NPR News

Remembrances
2:25 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Remembering James Foley, A Journalist Who Made His Life In War Zones

Originally published on

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

Code Switch
2:24 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

Author Junot Diaz, pictured above in 2013, says the publishing industry must have uncomfortable conversations about diversity. The alternative, he believes, is "utter, agonizing silence."
Rick Reinhard Flickr

Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children's books. Writer Daniel José Older supports the campaign, but he doesn't think it goes far enough.

"We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too."

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Parallels
2:17 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Syria, The U.S. Weighs A Range Of Unpalatable Options

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad carry their weapons as they walk along a street in Mleiha, near the Damascus airport, during a tour organized by the Syrian government on Aug. 15.
Omar Sanadiki/Reuters/Landov

President Obama said Wednesday that the Islamic State is a a cancer that threatens all governments in the Middle East. But that raises the question of what the U.S. could or should do.

Two former U.S. ambassadors to Syria, Robert Ford and Ryan Crocker, have advocated different approaches to a conflict where there are many different options. But none is appealing and there's no guarantee, or even a likelihood that U.S. action would ultimately determine the outcome.

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Remembrances
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Yogi Iyengar, Who Helped Bring Yoga To The West, Dies At 95

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

Around the Nation
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

EPA Wades Into Water Fight With Farmers

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

Middle East
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Militants Behead American Journalist, Leveling New Threats At U.S.

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

Africa
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Liberia, An Ebola Quarantine Descends Into Riots

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

The Salt
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Legendary Vermont Bakers May Stop Selling Beloved Sourdough Bread

Rabin bread on a rock at the farmers' market in Plainfield prior to setting up the table.
Jon Kalish for NPR

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife Helen turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without

The year Rabin left Goddard College, he and his wife Helen built a replica of a 19th-century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

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Parallels
2:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Gaza Violence Tests Once-Unshakable Allies U.S. And Israel

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on July 23. While the two countries are extremely close allies, they have exchanged criticism during the recent Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza.
Pool AFP/Getty Images

Relations between Israel and the United States are going through a turbulent time. The two sides — normally seen as unshakable allies — have increasingly taken to trading barbs and accusations about the other's policies and decisions, breaking diplomatic protocol.

The occasional frictions of the past few years have been exacerbated by the war in the Gaza Strip.

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The Two-Way
2:10 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Same-Sex Marriages On Hold In Virginia After Supreme Court Weighs In

Supporters and opponents of gay marriage demonstrate outside the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., in May.
Steve Helber AP

The U.S. Supreme Court has stepped in to block a federal appeals court ruling that would have allowed gay marriages to begin in Virginia on Thursday.

The decision was widely expected and tells little about how the high court will ultimately rule on the issue. It merely preserves the status quo.

Indeed, while Virginia officials urged the Supreme Court to strike down the ban on gay marriage, they also urged the court to put a hold on the immediate issuing of marriage licenses.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Modern-Day Dust Bowl Isn't Easy, But It Beats The 1930s

Farmer John Schweiser, 80, has had to take shelter from recent dust storms. He also lived through the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

The historic drought that continues to hammer the West shows no signs off abating. Most of California remains in severe drought conditions, with its groundwater aquifers in danger of being depleted. Officials in Los Angeles have beefed up their use of “water cops” to make sure people aren’t wasting water.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Bumper U.S. Corn Yield Could Top Records

Early rains, cooler temperatures and hardier seeds have led to projections of a record harvest of corn this year. Most of that corn is used for livestock feed and ethanol.

Because of the predicted glut, corn prices have dropped by 13 percent this year.

Bryce Knorr of Farm Futures magazine tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that consumers can expect to see prices drop at the gas pump, but not at the grocery store.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

In Liberia, Ebola Quarantine Sparks Riots

Members of Liberia's Ebola Task Force enforce a quarantine on the West Point slum on August 20, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia. (John Moore/Getty Images)

In Liberia this morning, security forces attempted to quarantine the West Point neighborhood in the capital Monrovia, but residents broke out in a riot.

The Ebola holding center in West Point has been keeping residents on edge. On Saturday, an angry mob attacked the center, chasing and carrying out patients.

NPR photographer David Gilkey talks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabari about what he saw this morning as the riots began.

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The Salt
12:57 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off 2013 winners (with placards, left to right): Scott Rob (92.10 pounds), Keevan Dinkel (92.30 pounds) and Brian Shunskis (77.40 pounds). The growers are joined by the cabbage fairies, a group of women who for 15 years have volunteered at the cabbage competition.
Clark James Mishler Courtesy of Alaska State Fair

Everything in Alaska is a little bit bigger — even the produce. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska's soil in recent years.

At the annual Alaska State Fair, which opens Thursday in Palmer, the public will have the chance to gawk at giants like these as they're weighed for competition.

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Beheading Video Sets Off Debate Over How — Or Whether — To Portray It

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:43 pm

A shocking video that shows an American journalist being beheaded by extremist militants has sparked outrage, along with arguments over whether the images should be restricted online.

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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Wed August 20, 2014

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are 'Cowardly'

President Obama said Wednesday that the extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century."
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:51 am

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century," President Obama said Wednesday, referring to the videotaped execution carried out by militants with the Islamic State.

Obama also said the group attacks women and minorities, "for no other reason than they practice a different religion."

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Goats and Soda
10:57 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Photographing An Ebola Riot: Put Your Fear Aside And Go Forward

A riot policeman directs a crowd of protesters in the West Point neighbourhood of Monrovia, after a quarantine was put into force early Wednesday in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:46 pm

People were screaming and throwing rocks. The police were firing shots and hitting protesters with their batons. A riot had started in the slum neighborhood of West Point, in the Liberian capital of Monrovia.

"A riot is tough enough without knowing that you're in an Ebola-infected neighborhood," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who was in West Point when it began.

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Africa
9:30 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Liberia Blocks Off Neighborhood In Ebola Quarantine, Sparking Riot

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

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

The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Israel's Netanyahu Vows 'A Continuous Campaign' Against Hamas

Black smoke billows in the distance following an Israeli airstrike from the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
Atef Safadi EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:20 pm

Update at 2:41 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today his country's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip is "a continuous campaign," a day after a cease-fire between the two sides collapsed, leading to the resumption of both rocket fire against Israel and Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.

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Code Switch
7:56 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Ferguson Killing Inspires Young Black Activists

Tiffany Flowers and Alderman Antonio French in front of QuikTrip in Ferguson, Mo.
Tiffany Flowers

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:20 am

The nation has been gripped by the ongoing protests following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. But the demonstrations sparked by his death have spread far beyond the streets in his community. Young activists from around the country tell us how the events in Ferguson moved them, and what they hope might come from this moment.

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A 'Different Dynamic' In Ferguson, But With 47 Arrests

Protesters walk in front of a line of police early Wednesday as authorities try to disperse a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo. The St. Louis suburb saw less violence than on other recent nights of protests.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:56 am

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were absent from the streets of Ferguson, Mo., last night, as protesters and police avoided the clashes that have marred demonstrations over the death of an an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer last weekend in the St. Louis suburb.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, announced that 47 arrests had been made and that three loaded handguns were confiscated.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Authenticates Video Of Militants Beheading American Journalist

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012.
Manu Brabo/freejamesfoley.org AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:41 pm

This post was updated at 2:25 p.m. ET.

A video that was released online Tuesday in which the extremist group the Islamic State claimed to behead American journalist James Foley is authentic, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. Foley was abducted in Syria in 2012.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed; since then, it has resurfaced elsewhere online. The images show Foley kneeling next to a masked militant and reciting comments against the U.S. before being killed.

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Around the Nation
5:27 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Missing: Bag Of Money Left On Roof Of Armored Car

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Green. Gamblers are usually thrilled when a casino loses money. Then again, the Revel in Atlantic City is so cash-strapped, it's closing its doors after filing for bankruptcy twice.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:03 am
Wed August 20, 2014

If You're Born In The Sky, What's Your Nationality? An Airplane Puzzler

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 7:52 am

Here's a puzzle I bet you've never pondered.

Imagine you are very, very pregnant. For the purposes of this mind game, you are a married American woman (with an American spouse) and you are about to board a plane and, pregnant as you are, they let you on.

Your flight, on Lufthansa Airlines, will leave Frankfurt, Germany, and travel nonstop to the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. Germany is cold, wet and unhappy-making, and you crave the aquamarine waters, the balmy skies of the Maldives.

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Asia
3:24 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Hello Kitty Joins The Space Race

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

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

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:07 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Reporting On Ebola: An Abandoned 10-Year-Old, A Nervous Neighborhood

A 10-year-old boy suspected of being sick with Ebola was found naked on the beach by residents of West Point. They dressed him but couldn't find a clinic to take him in at first. Eventually he was was taken to JFK Hospital in Monrovia.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:52 am

Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it's where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Chicago's All-Black Little League Team Enhances City's Image

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, the most important thing in the world is happening right now, that is if you're a Little League baseball player.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:07 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Latest Cease-Fire In Gaza Collapses

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
1:36 am
Wed August 20, 2014

With Ferguson, Obama Forced To Confront Race Yet Again

President Obama meets with Attorney General Eric Holder in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday. Holder is traveling to Ferguson, Mo., where a federal investigation is under way in the police shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was unarmed.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

The tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown is another test for President Obama. He has struggled at times over how to navigate long-simmering tensions between police and the African-American community.

Obama says he understands the passions and the anger that have engulfed Ferguson over the past week and a half, but he has carefully avoided taking sides. His warnings against violent confrontation have been directed equally at the protesters and the police.

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NPR Ed
1:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

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