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North Korea In Transition
12:28 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Key Moments In The Rule Of Kim Jong Il

Korean Central News Agency photo released on Jan. 18, 2009, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il posing with soldiers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong Il succeeded his father and ruled the secretive nation for 17 years. It was a period that included repeated friction with the international community over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a devastating famine in the late 1990s that may have been responsible for upwards of 2 million deaths.

The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

VIDEOS: Christmas-Themed 'Senior Citizen Flash Mobs' Are Spreading

The senior citizens flash mob in Kansas.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:26 pm

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Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?
11:34 am
Mon December 19, 2011

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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The Salt
11:19 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Why Are We More Hungry In The Winter?

Our drive to eat more in the winter may be a product of less sunlight — or more temptation around us.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:24 am

If you feel hungrier as winter draws near, you're not alone. Even though most of us spend our days in climate-controlled offices and homes, our appetites seem to change when the days grow shorter. Some researchers say it's our primitive impulses promting us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Violent Crime Drops Again, FBI Reports

From the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
FBI.gov

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 11:12 am

The number of violent crimes reported by 12,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time in 2010, the FBI reports.

And in its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report the bureau also says that property crimes were down 3.7 percent.

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Europe
10:56 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Tied To Trade, Dutch Economy Falls With The Tide

The flower auction house in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is one of the largest in the world — and a part of the country's strong export base. As Europe's debt crisis continues, the Dutch economy is feeling the effects of being heavily reliant on world trade.
Pan Zhi Xinhua /Landov

The debt crisis in Europe got under way in small, heavily indebted countries like Greece and Ireland, but these days it's also being felt in the wealthy heartland.

The Dutch government says the country probably slipped into a recession at the end of this year, and like other countries, it's having to consider budget cuts.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Boehner: House Will Reject Deal On Tax Cut, Benefits; Senate Should Stay On Job

Saying again that it's wrong to enact two-month extensions of payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) just told reporters that he expects the House will this evening reject the deal to do just that, which passed the Senate by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority on Saturday.

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First Listen
10:15 am
Mon December 19, 2011

First Listen: Guided By Voices, 'Let's Go Eat The Factory'

Guided By Voices' "classic" lineup from 1993-96 re-formed in 2010.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 10:29 pm

Of all the bands that have re-formed in recent years, Guided by Voices' return in 2010 not only seemed the least surprising; it felt inevitable. After all, frontman Robert Pollard never truly went away. Pollard officially disbanded the group at the end of 2004 following its "final" album, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, and a "farewell" tour. But in the seven years since, the impossibly prolific rocker has released 13 (!) solo recordings.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Mon December 19, 2011

Who Is Kim Jong Un? Who Really Knows?

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency distributed this photo of Kim Jong Un on Sept. 23.
hand-out AFP/Getty Images

It's been two years since Kim Jong Un effectively became North Korea's "Great Successor" and heir to the seat of power in the communist nation run by a family dynasty — a dynasty that began with his grandfather, Kim Il Sung (the "Great Leader") and continued with his father, Kim Jong Il (the "Dear Leader").

But in that time about the only new thing we know is that he's two years older and now thought to be in his late 20s. And, that he appears about to become at least the titular head of an impoverished nation that threatens its richer neighbor to the south with nuclear weapons

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Asia
10:03 am
Mon December 19, 2011

North Korea Faces Choices In Post-Kim Jong Il World

What's next now that Kim Jong Il is dead?

Kim, whose official age was 69 but who actually was 70, died Saturday of a heart attack, according to North Korean state media.

He leaves behind a pretty much officially designated heir, his son Kim Jong Un, whose age is about 29. The young man has been given exalted titles including full general but has little experience compared with what his father had under his belt when Kim Jong Il's own father and predecessor, Kim Il Sung, died in 1994.

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