All Things Considered

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All Things Consideredis a NPR radio newsmagazine that delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world. The program presents breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

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Professor Kimberly Marten of Barnard College is a scholar of U.S.-Russia relations, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program once again.

KIMBERLY MARTEN: Thank you.

SIEGEL: What effect do you expect these sanctions would have on Russia?

"The Oxford Companion to Cheese"  book cover
Oxford University Press

A new book edited by a Vermont professor says cheese is far more than something slapped on a sandwich or sprinkled on top of a pizza.

An official with the Planned Parenthood Chapter that serves Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine says the organization received a large boost in donations following the presidential election.

Burlington Police car
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Police in Burlington, Vermont say they're trying to better reflect the community's demographics with their most recent round of hires.

Car designers are a type. They stand out from the engineers, accountants and lawyers that populate the car business. By all accounts, Ed Welburn, General Motors' first global head of design, is quiet, focused and congenial. This year, he retired after 44 years at GM.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SAM SPENCE SONG, "THE EQUALIZER")

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We're heading into the last weekend of the NFL's regular season, and there's just one wildcard playoff spot still up for grabs. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still mathematically eligible.

Every year in late November, the New Mexican village of Abiquiu, about an hour northwest of Santa Fe, celebrates the town saint, Santo Tomas. Townfolk file into the beautiful old adobe Catholic church to pay homage its namesake.

But this is no ordinary saint's day. Dancers at the front of the church are dressed in feathers, face paint and ankle bells that honor their forebears — captive Indian slaves called genizaros.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Governor-elect's transition office

The group hosting the inaugural gala for Vermont Governor-elect Phil Scott is extending the deadline to buy tickets.

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Attorneys for a Vermont man facing a second federal death penalty trial want an appeals court to rule on the constitutionality of the death penalty.

Harwood Union School
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A doctor says the suspect in a wrong-way crash on an interstate highway that killed five Vermont teenagers is competent to stand trial.

You might think the secrets to HGTV stardom lie in real estate savvy or creative design. But for shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brothers, it's that hard-to-find combination of charm and chemistry that turns hosts into stars.

"They're fun — they make you feel like you could be friends," says Maggie Winterfeldt, editor of PopSugar Home. "These are people that you actually relate to. They're not living in mansions; they're not driving Escalades. They live an attainable lifestyle."

Studies of fish oil and health are like studies about coffee — there's plenty of contradictory information out there.

With that in mind, here's the latest turn: A Danish study finds that women who took fish oil supplements during pregnancy reduced the risk of asthma in their children.

Talking publicly about women's menstruation has long been a taboo. But in 2016 the world made big strides getting over the squeamishness. There was the Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics who had no qualms explaining that she was on her period after she finished a race grimacing in pain.

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Carrie Fisher died today. Her long life in show business got an early start. She was the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, both big stars in their own right. She's been known to generations of "Star Wars" fans as Princess Leia.

In San Francisco, companies will pay six-figure salaries to entry-level tech workers from all over the world. So this might come as a surprise: A public university there is laying off some of its own IT staff and sending their jobs to a contractor with headquarters in India.

Until recently, Hank Nguyen's daughter wanted to follow in his footsteps and work in tech. Last spring, she was accepted into the University of California system.

"She was inclined to take computer science and engineering," Nguyen says.

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Christmas Eve is a great time to catch a glimpse of Santa, whether it's in real life or in one of these movies.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN")

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It's Christmas Eve, and tonight is also the start of Hanukkah. For interfaith families, this intersection can require a little negotiation. Deena Prichep reports.

Jeneyah McDonald is tired of using bottled water for everything: drinking, cooking, bathing.

In order to keep her two children safe, the resident of Flint, Mich., told them the city tap water was poisonous.

"I don't know any way to explain to a 6-year-old why you can't take a bath anymore every day, why you can't help mommy wash the dishes anymore," McDonald said earlier this year. "So I told him it's poison. And that way, he'll know I'm serious — don't play with it."

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We're joined now by Rukmini Callimachi via Skype. She's a correspondent for The New York Times. She covers terrorism. And she says that there are signs that ISIS directed Amri to attack the Christmas market in Berlin. Welcome to the program once again.

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And we're going to stick with President-elect Trump's comments on nuclear weapons for our regular Week in Politics chat. E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution is here in the studio. Hi, E.J.

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