All Things Considered for Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Colorado enacted several tough gun control measures after the shooting in Newtown, Conn. — and then voters ousted two lawmakers who backed those laws. One former senator says he has no regrets, while the man who helped remove him is now focused on other gun rights supporters.
In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last year, there was a call to enhance restrictions on gun purchases. One of the groups leading the charge was Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Melissa Block talks with Mark Glaze, executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, about what he sees as his groups successes and failures over the past year.
The justices ruled unanimously that the Kansas Supreme Court should not have overturned the murder conviction and death sentence of a man who said he was high on crystal meth when he killed a sheriff near Wichita. The high court says the state can use a psychiatric exam as evidence to refute the defendant's case.
California plans to get 33 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power by 2020. But that will only work if the state can economically store some of the energy for release on cloudy, windless days.
Clothes donated to charity in the U.S. often wind up for sale in African markets. Here's the story of one shirt that started out at a bat mitzvah in Michigan and wound up in a market in Nairobi.
Michael Hartnett joined the Marines because he wanted to be a tough guy. But deployments to the first Gulf War and Somalia left him haunted by nightmares. He turned to booze; after a bad-conduct discharge he fell into drugs for more than a decade. Three years ago, he convinced a military board to upgrade his discharge. That change in status gave him the chance he needed. Now he's studying to be a social worker so he can help other vets.
On Wednesday, Chaz Stevens' beer can-covered pole joined a number of other displays in the state Capitol in Tallahassee. There are also a religious Nativity scene and an atheist display. Stevens says he's protesting what he sees as a flagrant disregard for the separation of church and state.

Funk, Faust And Stone: Three Stunning Albums From 2013

Deceptive Cadence host Anastasia Tsioulcas talks with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about three essential classical and world music releases from 2013 from very different parts of the globe: Bartok's Hungarian dancing, a percussion epic from Alaska and sweaty Nigerian funk.
The White House released some upbeat enrollment numbers for the troubled health care law Wednesday, just as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed back to Capitol Hill to face skeptical lawmakers.
Reaction to the budget deal announced last night is rolling in, and it is mixed. Many Democrats don't like what they see and conservative Republicans are voicing concerns as well.

U.S. Suspends Aid To Some Syrian Rebels

The United States has suspended shipments of non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels across the Turkish border. The move came after Islamist militants seized a warehouse full of supplied equipment and other aid supplied by the U.S. that had been under the control of the secular Supreme Military Council. Islamist groups have gained considerable ground in northern Syria in recent months in clashes with secular rebels and Kurdish militiamen.
After surviving an icy night of confrontations with riot police, protestors in Ukraine feel that they have won an important round in their effort to force President Viktor Yanukovich to resign. They have gotten strong words of support from U.S. diplomats, but they say it's now time for more than words. They say the next step is to marshal international support for sanctions against the president and his inner circle.
Time magazine has named Pope Francis as its Person of the Year. The magazine cited Francis' willingness to take on thorny issues such as homosexuality, the role of women in the church, poverty and the nature of capitalism. At the same time, the pontiff has done so while projecting an air of humility and compassion, which has captured the world's attention in just nine months.
The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday advised companies to change the labels on their drugs to make it illegal for livestock producers to use drugs for "growth promotion" or "feed efficiency." The announcement is the latest step in a long-running effort by the FDA to reduce the use of antibiotics in agriculture.

A Midwestern Meatpacking Town Welcomes Immigrants

Starting in the 1980s, leaders in Garden City, Kan., decided that they were going to treat the immigrant influx as a blessing, not a curse. Working conditions are tough, but the jobs offer decent wages, and a good support system provides a brighter future.
South Africans were given a chance to say farewell to Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, where his body will be lying in state until Friday. He will be buried on Sunday in his home village of Qunu.
The director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter takes on the Abscam scandal in his latest film. He talks to NPR's Melissa Block about creating the picture — and how those wild '70s hairdos help inform character.
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