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Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.

The new congressional budget deal does not extend benefits for Americans receiving long-term unemployment. NPR senior business editor Marilyn Geewax discusses the debate in Congress, and some of the economic implications with host Michel Martin.

Host Michel Martin continues her conversation with school leaders about students' math and reading skills.

Hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, have been killed in those nations in recent days in clashes between groups. Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is in the Central African Republic to try to convince the sides to put down their guns.

After a decade of kicking the ball down the road, Congress appears ready to repeal its payment formula for Medicare and replace it with a whole new system. This time, doctors would be paid according to the quality of results they produce, rather than the number of services they provide.

It's a cross between Secret Santa and Make-a-Wish. For more than 20 years, ordinary Brazilians have read letters addressed to Santa that end up at their local post office and helped fulfill those wishes. The Father Christmas Project helps about half a million kids, some of whom ask for basic things like food and beds.

Upwardly mobile consumers in China and Korea also are buying lots of fur, and "not necessarily your grandmother's old mink coat," says an observer. U.S. and Canadian trappers are flush; animal welfare advocates are concerned.

Young professionals "co-living" in San Francisco-area mansions say they're doing more than cutting costs and promoting sustainability — they're building communities, and tech-powered social networking makes it easier.

Sarah Ramirez left a high-prestige career to bring California's bounty of unsellable fruit to food banks in the state's Central Valley. Her grassroots organization is trying to address a regional conundrum: While many area farms end up with imperfect fruit that can't be sold to supermarkets, local farmworkers struggle to afford fresh produce.

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee are pressing for the release of a so-called torture report on Bush-era interrogation practices. But there are several hurdles to clear before portions of the report might become declassified.

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