The Sunday Conversation
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

At Great Risk, Group Gathers Evidence Of War Crimes In Syria

William Wiley is a former Canadian army officer who has worked on international criminal law cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq.
Courtesy of William Wiley

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

William Wiley has made a career out of international criminal law, working on cases in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Iraq. He now oversees a nonprofit called the Syrian Commission for Justice and Accountability (SCJA).

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Asia
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

A Crusader Against Corruption, Chinese Activist Sentenced To Jail

At a Beijing Courthouse on Sunday, activist Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

China's government has recently jailed officials and issued a slew of new rules to curb corruption, but it's apparently not an effort that independent citizens groups are welcome to join.

On Sunday, a Chinese court sentenced Xu Zhiyong, a leading proponent of civil society, to four years in jail. Police have also arrested around a dozen other members of his group, called the New Citizens' Movement.

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Author Interviews
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

In Fragments Of A Marriage, Familiar Themes Get Experimental

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Love, parenthood, infidelity, a crumbling marriage ... these are pretty traditional themes for fiction. It's not the kind of stuff that normally makes for an experimental novel.

But in Jenny Offill's new book, Dept. of Speculation, those familiar subjects take on an unusual form. The book is short, just 46 brief chapters, and instead of forming a narrative, they're disconnected snippets of prose, poetry and anecdotes. The story centers on two characters, "the wife" and "the husband," who are never named.

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The Protojournalist
9:12 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Warning: In Bitter Cold, Beware The 'Umbles'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:03 pm

Icy vortices, trains of snowstorms, treacherous temperatures — many people are having to learn some harsh lessons about harsh weather.

"When the weather is bitter cold," says Dr. Campbell McLaren, "we have to be vigilant — not just to protect ourselves, but those around us."

And we have to watch out for the "umbles."

As an emergency room doctor in northern New Hampshire, McLaren has specialized in hypothermia and other deleterious effects of extreme cold. He speaks in a Scottish brogue — and by telephone and email, he warns against the umbles.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Sun January 26, 2014

McCain's 'Liberal' Record Earns Him Censure From Arizona GOP

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this week. His state's GOP leadership has censured him for his "disastrous" record.
Ruben Sprich Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 9:09 am

Arizona Sen. John McCain has gone soft when it comes to conservative principles. That's according to his state's Republican Party, who sent the former presidential candidate a message on Saturday by voting to censure him for his 'liberal' voting record.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Watch The Grammy Awards With Us

US singer Bruno Mars performs during the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 2013 ceremony in Amsterdam in November 2013.
Sven Hoogerhuis AFP/Getty Images

You've gotta love the Grammy Awards.

They've got a zillion categories showcasing all kinds of great and interesting music (really!) in all kinds of genres (really!). But when it comes to awards night, you see a tiny selection of awards (eight or nine, maybe, in three hours), together with a bunch of performances ranging from the flawless to the weird thing that happened last year involving Frank Ocean's video legs.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Police ID Maryland Mall Shooter, But Still Search For Motive

Two people embrace in the parking lot at the scene of a shooting Saturday at the Mall in Columbia in Columbia, Md.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:45 am

Police have identified the gunman who killed two people at a Maryland shopping mall before taking his own life, but officials say they still don't know why he did it or whether the assailant had any relationship with the victims.

As we reported, the shooting occurred at about 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mall in Columbia in the Baltimore suburb of Columbia, Md.

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Code Switch
7:43 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Can The Auto Industry Win The Future If It Looks Like 1974?

Incoming General Motors CEO Mary Barra at the center of the press scrum during the North American International Auto Show.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 3:33 pm

So my week at the North American International Auto Show is wrapping up. It's my fourth Detroit Auto Show. And boy has it come a long way.

There is a vibrancy and spirit this year that's different than other shows. There's also been a lot more money spent. The tenor of the show is very different than when the federal government had an ownership stake in Chrysler and General Motors.

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Book Reviews
7:43 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Doyle's New 'Guts' Has Plenty Of Soul

Courtesy of Viking Adult

Restless and determined young Dubliner Jimmy Rabbitte put together a neighborhood soul band in 1987. Jimmy rounded up his pal Outspan and Declan and some other folks, including soul veteran Joey The Lips on trumpet, pretty Imelda and Natalie — the Commitment-ettes — as backup, and the rest was history. That's the gospel according to Dubliner Roddy Doyle's first novel, The Commitments.

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Education
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Teacher Job Protections Vs. Students' Education In Calif.

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

To California now where a polarizing lawsuit goes to trial tomorrow. At issue, whether job protections for public school teachers undermines students' constitutional rights to an adequate education. The students and parents who filed the lawsuit say it could provide a model for challenging teacher protection laws in other states. But to unions and state officials, all the lawsuit does is demonize teachers.

NPR's Eric Westervelt has the story.

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