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Sunday Playlist: Holiday stories and royal messages
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, New York City.
December 23rd, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Sunday Playlist: Holiday stories and royal messages

By Chip Grabow and Dan Szematowicz, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @storyecho and @CNNDan

(CNN) - Welcome to the Sunday Playlist, sounds and stories we've discovered from other audio producers and that we want to share with our listeners.

This week's Sunday Playlist, the best Christmas and Hanukkah stories from around the web.

But first, a look back at some of the more thoughtful pieces centered on last week's horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The killings tore an emotional gash through the nation's psyche, and sparked new conversations on issues like gun control and mental health.

Here are a few selections that rise above the rhetoric, and get you thinking about our humanity, our culture, and the way we're wired:

FULL POST

CNN Radio News Day: December 21, 2012
People pause at a streetside memorial during a moment of silence in Newtown, Connecticut.
December 21st, 2012
04:24 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: December 21, 2012

CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • In Newtown, Connecticut a week after a gunman killed 27 people, mourners ignored the rain and gathered at a makeshift memorial.  They filed in to see a growing tribute – Teddy bears, balloons, flowers and hand-made signs. A moment of silence at 9:30 a.m. began with the ringing of church bells. The National Rifle Association has been quiet since the shooting, but today the group broke its silence. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA, argued it's possible 26 lives might have been saved if there had been armed guards at Sandy Hook Elementary School:

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." FULL POST

CNN Profiles: 'Don't obsess over Newtown'
December 21st, 2012
09:58 AM ET

CNN Profiles: 'Don't obsess over Newtown'

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow on Twitter: @MichaelSchulder

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - One of America's leading students of violence tells CNN that trying to prevent future massacres like the one at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School should not be the driving force of America's policies to reduce violence.

"We can get misled if we focus on rampage killings like Newtown," says the man we've chosen for this week's CNN Profiles.

"To concentrate all of our violence reduction efforts on the most unpredictable, the hardest to control, the craziest incidents is, I think, a misallocation of resources," our guest tells us. He adds, "if we want to keep most people from being killed, it's the wrong place to obsess."

Who is this student of violence urging us not to "obsess" over Newtown when crafting our nation's violence reduction strategies?

His name is Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard. FULL POST

Mistletoe 101
Santa Claus gets in on the mistletoe magic in 1936 England.
December 21st, 2012
09:31 AM ET

Mistletoe 101

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – When Bob Satterfield was growing up in Georgia, he and his cousins used to play a game.

[2:36] "We'd be squirrel hunting but, if we saw mistletoe, we'd start shooting at that too."

FULL POST

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Filed under: Culture • History • Stories
CNN Radio News Day: December 20, 2012
(L-R) Sen. James Risch (R-ID), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) listen to testimony during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the September 11th attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, on Capitol Hill, December 20, 2012 in Washington, DC.
December 20th, 2012
04:31 PM ET

CNN Radio News Day: December 20, 2012

  CNN Radio News Day is an evening news program providing an informative, thoughtful and creative look at the day's events. It's posted Monday through Friday at 4:30 pm ET.

You don’t have to be at this blog to listen, we want you to take us with you! Click the download button in the SoundCloud player and put us on your smart phone or tablet and bring us with you in the car, on the train or while you’re working out.

(CNN) – Welcome to CNN Radio News Day.

  • Congressional hearings into the deadly September 11 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya kicked-off Thursday.  The hearings follow the release of a scathing report that found "systemic failures" and "leadership and management deficiencies" regarding embassy security.  The report was commissioned by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who postponed testimony at the hearings due to illness.  CNN Foreign Affairs reporter Elise Labott says right off the bat, top deputies of Secretary Clinton were contrite:

" ...and there's really not much more you can do with such a scathing report, except eat the crow and call it caviar."

FULL POST

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