NPR News

The Two-Way
7:58 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Professional Wrestling World Mourns Longtime Star 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, clad in his trademark kilt, speaks in 2009 at the WrestleMania 25th anniversary press conference at Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Piper fought in the main bout at the first WrestleMania in 1985, losing a tag-team match to Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:05 pm

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, a premier wrestler in the now-WWE during the 1980s and 1990s who fought Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event at the first WrestleMania in 1985, has died, the company reports.

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Law
4:37 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Juvenile Justice System Failing Native Americans, Studies Show

Sgt. Barbara Johnson and Corrections Lt. Robbin Preston run the Tuba City Juvenile Detention Center on the Navajo Nation.
Laurel Morales NPR

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

State courts are twice as likely to incarcerate Native teens for minor crimes such as truancy and alcohol use than any other racial and ethnic group, according to the Tribal Law and Policy Institute. And juvenile detention facilities around the country have a disproportionately high number of Native American youth, according to an Indian Law and Order Commission report.

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Goats and Soda
4:37 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Ebola Vaccine Hailed As 'Game Changer' In Fight Against The Virus

A woman receives the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine at a clinical trial in Conakry, Guinea. The vaccine appears effective after only one shot.
Cellou Binani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Doctors Without Borders is calling it a "champagne moment." The World Health Organization says it's a "game changer."

In a small trial, an experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of participants who were at high risk for the virus. Although the results are preliminary, they offer new hope of finally stamping out the virus in West Africa — and preventing the next epidemic.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Zimbabwe Official Calls For Extradition Of American Lion Hunter Walter Palmer

Zimbabwe is seeking the extradition of Walter Palmer, the American dentist who killed a famous lion named Cecil, which was being tracked in a university study.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Decades Of Limbo Ends For Some Indians, Bangladeshis Along Border

At the stroke of midnight, tens of thousands of Indians and Bangladeshis living near the border between the two countries got their own country for the first time in 70 years.

As part of an agreement between the two nations, the fate of just under 15,000 people living in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India and more than 37,000 in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh has finally been determined. Most will stay where they are, but change their nationality. Some are moving, and some of them are leaving behind family members.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton Releases 8 Years Of Tax Returns

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Iowa earlier this week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:16 pm

This post was updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton released eight years worth of tax returns Friday, showing that she and her husband Bill Clinton earned $139 million since 2007. They paid nearly $44 million in federal taxes during that period. The couple's effective federal tax rate ranged from 25 percent in 2007 to 36 percent last year.

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Music Interviews
3:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

What Does It Mean To Be A Child Prodigy In Jazz?

Joey Alexander, 12, recently released his debut album.
Rebecca Meek Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

What do Mozart, Herbie Hancock and Michael Jackson have in common? For one, their musical talent was discovered early — they were all considered child prodigies.

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NPR Ed
2:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

The Plan To Give Pell Grants To Prisoners

Education Secretary Arne Duncan (second from left) speaks with inmate Terrell Johnson, a participant in the Goucher College Prison Education Partnership.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a rare joint appearance on Friday — in prison.

They visited a state-run facility in Jessup, Md., to announce a new plan meant to help some of the 700,000 inmates who are released each year.

It's a pilot program to give prisoners access to federal Pell Grants that would pay for college classes behind bars.

"The cost-benefit of this does not take a math genius to figure out," Duncan said. "We lock folks up here, $35-40,000 every single year. A Pell Grant is less than $6,000 each year."

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Europe
2:36 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

As Migrants Attempt Trip To The U.K., Many Who Make It Are Minors

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Law
2:28 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Justice Report Accuses St. Louis County Family Court Of Racial Bias

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 5:53 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Pesticide Drift Threatens Organic Farms

Organic farmer Margot McMillen holds a grape leaf damaged by pesticide drift on her farm, Terra Bella Farm, in central Missouri.
Kristofor Husted Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:45 pm

Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don't plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers.

"We've traditionally raised about an acre and a half of pretty intensively managed produce, so it's a very productive acre and a half," Eric Reuter says.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Alan Cheuse, Novelist And Longtime NPR Contributor, Dies At 75

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 3:10 pm

Alan Cheuse, the novelist, teacher and longtime literary commentator for NPR, has died at the age of 75. His daughter, Sonya, confirmed that he died Friday of injuries sustained in a car accident in California two weeks ago.

"On behalf of the family, we are in deep grief at the loss of our beloved father, husband and grandfather," Sonya Cheuse told NPR. "He was the brightest light in our family. He will always remain in our hearts. We thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support."

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

U.K. Officials Instructed To Grant Ai Weiwei's Original U.K. Visa Request

Ai Weiwei's original application for a six-month business visa was denied.
Miguel Villagran Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 3:20 pm

Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who was originally granted only a 20-day visa to visit Britain, will now receive the six-month visa he applied for. A spokesperson for the U.K. Home Office explains that the head of the department, Theresa May, was not consulted over the staff's decision to allow only a shorter stay.

"She has reviewed the case and has now instructed Home Office officials to issue a full six-month visa," the spokesperson says. "We have written to Mr. Ai apologizing for the inconvenience caused."

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Judge Says Virginia Can Refuse To Issue Confederate License Plates

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:55 pm

Close on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that granted Texas the right to refuse to issue Confederate-themed license plates, a federal judge has effectively vacated a state injunction in Virginia that kept officials there from similarly blocking such plates.

Judge Jackson L. Kiser will issue a separate written order on whether the 1,700 Confederate license plates that have already been issued can be recalled by the state.

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It's All Politics
1:19 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Doctor Says She's Healthy Enough To Be President

In a health care statement released Friday, a New York doctor wrote that Hillary Clinton "is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States."
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:21 pm

The State Department's latest dump of Hillary Clinton's emails may dominate the news cycle in the coming days, but her campaign also released another crucial document on Friday — a clean bill of health for the Democratic front-runner.

The confirmation comes from Lisa Bardack, a New York-based doctor who has been Clinton's physician since 2001. In a letter, she declares Clinton "a healthy-appearing female," saying that Clinton exercises regularly, eats plenty of vegetables and fruits, doesn't smoke, and "drinks alcohol only occasionally."

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

GOP 2016 Hopefuls Race To Qualify, Prep For First Debate

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters at a South Carolina campaign rally in Bluffton, S.C., on July 21, 2015. (Stephen B. Morton/AP)

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:16 pm

This week in presidential politics, Donald Trump stayed out in front of a crowded Republican field. That field also got more crowded.

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore announced his candidacy, the 17th Republican do so. The first Republican debate is coming up next week in Cleveland. Who will be allowed on the main stage?

Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton outlined an ambitious plan to fight climate change, which critics say is flawed. She also called for the end of the Cuba embargo.

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NPR Story
12:24 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Puerto Rico Nears Default As Deadline Looms

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:45 am

Puerto Rico is heading toward a default on Saturday, just weeks after Gov. Alejandro García Padilla in June told investors that the island’s $72 billion in debt was unpayable.

The expected default over the weekend paves the way for a big fight with investors over what will be done with the country’s debt.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Cardiff Garcia of the Financial Times about what’s in store for Puerto Rico’s financial future.

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NPR Story
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Social Media Buzz: Killing Of Cecil The Lion Provokes Outrage Online

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:14 pm

Since it was revealed that Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil the lion, social media has been excoriating Palmer. The web site for his dental practice has been taken down and the hashtag #WalterPalmer is rife with threats and insults.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young takes a look at how the Internet response has been playing out with Julia Turner of Slate – from the targeting of Palmer, to the backlash against targeting Palmer and the debates it has engendered online.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Dylann Roof Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Hate Crime Charges

Dylann Roof, 21, charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in June, listens during court proceedings earlier this month.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 2:01 pm

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

A judge entered pleas of not guilty to 33 federal hate crime counts against Dylann Roof, the white suspect accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston, S.C., last month.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Marine Version Of F-35 Deemed 'Combat Ready'

A Marine Corps F-35B Joint Strike Fighter does a short takeoff (STOVL) from Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., in 2011. Eighteen years after development began, a version of the plane designed for the Marine Corps is expected to be deemed "combat ready."
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:15 pm

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Eighteen years and nearly $400 billion since engineers begin outlining the initial concept, a small squadron of F-35B Lightning IIs has finally been declared ready to fight.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Fri July 31, 2015

#NPRReads: Considering The Language Of Wine And What's In A Toddler's Mouth

A piece by conceptual artist Lenka Clayton called "63 Objects Taken from My Son's Mouth."
cupofjo.com

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:59 am

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From NPR producer Sarah Handel:

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Goats and Soda
10:54 am
Fri July 31, 2015

She Owes Her Activism To A Brave Mom, The ADA And Chocolate Cake

Using a digital device that displays Braille characters, Haben Girma talks with President Obama at a White House ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
White House photo/Courtesy of Haben Girma

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 1:34 pm

To Haben Girma's grandmother, back in East Africa, it "seemed like magic." Her granddaughter, born deaf and blind, is a graduate of Harvard Law School and works as a civil rights attorney.

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Shots - Health News
10:49 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Toxic Lead Contaminates Some Traditional Ayurvedic Medicines

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:49 pm

Nisha Saini has been practicing an Indian traditional health form called Ayurveda for more than 16 years. She runs a small alternative health center in Manhattan called New York Ayurveda, where customers can get massages and dietary advice. Over the counter, Saini sells an extensive array of traditional remedies concocted from herbs and spices. But there's one kind of Ayurvedic medicine she doesn't sell.

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It's All Politics
10:43 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Despite High Expectations, Sentencing Reform Proposals Still On Ice

Expectations for movement on justice reform had been high, but sources tell NPR that concrete language on sentencing and criminal justice overhauls is still being hotly debated behind closed doors.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 12:20 pm

Advocates and inmates working to overhaul the criminal justice system will have to wait at least a little longer for congressional action.

The Republican leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, said he won't hold a public event on sentencing reform proposals until after the August recess, as language is still being drafted by a bipartisan working group. And in the U.S. House, lawmakers and their aides will spend at least the next five weeks making adjustments to a sweeping bill sponsored by 40 Democrats and Republicans, sources told NPR Friday.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Arson Attack That Killed Toddler In West Bank Is Called Terrorism

A Palestinian man mourns alongside the body of a one-and-a-half year old boy, Ali Dawabsheh, during his funeral in Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus on Friday.
Majdi Mohammed AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:07 am

An arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy was being condemned widely on Friday, but the Palestinian Liberation Organization is putting the blame on the Israeli government.

The attack happened in the early morning hours of Friday when perpetrators firebombed a house in the village of Duma. According to the BBC, the perpetrators left behind some graffiti in Hebrew. On one wall, the Star of David was drawn right next to the word "revenge."

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Parallels
9:05 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Death Of Beloved Lion Heats Up Criticism Of Big Game Hunting

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 11:59 am

The killing of Cecil, a Zimbabwean lion, by a dentist from Minnesota has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting. It's a thriving industry, with more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri July 31, 2015

In Report, Justice Accuses St. Louis County Family Court Of Racial Bias

In a scathing 60-page report, the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division says the St. Louis County Family Court has engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the constitutional rights of children caught up in the juvenile justice system.

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Shots - Health News
8:06 am
Fri July 31, 2015

More Previously Uninsured Californians Got Coverage Under Obamacare

Enrollment counselor Vue Yang (left) reviews health insurance options for Laura San Nicolas (center), accompanied by her daughter, Geena, 17, at Sacramento Covered in Sacramento, Calif., in February.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Just over two-thirds of Californians who did not have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act went into full effect in 2014 are now covered, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The newly insured are much less likely to say that paying for health care is a problem, compared to when they were uninsured.

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The Two-Way
7:22 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Tonight, Look For A Rare (But Not Quite Blue) Moon

People are silhouetted against a nearly full moon as they ride an attraction at Worlds of Fun amusement park Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. July 31 marks the second full moon of the month, a rare occurrence that has come to be known as a "blue moon."
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 10:34 am

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Get ready for a very rare event tonight — a blue moon.

But don't expect to see a new hue. A blue moon, at least according to the modern definition of the term, has nothing to do with color. It simply means a second full moon in the same calendar month.

As NASA explains in the video above: "Most blue moons appear pale gray and white, just like the moon you've seen on any other night."

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NPR Ed
7:03 am
Fri July 31, 2015

Measuring The Power Of A Prison Education

White House staff walk into the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Okla.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 9:15 am

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

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