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Around the Nation
3:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In New York And Ferguson, Two Deaths, Two Different Responses

Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died on July 17 after being placed in a chokehold by police. His death sparked numerous protests, including a march scheduled for this Saturday. Here, Garner's sister Ellisha Flagg (center) leads demonstrators on a march toward the 120th Precinct on July 22, following a vigil demanding justice for her brother.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:46 pm

The deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of police have shocked the country this summer: Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by police in Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot by police in Ferguson, Mo.

Thousands of protesters will march in New York on Saturday to demand justice for Garner, and organizers say Brown's parents will speak at the rally. But while the two cases have some things in common, there are also key differences, including the way police in the local communities reacted.

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Race
3:25 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Obama's Reaction To Ferguson Raises Questions About President's Role

Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Ferguson, Mo., residents Angela Whitman (left) and Jill Richards on Wednesday at Drake's Place Restaurant about issues surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown.
J.B. Forbes MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:03 pm

Ferguson, Mo., has seen nearly two weeks of protests after an unarmed 18-year-old African-American man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. This week, a black leader stepped in to help defuse tensions. But it wasn't a civil rights spokesman or the first African-American president. It was Attorney General Eric Holder.

Some political observers are asking why Obama can't seem to speak for himself on race. Many observers argue that Holder often talks frankly about race when the president can't or won't.

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

For Obama, August Is The Cruelest Month

President Obama plays golf on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts on Thursday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:20 pm

President Obama returns to Washington this weekend after a two-week family vacation.

It wasn't exactly restful. The break was interrupted several times by events in Iraq and in Ferguson, Mo.

On Wednesday, Obama raised eyebrows by hitting the golf course, minutes after delivering a tough statement on the murder of an American journalist by militants from the Islamic State.

You know it's bad is when even the French are criticizing you for taking too much time off.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

A street market remains empty in Monrovia's West Point slum as part of quarantine measures to contain the spread of Ebola in Liberia.
Zoom Dosso AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:42 pm

In the shadows of West Africa's Ebola outbreak, food shortages are starting to develop.

This time of year is traditionally the lean season in West Africa, when last year's harvest of rice or groundnuts is mostly exhausted. Until recently, people were quite hopeful about the approaching harvest this year.

"The rainfall situation was very good," says Shukri Ahmed, a senior economist with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. "We were actually developing an optimistic forecast for crop production this year."

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Suicide Bombing In Iraq Kills Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Dozens of Sunnis attending a mosque for Friday prayers have been killed in a suicide attack in Iraq's eastern Diyala province — the latest sectarian violence to hit the deeply divided country.

The Associated Press says at least 64 people were killed in the suicide bombing, which was followed up by gunmen who attacked the mosque where Sunni tribesmen who had rebuffed cooperation with Islamic State militants were attending Friday prayers.

The BBC says:

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Men In America
2:43 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has 'Many Different Shades'

The Colorado Rush, a gay rugby team in Denver, at practice. "I've always thought of myself as ... the rugby player that happens to be gay," says Skyler Meyer. "I never want to be the gay man who happens to play rugby."
Luke Runyon KUNC

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:07 pm

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

Life as a gay man in the U.S. has changed in the past decade — the law and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have shifted. And those greater social and legal freedoms have also changed how some gay men choose to express their masculinity — and their femininity.

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Commentary
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Neither A 'Sissy' Nor A Saint: An Offer Of Priesthood Prompts A Coming Out

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

Latin America
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Out Of Tragedy, A New Brazilian Presidential Contender Emerges

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

Sports
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Little League Phenom Takes Her Exit, But The Series Goes On

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

Parallels
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Argentina Crisis Puts Focus On Role Of Distressed-Debt Funds

A woman in Buenos Aires walks with her dog past a mural that reads "Vultures" in Spanish. The mural is a reference to the dispute between the Argentine government and U.S. hedge funds.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:21 pm

The legal battle between Argentina and its creditors grinds on with no sign of a resolution anytime soon. The dispute pits the government against two New York hedge funds that specialize in buying distressed debt.

These hedge funds bought Argentina's bonds at fire-sale prices and now stand to make huge profits off the country's financial troubles. But they've encountered a lot of resistance from the government.

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Europe
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Russian Convoy Crosses Ukrainian Border, Prompting Outcry From West

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

Iraq
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

With Initial U.S. Airstrikes A Success, Will They Expand?

Peshmerga fighters inspect the remains of a car bearing an image of the trademark jihadist flag, after it was targeted by an American airstrike in the village of Baqouba, north of Mosul. The car reportedly belonged to Islamic State militants
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:41 pm

Pentagon officials announced still another U.S. airstrike in Iraq on Friday. Fighter and attack aircraft hit Islamic State armored vehicles and machine guns.

That makes nearly 100 U.S. bombing runs in the past few weeks, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said that enabled Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight the group — also known as ISIL — around two northern Iraqi cities.

"American airstrikes and American arms and assistance helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces blunt ISIL's advances around Irbil and helped the Iraqis retake and hold Mosul Dam," Hagel said.

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Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Sending A Message About Drug Use With A Fake Graveyard

Faux tombstones line a lawn in Medinah, Ill. It's a campaign to heighten awareness about an epidemic of heroin and pain pill overdoses — a prelude to International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:57 pm

In the suburbs of Chicago, a stark reminder of the toll of heroin and prescription-pill addiction is making the rounds as a lawn exhibit. One hundred fake tombstones and banners are set up at a new location every week as a precursor to International Overdose Awareness Day.

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NPR Story
1:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Legal Battle Could Prevent Opening Of Popular Utah Ski Mountain

The ski season at Park City Mountain Resort is now up in the air because of a protracted fight over the rights to the slopes. (Kimberly Brown-Azzarello/Flickr)

Park City, Utah, is best known for the famous Sundance Film Festival that it hosts every winter, as well as being home to one of the most popular ski resorts in the country: Park City Mountain Resort.

But the future of that mountain, and the 2014-2015 ski season, is now up in the air because of a protracted and very public fight over the rights to the slopes.

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NPR Story
1:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

As Kurdish Troops Fight Islamic Militants, Kurdish Media Goes Global

The United States has been drawn back into Iraq, and the pull this time is the Kurdish region.

There might be strategic, economic and humanitarian reasons for it, but one Iraqi Kurdish journalist says the media should take some credit for the world turning its attention to a once-ignored people.

Yerevan Saeed of the Irbil-based news outlet Rudaw, joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to explain why.

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NPR Story
1:52 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Yellen's Signals On Interest Rates Still Unclear

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen arrives for a dinner during the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium at the Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyo. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. (John Locher/AP)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke at an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, today and offered no clear sign the Fed would raise interest rates this year.

Yellen’s remarks were highly anticipated, as the economy and labor market improves. But disagreement among Fed officials is growing over fears the U.S. isn’t getting a handle on inflation before it becomes a problem.

Yellen said Friday that while unemployment has gone down, other economic indicators have been harder to evaluate.

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Interviews
1:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog Talks About Madmen And Caves In Interviews From 'Fresh Air' Archives

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Music
1:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Benjamin Booker Is Raw, Yet Disciplined On Debut Album

There's something about a rapidly strummed guitar chord followed quickly by an urgent vocal that is one definition of an effective rock song, and Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker thinks he's found quite a few examples of this on Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut album. The 25-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter has already served as an opening act on Jack White's recent tour, and he may be ready for headliner status.

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Shots - Health News
1:32 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

California Trees Nailed As The Source Of Mystery Infections

A false-color electron microscope image of the fungus Cryptococcus gatii, which can cause fatal illnesses in humans. The yellow areas are spores.
Microbial Pathogenesis/Duke University

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:45 pm

A fungus called Cryptococcus gattii can cause life-threatening infections, especially in people with compromised immune systems. One-third of AIDS-related deaths are thought to be caused by the fungus.

But though people in Southern California have been getting sick from C. gatti for years, nobody knew how.

Eucalyptus trees were a prime suspect, since they harbor the fungus in Australia. But even though eucalyptus trees grow like crazy in Southern California, the fungus hasn't been found on eucalyptus there.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

White House: Islamic State Has 'Gained Capacity' In Recent Months

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:24 pm

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes says the beheading of an American journalist by Islamic State militants this week is tantamount to a terrorist attack on the United States and that it comes as the al-Qaida-inspired extremist group has "gained capacity in the last several months."

In response to a question from a reporter at an afternoon briefing, Rhodes said the U.S. sees the killing of journalist James Foley "as an attack on America," adding that Washington is "moving heaven and earth to find and bring home American hostages" held captive in the region.

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National Security
12:33 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

First Rule Of This Fight Club: You Must Be A Veteran

Vance, who serves as a coach, founded the group after his own struggle with PTSD. He says it helped him get out of a dark place. He now has a degree in social work.
David Gilkey/NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:31 pm

About a dozen military veterans have locked themselves inside a caged boxing ring, in a rough part of San Diego, and they're starting to throw punches. It's therapeutic, they say.

"A lot of people say, 'You guys are punching each other in the face. How is that helpful?' " says Aaron Espinoza, a former Marine. "But it's a respect thing, it's mutual. I have to push him, he has to push me to get better."

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

'More That Could Have Been Done' To Help Foley, His Brother Says

Faulting the U.S. approach to dealing with hostage situations, Michael Foley says more could have been done to free his brother, American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by extremist group the Islamic State after being held captive since 2012.

From Yahoo News:

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Chinese Fighter Buzzed U.S. Navy Plane In 'Dangerous Intercept'

A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft takes off from Perth International Airport during the search for Malaysia Airlines MH370. The same general type of aircraft was involved in a "dangerous intercept" by a Chinese fighter jet earlier this week off Hainan island.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:25 pm

Update at 2:20 p.m. ET

A Chinese fighter jet conducted what is being describing as a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon in international waters off the island of Hainan in the South China Sea earlier this week, the Pentagon confirms.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Scientists Searching For Alien Air Pollution

In this artist's conception, the atmosphere of an Earthlike planet displays a brownish haze — the result of widespread pollution.
Christine Pulliam Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:18 pm

Air pollution is clogging the skies of our planet. Now one scientist thinks Earth may be just one of many polluted worlds — and that searching for extraterrestrial smog may actually be a good way to search for alien intelligence.

"People refer to 'little green men,' but ETs that are detected by this method should not be labeled as green," says Avi Loeb, an astronomer at Harvard University.

The idea of finding alien polluters may be a bit of a long shot, but Loeb says it's possible.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

On a bike made by Yerka, parts of the frame hinge open to form a locking bracket. Its designers say the bike can't be ridden if it's stolen.
Yerka

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:52 am

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks. Two projects — one based in Chile, another in Seattle — are promising to provide peace of mind without the fuss of carrying a separate lock.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Eggs, Milk And Ink: Venezuela Wants All Supermarket Shoppers Fingerprinted

Government-subsidized goods at a state-run market in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2012. Smuggling of cheap groceries into neighboring Colombia is so rampant that the government plans to fingerprint shoppers.
Fernando Llano AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:46 am

Attention Venezuelan shoppers: Please proceed to the supermarket checkout for fingerprinting.

That could be a reality if a plan announced earlier this week by the country's president, Nicolas Maduro, goes into effect.

The purpose? Combating shortages caused by rampant smuggling of subsidized food in Venezuela across the border into neighboring Colombia. Maduro says the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item.

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Goats and Soda
8:12 am
Fri August 22, 2014

In Riots Sparked By An Ebola Quarantine, A Teen Is Shot And Dies

Shakie Kamara lies on the ground with a bullet wound in his leg and cries for help.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:56 am

A teenage boy should not die from gunshot wounds to his legs.

But that was the fate of 15-year-old Shakie Kamara.

This week, people in the neighborhood of West Point were angry that they'd been quarantined — a government step to prevent the spread of Ebola to other parts of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. On Wednesday, crowds of protesters tried to get past the checkpoints.

Soldiers opened fire. Kamara was wounded.

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Who Owns A Monkey's Selfie? No One Can, U.S. Says

This 2011 image taken by a crested black macaque in Indonesia has ignited a debate over who owns the photo. The camera's owner says the image belongs to him. In its new manual, the U.S. Copyright Office disagrees.
David J Slater Caters News Agency/Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:48 am

The question of who owns a striking image taken by a crested black macaque may be closer to being settled, as the U.S. Copyright Office says the photo can't be copyrighted — by the person who owns the camera or by any other entity — because it wasn't taken by a human.

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Shots - Health News
7:16 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Insurers Refuse To Cover Some Contraceptives, Despite Health Law

The NuvaRing contraceptive ring can be used monthly to prevent pregnancy.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:15 am

How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut?

Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying.

People still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get birth control coverage they're entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Hamas Executes Suspected Informants After Deadly Israeli Strike

Palestinian mourners carry the body of three senior commanders of the Hamas military wing in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, after they were killed in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas executed more than a dozen people it says were spying for Israel.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 1:27 pm

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

One day after an Israeli airstrike killed three of its senior military leaders, Hamas says it has executed more than a dozen people in the Gaza Strip, after concluding that they had been spying for Israel.

A four-year-old Israeli boy was also reportedly killed in a mortar attack near the Gaza border.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Jackie Northam reports:

"Hamas confirmed that there were two separate rounds of executions in Gaza for people suspected of collaborating with Israel.

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