Remembrances
8:10 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Vaclav Havel, Leader Of The Velvet Revolution, Dies

Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright who led a revolution to bring down the country's communist regime, has died. During the communist era, Havel was one of Eastern Europe's foremost dissident writers and champion of human rights.

Havel died Sunday morning at his weekend house in the northern Czech Republic, his assistant Sabina Dancecova said. He was 75.

Read more
Europe
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

From Greek Crisis, A Call For Transparency Emerges

2011 has been a year of social and economic upheaval in Greece. In exchange for bailout money to stave off default, the government is imposing harsh austerity measures. Reporter Joanna Kakissis says the task is especially daunting because Greeks have lost all trust in their civic institutions.

Economy
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Economic Reality Of Marriage

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 11:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. In the intersection of love and marriage and divorce, there are romantic and economic considerations. This past week, NPR's Jennifer Ludden told us that fewer Americans are getting married; and when they do, they're taking longer to get down the aisle. NPR's Shankar Vedantam is working on the other half of the equation - when things go bad, divorce appears to be less of an option. Jennifer Ludden and Shankar Vedantam join me now. Welcome to the program.

Read more
The Impact of War
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

The Cost Of War, In Dollars And Lives

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 11:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Victory, defeat, stalemate - no matter how historians ultimately view America's involvement in Iraq, this much is clear: all wars are paid for with the coffers of a nation's treasury and with many, many lives. We're going to spend the next few minutes with experts on how much of both had been spent in Iraq. And we start with Todd Harrison. He's a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. I asked him what should be an easy question: how much has America spent to date on the war in Iraq.

Read more
Around the Nation
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Marking Of Historic Flood Rises From Irene Wreckage

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 11:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A Baptist church in Wilmington, Vermont is holding its first service today since Tropical Storm Irene flooded the town in late August. The New England village is still recovering from the flood, but Nancy Cohen from Vermont Public Radio reports cleanup crews made a discovery in the church that's bringing a message of hope.

Read more
U.S.
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Voting Rights: What's A Reasonable Requirement?

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 11:40 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This past week, the Obama administration took aim at a wave of new laws and policies they say will make it harder for some people to vote on Election Day. The state initiatives range from requiring voters to show government-issued I.D. to cutting back on early voting. Supporters of the laws, backed mostly by Republicans, say they are meant to reduce voter fraud. But critics, backed by Democrats, say the measures disproportionately, perhaps intentionally, affect minority voters, a group that supported Barack Obama in 2008.

Read more
Science
7:00 am
Sun December 18, 2011

'The Onion' Of Medical Journals Pokes Fun At Studies

For the past 13 years, North America's medical community has had its own version of The Onion. The Canadian Medical Association Journal's "Holiday Reading" segment in its December issue brings satire and spoofing to its medical studies, with some unintended consequences. Host Audie Cornish talks with Barbara Sibbald, editor of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Europe
6:49 am
Sun December 18, 2011

'Accessible To All': Spain Puts Hope In Holiday Lottery

A man holds a Christmas 'El Gordo' lottery ticket he is hoping to sell in November in Madrid, Spain. It's a tradition for many people in Spain to buy tickets for the annual lottery, the largest of the year.
Denis Doyle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 1:04 pm

Despite the cold and the rain, about 1,000 people stand in line outside a lottery kiosk in Spain. Pawn brokers walk up and down, offering cash for gold.

Among those in the long line is Bartolo Rivas. In this dismal economy, he says he doesn't have a job, but he does have the "help." The "help" is about $520 a month in unemployment, part of which he's spending on lottery tickets.

Read more
Leaving Iraq
6:43 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Time To 'Heal' As U.S. Troops Leave Iraq

The "end of days," as soldiers were calling it, started at Contingency Operating Base Adder in southern Iraq. The base was the main staging ground for all U.S. troops exiting the country, and it was the last U.S. base to close.

There were a lot of lasts at COB Adder: the last signing ceremony, formally handing the last base over to the Iraqi government, the last briefing, the last patrol, the last hot meal.

The final convoy from the base left Iraq and crossed the border into Kuwait at dawn Sunday.

A 'Difficult Undertaking'

Read more
History
5:16 am
Sun December 18, 2011

Finders Not Keepers: Yale Returns Artifacts To Peru

Musicians perform at the inaugural ceremony of the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture — a partnership between Yale University and The National University of San Antonio Abad in Cuzco.
Tim Moran

Originally published on Sun January 1, 2012 9:53 am

High in the Andes Mountains, Peruvians have been lining up to see a collection of antiquities that have finally returned home. The objects from the Inca site of Machu Picchu spent the past 100 years at Yale University in Connecticut, where they were at the center of a long-running international custody battle.

Now, the university is giving back thousands of ceramics, jewelry and human bones from the Peabody Museum in New Haven to the International Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture.

Read more

Pages