Morning Edition for Friday, December 13, 2013

One Year After Newtown, Still No Answer To 'Why'

A year after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., gunman Adam Lanza's motives are still unclear. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy says people may just have to be satisfied with what they've known from the beginning — that on Dec. 14, 2012, a horrible thing happened.

Promises To Fix Mental Health System Still Unfulfilled

Even for those with the will and drive to pursue treatment, the process remains difficult, frightening and full of holes. Mental health advocates say little has come, on the federal level, from the task forces and promises that followed the Newtown shootings.

Tom Hanks And Emma Thompson On The Magic Of Disney

The stars of Saving Mr. Banks — a movie about the struggle between Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers over how the Mary Poppins film would be made — talk to NPR's Renee Montagne about the film, and what their counterparts might have thought of their performances.

Does Winter Really Bring On The Blues? Maybe Not

For millions of Americans, the good cheer of Christmas and other festivals is marred by what many call the "holiday blues." Counselors, therapists and self-help books offer advice on how to beat this seasonal depression. But the ubiquitous "winter blues" might just be a myth.

Mandela's Tiny Village Prepares For Global Spotlight

African leaders have a tradition of lavishing resources on their home villages, and the result is often an expensive boondoggle. But Nelson Mandela wasn't like that, and the world will see for itself when he's buried Sunday in Qunu, a simple village that is on the verge of being overrun by hordes of journalists and VIPs from around the globe.
Mbali Vilakazi, the winner of our Poetry Games last year, honors Mandela's memory with a poem, "The Black Pimpernel." The title is a derogatory nickname given to Mandela in his revolutionary days. Vilakazi's poem looks toward the future: "And if we have stood on the shoulders of giants, / We are giants still / And giants, we will come again."

USDA Steps Up The Fight To Save Florida's Oranges

The agency is launching a new coordinated research effort to stop citrus greening, a disease imported from Asia that turns fruit bitter and unmarketable. It first turned up in Florida eight years. Now, it threatens to destroy the nation's citrus industry.
In an effort to cut costs to make their health plans more affordable, insurers are slashing their network of providers — and some marquee hospitals and doctors are not on their lists. In Washington state, the premier children's medical center isn't on many lists, and cancer care experts are limited, too.

'B-Rock Obeezy' Parody Touts The Affordable Care Act

Obama impersonator Iman Crosson portrays the president's hip-hop alter ego in the California state insurance exchange outreach effort called "Tell a Friend — Get Covered."
The uncle of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un was once among the most powerful men in the secretive country. Then, without warning, he was reportedly arrested and executed as a traitor.
David Greene talks with the AP's Matt Apuzzo about his story describing what is known about an American who went missing in Iran in 2007. The Associated Press reports that, despite official denials from the U.S., Robert Levinson had been working for the CIA.
Renee Montagne and David Greene report on findings from tech company Incapsula suggesting that nearly two-thirds of Internet traffic comes from bots rather than humans.

In A Jakarta Traffic Jam, A World Of Commerce

No one likes a traffic jam, except perhaps the people who have figured out how to make money from people stuck in cars. Planet Money was recently in Jakarta, Indonesia, a city with horrible gridlock — and plenty of traffic entrepreneurs.

A Baby Who Saved Her Family From 'The Dark Moments'

Maria Vasquez-Rojas was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant. But soon afterward she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — at the same time her brother Francisco was struggling with drug addiction. Maria's daughter's birth has transformed not just Maria's life, but Francisco's, too.

Scientists Battle Over Fate Of Yellowstone's Grizzlies

Long protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Yellowstone grizzly population may have grown enough to come off the list. But many independent biologists say the Yellowstone grizzly is far from healthy, and they're trying to keep the government from "delisting" it.
David O. Russell is a director on a hot streak. His last two films, Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, pleased critics and did well at the box office. And his new film is likely to do the same.

Hard-Fought Budget Deal On Its Way To The Senate

The House passes the House-Senate budget compromise after Speaker John Boehner criticizes conservative groups — and implicitly their allies in Congress — for their opposition. Next stop: the Senate.

House OKs Wide-Ranging Defense Authorization Bill

A compromise defense bill is making its way through Congress. The authorization measure deals with everything from sexual assault in the military to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to operations in Afghanistan.
The Senate this week pushed through the nomination of Democrat Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. DeMarco was a thorn in the side of democrats... and the move changes the landscape of housing finance reform.

2001 Army-Navy Game Marked By Specter Of Sept. 11

The players that year faced a sobering new reality: The nation was at war and they'd soon leave the football field behind for the battlefield. In All American, author Steve Eubanks recalls that game through the eyes of two players — Army quarterback Chad Jenkins and Navy linebacker Brian Stann.

Buckingham Guards' Snack Fancy Reportedly Riled Queen

According to emails read in court during the long trial of defunct Murdoch tabloid News of the World, the queen's staff placed bowls of nuts around the palace for her, but royal police roaming the corridors couldn't resist them. So she drew lines on the bowls to keep track of the snack levels.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Has A Hit Coloring Book

A St. Louis publisher says it has already sold out of the first two print runs of the kids book Cruz to the Future, starring the Republican senator going hunting, giving speeches and more.
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