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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Raúl Castro: U.S. And Cuba Can Have 'Civilized Relationship'

Cuba's President Raúl Castro speaks during the memorial service of former South African president Nelson Mandela.
Alexander Joe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 3:28 pm

Cuban President Raúl Castro says the U.S. and Cuba could have a "civilized relationship."

BBC Mundo reports that in a rare speech, Castro said that over the past year U.S. and Cuban officials have met to talk about immigration and restarting mail service between the two countries.

That proves, Castro said, that relations between the two counties could be civilized.

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Politics
9:46 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Pension Cut Angers Senate's Staunchest Military Supporters

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, is urging her Senate colleagues to change the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for current and future military retirees.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

In the two-year, $2 trillion budget deal that cleared the Senate last week, one item, worth just one-sixth of 1 percent of that total, was the reason many senators said they voted against it.

That item would produce some $6 billion in savings by shaving a percentage point off annual cost-of-living adjustments, and it would apply only to military pensions. Not all military pensions — just the retirement paid to veterans younger than 62.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Edgar M. Bronfman, Longtime Leader Of World Jewish Congress, Dies

Edgar Bronfman (center), president of the World Jewish Congress, meets with Swiss bankers about a historic agreement to pay victims of the Holocaust restitution.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 10:21 am

Edgar M. Bronfman, the former CEO of Seagrams and the philanthropist who led the charge as the leader of the World Jewish Congress to bring justice for victims of the Holocaust, died on Saturday.

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Africa
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

CAR Atrocities Must Be Answered, Says U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power

Samantha Power greets children on Thursday at a makeshift refugee camp in Central African Republic, where more than 40,000 people have found refuge from sectarian violence.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:56 am

The vicious sectarian violence in the Central African Republic continued last week as Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, visited on Thursday to make an appeal for peace.

It was a particularly significant trip for the ambassador: She began her career as a journalist and an activist, and was a vocal critic of the U.S. response to past atrocities and genocides.

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Around the Nation
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

A Big Helping Of Christmas Compassion At Joseph's House

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Joseph's House is a hospice in Washington, D.C., for people who don't have a home. Started in 1990, it's a spot where people with end-stage AIDS and cancer can come to receive food, shelter, medication and community. NPR's Rachel Martin checks in for the holidays.

Sports
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Are NFL Kickers Getting Better?

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Monday's game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Detroit Lions came down to the kicker. NPR's Rachel Martin and sports reporter Mike Pesca discuss the role of the NFL kicker and whether that job is getting more respect from fans and players.

Middle East
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

New Agreement Could Bring Democracy Back In Tunisia

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

A deal between the ruling Islamists and the secular opposition has opened a new path for Tunisia. NPR's Rachel Martin gets a post-Arab Spring update on the country from researcher Monica Marks.

Middle East
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Egypt's Turbulent Year

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

It was a year of turmoil in Egypt. After being democratically elected following Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was removed from power. The military-led government has since consolidated its power and cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood. NPR's Rachel Martin and foreign correspondent Leila Fadel review this year's tumultuous developments.

Around the Nation
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

'Bertha' Still Stuck In Her Tunnel Under Seattle

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The people of Seattle are puzzled by a mystery unfolding underground: the world's biggest tunneling machine is stuck about 75 feet under street level where it's digging a nearly two-mile-long highway right under downtown Seattle. As NPR's Martin Kaste reports, engineers say it'll take until January to figure out what is causing the block.

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Interviews
8:05 am
Sun December 22, 2013

What A Top Gun Learned On Her Way To The Top Of The Pentagon

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 12:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to hear now from the woman charged with streamlining the Pentagon's roughly $700 billion annual budget.

CHRISTINE FOX: We have to curb the growth of the compensation of our force. It's grown 40 percent above inflation over the last decade. And it's fully half of our budget. So, we have to slow the growth.

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