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NPR Story
3:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Russian Amnesty Decision Made Before Start Of Winter Olympics

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Russia has been drawing criticism for its handling of gay rights as that country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. A recent Russian law criminalizes what it calls gay propaganda. It's so broadly written, many gay people fear they could face charges for just living their lives. This week, Russia addressed some human rights issues. It granted amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including two women in the band Pussy Riot.

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NPR Story
3:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Minister Defrocked Over Officiating Gay Wedding Will Appeal

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 2:12 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. On Thursday the United Methodist Church defrocked a Pennsylvania pastor who's presided at the wedding of his gay son. That wedding was back in 2007. The pastor is appealing the decision in his church trial, which has become a parable for the divisions in a church with more than eight million members across the United States. From member-station WHYY in Philadelphia, Emma Jacobs reports.

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NPR Story
3:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

'Duck Dynasty' Attracts Christian Conservatives

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Fans of "Duck Dynasty" know this. It is a popular reality TV show about a family that found success selling products to hunters. Well, now the patriarch of the family has been suspended indefinitely from the show; this is after he made remarks about homosexuality to GQ magazine. The show is a huge hit for the A&E cable channel, spawning a multimillion dollar industry of related products and books. NPR's Lynn Neary has this look at the family and where they might be headed.

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NPR Story
3:35 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Hershey Buys Chinese Chocolate Company For $584 Million

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 10:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Nothing like a story about pizza to make you hungry. And then we bring you this, our last word in business, which is: Shanghai Golden Monkey. That's the Chinese candy maker that Hershey bought yesterday for almost $600 million.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hershey is not monkeying around. It may hold the largest share of the U.S. chocolate market, but only a small share of candy sales overseas.

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All Tech Considered
4:44 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

A City Turns To Lettuce Fields To Grow High-Tech Startups

A lettuce thinner created by an agricultural tech startup uses cameras and sensors to thin lettuce rows. Salinas, Calif., has hired a venture capital fund to help it attract other high-tech agricultural companies to the area.
Courtesy of Foothill Packing Inc.

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 7:46 pm

Salinas is just one hour south of California's Silicon Valley, but generations behind when it comes to technology. Many of its sprawling lettuce farms are stuck in the era of rakes and hoes.

City officials are hoping to change that — and also spur some job growth — by investing in high-tech agriculture.

At Taylor Farms in Salinas, Andrew Fernandez, the company's vice president of product, is stepping on heads of crunchy romaine lettuce, making his way over to a very big tractor. It's a water jet knife machine, and it's on the cutting edge of lettuce farming technology.

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Around the Nation
4:42 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Once A Mighty Bomber, A B-52 Meets Its End In The Desert

A view of a B-52 about to have its tail section cut at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 5:16 pm

A relic of the Cold War met its end on Thursday. The Air Force destroyed the last B-52 bomber required under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.

A crew used a circular saw to cut through the plane's aluminum skin, the tail section separating from the fuselage with a loud thunk and officially rendering the bomber useless.

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Around the Nation
3:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

One Ohio Mall Store Offers Nothing For Sale, Just Faith And Cheer

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Christmas is less than a week away and shoppers continue their quest for the perfect gift at the perfect price. But at one shop in a southwest Ohio mall, Roman Catholic friars are offering their presence for free.

NPR Story
3:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Lawmaker Retirement Season Starts Ahead Of 2014 Midterm Elections

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:42 pm

It's the start of retirement season in the House as members head home after a long, difficult year. Three House members — two Republicans and a Democrat — announced their retirements from Congress this week, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

Politics
3:45 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

How The Government Spent $2 Billion Paying Workers To Not Work

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:42 pm

Two billion — that's the number of dollars the federal government lost during the partial government shutdown, paying furloughed employees not to work.

NPR Story
3:39 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

From Hollywood Stardom To The Cloistered Life

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood in the 1950s and early 1960s. She appeared opposite Elvis Presley in the film "Loving You." In 1963, she chose the life of a nun. (Ignatius Press)

Dolores Hart was a rising star in Hollywood during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

She made her film debut opposite Elvis Presley in 1957′s “Loving You,” was nominated for a Tony Award for “The Pleasure of His Company” and co-starred in the spring break classic “Where the Boys Are.”

But in 1963, she stunned the film world when she entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis to become a cloistered Benedictine nun.

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