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The Radio City Rockettes deal in precision, but the story of the group agreeing to perform at Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony next month is a bit of a mess.

At least some of the dance group didn't want to perform for the incoming president's celebration, but a string of messages between dancers, their union and the troupe's ownership group over the latter part of the week caused confusion for many. Ultimately, dancers will now be able to individually choose whether or not to perform on Inauguration Day.

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Arms Embargo On South Sudan Fails U.N. Vote

Dec 23, 2016

An arms embargo against South Sudan failed to gain traction with the U.N. Security council Friday, delivering a blow to efforts to halt fighting in the young nation.

The resolution, which also included targeted sanctions, fell two votes short of the mandatory nine needed for the body to adopt such measures. While, no permanent member of the council vetoed the proposed arms embargo, NPR's Michele Kelemen tells our newscast unit, prominent voices on the council, including Russia and Japan abstained from the vote.

Washington's national security establishment is not used to this kind of spotlight.

From time to time, the players in what Sen. John McCain calls the "military-industrial-congressional complex" are hailed as heroes, praised for their sacrifice or occasionally dinged in committee testimony and the odd think tank white paper.

Mostly, however, the defense world tends to operate in locked rooms, out of sight from nearly everyone but lobbyists and trade reporters.

The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution condemning construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, after the U.S. abstained from the vote rather than vetoing the resolution outright.

In explaining the U.S. abstention, Ambassador Samantha Power said the move doesn't signal diminished U.S. support for Israel; she later added that the continued construction of settlements "seriously undermines Israel's security."

Power said, "The United States has been sending the message that the settlements must stop, privately and publicly, for nearly five decades."

It started in Central Java, an Indonesian province east of Jakarta. Groups of youngsters stand by the side of the road, shouting and holding signs reading, "om telolet om!" — a phrase The Jakarta Post says loosely translates to "Driver, honk, driver!"

A video of children in the town of Jepara was posted on Facebook late last month and now has more than 2 million views. Many of the comments are along the lines of "it's a simple game, but it makes them happy."

So why are the kids clamoring for bus drivers to honk?

In the last days of the Obama administration, the federal government has reached multibillion-dollar settlements with Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse over their sale of toxic mortgage securities.

President-elect Donald Trump owes Deutsche Bank hundreds of millions of dollars in loans. So that deal removes a potential conflict of interest — where a Trump Justice Department would have been negotiating the settlement.

A Florida woman who petitioned the state for permission to keep her trained gator has received official approval — just in time for Christmas.

Mary Thorn of Lakeland, Fla., has been caring for Rambo for more than a decade, The Ledger newspaper reports. Rambo wears clothes and rides motorcycles and ATVs.

Twitter has a theory about Santa Claus — he might be a lot farther south than the North Pole.

The tweet that started it all came from an account dedicated to celebrating "everything NOLA." It featured a photo of Santa, holding a baby as he does, and a caption: "If you're from New Orleans 9/10 you got pic with this Santa."

One look at the responses makes it obvious that the caption was not at all an exaggeration.

Thousands of people have shared and replied to the tweet — as scores of New Orleans natives are posting their pictures on the same Santa's lap.

A man who police believe killed a 3-year-old boy in an apparent fit of road rage was arrested in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday night. The U.S. Marshals Service says Gary Eugene Holmes, 33, was taken into custody without incident.

NPR's national security correspondent Mary Louise Kelly sat down for a 52-minute interview Thursday with CIA Director John Brennan at CIA headquarters in northern Virginia. Kelly asked about Russian interference in the U.S. election, how the CIA views President-elect Donald Trump and the future of Syria. Brennan also shared some of his plans for his post-CIA life. (Hint: He won't be writing a spy thriller).

Russian President Vladimir Putin downplayed Donald Trump's tweet Thursday calling for the United States to expand its nuclear capabilities.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary here," Putin said, since the U.S. president-elect had advocated a stronger military throughout his election campaign.

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What began as a dispute over littering rapidly escalated into the arrest of a black woman and her two daughters Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas. The incident was captured on video and has sparked an internal affairs inquiry into the white police officer who forcefully arrested the women.

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The last rebels and civilians fleeing eastern Aleppo rode out of the city on Thursday night, bringing to an end a weeklong evacuation effort.

The departure of the remaining rebels amounted to a surrender. Forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad moved in to take control of the destroyed city sector that was rebel-held for four years.

The government's victory was secured after months of devastating airstrikes and assaults on the shrinking, besieged enclave. Negotiated cease-fires and attempts to provide humanitarian aid failed several times.

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"This year there's been one big home run and a lot of scratch singles." That's how Red Sox fan and editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, sums up the year-that-was in public health.

Last Christmas, my daughter, Iza, and I woke up to many presents under the Christmas tree. As we enjoyed our breakfast of omelets, sausages, cheese, fresh bread and fruit salad, I thought back to my childhood Christmases. I grew up as the sixth of 10 children in a village in rural Zimbabwe. We didn't have much, but I didn't feel that I was poor. My childhood story is still typical of many rural kids living in developing countries.

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Montana State Senator Ed Buttrey is a no-nonsense businessman from the central part of the state. Like a lot of Republicans, he's not a fan of the Affordable Care Act and its expansion of Medicaid, health insurance for the poor and disabled.

The turkey sits in golden splendor on the carving board. The cranberry sauce glows in its cut glass bowl. There's a large dish of Brussels sprouts, shiny with butter; stuffing flecked with sage; and heaps of crispy roast potatoes. But this is not a Thanksgiving feast. There is no green bean casserole, no mac 'n cheese and not a yam in sight. We've crossed the Atlantic, and this is the traditional Christmas dinner that Brits will sit down to on Dec. 25.

Updated at 11:05 a.m. ET

A flight within Libya was hijacked and diverted to Malta on Friday morning, where it landed with 118 people on board. After several hours, the passengers and crew were all evacuated and the two male hijackers surrendered, the Maltese prime minister says.

The hijackers were armed with a hand grenade and at least two pistols, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said at a press conference.

The passengers were released in waves, without any apparent violence.

For many Americans, Christmas-time baking is filled with the rich, familiar scents of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. But in Sweden, there's another spice that enters the December pantry pantheon — saffron.

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

A man being sought for the truck attack on a Berlin street market was shot and killed Friday by police in a suburb of the northern Italian city of Milan, according to Italy's interior minister.

There are around 12 million Catholics in China, less than 1 percent of China's population. It's a number that's felt at a weekday morning mass inside Shanghai's St. Peter's Church, where a small percentage of pew space is occupied by a few, mostly elderly loyal parishioners.

Leading Republicans in Congress have vowed that even if they repeal most of the Affordable Care Act early in 2017, a replacement won't hurt those now receiving benefits.

Ken Yeh thought his school was buying software to keep kids off of certain websites.

What he didn't know was that it could help identify a student who might be considering suicide.

Yeh is the technology director at a private K-12 school near Los Angeles. Three years ago, the school began buying Chromebook laptops for students to use in class and at home. That, Yeh says, raised concerns from parents about what they'd be used for, especially outside of school.

A New York art dealer has been arrested and charged with possessing and selling stolen artifacts from countries throughout Asia.

Nancy Wiener is accused of using her gallery in New York City, called Nancy Wiener Gallery, to "buy, smuggle, launder and sell millions of dollars' worth of antiquities stolen from Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, India, Pakistan, and Thailand," according to a complaint filed in Manhattan Criminal Court.

If you were to witness a bias-based attack or a hate crime, how would you respond?

It's something some activists are preparing some New Yorkers to be ready for, as reports of hate crimes in the city have increased since the election of Donald Trump. They are up 63 percent compared to the same period last year as of Dec. 14, according to the New York City Police Department.

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