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The Economy Trump Will Inherit

Dec 24, 2016

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Editor's note: This story was originally published in 2006.

It's all about the oil.

Through the eight days of Hanukkah, it almost doesn't matter what you eat, as long as it's cooked in oil. A good case could be made for eating potato chips with every meal throughout the holiday.

For many Latinos, the taste of Christmas Eve is a delicious gift of corn masa and filling wrapped up in aromatic leaves: tamales.

The Affordable Care Act is on the chopping block, likely to be one of the first casualties when President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month.

"We will repeal the disaster known as 'Obamacare' and create new health care — all sorts of reforms that work for you and your family," Trump promised in Florida last week.

Before that happens, President Obama and his aides want to put a marker down on what they see as the law's accomplishments over the last six years.

His name is Thembinkosi Fanwell Ngwenya. He's 18. And when you look at his portrait, he seems to be looking right back at you.

"São Paulo is the graveyard of samba." So claimed the late Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes, who co-wrote Brazil's most famous song, "The Girl From Ipanema." Home to more than 20 million people, the landlocked city, a graveyard of buildings ordered against the sky, clashed with samba music's optimistic, beach-breezy beat. But now, 100 years after the first recorded samba, São Paulo is pioneering the genre's second act, with a nuanced accent on alienation that is revolutionizing its sound.

Subscription box services generally are booming. For a fee, these companies will send you a monthly, curated selection of maker games, dog treats, craft supplies — you name it. And one of the strongest categories in this growing market is book boxes.

If you're into mystery novels, there's a box for you. Fantasy? Romance? YA? You're in luck. There are also boxes aimed at specific age groups — for teens, middle schoolers and toddlers. And it's not just books. The boxes often come filled with character merchandise, notebooks, bookmarks and other book-inspired gear.

The Radio City Rockettes deal in precision, but the story of the group agreeing to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony next month is a bit of a mess.

At least some of the dance group didn't want to perform for the incoming president's celebration, but a string of messages between dancers, their union and the troupe's ownership group over the latter part of the week caused confusion for many. Ultimately, dancers will now be able to individually choose whether or not to perform on Inauguration Day.

Let's break it down:

The latest

Arms Embargo On South Sudan Fails U.N. Vote

Dec 23, 2016

An arms embargo against South Sudan failed to gain traction with the U.N. Security council Friday, delivering a blow to efforts to halt fighting in the young nation.

The resolution, which also included targeted sanctions, fell two votes short of the mandatory nine needed for the body to adopt such measures. While, no permanent member of the council vetoed the proposed arms embargo, NPR's Michele Kelemen tells our newscast unit, prominent voices on the council, including Russia and Japan abstained from the vote.

Washington's national security establishment is not used to this kind of spotlight.

From time to time, the players in what Sen. John McCain calls the "military-industrial-congressional complex" are hailed as heroes, praised for their sacrifice or occasionally dinged in committee testimony and the odd think tank white paper.

Mostly, however, the defense world tends to operate in locked rooms, out of sight from nearly everyone but lobbyists and trade reporters.

The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution condemning construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, after the U.S. abstained from the vote rather than vetoing the resolution outright.

In explaining the U.S. abstention, Ambassador Samantha Power said the move doesn't signal diminished U.S. support for Israel; she later added that the continued construction of settlements "seriously undermines Israel's security."

Power said, "The United States has been sending the message that the settlements must stop, privately and publicly, for nearly five decades."

It started in Central Java, an Indonesian province east of Jakarta. Groups of youngsters stand by the side of the road, shouting and holding signs reading, "om telolet om!" — a phrase The Jakarta Post says loosely translates to "Driver, honk, driver!"

A video of children in the town of Jepara was posted on Facebook late last month and now has more than 2 million views. Many of the comments are along the lines of "it's a simple game, but it makes them happy."

So why are the kids clamoring for bus drivers to honk?

In the last days of the Obama administration, the federal government has reached multibillion-dollar settlements with Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse over their sale of toxic mortgage securities.

President-elect Donald Trump owes Deutsche Bank hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. So that deal removes a potential conflict of interest — where a Trump Justice Department would have been negotiating the settlement.

A Florida woman who petitioned the state for permission to keep her trained gator has received official approval — just in time for Christmas.

Mary Thorn of Lakeland, Fla., has been caring for Rambo for more than a decade, The Ledger newspaper reports. Rambo wears clothes and rides motorcycles and ATVs.

Twitter has a theory about Santa Claus — he might be a lot farther south than the North Pole.

The tweet that started it all came from an account dedicated to celebrating "everything NOLA." It featured a photo of Santa, holding a baby as he does, and a caption: "If you're from New Orleans 9/10 you got pic with this Santa."

One look at the responses makes it obvious that the caption was not at all an exaggeration.

Thousands of people have shared and replied to the tweet — as scores of New Orleans natives are posting their pictures on the same Santa's lap.

A man who police believe killed a 3-year-old boy in an apparent fit of road rage was arrested in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday night. The U.S. Marshals Service says Gary Eugene Holmes, 33, was taken into custody without incident.

NPR's national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly sat down for a 52-minute interview Thursday with CIA Director John Brennan at CIA headquarters in northern Virginia. Kelly asked about Russian interference in the U.S. election, how the CIA views President-elect Donald Trump and the future of Syria. Brennan also shared some of his plans for his post-CIA life. (Hint: He won't be writing a spy thriller).

Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed Donald Trump's tweet Thursday calling for the United States to expand its nuclear capabilities.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary here," Putin said, since the U.S. president-elect had advocated a stronger military throughout his election campaign.

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What began as a dispute over littering rapidly escalated into the arrest of a black woman and her two daughters Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas. The incident was captured on video and has sparked an internal affairs inquiry into the white police officer who forcefully arrested the women.

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