Morning Edition for December 20, 2017 Hear the Morning Edition program for December 20, 2017

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Women line up to vaccinate their children in Kitahurira village, Uganda. Andrew Aitchison/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Aitchison/Corbis via Getty Images

Goats and Soda

Health Care Costs Push A Staggering Number Of People Into Extreme Poverty

And half the world's population doesn't even have access to essential health services, according to a report from the World Bank and the World Health Organization.

Getaway Train The Earth Disciples
Bahemia The Earth Disciples
Juggah Buggah Weldon Irvine

Samantha Pierce of Cleveland has a 7-year-old daughter, Camryn. In 2009, Pierce gave premature birth to twins. The babies did not survive. Scientists say black women lead more stressful lives, which makes them more likely to give birth prematurely and puts their babies at risk of dying. Dustin Franz for NPR hide caption

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Dustin Franz for NPR

How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants

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Pour It Up Andrew Bissell
"Stay" Rihanna & Mikky Ekko Nicholas Yee, William Lau & Petros Kusmu

Election officials in Newport News, Va., examine ballots during a recount for a House of Delegates race on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. Ben Finley/AP hide caption

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Ben Finley/AP

A Single Vote Has Flipped Control Of Virginia's House Of Delegates

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Sally Goodin
Laura the Explora

Hurricane María's 150-mph winds destroyed the tropical rainforest's canopy and stripped trees bare. Scientists believe as many as one-fifth of the forest's trees may eventually die from the storm's effects. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption

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Greg Allen/NPR

Post-María, A Key Ecosystem In Puerto Rico Faces Slow Recovery

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Orion Float 11
Scales Cloud Float 11

Stone bust of the goddess Sakhmet. Brooklyn Museum/Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Benson Harer, Jr. hide caption

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Brooklyn Museum/Gift of Dr. and Mrs. W. Benson Harer, Jr.

No Kitten Around: Museum Exhibit Celebrates 'Divine Felines'

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Ev'rybody Wants to Be a Cat
Wild World

Cardinal Bernard Law (right) speaks with unidentified prelates as he attends Pope Benedict XVI's last general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in 2013. Gregorio Borgia/AP hide caption

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Gregorio Borgia/AP

Bernard Law, Former Archbishop Of Boston, Dies In Rome At 86

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Small Memory Jon Hopkins
Song for Sienna Brian Crain
Favor N Daviz

Women line up to vaccinate their children in Kitahurira village, Uganda. Andrew Aitchison/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Aitchison/Corbis via Getty Images

Health Care Costs Push A Staggering Number Of People Into Extreme Poverty

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Spirited Away Bernstein (CH)
Anchorage Surfer Blood
The Road is Ruff (Instrumental)
The Chase
The Risk Mic Powers
Marfa Lights Steelism
Five and Nine Last Lungs
Hey Ya Booker T
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