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The Two-Way
1:57 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Obama: History Tells Us Sanctions, Threats Won't Make Iran Cave

President Obama participates in a conversation with Saban Forum Chairman Haim Saban at the 10th annual Saban Forum on Saturday.
Pete Marovich Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 6:19 am

During an hour-long talk at the Brookings Saban Forum 2013, President Obama explained his calculations as it relates to peace in the Middle East and negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program.

Obama took some hard questions posed by skeptical Israeli journalists Saturday, and he faced probing questions posed by moderator and media mogul Haim Saban, an Israeli-American supporter of Obama.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

U.S. Veteran, Held By North Korea, Arrives Safely In Calif.

Merrill Newman (left) walks beside his wife Lee and son Jeffrey after arriving at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:57 am

Saying this was a "great homecoming," Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old Korean War veteran who had been held by North Korea for weeks, walked out of San Francisco International Airport with his wife on Saturday.

As we reported, Newman was deported by North Korea on Friday, days after he appeared on state TV reading an apology for alleged war crimes.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Sat December 7, 2013

France Increases Its Troops In The Central African Republic

French troops patrolled the Central African Republic's tense capital on Saturday, as reinforcements crossed into the country as part of a UN-mandated effort to quell a wave of deadly sectarian violence.
Sia Kambou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:51 am

France is increasing its military presence in the Central African Republic. The Associated Press reports that after a summit in Paris on Saturday, French President François Hollande said 1,600 troops would be deployed by the end of the day and they would remain in the country until tensions between Muslim and Christian militias cool.

The BBC reports:

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Shots - Health News
8:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children

David Vetter was born without a functioning immune system and spent his life in a bubble that protected him from germs. He died at age 12 in 1984. Scientists are using gene therapy to treat the disorder so that children can live normally.
Science Source

Researchers say they are achieving success in curing the genetic defect that causes some children to be born without immune defenses, a rare condition made famous in the 1970s by a Texas boy who lived most of his short life in a sterile "bubble."

Scientists now report that 8 out of 9 young children given gene therapy for a type of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, called SCID-X1, are alive and living amid the everyday microbial threats that would otherwise have killed them. The oldest is just over 3 years old.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Another Winter Storm Moves East: More Snow, Ice Expected

Six-year-old Enari Hernandez (left) and her cousin Maritza Jimenez, 6, play in front of a damaged tree in their neighbors yard on Saturday in Plano, Texas.
Stewart F. House Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:40 am

After a significant winter storm dumped a mixture of snow and ice across the country's midsection, another gruesome storm is moving east and meteorologist say the Eastern Seaboard should prepare for the kind of conditions that paralyzed cities in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.

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Parallels
7:28 am
Sat December 7, 2013

When Nelson Met Boris: How Mandela's Grace Transformed A Moment

South African President Nelson Mandela and Russian President Boris Yeltsin shake hands in Moscow on April 29, 1999.
Misha Japaridze AP

It was the spring of 1999 in Moscow, and two of the 20th century's great revolutionary leaders were having their first face-to-face talks as presidents of their nations.

South Africa's Nelson Mandela was meeting Russia's Boris Yeltsin. I was in the Kremlin's great hall to cover the historic meeting for the South African Broadcasting Corp.

Mandela was 80, his hair gray and his movement stiff, but he was still very sharp and aware, with that famous glint in his eye.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Alexander Payne, Baby Photos And Ted Williams

Alexander Payne arrives at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 9:12 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
6:44 am
Sat December 7, 2013

WATCH: Maya Angelou's Poem For Nelson Mandela

Poet Maya Angelou has written a poem in honor of Nelson Mandela, "on behalf of the American people."
PRNewsFoto/Forsyth Medical Center AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:35 am

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Books News & Features
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Don't Call It Fanfic: Writers Rework Their Favorite Stories

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:43 am

When writers finish a book, they may think they've had the last word. But sometimes another writer will decide there's more to the story. The madwoman Bertha from Jane Eyre and the father in Little Women are just two examples of secondary characters who have been given a fuller life in a new work of fiction based on a classic novel.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Social Security Fight Exposes Democratic Divide On Populism

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading a push to increase Social Security benefits. But her whole party is not in agreement on the issue.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:51 am

American politics is having a populist moment, with voters angry and frustrated with all big institutions in American life.

The backlash against big government found its expression on the right with the Tea Party. The tensions between that movement and the Republican establishment have been on full display.

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The Salt
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Fishery Closure Puts New England's Shrimp Season On Ice

Northern shrimp are shoveled into a holding chamber on a trawler in the Gulf of Maine in 2012. Stocks of the shrimp have been declining for several years, leading regulators to cancel the New England shrimping season.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 7:56 pm

New England chefs like Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley are still coming to terms with the news: No more shrimp until further notice.

This week, regulators shut down the New England fishery for Gulf of Maine shrimp for the first time in 35 years. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission judged the stocks of the popular shrimp, also known as northern shrimp, to be dangerously low.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Hagel Arrives In Afghanistan, Has No Plans To Meet With Karzai

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel attends the International Institute for Strategic Studies Regional Security Summit in the Bahraini capital Manama on Saturday.
Mohammed Al-Shaikh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:22 am

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel landed in Afghanistan Saturday for a surprise visit with the troops.

Despite the fact that the U.S. and Afghanistan are at odds over a security agreement that allows U.S. troops to remain in the country past 2014, Hagel has no plans to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has refused to sign the security agreement.

The Associated Press reports:

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Around the Nation
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

White House Invites All To 'Gather Around' A Holiday Tradition

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, almost 100 volunteer decorators show up at the White House. They spend the next five days stringing garlands and hanging ornaments, making the White House sparkle for the holidays.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 9:35 pm

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, almost 100 volunteer decorators show up at the White House. They spend the next five days stringing garlands and hanging ornaments, making the White House sparkle for the holidays.

At NPR, we have a related tradition. This is the fourth year in a row that White House correspondent Ari Shapiro has brought us the voices of some of those volunteers.

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Sports
6:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

With Stellar Football Season, Duke Has New Team To Celebrate

Duke coach David Cutcliffe hugs linebacker David Helton following Duke's 27-25 win over North Carolina on Nov. 30.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:50 am

Every college football season, at one team turns out to be a surprise. This year, it's Duke.

The Blue Devils have won 10 games — the most in the school's history. The team's coach, David Cutcliffe, was just named national coach of the year.

It's a big turnaround for a team that was once the laughingstock of the Atlantic Coast Conference and overshadowed by basketball. But now, Duke is headed to the ACC championship game.

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Television
3:29 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Gillian Anderson On 'The Fall' And Getting Arrested In High School

Gillian Anderson plays Stella Gibson, an enigmatic police investigator, in the BBC Two series The Fall.
Steffan Hill Acorn RLJ Entertainment

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 9:39 am

There's been a string of unsolved murders in Belfast, Northern Ireland, so they have to bring in the heat from London. Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson appears to be the embodiment of what people in Belfast often don't like about London: She seems cool, correct, fiercely intelligent, but icy.

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Simon Says
3:29 am
Sat December 7, 2013

As We Memorialize Mandela, Remember Those Who Stood With Him

Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu raise their fists in 1990, one day after Mandela was released from jail.
Walter Dhladhla AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:36 pm

By the time he died this week, Nelson Mandela was considered one of the few — perhaps the only — giants on the world stage.

But the man who was prisoner 466/64 on Robben Island was a giant among heroes who offered their lives for freedom as valiantly as he did. In a way, the acclaim the world now heaps so justly on Nelson Mandela commemorates them, too.

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It's All Politics
3:27 am
Sat December 7, 2013

How Mandela Expanded The Art Of The Possible

President-elect Nelson Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk outside the South African Parliament in Cape Town, May 9, 1994.
Frank James

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 9:35 am

When I was coming of age in the late 1970s, as an African-American high-schooler and college student, I had two certainties: Nelson Mandela would die in prison in apartheid South Africa and no black person would become U.S. president in my lifetime.

So much for my youthful powers of prediction.

Little could I have known then that I would become a journalist who would one day get to cover events I once thought would never happen, at least not during my time on Earth.

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Parallels
3:23 am
Sat December 7, 2013

With The Help Of Smugglers, Syrian Refugees Sneak Into Europe

Refugees warm their hands at a refugee camp in Harmanli, Bulgaria, on Nov. 27. More Syrians are turning up in Europe. Many are trying to get to northern Europe, believing that is the best place to start a new life.
Nikolay Doychinov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 7:57 pm

The 27-year-old Syrian, who once smuggled arms for Syrian rebels, is now waiting in Istanbul for a human smuggler to get him to Europe. He says his name is Mohammed. He does not offer a second name. He will go by air, he says, the safest route. He has paid a smuggler more than $8,000, and he's sure he will get to Austria.

In the past week, he connected seven friends with smugglers.

"I know that most of them made it," he says, with a tight smile. He is traveling light. Everything he owns is in a backpack.

"I am leaving Syria under a lot of pressure," he explains.

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Music News
11:23 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Jay Z Tops Grammy Nominations

Jay Z easily led Grammy Award nominations announced Friday with nine, but left-of-center rappers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar were among a group of new stars who took many of the major nominations.

Macklemore and Lewis' gay marriage anthem "Same Love" was among song of the year nominees and the Seattle rap crew joined Los Angeles rapper Lamar with seven nominations apiece, including best album and best new artist of the year. Pharrell Williams had four major nominations among his seven and Justin Timberlake also had seven.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:39 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Not My Job: Nick Lowe Gets Quizzed On Peace, Love And Understanding

Dan Burn-Forti Courtesy of Nick Lowe

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 2:38 pm

Nick Lowe was one of the founders of the Great British rock explosion of the 1970s, writing songs like "Cruel to Be Kind and "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace Love and Understanding." He's just released a new album of Christmas songs called Quality Street — A Seasonal Selection For All The Family.

Since Lowe's lyrics would lead us to believe there isn't anything funny about peace, love or understanding, we'll quiz him on three hilarious instances of human kindness.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:39 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Prediction

Our panelists predict, now that Amazon is going to use them, what other companies will start using drones.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:39 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:39 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Limericks

Carl reads three news-related limericks: Why Your Uncle Is A Boar, We Wish You A Terry Christmas, The Science of Hook-Ups.

The Two-Way
7:14 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

North Korea Frees Elderly U.S. Tourist After Weeks In Detention

A Nov. 9, 2013 file photo released by KCNA of U.S. citizen Merrill Newman reportedly reading an apology.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Sun December 8, 2013 1:25 pm

The official North Korean news agency, KCNA, reports that Pyongyang has deported Merrill Newman, the U.S. tourist and Korean War veteran who was arrested in October during a visit to the reclusive state.

The Associated Press says, "Newman appeared over the weekend on North Korean state television apologizing for alleged wartime crimes in what was widely seen as a coerced statement."

KCNA said he was being released because he had made the apology.

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Sports
5:35 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

U.S. To Face Ghana, Portugal And Germany In World Cup

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Mexican Official Says Six Arrested In Cobalt-60 Heist

A firefighter stands next to the radiation head which contained the stolen cobalt-60.
Marco Ugarte AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 6:03 pm

The Associated Press is quoting a Mexican government official as saying six people in the hospital for possible radiation exposure are suspects in this week's theft of a shipment of radioactive cobalt-60.

The unnamed official tells the AP that the suspects were arrested on Thursday and were taken to the general hospital in Pachuca for observation and testing.

The news agency quotes Hidalgo state Health Minister Pedro Luis Noble as saying none are in grave condition and may be released soon.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Week In Politics: Looming Unemployment Cuts And Income Inequality

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:35 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So the lowest unemployment rate in five years, down to 7 percent. To talk about the economic picture and more from this week's news, I'm joined by our regular Friday political commentators, David Brooks of the New York Times and E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Welcome back to you both.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

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Business
4:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Could The Party Soon Be Over For Airbnb?

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:35 pm

For freelancers and artists living in expensive cities like New York, the home-sharing site Airbnb has become a way to subsidize their rents. It's also often illegal. With the site's users in the crosshairs of New York's attorney general, and questions elsewhere, some now wonder if the good times are going to end.

Business
4:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Planet Money T-Shirt Exposes Issues Of Work, Trade And Clothes

Josh Davis Planet Money

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:42 am

All this week, All Things Considered and Morning Edition has aired stories about the global journey a T-shirt makes from seed to finished product. Over the months NPR's Planet Money team spent reporting the series, they tackled questions about trade, work and clothes play in the global economy. There's a whole lot more about a simple T-shirt's journey from cotton to completion here.

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Economy
4:07 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Unemployment Drops To Five-Year Low

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 1:22 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The unemployment rate hit a five-year low in November. That's according to the government's latest monthly jobs report. The other headline, the economy beat expectations adding more than 200,000 jobs. NPR's John Ydstie has more on what that says about the health of the economy and about whether the Federal Reserve might dial back its stimulus efforts.

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