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6:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Controversial 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Took Center Stage In 2012

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Even before the horrific shooting in Newtown, this was a year in which guns were in the news. There was the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado. And another story we've followed began in February with a 911 call in Sanford, Florida.

(SOUNDBITE OF 911 CALL)

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, or he's on drugs or something. It's raining and he's just walking around looking about.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. And this guy, is he white, black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

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Health
6:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Tracing The Big Meningitis Outbreak Of 2012

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:45 pm

One thing 2012 will surely be remembered for is the deadly fungal meningitis outbreak which swept across the country. In total, 39 people died and more than 370 people were sickened after a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts released tainted drugs. Blake Farmer of member station WPLN reports from Nashville, Tenn., on where the outbreak was first discovered.

Music
5:38 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help

Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:37 pm

For some, bringing in the new year means praying for good things to come. Kristina Olsen ponders the reasons for prayer in her song, "Prayer Flags." She tells the story behind it in the latest edition of What's in a Song, a series from the Western Folklife Center.

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U.S.
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

In Limbo: Stateless Man Stuck On American Samoa

Mikhail Sebastian lived in Los Angeles before his fateful trip to American Samoa.
Courtesy Mikhail Sebastian

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:42 am

Last December, Mikhail Sebastian decided to take a New Year's trip to American Samoa, but when he tried to board his flight to return home to Los Angeles, he was barred. U.S. immigration officials said he had self-deported.

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Law
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Years Delayed, Detroit Starts Testing Rape Kits For Evidence

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 7:00 pm

Detroit is starting to sort through thousands of boxes of potential evidence in rape cases that have been left unprocessed. The 11,000 "rape kits" were discovered in 2009, and Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has been leading the effort to process them.

In April, she told weekends on All Things Considered that they began with a random sample of 400 kits to get a snapshot of what they were dealing with. That sampling led to two trials, which resulted in convictions.

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U.S.
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Acts Of Kindness Continue At Corner Perk Cafe

The Corner Perk Cafe in Bluffton, S.C.
Mandi Brower Photography

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 6:40 pm

In January, we brought you a story from Bluffton, S.C., where acts of kindness abounded at a small coffee shop called the Corner Perk Cafe.

It all began when one of the cafe's regulars decided to "pay it forward." She donated $100 to buy other customers' coffee.

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Business
5:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 6:33 pm

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

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NPR Story
5:02 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

With Egypt's New Choices, The Burden Of Democracy

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:28 pm

With former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ousted, there was space in 2012 for new political leaders to come forward. Host Jacki Lyden talks with NPR's Cairo correspondent, Leila Fadel, about the transformations that took place in Egypt in the past year.

NPR Story
5:02 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Cautious Optimism For Behind-The-Scenes Fiscal Dealing

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:28 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Three days, that's how long Congress has to pass legislation that would avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts become effective midnight on Monday. So happy New Year.

It's not exactly the way Republicans, Democrats or most Americans want to celebrate the New Year. To find out if we're any closer to a deal, I'm joined by NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro. Hi Ari.

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Music Interviews
4:42 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Beck Explains 'Song Reader,' An Album Fans Perform Themselves

Beck's newest album, Song Reader, is a collection of sheet music intended to be arranged and recorded by his fans.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:57 pm

Few artists have changed the face of music over the past two decades quite like Beck. Wherever his interests took him — through experiments in hip-hop, electronica, Tropicália, blues, funk, folk — Beck Hansen found a ravenous audience awaiting each new departure. For his latest project, however, he hasn't recorded a note.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Anger Swells As Indians Mourn For Rape Victim

Protesters hold candles during a rally in New Delhi late Saturday following the death of a woman gang-raped on a bus.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 8:49 pm

By Saturday evening, more than 1,000 candles glowed at a somber scene in a central Delhi park as India mourned the death of the young woman whose gang rape two weeks ago shocked the country.

What began 13 days ago with a handful of well-wishers holding a hospital vigil for the rape victim swelled into thousands as a young generation of Indians demanded an end to the culture of violence that produced more than 24,000 cases of rape last year alone.

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History
11:20 am
Sat December 29, 2012

'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation

Pocket versions of the Proclamation of Emancipation were distributed through Union troops to be read to slaves.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 8:16 pm

The National Archives is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by putting the original document on display over New Year's weekend.

The institution is also hosting a series of programs, including a "Watch Night" on New Year's Eve, following a tradition dating back to 1862.

The first Watch Night was Dec. 31, 1862, as abolitionists and others waited for word — via telegraph, newspaper or word of mouth — that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Critics' Picks For 2012

Fiona Apple's The Idler Wheel... is Ken Tucker's pick for best album of 2012.
Dan Monick

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 11:08 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Shots - Health News
7:42 am
Sat December 29, 2012

As Biodiversity Declines, Tropical Diseases Thrive

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever, which may become a bigger problem in some regions as biodiversity is lost.
James Gathany CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:24 am

Global health advocates often argue that the tropical diseases that plague many countries, such as malaria and dengue, can be conquered simply with more money for health care – namely medicines and vaccines.

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The Two-Way
7:03 am
Sat December 29, 2012

Love Lists? We've Got 'Em, For Better & Worse

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:58 pm

For those inclined toward nostalgia, forgetfulness or with a fondness for accounting, it's the season of The Lists: The excellent and execrable, winners and losers, scoundrels and heroes, the hot and the not.

We've searched through such lists so that, as they say, you don't have to. Here are 21, in no particular order, that touch on some of the outliers and prognostications of our times.

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