NPR News

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

When The Wedding Is Just The Beginning

Just about everything clicks in director Ira Sachs' quietly eloquent Love is Strange, except the title. The longtime romance of painter Ben (John Lithgow) and music teacher George (Alfred Molina) doesn't seem at all odd. The men's lives, however, do take a sudden turn away from the ordinary.

The story begins in a mysterious flurry of morning activity that's soon explained. After Ben and George's nearly four decades together, same-sex marriage has become legal in New York, and the men have decided to take what hardly seems a plunge.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

'The One I Love': A Marriage That's Not Quite What It Appears

Before Charlie McDowell's fantastical debut feature The One I Love descends completely down the rabbit hole, it begins with a more everyday kind of dream. Ethan (Mark Duplass), trying to rekindle the romance in his failing marriage to Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), hopes that one magic night might do the trick. To celebrate their anniversary, he gets Sophie to re-create the night the two met, when they sneaked into a stranger's backyard to swim in their pool, only to be caught by the homeowner.

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

ISIS 'Beyond Anything We've Seen,' Hagel Says

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, left, with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey during a Pentagon briefing on Thursday. Hagel said Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria posed a threat "beyond anything we've seen."
Yuri Gripas Reuters/Landov

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel describes a failed U.S. mission into northern Syria earlier this summer to rescue Americans believed held there — including a journalist who was executed earlier this week — as "flawless" despite not recovering the hostages.

"This was a flawless operation, but the hostages weren't there," Hagel told journalists at a Pentagon briefing with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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The Salt
2:30 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Grown for thousands of years in South America, quinoa crossed the Atlantic for the first time in the 21st century, according to the United Nations.
iStockphoto.com

For thousands of years, quinoa barely budged from its home in the Andes. Other crops — corn, potatoes, rice, wheat and sorghum — traveled and colonized the world. But quinoa stayed home.

All of a sudden, quinoa is a trendy, jet-setting "superfood." And as we've reported, some American farmers are trying to cash in on its new-found popularity.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Vision Problems Increase The Risk Of Death In Older People

Seeing better can mean living longer because it helps people remain independent.
iStockphoto

An eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life, researchers say, because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently. And maintaining independence in turn leads to a longer life.

Researchers have known for years that people who have vision problems as they get older are more likely to die than those who still see well. But they weren't sure why that was so.

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Parallels
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

European Fighters Take On More Prominent Roles In The Islamic State

The masked man seen executing American journalist James Foley in this video is believed to be from the U.K., based on his accent.
YouTube

British authorities are trying to identify the masked man who executed American photojournalist James Foley in a video that has caused massive global reaction.

The man — who appears wearing all black, holding a knife, and wearing a gun holster — speaks in an accent that linguists say sounds like someone from East or South London. The video yields other clues to the man's identity, such as his height and the fact that he's left-handed.

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Law
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

McDonnell Takes The Stand, Founding Defense On Marital Dysfunction

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

Economy
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Quandary At Jackson Hole: Is It Time To Step Back From Stimulus?

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

National Security
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Failed Foley Rescue Reveals Challenges Faced By U.S. Intelligence

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

Health
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

American Ebola Patients Leave Atlanta Hospital Healthy

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

Europe
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Siege Deepens In Eastern Ukraine's Donetsk

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

Law
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Bank Of America Settles With Feds And States For Record Amount

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

Politics
2:10 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

North Carolina Senate Race Shapes Up As Unpopularity Contest

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

Parallels
2:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Year Later, Syria's Chemical Weapons Are Gone, But Siege Remains

Syrians killed in a chemical weapons attack were taken to a field hospital in Eastern Ghouta, in the suburbs of Damascus, one year ago on Aug. 21, 2013. More than 1,400 people were killed in the attack blamed on the Syrian government, which continues to besiege the rebel-held area to this day.
Courtesy of Majd Al Deek

In the year since a major chemical weapons attack in Syria, President Bashar Assad has handed over all of the declared arsenal and the U.S. says it has destroyed the weapons.

However, this has not fundamentally weakened Assad. He remains firmly entrenched in the capital, Damascus, though his army has lost ground to the Islamic State, the extremist group that now holds large parts of the north and the east of the country.

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History
2:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

BREAKING: British Burn Washington ... 2 Centuries Ago

Tamara Keith on the scene in 1812. Sort of.
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:24 pm

Two hundred years ago this week, during the War of 1812, invading British troops destroyed two of the nation's most important buildings — the White House and the Capitol. The war had started over issues of tariffs and the taking of American sailors on the high seas; by the summer of 1814, British fighters were in middle of a campaign burning and looting along the coast.

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Shots - Health News
1:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Would A Prize Help Speed Development Of Ebola Treatments?

Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of Emory University Hospital's infectious disease unit, embraces Dr. Kent Brantly (left) who was treated with an experimental Ebola medicine and released from the Atlanta hospital Thursday.
John Bazemore AP

The human toll of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is becoming clearer by the day. The virus has killed at least 1,350 people, making this the largest outbreak of the disease ever.

There's no Ebola cure, and only a few experimental treatments are in the works.

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Goats and Soda
1:29 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The 10-Year-Old Boy Has Died, Probably Of Ebola

Saah Exco was found alone on a beach, naked and abandoned a few days ago. Neighbors were afraid to touch him; they were worried about Ebola. But someone did eventually take him to the Ebola ward at JFK hospital in Monrovia. NPR learned today that he died.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:26 pm

It was a photo that took the Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa and made it very personal. A little boy named Saah Exco, 10 years old, lies in a crumpled heap.

Hours before, he had been found naked on a beach in West Point, an impoverished neighborhood in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city. At one point, Saah had been a patient at the Ebola holding center there, for suspected cases. It's unclear when or why he was released.

But now he was on his own, drifting in and out of consciousness.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Diplomatic Cable Puts Chill On ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro accepted the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Soon after, the State Department warned that participation by high-profile diplomats was a violation of internal policy.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:30 pm

Don't expect Secretary of State John Kerry to accept the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" anytime soon: Lawyers at the State Department have banned high-profile U.S. diplomats from participating in the fundraising phenomenon that has swept social media in recent weeks.

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NPR Story
12:35 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Challenges Of Recruiting An All-Volunteer Army

New recruits swear in during the Army Reserve Mega Event in Whitehall, Ohio, June 22, 2013. (Andrew Baba/U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army has been an all-volunteer force for more than 40 years because there is no military draft anymore. That means the service has to attract young men and women to sign up.

And according to the Army’s numbers they’re pretty good at it. The Army has met or exceeded its recruiting goals for each of the last nine years.

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Middle East
12:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GlobalPost CEO Shares Details Of Fight To Save James Foley

GlobalPost co-founder and CEO Phil Balboni says what he'll remember about Foley (above) is the way he showed "such incredible courage" as his captors took his life.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:00 pm

During the nearly two years that journalist James Foley was held hostage in Syria, before he was killed by the Islamic State this week, Phil Balboni worked hard to get him released.

Balboni is the co-founder and CEO of the online international news company GlobalPost, which Foley was freelancing for at the time of his capture, in November 2012. Foley also was freelancing for GlobalPost when he was captured in Libya by dictator Moammar Gadhafi's forces, in 2011, and held for 44 days.

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Recipes To Make The Most Of Summer Tomatoes

The tomato bounty from Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst's garden in Maine. (Kathy Gunst/Here & Now)

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:30 pm

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins hosts Jeremy Hobson and Meghna Chakrabarti with the summer’s bounties from her garden — tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. She has all sorts of ideas for how to cook with them, and shares these recipes:

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

CDC Director On Release Of American Ebola Patients

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, before the House subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing on "Combating the Ebola Threat." (Molly Riley/AP)

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:48 pm

As both American Ebola patients who were brought from Liberia to Atlanta for treatment are released, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks to Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Music
12:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Sleek And Busy Walk With Jean-Luc Ponty

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:34 pm

French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty played the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1967, which led to his getting an American record contract, and playing with George Duke, Frank Zappa, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Then he started his own jazz-rock fusion bands. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says before Ponty came to the States, he already had his concept.

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Code Switch
11:17 am
Thu August 21, 2014

The Sleepy Road Near Our National Conversation On Race

Linda Owen takes a photo of her husband, Al, in front of Ferguson Brewing Co. near the city's historic district. The couple are from an unincorporated section of St. Louis County and were visiting Ferguson. They don't get down to West Florissant much anymore, although Linda, a retired teacher, has former students who live there and said she worries about how they're doing.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:25 pm

On television, it's hard to get a sense of just how small the stretch of West Florissant Avenue — the thoroughfare in Ferguson, Mo., that's drawn international attention after the killing of Michael Brown — really is.

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The Salt
11:08 am
Thu August 21, 2014

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

A young Chinook salmon, called a smolt, near Vallejo, Calif., on April 24, 2014. North Coast tribes and environmentalists fear that the smolts and Chinooks may not survive this year's low river flows and warm water.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:44 pm

The ongoing California drought has pitted wild salmon against farmers in a fight for water. While growers of almonds, one of the state's biggest and most lucrative crops, enjoy booming production and skyrocketing sales to China, the fish, it seems, might be left high and dry this summer—and maybe even dead.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:49 am
Thu August 21, 2014

When Venus Was Filled With Venusians — 50 Billion Of Them

Robert Krulwich NPR

What a difference 180 years makes.

Back in the 1830s, a Scottish minister and amateur astronomer named Thomas Dick tried to calculate the number of intelligent creatures in the universe. He assumed that all heavenly bodies supported intelligent life, maybe not exactly like us, but similar to us in size and habits of living. Then he took population figures for Great Britain and, assuming that space aliens lived just as densely, he projected populations onto various planets.

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Shots - Health News
10:07 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Mental Health Meets 'Moneyball' In San Antonio

Leon Evans, director of the community mental health system for Bexar County and San Antonio, broke through barriers that had hindered care.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

The jails aren't overflowing in San Antonio anymore. People with serious mental illnesses have a place to go for treatment and the city has saved $10 million a year on. How did it happen?

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Thailand's Parliament Hands Prime Minister Post To Coup Leader

Thailand's newly appointed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha gestures in a traditional greeting during his visit to a unit of the Queen's Guard outside Bangkok on Thursday.
Chaiwat Subprasom Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:22 pm

The man who toppled Thailand's democratically elected government in May has been chosen as the country's interim prime minister.

Not surprisingly, junta leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha's hand-picked legislature voted 191-0 with three abstentions to legitimize the coup leader's role as head of government. He was the only candidate.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Is There Such A Thing As A 'Good Psychopath'?

kuzmafoto.com iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:16 pm

Oxymoronic, isn't it, the idea of a "good psychopath"?

But in their just published book, The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton argue that relying on some psychopathic traits can lead to a more successful life.

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Won't Rule Out Attack In Syria To Hit Islamic State

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 10:53 am

American aircraft have carried out more strikes against the Islamic State, after the extremist group beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley. The attacks come despite threats to kill other hostages; a White House official says the U.S. could also target areas in Syria, if warranted.

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