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Parallels
5:38 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Crashing An Afghan Wedding: No Toasts But Lots Of Cheesy Music

Afghans hold large, expensive weddings, even those involving families of modest means. More than 600 people attended this recent marriage at a large wedding hall in Kabul.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 6:17 pm

Afghanistan may be one of the world's poorest countries, but weddings are still a big — and expensive — deal. On most weekends, Kabul's glitzy and somewhat garish wedding halls are packed with people celebrating nuptials.

One of them is the Uranos Palace complex. On the night I attended my first Afghan wedding, all three of its halls were overflowing. I was one of two foreigners in a room of about 200 men. The female guests sat on the other side of a 7-foot-high divider in the middle of the hall.

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Environment
5:37 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Tech Leaders, Economists Split Over Clean Energy's Prospects

Andres Quiroz, an installer for Stellar Solar, carries a solar panel during installation at a home in Encinitas, Calif.
Sam Hodgson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 30, 2013 1:17 pm

There is a broad scientific consensus that to keep global warming in check, we need to phase out 80 percent of all oil, coal and natural gas by midcentury. President Obama has set a nonbinding target to do precisely that.

There are technologists who say this national goal is well within reach, but there are also economists who are quite pessimistic about those prospects. And you can find this range of opinion on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

'Tis The Season For New Cookbooks

(Hideya Hamano/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:55 pm

Cookbooks abound this time of year, just in time for holiday feasting.

Among the stacks on NPR food and health correspondent Allison Aubrey‘s desk are cookbooks for slow cooking, gluten-free baked goods and practical books for fresh and simple foods.

She shares some of the best ones with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Independent Retailers Look To 'Small Business Saturday'

Lizzibeth in Milwaukee is one of many small businesses hoping to capitalize on the holiday season. (LaToya Dennis/WUWM)

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:20 pm

Small, locally-owned retailers are also trying to cash in the holiday shopping rush with Small Business Saturday tomorrow.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, LaToya Dennis of WUWM in Milwaukee reports that small players can face a challenge that big box stores don’t have to worry about: marketing.

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Top Amazon Reviewers Get Big Perks

Michael Erb gets thousands of dollars in free merchandise for being a top reviewer on Amazon. (Michael E Mobile Sound/Facebook)

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 4:20 pm

Whether or not you read them, the customer reviews on retailers’ websites have enormous value, mostly for the company.

The more a product is reviewed, the more likely it is that people will buy that product and the more money companies such as Amazon make.

So the benefits of online reviews are obvious for retailers, but what’s in it for the most prolific reviewers? For Amazon’s top reviewers, the benefits are tangible.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

U.S. Apologizes For Airstrike That Killed Afghan Child

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses the Loya Jirga on Sunday. Karzai expressed anger at an airstrike Thursday that killed a child, saying it could imperil a security agreement with the U.S. The U.S.-led international force apologized on Friday for the killing.
Massoud Hossaini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 5:17 pm

The U.S.-led international coalition in Afghanistan is apologizing for an airstrike that killed a 2-year-old, a death that Afghan President Hamid Karzai said imperils a long-term security agreement between the two countries.

The International Security Assistance Force said it carried out an airstrike Thursday on a militant riding a motorbike in Helmand Province. The child was also killed, and two women were injured in the attack.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Obama Visits Immigration Activists

President Obama meets Friday with immigration activists on the National Mall in Washington.
Leslie E. Kossoff/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 3:55 pm

President Obama visited immigration activists in Washington on Friday, telling them there is still time for the House to pass legislation that would overhaul the nation's immigration system.

Obama stopped by a tent on the National Mall where some activists have been abstaining from food for the past 18 days. He was accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama.

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Around the Nation
2:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Costumed As Homeless, Mormon Bishop Teaches A Lesson In Compassion

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Finally, this hour, a Mormon bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, went to great lengths last Sunday to teach his congregation a lesson. David Musselman disguised himself as a homeless person with the help of a professional makeup artist friend. After getting mutton-chops, a ski hat and thick glasses, the bishop waited outside his church and wished congregants a happy Thanksgiving. To describe what happened next, I'm joined by Bishop Musselman, welcome to the program.

BISHOP DAVID MUSSELMAN: Glad to be here. Thanks, Ari.

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Business
2:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Black Friday's Mission Creep: When The Holiday Deals Are Elsewhere

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one the busiest, most hectic shopping day of the year. But how important is it for retailers and as an indicator of the strength of the holiday shopping season?

Business
2:55 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

'Retail Theater:' Inflated Retail Prices Meant To Look Like Steals

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

Ari Shapiro talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Kapner about the fake discounts retailers build into their products during the holiday season.

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