NPR News

The Salt
3:40 am
Sun August 31, 2014

The Salmon Cannon: Easier Than Shooting Fish Out Of A Barrel

Across Washington State, hydroelectric dams are blocking salmon as they migrate to their spawning grounds. Enter the salmon cannon.
Ingrid Taylar Flickr

Originally published on

Ever since rivers have been dammed, destroying the migration routes of salmon, humans have worked to create ways to help the fish return to their spawning grounds. We've built ladders and elevators; we've carried them by hand and transported them in trucks. Even helicopters have been used to fly fish upstream.

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Author Interviews
3:20 am
Sun August 31, 2014

'Why Not?' David Mitchell On Mixing Fantasy And Reality In 'Bone Clocks'

David Mitchell's previous books include The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Cloud Atlas.
Paul Stuart

The Bone Clocks is David Mitchell's newest book — he's best known for 2004's Cloud Atlas, which was made into a movie with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Mitchell's many fans have been eagerly waiting for this new one, hoping it would present the same kind of fascinating puzzles as Cloud Atlas, which featured a very complicated set of nesting plots.

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The Two-Way
9:43 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

U.S. Conducts Airstrikes Near Besieged Iraqi Town

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 9:44 pm

American forces have carried out airstrikes near the Iraqi town of Amerli, which has been under siege by Islamic militants for more than two months, multiple news outlets are reporting.

U.S., British, French and Australian aircraft also made aid drops to the area, where residents have been desperately short on food and without clean water for weeks.

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Goats and Soda
5:01 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Liberia's Ebola Routine: Wear Your Temperature On Your Lapel

Body collectors come to the home of four children in Monrovia who lost both parents to Ebola.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

After 10 days in Liberia, NPR producer Nicole Beemsterboer has just landed in London. "You don't realize how much has been hanging over your head until you're out," she says.

She's talking about Ebola, the virus raging in Liberia as well as Sierra Leone and Guinea. "It was silent and invisible," she says. "So you're always on edge, always careful."

How did you protect yourself?

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Animals
4:37 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark

Discovery Channel identifies the shark in this promotional image as the "Shark of Darkness." And in the "documentary" by that name, supposed scientists describe how this monster "submarine" shark is over 30 feet long. But submarine sharks aren't real, and the documentary is fake — an important fact critics say is easy to miss.
Chris Fallows Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 6:22 pm

This summer's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel was the highest-rated in the special's 27-year history. But that success has also brought complaints.

The network has been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with "documentaries" that advance dubious theories — or are entirely fake. Discovery Channel has aired specials about everything from mythical monster sharks in Louisiana's rivers to long-extinct Megalodons supposedly still swimming the seas.

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U.S.
3:29 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

One Woman's Lessons From Living On The Street

Susan sits on a park bench in Washington, D.C. She has struggled with homelessness for nearly two decades.
Gabrielle Emanuel NPR

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 4:37 pm

The grass is fraying around the edges in Washington, D.C.'s Franklin Square Park, but the trees are more important. They offer much-appreciated shade to the homeless people who sit below.

Many of the park benches are occupied by homeless men — but there are a few women too. Susan, sitting amid her bags in the park's northwest corner, is one of them. She's been on and off the streets of Washington since 1995 and asked that her last name not be used because she was in an abusive relationship and doesn't want her whereabouts known.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday.
L.G. Patterson AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 4:07 pm

Update at 6 p.m. ET

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted to an NFL team, has been released by the St. Louis Rams, the team has announced.

ESPN.com writes:

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

South Africa Condemns Apparent Coup In Lesotho

A member of the Lesotho military looks on as he stands guard in front of an armed personnel carrier at the entrance of the army barracks in the capital Maseru on Saturday. Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has accused the army of staging a coup.
Siphiwe Sibeko Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 2:26 pm

South Africa has condemned an apparent coup in Lesotho, an independent kingdom within its borders where the army appears to have seized power, driving out the prime minister. Lesotho's defense forces, however, have denied a takeover.

Lesotho's military seized two police stations Saturday as gunfire rang out in the capital of the mountainous kingdom. The military justified the move by saying that police planned to arm factions at an upcoming demonstration in the capital, Maseru. An army spokesman denied a coup and said the army had returned to the barracks.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Sat August 30, 2014

U.N. Peacekeepers Rescued After Being Trapped By Syrian Militants

Smoke rises near a Syrian flag hoisted up a flagpole as a result of the fighting between Syrian rebels and the Syrian Army over the control of Quneitra crossing, on Saturday. The area is where dozens of U.N. peacekeepers had been under siege by Nusra Front fighters.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:39 pm

Dozens of besieged United Nations peacekeepers were safely extracted after being surrounded for days on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

After rebels of the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front seized 44 Fijian peacekeepers on Thursday, they laid siege to two encampments of Filipino peacekeepers totaling more than 70 soldiers.

The rebels demanded the Filipino soldiers, part of the U.N. mission known as UNDOF, surrender their weapons, but the peacekeepers refused.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Nicaraguan Miners Trapped After Collapse

A miner after he was rescued at the El Comal gold and silver mine in Bonanza, Nicaragua, on Friday. A total of 26 were trapped after a collapse on Thursday.
Esteban Felix AP

Rescue workers in Nicaragua were trying to reach four trapped miners in the gold and silver mine in the country's south-central city of Bonanza, after 22 others were freed.

The Associated Press quotes the country's first lady Rosario Murillo as saying 20 of the miners were rescued on Friday, in addition to two others who escaped a collapse on Thursday.

The AP says:

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Animals
10:20 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Making Sure Those Walking Horses Aren't Hurting Horses

Trainer Jimmy McConnell of Shelbyville, Tenn., rides champion walking horse Watch It Now before a 2009 football game in Knoxville, Tenn. Celebrations of the breed's distinctive gait are a 75-year-old tradition, but animal rights activists say that for many of those decades, the walking horse industry has abused animals to get their knees even higher.
Wade Payne AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:53 am

In Shelbyville, Tenn., the Tennessee walking horse is an icon and a way of life. For 10 nights in August, thousands of fans cheer from their box seats as well-manicured horses prance around a dirt oval track.

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Politics
10:19 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:33 am

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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Code Switch
8:25 am
Sat August 30, 2014

How Are Different Asian-American Groups Faring Economically?

J.D. Hancock

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:54 am

The United States Department of Labor recently published a report with a detailed breakdown of the different economic outcomes that various Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Sat August 30, 2014

John Walker Jr., Cold War Spy For Soviets, Dies At 77

An Oct. 28, 1985 photo of John A. Walker Jr., being escorted by a federal marshal as he leaves the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, Md., enroute to a federal court in Baltimore. He was ultimately sentenced to life in prison on espionage charges.
Bob Daugherty AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:54 am

John A. Walker Jr., a former U.S. Navy officer convicted in the 1980s of running a spy network that for years passed classified communications to the Soviet Union, has died in federal prison at age 77.

Reuters writes:

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Poroshenko Says Ukraine Near To 'Full-Scale War'

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (left) and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso during a news conference after a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels on Saturday to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
Julien Warnand EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 4:56 pm

Update at 6:55 p.m. ET

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has told European Union foreign ministers that his country is "close to a point of no return," over Moscow's support for separatist rebels.

"I think that we are very close to the point of no return," he said at an EU meeting in Brussels, where he was invited to speak.

"Point of no return is full-scale war," he said.

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Commentary
5:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Why The British Allowed The Rotherham Abuse To Fester

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music News
5:47 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Taking The Tuba Above And Beyond The Low End

On a new record called Connections: Mind the Gap, tuba player Bob Stewart sums up his career with a showcase of the instrument's versatility.
Courtesy of the artist

On a hot, humid afternoon, Bob Stewart has called a rehearsal at his Harlem apartment. Six musicians are in a circle in the living room — on one side, trumpet and trombone; on the other, cello, viola and violin; and in the middle, the elephant in the room — Stewart's tuba.

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Middle East
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Fiancée Of Imprisoned Journalist Advocates For His Release

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 9:22 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

National Security
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

What No Strategy On The Islamic State Means For The Region

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 9:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Russian Incursion Continues In Ukraine

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:33 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

U.S. Open, Football's New Rules: The Week In Sports

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 9:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Medical Treatments
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

NIH Hopes Ebola Vaccine Will Help Protect Aid Workers

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 5:47 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Sports
5:31 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Bringing Ice Hockey To A Land With No Ice

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 9:26 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
3:12 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Results From Screening Tests Can Be High In Anxiety

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 6:03 am

For years I've had a patient who is a gym teacher. As you might expect, he's pretty fit. Well into his 60s, he can do an impressive number of pushups, as he demonstrated one morning in our exam room.

He surprised me in a different way at an appointment several months ago. He pulled out results from medical tests that he'd had done at his church. He and many of his fellow congregants had each paid about $150 for screening tests that they were told could see if they were at risk for strokes, clogged leg arteries and other problems.

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All Tech Considered
2:45 am
Sat August 30, 2014

Tech Week: Uber's Tricks, JPMorgan Hacked & A Desk Microwave

Uber's going the distance to try and crowd out its competition, like Lyft and its signature mustached vehicles.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 8:12 am

Each weekend, we look back on the tech week that was, which includes original content from NPR and the stories worth noting from across the Internet. Here we go...

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Shots - Health News
8:49 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics

Opponents and supporters of a law that restricts abortion in Texas rallied outside the Texas Capitol in Austin as the bill was debated in July 2013.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 11:41 am

A federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers. The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion — all in major cities.

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It's All Politics
6:44 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns To Avoid Being 'Distraction'

Jesse Benton, once a political strategist for Ron Paul, resigned as campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign manager has resigned, citing "inaccurate press accounts" about his role in past campaigns.

The scandal in question revolves around former Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson, who pleaded guilty Wednesday to hiding — and lying about — payments he received in 2012 to switch his endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-Rep. Ron Paul.

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Law
5:21 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Restrictions

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:40 pm

Regulations passed in Texas, which affected clinics that perform abortions there, were set to go into effect on Sept. 1. On Friday, a federal judge blocked those regulations, on the grounds that they unconstitutionally restricted access to legal abortion.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Governing
3:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria

President Obama says he agrees that Congress should have buy-in on military intervention against the Islamic State.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:40 pm

The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.

In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress authorized the White House to use military force — broad authority to strike against al-Qaida.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Chinese High-Rise Worker Left Dangling After Annoyed Boy Cuts Rope

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:41 pm

A worker in southern China was left hanging from 100 feet up the side of a high-rise apartment building when a 10-year-old boy, apparently annoyed at the construction racket outside his window, decided to cut the safety line on the man's rappelling apparatus.

Xinhua says the boy was watching cartoons in his eighth-floor apartment in Guizhou province as the worker was outside installing lighting. So, the boy took a knife and sliced through the rope that allows the worker to move up and down.

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