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Middle East
3:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Assessing The Fallout From A Hezbollah Commander's Death

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 8:58 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Not far from the border with Syria, early this Wednesday, a street in Beirut, Lebanon, became the stage for a political murder.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWS REPORTS)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Hezbollah is searching for whoever is responsible for the death of its military leader...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: ...a senior Hezbollah commander has been killed outside his home in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: ...leader Hassan Houlo al-Laqis was reportedly gunned down just after midnight outside his home.

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Middle East
3:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

So You Found The Chemical Weapons. How Do You Transport Them?

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:12 pm

The plan to dispose of Syria's chemical weapons is swiftly moving ahead. But the plan to get the materials out to sea to dispose of them is easier said than done, when it means transporting them through a war zone. Arun Rath talks to Amy Smithson of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies about what lies ahead.

Around the Nation
3:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Temperatures Dip From Sea To Icy Sea

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:12 pm

Frigid weather and freezing rain have beset large swaths of the country. Those below-average temperatures are expected to stay well into the week.

Environment
3:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Unrealized, Unforeseen Environmental Results Of NAFTA

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:12 pm

When the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments were negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement back in the 1990s, environmentalists warned that it would create a race to the bottom: Countries would compete to gut environmental rules to attract businesses. But by and large, those fears were not realized. Still, the trade deal had other unforeseen environmental consequences.

Music Interviews
3:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Why Would Nick Lowe Make A Christmas Album? Ask Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe's Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family is an album of original holiday songs and some reworked classics.
Zoran Orlic Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:12 pm

Not long ago, Nick Lowe was approached by his American record label about releasing a Christmas album. The esteemed UK songwriter, who gave the world "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" and "Cruel to Be Kind," says the idea seemed laughable.

"But I was confused by how snooty I felt when they asked me about doing it," Lowe says. "I think it's a Brit thing, really: Making Christmas records is seen as a not very cool thing to do. And I thinkg it's all bound up with strange ideas from the 1960s, about selling out and things like that."

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Lawmaker Says Snowden May Testify Before EU Parliament

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 10:54 am

A European lawmaker says former NSA contractor Edward Snowden is set to testify before a civil liberties committee of the European Parliament later this month.

Snowden, of course, is expected to talk about the surveillance activities of United States' National Security Agency. Reporter Teri Schultz filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Report Details ATF's Use Of Mentally Disabled In Gun Stings

The seal of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives photographed in 2007.
AFP/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just published a blockbuster story that's today's must read: Based on court records, police reports and dozens of interviews, the paper details how the ATF used "rogue" tactics — including providing underage youths with alcohol and allowing them to smoke pot — to run storefront gun and drug stings across the country.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Is Mining On The Moon's Horizon?

Alexander Klein AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 4:27 pm

A U.S. company is taking what it hopes to be a small step toward eventually mining the moon.

Moon Express, based in Mountain View, Calif., just unveiled the design for a small robot spacecraft about the size of a coffee table that it says could move about the moon's surface powered only by solar panels and hydrogen peroxide.

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It's All Politics
12:06 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Debate On Wage And Wealth Gap Heats Up; Solutions Elusive

Protesters in Boston march in the parking lot of a Burger King as part of a nation-wide protest supporting higher wages for workers in the fast-food industry.
Stephan Savoia AP

The national debate about income equality and low-wage labor ramped up this week as fast-food workers across the country rallied for better pay and President Obama assailed the nation's growing income gap as the "defining challenge of our time."

Meanwhile, an $11.50 minimum wage bill was approved in the nation's capital, and giant discount retailer Wal-Mart opened its first Washington stores — accompanied by a flurry of ads defending the company's often-criticized pay and benefits practices.

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Around the Nation
11:19 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Go Ahead And Mail Your Boring Holiday Cards

After he and his son Simon encountered both Santa Claus and Superman in an ice cream parlor, NPR's Alan Greenblatt sent out this holiday photo in 2010.
Courtesy Alan Greenblatt

It's always chic to make fun of holiday letters. People can't win, whether they earnestly recount their fellowship missions to poor countries (self-important), brag about European vacations (must be nice) or simply bore with accounts of school plays or travails in their gardens.

The habit of knocking holiday letters is now not just snark shared between friends, but has become an annual journalistic tradition.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Sun December 8, 2013

WATCH: U.S. Air Force Band Stages A 'Holiday Flash Mob'

Col. Larry H. Lang conducts the Band's first-ever flash mob at the National Air and Space Museum on Dec. 3.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:26 am

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The Two-Way
10:42 am
Sun December 8, 2013

In Kiev, Protesters Topple Statue Of Vladimir Lenin

Ukrainians break a monument of Vladimir Lenin in center Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:06 pm

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All Tech Considered
9:27 am
Sun December 8, 2013

TEDWomen 2013: In Innovation, Age Is Nothing But A Number

Record-breaking long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad speaks at the TEDWomen conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:38 am

Some women are notoriously sensitive about their age. Not Diana Nyad.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Sun December 8, 2013

World Leaders Heading To South Africa To Mourn Mandela

A man holds a portrait of Nelson Mandela outside his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Sunday.
Filippo Monteforte AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 12:51 pm

More than 60 heads of state have confirmed that they will attend services for Nelson Mandela in South Africa next week, the country's foreign ministry tells Reuters.

The South African government says that includes all living American presidents — except George H.W. Bush — as well as 26 members of Congress.

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Parallels
7:44 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Nelson Mandela And The Virtue Of Compromise

In 1995, South African rugby captain Francios Pienaar receives the Rugby World Cup from President Nelson Mandela, who wears the green Springbok jersey.
Ross Setford AP

The same scene played out repeatedly at political rallies in South Africa's dusty black townships two decades ago: Nelson Mandela's then-wife, Winnie, would electrify the crowd by lashing out at the white government. She would fire up the young men with her heated rhetoric, tapping into their grievances and leading them into frenzied chants and songs of liberation.

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The Two-Way
7:23 am
Sun December 8, 2013

U.N. Inspectors Visit Iranian Plant Linked To Nuclear Program

UN experts are inspecting the heavy water production plant in Arak, Iran, on Sunday. The visit is the first test of an interim deal Iran struck with the West in November.
Hamid Foroutan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 12:28 pm

Inspectors for the United Nations nuclear watchdog visited an Iranian plant linked to the country's nuclear program on Sunday.

The visit to Iran's Arak heavy water production plant — the first by international inspectors in more than two years — is the first real-world test of an interim deal Iran struck with the West in November.

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Countering China, S. Korea Expands Its Own Air Defense Zone

Japanese Coast Guard vessels sail near a group of disputed islands called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan.
Emily Wang AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Another diplomatic shot was fired in the spate unfolding over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea on Sunday: Countering China, South Korea announced that it was expanding its air defense zone to partially cover some of the same area China laid claim to in November.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Noteworthy Names, In Rhyme

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:56 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person whose first and last names start with the same consonant or group of consonants. You're given rhymes for the two names. You name the people. For example, if given "cycle four," the answer would be "Michael Moore."

Last week's challenge: Name a dance. Change one of the letters to a U. The resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. What is it?

Answer: hula, luau

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Politics
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Congress Aims For The Modest Bargain

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 9:50 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

The Senate comes back to Washington this week with a lengthy to-do list, and the House is hoping to wrap things up and get out of Dodge.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: I've made it clear that the House is going to leave next Friday and you all know me pretty well. I mean what I say and I say what I mean.

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Economy
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

NAFTA Turns 20, To Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:15 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It has been almost 20 years since the U.S. Congress approved the North American Free Trade Agreement - New Year's Day to be precise. It was an agreement that was met with all kinds of controversy. Over the next few weeks, NPR will be airing a series of stories looking back at NAFTA. This morning, NPR's Jim Zarroli tackles one of the first assumptions about NAFTA, that it would send a wave of American jobs to Mexico, where labor is cheaper.

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Africa
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

South Africans Celebrate Mandela On National Day Of Prayer

A sea of tributes grows outside the home of former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:53 pm

The day of prayer and reflection for Nelson Mandela began Sunday morning at the African Gospel Church in Orlando, an area of Soweto, Mandela's hometown.

The anti-apartheid icon died Thursday night of complications from a lung infection. He was 95 years old.

Fleur Nomthandazo has been coming to this church, her great-grandfather's church, every Sunday for the past six months to pray for Nelson Mandela's recovery. Today, she's here to pray for his family.

"We never cry when somebody dies," Nomthandazo says. "We celebrate the life that they lived."

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The Sunday Conversation
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Husband Finding Peace After A Terrorist Attack

David Harris-Gershon wrote a book about meeting Mohammad Odeh's family, What Do You Buy the Children of the Terrorist who Tried to Kill Your Wife?
Larry Roberts Post-Gazette

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 8:58 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.

Several years ago, David Harris-Gershon and his wife Jamie were studying in Israel, where they'd constructed their daily life in ways they hoped would protect them from a terrorist attack. They weren't so fortunate.

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Around the Nation
5:58 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Help Is Hard To Get For Veterans After A Bad Discharge

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:21 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sun December 8, 2013

When Parents Refused To Talk, Angelou Explained Sex — And Healing

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:11 am

When I was 13, sex was something I was very interested in, but in a studious way. I wanted to know what had been done to me, as someone researches the keyhole surgery on their knee, after the event.

I had entered the second year of the six years when I didn't speak of the-thing-that-happened-to-me-when-I-was-11, and I was looking for explanations of that thing. And I was looking for ways to introduce the subject to my parents, so they would say, "Oooh, I understand," in an unemotional, chatty way, and we could get that thing out into the open.

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Economy
3:35 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Economists Toast 20 Years Of NAFTA; Critics Sit Out The Party

A truck bearing Mexican and U.S. flags approaches the border crossing into the U.S., in Laredo, Texas.
Reuters /Landov

Twenty years ago, millions of Americans were cocking their ears — waiting to hear a "giant sucking sound."

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Movie Interviews
3:34 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Woody Harrelson Does Bad Pretty Good

Tapping into his anger and rage, Woody Harrelson plays the meth-smoking psychopath antagonizing Christian Bale in Out of the Furnace.
Kerry Hayes Relativity Media

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 9:50 am

In the new drama Out of the Furnace, a young man (Casey Affleck) gets involved with a group of criminals and then goes missing. Determined to find him, his ex-con brother (Christian Bale) grabs a shotgun and sets off.

Actor Woody Harrelson, perhaps best known for his role as the bartender on Cheers, steps away from comedy to play a member of that group of criminals, a viscous meth addict and bookie named Harlan DeGroat.

Harrelson spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about the movie and preparing for a role that required letting loose a lot of anger.

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The Salt
3:34 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Between Pigs And Anchovies: Where Humans Rank On The Food Chain

An animal's ranking on the food chain depends on where its meals place on the ladder. That puts plants on the bottom (they make all their food), polar bears on top and people somewhere between pigs and anchovies.
Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 8:28 am

When it comes to making food yummy and pleasurable, humans clearly outshine their fellow animals on Earth. After all, you don't see rabbits caramelizing carrots or polar bears slow-roasting seal.

But in terms of the global food chain, Homo sapiens are definitely not the head honchos.

Instead, we sit somewhere between pigs and anchovies, scientists reported recently. That puts us right in the middle of the chain, with polar bears and orca whales occupying the highest position.

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The Two-Way
12:53 am
Sun December 8, 2013

Winter Storm Moves Into Mid-Atlantic

Tractor trailers sit on I-35 north of Dallas on Saturday.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 8:28 am

Freezing rain has been creeping across Tennessee on its way to the mid-Atlantic as the stunning cold, snow and ice that gripped Texas and the west on Saturday advance eastward.

The storm is expected to turn Virginia and Pennsylvania into an icy mess today and scrabble north into New York and southern New England tonight.

Roads will be perilous in many places by this evening and forecasters warned travelers and holiday shoppers to stay home.

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Author Interviews
3:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

'Pomegranate Lady' Depicts The Comedy And Tragedy Of Exile

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 4:33 pm

Goli Taraghi writes about life in Iran — about love, loss, alienation and exile. She is particularly equipped to the task, as her own exile from the country began in 1980 at the outset of the Iranian Revolution.

In 1979, she was a professor living in Tehran with her two young children, and initially supported the movement.

"Of course the turmoil started, and then the executions, and the university was closed, and I thought the best thing is to go abroad and stay just one year," says Taraghi.

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The New And The Next
3:33 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

An 'Accidental Activist,' And England's World Cup Hope

Michael Regan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:47 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath about about a rising star in soccer who could turn things around for England in the World Cup, and a Bahraini woman who calls herself an "accidental activist." He also shares a clip from an Ozy interview with President Bill Clinton regarding Nelson Mandela's legacy.

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