Archive for December 24th, 2013



Beyond cuteness: Scientists deliver a panda baby boom

A record 42 of the 49 cubs born in captivity in 2013 have survived. But panda researchers warn that much more needs to be done to protect the wild population.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) greets supporters during a tea party rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in June. Paul was a rising star in the tea party movement this year, filibustering a CIA nomination in March.

Amid declining popularity, the tea party prepares to fight

It's been a year of influence, resilience and determination for the tea party. But not all of its actions were successful, and it faces political battles in year ahead.
There's data to support the notion that pot, or a drug based on its active ingredient, could help ease the fears of PTSD.

Could pot help veterans with PTSD? Maybe

Marijuana's active ingredient has been shown to calm the brain's fear circuits. Of course, there are drawbacks and side effects to contend with.
lyft car ride sharing ridesharing

Don't get stuck: Find a ride during the holidays

Avoid drinking and driving during Christmas and New Year's Eve by getting a ride with public transit or a car service. See our list of holiday fares and schedules.
Pope Francis blesses the crowd at the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, on Tuesday at the Vatican.

Pope Francis preaches message of love at Christmas Eve Mass

Delivering his first Christmas homily, Francis emphasizes that the church must be of service to those in need.
Affordable Care Act (ACA) Enrollment Fair Held In Southern California
Your first bill should arrive by January 1st; if you don't get it by then, call your insurer. You have to pay by January 6th.
Ready for a blowout: Blasting the duck with the dryer before roasting dehydrates the flesh so the skin gets firm and crispy.

Hair Dryer Cooking: From s'mores to crispy duck

A beauty product in the kitchen? Cooking gurus have been advocating this secret weapon since the 1970s to achieve crispy duck skin that will blow them away (sorry!).
Wheelchair attendant Erick Conley (left) assists an elderly passenger at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. The small city recently raised the minimum wage to $15 for many airport jobs.

'Living wage' effort eclipsed by minimum-pay battles

Low-wage workers in 13 states will see their minimum hourly pay increased in 2014, as state-based efforts to boost wages accelerate and federal efforts languish.
Troops sent to South Sudan by the U.N. watch as men walk to a camp for refugees near Juba, the nation's capital.

Mass graves discovered in South Sudan; Is civil war coming?

Hundreds of people have already been killed and thousands more have fled their homes. The power struggle that's underway has raised fears of a retreat into tribalism and the outbreak of a full-fledged war.
Travelers Hotel
A federal court has struck down a Los Angeles law it says wrongly allows police to inspect hotel and motel guest records without a warrant.
US Postal Service Details New Cost Cutting Plan

First-class stamps rise to 49 cents as of Jan. 26

Postal regulators on Tuesday approved a price hike of 3 cents for a first-class stamp, bringing the charge to 49 cents a letter.
Santee Alley Christmas Shopping - 1
Put on your shopping face and head out to one of these local stores open on Christmas Eve for your last-minute gifts.
Plastic bag ban

LA's ban on plastic bags starts Jan. 1

LA's plastic-bag ban starts Jan. 1 in large grocery stores such as Ralph's and Von's and will expand to include smaller stores July 1.
Before their split: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in February 2012. Earlier this month, Jang was executed.

Money seen as a motive in execution of North Korea's no. 2

Jang Song Thaek, who was a key adviser and regent to his nephew — leader Kim Jong Un — was executed on Dec. 12. Intelligence agencies believe he refused to cede control of lucrative business interests.
Israeli Troops Continue To Gather On Border As UN Call For Truce

Israel launches Gaza airstrikes for worker killing

It was the heaviest burst of violence in the volatile area since November 2012, when Israel and Hamas' rulers engaged in eight days of heavy fighting.
Voters see clouds over Congress

Congress is on pace to be the least productive ever

Whatever the cause of the logjam, big-ticket items that once seemed possible at the beginning of the year fell by the wayside.
Astronaut Mike Hopkins during Saturday's spacewalk. He's going out again Tuesday.

Christmas Eve Space Station spacewalk

Astronauts continue critical repairs on the International Space Station's cooling equipment on Tuesday.
Skip Matthews Midnight Mission Skid Row Holiday Cards

Holiday cards help connect LA's homeless with loved ones

For 20 years, Skip Matthews has spent many a December day urging people to mail holiday cards. "How simple is that? To let your mom know you’re still alive?" he says.


San Jose Mayor Check Reed filed papers on Tuesday to put the public pension measure on the ballot.
The decision may help shape the strategies that the bankrupt San Bernardino and other budget-stressed California cities take as they confront rising retirement costs.
A third of the 712,000 people who receive unemployment benefits in California are long-term unemployed whose federal extensions are scheduled to run out Saturday.
Brownley Holiday Card-4

Political holiday cards: The good, the bad, the debatable

The late great fat white cat Gretzky still shows up on Rep. Loretta Sanchez' holiday card, this year in a montage on the back
Roaming music teacher - Linda Mouradian 11
Backers of the proposed ballot measure say seniority-based layoffs deprive many students of a quality education. The largest state teachers' union is opposed.



Episode: Filmweek (12/25/13): The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and more
Larry and KPCC film critics Tim Cogshell and Henry Sheehan review the Christmas releases, including The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and more.

FilmWeek Marquee

Episode: Filmweek (12/25/13): The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Lone Survivor
Larry and KPCC film critics Tim Cogshell and Henry Sheehan review the Christmas releases, including The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Lone Survivor.

Take Two®

Episode: Best music 2013, banana fungus, Dorothea Lange's photography and more
Mañana Means Heaven
In Jack Kerouac's classic novel, "On The Road", he writes about an affair he has with a young woman named Terry, also known as "The Mexican girl." Not much was known about this woman, until poet Tim Z Hernandez started looking into it.
Government Shutdown Enters 2nd Week

What happens if Mary Landrieu ascends to energy post?

Louisiana's Mary Landrieu would likely take the helm at energy. That could spell big change for the oil and gas industries, as well as environmentalists.
Bison have been roaming the Santa Catalina Island since the 1920s. At one time they numbered more than 600.

Catalina Island bison benefit from birth control efforts

A new study published this month by the Catalina Island Conservancy has found a successful, cost-effective way to maintain the bison population, and it may be more similar to humans than you'd think.

2013 Review: A banner year for gay rights in the US

It's been a historic one for supporters of gay marriage. Even just this past week, New Mexico's Supreme Court formally recognized same-sex marriage, while a federal judge overturned Utah's ban on gay unions.
Kid TV

Holiday Break: The case for letting your kids watch TV

As winter break nears, many parents are faced with a difficult decision: How much TV should I let my kid watch? They should be outside playing or reading a book, right? Our next guest thinks that a little TV might not be such a bad idea.

Deadly fungus threatening world's top banana crop

A fungus has already destroyed banana crops in Africa and the Middle East. Now, banana growers and harvesters are racing to keep the fungus from spreading to Latin America, which accounts for 80 percent of the fruit's worldwide exports.
Typhoon Survivors Continue To Rebuild Their Lives During The Festive Season

UCLA nurse joins the Typoon Haiyan relief effort

Paolo Montenegro is a Neuro Trauma ICU nurse at UCLA. But for the past week, he's been traveling around various Filipino neighborhoods providing care to those who need it.
Americans Sign Up For Health Insurance On ACA Deadline Day

2013 Review: The Affordable Care Act in the news

Stephanie O'Neill is our health care correspondent here at KPCC and joins us now to recap all of the Affordable Care Act news of the past year.

Santa's helpers lend a hand at LA post office

Every year, millions of children write letters to Santa. When he can't get to everything on a kid's wish list, Santa sometimes forwards the requests to helpers at the US Post Office.
An Alternative View - 2013 MTV Video Music Awards

Tuesday Reviewsday: The best music of 2013, part I

In this edition of Tuesday Reviewsday, we're going to take a look back at the best of 2013 with Chris Martins from Spin Magazine and Shirley Halperin from The Hollywood Reporter.
Dorothea Lange
Photographer Dorothea Lange is best known for her intimate portraits of Depression-era migrant farmworkers, but a new book shows how her life's work spans decades and continents.

The Loh Down On Science

Episode: A relatively low-tech advance for in-vitro fertilization

A relatively low-tech advance for in-vitro fertilization

Keeping little swimmers cool at room temperature.


Episode: AirTalk for December 24, 2013
The Wolf of Wall Street Official Trailer
Larry and KPCC film critics Tim Cogshell and Henry Sheehan review the Christmas releases, including The Wolf of Wall Street, August: Osage County, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and more.

John Henry Faulk’s 'Christmas Story'

A Christmas encore of story-teller and radio host John Henry Faulk reading his “Christmas Story.”

Holiday songs: are we not making them like we used to?

The holiday season brings with it perennial favorite songs, but when was the last time you heard a new holiday song that makes you want to play it every year?
The deadline to get healthcare coverage that would start on the 1st of next year has come and gone… except it hasn’t.

Who’s funnier, Brits, or Americans?

It’s a classic debate -- who’s funnier, Americans, or Brits? There are many U.S. adaptations of British television comedies, and both Americans and Brits have adopted language and humor from one another over the years.

Writers self-censor in response to NSA surveillance concerns

Writers are silencing their thoughts for fear of their work being misinterpreted by the government in the wake of the National Security Agency spying allegations.

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