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Fresh Air Weekend
12:13 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: The Best Of 2014 For Films, Books, Music And TV

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Made over the course of 12 years, the film is David Edelstein's favorite of the year.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

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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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Pakistan Says It's Killed Dozens Of Extremists In Military Operation

Pakistani army soldiers patrol near the Kot Lakhpat Central Jail in Lahore as security has been increased to high alert after government lifted a six-year moratorium on executions.
Rahat Dar EPA/Landov

A military operation involving Pakistani airstrikes and ground troops has killed 39 Islamist militants, including several top commanders near the Afghan border, the military says. It comes a day after the country's security forces said they'd killed the alleged organizer of a deadly assault on a school last week that killed 149 people, mostly children.

A Pakistani statement related by The Associated Press said an underground tunnel system and a large underground cache of weapons and ammunition had been destroyed in the operation in North Waziristan.

The AP says:

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Sports
10:10 am
Sat December 27, 2014

King Kong Out To Crush Bigfoot's Claim To Fame As First Monster Truck

Bigfoot 4X4 is a legend in the monster truck world, but another truck is challenging its claim as first car crusher. The bragging rights are big deal in what has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

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Law
10:10 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Finding A Jury Of Your Peers Actually Is Pretty Complicated

Demonstrators march in New York after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Many are calling for the officers to be tried before a jury of their peers.
John Minchillo AP

Over the past few weeks, thousands of people have protested after grand juries failed to indict police officers in the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. What they wanted was to have the officers tried in an open court before a jury of their peers. But the notion of a jury of your peers isn't so straightforward.

Take, for example, 21-year-old Roderick Giles' experience. When he got a jury summons in the mail, he reacted the way a lot of people do.

"I did not want to go to jury duty," he says. "That was the last thing on my mind to do."

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Police, Politicians, Gather In New York For Ramos Funeral

Vice President Joe Biden, center, arrives for funeral services for New York City police officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church, in the Glendale section of Queens, on Saturday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 4:37 pm

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Police from around the country are gathering at the Christ Tabernacle Church in Queens today to honor a fallen comrade, Officer Rafael Ramos, who was fatally shot in an unprovoked attack one week ago along with his partner, Wenjian Liu.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Vice President Joe Biden are in attendance at the funeral, which followed a wake for Ramos on Friday that was attended by hundreds.

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U.S.
8:41 am
Sat December 27, 2014

For Cubans In Key West, A Longing To Fill In 'Gaps Of Who We Are'

Cuba is 90 miles away from the southernmost point in the United States, in Key West, Fla. "There used to be a ferry that ran between the two islands every day," says 89-year-old Gregorio Garcia, who emigrated in 1958. "I hope they operate it again someday."
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Like Cuban-American families throughout the diaspora, the Garcias of Key West, Fla., gather on Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve, to catch up on news and eat a traditional meal of lechón, or roast pig.

Wayne Garcia, a local building contractor and artist, prepared the pork for the family feast this year. He smokes it for seven hours in a hole dug in his backyard, in a style he says was passed down from his great-grandparents.

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The Two-Way
8:17 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Top Somali Extremist Leader Reportedly Surrenders

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 5:49 pm

Top al-Shabab leader Zakariye Ismail Ahmed Hersi, for whose capture the U.S. has offered $3 million, has turned himself in, an intelligence official in Somalia says, according to The Associated Press.

The AP says: "The intelligence officer says he turned himself in to Somali police in the Gedo region. The officer said Hersi may have surrendered because he had a falling out with those loyal to Ahmed Abdi Godane, al-Shabab's top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year."

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Pyongyang Blames U.S. Amid Reports Of New Internet Outages

A poster for The Interview stands on display outside a movie theater in Glendora, Calif., on Wednesday.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 9:37 am

Updated at 9:35 a.m. ET

North Korea is blaming the United States for Internet outages experienced by the Asian nation last week, accusing President Obama of being "reckless in words and deeds" and comparing the U.S. to "children with runny noses."

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Around the Nation
6:50 am
Sat December 27, 2014

High Electric Bills Gobble Up Savings From Cheap Oil In New England

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Falling oil prices are perhaps nowhere more welcome than in northern New England, where most homes burn heating oil in their furnaces and high electricity prices are going up.

This story originally aired on Morning Edition on Dec. 22, 2014.

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Deceptive Cadence
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Steinway Bids Farewell To Its Historic Hall

The rotunda at the historic Steinway Hall in Manhattan. The building will be torn down to build luxury condominiums.
Steinway & Sons

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

New York is saying goodbye to another historic building. Steinway Hall, the main showroom for Steinway & Sons pianos, will be moving to a new location, leaving its home of almost 90 years on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall. The first floor has been designated a landmark and will be preserved, while the rest of the building will be torn down to build high-rise luxury condominiums.

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U.S.
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Protests Reflect Real Harm From Police Policies, Organizer Says

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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U.S.
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Funeral Of Slain New York City Officer Draws Thousands

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 3:30 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Eric Westervelt sitting in for Scott Simon. The streets of Queens today are sea of blue.

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Parallels
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Long Plagued By Corruption, Romania Seeks To Make A Fresh Start

Klaus Iohannis was an underdog who was the surprise winner of Romania's presidential runoff election last month. He was sworn into office on Dec. 21 with a promise to crackdown on corruption, a chronic problem in Romania.
Gabriel Amza for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Romania is one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe and it's been that way for years. It's a tough legacy to overcome, but there are signs the country is trying to make a fresh start.

Klaus Iohannis, an underdog presidential candidate who campaigned on a platform of fighting corruption, won a surprising victory last month over the ruling party's nominee. Iohannis, 55, was sworn into office last Sunday.

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Asia
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Tsunami Survivor: Banda Aceh Is Still Vulnerable

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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National Security
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Former Guantanamo Envoy Says Prison Undermines National Security

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Goats and Soda
5:59 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Ebola Survivor: The Best Word For The Virus Is 'Aggression'

Dr. Ian Crozier stands with a group of survivors and a nurse at the Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone. He contracted Ebola and was on the brink of death, but he survived.
Courtesy of WHO/J Amone

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

When Dr. Ian Crozier arrived in West Africa this past summer, he was stepping into the epicenter of the Ebola hot zone. The American doctor was working in the Ebola ward of a large, public hospital in Sierra Leone's dusty city of Kenema.

The trip nearly cost him his life. First came a fever, then a severe headache. "My first thought was, 'Oh, I must have missed a few days of my malaria prophylaxis,' " Crozier recalls.

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Parallels
5:34 am
Sat December 27, 2014

With Each New Upheaval In Iraq, More Minorities Flee

An Iraqi Christian prays inside a shrine on the grounds of the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Irbil, in northern Iraq. Irbil has become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who fled their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Northern Iraq is a lot more diverse than just Arabs and Kurds or Sunni and Shiite. For centuries, it has been home to multiple religious groups with ancient roots in the region.

But more than a decade of turmoil has driven many religious minorities out, with the most recent example being the onslaught of the self-proclaimed Islamic State militants, or ISIS.

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Technology
3:32 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Doubts Persist On U.S. Claims Of North Korean Role In Sony Hack

A South Korean student looks Dec. 23 at a diagram at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, that depicts how the cyberwarfare will be waged in the future in the Korean Peninsula.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 12:08 am

Within days of the hack against Sony Pictures, the U.S. government came out and said, in no uncertain terms, the attacks originated from North Korea — and the nation-state of North Korea was involved. Well, both claims have raised eyebrows among private security researchers. Many just don't believe it.

Circumstantial Evidence

The FBI says the attack came from IP addresses — unique computer addresses — that trace back to North Korea.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Body Of Catholic Priest Found In Southern Mexico

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 9:52 am

NPR's Carrie Kahn reports that the body of a kidnapped Catholic priest has been discovered after he was seized in the southern state of Guerrero earlier this week.

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Book Reviews
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Book Review: 'The Sacrifice' By Joyce Carol Oates

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Middle East
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Already Bleak Conditions Under ISIS Deteriorating Rapidly

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Military Policy Impedes Research On Traumatic Brain Injuries

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Businesses Buzz With Anticipation In Wake Of U.S.-Cuba Thaw

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

One More Reason To Reach For A Paper Book Before Bed

Sleepy in the day and wide awake at night? Give the screen a rest.
Guido Mieth Getty Images/Flickr RM

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 3:12 am

E-readers may make it particularly hard to get a good night's sleep, according to research out this week.

A study that followed every nightly twitch, turn and snore of 12 volunteers for a couple weeks found that those who read from an iPad before hitting the sack had a harder time falling asleep, spent less time in a crucial phase of sleep, and were less alert the next day.

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Europe
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

For Russia's President, A Year Of Costly Triumphs

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

World
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

For Iran And The West, A Rocky Year For Nuclear Diplomacy

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Food
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

In The Nation's Capital, A Signature Soup Stays On The Menu

Copyright 2014 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit http://wamu.org.

U.S.
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Donations Stream In For Slain New York City Police Officers

Copyright 2014 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wnyc.org/.

The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Hundreds Attend Wake Held For Slain NYPD Officer

New York City police officers attend the wake of their fellow NYPD officer.
Andrew Theodorakis Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 7:14 pm

Updated at 7:50 p.m. ET

Hundreds of police officers gathered in New York Friday for the wake of officer Rafael Ramos, one of two patrolmen who were killed last weekend. The gunman's motive may have included revenge for the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of authorities.

USA Today reports:

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Music Interviews
1:29 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Sam Baker: Finding Grace In The Wake Of Destruction

In 1986, a bomb planted by the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path exploded in the luggage rack above Sam Baker. Somehow, during his long recovery, songs focused on empathy started coming to him.

Originally broadcast May 6.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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