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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We're reporting this week on the most common reading disability. Ask just about anyone what dyslexia is, you'll almost certainly hear something like this.

The last time New York's Metropolitan Opera presented a work written by a woman was 113 years ago. It's a drought that lasted longer than the years between the Cubs' World Series victories. That situation has finally been rectified this week with the New York premiere of the opera L'Amour de Loin by Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.

Europeans are anxiously watching Italy where a Sunday referendum on constitutional amendments could bring down the government and make it the latest casualty of the anti-establishment wave sweeping the West.

Italians are being asked to vote "yes" or "no" to constitutional changes aimed at bringing the Italian political system more in line with the European norm.

The changes involve sharply reducing the size of one of the chambers of parliament, the Senate, shifting its powers to the executive, and eliminating the Senate's power to bring down government coalitions.

Protesters have been camped for months at the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Now, winter has arrived, dumping almost 2 feet of snow on the encampment in the last week of November. The winter storm hit just before news that President-elect Donald Trump indicated he supports completion of the pipeline.

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The brilliantly-colored shapes reminded Carol Vincent of fluorescent deep-sea creatures, and they floated past her languidly. She was overwhelmed by their beauty — and then suddenly, as if in a dream, she was out somewhere in deep space instead. "Oh, wow," she thought, overwhelmed all over again. She had been an amateur skydiver in her youth, but this sensation didn't come with any sense of speeding or falling or even having a body at all. She was just hovering there, gazing at the universe.

On Nov. 23, a morning talk show on Morocco's state television aired a segment on using makeup to conceal bruises from domestic violence. It was part of a promotional effort for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, coming up two days later.

The reaction was swift and negative. The TV station apologized.

So you're trying to find some information about the schools in your community. Did students perform well on tests? How many students in a school are from low-income families? What's the demographic breakdown? Most folks would start to look for this by searching the web. But, depending on the state you live in, finding that information can be a real challenge.

Four days. 92 volunteers. And 150 pounds of gingerbread.

That's just part of what goes into decorating for the White House for Christmas.

Volunteers went to work the day after Thanksgiving, stringing thousands of bow ribbons and crystal ornaments throughout the mansion. Military families got a sneak peak at the decorations this week.

President-elect Donald Trump has been speaking on the phone with numerous world leaders since his election, but a call Friday has the potential to cause diplomatic waves. The Trump transition office confirms Trump spoke with the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen.

The call has raised eyebrows because the U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, when it recognized mainland China. And it's believed to be the first time a U.S. president or president-elect has spoken with a Taiwanese leader since then.

The fake news controversy is rocking the advertising industry. Kellogg's announced it's pulling ads from the site Breitbart — which publishes right-wing content. Other brands are planning similar moves. But there's one big reason to believe this is just a short-term reaction in the heat of the moment, not a long-term trend.

A new filter

"I guess I was just bored," Keith Mann of Franklin, N.C. told the U.S. Forest Service when questioned why he set two fires in Macon County.

The Forest Service says it began investigating him after he called 911 to report the second fire. After an agent began questioning him, Mann admitted it was him all along who set the fires. He told the agent he used a box of kitchen matches.

University of Pennsylvania Provost Vincent Price will take over as Duke University’s new president on July 1, 2017. Duke’s Board of Trustees made the selection Friday morning.

Price told the Duke community on Friday afternoon that the institution is ready to face a watershed moment for research universities.

"Duke is perfectly poised," he said, "to seize unparalleled new opportunities and possibilities to thoughtfully deploy technology in redefining our work."

Under his presidency, Price said that Duke will become a model for diversity and inclusion in higher education.

"Every member of our community belongs," he said. "If we share our differences vigorously and respectfully, we are all the more stronger, intellectually and socially."

Duke's current President Richard Brodhead announced in April that he would step down after 13 years at the helm. The search for his successor included 100 nominees and 25 potential candidates, according to trustee Jack O. Bovender, who led a search committee of 19 trustees, faculty, students, administrators, and alumni.

In a statement, he called Price “a transformative scholar, a dedicated educator and an experienced executive at a very complex institution not unlike Duke.

Durham election officials have been ordered to do a machine recount on more than 90,000 ballots after technical challenges on election night. Late Thursday, the State Board of Elections gave Durham a Monday deadline to complete that recount.

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