10:22pm

Sun December 18, 2011
Remembrances

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il Dies At 69

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:11 am

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a visit to Siberia in August. He died Saturday at age 69, according to state-run North Korean television.
Dmitry Astakhov AFP/Getty Images

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Il has died of apparent heart failure. He was 69.

In a "special broadcast" Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" during a "high-intensity field inspection" Saturday. It said an autopsy done Sunday "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.

Kim Jong Il wanted his successor to be his son, Kim Jong Un, who is believed to be in his late 20s. But there was no immediate word on a new leader in North Korea.

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7:55pm

Sun December 18, 2011
Faith and Values

Bar to a Church in Hazard

Workers helped with the transition from bar to church a few weeks ago.
Stu Johnson Weku

Conversion is a term most often associated with a religious transformation.  However, sometimes, a building can also undergo a conversion.  Recently, on a hillside in Hazard, a one time local drinking hole took on a more spiritual mission.  High atop a hill near the southeastern Kentucky community of Hazard,  sits Gospel Light Baptist Church.  But, before it became a church, the location was well-known as the Hillbilly Palace Bar.  Its conversion was brought about by Pastor Chris Fugate.

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7:47pm

Sun December 18, 2011
Lexington/Richmond

Occupy Through the Holidays

While protesters in other parts of the country have been asked to move along, ‘Occupy Lexington’ remains in position on a short stretch of sidewalk just off Main Street.  Members of the protest movement expect to be there throughout the holidays and well into 20-12.

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6:01pm

Sun December 18, 2011
The Impact of War

Report: High Levels Of 'Burnout' In U.S. Drone Pilots

Around 1,100 Air Force pilots fly remotely piloted aircraft – or drones. These planes soar over Iraq or Afghanistan but the pilots sit at military bases back in the United States.

A new Pentagon study shows that almost 30 percent of drone pilots surveyed suffer from what the military calls "burnout." It's the first time the military has tried to measure the psychological impact of waging a "remote-controlled war."

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6:01pm

Sun December 18, 2011
The Two-Way

Former Envoy To Iraq Says Situation Still 'Very Fragile'

Paul Bremer, former Head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, seen here in 2007, says he believes the U.S. pullout of Iraq is premature and that the country is still very fragile.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The war in Iraq is officially over and the last troops have pulled out of the country after a nearly nine-year long conflict.

Many of the architects and officials that were a part of the war are now looking back and reflecting on whether it was worth it, and if perhaps the ending of the war came too soon.

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4:30pm

Sun December 18, 2011

4:06pm

Sun December 18, 2011
Remembrances

Albright Remembers Havel As An Artist, Hero

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 6:32 pm

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, left, talks to Czech former President Vaclav Havel, right, at a conference in 2007. Albright remembers her friend as an artist, a jazz lover and as an inspiration to the Czech people.
Petr David Josek AP

Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright who led a revolution to bring down the country's communist regime, died Sunday morning at his weekend house in the northern Czech Republic. He was 75.

Havel's close friend, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, was born in Czechoslovakia. She says he fit right in the center of the modern history of Eastern Europe.

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3:00pm

Sun December 18, 2011
NPR Story

As War Ends, Iraqi Exile Looks Back

As troops withdraw from Iraq, it's a bittersweet day for Brandeis University Professor Kanan Makiya. On April 9, 2003, Makiya watched the fall of Baghdad on television from the Oval Office, alongside President George W. Bush. The former Iraqi exile was an outspoken critic of Saddam Hussein's crimes against the Iraqi people and had advised the President on the invasion of Iraq. Makiya tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz he believes the war was worth it for the Iraqi people — but perhaps not for the Americans.

1:52pm

Sun December 18, 2011
Politics

Run Against Gingrich? Cooter From 'Dukes' Did

Originally published on Sun December 18, 2011 6:32 pm

Supporters put together signs for Jones' campaign in 1994, an effort Jones describes as "quixotic."
Leita Cowart AP

With just a few weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich is leading the pack for the Republican presidential nomination.

Given the possibility that President Obama could be facing Gingrich in the campaign next fall, it seemed like a good time to check in with someone who has experience running against the former speaker of the House.

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10:58am

Sun December 18, 2011
Music Interviews

A TV Singing Star Champions The Pop Standard

After taking the top honor on America's Got Talent, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. has released his debut album, That's Life.
Courtesy of the artist

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. caught a lot of people off guard when he opened his mouth to sing at his televised audition for America's Got Talent. The dreadlocked former car-washer is 6'4" and in his late 30s, but when he belted the first notes of the pop standard "I've Got You Under My Skin" like a certain blue-eyed crooner, audiences and judges alike delightedly voiced their surprise.

Murphy's own social circle was harder to win over. He tells NPR's Guy Raz that at first, his family members laughed at the thought of him singing Sinatra.

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