World

NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Say Goodbye To 'Stephen Colbert' And Hello To Stephen Colbert

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

Stephen Colbert is signing off after 10 seasons behind the C-shaped desk of “The Colbert Report.” He’s going out with some symbolism, going head-to-head with his final guest, Grimmy the Grim Reaper.

The Comedy Central funny guy is moving on to a new post, taking over for David Letterman on CBS’s “The Late Show.” The satirical conservative pundit he played on Comedy Central will soon be a thing of the past.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Reconciliation Nonprofit Helped With U.S.-Cuban Relations

People stand outside the Little Havana restaurant Versailles after news that U.S. contractor Alan Gross was released from a Cuban prison and U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement on United States-Cuba policy change on December 17, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Obama announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, over 50 years after they were severed in January 1961. In a prisoner exchange, U.S. contractor Alan Gross was freed after being held in Cuba since 2009, with three Cuban spies who had been imprisoned in the U.S. since 2001 going back to Cuba. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:19 pm

Many things went into this week’s announcement of a reconciliation of sorts between the U.S. and Cuban governments, including input from a conflict resolution nonprofit in Cambridge, Mass.

Beyond Conflict has worked around the globe, including in Northern Ireland, South Africa and El Salvador, to try to get adversaries to sit down and try to find a way to rapprochement.

For the past four years, Beyond Conflict has enlisted leaders from those areas to travel to Miami and Cuba to try to pave the way towards a future reconciliation.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Anger, Worry In Hollywood As Sony Cancels 'The Interview'

A poster for the movie "The Interview" is taken down by a worker from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (David Goldman/AP)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

“Disgraceful,” “un-American act of cowardice” and “sad day for creative expression” are among the responses in Hollywood to the news that Sony Pictures has pulled “The Interview” from its scheduled release.

Sony says its decision comes after a majority of theaters canceled planned showings, adding: “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Cheryl Strayed And Steve Almond Pair Up For 'Dear Sugar' Podcast

Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed are hosts of the new podcast "Dear Sugar Radio."

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

The new WBUR podcast “Dear Sugar Radio” teams up authors Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed. The pair take on the concerns of listeners, though it’s not exactly the podcast version of an advice column.

As Almond told Here & Now’s Robin Young, the people who write in “don’t want an answer, they want permission essentially to feel what they’re feeling and to know that they’re in a process of struggle and they’re not alone in that.”

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The Two-Way
1:28 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Boko Haram Suspected In New Round Of Killing And Kidnapping

Members of the Abuja "Bring Back Our Girls" protest group sit during a march in continuation of the Global October movement. Once again, Boko Haram militants are implicated in killings and mass kidnapping in northeastern Nigeria.
Afolabi Sotunde Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:37 pm

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Islamist extremists are being blamed for an attack in northeastern Nigeria that killed at least 33 people and resulted in the kidnapping of about 200 others.

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Planet Money
1:17 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Hello, I'm Calling From 'La Mafia'

A bus travels through downtown Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Meridith Kohut Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:01 pm

If you are a bus driver in Honduras, there's this thing that happens all the time. You'll be behind the wheel of your bus at an intersection, and a kid will come, knock on your window, and hand you a cellphone.

The voice on the phone will say something like this: "Hi, I'm calling from such-and-such a gang. If you want to keep driving this route, you have to pay me money, every week. Or else we will kill you."

And it's not like you pay this one gang, and they protect you from other gangs. The bus owner who told me about this is currently paying off five different gangs.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

Tourtiere is a savory, spiced meat pie, which both French- and English-speaking Canadians love to serve around the holidays.
martiapunts iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:21 pm

A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 23, 2011.

If you happen to spend Christmas Eve in Canada — especially Quebec — you might be lucky enough to be invited to a festive dinner after midnight Mass. The feast is an old tradition from France called reveillon, and it's something to look forward to after a long day of fasting.

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NPR Story
1:11 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

FIFA Ethics Investigator Resigns In Protest

FIFA ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia delivers a speech during the 64th FIFA congress on June 11, 2014 in Sao Paulo, on the eve of the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

Michael Garcia, the ethics investigator behind the FIFA report looking into the bidding process to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, has quit in protest over the handling of the report.

The 430-page corruption report is being kept confidential by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Garcia wants it to be made public.

Here & Now sports analyst Mike Pesca discusses Garcia’s resignation and the FIFA corruption report with host Robin Young.

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NPR Story
1:11 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

America's Political Dynasties

Republican Jeb Bush (left) has announced he's exploring a run for president. Hillary Clinton (right) is widely expected to pursue the Democratic nomination in 2016. (Saul Loeb, Mike Coppola/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

Here’s something to think about. Americans under the age of 38 have only experienced one presidential election that did not involve a Bush or a Clinton, and that was in 2012.

Now there is at least a possibility of another presidential election that features two members of political dynasties. Jeb Bush is actively pursuing a run for the Republican nomination and it’s expected that Hillary Clinton will chase the Democratic nomination.

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NPR Story
1:11 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Florida's Cubans React To Policy Change

Peter Bell (left) who supports the new policy laid out by President Barack Obama, stands among a group of people who disagree with him as people gathered outside the Little Havana restaurant Versailles on December 17, 2014 in Miami. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic ties has touched off vehement reactions in parts of South Florida’s Cuban community.

Many feel the president has caved to the Castro government and given away much more than the U.S. would get for opening diplomatic relations and scaling back the embargo. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Rick Stone of WLRN reports.

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NPR Story
1:11 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Incoming Congressman Says President's Move On Cuba Rewards Dictators

Incoming Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo's parents are Cuban exiles who fled Cuba in the 1960s. He calls the change in U.S. policy "reckless." (carloscurbelo.com)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:53 pm

In the U.S., there are some who are not happy with President Barack Obama’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic ties.

Incoming Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo of Florida called the move “reckless” in a statement. He told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that the move rewards dictators and does not help the Cuban people.

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Mountain Stage
12:38 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Marti Jones On Mountain Stage

Marti Jones.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Marti Jones appears on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. A multi-talented artist with a multi-faceted career, Jones began playing in bands in her native Ohio before issuing several solo albums. She performs frequently with her husband, Don Dixon, but has occasionally taken breaks from music to pursue her other career as a visual artist.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Pakistani Court Grants Bail To Suspect In Mumbai Attack

Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi, seen here on June 28, 2008, was granted bail today by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan. India says he is one of the masterminds of the 2008 attack on Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.
Roshan Mughal AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:24 pm

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has granted bail to a man accused of masterminding the deadly 2008 attack on Mumbai, India.

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Alt.Latino
12:01 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Best Of 2014: Alt.Latino Listeners' Picks

In 2014, Alt.Latino listeners loved the L.A. band Chicano Batman.
Itzel Alejandra Martinez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:30 am

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Goats and Soda
11:50 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Death Comes In Many Different Ways. And Some Are A Bit Surprising

A vigil is held against violence in Cali, Colombia. The country has seen some 1,090 homicides this year.
Luis Robayo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:55 am

We're living longer.

And cardiovascular disease and infectious diseases aren't taking quite as much of a toll as they did a couple of decades ago.

But that doesn't mean we're immortal.

Road accidents, suicide, chronic kidney disease, alcohol-related diseases ... these are a few of the topics to discuss after looking at a new country-by-country analysis of causes of death by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Thu December 18, 2014

India Tests Crew Capsule, New Heavy-Lift Rocket

India's test crew module floating in the Andaman Sea after splash down.
N. Balbantray Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:11 pm

India took a giant leap forward toward its ambitious goal of sending humans into space, launching an unmanned crew capsule aboard a powerful new rocket.

The Indian Space Research Organization, or ISRO, launched the 630-ton rocket from its facility at Sriharikota on the country's southeast coast. It was the first flight test of an improved version of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, or GSLV rocket.

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The Two-Way
10:55 am
Thu December 18, 2014

FIFA Begins Meeting After American Lawyer's Angry Resignation

Michael J. Garcia, head of FIFA's investigatory chamber of the ethics committee, resigned Wednesday in protest.
Walter Bieri EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:22 am

Soccer's governing body is meeting Thursday in Morocco, a day after the American lawyer, who spent two years investigating allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the World Cup, quit in protest at how FIFA handled his report.

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The Two-Way
10:25 am
Thu December 18, 2014

2014 Saw Fewest Executions In 20 Years, Report Finds

The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is pictured in McAlester, Okla., in 2008.
AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:20 pm

There was a significant drop in the number of executions and death penalty sentences in 2014, a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center finds.

The group's year-end accounting finds that:

-- States conducted 35 executions in 2014 — the lowest since 1994.

-- And the justice system sentenced 72 people to death — the lowest number in 40 years.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Putin: Sanctions, Falling Oil Prices Causing Ruble's Tumble

Russian President Vladimir Putin at his annual news conference in Moscow on Thursday, where he blamed Western sanctions and falling oil prices for his country's economic troubles.
Pavel Golovkin AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 8:32 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the West in a year-end news conference today, blaming international sanctions and a steep plunge in oil prices for the precipitous drop in the value of the ruble.

Putin, speaking during a more than three-hour news conference attended by some 1,200 journalists, "promised never to let the West chain or defang his proud nation," according to The Associated Press.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
10:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Playlist: Inspiring Stories You'll Want To Share

You'll want to send these TED Radio Hour stories to everyone you know.
A.J. Rich iStock

This playlist includes some blockbuster TED talks that have already inspired millions. These stories about growing up, shaping identity, and finding courage will have you forwarding them to family and friends.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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