NPR News

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 ASSOCIATED PRESS

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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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 3:43 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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Men In America
2:54 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

'I Am Not An Inmate ... I Am A Man. And I Have Potential'

Dan Huff rests after a long day's work. He spent much of his life incarcerated in the California prison system. Now, he lives in drug- and alcohol-free transitional housing in Portland, Ore.
Beth Nakamura for NPR

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

If you want to know how prison can shape a man, talk to Dan Huff. He's spent more than half of his 59 years locked up. He says he was "raised by the state of California."

"Even judges, when they would send me away — looking back at it now — they [were] kind of more like a father figure sitting up there," he says. "Closer to fatherly than any father that I ever had."

Those judges had plenty of reason to be concerned about him: Huff used heroin. He committed robberies.

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Governing
2:48 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney with the Lakota People's Law Project, is calling for a turnaround of child welfare and foster care systems.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:39 pm

The Justice Department has weighed in on a class-action lawsuit in South Dakota pitting Native American tribes against state officials, and come down resoundingly in support of tribes.

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Education
2:44 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

New Orleans Enters The Charter School Era

Ninth-graders at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy learn to shake hands and greet each other during the first day of school in New Orleans.
Kainaz Amaria

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:37 pm

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.

Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.

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Middle East
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Spectacle Of The Beheading: A Grisly Act With A Long History

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 3:39 pm

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

Sports
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

NFL Commissioner On Controversial Suspension: 'I Didn't Get It Right'

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:29 pm

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

Europe
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Residents Join Soldiers In Shoring Up Defenses Of Key Ukrainian Port

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:07 pm

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

Around the Nation
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

On Ferguson's Streets, Echoes Of Another Fatal Shooting

A memorial at the site where Michael Brown was shot, on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo.
Myles Bess Youth Radio

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:53 pm

Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant.

I was 14 years old when Oscar Grant was killed just a few miles from where I live. Grant was unarmed and lying facedown on the BART platform when a transit cop shot him in the back.

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Politics
2:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Florida Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:20 pm

Florida is getting ready for an unusual governor's race. Like incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican, Charlie Crist is running for a second term as governor. In his first term, Crist was also a Republican.

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Goats and Soda
1:30 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

The Co-Discoverer Of Ebola Never Imagined An Outbreak Like This

Peter Piot was one of the co-discoverers of the Ebola virus in 1976. "I never thought we would see such a devastating and vast epidemic," he says.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

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

As a young scientist in Belgium, Peter Piot was part of a team that discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.

He took his first trip to Africa to investigate this mysterious disease. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, he met people who had contracted it. "I'll never forget the glazed eyes, the staring and the pain ... this type of expression in the eyes ... telling me I'm going to die," says Piot. "That I'll never forget."

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Holiday Gas Prices Lowest In Four Years

A graphic produced by Gasbuddy.com shows regional variation of gas prices.
GasBuddy.com via USEIA

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:52 pm

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

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Goats and Soda
1:22 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Study: Kids In Orphanages Can Do As Well As Those In Foster Care

A woman walks with children at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Policymakers have long called for orphans to be taken out of institutions and placed with foster families, but one study from Duke University is challenging that notion.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:22 pm

"Please, sir, I want some more," Oliver Twist famously asked in the food line at an orphanage.

Instead he got a blow to the head with a ladle.

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Shots - Health News
1:20 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

An App Can Reveal When Withdrawal Tremors Are Real

He's working; really, he is.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:09 pm

People who abuse alcohol sometimes try to fake the hand tremors caused by withdrawal to get a prescription for sedatives.

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It's All Politics
12:46 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Texas Voter ID Law Goes To Trial

A voter in Austin, Texas, shows his photo identification to an election official in February.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:06 pm

Dozens of lawyers will gather in a federal courtroom in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Tuesday for the start of a new challenge to the state's controversial voter ID law.

The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, but it's unlikely to be the end of what's already been a long, convoluted journey for the Texas law — and many others like it.

First, some background:

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Shots - Health News
11:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Experimental Drug Saves Monkeys Stricken With Ebola

A Public Health Agency of Canada worker seen inside the National Microbiology Laboratory's Level 4 lab in Winnipeg.
Public Health Agency of Canada/Nature

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:29 pm

Scientists are reporting strong evidence that the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp may be effective for treating victims of the devastating disease.

A study involving 18 rhesus macaque monkeys, published Friday in the journal Nature, found that the drug saved 100 percent of the animals even if they didn't receive the drug until five days after they had been infected. The study is the first to test ZMapp in a primate, which is considered a good model for how a drug might work in humans.

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Parallels
11:22 am
Fri August 29, 2014

With Homegrown Technology, Israel Becomes Leading Arms Exporter

An Israeli soldier launches a drone that's attached to a military vehicle in southern Israel, not far from the border with the Gaza Strip, on July 29. Israel was a pioneer with drones and has developed a number of military technologies that it later sells abroad.
Jim Hollander EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:29 pm

One byproduct of the recurring battles between Israel and its Arab neighbors is that Israel has developed a homegrown weapons industry that addresses its very specific needs.

Over the decades, this has included a number of cutting-edge technologies, from drones to night-vision equipment, which have been widely exported.

A more recent example is the Iron Dome, which was used throughout the latest conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The mobile missile defense system is capable of stopping short-range rockets from places like Gaza, the West Bank and southern Lebanon.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

The Most Bizarre Bits To Come Out Of The Trial Of Virginia's Ex-Governor

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell arrives at federal court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:24 pm

The trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife went into closing arguments today. At issue are serious allegations of corruption, but the trial has also unveiled seriously strange details about the McDonnells' personal life.

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Malaysia Airlines Cuts A Third Of Its Workforce After Steep Losses

A Malaysia Airlines crew member inspects an airplane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. The carrier announced it was laying off a third of its workforce amid steep financial losses.
Azhar Rahim EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:14 am

For Malaysia Airlines, the tragic loss of two of its aircraft with all passengers and crew in recent months has hardly been the extent of its problems: On Thursday, the carrier announced a steep quarterly loss, and today came word that it is cutting nearly a third of its workforce.

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Goats and Soda
9:28 am
Fri August 29, 2014

A Peace Corps Stint In Madagascar Gave Him A Vision Of Vanilla

The orchids that produce vanilla beans have no natural pollinators in Madagascar; the plant must be pollinated by hand — a labor-intensive process with little margin for error.
Courtesy of Madécasse

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:45 pm

Madagascar-grown orchids produce most of the world's vanilla beans, but vanilla extract isn't manufactured in country. Former Peace Corps volunteers-turned-entrepreneurs Tim McCollum and Brett Beach, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based Madécasse brand, aim to change that. They want to produce the world's first "bean to bottle" extract, made entirely in Madagascar by local people using all-local materials — right down to the packaging.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:07 am

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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The Two-Way
8:19 am
Fri August 29, 2014

California Lawmakers Pass 'Affirmative Consent' Sexual Assault Bill

California state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) urges lawmakers to approve his measure aimed at curbing sexual assault on campuses on Thursday in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:57 pm

California is one step closer to becoming the first state to require colleges and universities "to adopt a standard of unambiguous consent among students engaging in sexual activity," The Los Angeles Times reports.

The California Senate gave the bill unanimous approval on Thursday, and it is now headed to the governor's office.

The Times adds:

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Parallels
8:17 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Life Under The Islamic State: Sharia Law And Few Services

An Iraqi child walks next an empty house of a Christian family in Mosul on Aug. 8. The Arabic writing on the wall reads "Real Estate of the Islamic State." The extremist group took control of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, in June.
STR EPA/Landov

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

Ever since the Islamic State seized Mosul more than two months ago, it's been difficult to get a detailed picture of life inside Iraq's second largest city.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Volcanoes In Iceland, Papua New Guinea Keep Residents On Edge

Smoke billows from Mount Tavurvur after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on Friday. The eruption has caused some nearby residents to be evacuated and some flights to be rerouted.
Jason Tassell AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:05 am

Two volcanoes half a world apart are causing havoc today: Several flights have been diverted around an eruption in Papua New Guinea, and authorities in Iceland briefly put aviation on highest alert (again) owing to a temperamental Mount Bardarbunga, which has been rumbling for the past week.

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Code Switch
6:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:49 am

  • Listen to NPR's Michel Martin recap the event on Morning Edition

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri August 29, 2014

U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish in the Eminonu disctrict of Istanbul.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:24 am

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

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The Two-Way
5:01 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 11:17 am

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

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Europe
4:31 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Russia Moves More Troops Across Ukraine Border, NATO Says

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:22 am

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

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