Weekend Edition Sunday for Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Sign Of Closing Up Shop At Guantanamo

As the pretrial hearing of the man accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks resumes Monday at Guantanamo Bay, dozens of other detainees are held in limbo there. Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the situation at Gitmo, including the trouble with "forever prisoners."

U.S. Attorney Works To Change The Afghan Legal System

Kimberly Motley is an American lawyer working in Afghanistan trying to make changes in the country's legal system. She initially moved there in 2008, when she took a job with the State Department to train Afghan lawyers. What she saw there shocked her.

Random Street Assaults: Are They Part Of A Larger Game?

In the last few weeks, stories have emerged about the so-called knockout game, wherein black teenagers are said to assault white strangers and run away. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Code Switch blogger Gene Demby about media coverage of the activity.
The heroes of The Guardian Princess Alliance wait for no Prince Charmings: They battle to save the world from modern environmental threats, like genetically altered crops.

Meet Latin America's Teenage Korean Pop Fanatics

Thanks to YouTube, the high-gloss music from East Asia is making an unlikely crossover. "K-Pop really changed my life," says Mexico City teen Samantha Alejandra. "I'm addicted to it."

Cincinnati Wants A Hippo For Christmas

The Cincinnati Zoo hasn't had a hippopotamus for a long time, but it's building a new exhibit and hopes to acquire a breeding pair. It'll take another $6 million to bring the hippos home, so this year, zookeepers are singing "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" to raise the money. NPR's Rachel Martin talks to zoo director Thane Maynard.

When Push Comes To Shove

Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."

StoryCorps: A Decade Of 'Ties That Bind'

The StoryCorps project has collected more than 50,000 stories, many of them shared on NPR's airwaves, and it recently marked its 10th anniversary with a book: Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps. David Isay, the project's creator, tells NPR's Rachel Martin that StoryCorps is like "a shake on the shoulder every week ... reminding you: this is what's important."
It's been 19 years since the genocide in Rwanda. The country's president, Paul Kagame, is celebrated for rebuilding the East African country's government and economy, but the younger, postreconstruction generation deserves credit for reconstructing something else: Rwanda's music scene.

Why French Troops Are Intervening In Africa — Again

For the third time in recent years, France has sent troops into a former African colony, the Central African Republic. The French public generally supports these missions, mainly because they are not to prop up dictators, as they have been in the past.
The rising sectarian violence and general lawlessness in the Central African Republic presents a growing humanitarian concern. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Doctors Without Borders' Sylvain Groulx in the Central African Republic about the the humanitarian and security situation there.

Floods Drive Thousands From Gazan Homes

A major winter storm has caused power outages and major flooding in parts of Israel and Palestine. As much as 2 feet of snow crippled Jerusalem and Ramallah over the past few days, and floods forced thousands of people in the Gaza Strip to leave their homes.

They Shot For Zero, But Couldn't Squash Polio In 2013

This year was on track for a record-low number of polio cases. But polio pushed back hard. It reappeared in some places and spiked in others. Still, global health officials remain confident that polio can be defeated soon.

China Lands A Rover On The Moon

China became only the third country to land a lunar spacecraft, along with the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. NPR's Anthony Khun talks with Rachel Martin about the Jade Rabbit rover and China's space ambitions.

Why, In A Team Sport, Does Only One Win The Heisman?

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday. Sports correspondent Mike Pesca talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the winner, and how peculiar it is that one of the country's biggest athletic prizes goes to an individual, when football is a team sport.

Oh My, Ohio! Five States Named 'Most Likely To Curse'

All those customer service calls — the ones where you wait and wait and maybe even swear a little — get recorded. A recent study revealed which states curse a blue streak best. Topping the charts: those salty-mouthed Buckeyes.
Each Lenten season, Christians travel to Rome to visit a different martyr's shrine each day. The pilgrim-worn path, which dates back to the dawn of Christianity, includes some of the city's most striking churches and historic art. Theologian George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage, says the journey grounded his faith in real places and people.

A Diamond, A Motorcycle, A Wooden Ring: Best Gifts Ever

It's the gift-giving season, so we asked listeners, "What's the best present you've ever received?" NPR's Rachel Martin shares three of their stories, of a poignant family heirloom, a childhood toy that opened up new worlds and a ring that was labor of love.
In A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Fiction, London-based party promoter Suzette Field offers a guide to literature's most famous and fabulous hosts and their soirees — from Proust and Tom Wolfe to Jay Gatsby and Hollywood Wives.

Our Favorite TV Parties

How does your holiday party stack up against TV's best? NPR's Rachel Martin takes a look at some of TV's most memorable parties, from Elaine's office party on Seinfeld to the Huxtable's anniversary party on The Cosby Show.
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