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July 29, 2014 | NPR · House and Senate negotiators reached a compromise, $17 billion agreement to improve medical care for veterans. The deal comes in the final week before Congress leaves town for a monthlong recess.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Washington Post reporter Liz Sly tells Renee Montagne that U.S. arms may be flowing to moderate Syrian rebels, but the aid seems to be too little too late to affect the course of the civil war.
 
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July 28, 2014 | NPR · The militant group threatens to kill parents who immunize their children. As a result, polio has come roaring back in Pakistan. Eradication now hinges on whether the country can control the virus.
 

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July 29, 2014 | KERA · After caring for Ebola patients for several months in West Africa, Dr. Kent Brantly noticed last week that he had symptoms. The 33-year-old immediately put himself into a Liberian isolation ward.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · Virologist Thomas Geisbert has spent decades studying Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. He speaks to Audie Cornish about the current Ebola outbreak, the worst in history, and how it might be contained this time around.
 
July 29, 2014 | NPR · The Eid festival, which celebrates the end of Ramadan, serves as a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. But one family's holiday in Gaza traces the death and displacement wrought by the war between Hamas and Israel.
 

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July 26, 2014 | NPR · Hezbollah has been a longtime ally of Hamas, but during this most recent conflict between Israel and Gaza they've taken a sideline role. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the BBC's Kim Ghattas in Beirut.
 

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July 27, 2014 | NPR · Fighting in Ukraine near the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 has international investigators staying away. NPR's Arun Rath talks with OSCE's Michael Bociurkiw about the investigation.
 

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holiday season

Dec 24, 2012 — We're taking a two-week break from regular posting on 13.7. We will return to our regular schedule starting on Monday, January 7. In the meantime, be sure to check out the answer to Alva's riddle from the other day and — if you're new to the blog — our archive of posts from the past three years.
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Jan 1, 2012 — Native American tribes in Eastern Oregon recently marked kimtee inmewit, a ceremony that welcomes the sacred new foods of the new year. The tribes see these foods not just as nourishment, but as a connection to ancestors.
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Jan 1, 2012 — Each Jan. 1, Haitians commemorate independence by eating soup joumou — a dish their former French rulers considered too good for them. The soup is so beloved that it can land some in the hospital.
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Dec 27, 2011 — They're enormously popular — an estimated $27.8 billion worth have been given this holiday season. But many also never get fully used. What to do? Swap them. Regift them. Invest them. Or, perhaps, give them to charity.
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Dec 24, 2011 — Latin America has hundreds of interpretations of this Christmas Eve treat - tamales vary not just by country but often by region. So whose version is best? That's a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.
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Dec 23, 2011 — This Christmas Eve, many French-Canadian families will gather after midnight Mass for reveillon, a lavish dinner party that lasts into the wee hours. The traditional centerpiece is a savory, spiced meat pie called tourtiere. Thomas Naylor, executive chef to the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., teaches Lynn Neary how to make this delicious holiday dish.
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Dec 21, 2011 — My mother always made Christmas puddings. Nowadays, my sister and brother-in-law send me one every year from England. They use a mid-Victorian recipe handed down from a Quaker. Unlike other Christmas treats, a well-made, properly sealed Christmas pudding will keep for a year, or more.
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Nov 29, 2011 — As we head into the holiday season this might be a good moment to reflect on the roots of our collective consumer delusion.
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more holiday season from NPR