A Christmas memory from commentator Christmas is just a few days away. Essayist Peter Smith sent us a story about one of his favorite Christmas memories. It's about a man named Mr. Dinklenberg.7:45 a.m.
National Public Radio Stories
For U.S., Vast Challenge To Expand Afghan Forces
President Obama's strategy for Afghanistan includes an ambitious plan to churn out thousands of new army and police officers to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida. But the rapid buildup could create many more problems than it solves.
Judge To Hear Key Motions In Kan. Murder Trial
A Kansas court will hear several motions Tuesday regarding Scott Roeder, who is charged in the death of a Wichita, Kan., doctor who performed late-term abortions. Dr. George Tiller was shot to death in his church in May. Roeder's attorneys say they should have the right to present a "justifiable homicide" defense. That idea has been proposed before in high profile abortion cases but it has never been allowed.
Court Urges Public Defenders To Rein In Workload
Public defenders in Missouri, like those in many states, have been overworked and underpaid for years. The lawyers say they have so many cases in Missouri now, that the system is on the verge of collapse. The Supreme Court of Missouri seems to agree. In a recent ruling it opened the door for the state's public defenders to refuse taking on more defendants.
Report: Russian Cyber Gang Hacks Into Citigroup
The FBI is looking into a computer-breach that targeted Citigroup. The Wall Street Journal reports millions of dollars appear to have been stolen by computer hackers linked to a Russian mob. A Citibank official denies that the cyber attack ever took place.
1 Year Later: TVA Still Cleaning UP Coal Ash Spill
It was just before Christmas last year when a massive coal ash retention pond gave way near Kingston, Tenn. An estimated one billion gallons of the gray material spilled into a river and inundated acres of sparsely-populated land. One year later, clean-up is going slower than expected and it's more expensive too.
The iPod: 'A Quantum Leap In Listening'
It wasn't the first player to offer music on the go; remember the Walkman? And it wasn't the first portable MP3 player. But its impact is undeniable. Launched in 2001, the iPod represents one of the signal musical events of the decade that's coming to a close.
'Selfish' Giving: Does It Count If You Get In Return?
This time of year, companies are raising money for charities — in part because they gain business for giving. But Harvard professor Richard Weissbourd says the country has "lost a sense of morality" around giving, and it sends a bad message to kids. Others say the net benefit to society outweighs morality.
Report: Delinquent Prime Mortgages Double In 1 Year
More creditworthy borrowers are falling behind on their mortgages. It's a sign of growing trouble in the housing market. A report from two federal agencies finds the number of delinquent prime mortgages has more than doubled from a year ago. Prime mortgages are loans given to borrowers considered the least risky.
Small Business Bankruptcies Are Rising
Small enterprises have been hit especially hard by the economic slowdown and the credit squeeze. The Los Angeles Times reports that small-business bankruptcies in California jumped 81 percent from September last year to September this year. That's according to credit analysis firm Equifax.
Rural Shipping Company Finds Itself Going 'Backward'
The economic slowdown reduced demand for shipping, which forced a family-owned company in Rapid City, S.D., to do something it never imagined: lay off employees. Rapid Delivery's owners say the company's revenues have fallen to levels from nine years ago.