NPR News

The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Approves Measure To Arm And Train Syrian Rebels

The Senate joined the House on Thursday in rare bipartisanship by approving a measure to train and equip members of the Syrian opposition.

The Senate passed the measure 78 to 22; the House passed its version with a 273-to-156 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

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Goats and Soda
4:49 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

In Sierra Leone, A Lockdown ... Or A Time To Reflect?

A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.
Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Starting just after midnight, residents of Sierra Leone will be confined to their homes for a three-day lockdown.

It's the latest government plan meant to stem the tide of Ebola cases, which exceeded 1,500 last week in Sierra Leone.

But the plan has not won the support of the international medical community — and is causing concern among Sierra Leoneans as well.

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Cities Project
4:25 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

A Coastal Paradise Confronts Its Watery Future

Half the land in the city of Satellite Beach is only 6 feet above the waterline.
Jon Hamilton NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:59 pm

Dan Reiter, 37, is a long-board surfer and contractor who used to live in Tampa, Fla. Then he discovered the surf breaks along a stretch of coast south of Cape Canaveral. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world to live and surf and raise your kids," says Reiter, 37, as we watch head-high waves roll into Hightower Beach.

But there's trouble in this coastal paradise. It's on a low-lying barrier island that's getting lower as sea level rises. So the cities here are looking for ways to keep the water at bay or retreat from it.

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Goats and Soda
4:23 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

A Frightening Curve: How Fast Is The Ebola Outbreak Growing?

A health worker prepares to exit the isolation area at the Ebola clinic run by Doctors Without Borders in Lofa County, Liberia. The exponential growth of the outbreak is most aggressive in Liberia.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:31 pm

In the past week, world leaders have started using a mathematical term when they talk about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

"It's spreading and growing exponentially," President Obama said Tuesday. "This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential fashion," said Dr. David Nabarro, who is heading the U.N.'s effort against Ebola.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Court Says Navy Investigators Illegally Scan Civilian Computers

An appeals court ruling has offered a rare glimpse at the extent to which military police investigations reach into civilians' computers. Apparently, they scan civilian computers quite often — and to a degree that a 9th Circuit appeals court has now found violates the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act.

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Code Switch
3:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

Broadway, New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Larry Ellison Steps Down As Oracle's CEO

Larry Ellison is stepping down as Oracle's CEO.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:59 pm

Oracle's Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO, the company announced today, and will be replaced by Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, who will be co-CEOs.

Ellison, who co-founded Oracle in 1977, was named executive chairman of the board and Oracle's chief technology officer.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Live Blog: Scotland Votes On Its Independence

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:40 pm

The polls have closed and the counting has begun on a referendum that could have historic implications for the United Kingdom. The referendum asked the Scots if they should dissolve its union from England and become an independent country.

We'll be live blogging, as the returns begin to be counted. NPR's Ari Shapiro and producer Rich Preston are in Edinburgh, so expect to see their dispatches.

Iraq
2:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Kurds: U.S. Fight Against ISIS Requires Ground Forces

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:49 pm

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

Middle East
2:58 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Islamic State Fight Will Take Time, Diplomacy

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:49 pm

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

The Salt
2:33 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts have pledged to source palm oil from suppliers who are not clear-cutting rain forests.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:57 pm

Environmentalists say two major doughnut chains got a little sweeter this week.

Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Brands have both made new commitments to source palm oil for frying their goodies from suppliers who are not clear-cutting forests.

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It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Will Bridge Scandal Jam Gov. Christie's Road Show?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets supporters at a campaign event for Scott Brown (center left) in Salem, N.H.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in New Hampshire on Wednesday, technically on 2014 election business. But he was also there to make an impression for 2016. It seems every time you turn around in the early primary states, you bump into another potential — let's say likely — candidate for president. Count Christie in the pack.

All of this as he's been dealing with fallout from the "Bridgegate" scandal involving massive traffic jams created by politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.

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It's All Politics
2:24 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Billionaire GOP Donor Finally Opens Checkbook For 2014

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:20 pm

Republican Party leaders are urging big donors to start writing checks, and the check-writers now include Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

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Europe
2:19 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Ukrainian President Lobbies Washington For Money, Arms Support

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:49 pm

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

Europe
2:19 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Referendum Vote Count Begins In Scotland

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:49 pm

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

Music
1:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Pere Ubu's 'Carnival Of Souls' Is A Dreamscape That's Never Dreamy

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

Pere Ubu's new album, Carnival of Souls, is a reference to the 1962 cult horror film. But as Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker hears it, the band, led since the late '70s by co-founder David Thomas, has created something far more rich, experimental, and emotional than spooky, horror-movie music.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

New Islamic State Video Purports To Show Kidnapped British Journalist

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 2:18 pm

The group that calls itself the Islamic State has released a new video that purports to show a British man who says he is a journalist and a hostage of the militants.

The man in the video is dressed in orange, sits behind a desk and identifies himself as John Cantile.

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Shots - Health News
1:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Why Do You Care About Fairness? Ask A Chimp

What do you mean you got a grape? I only got a carrot!
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 2:27 pm

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Killing Comes Naturally To Chimps, Scientists Say

A full-grown male chimpanzee carries a stick at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya. The sanctuary is the work of primatologist Jane Goodall.
Jean-Marc Bouju AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 11:09 am

For years, there have been two main theories about why chimpanzees, our closest evolutionary cousins, sometimes kill each other. One theory blames human encroachment on the chimpanzees' native habit in Africa. Another says that (male) chimps kill in the normal course of competition with rival groups.

A new study published in Nature appears to support the second theory. In short, it found that the numerical makeup of chimpanzee communities is roughly proportional to the "chimp murder rate."

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Shots - Health News
9:53 am
Thu September 18, 2014

San Francisco Politician Goes Public With His Choice To Take Anti-HIV Drug

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener (left) says he started taking a drug to prevent HIV infection earlier this year.
Lisa Aliferis/KQED

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:39 am

In an effort to combat stigma that has arisen around a treatment that prevents HIV, a San Francisco elected official announced publicly Wednesday that he is taking the medicine.

City Supervisor Scott Wiener said he is taking Truvada, a drug that dramatically reduces the risk of HIV infection. He appears to be the first public official to make such an announcement.

Wiener wrote about his experience for The Huffington Post:

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The Two-Way
8:36 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Ukrainian President Thanks Congress For Supporting Freedom

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, joined by Speaker of the House John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden, acknowledges lawmakers' applause after addressing a joint meeting of Congress.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:57 am

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint meeting of Congress today, thanking lawmakers for their support of Kiev in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.

Freedom, Poroshenko said, is "at the core of Ukrainian existence.

"We have an unbreakable will to live free," he said, saying his nation was "at the center of the most heroic story of the last decade."

Calling Russia's annexation of Crimea a "most cynical act of treachery," Poroshenko thanked lawmakers for standing by his government.

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The Two-Way
6:53 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Islamic State Seizes Villages; Australia Says It Foiled Beheading Plot

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:14 am

Islamic State fighters backed by tanks have seized 16 Kurdish villages in northern Syria over the past 24 hours in what is being described as a major advance for the extremist group, according to a human rights watchdog group.

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NPR Ed
5:47 am
Thu September 18, 2014

How To Make The Most Of Your 10 Minutes With Teacher

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:11 am

So you finally get the chance to meet one on one with your child's teacher — now what?

Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared: Educators agree that doing your homework before a parent-teacher conference can make a big difference.

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NPR Ed
5:47 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Rethinking A Fall Classic: The Parent-Teacher Conference

New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina speaks with students Carlos Cruz and Lluvia Hernandez while visiting a school in Brooklyn earlier this year.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:48 am

So now that students have settled in to the routine of the school year, yet another fall education ritual looms: the parent-teacher conference.

And while there's universal agreement that parent involvement is a good thing, these all-too-short meetings are often frustrating on both sides.

Teachers, and parents, often find them too short and too shallow, too likely to focus on problems, with little time to really get beyond test scores and a few bullet points about the curriculum or homework. And, as children get older, fewer parents tend to show up.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Scotland's Historic Decision: Should It Stay Or Should It Go?

A man played bagpipes on a "short walk to freedom" march in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday as polling in the independence referendum began.
Paul Hackett Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 8:47 am

Scots decide today whether to end 300 years of union with Great Britain and go it alone as they cast ballots in a historic referendum that is sure to have a lasting impact no matter the outcome.

Public opinion polls in recent days have suggested that Scotland is evenly split on the question and that the vote could be extremely close. The options are to vote "yes" or "no" to the question: "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

The results are expected on Friday.

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Animals
5:15 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Dog From Philadelphia Ends Up In Oregon Shelter

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:50 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:01 am
Thu September 18, 2014

High School Reconsiders Student's Yearbook Photo

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:50 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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The Salt
4:39 am
Thu September 18, 2014

From Coffee To Chicory To Beer, 'Bitter' Flavor Can Be Addictive

The cardoon is like "celery on steroids," says McLaglan.
Aya Brackett/Ten Speed Press

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 12:51 pm

Food writer Jennifer McLagan has spent the past few years trying to win home cooks over to the ingredients they fear. She's written a cookbook on fat, one on bones and one titled Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal.

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Politics
4:38 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Ads Get Creative, Even Seductive, To Attract Voters

In this Illinois ad, Doris and her friend Betty suggestively encourage two young men to come in ... and get voter ID cards.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:17 am

September is voter registration month, but inspiring Americans to register and vote isn't always easy. Especially with politicians held in such low esteem. So some groups — and a few election officials — are taking a page from the book of Mad Men's Don Draper to get voters to the polls. Who knew that voting could be this much fun?

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Race
4:31 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:38 pm

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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