Linking sports and the Christmas spirit is a true challenge, says commentator Frank Deford. "The idea of sports is to beat the other fellow," he says, "while the idea of Christmas is to be giving."
The deadly virus has cast a shadow over the country. Nonetheless, many Liberians are determined to have a happy Christmas and a hopeful new year.
Syria's civil war is still raging with no end in sight. But Bashar Assad remains entrenched in Damascus and many argue his position improved over the year as the U.S. began bombing the Islamic State.
Commercial airlines earned nearly $20 billion in profits this year. They're using the cash to buy new planes, update facilities and add amenities — but not all of those new comforts will be free.
Inmates in the U.S. have a high rate of infection with chronic hepatitis C — up to 35 percent or more by some estimates. New drugs introduced this year can cure the disease quickly, but at a cost.
Mayor Bill de Blasio asked people to wait until after the funerals of two officers who were killed on Saturday. Activists say their protests against police brutality aren't linked to the deaths.
The ruble has lost about a third of its value against the dollar. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Wall Street Journal Moscow Chief Greg White about Russia's deep recession.
North Korea's nationwide outage, which came after President Obama promised a response for the Sony hack, was not likely caused by the U.S., Internet analyst Doug Madory tells NPR's Audie Cornish.
Pope Francis gave a harsh Christmas speech this week, diagnosing the Vatican leadership with "spiritual Alzheimers." Vatican watcher Rocco Palmo tells NPR's Audie Cornish about the pope's message.
NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Bev Gooden, creator of the hashtag #whyIstayed. The hashtag took off in September after the Ray Rice scandal, when many asked why women stay in abusive relationships.