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All Tech Considered
2:58 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Museums Give Video Games Bonus Life, But The Next Level Awaits

Flower, a 2009 release from thatgamecompany, is one of two video games the Smithsonian American Art Museum has acquired for its permanent collection.
Sony Entertainment/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:36 am

The long-running debate over whether video games constitute art may finally be moot — at least as far as the Smithsonian American Art Museum is concerned. Last week, SAAM acquired two video games, Halo 2600 and Flower, for its permanent collection.

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Parallels
2:57 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

'Jihad Tourism': From Germany To The Syrian Battlefield

Burak Karan was a rising German-Turkish soccer player before leaving Germany to fight in the Syrian civil war. He was killed in northern Syria in October at age 26. Karan is shown here in Aachen, Germany, in 2008.
Marcel Decoux EPA/Landov

More than 240 people have left Germany to join the civil war in Syria — the largest reported number from a European country.

One was Burak Karan, a rising German-Turkish soccer player who died in northern Syria in October at age 26. Bild newspaper quoted his brother saying Karan had gone to the border region between Turkey and Syria to help distribute aid.

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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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