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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

New NSA Documents Make Case For Keeping Surveillance Programs Secret

U.S. Army Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), testifies during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in June.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Director of National Intelligence declassified a set of 10 court documents on Saturday, in which both the Bush and Obama administrations argue that sensitive NSA programs should be kept secret.

The administration declassified the documents under a court order related to two lawsuits filed the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:50 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: The Coen Brothers And 'Anchorman 2'

Joel (left) and Ethan Coen wrote and directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit. Their latest film is Inside Llewyn Davis.
Stuart C. Wilson Getty Images

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
9:39 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Closure: 94-Year-Old Widow Receives Remains Of Fallen Husband

Clara Gantt, the 94-year-old widow of U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Gantt, weeps in front of her husband's casket.
Andrew Renneisen AP

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:42 am

The sun had not yet risen, when the United Airlines jetliner made its way into Los Angeles International Airport on Friday.

Clara Gantt, 94, had been waiting for this moment for six decades. Of course, for six decades, she expected that this would be a happy reunion. She expected that the love of her life would come bounding off an airplane after two wars and come back home, resuming the life they had planned for each other.

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Asia
9:30 am
Sat December 21, 2013

World's Most Popular Film Industry Turns 100

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know, Americans often assume that Hollywood films are what the world watches most. But the world's most popular film industry features music, melodrama and spectacular dance moves that have become known by a single name: Bollywood.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Interviews
9:30 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Texas Teacher And His Groovy Shirt Retire

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Back in 1973, Dale Irby was just beginning his career as a physical education teacher in the Dallas area. School photo time came around, he needed something nice to wear and had just the thing - a groovy new polyester shirt with large lapels and a brown sweater. Dale Irby has worn the same outfit ever since in every school photo for 40 years. He's now retired; so has his ensemble. He joins us from Dallas. Mr. Irby, thanks so much for being with us.

DALE IRBY: Thank you.

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Around the Nation
9:30 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Ornaments Give Tornado Victims A Little Christmas Cheer

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The people of Moore, Oklahoma are still living with the effects of a powerful tornado in May. The twister killed 25 people and destroyed more than a thousand homes. This holiday season, residents are reminded just how much they lost in that destruction. Kate Carlton of member station KGOU reports on one woman who's found a small way to make the holidays a bit more normal.

KATE CARLTON, BYLINE: On a recent Wednesday evening, Kim Rollins opened her home to strangers.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Epic Spacewalk To Replace Cooling Equipment On ISS Goes Well

The degraded pump module as seen from the helmet cam of Rick Mastracchio.
NASA

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 4:31 pm

Updated 6 p.m. ET

NASA reports that things went well in Saturday's 5-1/2-hour spacewalk, with two American astronauts removing a pump from the International Space Station Saturday in an effort to repair a faulty piece of cooling equipment.

Astronauts Michael Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio completed more of the fixes in less time than had been anticipated.

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Monkey See
8:00 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Murderous Intent: Go Ahead, Kill That High-Profile TV Character

THEY KILLED BRIAN THE DOG! Oh, wait. Nevermind.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Four U.S. Service Members Injured In South Sudan

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 12:42 pm

This post was last updated at 11:50 a.m. ET.

Three U.S. military aircraft running evacuation flights out of South Sudan were fired upon on Saturday, leaving four service members injured, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command said.

United States Africa Command says all four service members have been treated and are in stable condition.

The three CV-22 Ospreys were fired on while flying out of Bor, which NPR's Gregory Warner reports is not under government control.

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Books
7:04 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Today, Magazine's Kid Bylines Read Like 'Pulitzer Prize Roll Call'

According to Paul Collins, St. Nicholas Magazine boasted a list of kid contributors that today "reads like a Pulitzer Prize roll call."
Courtesy of Paul Collins

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

It sounds practically made up — a children's monthly magazine that published works by William Faulkner, E.B. White and Eudora Welty when they were just kids. But it's true.

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Politics
7:04 am
Sat December 21, 2013

The Life Of A Lobbyist In A Do-Nothing Congress

After casting their final votes of a session in which few laws were passed, members of Congress leave for a five-week recess.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 2:00 pm

The 113th Congress has finished its first session, and lawmakers enacted fewer than 60 laws. No Congress since 1947 has done so little legislating.

That's bad news for many of Washington's lobbyists. Howard Marlowe, for one, hasn't been feeling the joy of his job.

"One of the driest periods in the 35 years that I've been lobbying," he says.

An old Washington hand, Marlowe has a small, boutique lobbying firm specializing in local infrastructure projects. His client base includes airports, shipping ports and local governments.

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Simon Says
7:04 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Billie Jean King Travels With A Message About History

Billie Jean King spoke with CNN after being named to the delegation, saying "I'm very proud to go as an athlete, and as a gay woman."
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

When President Obama announced that the U.S. delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia would include Billie Jean King, there was no need to explain who she is or the prestige she brings to her county. Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam tennis titles, defeated Bobby Riggs in the so-called Battle of the Sexes in 1973, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

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Europe
7:04 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Khodorkovsky, A Free Man After A Decade In Russian Prison

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, left, shakes hands with former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher at the airport in Berlin on Friday.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 10:05 am

Russia's best-known prisoner has been freed, after spending more than 10 years in jail.

After receiving a pardon from President Vladimir Putin on Friday, the former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is in Germany, where he's expected to meet with his mother.

For now, he's not saying much in public beyond a statement thanking supporters, but his sudden release has raised a storm of speculation in Russia.

Within hours of the announcement that Putin had granted the pardon, Khodorkovsky was on a private jet that whisked him to Berlin.

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Parallels
7:04 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Once Again, Irish Youth Are Leaving For A Better Life Overseas

Chris Kelly, right, used to run an auto repair shop but lost it during the recession. Kelly, 30, is now studying technology management at the University of Limerick. David Watters, a 20-year-old human resources student, wants to move to Dubai. "The generation that's between 18 and 25, they're leaving because they think there's no future in Ireland," Watters says.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 5:10 pm

Sharon O'Flaherty is riding the bus to Limerick, a no-frills city in western Ireland. She's going to see her dying grandmother this Christmas. She hasn't been home in two years.

"I was working for a company for five and a half years," she says. "I got made redundant, and couldn't find a job at an equal level. So the options were immigration, and it was basically take your pick: Europe, Canada or Australia. So I chose Australia."

The 29-year-old now works as a recruitment manager in Perth.

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Politics
6:57 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Despite Setbacks, Obama Finds Bright Spots In 2013

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And President Obama's in Hawaii today. His family flew there last night for their annual Christmas getaway. Just before leaving Washington, D.C., the President put a stamp on 2013 with a year-end news conference. At times, his parting encounter with reporters seemed as rough as the year just ending. NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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Politics
6:56 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Congress Faces Farm Bill, Debt Ceiling In 2014

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The U.S. Senate wrapped up its first session of the 113th Congress yesterday. Despite modest signs of bipartisanship near the end of the session, this year's been lampooned as one of the least productive years in the history of the legislative branch, one mired in partisan strife. NPR's congressional reporter, Ailsa Chang, joins us now. Ailsa, thanks for being with us.

AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: You're welcome. Thanks for having me.

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Music News
6:54 am
Sat December 21, 2013

At Christmas, The Tubas Finally Get The Melody

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Holiday music: Bing, "Silver Bells," Nat, evening carolers, and, of course, tubas. Well, maybe not. But hundreds of thousands of tubas oom-pah-pah their way through the holiday standards in annual concerts every year, all around the world. It's called Tuba Christmas and this is its 40th year. NPR's Gabrielle Emanuel swung by the Washington, D.C. event this week.

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Code Switch
6:10 am
Sat December 21, 2013

A Jew And A Latino Walk Into A Recording Studio...

Released November 2013
Courtesy of Cary Baker

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 9:30 am

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The Two-Way
6:09 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Utah Seeks Emergency Stay Of Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Chris Serrano, left, and Clifton Webb kiss after being married, as people wait in line to get licenses outside of the marriage division of the Salt Lake County Clerk's Office in Salt Lake City on Friday.
Kim Raff AP

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 12:34 pm

Officials in Utah are asking for an emergency stay of a federal court ruling that found the state's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Reporting from Salt Lake City, NPR's Howard Berkes filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Within minutes of the federal court decision, the Salt Lake County Clerk's office was inundated with gay couples seeking marriage licenses.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
6:03 am
Sat December 21, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: Tiny Desk Concert

Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs at the Tiny Desk on Dec. 3, 2013.
John W. Poole John W. Poole

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:14 pm

Our goal for this special holiday Tiny Desk Concert is simple: to bring you joy. Preservation Hall Jazz Band is a hot and historic outfit from New Orleans, and its members brought us a tuba-wielding Santa and some original holiday cheer and praise — what they call a Cajun Christmas from the French Quarter.

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Books
3:18 am
Sat December 21, 2013

The Brighter Side Of Darkness: For Some, The Night Inspires

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 11:13 am

Saturday is the winter solstice — the longest night of the year. For many, winter's darkness is depressing. But others seem to bloom, thrive, even come alive in the dead of night.

It's not just vampires who seek the dark: it's poets, painters, musicians and artists of all kinds.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
3:15 am
Sat December 21, 2013

The Crossword Turns 100 (Across): Celebrate By Playing Our Puzzle

John Chaneski

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:46 am

  • Hear Will Shortz Prove His Anagram Prowess On Ask Me Another

The first published crossword puzzle was printed on December 21, 1913, in the The New York World. It was written by Arthur Wynne, a British journalist who moved to the United States at age 19 and wound up in New York City. His puzzle, diamond-shaped and identified as a "Word-Cross," first appeared in the "Fun" section of the Sunday paper.

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Number Of The Year
3:14 am
Sat December 21, 2013

For BP Cleanup, 2013 Meant 4.6 Million Pounds Of Oily Gunk

Jonathan Henderson of the Gulf Restoration Network holds a jar of tar balls.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 12:58 pm

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year. They're numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we live in.

On a breezy December morning, a work crew is scouring the surf line on Grand Isle, La., scooping up tiny tar balls and collecting them in a basket.

Foreman LeRoy Irving keeps track of what the 14-person team has collected in a half-day. "If I had to guess, maybe 10 pounds," he says.

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The Two-Way
6:19 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Police Recover Heroin Packets Stamped 'Obamacare'

Police in Massachusetts on Friday pulled over a suspicious automobile and after conducting a search, recovered more than a thousand small packets of heroin stamped "Obamacare" and "Kurt Cobain."

Four people were arrested after the traffic stop in Northampton in which 1,250 of the packets were found.

Police say the car driver committed several violations, prompting the stop. He was later found to be unlicensed.

The Associated Press says a state police dog found the contraband:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

'Queen Of Memphis Soul' Carla Thomas Plays Not My Job

Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:14 pm

We recorded our show in Memphis, Tenn., this week, where Carla Thomas is a soul legend. Born in Memphis, Thomas scored her first hit single for Stax Records at the age of 18, and had many more, including duets with Otis Redding and other stars.

We've invited her to play a game called "Thomas, meet Thomas." Three questions about other people who are also named Thomas.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Prediction

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:14 pm

Transcript

CARL KASELL: Now panel, what is the next thing that will turn up to be worthless? Tom Bodett.

TOM BODETT: I don't personally believe it but the wishes you make before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake.

(LAUGHTER)

BODETT: It turns out totally worthless.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

I can vouch for that. Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: You know how our parents always warned us that Santa only brings presents to nice girls?

SAGAL: Yes.

ROBERTS: Just not true.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Roy Blount, Jr.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Limericks

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:14 pm

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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It's All Politics
5:42 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Obama Zings Friends And Foes Alike In Year-End News Conference

A few of President Obama's comments at his year-end news conference were the kind that could rankle political allies and opponents alike.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 7:01 pm

It's the season of peace and goodwill, but President Obama may have tested the limits of both with some comments at his end-of-year news conference.

Asked if he would negotiate with congressional Republicans about the debt ceiling, Obama said he wouldn't do so over raising the limit, though he was willing to talk with Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican and House Budget Committee chairman, about other issues, like tax reform.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Man Who Shot Reagan Allowed Longer Stays Out Of Mental Hospital

In a Nov. 18, 2003 file photo, John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington.
Evan Vucci AP

John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, has been granted more time outside the mental hospital where he's been confined for almost three decades.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman ordered that Hinckley be allowed to visit his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va., for up to 17 days at a time, tacking a week on to the 10-day visits that were already permitted away from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he shot Reagan and three others on March 30, 1981.

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