NPR News

All Tech Considered
10:21 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Native Stories From Alaska Give Gamers Something To Play With

The game Never Alone tells the story of a young Inupiaq girl, Nuna, and her companion, an Arctic fox, as they go on a quest to save her village.
Upper One Games

Until recently, no video games on the market have told the story of an indigenous people from their perspective. A group of Alaskan natives have partnered with a game developer to change that.

Their game is called Never Alone, and its creators hope it will set a new standard in video game development.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Iceland Ups Aviation Warning As Volcano Rumbles

A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano, some 12 miles away, in the northwest region of Iceland's Vatnajokull glacier, on Tuesday.
Reuters/Landov

Iceland today raised an aviation alert level to reflect growing concern over underground rumblings at its Bardarbunga volcano in the central part of the island nation.

A sub-glacial eruption caused Icelandic authorities to raise the aviation alert level to red, indicating "significant emission of ash into the atmosphere," The Associated Press reports.

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Iraq
9:50 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Kurdish Forces Say They're Waiting For U.S. Weapons

A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter on the front line in Bashiqa, a village near Mosul.
Ahmad al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Iraq's ethnic Kurds are longtime U.S. allies and have put up the toughest resistance to the Sunni extremists in the so-called Islamic State that has captured swaths or Iraq's north and west.

They're getting help from U.S. air strikes, but also need heavier weapons of their own to match the firepower of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Weapons have been promised by the U.S. and other countries, but getting them through the central government in Baghdad has hampered the mission, according to Kurdish commanders.

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Law
9:41 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Even Police Body Cameras Can Lose Sight Of The Truth

Many residents of Ferguson, Mo., would like to see the police wear video cameras, like this one worn by a Los Angeles police officer.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 9:48 am

Ferguson, Mo., found a degree of civic calm this week after days and nights of angry clashes between protestors and the police.

Now the city is working to restore trust with residents after a white police officer fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 9. City leaders and residents say one way to do that might be to equip police with personal video cameras.

"All the cops have to have body cameras and dashboard cameras," says resident Alonzo Bond, "so everybody can be accountable."

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All Tech Considered
8:56 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Uber Greases The Wheel With Obama's Old Campaign Manager

Uber is hiring David Plouffe, the mastermind of Obama's 2008 campaign, to power its own political strategy. What can a tech-savvy political animal offer a ride-sharing service?
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 9:48 am

President Obama's former campaign manager has gone to work for Uber. The ride-sharing start-up based in San Francisco has hired David Plouffe in hope that the political strategist who helped elect a president can steer the company through a thicket of local regulatory disputes.

This new power couple raises some questions:

Why does Uber need one of the best political strategists in the country?

First off, they can afford him. The company is valued at $18 billion. NPR tried to find out what Plouffe is getting paid, but Uber won't say.

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Sat August 23, 2014

U.N. Warns Of 'Possible Massacre' In Northeastern Iraq

Members of Kurdish security forces take part during an intensive security deployment after clashes with militants of the Islamic State, in Jalawla, Diyala province, on Friday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 10:16 am

The United Nations is calling for action to prevent what it's describing as a possible massacre in Iraq's northeastern city of Amerli, which has been under siege for two months by Islamic State militants.

The city's population is largely Turkmen Shia, seen as apostates by the hard-line Sunni Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

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The Two-Way
7:13 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Photo Released Of Chinese Fighter That Buzzed U.S. Navy Plane

This handout photo provided by the Office of the Defense Secretary (OSD), taken Aug. 19, 2014, shows a Chinese fighter jet that the White House said Friday conducted a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 10:08 am

The Pentagon has released a photo of the Chinese fighter jet it says made a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft, flying close passes, performing barrel rolls and flying wingtip-to-wingtip with the American plane in what officials described as an "aggressive and unprofessional" manner.

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Another Peaceful Night In Ferguson

Demonstrators protest the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown across the street from the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo., Friday night. More than a week of unrest has largely given way to peaceful protests recently.
Adrees Latif Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 10:00 am

Relative calm and restraint prevailed for a third consecutive night on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., as confrontations subside between authorities and those protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Russian Convoy Leaves Ukraine After Reportedly Delivering Aid

Trucks from a Russian aid convoy wait in line as they return to the Russian Rostov region town of Donetsk, Russia, on Saturday.
EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 10:01 am

Russia's foreign ministry says a convoy that crossed into rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine has delivered its humanitarian cargo and is heading home.

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Sports
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Little League And College Football: The Week In Sports

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

Race
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Educators Say Students Need To Talk About Ferguson

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

Race
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Nashville To African-Americans: Join Your Police Department!

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 9:41 am

Copyright 2014 Nashville Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wpln.org/.

Iraq
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

U.S. Continues Airstrikes Against Islamic State

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

Africa
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Borders Close As Ebola Spreads In West Africa

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 9:26 am

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

Research News
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Antarctic Lakes, Rivers, Wetlands — All Under A Kilometer Of Ice

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 9:42 am

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

Africa
5:34 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Doctor: Ebola Fatality Rate Running At 70 Percent

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

Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sat August 23, 2014

West Point: Life Goes On, Even With The Spectre Of Ebola

The beach is a perfect playing field for soccer lovers in West Point.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

In another locale, the beach might be lined with "smart hotels and people sipping cocktails out front," says British photographer Tommy Trenchard. He's talking about West Point, a neighborhood in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. It's a densely populated slum of some 70,000, situated on a spit of land with a river on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other.

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Education
3:37 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Budget Cuts Threaten A Unique Alabama Prison Education Program

Inmates from several Alabama state prisons take a math class at J.F. Ingram State Technical College. The campus becomes a medium-security facility when the students arrive.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 5:34 am

In a small classroom in Alabama's Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women, a dozen women sit at long gray tables. They all wear the same coarse white jumpsuits as a projector shows tips on "responding to anger" and "developing a positive self-concept."

This prompts 34-year-old Tamara Kirkwood to reflect on her past.

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Parallels
3:28 am
Sat August 23, 2014

China's Pollution Crisis Inspires An Unsettling Art Exhibit

This fishing boat draped with sick animals is the signature piece of The Ninth Wave, an exhibit by artist Cai Guo-Qiang that opened at Shanghai's Power Station of Art this month.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 5:34 am

When 16,000 dead pigs floated down a river in Shanghai last year, it inspired a lot of questions about China's environmental conditions and a lot of disgust.

Now, those pigs have helped inspire an arresting exhibit at Shanghai's contemporary art museum, the Power Station of Art.

The solo show, called The Ninth Wave, opened this month and features the work of a top, Chinese contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang. His installations are grand, provocative and unsettling.

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Parallels
12:30 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Scotland's Independence Vote And The Fate Of Britain's Nuclear Subs

A trident submarine makes it's way out from Faslane naval base in 2009. Scotland votes on whether it wants independence next month, raising questions about the future of Britain's naval base, including its nuclear subs.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

After 300 years in the United Kingdom, Scotland votes next month on whether to break the union, which raises many questions. One is particularly meaningful in the town of Helensburgh, in Western Scotland: What will happen to the U.K.'s nuclear weapons?

The Trident submarine program is based in Scotland, at Faslane naval base.

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Around the Nation
3:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In New York And Ferguson, Two Deaths, Two Different Responses

Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died on July 17 after being placed in a chokehold by police. His death sparked numerous protests, including a march scheduled for this Saturday. Here, Garner's sister Ellisha Flagg (center) leads demonstrators on a march toward the 120th Precinct on July 22, following a vigil demanding justice for her brother.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:46 pm

The deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of police have shocked the country this summer: Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by police in Staten Island, N.Y., and Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot by police in Ferguson, Mo.

Thousands of protesters will march in New York on Saturday to demand justice for Garner, and organizers say Brown's parents will speak at the rally. But while the two cases have some things in common, there are also key differences, including the way police in the local communities reacted.

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Race
3:25 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Obama's Reaction To Ferguson Raises Questions About President's Role

Attorney General Eric Holder talks with Ferguson, Mo., residents Angela Whitman (left) and Jill Richards on Wednesday at Drake's Place Restaurant about issues surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown.
J.B. Forbes MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

Ferguson, Mo., has seen nearly two weeks of protests after an unarmed 18-year-old African-American man was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white police officer. This week, a black leader stepped in to help defuse tensions. But it wasn't a civil rights spokesman or the first African-American president. It was Attorney General Eric Holder.

Some political observers are asking why Obama can't seem to speak for himself on race. Many observers argue that Holder often talks frankly about race when the president can't or won't.

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NPR Story
3:15 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

For Obama, August Is The Cruelest Month

President Obama plays golf on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts on Thursday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

President Obama returns to Washington this weekend after a two-week family vacation.

It wasn't exactly restful. The break was interrupted several times by events in Iraq and in Ferguson, Mo.

On Wednesday, Obama raised eyebrows by hitting the golf course, minutes after delivering a tough statement on the murder of an American journalist by militants from the Islamic State.

You know it's bad is when even the French are criticizing you for taking too much time off.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

A street market remains empty in Monrovia's West Point slum as part of quarantine measures to contain the spread of Ebola in Liberia.
Zoom Dosso AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:03 pm

In the shadows of West Africa's Ebola outbreak, food shortages are starting to develop.

This time of year is traditionally the lean season in West Africa, when last year's harvest of rice or groundnuts is mostly exhausted. Until recently, people were quite hopeful about the approaching harvest this year.

"The rainfall situation was very good," says Shukri Ahmed, a senior economist with the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome. "We were actually developing an optimistic forecast for crop production this year."

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Suicide Bombing In Iraq Kills Dozens Of Sunni Worshippers

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Dozens of Sunnis attending a mosque for Friday prayers have been killed in a suicide attack in Iraq's eastern Diyala province — the latest sectarian violence to hit the deeply divided country.

The Associated Press says at least 64 people were killed in the suicide bombing, which was followed up by gunmen who attacked the mosque where Sunni tribesmen who had rebuffed cooperation with Islamic State militants were attending Friday prayers.

The BBC says:

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Men In America
2:43 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

In Changing America, Gay Masculinity Has 'Many Different Shades'

The Colorado Rush, a gay rugby team in Denver, at practice. "I've always thought of myself as ... the rugby player that happens to be gay," says Skyler Meyer. "I never want to be the gay man who happens to play rugby."
Luke Runyon KUNC

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive to some readers.

Life as a gay man in the U.S. has changed in the past decade — the law and cultural attitudes toward homosexuality have shifted. And those greater social and legal freedoms have also changed how some gay men choose to express their masculinity — and their femininity.

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Around the Nation
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Sending A Message About Drug Use With A Fake Graveyard

Faux tombstones line a lawn in Medinah, Ill. It's a campaign to heighten awareness about an epidemic of heroin and pain pill overdoses — a prelude to International Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

In the suburbs of Chicago, a stark reminder of the toll of heroin and prescription-pill addiction is making the rounds as a lawn exhibit. One hundred fake tombstones and banners are set up at a new location every week as a precursor to International Overdose Awareness Day.

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Commentary
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Neither A 'Sissy' Nor A Saint: An Offer Of Priesthood Prompts A Coming Out

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And now a story about a spiritual matchup - one that wasn't quite the right fit.

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Latin America
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Out Of Tragedy, A New Brazilian Presidential Contender Emerges

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Sports
2:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Little League Phenom Takes Her Exit, But The Series Goes On

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:09 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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