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Politics
7:05 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 12:51 pm

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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Tiny Desk Concerts
7:03 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Sarah Jarosz: Tiny Desk Concert

Sarah Jarosz performs a Tiny Desk Concert in September 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:25 pm

Bluegrass' most beloved pros often play well into their 80s and 90s, so it would surprise no one if our children's children's children turn up at a Sarah Jarosz concert 70 years from now. The singer and multi-instrumentalist first surfaced as an 18-year-old wunderkind with the release of 2009's Song Up In Her Head, which generated the first of what will likely be many Grammy nominations; now a grizzled 22, she's out performing songs from her fine new third album, Build Me Up From Bones.

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The Two-Way
7:01 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 12:22 pm

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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Simon Says
5:12 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 2:36 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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Television
4:29 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 10:39 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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It's All Politics
4:27 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 10:35 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
4:23 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 8:57 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
12:23 am
Sat December 7, 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!
10:39 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 3:38 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!
10:39 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!
10:39 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!
10:39 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.

Around the Nation
4:26 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Nosy Driver In The Next SUV? It May Be A Cop Watching You Text

An unmarked New York State Police SUV pulls over a motorist for distracted driving. Troopers are using a fleet of the tall vehicles to crack down on texting while driving.
Jim Fitzgerald AP

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

Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws that make it illegal to text while driving. Six others forbid new drivers from texting behind the wheel.

But that doesn't stop drivers from doing it — and enforcing those laws can be difficult.

On a highway north of New York City, state Trooper Clayton Howell is in an unmarked SUV. He's looking for drivers who are texting or using hand-held phones, which is banned in New York, along with 11 other states.

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Three Books...
4:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

The Man, The Myth, The Reading List: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.
AP

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

Growing up in apartheid South Africa with widespread state censorship, it was hard to get to know our political leaders. The first time I actually saw a photograph of Nelson Mandela was in high school in the mid-1980s.

A braver classmate had managed to sneak a few grainy images into our school — a full-face, younger Mandela, his fellow Robben Island inmate Walter Sisulu and the South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo.

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Parallels
4:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Driving Pakistan's Badlands In A Vintage British Convertible

Mohsin Ikram drives a 1954 Austin-Healey across Pakistan. As the head of Pakistan's Vintage and Classic Car Club, he's doing it mostly because he loves the open road. But he also sees it as a statement against the turmoil that has made parts of the country no-go zones.
Abdul Sattar Aga Khan NPR

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

Every now and then you meet a character who stands out against the landscape. The landscape, in this case, is the sweep of terrain between the Arabian Sea and the Khyber Pass.

The character is a stocky man, wearing a baseball hat, dark glasses, a quirky grin, and an air of stubborn optimism. His name is Mohsin Ikram.

The reason Mohsin stands out against this landscape is because he's motoring across it in a sports car that was made in Britain when Winston Churchill was still alive.

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Sports
4:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

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

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

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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Latin America
4:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Mexican Lawmakers Hope Private Investment Will Boost Oil Industry

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Mexico, lawmakers are debating one of the touchiest subjects in the country today, whether to open up the nation's state oil monopoly to foreign investors. Ever since the oil industry was nationalized back in the 1930s, Mexico's control of this precious resource has been a symbol of national pride. But with oil prices rising and revenues down, the president has made modernizing the oil company Pemex his number one priority.

As NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, not everyone is happy about it.

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Religious Violence Escalates In Central African Republic

A French soldier looks out from an armored vehicle during a patrol through the streets of Bangui, on Thursday.
Sia Kambou AFP/Getty Images

France has sent troops to the Central African Republic after violence there flared between Muslim and Christian militias amid reports that the death toll from fighting had reached 280.

The Associated Press reports:

"[Mostly] Muslim armed fighters who have ruled the country since March hunted door-to-door for their enemies. Bodies lay decomposing along the roads in a capital [Bangui] too dangerous for many to collect the corpses."

Reuters says the former French colony

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

President Obama Lights National Christmas Tree

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, applaud after lightng the National Christmas Tree at a ceremony across from the White House in Washington, on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 5:20 pm

President Obama threw the switch on the National Christmas Tree on Friday amid a constant rain that soaked many of the estimated 17,000 attendees.

"We're going to start at 5 since it's a little wet and we shouldn't start at 10," the president said before hitting the switch that lit the giant tree.

The ceremony was accompanied by celebrity performances from Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin and others.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

In Prison With Nelson Mandela

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:58 am

Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada spent almost 27 years in prison with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. Earlier this year, he gave President and Michelle Obama a tour of his former prison.

Here & Now’s Robin Young spoke to Kathrada in July. Today we present an excerpt of that conversation.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Fukushima Inspectors Say Beginning Of Clean-Up Going Well So Far

In this photo released Nov. 27, 2013, by International Atomic Energy Agency, a team of IAEA experts check out water storage tanks at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma, Japan. (Greg Webb/IAEA)

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:58 am

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are praising Japan for making progress to stabilize the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, which was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami nearly three years ago.

This week, the IAEA inspectors wrapped up a 10-day inspection of the plant, where the decommissioning process started a few weeks ago.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson gets the latest from BBC Tokyo correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes.

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Budget Deal May Be On The Horizon

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 9:58 am

Congressional budget committee leaders are working to pull together a budget deal by the end of next week. Republic Congressman Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray are reportedly discussing how to increase revenue without raising taxes.

A main provision of the agreement would be a partial easing of the next two spending sequesters. It was only in October that a deadlock over federal spending led to the first government shutdown in 17 years.

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Found Recipes
3:16 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

A Tale Of Two Cookies: The Brass Sisters' Shortbread

The Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila, say the recipe for this shortbread is a treasure from their childhood they nearly lost forever.
Courtesy of Andy Ryan Photography

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 10:01 am

Cookies are a sometime food, and with the holidays around the corner, that sometime is now.

Here at NPR, the holiday baking season is not complete without a story from the always-charming Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila.

They've been collecting recipes for more than 50 years. When it comes to holiday cookies, they immediately turn to Dorothy Sullivan's shortbread. The cookies were a treat they enjoyed when they were girls, just 10 and 15 years old, growing up in Winthrop, Mass.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
3:12 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Ellen Seeling On Piano Jazz

Ellen Seeling.
Courtesy of the artist

For this 2006 episode of Piano Jazz, trumpeter Ellen Seeling brought her longtime collaborator and the assistant director of the Montclair Women's Big Band, saxophonist Jean Fineberg, as well as New York drummer Allison Miller.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of December 5, 2013

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, at No. 12, is Jon Meacham's portrait of the third president.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of December 5, 2013

At No. 12, M.L. Stedman confronts miscarriages and a failing marriage in The Light Between Oceans.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 5, 2013

Malcolm Gladwell's David and Goliath, a study of upsets in balances of power, returns to No. 1.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of December 5, 2013

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 8:25 am

National Book Award winner James McBride tells a slave's story in The Good Lord Bird, at No. 14.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of December 5, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

The Salt
3:01 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

The Hills Were Alive With The Sound Of DiGiorno Pizza Last Night

"DOUGH a crust, an unbaked crust ...": Carrie Underwood may have played Maria in NBC's The Sound of Music Live, but on Twitter, it was @DiGiorno that stole the show.
NBC NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 4:35 pm

When big food corporations try to horn in on Twitter conversations about TV shows and other pop culture fare, it usually doesn't work.

Remember when McDonald's tried to engage customers with the hashtag #mcdstories, only to have it turn into a way to share horror-story experiences at the fast food chain? Or when Snickers got busted for paying celebrities to tweet about its brand?

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