NPR News

The Two-Way
5:12 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Hong Kong Leader Hints At Concessions As Talks With Students Begin

Hong Kong Federation of Students' Council members attend a meeting with senior Hong Kong government officials in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Tyrone Siu Reuters/Landov

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, at the start of talks today with student-led pro-democracy protesters, says although his Beijing-backed government cannot allow the public to nominate candidates to replace him in 2017, the process could be made "more democratic."

"There's room for discussion there," Leung told a small group of journalists on Tuesday. "There's room to make the nominating committee more democratic."

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Politics
4:45 am
Tue October 21, 2014

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

President Obama casts an early ballot for the midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 5:14 am

On the first day for in-person early voting in Illinois, President Obama went to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to cast his ballot.

"I'm so glad I can early vote here," he told the elections worker checking him in.

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New Boom
4:40 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Some Millennials — And Their Parents — Are Slow To Cut The Cord

Stuart Kinlough Getty Images/Ikon Images

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

So your child moved back in with you after graduation, and it seems like she will never leave. Or worse, you're sending rent checks each month while she searches for jobs in the big city.

You often find yourself wondering if she will ever grow up. You're concerned that your child is suffering from delayed adolescence.

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Around the Nation
3:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Is That A Spoonful Of Spooky Cereal In Your Beer?

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

Asia
3:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

How To Pick An English Name (Tip: Stay Away From Food)

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

Monkey See
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Winners And Losers Of The Fall TV Season Begin To Emerge

Debra Messing (right) stars with Robert Klein in NBC's The Mysteries of Laura.
Will Hart/NBC

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 5:39 am

What's most amazing about this point in the TV season, is what hasn't happened yet.

One month into the new season, no new fall TV show has yet been canceled.

(By this point last year, several shows had already been put out of our misery, including ABC's Lucky 7 and NBC's Ironside remake.)

Still, despite programmers' patience this year, there's still lots of clues about what's working this TV season and what isn't. Here's a peek at what we know so far about the current TV season.

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NPR Ed
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 4:08 am

If you're a 12th grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

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Parallels
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Kurds Leave Life In Europe To Fight ISIS In Their Iraqi Homeland

Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle.
Alice Fordham NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:15 am

The men of the Betwata tribe gather to drink tea every morning in Irbil, Iraq, in an outdoor courtyard with curving pillars and climbing plants.

In northern Iraq, almost everyone is ethnically Kurdish, and most of them wear a traditional Kurdish baggy blue suit, with a colored sash, and black and white headdress. And they all talk about the war.

One of the men — Sarhad Betwata — is a general. The grizzled officer says he commands about 1,000 men and later this morning will head off from Irbil to the front lines with the Islamic State, close to the Syrian border.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War reenactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag.
Courtesy of Jesse Dukes

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:15 am

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he's spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he's met many who say they do.

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Middle East
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Who Are The Kurds And What's Their Role In Mideast Politics?

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:15 am

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

Law
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

California Proposition Re-evaluates Approach To Crime

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:15 am

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

The Two-Way
2:50 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Oscar Pistorius Gets 5 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend

South African track star Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend on Tuesday.
Themba Hadebe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 5:38 am

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

South African Paralympic and Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, 27, received a verdict of culpable homicide from a judge in South Africa in September — a conviction that could have put him in prison for 15 years.

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The Two-Way
9:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Fashion Icon Oscar De La Renta Dies After Long Cancer Fight

Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow with models Karlie Kloss (left) and Daria Strokous after his Spring 2015 collection was modeled Sept. 9 during Fashion Week in New York. De la Renta died on Oct. 20.
Diane Bondareff AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 3:38 am

Updated at 3:50 a.m. ET.

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, 82, died Monday after a decade-long battle with cancer, The New York Times and other media outlets report. NPR has not independently confirmed the news.

A statement from de la Renta's stepdaughter and her husband, Eliza Reed Bolen and Alex Bolen, did not give a cause of death, The Associated Press reports.

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Business
5:48 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Unrest In Ferguson May Speed Up Decline Of Real Estate

Children watch from their home as people march about a mile to the police station to protest the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 20, in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's shooting in the middle of a street by a Ferguson policeman on Aug. 9, sparked protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. Some people are ready to leave the troubled city. Others say they will remain no matter what.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:51 pm

A grand jury has yet to decide if it will indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., this summer.

Protests over Brown's death are ongoing in Ferguson, though they are calmer than the sometimes violent clashes that happened immediately after the shooting.

Still, many residents there are worried about public reaction once the grand jury announces its decision, and some say they've had enough. They're planning to move. That could accelerate an already existing trend in the region.

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

CDC Announces New Guidelines For Health Care Workers Treating Ebola Patients

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:55 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Monday for health care workers caring for patients with Ebola.

The new guidelines "provide an increased margin of safety," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters.

Frieden added that they represented a "consensus" by the health care workers who have treated people with Ebola in the United States, including those workers at hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska that have treated Ebola without further transmission.

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Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

When Reassuring Isn't: The Rush To Test Cruise Passenger For Ebola

The cruise ship Carnival Magic floats behind a catamaran off Cozumel, Mexico on Oct. 17. The ship skipped a planned stop there Friday, the cruise line says, after Mexican authorities delayed granting permission to dock.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 6:08 pm

Here's a question about the fine line between a prudent response and worrisome overkill: Is the sight of a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a cruise ship to pick up a blood sample (which is to be tested for Ebola) a sight that should inspire feelings of reassurance, or a nagging sense that something is not quite right?

The question is still in the air after the weekend's effort to airlift a few milliliters of blood from a passenger who was on board what is now being called the Ebola Cruise.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

This Past September Ranks As Hottest On Record, NOAA Says

Four months in 2014 have already been the warmest on record.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:34 pm

This past September was, on average, the hottest on record, meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces was 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.30 F hotter than the century average.

The AP reports:

"It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August.

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All Tech Considered
3:01 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Tunisia's Emerging Tech Sector Hampered By Old Policies

Ramzi El-Fekih, CEO of Creova, stands in his server room in Tunis. He has built a mobile payments company, but because of banking restrictions, Tunisians can use his product only for domestic purchases.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 5:24 pm

This Sunday, Tunisia — the country that gave birth to Arab Spring — will elect a Parliament. Millions of citizens will vote at the polls, and thousands will run for office.

It's a sea change since the days of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. But behind the political gains, there is a sad fact: The new democracy is at an economic standstill. The technology sector — which many say could deliver jobs to unemployed young people — is victim to political inertia.

Startups In A Closed Economy

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Toyota Becomes Latest Automaker To Issue Recalls Over Faulty Airbags

Parts of pyro-electric airbag initiators lie in a production line at the international automotive supplier Takata Ignition Systems GmbH in Schoenebeck, Germany, Thursday, April 17.
Jens Meyer AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 3:33 pm

A massive auto recall on defective airbags was given fresh urgency on Monday, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encouraged the owners of nearly 5 million cars to get them fixed "immediately." Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton told our Newscast unit some deaths have been tied to the defect:

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Environment
2:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Why Are The Great Lakes On The Rise?

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:03 pm

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

Book News & Features
2:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

'Lila' Sets The Stage For Marilynn Robinson's Earlier Works

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:03 pm

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

Middle East
2:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Turkey Opens Border For Iraqis Seeking To Fight ISIS

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:03 pm

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

Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Parkinson's Drugs Can Be A Gateway To Sin

Drugs that are commonly prescribed to help people cope with Parkinson's disease have been linked to bizarre changes in behavior that patients and doctors should be on guard against, researchers say.

The disturbing side effects include compulsive gambling, uncontrollable shopping and a sudden obsession with sex.

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The Salt
1:53 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground

A Haitian woman holds cherries from a coffee tree. Haiti's coffee trade was once a flourishing industry, but it has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and now, climate change.
Patrick Farrell MCT /Landov

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:57 pm

Haiti once produced half the world's coffee. The lush, shade-covered mountainsides provided an ideal environment for imported Arabica trees.

Today, Haitian coffee barely registers in global surveys. Trade embargoes, deforestation and the rise of global coffee powerhouses such as Brazil and Indonesia are just a few of the reasons. And now, there's climate change.

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The Salt
1:42 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

It's smiling at you. I guess it doesn't know what's about to happen.
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 3:35 pm

If you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you will frequently hear from people telling you to try Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, or that the sandwich you just ate is a ripoff of something Primanti Bros. has been doing for years. Also, if you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you probably regularly hear from your parents wanting to know what on earth you went to college for.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Judge Says 1,000 Potential Jurors May Be Screened For Boston Bombing Trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

A judge in Boston says that some 1,000 pre-trial jurors may be asked to complete a questionnaire for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in January.

The Boston Herald reports U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. made the announcement at a status conference on Monday.

The Herald adds:

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Music
1:12 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Ex Hex's 'Rips' Does What It Says On The Cover

Punk rock lives on the debut album by a new trio, Ex Hex. The album is called Rips, and it's at once a throwback to bands like the Ramones and the sound of something new. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says the three women who make up Ex Hex have created an exhilaratingly energetic piece of work.

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Shots - Health News
12:48 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Eye Phone? Your Next Eye Exam Might Be Done With Your Phone

Smartphones can now capture high-quality images of the front and back of an eye.
Courtesy of David Myung

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 2:56 pm

Getting an eye exam typically involves big complicated machines. But eye doctors are trying to get the big and complicated out of the equation by using smartphones and tablets instead. That way, they figure, eye exams can be done just about anywhere — even a village in Nepal.

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Parallels
11:59 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Artificial Boundary That Divides Iraq

A family passes through Maktab Khaled in northern Iraq, the last Kurdish checkpoint before they make their way to Kirkuk. ISIS-controlled territory lies less than a mile away.
Leila Fadel NPR

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:03 pm

Standing at the top of a dirt and gravel hill, past the sand-filled barriers that enclose a small base of Kurdish forces, a soldier looks through binoculars. One bridge and a body of water separate them from the so-called Islamic State or ISIS.

"Just across the river, under the bridge there is the checkpoint of ISIS," the soldier says.

We're at a checkpoint called Maktab Khaled about 12 miles south of Kirkuk, the disputed and oil-rich city in northern Iraq.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Nepal Ends Rescue Efforts After Deadly Avalanches In Himalayas

Nepal has ended rescue operations for people who may have been trapped or died in blizzards and avalanches last week throughout the foothills of Nepal's Himalayan mountain range. Locals and international tourists are among at least 39 people known to have died. Rescuers say those killed include four Canadians, two Poles, an Israeli, an Indian and a Nepali.

The Associated Press reports that officials believe no more people are stranded:

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