Policy

The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of 'Serial'

The thing about Serial and its endless rabbit holes is that no matter how you view the podcast, there's an endless supply of avenues you can explore and different conversations you can have.

New Era For Cuba? Voices From Miami And Havana

In Miami, home of the largest Cuban diaspora, two generations faced off on the streets. In Havana, demonstrators spoke of hope.

Morning Edition

With Sony Hack, Nation State Attacks Go From Quiet To Overt

U.S. intelligence officials claim that North Korea was centrally involved in the hack against Sony. That's major news in the world of cyberwarfare, where nation states typically make covert attacks.

Morning Edition

At An Isolated Camp, Iraqi Police Prep For A Showdown With ISIS

Iraqi security forces are training with the goal of reclaiming territory lost to the Islamic State. Police at a camp near the front line say such a battle would be personal.

Morning Edition

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out

Both Stephen Colbert and Craig Ferguson end their late-night TV shows this week. Colbert is getting a boatload of attention as he moves to succeed David Letterman, but Ferguson deserves some too.

Supreme Court Refuses To Block Arizona Driver's Licenses For 'Dreamers'

Arizona's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court failed to prevent the state from having to issue driving permits to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children.

S.C. Judge Says 1944 Execution Of 14-Year-Old Boy Was Wrong

In her ruling, Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen wrote that she found that "fundamental, Constitutional violations of due process exist in the 1944 prosecution of George Stinney, Jr."

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of confidential data has its origins in North Korea, U.S. intelligence officials say.

Satanist And Christian Holiday Displays To Go Up At Michigan Capitol

The situation has brought controversy — and energized Christians who realized that a planned Nativity scene was in danger of being canceled.

All Things Considered

Japan's Butter Shortage Whips Its Cake Makers Into A Frenzy

For the Japanese, Christmastime means sponge cake. But a nationwide butter shortage has led to mandatory butter rationing, forcing cake bakers to seek out substitutes.

A Stunning Shift In US-Cuban Relations

December 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Make Massachusetts’ Criminal Justice System A Model For The Nation

December 18, 2014
Pictured: Governor Deval Patrick meets with youth and community leaders at the Straight-Up Cafe in Worcester to discuss the impact of the Governor's Safe and Successful Youth Initiative (SSYI) in July, 2012. Patrick will convene a conference on prisoners' re-entry into society on December 18, 2014. (Eric Haynes/Governor's Office/Flickr)

Cut the the prison population in half by 2020 and end the unconscionable racial inequity in incarceration. And that’s just for starters.

Mixed Reaction Among Locals To Obama’s Cuba Announcement

December 17, 2014
Alberto Vasallo, of El Mundo newspaper in Boston, watches President Obama speak about his changes to U.S.' Cuba policy. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The Obama administration announced that it would change its policy and begin talks on normalizing relations between the two nations.

After Prisoner Release, Obama Announces Seismic Shift In U.S.-Cuba Relations

December 17, 2014

NPR’s Scott Horsley discusses the release of American Alan Gross and the policy changes coming to U.S.-Cuba relations.

In The Media: Torture By Any Other Name

December 17, 2014
A man crosses the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) logo in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on August 14, 2008. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

NPR’s David Folkenflik discusses how language choice in the media can frame the way we think about a subject.

Obama: U.S. Ending Outdated Approach To Cuba

December 17, 2014
President Barack Obama speaks to the nation about normalizing diplomatic relations the Cuba in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Doug Mills/Getty Images)

The president announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations as well as economic and travel ties with the communist island.

Pakistan School Attack: The Symbolism Is Unmistakable

December 17, 2014
The uncle and cousin of injured student Mohammad Baqair, center, comfort him as he mourns the death of his mother, who was a teacher at the school that was attacked by Taliban, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing more than 100, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (Mohammad Sajjad/AP)

The Pakistan Taliban intended to inflict as much damage as possible.

Barney Frank On Spending Bill Measure Rolling Back Key Dodd-Frank Provision

December 16, 2014
Rep. Barney Frank asks a question of Timothy Geithner as he testifies before the House Financial Services Committee, about the state of the international financial system, including regulatory issues relevant to the Dodd-Frank Act. (Alex Brandon/AP)

At issue is a rule that prevented federally insured banks from dealing in exotic and risky securities — the kind that blew up and played such a big role in the financial crisis.

Boston Presents Bid For 2024 Olympics In San Francisco

December 16, 2014
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh addresses an audience during an event held to generate public interest in a 2024 Olympics bid for the city of Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

Tuesday afternoon, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish and other members of the Boston 2024 executive bid committee made a pitch for why Boston should host the 2024 Olympics. They spoke to the U.S. Olympic Committee in California.

Insurers, Some States Extend Deadlines For Health Coverage

December 16, 2014
Jose Ramirez (left) and Mariana Silva speak with Yosmay Valdivia, an agent from Sunshine Life and Health Advisors, as they discuss plans available from the Affordable Care Act at a store setup in the Mall of the Americas on December 15, 2014 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Health insurers say they will give people more time to pay their premiums for health plans, and still have coverage start January 1st.

Where Will Protests Against Ferguson, Eric Garner Decisions Lead?

December 15, 2014
Protesters outside of the Massachusetts State House on Saturday, December 13, 2014. (Bruce Gellerman/WBUR)

Protests continued this weekend in Boston, where over 1,000 people rallied on the steps of the Statehouse. There were also protests in Harvard Square and outside the Brookline Police Department, where demonstrators staged a die-in.

Did This Congress Help Your Wallet Or Just Pass the Buck?

December 15, 2014
A member of the House of Representatives departs the US Capitol after a vote narrowly approving a $1.1 trillion, nine-month federal spending bill barely two hours before a midnight government shutdown deadline, December 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. The 219-206 vote followed a bruising day of arm-twisting by the White House after dozens of Democrats split with President Barack Obama over the legislation that funds most federal operations through September, the end of fiscal year 2015. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Tax reform, immigration, trade promotion and infrastructure rebuilding are big issues that await the next Congress in the new year.

Report Documents Abuse Of LGBT Community In Russia

December 15, 2014
Demonstrators march during a protest against a controversial anti-gay and blasphemy laws signed by the Russian president outside of the Russian Consulate in Thessaloniki on February 7, 2014. (Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images)

The group says a law approved by the Russian government in 2013 effectively legalized discrimination against Russia’s LGBT community.

The CIA Itself On The Senate's 'Torture Report'

December 15, 2014
CIA Director John Brennan during a news conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Brennan defending his agency from accusations in a Senate report that it used inhumane interrogation techniques against terrorist suspect with no security benefits to the nation.  (AP)

The CIA on the CIA. After the explosive Senate report, what the Agency’s own are saying on torture and the way forward.

Week In Review: Pipeline, Weld To Lobby, Homelessness In The $100 Billion City

December 12, 2014
Guest conductor, Mass. Governor-elect Charlie Baker, takes a bow after conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in "Sleigh Ride" during the 31st annual "A Company Christmas at Pops" at Symphony Hall in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. (AP)

The revised plan to build a natural gas pipeline through Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; former Gov. Bill Weld’s new job on Beacon Hill and the city’s growing homelessness problem.

Congress Set To Ease Rules On Derivatives

December 12, 2014
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. (AP)

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon personally called lawmakers to ask them to support the measure to loosen financial regulations.

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