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For Two Young Doctors, Working On Christmas Was A Privilege

By the end of December, interns are nearing the midpoint of their first year of intense, hands-on work with patients. That's long enough for the young doctors to feel committed to their chosen career but not nearly far enough along to see the finish line.
NPR

Grasslands Get Squeezed As Another 1.6 Million Acres Go Into Crops

Over the past decade, the government has been paying farmers to keep their land covered with native grasses instead of crops. But as grain prices have risen, the conservation reserve has shrunk by more than 25 percent. This decline in native grasslands means more soil erosion and less habitat for wildlife.
NPR

17-Year-Old Colorado School Shooting Victim Claire Davis Dies

Davis was shot at point blank range with a shotgun on Dec. 13 and had been hospitalized in critical condition. The family announced her death "with unspeakable sadness," but also thanked the community for its outpouring of support.
NPR

Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times

The Texas Camel Corps leads trips through the rugged Big Bend region of West Texas. Indigenous people lived in the area some 9,000 years ago, and for a while, camels called it home, too. In the 1800s, U.S. soldiers brought the animals in to traverse the distance between water supplies for the first American settlers.
NPR

Reporter's Notebook: 'What Part Of Sacred Don't You Understand?'

The controversy over the recent Paris auctions of Hopi objects boils down to competing definitions of what is sacred. The same tension exists elsewhere in Indian Country where economic development projects are proposed for land Native Americans consider to be holy.
NPR

55 Years Later: Commemorating First Space Broadcast

On Dec. 19, 1958, a pre-recorded message from President Dwight D. Eisenhower was sent out from a satellite via short wave. It offered hopes for peace on earth and goodwill toward men everywhere. Of course, it also let the Soviets know the U.S. was catching up in the space race.
NPR

NSA Under More Scrutiny As Year Ends

It was another tough week for the National Security Agency. First, a federal judge said some of the NSA's surveillance activities were "likely unconstitutional." Then, a White House panel recommended that NSA activities in the U.S. and abroad should be significantly reined in. Host Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman about the week's news and the future of the NSA.
NPR

1979 Supreme Court Ruling Becomes Focus Of NSA Tactics

In 1979, then-Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs argued the case Smith v. Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case revolved around the warrantless collection of phone call information. Sachs defended the practice at the time, and he won. But the case now has a new life: the government cites the case as the legal basis for the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata from millions of Americans' phone calls. Now, Sachs says that practice goes far beyond what he argued in 1979, and constitutes a "massive intrusion" on Americans' privacy.
NPR

U.S. Troops Wounded In South Sudan Rescue Mission

Four U.S. military personnel have been wounded in South Sudan after their aircraft were fired on during an evacuation mission. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath how the political conflict there is on the edge of full-fledged civil war.
NPR

Astronauts On Spacewalk Begin Space Station Repair

Saturday morning, astronauts on the International Space Station carried out the first of three urgent spacewalks to repair a cooling line. They finished the work early, but there's still more to be done.

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