The U.S. Senate wrapped up a tumultuous year of divided government with votes that keep the federal government funded through September and extend expiring unemployment benefits and a payroll tax cut another two months.
In a rare Saturday year-end session, the Senate's action averted a shutdown but was not the last word on the payroll tax cut extension.
Paroled U.S. activist Lori Berenson said Saturday that she and her toddler son were not permitted to leave Peru despite being granted permission in court to spend the holidays in New York with her family.
"They didn't let me leave and they're putting out this version that I arrived late," she said in a brief phone conversation with The Associated Press, referring to media reports citing unnamed airport officials.
Gadgets, like cell phone cameras and digital tablets, can turn almost anybody into some kind of amateur journalist. But writer Gwen Thompkins wonders when the amateurs will realize that what the professionals already know - recording an event often stops people from experiencing what's right in front of them.
Former Major League Baseball star Barry Bonds was sentenced to 30 days of house arrest and two years probation on Friday for his federal conviction of obstruction of justice. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
Military prosecutors say Army Pvt. Bradley Manning downloaded troves of secret documents from a computer station in Baghdad and passed them to Wikileaks. If investigators recommend that Manning face court martial, it could land him in prison for the rest of his life. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.
This week the Republican presidential hopefuls squared off in the last debate before the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd. There have been 16 debates this election cycle and the assertions have been flying.
We're joined now by Bill Adair, who is editor of the non-partisan fact-checking website PolitiFact.com, to look at some of the noteworthy half-truths, maybe outright falsehoods that may have been uttered.
With the Iraq war officially over and the pullout of U.S. forces nearly complete, host Scott Simon talks with Tom Ricks, author of The Best Defense blog, and Jon Lee Anderson from The New Yorker about the most influential turning points of the war.
Lots of comments came in this week about host Scott Simon's remembrance of Laura Nyro. We also heard from several Krampus revelers, who celebrate the Christmas Krampus, a horned, mythical kind of dark sidekick to Santa Claus. Host Scott Simon reads listener reaction to last week's program.