Roger's Christmas story This is a Christmas story about a boy named Roger. Roger was put into foster care when he was 11 years old, and spent several years bouncing around various homes. He wanted to be adopted, and never gave up hope that he would find a family.4:50 p.m.
Pawnshops doing a brisk business Thanks to the subprime mortgage market blow up and a slumping economy, consumers are looking for bargains this holiday shopping season. They are scouring the Internet and rummaging through the discount retail chains. But a growing number of bargain hunters are turning to an industry with a tough reputation: Pawn shops.5:19 p.m.
Consumers' holiday spending no gift to retailers Most U.S. retailers were not expecting a joyous holiday shopping season. For example, Minneapolis-based Target announced Monday its sales for the month of December will fall short of the company's goals. It appears that nothing will change the tide at the last-minute, like a flood of high-spending shoppers.5:24 p.m.
Making happy holidays for seniors "Shut ins" is the old expression for people who do not have a lot of contact with the outside world. There are thousands of people in Minnesota -- no one knows for sure how many -- who are older and who have no one looking after them. A Twin Cities area Gifts for Seniors program reaches nearly 3,000 isolated older people. For some, it is the only human contact they have during the Holidays.5:49 p.m.
Remembering writer Carol Bly
Carol Bly was a fiction writer, essayist and creative writing teacher. She died Friday of ovarian cancer at the age of 77. Bly is remembered as an exemplary writer and an excellent mother. In a converstion with MPR's Dan Olson in 1999, Bly talked about her childhood and writing in Minnesota.5:54 p.m.
More Visitors, Fewer Christians in Bethlehem
With the revival, albeit tentative, of the Mideast peace process, Christmas in Bethlehem this year is more festive. Tourism is expected to double. At the same time, Christians continue to emigrate from the West Bank. The owner of a Christian radio station predicts that in 15 years, there won't be one Christian left in Bethlehem.
Iraqi Family Settles Into New Life in Atlanta
Bothinaa Mohammed is one of 4 million Iraqis who have fled their homes since 2003. She and her children arrived in the U.S. in August from Jordan, and she recently found work as a hotel housekeeper. What did she buy with her first paycheck? A Christmas tree.
The Ones That Got Away: Books Not to Miss
NPR's Lynn Neary talks with book writers — Laura Miller of Salon.com, and blogger Mark Sarvas of The Elegant Variation — about worthy books that got overlooked by the mainstream book-review sections in 2007. Here's a rundown of their recommendations.
Cities Eye Model that Cut Homicides in L.A., N.Y.
Homicide rates in New York City and Los Angeles have gone down during the past year, while they have gone up in other cities. Historian Fred Siegel says Police Chief William Bratton is the common denominator in New York and Los Angeles, and that other cities that have tried to emulate his success have failed.
Greenland Glacier Studied for Insight into Warming
Scientists are studying the Greenland glacier to see how quickly it might melt in a warming world. A team camping near a lake on the surface of the glacier cobbled together an impromptu instrument to try to measure how quickly water was rushing out of the lake to the ocean.
Bus Travel Makes a Comeback in the U.S.
Buses are back. A new study shows a significant increase in intercity and interstate bus travel for the first time in nearly 50 years. Nicer coaches, on-board movies and internet service are helping reshape the nasty image many travelers had of Greyhound and its competitors.
Toys that Withstand the Test of Time
Every year, we hear all about the hot toy to give — but how many of those hot items actually become a child's favorite toy? To find out, we asked a number of our NPR colleagues to tell us about their favorite childhood plaything. No Cabbage Patch Kids, no Tickle Me Elmos, and no Xboxes are mentioned.
Candidates Clear Out of Iowa
With one day to go before Christmas, the population of Iowa has shrunk. The presidential candidates have left the state — all except for Democrat Chris Dodd, the senator from Connecticut who moved his family into Iowa for the caucuses. NPR's Ina Jaffe reports on Dodd's efforts, as well as those of fellow Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who campaigned in the Hawkeye State on Sunday.
Health Scare Comes at Bad Time for Giuliani
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has been fielding questions about his health after a headache landed him in a Missouri hospital last week. The incident comes at a bad time for Giuliani, who has begun to slip from national front-runner status into the middle of the pack in many early voting states.
Jazz Piano Master Oscar Peterson Dies
Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, who grew up in Montreal and called Canada home for his whole life, has died at the age of 82. He led the Oscar Peterson Trio for much of the 1950s and collaborated with jazz luminaries Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Milt Jackson and others.