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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

It Just Needed A Little Love: An Ugly Spruce Ties A Town Together

This scraggly 50-foot Christmas tree in downtown Reading, Pa., became a symbol for a town hit by tough economic times to rally behind.
Ben Allen WITF

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:10 pm

Reading, Pa., is one of the poorest cities in the country. So when a shabby-looking, 50-foot Christmas tree went up in the middle of the city's downtown around Thanksgiving, many saw it as a metaphor for the city's troubles.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Questions Linger In Fatal Shooting Of New York City Police Officers

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 4:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Celebrating Hanukkah In A Palestinian City

Wolf celebrated Hanukkah in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the West Bank last year. As the holiday approached, she felt lonely, until her Palestinian host mother and a few neighbors came to watch her light candles on her portable tin menorah and hear her explain the holiday story.
Courtesy of Amelia Wolf

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:41 am

Amelia Wolf, an American Jewish college student, was living in the Palestinian city of Ramallah when the holiday of Hanukkah rolled around last year.

She liked the Palestinian family that was hosting her in the West Bank, but she felt a little lonely. She wasn't going to celebrate in Israel, where she had friends and relatives, as she had other Jewish holidays.

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Code Switch
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Whiteness Project participants were filmed talking about race. The project doesn't use their names, to encourage frankness.
Feral Films, Inc.

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:07 pm

The voices in the Whiteness Project vary by gender, age and income, but they all candidly express what it is like to be white in an increasingly diverse country.

"I don't feel that personally I've benefited from being white. That's because I grew up relatively poor," a participant shared. "My father worked at a factory." These are the kinds of unfiltered comments that filmmaker Whitney Dow was hoping to hear when he started recording a group of white people, and hoped to turn their responses into provocative, interactive videos.

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My Big Break
4:05 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

As a child, Emily Blunt had a stutter that was so bad, she could hardly say her own name. "The misdiagnosis [was] that I was a tense child," Blunt says. "And I wasn't. I was desperate to speak."
John Phillips AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:07 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You may know British actress Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, where she played the senior assistant to Meryl Streep's fashion editor, or The Edge of Tomorrow, where she coaches Tom Cruise in combat skills as he relives a battle over and over again.

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