This year, Zoo Vienna welcomed Fu Bao, or "Happy Leopard." Madrid celebrated the birth of Xing Bao, or "Star Treasure." And in Washington, D.C., the arrival of Bao Bao, or "Precious Treasure," had panda fans glued to panda cams.
So the Republicans have their divide and though, in recent years, Democrats have appeared more united, they have their own schisms. These internal party politics will factor heavily in the elections of 2014. And in close elections, the party that manages its internal politics most successfully has an advantage at the polls. NPR's Mara Liasson joins us now. Hi, Mara.
For a lot of families, Christmas tree tradition spark household debate. For instance, tinsel or beads; white lights or multicolored; star or angel on top. And for some people, it's not how to decorate the tree. It is when to put it up, early or late, late being now, Christmas Eve. NPR's Martin Kaste falls into that last category.
MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Yes, I belong to that small and shrinking tribe. We're the ones lurking in the Christmas tree lots at the last possible moment. You guys shutting down already?
Decking a house in thousands of lights is one way to spread holiday spirit. It can also serve as an education in American culture. Ibby Caputo, of member station WGBH, took a tour of Christmas lights in Manchester, New Hampshire. She went with a group of global refugees.
IBBY CAPUTO, BYLINE: On a chilly winter evening, Amadou Hamady ushers people from all over the world onto a school bus.
This week, we bring you a special installment of the DJ Sessions: Christmas oldies.
This week, Mike Haile, who is more commonly known by his DJ moniker, â€śMike in the Morningâ€ť at WHMS in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, joins Here & Nowâ€™sÂ Jeremy HobsonÂ to share his favorite Christmas music and reflect on his many decades as a DJ.
This is a special session for Jeremy, who hails from Champaign-Urbana, and grew up listening to Mike in the morning.
David Schmitz was more than surprised when a local Des Moines, Iowa, radio show invited him to their studios. The program was in the habit of giving surprise Christmas gifts, but this was particularly special.
Schmitzâ€™s wife, Brenda, had died two years earlier at age 46 of ovarian cancer. She had instructed a friend to give a letter to the radio station once David fell in love again.
For most people, attending a concert is all about hearing the sounds of a live performance. But sign language interpreter Holly Maniatty makes concerts an experience for the hearing impaired too. She's worked with performers like Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Phish and the Wu Tang Clan.