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The annual presidential turkey pardoning event at the White House, which takes place again today, is a peculiar one. Presiding over his sixth one last year, even President Obama seemed confused by it all.

"It is a little puzzling that I do this every year," Obama said, "but I will say that I enjoy it, because with all the tough stuff that swirls around in this office, it's nice once in a while to just say, 'Happy Thanksgiving.'"

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The New England area where the Pilgrims first settled is cranberry country.

And these early colonists likely enjoyed a version of cranberry sauce on their autumn tables — though it probably took the form of a rough, savory compote, rather than the sweet spin we're most familiar with.

For ideas on using this bitter red berry of the season in new ways this Thanksgiving, NPR Morning Edition's Renee Montagne turned to Chris Kimball, founder of America's Test Kitchen.

Movie Review: 'Creed'

1 hour ago
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

For some of us, the best part of Thanksgiving comes from a forkful of flavors all swirled together — turkey, gravy, cranberry and stuffing. It's a savory symphony in your mouth.

Chefs in New York City are experimenting with putting together all of those ingredients into a one-bite Thanksgiving dinner.

A New York judge will weigh in on Wednesday whether fantasy sports is based on skill or chance.

New York's attorney general's office has filed lawsuits against the two biggest daily fantasy sports companies, FanDuel and DraftKings, demanding that they stop taking bets in New York because their games are based on chance, which makes them gambling and illegal under New York state law. Daily fantasy sports companies insist that their games are legal because they're based on skill.

Protests over racial discrimination on college campuses are leading to some swift responses and pledges of reform by college administrators. Even as the protests themselves appear to be quieting down ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, activists are pledging a prolonged fight.

Throughout history, atrocities have been committed in the name of medical research.

Nazi doctors experimented on concentration camp prisoners. American doctors let poor black men with syphilis go untreated in the Tuskegee study. The list goes on.

A federal appeals court decision will allow the Obama administration to maintain the secrecy of internal memos regarding drone attacks against suspected terrorists abroad.

The three judge panel unanimously rejected Freedom of Information Act requests brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times.

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The Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Tuesday that the man believed to have orchestrated the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, had planned more attacks before he was killed by police on Nov. 18. Molins also said Abaaoud returned to the scenes of the attacks even as the horror he crafted was still unfolding.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports for the Newscast unit:

"Speaking at a press conference, Molins said Abaaoud returned to the scene of the café attacks and was outside the concert hall even as SWAT teams were entering to put an end to the carnage.

The Canadian government has had to scale back ambitious plans to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.

The pledge by Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to bring in the refugees helped sweep him to power in last month's elections. But the Paris attacks and the daunting logistics of the plan forced Canada to extend that deadline.

The government unveiled its updated plans on Tuesday. Its says it hopes to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year and another 15,000 by the end of February.

China is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and drives climate change more than any other country. As the world warms and seas rise, researchers say it stands to lose more heavily populated coastline as well.

Most Chinese, though, don't seem to see climate change as a current threat.

"I'm not really concerned because I think the distant future has little to do with me, because I'll already be dead," said a woman named Yu, who didn't want to give her full name in case government officials didn't like her comments.

A Russian warplane shot down over the Turkish border on Tuesday crashed in an area of Syria that advocates want to protect with a no-fly zone, or even a "safe zone" — fenced off from attacks by the Syrian regime or extremist groups like the Islamic State.

"The reality is this outbreak's not over," says Dr. William Fischer, speaking about Ebola. "It's just changed."

Fischer, a professor at the University of North Carolina who's been studying Ebola survivors, was speaking about the new cases in Liberia. On Monday, a 15-year-old died of the disease. The teenager's father and brother have also tested positive for Ebola. Health authorities have not yet determined how the family was infected.

An explosion ripped through a bus carrying presidential security in central Tunis on Tuesday, prompting the Tunisian president to issue a state of emergency for the North African country.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports that a spokesman for Tunisia's Interior Ministry said at least 11 people were killed in the attack and 17 others were wounded. The state of emergency will last for 30 days and an overnight curfew is also in place until tomorrow morning local time.

The last time you ate cranberry – perhaps as a dried snack, in a glass of juice or as a saucy condiment with the Thanksgiving turkey – it was likely paired with sugar, and a lot of it. A cup of cranberry juice may be packed with antioxidants, but it has about 30 grams (or 7.5 teaspoons) of sugar.

America's beekeepers are having a rough time. They lost an estimated 42 percent of their hives last year.

They won't actually get to host Saturday Night Live, but four GOP candidates have completed agreements with NBC allowing them to broadcast campaign messages on affiliate stations in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina over Thanksgiving weekend.

These deals resulted from "equal time" requests made after leading GOP candidate Donald Trump guest-hosted Saturday Night Live on Nov. 7.

Move over, turkey. Step aside, stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole, an iconic Thanksgiving dish, turns 60 years old this year, and it's as popular as ever.

Love it or loathe it, the classic Midwestern casserole has come to mean more than just a mashup of processed food sitting next to the mashed potatoes.

There’s a long history of people chaining themselves to trees or posts or buildings – or to each other – to protest some injustice or simply to get their voices heard. But up in New Hampshire, they may have a first.

Early in November, Kevin Dumont, the owner of Liquid Planet Water Park in Candia, New Hampshire climbed to the top of his water slide tower and chained himself to the rail. His goal: To save the park from a planned December 2nd auction.

Ferguson: One Year Later

15 hours ago

One year ago tonight, an announcement came from the St. Louis County prosecutor in Ferguson Missouri. Darren Wilson, a white police officer, would not be indicted for fatally shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old named Michael Brown.

The city of Ferguson erupted. Protesters set fire to more than a dozen buildings around the city. Police officers used tear gas, smoke, armored vehicles, snipers and police dogs to quell the demonstrations, which continued for weeks.

Millions of Americans are hitting the road, rails and skies for the Thanksgiving holiday. Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti speaks with Bart Jansen, transportation reporter for USA Today, about the heightened security as a result of the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, and how it could affect holiday travel.

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit



Every year before influenza itself arrives to circulate, misinformation and misconceptions about the flu vaccine begin circulating. Some of these contain a grain of truth but end up distorted, like a whispered secret in the Telephone game.

But if you're looking for an excuse not to get the flu vaccine, last year's numbers of its effectiveness would seem a convincing argument on their own. By all measures, last season's flu vaccine flopped, clocking in at about 23 percent effectiveness in preventing lab-confirmed influenza infections.

A 15-year-old boy died of Ebola in Liberia on Monday night, the first person in the country to perish from the disease since July, health officials say.