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THE morning news magazine. Join us weekday mornings as NPR's Morning Edition gives you news, analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports. Stories are told through conversation as well as full reports. It's up-to-the-minute news that prepares listeners for the day ahead.

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2:00am

Thu December 22, 2011
Business

Ratings Drop For 'All-American Muslim'

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:27 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And our last word in business is ratings reality. Ratings for this week's episode of the reality TV show, "All-American Muslim," dropped to more than 30 percent from the previous week's ratings. The show had plenty of drama off-screen earlier this month when the home improvement retailer Lowe's admitted it pulled its ads on the show after pressure from a conservative Christian group.

Yesterday, Lowe's said it would not change its decision. Cable channel TLC has not yet said whether the show will get picked up for another season.

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2:00am

Thu December 22, 2011
Middle East

Hundreds Killed In Bloody Month For Syrian Uprising

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:01 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. In Syria, this week has been one of the bloodiest reported in months. Activists and groups monitoring Syria say hundreds have been killed as the government moves against villages and towns near the Turkish border. The Syrian government acknowledges the campaign but calls it a fight against terrorists.

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2:00am

Thu December 22, 2011
Election 2012

GOP Candidates Enlist Wives For Iowa Campaign Ads

With less than two weeks before voting begins in Iowa, three Republican candidates are pulling out the big guns. Callista Gingrich, Anita Perry and Anne Romney appeared in campaign ads for their husbands.

2:00am

Thu December 22, 2011
Around the Nation

Heifer International Banks On Holiday Giving

Americans make more charitable donations than people of any other country, and this is the time of year they dig the deepest. In Little Rock, Arkansas, that means the anti-poverty charity, Heifer International, is going full throttle. Contributors purchase living things, which are donated to struggling families in 52 countries.

11:26pm

Wed December 21, 2011
Music

A Church, An Oratorio And An Enduring Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 9:17 am

The interior of the renowned Marienkirche church, where Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio is traditionally performed.
General Photographic Agency Getty Images

Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio was first performed in Leipzig on Christmas Day in 1734. In Germany, no matter what the economic and political times, it's the Christmas work. In the oldest functioning church in Berlin, the 13th-century Saint Mary's, performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio is a fixed tradition.

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