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9 minutes ago

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Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, a darling of Europe's far-right, has tightened his grip on power in ways that have shocked the European Union.

His ultranationalist Fidesz party has gamed the electoral system, shut down most independent media, forced out an American university and even created new administrative courts that will be directly controlled by the government.

Ukraine elected the head of a newly unified Orthodox Church this weekend, a move that the nation's president hailed as an important safeguard against future Russian aggression.

The church aims for independence from the Russian Orthodox Church, and Saturday's election is just one step in a process that could take decades.

Nearly 200 bishops, priests and other church officials elected 39-year-old Metropolitan Epiphanius on Saturday as the Ukrainian church's head.

It's Christmas and Kellyanne Conway spots Donald Trump at a party.

Cambodia Nabs More Than 3 Tons Of Illegal Ivory

9 hours ago

The tusks were hidden among marble in an abandoned shipping container in Cambodia's Phnom Penh port. Sent from Mozambique, these yellowing prizes arrived last year, AFP reports. The owner of the shipment never arrived to pick up the cargo, and a tip from the U.S. embassy alerted Cambodian authorities to the haul.

Longtime Alaska fisherman Bill Harrington has a few choices words about killer whales.

"As far as I'm concerned, they're only thieves in tuxedos," Harrington says.

He's retired now, but a video from a decade ago shows him pulling in his line as he curses out a pod of killer whales swarming his boat. His catch is exposed; he is not happy. A sperm whale bursts out of the water and Harrington tells them what he really thinks. He knows even just a couple of killer whales could pick his line clean.

A spike in blood pressure. A racing heart rate. Sweaty palms.

For many adults, this is what they feel when faced with difficult math.

But for kids, math anxiety isn't just a feeling, it can affect their ability to do well in school. This fear tends to creep up on students when performance matters the most, like during exams or while speaking in class.

One reason for a kid's math anxiety? How their parents feel about the subject.

More than four millennia after being chiseled by Egyptian artisans, the intricate hieroglyphics and stone carvings of an ancient tomb have been uncovered.

Egyptian officials made the announcement Saturday at the site of the discovery in Saqqara, outside of Cairo, according to multiple media reports. Photographs of the tomb show a narrow doorway leading to a rectangular room, its walls covered with carved symbols, images and human forms. Particularly striking are their well-preserved colors – light yellows, rich blues and a reddish-brown skin tone.

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Friday night's rainfall in Washington, D.C., has elevated 2018 to the wettest year on record for the nation's capital, and the rain is expected to continue throughout the weekend.

The National Weather Service announced the rainfall record was surpassed at 6:26 a.m. on Saturday. So far, 61.34 inches of rain have fallen in Washington this year, breaking a record set in 1889 of 61.33 inches.

An additional inch or so of rain may fall through Sunday, pushing the tally even higher.

President Trump called a Friday ruling striking down the Affordable Care Act "Great news for America!" Democratic lawmakers rushed to decry the decision, calling it "monstrous" and "harmful." And Republican lawmakers remained mostly quiet Saturday.

In September 2016, the town of East Liverpool, Ohio, captured national attention when a photo of a local couple's overdose went viral. It showed a woman and her boyfriend sprawled comatose in the front seats of a car, while the woman's 4-year-old grandson sat in the back. The image was originally posted by the local police department. Overnight, East Liverpool, a town of just over 11,000 people, became the face of the opioid crisis enveloping parts of the country.

Panel Questions

Dec 15, 2018

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Helen Hong, Roy Blunt Jr. and Luke Burbank. And here, again, is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Dec 15, 2018

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Now onto our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer is worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

Limericks

Dec 15, 2018

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Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

Ryan Zinke is out as secretary of the interior.

Zinke will be leaving the Trump administration at the end of the year; his successor is expected to be announced next week.

On Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted that Zinke is leaving after serving for almost two years. He said Zinke has accomplished much during his tenure and thanked him for his service.

Wolves are making a big comeback in Germany, which is making some Germans uneasy.

Farmers and hunters drove the species out of the country over 150 years ago, but conditions for wolves became more welcoming in 1990, after Germany's reunification extended European endangered species protections to the eastern part of the country.

Mention the Philadelphia Eagles and last year's Super Bowl win comes to mind. But so does that time fans booed and pelted Santa Claus with snow balls.

It happened 50 years ago on Saturday. The game on Dec. 15, 1968 between the Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings wasn't memorable, but what happened at halftime was.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News - I'm Scott Simon - where BJ Leiderman writes our theme music. Here it comes. Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Three remarkable musical artists will share a stage in Detroit tomorrow night.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I'M DEAF")

SEAN FORBES: (Rapping) My name is Sean, but they call me Seen. Got a message here I'm deliverin'.

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Editor's Note: This story has been edited to make it clear that it is analysis and that the allegations of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians remain unproven.

You're reading NPR's weekly roundup of education news.

The Education Department hatches plan to fix troubled TEACH grant

The Education Department plans to erase debt for thousands of teachers whose TEACH grants were converted to loans, after an almost year-long NPR investigation into the troubled federal program.

Dateline: Minneapolis
A week of interviews, handshakes, car rides and public forums at all five University of Minnesota campuses is over, and now Joan Gabel awaits a decision on whether or not she'll be the next president of the University of Minnesota.

Gabel, the current provost of the University of South Carolina, had her final interview with the board of regents Friday morning.

Updated at 8:35 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday evening that Mick Mulvaney, his director of the Office of Management and Budget, will be the acting White House chief of staff.

It's unclear how long Mulvaney will serve in the role, succeeding outgoing chief of staff John Kelly. Trump announced on Dec. 8 that Kelly would leave at the end of the year.

Come 2020, Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C., will be a whole lot quieter.

Rolling Thunder, the veterans advocacy group that organizes a massive annual motorcycle ride through the nation's capital, announced this week that the gathering in 2019 will be its last big rally.

The sound of thousands of motorcycles rumbling through the city has been a staple of the holiday weekend for decades.

China's growth slowdown is more than what meets the eye

Dec 14, 2018

We got some data out of China today that showed slowing growth in retail sales and factory output at three-year lows. Add to that some meh car sales and weak consumer sentiment. In short, economic growth is the world’s second largest economy is continuing to slow. Some of which is predictable, expected even, as the Chinese economy matures. Some of it less so.

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Instead of traditional Christmas gifts, Riley Adams said he and his wife have decided to travel to San Francisco. The two will stay at the luxury Fairmont Hotel and see the two-story gingerbread house it builds annually.

"I think both of us just couldn't really think of anything that would make us any happier by buying a physical gift," Adams said.

Adams is a 29-year-old investment adviser whose choice of holiday gifts perfectly illustrates a trend in retail that analysts say persuaded the owner of Louis Vuitton to spend billions on offering experiences rather than goods.

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