This Just In

A sign posted Wednesday on the box office window at the Sunshine Cinema in New York. The New York premiere of The Interview, a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong Un, has been canceled. Andrew Kelly /Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Kelly /Reuters /Landov

The Two-Way - News Blog

Amid Threats, Sony Cancels Christmas Day Release Of 'The Interview'

The move follows the decision by major U.S. theater chains not to screen the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader.

Dr. Mohammed Arif helps treat a wounded patient at a field hospital in Kobani, Syria. Most of the clinics in this besieged Syrian border town are now in ruins. Only one still stands, its location kept secret lest it be targeted. Jake Simkin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jake Simkin/AP

Goats and Soda

Medical Workers In Conflict Zones Have Never Faced Greater Risks

They've always been caught in crossfire. But now they are being singled out as targets. And the worst violence is taking place in Syria.

Clockwise from upper left: Spoon, Sharon Van Etten, St. Vincent, Future Islands, Flying Lotus. Courtesy of the artists hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artists

All Songs Considered

Poll Results: Listeners Pick Their Favorite Albums Of 2014

The results are in! St. Vincent's self-titled album was by far the most popular record in our listener poll for the best music of 2014. On this week's All Songs Considered, we count down the Top 25.

Quvenzhane Wallis (second from right) stars in an updated version of Annie, produced by Jay-Z. Barry Wetcher/Sony Pictures Entertainment hide caption

itoggle caption Barry Wetcher/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Code Switch

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting

As an African-American Annie arrives on movie screens, critic Bob Mondello looks at other cross-cultural reinventions, from Pearl Bailey's Dolly to the Americanization of "Carmen" as "Carmen Jones."

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

The Salt

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

Some Christians in Israel and the West Bank celebrate Eid el-Burbara on Dec. 17. The feast honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.

A pilot for Earl's Flying Service sprays chemicals on a field in southeastern Missouri. Courtesy of Mike Lee hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Mike Lee

Around the Nation

For Crop-Duster Pilots, Wind Towers Present Danger KRCU

Short, unlit towers are used to prospect for new wind farms. But the structures pose a threat to crop-duster pilots. Transportation officials are urging better markings and other safety improvements.

From member station

KRCU

Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project at the University of Colorado in Boulder, works in the lab where the samples are processed. The American Gut Project hide caption

itoggle caption The American Gut Project

Shots - Health News

Behind The Scenes At The Lab That Fingerprints Microbiomes

Inside the lab, a lone technician sorts through new samples, snipping off swab heads intentionally fouled with fecal material. One head goes to cold storage and the other is processed for sequencing.

Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate. Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Parallels - World News

A Tweet On Women's Veils, Followed By Raging Debate In Saudi Arabia

A prominent ultra-conservative figure says that face veils for women are not mandatory. Now everyone is weighing in on the hottest topic in the kingdom.

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