Weekend Edition Saturday for December 31, 2011 Hear the Weekend Edition Saturday program for December 31, 2011

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President Obama walks onstage Dec. 22 to urge members of Congress to vote on a short-term compromise that extended the payroll tax cut. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After A Year of Struggles, Obama Finds His Footing

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House Speaker John Boehner, surrounded by Republican House members, speaks during a news conference in Washington in December. The House initially rejected a plan to extend a tax cut for two months to buy time for talks on a full-year renewal. It later compromised — a rare event in 2011. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

This Year In Congress: Much Drama, Little To Show

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Hesham Abdul Ghani and his wife, Oras Touma, came to Michigan to escape religious persecution. Jacki Lyden/NPR hide caption

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Jacki Lyden/NPR

Iraqi Refugees Struggle For Peace In America

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Midwestern manufacturers are bouncing back — revenues are up at Chicago White Metal Casting for the second year in a row. And the company is hiring, but mainly specialists, such as die-cast machinists and the people with the skills to fix those machines. Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ hide caption

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Niala Boodhoo/WBEZ

Midwest Learns To Manufacture More With Less

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Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones is a dazzling traveling exhibition celebrating centuries of hats Catwalking.com hide caption

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Catwalking.com

Milliner's Ode To Hats Topped With Timelessness

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Greg Seider's version of a French 75 is a cocktail with gin, lemon juice and agave topped with prosecco or champagne. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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iStockphoto.com

Try A Champagne Cocktail For A Sparkling New Year

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President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and members of his National Security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House. A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. Pete Souza/White House hide caption

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Pete Souza/White House

Obama's Grade In Foreign Policy 2011: 'Incomplete'

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Newt Gingrich wipes away a tear while speaking about his deceased mother Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

For Gingrich, A Week Of Attacks And Falling In Polls

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A long, hot drought decimated the peanut crop this year, pushing the price of peanut butter up by more than a third. Ric Feld/AP hide caption

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Ric Feld/AP

Peanut Prices Make A Go-To Snack More Expensive

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The two "eyes" on the Anybot are actually a camera and a laser. The camera "sees," the laser points, and the person on the screen controls it all. Anybots.com hide caption

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Anybots.com

No Excuses: Robots Put You In Two Places At Once

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