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NPR Story
2:35 am
Mon December 16, 2013

'SNL' Looks To Add Black Woman To Comedy Show's Cast

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:47 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Comedy is a rough, cutthroat kind of business, makes no claims to be fair. But in recent months, the cry for better representation of black women on "Saturday Night Live" has grown louder.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In its 37 years on air, NBC's flagship sketch comedy show has had just four black female cast members, and there have been none for six years now. Pop-culture watchers argue that this matters because SNL is important springboard for young comedians.

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NPR Story
2:35 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Germany's Merkel To Be Sworn In Again As Chancellor

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:46 am

Weeks of post-election political limbo have ended in Germany. The country's main center-left party has voted to join the coalition government of Angela Merkel. The move clears the way for her to start her third term as chancellor.

Remembrances
12:59 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role

Peter O'Toole, the charismatic actor who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, died Saturday. He was 81.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:35 am

Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in Lawrence Of Arabia, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.

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The Salt
12:50 am
Mon December 16, 2013

When Craft Beer Goes Global: A Kansas City Brewery's Tale

Boulevard Brewing's lineup includes seven year-round beers, five seasonal beers and 13 beers in its Smokestack series.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:07 am

Kansas City residents are proud of their barbecue, their Chiefs football, their national champion soccer team and Boulevard Brewing, a local brewery that has built up quite a local following since its launch in the late 1980s.

"It's our thing. You know, like la cosa nostra, it's our thing," says Char O'Hara, a Kansas City, Mo., resident who, like thousands of other local 20-somethings, grew up with Boulevard.

But soon, it will be a Belgian thing, too. Any day now, Belgian beer maker Duvel is expected to finalize its purchase of the Kansas City brewery.

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Parallels
12:49 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Battle Of The Bottom Feeder: U.S., Vietnam In Catfish Fight

Freshly caught catfish wriggle in large nets in Doddsville, Miss.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:17 am

Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.

Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.

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Shots - Health News
12:45 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Healthful Habits Can Help Induce Sleep Without The Pills

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:23 pm

About one-third of American adults say they have problems falling asleep. And prescriptions for sleeping medications are on the rise, with about 4 percent of people using the drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But sleep specialists say people should exercise caution before deciding to take medication to help them sleep.

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Europe
4:56 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Ireland Exits Bailout Program, But Economy Still On The Mend

On Sunday, Ireland became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 6:24 am

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.

"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.

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Code Switch
4:37 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Zoinks! Tracing The History Of 'Zombie' From Haiti To The CDC

A still from the 1943 film I Walked With A Zombie.
RKO The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:14 am

Each week, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. You can see past "Word Watch" entries here.

"Who doesn't like zombies?"

That was the subject line of an email blast that landed in my inbox recently from a major online retailer as it announced it was "bringing their Black Friday deals back to life."

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Music Interviews
4:07 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Nine Months In Nigeria, One Brilliant, Difficult Funk Musician

Since recording in the 1970s and '80s, Nigerian William Onyeabor has dropped off the music map.
Courtesy of the artist

Yale Evelev, head of world music label Luaka Bop, digs up information about great-but-forgotten musicians for a living. His quest to compile and release the work of Nigerian funk legend William Onyeabor, though, was a unique challenge.

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Remembrances
4:03 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, A Life Even Larger Than 'Lawrence'

Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Academy Award for his title role in Lawrence of Arabia.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Peter O'Toole, the Hollywood legend who was made famous in his title role in Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday in a London hospital. The 81-year old Irishman was nominated for eight Oscars in his distinguished career, and was known as a bit of a hellraiser.

To those who hadn't seen the actor perform on the London stage, O'Toole was seemingly catapulted into fame. But it may be more accurate to say he charged into it. As T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole was tall, handsome and sensitive.

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Law
4:03 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

In Press-Rights Battle, Reporter Says Accountability's At Risk

The Justice Department is trying to compel New York Times journalist James Risen to testify in the case of a former CIA official who may or may not have leaked classified information to him.
Mark Lennihan AP

Freedom of the press is considered an essential ideal of American democracy.

President Obama acknowledged as much last month, when he draped a Presidential Medal of Freedom around the neck of former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

A Personal 'Report From The Interior' Of Author Paul Auster

A prolific author, Paul Auster has published dozens of works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
Lotte Hansen Courtesy of Henry Holt & Co.

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 11:32 am

Fans of the writer Paul Auster know an enormous amount about him. His novels often draw on autobiographical details, and he has written five books that are explicitly about his own life.

Last year, he published a memoir called Winter Journal that tells the story of his life through the story of his own body — every scar and blemish. Now Auster has published a companion autobiography of his intellectual self, called Report from the Interior.

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Sports
2:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Deep In China, 'Cowboys' Have Skied For Thousands Of Years

A lassoed elk struggles after Serik demonstrates the age-old technique of capturing game in deep snow.
Jonas Bendiksen National Geographic

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:21 am

The birthplace of skis is under debate, but the ski is believed to be even older than the wheel.

"So they're one of the very first forms of transportation," travel writer Mark Jenkins says.

Jenkins recently traveled to China, which claims to have invented skis almost 10,000 years ago. His exploration is documented in the December issue of National Geographic.

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

FDA Fighting The Antibiotic Backlash In U.S. Meat

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 4:03 pm

This week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a voluntary program to help reduce the use of antibiotics in animals raised for their meat. As the use of these drugs has increased, so has the incidence of drug-resistant bacteria. So the FDA is concerned about the public health impact of the use of these antibiotics. Arun Rath speaks with Maryn McKenna about the plan, and how it might work. McKenna writes for Wired Magazine and is the author of Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA.

The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Top French Officials Won't Attend Sochi Olympics

Olympic rings stand in front of the airport in Adler outside Sochi on November 30, 2013.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

French President François Hollande will not attend the Sochi Olympics in Russia this February, the country's foreign minister said today.

As The Guardian reports, in an interview with Europe 1 radio, Laurent Fabius said the country would not send any top officials to the Games, but did not offer any explanation as to why.

The BBC adds:

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The Protojournalist
1:11 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Project Xpat: When Do You Become An 'Immigrant'?

iStockphoto

You are an American living in another country. Are you a tourist? An expatriate? An immigrant?

When does a visitor morph into something more? When does your home-away-from-home become your home?

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All Tech Considered
1:05 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

U.S. Recognizes A South Korean StarCraft Player As An Athlete

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:15 am

South Korean Kim Dong-hwan, a professional StarCraft II player, has received a special U.S. visa, normally reserved for baseball players and other athletes.

The five-year P-1A visa given to the video game player last week is for "internationally recognized athletes." This follows another visa given to a Canadian League of Legends player earlier this summer.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, Star Of 'Lawrence Of Arabia,' Dies

Actor Peter O'Toole performed on stage and on film in many leading roles, and began his acting career in the 1950s when he was serving in the Navy. He died on Dec. 14 at the age of 81.
David Montgomery Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 8:05 am

Peter O'Toole, the legendary Hollywood star made famous by his leading role in 1962's Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday, his agent Steve Kenis said.

O'Toole went on to be recognized as one of the premiere actors of his generation. He was nominated for eight Oscars, but never won until he was given an honorary honor in 2003.

O'Toole was born in Ireland and grew up in Leeds, Yorkshire. O'Toole honed his acting chops in the London theater, before he beat out Marlon Brando and Albert Finney for the role of Lawrence of Arabia.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Sun December 15, 2013

In Executing His Uncle, Kim Jong Un Sends Tough Message

The sun rises over the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, which spans the Yalu River and leads into North Korea (background), at the Chinese border town of Dandong.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 10:55 am

The wife of a top North Korean official who was executed last week appears to have survived the latest political purge in Pyongyang.

Kim Kyong Hui, who is also the aunt of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was named to an official funeral committee on Saturday. Analysts took it as a sign that she still retains power in the inner circle of North Korean leadership.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Sen. John McCain Addresses Anti-Government Protesters In Kiev

Sen. John McCain waves to protestors during a mass rally of the opposition at Independence Square in Kiev on Sunday.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Anti-government protesters in Kiev, Ukraine, got a boost from Sen. John McCain today.

The Arizona Republican, who was accompanied by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, said he was at Independence Square to speak on behalf of the American people.

"To all Ukrainians, America stands with you," McCain said, as the crowd roared.

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Pop Culture
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Our Favorite TV Parties

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So, those are the fabulous soirees of fiction, but what about those lower-brow shindigs - the parties on our favorite TV shows that we'd love to crash? There is, of course, Elaine's epic dance fail at her office party on "Seinfeld."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) All right. Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?

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From Our Listeners
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

A Diamond, A Motorcycle, A Wooden Ring: Best Gifts Ever

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

StoryCorps: A Decade Of 'Ties That Bind'

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've listened to NPR much over the past decade, you've heard StoryCorps conversations; those intimate interviews between two people that make you as a listener feel like you've been invited in to witness something special transpire. Dave Isay is the man behind StoryCorps. And he and his team have collected over 50,000 interviews over the years. The next iteration of the storytelling project is a book. It's called "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps."

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Space
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

China Lands A Rover On The Moon

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

China landed an unmanned rover on the moon yesterday. That makes China only the third country to achieve that feat, along with the United States and the former Soviet Union. China has an ambitious space program. They plan to put a space station in orbit and send a mission to Mars.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn joins me now to talk more about China's space ambitions. Anthony, thanks for being with us.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Hello, Rachel.

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Middle East
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Floods Drive Thousands From Gazan Homes

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 7:14 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

The sun is shining in Israel and the Palestinian territories today, a welcome reprieve after a major winter storm. Nearly two feet of snow crippled Jerusalem and Ramallah over the past few days. Floods forced thousands of people in the Gaza Strip to leave their homes.

NPR's Emily Harris has more.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHILDREN)

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Africa
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Humanitarian Situation Worsens In Central African Republic

The rising sectarian violence and general lawlessness in the Central African Republic presents a growing humanitarian concern. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Doctors Without Borders' Sylvain Groulx in the Central African Republic about the the humanitarian and security situation there.

Africa
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Mandela Is Laid To Rest In His Beloved Village

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Today was the final goodbye. South Africans and visitors from around the world, including world leaders and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson, descended on the village of Qunu in South Africa's Eastern Cape to bury Nelson Mandela. Of the week long farewell to Mandela, this state funeral in a underdeveloped rural village was arguably the biggest logistical challenge.

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Music
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Two Decades Out Of Ghastly Violence, Rwanda Sings Of Love

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Rwanda is a young nation. Some 80 percent of the population there is under the age of 35. That means most of them weren't even teenagers when the country endured the genocide that killed hundreds of thousands almost 20 years ago. President Paul Kagame is credited with rebuilding the African country's government and economy. But young people, call them the post-reconstruction generation, can take credit for reconstructing something else: Rwanda's music scene.

Baz Dreisinger reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELLA")

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World
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

No Sign Of Closing Up Shop At Guantanamo

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Cincinnati Wants A Hippo For Christmas

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All the Cincinnati Zoo wants for Christmas is a hippopotamus.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT A HIPPOPOTAMUS FOR CHRISTMAS")

CHORUS: (Singing) I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. If only a hippopotamus...

MARTIN: Thane Maynard is the director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. He joins me from Cincinnati to talk about the newest item on the zoo's wish list. Welcome to the program, Thane.

THANE MAYNARD: Rachel, thanks very much.

MARTIN: So, let's get right to it: why a hippo?

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