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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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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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The Salt
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

New Law Puts Gloves On California Bartenders

Under California's new food safety law, bartenders can't do this without gloves.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 11:01 am

Bartender Cameron Hall hadn't heard of a new California law that bans culinary workers from touching uncooked food with their bare hands.

The rule applies to bartenders, who are now supposed to wear gloves to put limes in the mojitos and cherries in the Manhattans — even to scoop ice into a glass.

But when a reporter fills him in, Hall stops serving drinks at Rocco's Tavern, a little spot in downtown Culver City, just long enough to rant.

"It'd just be a pain," he says. "It'd be a nuisance. I'm gonna start making my customers wear gloves, in opposition!"

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The Record
10:03 am
Sun January 26, 2014

The Woman Behind The Curtain, Making Good Songs Sound Great

Mastering engineer Emily Lazar poses with producer Scott Jacoby (top right) and members of the band School is Cool at her Manhattan studio, The Lodge.
The Lodge

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

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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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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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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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Politics
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Economic Opportunity A Big Topic For State Of The Union Speech

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

The president will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about what to expect.

Technology
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Paramount Cuts Film, Giving The Starring Role To Digital

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's a heavy burden for such a light movie but it's possible that Anchorman 2 is the movie that will ring in the end of film. The L.A. Times reported last week that Paramount Pictures, the studio that made "Anchorman 2," will move to a completely digital format to distribute its films to theaters. It's a shift with huge implications, not just for cinephiles who are attached to the warmth and quality of 35 millimeter film, but for archivists who rely on film as a medium that will stand the test of time.

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Middle East
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Russia May Be Key To Syria Talks

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:34 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Talks between the Syrian government and the opposition have now moved to separate rooms in Geneva. The two sides met face to face this morning but so far have failed to find agreement on a humanitarian cease-fire that would allow humanitarian aid into the city of Homs. U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said today that he hopes people will be able to leave Homs in the next few days. Women and children are already beginning to depart. [POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: In fact, women and children have not yet begun to leave.]

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Europe
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Ukraine Opposition Rejects President's Concessions

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

In the Ukraine, the streets have erupted into violence again this morning with protesters vowing they will keep up the pressure on the government until it folds. The country's president this morning offered concessions but they were rejected by the opposition. And now, protesters are back in the streets, demanding that the president step aside and hold new elections.

Joining us now from Kiev, the capital city, is NPR's Corey Flintoff. Good morning, Corey.

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Sports
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Ski Jump Champion Takes Her Impeccable Style To Sochi

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sports
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Yankees Spend Big On Masahiro Tanaka

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

The Yankees signed the Japanese superstar pitcher this week for a whopping $155 million. NPR's Rachel Martin talks sports with sports correspondent Mike Pesca about what that means for the Bronx Bombers' bottom line.

Space
7:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Mars Rover Turns 3-Month Mission Into Decade Of Exploration

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Ten years ago, NASA's rover, optimistically named Opportunity, landed on Mars on what was to be a three-month mission. But Opportunity is still going strong today, still searching the Red Planet, sending data and images back to NASA. To celebrate Opportunity's decade of life, we called Jim Bell. He's an astronomer at Arizona State University. Welcome to the program.

JIM BELL: Great to be here.

MARTIN: So, take us back, Jim. What was Opportunity originally designed to do?

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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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The Two-Way
7:35 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Protesters In Ukraine Vow To Step Up Pressure On Government

Ukrainian opposition activists on Sunday carry the coffin of their comrade Mikhail Zhiznevsky, killed during anti-government protests, in downtown Kiev, Ukraine.
Maxim Shipenkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 1:23 pm

Anti-government protesters clashed with security forces overnight in the Ukraine capital, Kiev. The latest violence comes a day after embattled President Viktor Yanukovych tried unsuccessfully to quell unrest by offering top political posts to the opposition.

Yanukovych offered on Saturday to hand over two key posts to opposition leaders, but the offer was swiftly rebuffed.

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Wawrinka Beats Ailing Nadal To Win Australian Open Final

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland kisses the Australian Open trophy during the awarding ceremony after winning the men's singles final against Spain's Rafael Nadal on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia.
Xu Yanyan Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:07 am

Stanislas Wawrinka beat an injured Rafael Nadal to win his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 upset on Sunday.

Wawrinka becomes only the second Swiss man to win a Grand Slam singles title. Of course, 17-time champion Roger Federer was the first.

The New York Times says of Wawrinka:

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Code Switch
6:44 am
Sun January 26, 2014

For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Roben Farzad and his mother in their 1978 visa photo
Courtesy of Roben Farzad

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Sun January 26, 2014

5 Things To Know About The Grammy Awards Show

Jay-Z performs during his Magna Carta World Tour at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Arena earlier this month. Jay Z has nine nominations at this year's Grammys.
Anthony Nesmith CSM /Landov

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 12:27 pm

The 56th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday on CBS beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The Los Angeles Times says:

"[The] Grammy Awards show is chock-full of star-studded performances. And like every year, the performances are all about the collaborations.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:28 pm

On-air challenge: For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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Three Books...
5:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

They Came From Inner Space: Three Books About Solitude

iStockphoto

Writers are a curious bunch, known for holding court at parties, charming their readers publicly, yet also famously — stereotypically — cranky in the daylight hours. They prefer their own quiet shuffling to any other human noise. I, too, admit a certain tendency toward this peculiar, self-inflicted isolation.

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Movie Interviews
3:08 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take A Ride With Baltimore's Renegade Bikers, The '12 O'Clock Boys'

A new documentary follows The 12 O'Clock Boys, a gang of Baltimore dirt bikers who do dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.
Noah Rabinowitz 12 O'Clock Boys

It doesn't take long to understand why a Baltimore gang of dirt bikers is called the 12 O'Clock Boys: Flying at top speeds down city streets, they flip precariously high wheelies, maneuvering their bikes to near vertical positions, like clock hands at high noon.

The police try to crack down on them, but that only adds to the gang's allure — especially for a young rider named Pug. "If I fall, I'm gonna hop back on my bike," Pug says. "Doesn't matter if I break my arm or anything, I'm hopping back on this bike."

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Monkey See
3:06 am
Sun January 26, 2014

8 Picture Books That Make Us Wish We Were Kids Again

Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:21 am

Update: On Jan. 27, the American Library Association awarded the Caldecott Medal to Locomotive by Brian Floca. Three Caldecott Honor books were also named, including Journey by Aaron Becker and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner.

Our original post:

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The Salt
3:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon

Piglets at Hilldale Farm in State Center, Iowa in March 2013, just before porcine epidemic diarrhea began spreading through hog farms in the U.S.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.

Canada reported its first case Thursday, and the disease shows no sign of abating. That has veterinarians worried.

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The Edge
3:05 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Can This 'Perfect Match' Dance Their Way To Gold?

Meryl Davis and Charlie White compete in the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Boston earlier this month.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

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

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Shots - Health News
5:48 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

Cutting Spousal Benefits Might Not Save Firms Money After All

UPS has told workers that it will no longer offer health coverage for spouses who have their own job-based insurance. Above, a UPS driver makes a delivery in North Andover, Mass.
Elise Amendola AP

One of the latest trends for employers looking to save money on health care benefits is to cut back on coverage of their employees' spouses.

Some companies are simply charging more for spouses who work and are eligible for coverage at their own job. Others, like UPS, are dropping spousal coverage entirely.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

The Mystery Of Isabel Allende: Author Explores New Genre

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 5:53 pm

Isabel Allende planned to retire in 2011. Instead, she wrote a murder mystery.

The New York Times bestselling author is known for her unique style that blends historical reportage, memoir and literature. Her books have sold over 60 million copies and are translated into more than 35 languages.

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