This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with a surprise announcement out of Russia. With the Sochi Olympics fast approaching, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised amnesty for up to 2,000 prisoners. He said he would pardon a crew of Greenpeace environmentalists as well as two members of the dissident punk band Pussy Riot.
The imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khordorkovsky, who will apparently be pardoned by Putin, has spent the last decade in Siberian prison camps, gulag light, he calls it, but the conditions are brutal. Susan Glasser covered Khordorkovsky in Moscow for the Washington Post at the height of his power and later corresponded with him while he was in prison for a lengthy profile in Foreign Policy magazine several years ago.
We've been hearing this week about a special relationship between many British people and something called the Shipping Forecast. It's a broadcast on BBC Radio of sea and weather conditions off the coast of the British Isles. Even landlubbers enjoy it each night before bed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, made a rare visit to the Central African Republic today. Its government was toppled earlier this year, and Muslim and Christian militias are now locked in a brutal fight. Samantha Power met with the country's new president and appealed for reconciliation to prevent further atrocities.
Right in the middle of holiday shopping season, some 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen in a major breach of Target customer data. The thefts occurred in stores, not online. Target says it's working with a forensics company to investigate and prevent similar data thefts from occurring in the future. Security experts say one way to limit them is to switch from magnetic stripes on cards to embedded chips.
The New York City Council is slated to vote on a bill today that would add electronic cigarettes to the city's smoking ban. If the bill passes, use of e-cigarettes would be prohibited from public and private venues such as beaches, parks, restaurants and offices.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:42 pm
Christmas is less than a week away and shoppers continue their quest for the perfect gift at the perfect price. But at one shop in a southwest Ohio mall, Roman Catholic friars are offering their presence for free.
Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:07 pm
Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday for his third visit this year to the hard-line Stalinist country, saying he will train the country's national basketball team and see his "friend," leader Kim Jong Un.
Much of the debate over whether and how to overhaul the country's immigration policy has hinged on whether and how to create a pathway to citizenship. But a majority of Latinos now say that's less important for unauthorized immigrants than giving them relief from the threat of deportation.