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Best Music Of 2012
12:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Ann Powers' Top Albums And Songs Of 2012

Miguel's killer 2012 began with the release of three free Art Dealer Chic mixtapes. His second full-length album, Kaleidoscope Dream, followed in September.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:57 pm

Every year as I make my lists of best releases, I feel like that cartoon bodybuilder at the beach, ridiculously flexing in hopes of gaining some fluttery attention. How silly! My ego is all wrapped up in proving my superior powers of discernment, and here's the big competition, where my picks prove that I have more muscle than than my peers. Some years defeat the critic's effort to show off, however: consensus is so strong about a few releases that we all have to strike the same adoring poses.

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Best Music Of 2012
12:15 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Bob Boilen's Top 10 Albums Of 2012

Britain's Alt-J was this year's Mercury Prize winner, for the band's debut album An Awesome Wave. The group is also Bob Boilen's pick for Album Of The Year.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:58 am

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sources: Syrian Rebels Training On Anti-Aircraft Weapons In Jordan

To date, Syrian rebels have had to rely on small-scale weapons in their fight against the Syrian army. Here, a rebel fighter throws an explosive device toward a Syrian government position in the northern city of Aleppo last month.
John Cantlie AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 12:50 pm

The U.S. has now formally recognized a new Syrian opposition group as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But the U.S. has repeatedly declined to provide weapons for rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's army.

However, NPR has learned that there are movements behind the scenes. In Jordan, several Syrian sources said that Jordanian authorities, along with their U.S. and British counterparts, have organized training for Syrian rebels on sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons.

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Author Interviews
12:13 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Joseph Kennedy, 'Patriarch' Of An American Dynasty

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:03 pm

By the time he turned 40, Joseph Kennedy was a millionaire many times over and the head of what would soon become one of America's greatest political dynasties. In his new biography of the senior Kennedy, The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, David Nasaw charts Kennedy's life and trajectory from Boston society boy to Hollywood bigwig to controversial ambassador to Great Britain as World War II unfolded on the European stage.

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The Two-Way
12:07 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Federal Reserve Boosts Effort To Lift Economy

The Federal Reserve's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Saying it is concerned that the economy won't be strong enough in coming months to keep adding jobs to the labor market, the Federal Reserve announced this afternoon that is increasing its efforts to give the economy a boost.

And in an unusually specific statement from the central bank, its policymakers said they expect to keep a key short-term interest rate at or near zero percent "as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent."

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