Assad's Control Strengthens in War-Torn Syria | Winter Storms Leave Michigan Dark for Christmas | The Life of a Holiday Hitmaker

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Demonstrators hold a large Syrian National Coalition flag as they rally against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in downtown Rome on April 13, 2013. (FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty)

Assad's Control Strengthens in War-Torn Syria | Syria: How to Move Forward in 2014 | Winter Storms Leave Much of Michigan Dark for Christmas | The Life of a Holiday Hitmaker | Sales Decline for Iconic Boeing 'Jumbo Jet' | New Movie Releases: 'Walter Mitty,' 'Grudge Match,' 'Wolf of Wall Street,' '47 Ronin' | Restoring Houses for Writers in Detroit

Assad's Control Strengthens in War-Torn Syria

In Syria, fighting has claimed 100,000 lives, forced two million refugees to flee their homes and left three million others internally displaced. Joining The Takeaway is Reese Ehrlich, who’s just returned from Damascus as a special correspondent for the Global Post. He’s also the lead author on a series of special reports for the Global Post called In the Land of Cain and Abel.

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Syria: How to Move Forward in 2014

The past year was pivotal for Syria. As President Bashar al-Assad fought to control the country's future, rebel groups splintered, and the West looked for diplomatic options in an increasingly complicated conflict. Mona Yacoubian, senior advisor for the Stimson Center's Middle East Program and project director for the Pathways to Progress: Peace, Prosperity and Change in the Middle East initiative, reflects on the Syrian conflict in 2013 and looks forward to how the U.S. should move forward in 2014. 

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In Detroit, A Home for Writers

In the months since Detroit filed for bankruptcy, there’s been a lot of discussion over who or what it would take to repair the city.  A new nonprofit called Write A House has one novel idea: why not restore vacant houses and award them to low-income writers? Billy Collins, former United States poet laureate will be one of Write A House’s judges when the nonprofit starts accepting applications from working writers in the spring.

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Winter Storms Leave Much of Michigan Dark for Christmas

It may be a bright and merry Christmas for most of the country, but for 280,000 people in Michigan it’s looking pretty dark. An icy blast of freezing rain has hit the state along with parts of Eastern Canada, turning off street lights and leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity. Joining The Takeaway from Detroit is Quinn Klinefelter, senior news editor for WDET.

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Sales Decline for Iconic Boeing 'Jumbo Jet'

The Boeing 747 once ruled the skies as the largest and most popular passenger airplane. But more and more airlines are moving away from the Jumbo Jet. Economics reporter Carolyn Adolph at member station KUOW in Seattle, explains the history of the 747 and why the "Queen of the Skies" is stepping down from its throne.

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New Movie Releases: 'Walter Mitty,' 'Grudge Match,' 'Wolf of Wall Street,' '47 Ronin'

Tomorrow is Christmas, the last and biggest movie release date of the year. Movie Date co-hosts Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer give their thoughts on some of the big ones: "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "Grudge Match," "47 Ronin," and "Wolf of Wall Street."

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The Life of a Holiday Hitmaker

What's it like to write a hit holiday song? Randy Brooks has some idea. Nearly 35 years ago, he wrote “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” a holiday song which has sold an estimated 40 million copies worldwide, even outselling classics like “White Christmas” in some years. The song is Randy’s one and only real hit, and depending on who you ask, it’s either brilliant or awful. He joins The Takeaway to discuss how the song became such a hit and how he feels each year when he hears it on the airwaves.

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