Morning Edition for Monday, December 9, 2013

While the world remembers Nelson Mandela as the great reconciler, some ordinary South Africans are remembering him in their own way — as a powerful figure of resistance. And they're looking toward the country's future with both hope and uncertainty.

Could A Heavyweight Champion Unite Ukraine?

A world-heavyweight boxing champion has emerged as one of Ukraine's most popular opposition figures, in part because he earned his wealth in the ring and appears to be untouched by the country's endemic corruption scandals. But analysts question whether Vitali Klitschko — who also holds a Ph.D. in sports science — has the political savvy to unite the troubled country of 46 million people.

Looking Past Website, More Challenges Await Obamacare

An increasing number of people are signing up for health insurance through the government's new exchange, suggesting the Obama administration has made progress in fixing its broken website. But the exchange is just one part of the health care law, which remains politically divisive almost four years after its passage.
November is over and so is the big fall TV season. But there are bright gifts among the off-season also-rans, including TNT's Mob City and a French series about the undead.
When doctors stick electrodes into the brain of a patient with epilepsy, they're hoping to find a cure for debilitating seizures. But they're also exploring a still-mysterious landscape. And they couldn't do it without a patient willing to help.

WTO Nations Say Deal Will Boost Global Trade

Officials from 159 countries took a big step forward in promoting global trade over the weekend at World Trade Organization talks in Indonesia.
Eight tech giants — including Google, Apple and Facebook — have written an open letter to the president and Congress warning that current government surveillance practices are undermining freedom. This follows leaks showing tech firms were part of widespread NSA surveillance programs of email and phone records.

New York Revamps Its Health Exchange Website

New York state is gearing up for what officials hope is high volume on its health insurance exchange website in the weeks leading up to the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline. It's fixing technical and design issues that came up when the site debuted in early October.

Man Tried To Sue Island Nation After Rainy Vacation

Bruno Leduc sued the Dominican Republic because it rained on his vacation, but his ordeal ended with the courts raining on his parade. And because of his history of small-claims filings, the Quebec judge labeled him a "quarrelsome litigant."

Praise For Mandela Crosses Borders, Partisan Lines

When Nelson Mandela was in prison, the fight over imposing sanctions on South Africa was politically divisive. But it also produced a kind of unity in the end.

Will Seniors Leave Republicans Out To Dry In 2014?

One group of voters that the GOP has traditionally been able to count on are those over 65. But a new survey of battleground congressional districts show some cracks in that foundation, possibly enough to swing some closely contested seats.
Since 2001, more than 100,000 troops have left the military with an other than honorable discharge. The "bad paper" puts benefits and medical care out of reach, even for those who served in combat. Which raises a simple question: What does America owe those who serve?

American Dazzles Judges On 'Arabs Got Talent'

One of the contenders on the popular TV show Arabs Got Talent was blond 23-year-old Jennifer Grout, a classically trained singer from Boston.

French Troops Arrive In Central African Republic

David Greene talks with Sylvain Groulx, head of mission for Doctors without Borders in the Central African Republic, about the state of the violence there and the hopes for peace now that French troops have arrived.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a popular Democrat, former governor and strong proponent of the Affordable Care Act, is taking some heat back home for the problems with She faces re-election next year, but a formidable Republican opponent has yet to emerge.

Remembering The Singing 'Mayor Of MacDougal Street'

While the latest Coen brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, isn't a biopic, it is inspired by the life of a real person: the late Dave Van Ronk. He was a folk and blues singer and a central figure in the folk revival of the early 1960s. NPR's Joel Rose has the story of the musician, who was known for his avuncular presence on the Greenwich Village scene.

Broncos' Prater Kicks Record 64-Yard Field Goal

In 1970, the Saints' Tom Dempsey — who was born with no toes on his right foot — hit a 63-yard field goal to win the game, and it stood as the record for decades. Until Sunday's kick by Denver's Matt Prater.
Tom Wagner was on his way from Louisiana to California when his plane landed for a layover in Houston. The airline said it's not sure how the crew missed him during their sweep of the plane after the flight. They gave him a voucher.
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