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This two-hour morning newsmagazine covers hard news, a wide variety of newsmakers, and cultural stories with care, accuracy, and a wink of humor.

[Update: Since this story aired, listeners have come forward with new information on the identity of "Prince" Nazaroff — including some members of the musician's family. Hear Jon Kalish's follow-up piece.]

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

Rabbi Reuven Birmajer finished teaching his Talmud class at a religious seminary in Jerusalem last week, and then told his students he had to rush home. Deliverymen were bringing a new bed.

"He was afraid a Palestinian guy was going to deliver the bed, and his wife was going to be all alone," explains student Chaim Zbar.

But it was the rabbi who was killed in a Palestinian stabbing on his way home. Now Zbar avoids going out in the streets.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

No better way to begin a new year than to say - time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sometimes, a good idea and fate collide to create an interesting opportunity. That's what happened with "All American Boys," a young adult novel whose co-authors chose a contentious subject, racial profiling.

In the face of growing protests, police departments across the country are pledging to try to reduce the use of deadly force.

This week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said his police department will double its supply of Tasers and will train officers to use them.

The Fayetteville, N.C., police department will spend the next year and a half trying to implement 76 recommendations issued in December by the Department of Justice. Those recommendations range from better record keeping and better information-sharing to trying to reduce the racial disparity in traffic stops.

Now that we've all had a wonderful time over the holidays, we can begin thinking about the election. Let me begin by saying that there are few things more exciting to me than an election year. Back in the day, I'd be headed for Iowa or maybe New Hampshire about now. Because coming right up are the first real judgments by real people. Over several months, we get to hear what ought to happen from our fellow Americans in states in all parts of the country — in places very different from Iowa and New Hampshire.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

3 Big Moments From Space In 2015

Dec 26, 2015

It's been an exciting year for developments in space. NPR Science Correspondent Geoff Brumfiel shares three highlights with host Linda Wertheimer.

2015 In Music: Playlist Refreshers

Dec 26, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A bountiful year in music is coming to a close, so we have invited NPR's musical mastermind Stephen Thompson into the studio to point us toward some favorites. Welcome, Stephen.

STEPHEN THOMPSON: Hi, it's nice to be here, Linda.

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