NPR News

The next step has been taken in what some observers say is Russian President Vladimir Putin's bid to burnish his country's reputation before February's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi:

Update at 8:20 p.m. ET. Amazon, UPS, Offer Refunds:

The Washington Post reports:

"Amazon and UPS said Thursday they would offer refunds to customers who did not receive their Christmas orders on time, after a surge in last-minute online shopping caught the shipping giant off guard."

Honest Taxi Driver Named Cabbie Of The Year

Dec 26, 2013

We told you on Wednesday about a Las Vegas cab driver who found $300,000 in the back seat. He gave the cash to his dispatcher, and it was returned to the passenger. As Cabbie of the Year, he'll get a $1,000 prize and dinner for two at a swank restaurant.

An Illinois man was accused of soliciting $25 million from investors for a fictitious device. Named after Dr. McCoy in the science-fiction series, it supposedly delivered medical data like the tricorder on the TV show. Prosecutors said his actions were valid only in another dimension.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe surely knew that his visit Thursday to a Shinto shrine honoring Japan's dead from World War II would be followed by protests from China and South Korea.