NPR News

When he was in prison, Lorenzo Palma strongly suspected he was an American citizen. He had spent his whole life in the United States, and he knew his grandfather was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1914.

Palma had served five years for an assault conviction and was about to be released on parole, but immigration officials had stopped his release because they wanted to deport him. They said he wasn't a U.S. citizen.

There are three constants during the holiday season in Madrid: tourists ogling light-bedecked thoroughfares; supermarket aisles stuffed with seasonal treats like turrón and polvorón, the Spanish shortbread. And, everywhere, marzipan.

With a manhunt and a $100,000 reward aimed at his capture, more details are emerging about Anis Amri, the chief suspect in Monday's attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Revelations that the authorities had monitored Amri — and marked him for deportation — are also fueling anger in Germany.

The federal government has cut payments to 769 hospitals with high rates of patient injuries, for the first time counting the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs in assessing penalties.

The punishments come in the third year of Medicare penalties for hospitals with patients most frequently suffering from potentially avoidable complications, including various types of infections, blood clots, bed sores and falls. This year the government also examined the prevalence of two types of bacteria resistant to drugs.

Evacuations continue from east Aleppo, as remaining rebels and civilians wait in freezing weather for transportation out of the city.

The end of the evacuations may be coming soon: NPR's Alice Fordham reports that regime forces might be entering the tiny enclave that has been held by rebels as early as Thursday evening.

The fall of eastern Aleppo to the forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar Assad has been a foregone conclusion for weeks now. The question was whether civilians and fighters would be allowed to leave.

Ikea has reached a $50 million settlement with the families of three toddlers who died after unsecured Ikea dressers tipped over, according to lawyers for the families. The furniture giant confirms a settlement has been reached but describes it as "tentative."

President-elect Donald Trump is rounding out his White House team — installing several trusted campaign advisers to senior West Wing positions.

Kellyanne Conway will serve as counselor to the president, the transition team announced on Thursday. Sean Spicer will be press secretary, and Jason Miller has been named director of communications.

Nearly two months after a black church in Greenville, Miss., was torched and painted with pro-Trump graffiti, a member of the church has been arrested and charged with the crime.

"The Mississippi Department of Public Safety says 45-year-old Andrew McClinton is charged with arson of a place of worship in connection to the fire at the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville on Nov. 1," Mark Rigsby of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports.

Just before House Republicans re-elected Paul Ryan as their speaker, the Wisconsin Republican made a bold proclamation.

"Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government," Ryan told reporters one week after Election Day. "This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump's victory into real progress for the American people."

Ryan continued: "If we are going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold, and we have to go big."

By now, you've probably heard about one very real consequence of fake news — the infamous "pizzagate" conspiracy theory that ended with Edgar Welch, 28, firing a real gun inside a real Washington, D.C., pizzeria filled with real people.

There were two major assumptions about Latino voters throughout the presidential campaign:

(1) a record number of Latinos would show up on Election Day to oppose Donald Trump's candidacy and

(2) the anti-immigration rhetoric that launched Trump's campaign would push conservative-leaning Hispanics to flee the Republican Party.

Neither of those assumptions entirely panned out as expected.

Prediction 1: The Surge?

President-elect Donald Trump insists he can do all the business deals he wants while serving in the White House, but a 2012 law barring insider trading by government officials could make doing so a lot more complicated.

The federal government will pay more than $100,000 to give someone a kidney transplant, but after three years, the government will often stop paying for the drugs needed to keep that transplanted kidney alive.

Constance Creasey is one of the thousands of people who find themselves caught up by this peculiar feature of the federal kidney program.

President-elect Donald Trump has appointed several Cabinet members with strong ties to oil and gas. And he's been clear about his support for coal. That could leave renewable energy companies out in the cold.

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