepare to negotiate, a fierce battle was underway for control of the strategic city of Bor. NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

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Middle East
2:10 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Malala Yousafzai's Hope Is Stronger Than Ever

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

'Born To Run': What Makes A Great Song?

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

An early draft of Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics for his first big hit song “Born to Run” sold for $197,000 at auction earlier this month.

The song was written in 1974 at a time when Springsteen was under pressure to produce a hit or get dropped from his record label.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fast-Rising Category Of Charitable Funds Raises Controversy

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

There is a rising debate over “donor-advised funds,” the fastest growing category in charity.

Donor-advised funds are a way to put aside money now for charity, and claim the tax deduction now, but have the freedom to actually donate the money whenever the donor wants. They’ve been around for a long time, but their sharp rise came after the asset management firm Fidelity set up a philanthropic fund, Fidelity Charitable, to manage them.

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NPR Story
2:06 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Fasting The Way To Financial Freedom

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

Working out every day, eating better, keeping in better touch with family and friends. Just some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions.

Oh, and don’t forget money. Managing it wisely, saving it abundantly. But what about not spending it at all?

Financial columnist Michelle Singletary joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss her 21-day financial fast, in which you can buy only t

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