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It became the largest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. Its former mayor was sentenced to 28 years in prison. And a TV personality compared it to Chernobyl. But a new year is on the horizon, and for some parts of Detroit, things are looking up. Really.

These days, with salary caps and benevolent socialism, if a team has wise management, it has a chance, observes Frank Deford — even if it's a franchise in an itsy-bitsy market. That's a big change from when the leagues were invariably dominated by dynasties.

The San Joaquin Valley in California produces fresh fruits and vegetables that feed the whole country. But it ranks among the highest in the nation when it comes to food insecurity. Many farmworkers can't afford to buy the fresh produce that grows all around them.

Colorado and Washington state are setting up legalized marijuana markets, and advocates are celebrating. But there are signs of discontent. Even a founder of a marijuana legalization group says there's a possibility of a popular backlash.

Ten years ago Congress approved a $15 billion plan to combat HIV in developing countries. Since then, the global health initiative has funded HIV treatment for nearly 7 million people and prevented hundreds of thousands of babies from getting infected during childbirth.

For the first time in decades, America's obesity rate remained flat this past year, according to the United Health Foundation. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with Dr. Reed Tuckson about the report. Marquette University Professor Andrew Williams, who is developing a robot to help children exercise and make better nutritional choices, also joins the conversation.

A bubbling kettle, walking the twins to school, a trolley ride and a neighbor's hammer drill — all sounds of an expat's life abroad.

Democrats in Congress are promising to try to retroactively extend emergency unemployment benefits after the new year. The expiration of the benefits may satisfy some fiscal conservatives, but it has some economists and many desperate job-seekers concerned.

As 2013 wraps up, NPR is looking at the numbers that tell this year's story. When it comes to the economy, $85 billion is a good candidate. That's the amount the Federal Reserve has been pumping into the financial system each month trying to stimulate growth and bring down unemployment. On Tuesday, Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting at which they'll decide whether to dial back that stimulus.

Across the country, a new model of housing development is springing up that embraces the local food movement. Farms — complete with livestock, vegetables and fruit trees — are now serving as the latest suburban amenity.




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