NPR News

Parallels
7:36 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Why Does The U.S. Like Iraq's Kurds But Not Syria's?

Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters take up positions around the town of Gwer in northern Iraq on Sept. 18. The Kurdish militia is aligned with the U.S. in the battle against the Islamic State.
Mohamed Messara EPA/Landov

In Iraq, Kurdish militiamen fighting the group that calls itself the Islamic State are key American allies.

In Syria, some Kurdish fighters battling the very same Islamic State are considered part of a terrorist group, according to the U.S. government.

What gives?

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Tue September 23, 2014

New ISIS Video Released Of British Hostage

In this still image taken from the first video released by Al-Furqan, the media arm of the Islamic State group militants, captive British journalist John Cantlie speaks into the camera.
AP

The self-declared Islamic State has released the second video in a promised "lecture series" delivered by kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie.

"In this program, we will see how Western governments are hastily marching toward all-out war in Iraq and Syria without paying any heed to the lessons of the recent past," says Cantlie, who is seated at a desk and dressed in an orange jumpsuit similar to the one he was seen wearing in the first of the videos last week.

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Code Switch
6:16 am
Tue September 23, 2014

How Not To Handle A New Voice In TV

Shonda Rhimes, left, with Scandal star Kerry Washington at a 2012 press conference.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

This is what happens when voices that have normally been pushed to the background take center stage.

That's the reaction I usually offer these days whenever someone asks me about a race-based media firestorm – this time, in reference to the nuclear-sized backlash against New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley's bewildering commentary on Shonda Rhimes, one of the most successful showrunners in television history.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Airstrikes Move To Syria, Target More Than Just ISIS

A handout picture released by the U.S. Navy shows the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) launching a Tomahawk cruise missile against Islamic State targets in Syria on Tuesday.
Eric Garst/U.S. Navy/Handout EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 7:37 am

Updated at 9:30 a.m. ET

In a major escalation of the air campaign against Islamic extremist groups, for the first time the U.S. and five Arab allies jointly hit targets inside Syria.

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All Tech Considered
5:24 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi's Jammed Traffic

A traffic jam in Nairobi, Kenya. The city is the world's fourth-most congested, far worse than any in the U.S.
Din Haitao Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:42 am

Traffic in Nairobi is so mind-numbing it makes Los Angeles' Interstate 5 look like the Autobahn. Motorcycles squeeze between cars and trucks that practically park on major boulevards and highways. Street peddlers walk to and fro selling newspapers, flowers, air fresheners and children's toys to captive audiences. Roundabouts become cartoonishly clogged.

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Food
4:57 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Starbucks Tests Drink That Tastes Like Stout Beer

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:53 am

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

Food
4:48 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Rearchers Find New Species Of Mushrooms

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:17 am

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

Goats and Soda
3:29 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Ebola's Toll: Farmers Aren't Farming, Traders Aren't Trading

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 7:17 am

The Ebola outbreak is having a devastating effect on the economies of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, crippling major industries and forcing people out of work.

The three nations hardest hit by the virus are among the poorest on the African continent. Combined, their GDP is less than 3 percent of Nigeria's, the regional economic powerhouse.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

House Lawmakers To Hold Hearing On White House Security Issues

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:53 am

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

Middle East
3:04 am
Tue September 23, 2014

U.S., Allies Hit islamic State Targets In Syria

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:53 am

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

Shots - Health News
1:34 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Death Cuts Short The Life Of An Alzheimer's Research Volunteer

Justin McCowan poses for a portrait outside of his house in Santa Monica, Calif., on Aug. 14th.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:53 am

If you're a regular Shots reader or Morning Edition listener, you may remember a recent story about Justin McCowan, a man with Down syndrome who wanted to help researchers find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. McCowan died in his sleep on September 18 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 40.

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Mental Health
1:33 am
Tue September 23, 2014

As Run-Ins Rise, Police Take Crash Courses On Handling Mentally Ill

In this image taken from video on Jan. 15, police officers Edward Sarama (from left) and Robert McGuire try to talk to officer Matt Dougherty, who is pretending to be mentally ill, during a training simulation at Montgomery County Emergency Service in Norristown, Pa.
Michael Rubinkam AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 5:53 am

A number of high-profile police shootings, including that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last month, have led to increased scrutiny of police interactions with civilians.

One group that is disproportionately subject to police uses of force is people with mental illness. Many local departments hold special sessions to train officers about mental illness and how to help the people they interact with.

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Parallels
1:29 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Germany's New Economy Minister Takes Aim At Arms Exports

Germany is the world's third-largest exporter of arms, like this bazooka destined for northern Iraq, being packed up at a German military base on Thursday. The country's economy minister has held up hundreds of weapons exports since he took office in December, angering many in the defense industry.
Carsten Koall Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 7:33 am

Germany is the world's third-largest arms exporter and Sigmar Gabriel, the country's minister for economic affairs, is determined to move his country farther down that list.

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Shots - Health News
1:28 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Avoid The Rush! Some ERs Are Taking Appointments

Michael Granillo and his wife Sonia await treatment at an emergency room in Northridge, Calif.
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 4:09 am

Three times in one week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo returned to the emergency room of the Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Southern California, seeking relief from intense back pain. Each time, Granillo waited a little while and then left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.

"I was in so much pain, I wanted to be taken care of 'now,' " says Granillo. "I didn't want to sit and wait."

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

French Citizen Is Kidnapped In Algeria By Islamist Splinter Group

A Frenchman was kidnapped by an armed group in Algeria on Sunday, the French government said.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man was captured just hours after the Islamic State called on its followers to launch attacks against French citizens.

Eleanor filed this report for our Newscast Unit:

"A video released by a little known Islamist splinter group called the Caliphate Soldiers, shows the Frenchman sitting between two armed men with covered faces. He gives his name and age. He says he's a mountain guide who was taken hostage on Sunday.

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Parallels
4:59 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

India's Orbiter To Join NASA's Maven Around Mars – On A Shoestring

Scientists and engineers at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) monitor the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) in Bangalore, India on Sept. 15. MOM is expected to enter into Mars orbit on Wednesday.
Jagadeesh NV Landov

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 12:05 am

Anticipation is building in India over its rendezvous with Mars.

NASA erupted into cheers after confirmation Sunday night that its space probe MAVEN injected into the Martian orbit. NASA's success came two days ahead of a critical engine burn designed to place an Indian spacecraft around the Red Planet, in a project dubbed MOM, Mars Orbiter Mission.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Treasury Announces New Steps To Reduce Corporate Tax Dodges

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 5:17 pm

The U.S. Treasury announced steps on Monday to reduce the number of American companies who are dodging taxes by moving their parent companies overseas.

"These transactions erode the U.S. tax base, unfairly placing a larger burden on all other taxpayers, including small businesses and hardworking Americans," Treasury said in a statement.

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National Security
3:58 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Why Did Congress Kick The Can On Funding Islamic State Mission?

President Obama signs H.J. Res 124, which includes appropriations to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels. For now, the effort will be paid for from an account meant to wind down the war in Afghanistan.
Evan Vucci AP

President Obama now has the approval he sought from Congress to train and arm trusted Syrian rebel forces.

What he didn't get from Congress was the money to pay for the mission.

Lawmakers — who've skipped town for the campaign trail — also didn't approve any new money to pay for the broader air campaign against the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

So where will the money come from?

For a while, at least, combat in Iraq and Syria will probably be paid for from a special account meant to wind down the war in Afghanistan.

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The Salt
3:56 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

Within a day after chicks hatch, they are sorted by sex and shipped to farms. Some will be treated with antibiotics; others will not.
Dan Charles NPR

You know those foods and pills that promise to supply your body with "good bacteria?"

They may or may not make you healthier, but some of these "probiotics" do, in fact, appear to be effective in chickens. Poultry companies are turning to probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics, which have become increasingly controversial.

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Environment
3:40 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Calderon: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Create Carbon Tax

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon leads a group to encourage heads of state to propel climate change. He discusses the obstacles that block aggressive efforts to curb climate change.

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

Sports
3:00 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

With Dark Humor, Anger And Empathy, Women Respond To The NFL

A Ravens fan trades in her Ray Rice jersey Friday after he was cut from the team over allegations of domestic abuse.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 7:26 pm

As the National Football League scrambles to defend its actions in amid a series of domestic abuse allegations against players, some of its harshest critics have been women. Female fans are a key part of the league's business strategy — the NFL says that women make up 45 percent of its fan base — but they haven't reacted to the scandal with one voice.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Prosecutor Says White House Intruder Had 800 Rounds Of Ammunition In Car

A Secret Service police officer stands nears tourists outside the White House on Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 3:42 pm

The man who jumped a fence and made it past the White House's North Portico on Friday had 800 rounds of ammunition inside his vehicle, a prosecutor said on Monday.

Fox News reports:

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Goats and Soda
2:58 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Why A Teenage Mom Was Jailed In El Salvador After A Stillbirth

Christina Quintanilla looks out at the lake near her hometown of San Miguel in eastern El Salvador.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 7:20 am

Christina Quintanilla's nightmare with El Salvador's abortion law began on Oct. 26, 2004.

Quintanilla was 17 at the time, and seven months pregnant with her second child. She was living in her mother's apartment, and that night, she couldn't get comfortable. Her belly was bulging, her back was aching, and her stomach was upset.

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Shots - Health News
11:54 am
Mon September 22, 2014

In California, Less Water Means More West Nile Virus

Low water levels, like at this reservoir near Gustine, Calif., bring birds and mosquitoes together and help transmit West Nile virus to humans.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:20 am

California's historic drought is partly to blame for the recent rise in West Nile virus infections, public health officials say. There have been 311 cases reported so far, double the number of the same time last year, and the most of any state in the country.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. They contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread it to the birds they bite next. A shortage of water can accelerate this cycle.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Massive Volcanic Eruption Is Making Iceland Grow

A plane flies over the Bardarbunga volcano as it spews lava and smoke in southeast Iceland on Sept. 14. The Bardarbunga volcano system has been rocked by hundreds of tremors a day since mid-August, prompting fears the volcano could explode.
Bernard Meric AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:50 am

The tiny, island nation of Iceland is in the middle of a growth spurt. For the past month, the country's Bardarbunga volcano has been churning out lava at a prodigious rate. And the eruption shows no signs of abating.

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The Two-Way
10:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

3 Afghan Army Officers, Who Had Gone Missing, Detained At Canadian Border

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 12:53 pm

Update at 2:49 p.m. ET. Officers Found At Canadian Border:

After going missing over the weekend, three Afghan officers, who were being trained in the United States, were detained at the Canadian border, a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman.

The news was first reported by WCVB-TV's Karen Anderson. She reported that the men told customs agents at the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge that they were refugees.

The men, Anderson reports, will be sent back to the United States.

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The Protojournalist
9:24 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Hillary Exhilaration Helps Energize Generation Z

Supporters of Hillary Clinton wait as pro-Clinton volunteers hand out posters and bumper stickers at George Washington University in Washington on June 13.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:31 pm

Question young, first-time voters about whom they will be supporting in the 2016 presidential election — via a callout on NPR's Facebook page — and you will receive more than 700 all-over-the-map responses.

Some thoughtful, some insightful. And a heck of a lot filled with what can only be called Hillary Exhilaration.

Especially among the young women of Generation Z — cultural shorthand for the cohort born in the mid-'90s or later.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Largest Of Calif. Wildfires Destroys 10 Homes, Other Structures

Firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service clean up hot spots of the King fire in the El Dorado National Forest near Georgetown, Calif., late last week.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 12:11 pm

The so-called King Fire, one of several sweeping through parts of California, has destroyed 10 homes and 22 other buildings, fire officials say.

As of early Monday morning, crews had been able to contain about 18 percent of the fire, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire):

Sacramento's Capital Public Radio reports that more than 5,500 firefighters are battling the blaze.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Hong Kong Students Begin Boycott To Call For Democracy

Students and teachers attend a rally during the class boycott at the Chinese University of Hong Kong on Monday. Thousands of students have braved sweltering heat to demand greater democracy for the territory.
Tyrone Siu Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 11:05 am

Thousands of students in Hong Kong flooded a university campus in stifling heat today, starting a weeklong boycott of classes to protest Beijing's stance on electoral reform in the territory.

The Associated Press reports: "Dressed in white and wearing yellow ribbons, students from more than 20 universities and colleges packed into the grounds of picturesque, bay-side Chinese University where they were greeted by banners that said: 'The boycott must happen. Disobey and grasp your destiny.' "

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Mon September 22, 2014

NASA: MAVEN Spacecraft Safely Circling Mars

Artist concept of MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around Mars.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:44 am

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft conducted a 33-minute burn of its six main engines to ease into an orbit around Mars after a nearly yearlong, 442 million-mile voyage from Earth. The probe's mission is to study the red planet's atmosphere.

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