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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Many of us look forward to flipping through the Williams-Sonoma holiday catalog and the unbearably festive kitchen delights it offers. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Then there are those of us who look forward to scrolling through Drew Magary's yearly guide to those delights called "The Hater's Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog." CORNISH: And Drew Magary is with us now. He's a writer for Deadspin and GQ. And Drew, I'm...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Astronaut, senator, national hero - that's how we're remembering John Glenn. He died yesterday at the age of 95. If John Glenn had never left his hometown of New Concord, Ohio, he'd likely still be extraordinary, just on a smaller stage. But because he left, we all got to soar a little higher. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Friendship 7 climbing rapidly out of the Earth's atmosphere exerts a...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: In Charleston, S.C., today, a federal courtroom heard Dylann Roof talk in chilling detail about the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Prosecutors played tape of a two-hour FBI interrogation with Roof. It was recorded not long after the shootings in 2015. And in that tape, Roof discusses his mindset, his actions and his support of white supremacy. South Carolina Public Radio's Alexandra...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Even before he is sworn in as president, Donald Trump is putting his own stamp on the role of chief executive. NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Donald Trump is shaping up to be more than just an activist president. With one tweet, he can drive down the stock price of a major American company. With another, he can unleash a flood of death threats against a local...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: When the new season of the reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" premieres January 2 on NBC, a familiar name will be in the credits. Donald Trump will be listed as executive producer. It's another conflict of interest for the president-elect, and NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans says it could be a problem for NBC, too. ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: When Donald Trump first announced he was running for president back in June...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The American dream is harder to attain than it used to be. People may have felt that for a long time. Now there's a body of research to back that up. One definition of the American dream is that your children will make more money than you did. Now economists have charted the percentage of people who make more than their parents did at the same age, and the picture is striking. David Leonhardt is a columnist for The...

The widening gap between rich and poor Americans has pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to around 50 percent, economic researchers say. That's a sharp fall from 1940, when 90 percent of kids were destined to move up the income ladder. Describing an American dream that for many has faded into a less plentiful reality, Stanford economics professor Raj Chetty said in a news release , "It's basically a coin flip as to whether you'll do better than your...

Even after he becomes president, Donald Trump will hold another title dear to his heart: executive producer. The next head of the U.S. government is to retain a stake and a credit for the NBC reality series Celebrity Apprentice, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells NPR. The story was first reported in the Hollywood trade publication Variety . "Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett," Hicks told NPR. The show, for which Trump served as host and an executive...

If you could change the way a monkey or an ape's brain is wired, that animal would be capable of producing perfectly intelligible speech. That's the conclusion of a study that closely tracked the movements of a monkey's mouth and throat with X-rays, to understand the full potential of its vocal tract . Researchers then used that information to create a computer model of what it would sound like if the monkey were able to say phrases such as "happy holidays." The finding calls into question...

Any pet owner will tell you that their animal companions comfort and sustain them when life gets rough. This may be especially true for people with serious mental illness, a study finds. When people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder were asked who or what helped them manage the condition, many said it was pets that helped the most. "When I'm feeling really low they are wonderful because they won't leave my side for two days," one study participant with two dogs and two cats, "They just...

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