9:48am

Sat December 22, 2012
Commentary

The Mayan Apocalypse: Worthwhile, In Hindsight

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Visitors at the Chichen Itza archaeological park in Yucatan state, Mexico, celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Even a failed apocalypse has value, in reminding us that life is fragile and unpredictable.
Pedro Pardo AFP/Getty Images

Yesterday came and went, but I never finished Ulysses. I never took up skydiving. Come to think of it, I didn't even really finish cleaning up my closet before the "Mayan Apocalypse," which did not occur yesterday, Dec. 21.

I remember thinking,"Finally, I get a Friday off — but there's an apocalypse."

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8:42am

Sat December 22, 2012
World

Adoption Ban Puts Orphans At Center Of U.S.-Russia Dispute

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Police officers detain a protester outside the lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday. This week, Russian legislators passed a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children after the U.S. passed a law that rebukes Russia for human rights abuses.
Evgeny Feldman AFP/Getty Images

Russian lawmakers have approved a measure that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children, a move that comes in retaliation for a U.S. law that seeks to "name and shame" Russian officials who violate human rights.

President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for the adoption ban, but it's not clear whether he'll actually sign the measure, which has potential pitfalls.

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6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Analysis

Making The Case For More Guns And More Gun Control

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 10:16 am

Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg about the massacre in Newtown, Conn. He wrote the cover story in this month's issue, titled "The Case For More Guns — And More Gun Control." In it, Goldberg posits that it's impossible to reduce gun crime with the number of guns already on the street, and that maybe the answer is to allow more people to carry them.

6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Politics

After 'Plan B' Fizzles, What's Boehner's Next Move?

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As we've just heard, this breakdown in negotiations within the Republican Party is troubling for Speaker Boehner. It also stifles negotiations to avert the combination of deep spending cuts and tax increases. That will come without a bipartisan agreement.

We're joined by Norm Ornstein, an experienced observer of Congress and politics. He's resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Thanks for being with us.

NORM ORNSTEIN: Oh, it's always a pleasure, Scott.

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6:44am

Sat December 22, 2012
Asia

Brutal Rape In India Triggers Widespread Public Anger

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

An update on last weekend's rape of a student in New Delhi, an incident which provoked widespread outrage, and calls for a crackdown on sexual violence in India. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Julie McCarthy in India.

5:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
The Record

'Kuduro,' The Dance That Keeps Angola Going

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Dancer Fogo de Deus, who is part of the Os Kuduristas project of traveling kuduro artists.
courtesy of Os Kuduristas

5:56am

Sat December 22, 2012
Deceptive Cadence

Marin Alsop: A Utopian Musical Dream From South America

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.
Desiree Furoni

Discovering Brazil has been a series of wonderful revelations for me. As principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra for the past year, I have been deeply moved and even changed by my exposure to this culture of passion and positivity.

Brazil's inherent societal belief that music improves quality of life, contributes to improved social behavior, and is an important vehicle to establish a peaceful society filled with tolerance and respect is a philosophy I once thought existed only in my utopian dreams.

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5:40am

Sat December 22, 2012
U.S.

Immigrants Welcomed: A City Sees Economic Promise

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Adolphe Bizwinayo left Rwanda as a refugee and says his new city, Dayton, Ohio, helped him transition to American life with initiatives like the Dayton World Soccer Games.
Shawndra Jones for NPR

If there's one common language that some recent immigrants in Dayton, Ohio, seem to share, it's soccer.

The first Dayton World Soccer Games kicked off earlier this year, an initiative hosted by the city to welcome an influx of immigrants. On the field, a rainbow of brightly colored jerseys represented nearly 20 of the different immigrant communities in the city.

"I've been really surprised to see that there's a lot of soccer going on in Dayton," says Adolphe Bizwinayo, who left Rwanda as a refugee.

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5:39am

Sat December 22, 2012
Arts & Life

The Joy Of Salt Licking: Contest Turns Farm Animals Into Fine Artists

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Sculptures entered in the Great Salt Lick Contest await the judging and auction.
Taki Telonidis

Whit Deschner stands in the middle of a pasture outside of Baker, Ore., probably 30 or 40 feet away from a black cow licking a white salt block.

To most of us, this may look like a bucolic scene from ranch country, a smattering of black cattle on a vast field that spreads toward distant mountains. But, for Deshner, it's art in the making.

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5:38am

Sat December 22, 2012
Business

Naughty Or Nice? Retailers Use Smiles To Fight Self-Checkout Theft

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 11:40 am

Retailers are finding that shoplifting at self-serve checkout lines is surprisingly common.
Jessica Hill AP

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