Morning Edition for Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A federal judge has ruled Detroit qualifies for bankruptcy. But the cash-strapped city, laden with roughly $18 billion in long-term debt, faces a long road to regain financial solvency. Unions whose members face pension payment cuts are appealing the ruling, and the ultimate decision about paying the pensions may be made by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Thousands of protesters in Ukraine continue to occupy Kiev's Maidan square and to prevent the government from functioning after President Victor Yanukovich refused to allow the country to strengthen trade ties with the European Union. Ukraine is under intense Russian pressure to continue aligning itself with a customs union comprising countries of the former Soviet Union.
Bangladesh is the cheapest place in the world to make a T-shirt. But this week, the minimum wage there was raised from $39 a month to $68 a month. That's got some factory owners nervous about whether Western retailers there will pull out. Our Planet Money team examines the future of the garment industry in Bangladesh.
After weeks of living with just six hours of electricity a day, residents of the Gaza Strip hope promises of help from Israel and Qatar will materialize quickly. Even if the lights go back on, anger against the broken Palestinian leadership may be hard to extinguish.
BuzzFeed's digital traffic is stratospheric, driven largely by animated GIFs and lists, like the 10 most life-affirming dog rescue stories. But the social media outfit is in the process of building up a team of journalists to offer original news reporting, raising questions of just what it intends to be.
Matching longjohns. Kicklines in skis. Peeing on Santa's lap. Every family has these cringe-worthy moments, immortalized on film, that embody the particularly joyous brand of awkward that the holidays bring. And thanks to Mike Bender, co-author of Awkward Family Holiday Photos, the rest of us can rubberneck.

Advertising Push Helps Last Month's Car Sales

November was a better than expected sales month for the auto industry. Carmakers saw their sales go up nearly 9 percent over last year, and the increase had a lot to do with advertising.

Around The World, Ford's Mustang Fuels A Dream

On Thursday, Ford will unveil the new generation of its iconic pony car in the U.S. and cities around the world. The Mustang is eagerly awaited in Europe, where they haven't been sold since 1979.

'Mastermind' Behind Doritos Locos Tacos Dies At Age 41

Despite naysayers, Todd Mills stuck to his guns and eventually saw a hard-shell taco splattered with neon-orange cheese dust become a staple in the country's fast-food scene.

Supporters Of Immigration Overhaul Remain Focused

The debate over immigration overhaul is at a standstill in Congress, but activists continue their push to keep the issue in the news. Lobbyists and business leaders have pressed House lawmakers to take action before the end of the year. The Senate passed a bill earlier.
It's more than likely that overhauling immigration will not happen this year. Congress has only nine working days left in 2013. And it appears, the issue will not be resolved next year either.
The Obama administration is renewing its sales push for the president's signature health care law. On Wednesday, officials host a "youth summit" at the White House, where young people will be encouraged to sign up for insurance coverage. Their participation is crucial to help balance out the cost of insuring older, sicker people.

Why $7-Per-Gallon Milk Looms Once Again

House and Senate negotiators are meeting to reconcile their two different versions of a new farm bill. If they don't reach agreement, the nation faces going over "the dairy cliff" – a reversion to 1949 farm policy that would cause a big spike in milk prices.

Food Stamp Program To Be Cut, But By How Much?

On Capitol Hill, the House wants to cut food stamps, or SNAP benefits, by $40 billion over 10 years. The Senate wants to cut $4 billion. Our Planet Money team explains the cuts involve complicated legal maneuvers — or what some people call loopholes.

Iran's Nuclear Deal Faces Big Test This Weekend

The negotiation of a new agreement between Iran and leading world powers raised hopes that Iran and its adversaries have turned a corner in their previously hostile relationship. But there's at least on obstacle: None of the provisions will take effect unless the International Atomic Energy Agency is satisfied Iran's nuclear program has no military dimension. And so far, Iran has refused to address their concerns.
In 2000, Auliya Atrafi paid thousands of dollars and risked his life to escape Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. He spent 12 years in England, but recently returned to his homeland, where he is trying to readjust to — and change — life in a conservative society.
This week's Thursday Night Football features two teams that are as far from great as you can get. The Houston Texas face the Jacksonville Jaguars. It may just be the worst matchup of the year.
The Sunday pregame shows feature interchangeable ex-players and ex-coaches saying the same banal things, one after another. But on female-centered shows, observes Frank Deford, the hosts actually argue, hash things out, laugh and generally behave like flesh-and-blood human beings.

Seahawks Fans Cause Earthquake, Set Noise Record

During Seattle's 34-7 win over New Orleans, the home team's fans went wild. They stomped so hard that a nearby seismometer's needle moved. Meanwhile, the noise at CenturyLink Field was louder than a jet engine.

Confirmation: Selfies Are Forces Of Evil

Darth Vader has posted on Instagram a photo of his face — more precisely his iconic black helmet. The photo launched the Star Wars Instagram account — a marketing effort by Disney which has a new release out this month.
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