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Mikhail Kalashnikov, Inventor Of The AK-47, Dead At 94

The inventor of the iconic AK-47 automatic rifle, Mikhail Kalashnikov, has died. Kalashnikov's simple, durable and easily maintained gun became the world's most popular rifle, with more than 100 million in circulation. Kalashnikov was modest about his invention, saying he created it solely for the defense of the motherland. Some analysts say his domination of Soviet and Russia weapons design actually kept the country from entering the modern age of small arms.
NPR

An Unusual Call To Quash Ga. Judicial Nominees

In an unusual move, a group of politicians and community leaders in Atlanta is urging President Obama to withdraw some candidates nominated to sit on the bench in the Northern District of Georgia. The group says the candidates aren't diverse and some are racially insensitive.
NPR

Judge Denies Stay Of Utah Same-Sex Marriages, Unions Continue

Gay marriages will continue in Utah, for the time being. A federal judge denied a request on Monday to stay his decision that said the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The state says it will appeal the ruling to a higher court. Gay couples have been flooding county clerks' offices since the original ruling came down Friday afternoon.
NPR

The President And A Majority of Americans Want A Minimum Wage Hike

Seven dollars and twenty five cents: That's the federal minimum wage and today's installment in our number of the year series. The hourly minimum wage hasn't budged in more than four years. President Obama is making a push to change that.
NPR

How To Protect Yourself And Your Data After Target Hacker Breach

It was reported that some 40 million people may have been victims of a hacking spree at Target recently. What should people who may have been in that group do now to protect themselves and their accounts? Robert Siegel speaks with Mark Rasch, a security expert and former Department of Justice cyber crime prosecutor, for more advice for those who may have been affected.
NPR

The Extraordinary Story Of Why A 'Cakewalk' Wasn't Always Easy

We call something that is easily done a "cakewalk." But why? The surprising answer dates back to a dance popular among slaves and plantation owners in the pre-Civil War South.
NPR

Quantified Men: Tinder, Lulu And The Fallacy Of Hot Dating Apps

They have millions of users, and help facilitate millions of matches per day. But while these apps open up a world of romantic possibilities, they might also put up even more barriers to love.
NPR

Sorry Assiduous (adj.) SAT-Takers, Linguist In Dudgeon (n.) Over Vocab Flashcards

Many students prepare for the SAT by drilling themselves on esoteric, arcane and recondite words — like esoteric, arcane and recondite. Linguist Geoff Nunberg doesn't discourage these efforts, but he does have a word of caution: memorizing a definition is hardly the same as learning a new word.
NPR

White House Grants Extra Day For Obamacare Sign-Up

The White House says the Dec. 23 midnight deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1 has been extended to accommodate people in different time zones.
NPR

Racing To The Top, But Leaving Students Of Color Behind In Special Ed

Children of color are reportedly over represented in special education classes in Minnesota and other states. For more on whether anything can be done about it, guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with Dan Losen of the The Civil Rights Project at UCLA.

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