From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. Both sides in the conflict in South Sudan agreed to meet tomorrow in Ethiopia to discuss a cease-fire. It's hoped that a speedy end to the power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ousted deputy Riek Machar can avert an all-out ethnic civil war. But even as both sides prepare to negotiate, a fierce battle was underway for control of the strategic city of Bor. NPR's Gregory Warner reports.
This is how you celebrate New Year's Eve in Antarctica.
UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Five, four, three, two, one, happy New Year.
CORNISH: That is, if you are among the 70 passengers and crew of the Akademik Shokalskiy. The scientific research vessel was halfway through a month-long Australian-Antarctic expedition when, on Christmas Day, it made a call for help. It was trapped in packed sea ice so dense that twice icebreakers have tried and failed to get through.
Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 8:25 am
Racing car legend Michael Schumacher is not out of danger, but is showing "surprising" improvement as doctors in France continue to treat him for the severe head injury he suffered Sunday while skiing, The Associated Press reports from Grenoble.
That improvement has allowed surgeons to operate for a second time, doctors said Tuesday.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. This New Year's Eve is also a deadline in one of the year's biggest stories. Syria is due to turn over more than 500 tons of some its most deadly materials in its stockpile of chemical weapons. That was part of the deal brokered with the Assad regime by the U.S. and Russia, after a chemical attack outside Damascus killed many hundreds of civilians. But the Syrian government will not meet today's deadline.
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:25 pm
Conservators working to preserve artifacts from the early days of Antarctic exploration have uncovered century-old black-and-white negatives taken during Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 expedition but never printed.
This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.
"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Yesterday we had a massive pod of gray whales, so we never know what we're going to see out here."
Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:58 pm
In a 7,000-word investigative report published by The New York Times on Sunday, David Kirkpatrick revisits last year's assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Kirkpatrick finds that — contrary to much commentary from mostly Republican members of Congress — al-Qaida was not involved. He joins Robert Siegel to talk about his reporting and the backlash against his conclusions.
Industry officials say they are on course to boost production to as many as 4 million autos annually. That's good news for Mexico but has many in the U.S. worried, especially as Audi gets ready to build a new luxury line plant in Mexico and not in the U.S.
Investigators in southern Russia say two deadly bombings in the city of Volgograd appear to follow the pattern of attacks by Islamist separatists from the nearby North Caucasus region. It's a dire concern for the Russian authorities, who worry that this could be the lead-up to attacks during the Olympic Games in Sochi in February. Security analysts say the bombings could even be a diversionary tactic to distract the security forces before an even bigger attack. It also raises concerns about security for New Year's crowds in major Russian cities.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Happy holidays to you, and thanks to my colleague Celeste Headlee for sitting in for me while I was away. With New Year's around the corner, you might be thinking about New Year's resolutions. We'll meet a young man who's made keeping his promises a year-round commitment. We'll hear from him and how he's inspiring others to do the same thing. That's later. But we want to start the program today by bringing you up to date on developments in the world's newest country, South Sudan.