9:20am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Revisiting Istalif, Famed For Pottery And Picnics

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 9:24 am

A man in Istalif last year.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Hearing Renee Montagne's Morning Edition report today about the village of Istalif, Afghanistan, brought back memories for this blogger.

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8:20am

Fri December 23, 2011

7:55am

Fri December 23, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Americans Say Security Checks Are A Bigger Health Concern Than Flights

A Transportation Security Administration volunteer demonstrates a full-body scanner at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in March 2010.
Scott Olson Getty Images

If you're heading for the airport humming I'll Be Home For Christmas, all of us at Shots hope your trip goes without a hitch.

With all the comings and goings of the holiday season on our minds, we recently asked Americans a few questions and air travel and health.

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7:55am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Vaclav Havel, Hero Of The 'Velvet Revolution,' Laid To Rest

A picture of former Czech President Vaclav Havel lay among candles and floral tributes as people gathered in Prague on Thursday to honor him.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

7:35am

Fri December 23, 2011
Commentary

McDonald: Extending Christmas blessings to all

Commentator Archie McDonald describes Christmas at his home in Nacogdoches, Texas.

7:00am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Arlington Cemetery: Possible Problems With 64,230 Graves Or Records

A review of 259,978 gravesites and more than 510,000 records at Arlington National Cemetery has identified 64,230 cases of potential problems that range from minor mistakes in files to errors on gravestones, according to a U.S. Army report delivered to Congress on Thursday.

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6:58am

Fri December 23, 2011
Europe

100-Year-Old Christmas Letter Printed In 'Irish Times'

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 7:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne. An Irish man received a touching Christmas gift when 100-year-old letter from his mother to Santa was printed in the Irish Times. He had never seen the letter. The slightly-scorched note had been stuck in the chimney of his mother's childhood home in Dublin for more than 80 years until the current owner discovered it. Annie Howard was just 10 in 1911 when she asked Santa for gloves, toffee and a baby doll.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:51am

Fri December 23, 2011
Around the Nation

Pa. Rhyming Judge Pens Again

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 6:55 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Pennsylvania, a State Supreme Court judge known for writing opinions in rhyme is at it again. Justice Michael Eakin was writing for the majority in an insurance fraud case. He produced six pages of verse with gems like: Convictions for the forgery and theft are approbated; the sentence for insurance fraud, however, is vacated. A colleague wrote a dissent which did not rhyme. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

6:15am

Fri December 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Payroll Tax Cut's Last Hurdle Cleared: House Gives 'Unanimous Consent'

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 12:35 pm

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Capitol Hill Thursday (Dec. 22, 2011).
Evan Vucci AP
(This post was retopped with the latest news at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Marking the end of the latest pitched political battle in Washington, President Obama said this afternoon that Congressional approval of measures to extend for another two months a payroll tax cut and benefits for the long-term unemployed is "good news just in the nick of time for the holidays."

"I said it was critical for Congress not to go home without preventing a tax increase" and the expiration of the long-term jobless benefits, Obama said, "and I'm pleased to say they've got it done."

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