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The Two-Way
2:41 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Something Cool: Photos Of Huge Snow Sculptures In China

People pose beside a large snow sculpture at the 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Sun Island Park on Sunday in Harbin, China.
Hong Wu Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:38 pm

The 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is in full swing in China. Known as the largest festival of its kind the world, it's always pretty spectacular.

We thought we'd round up some pictures to give you a sense of the wonder:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Raúl Castro: U.S. And Cuba Can Have 'Civilized Relationship'

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during the memorial service of former South African president Nelson Mandela.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:28 pm

Cuban President Raúl Castro says the U.S. and Cuba could have a "civilized relationship."

BBC Mundo reports that in a rare speech, Castro said that over the past year U.S. and Cuban officials have met to talk about immigration and restarting mail service between the two countries.

That proves, Castro said, that relations between the two counties could be civilized.

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Politics
11:55 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Pension Cut Angers Senate's Staunchest Military Supporters

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, is urging her Senate colleagues to change the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for current and future military retirees.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

In the two-year, $2 trillion budget deal that cleared the Senate last week, one item, worth just one-sixth of 1 percent of that total, was the reason many senators said they voted against it.

That item would produce some $6 billion in savings by shaving a percentage point off annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it would apply only to military pensions. Not all military pensions — just the retirement paid to veterans younger than 62.

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Edgar M. Bronfman, Longtime Leader Of World Jewish Congress, Dies

Edgar Bronfman (center), president of the World Jewish Congress, meets with Swiss bankers about a historic agreement to pay victims of the Holocaust restitution.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:21 pm

Edgar M. Bronfman, the former CEO of Seagrams and the philanthropist who led the charge as the leader of the World Jewish Congress to bring justice for victims of the Holocaust, died on Saturday.

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Interviews
10:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

What A Top Gun Learned On Her Way To The Top Of The Pentagon

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to hear now from the woman charged with streamlining the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion annual budget.

CHRISTINE FOX: We have to curb the growth of the compensation of our force. It's grown 40 percent above inflation over the last decade. And it's fully half of our budget. So, we have to slow the growth.

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