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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Obama Gives Federal Workers A 1 Percent Raise

People exit a Metro subway station, by escalator, along Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 2:46 pm

President Obama signed an executive order on Monday, giving federal workers and military personnel a 1 percent raise.

As Government Executive reports, the pay raise is the first across-the-board increase the federal workforce has gotten since 2010. The publication reports:

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Found Recipes
3:22 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Don't Knock The Nog Until You've Tried This One

Courtesy of Tara Striano

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 3:51 pm

We ran an unofficial office poll at NPR last week, via email: "Where do you weigh in on eggnog? Love it? Hate it?"

Those who hate it really hate it. They used words like "detest," "loathe" and "ick." They also used font sizes well above 14 point and broke out the red type to emphasize their distaste.

But the haters were in the minority. By about 2 to 1, NPR is an eggnog drinkin' kind of place, but — and this was emphasized by many — only if it's eggnog done right. That means: not too sweet, not too thick and just the perfect amount of booze.

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The Salt
3:21 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

How To Build An Indestructible Gingerbread House

With our design, gingerbread families everywhere can enjoy the holidays without having to worry about their roofs caving in.
Morgan Walker NPR

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 6:56 am

Here's the thing about gingerbread houses. You labor over them for hours. You painstakingly decorate them with gumdrops and candy canes.

And then, someone shakes the table it's sitting on, and boom! It all comes crumbling down, leaving a huge, house-shaped hole in your heart.

Never again, we said.

This year, we were determined to build a stronger gingerbread house. One that wouldn't crumble, no matter what. One that could withstand an earthquake.

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Mon December 23, 2013

White House Grants Extra Day For Obamacare Sign-Up

This image shows part of the HealthCare.gov website in Washington on Friday noting a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1.
Jon Elswick AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 12:03 pm

A midnight deadline to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act that starts Jan. 1 has been extended by a day in what the White House describes as an effort to accommodate people in different time zones.

The deadline that had been midnight on Dec. 23 has been pushed to Christmas Eve at midnight.

The Washington Post reports:

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The Two-Way
11:23 am
Mon December 23, 2013

VIDEO: Carlos Santana Reunites With Homeless Ex-bandmate

Carlos Santana, left, and Marcus Malone when they reunited in Oakland. Malone was part of Santana's band in the late '60s, then spent the past four decades or so living on the streets or in prison.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 11:02 am

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Parallels
11:22 am
Mon December 23, 2013

How Tiny Qatar 'Punches Above Its Weight'

Soldiers on camels take part in a military parade on Qatar's National Day in the capital Doha last Wednesday. The city's rapidly growing skyline is in the background. Despite its small size, Qatar has used its wealth to play an outsized role in regional affairs.
Chen Shaojin/Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 6:31 am

Qatar is a tiny place that insists on being heard.

The Arab nation just off the coast of Saudi Arabia has made itself a major diplomatic player, a generous donor of foreign aid, and a leader in modernizing education in the region. The ultra-modern capital Doha is full of skyscrapers, museums and history, much of it dating as far back as ... the 1990s.

Qatar is also a commercial capital that aims to become a cultural, sports and tourist center for the Gulf region despite having just 260,000 citizens.

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Sports
10:14 am
Mon December 23, 2013

So Long, Candlestick Park, And Thanks For All The Fog

A low, wet fog swirled across the field at Candlestick Park in San Francisco as the Giants opened a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 31, 1962.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:27 pm

In San Francisco, the last Monday Night Football game of the NFL season is a significant moment for Bay Area sports fans. The San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons are playing the final regular season game at historic Candlestick Park.

The 49ers are moving south to a plush new home in Santa Clara next season. Candlestick is set to be demolished, leaving behind more than a half-century of memories. It is prompting goodbyes — and, for some, good riddance — to the weather-beaten stadium known as the 'Stick.

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Business
10:14 am
Mon December 23, 2013

After Target's Data Breach, Customer Incentive Disappoints

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:06 am

Target is trying to get back in its customers' good graces after a massive data breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit account holders. The giant retail chain offered its customers a 10 percent discount over the weekend as an act of atonement, but business was said to be down anyway.

The breach affected customers who used their credit and debit cards at one of Target's 1,750 stores during a three-week period after Thanksgiving.

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Planet Money
10:13 am
Mon December 23, 2013

A Locked Door, A Secret Meeting And The Birth Of The Fed

J.P. Morgan: Not a pussycat.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 9:01 am

In 1907, the U.S. economy was in the grip of a financial crisis. Unemployment was up. The stock market was down.

People started panicking. They were lining up overnight to pull their money out of healthy banks. This can be deadly for an economy: Healthy banks have to shut down, businesses can't get credit, they lay people off, and the economy gets worse.

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The Two-Way
10:13 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Ice Storm Leaves Tens Of Thousands In The Dark

Heather Griffin, of Buffalo, N.Y., and her dog Sal walk beneath ice-covered trees on Sunday in Buffalo.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:06 am

About 200,000 households are in the dark across the country, after a massive ice storm swept through Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard.

The Associated Press estimates that some 95,000 households are without power in New York, Vermont and Maine. MLive.com reports that 155,000 are without power in Michigan.

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Shots - Health News
10:12 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Screening Newborns For Disease Can Leave Families In Limbo

Vera Wojtesta was one of 300 babies flagged by New York's newborn screening program as at risk of having life-threatening Krabbe disease.
Ben Shutts Courtesy of the Wojtesta family

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 1:24 pm

For Matthew and Brianne Wojtesta, it all started about a week after the birth of their daughter Vera. Matthew was picking up his son from kindergarten when he got a phone call.

It was their pediatrician, with some shocking news. Vera had been flagged by New York's newborn screening program as possibly having a potentially deadly disease, and would need to go see a neurologist the next day.

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'Tis The Season
10:11 am
Mon December 23, 2013

David Sedaris Reads From His 'Santaland Diaries'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:00 am

You might not expect "Santa's Helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The writer and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he read on Morning Edition in 1992.

Instantly, a classic was born. Sedaris' reading has become an NPR holiday tradition. Click the "Listen" link above to hear Sedaris read his tale.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Peyton Or Tom? Which QB Do You Want When Game's On The Line?

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2012.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:07 am

There's nothing like a "who's the best quarterback" debate to get NFL fans going.

So, on this day after Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos broke the single-season record for touchdown passes, we're wondering what Two-Way football fans think about one of the ongoing topics of conversation in recent years:

Who's the quarterback you'd like to see in charge when your team's behind in a playoff game with time running out?

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The Two-Way
10:10 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Book News: 'It's Kind Of A Funny Story' Author Mourned

Ned Vizzini
Sabra Embury HarperCollins Children's Books/PR Newswire

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:04 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Planet Money
10:10 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Nobody Knows Exactly How Fast The Economy Is Growing

GDP
Quoctrung Bui

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:17 pm

The economy grew really quickly this summer. At least, that's the government's best guess for now.

The BEA said Friday that GDP rose at an annual rate of 4.1 percent between July and September. That's the highest it has been in years. But in its previous estimate for summer growth, the government said the economy was growing at an annual rate of 2.8 percent.

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