NPR News

It's All Politics
7:33 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

What Happens In A 50-50 Senate? Even More Joe Biden

Vice President Biden laughs as he is introduced by DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., at the DNC Women's Leadership conference in Washington, Friday. At the event, Biden praised former GOP Sen. Bob Packwood, who resigned from the Senate in 1995 after allegations of sexual misconduct.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:22 pm

If you didn't get enough Joe Biden this week — choose your favorite gaffe, "Shylocks," "Orient," or the tin-eared Bob Packwood referencethere's good news.

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Parallels
7:32 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

U.S., Iraqi Militias Join In Uneasy Alliance

Members of the Mehdi Army militia, which once fought U.S. forces in Iraq, take part in training in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on June 17. The militia's fighters now find themselves allied with the U.S. against the self-declared Islamic State.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

In the Middle East, alliances have a strange way of shifting. And as the United States again becomes deeply involved in the conflict in Iraq, it's found itself making some strange alliances too.

Militias that used to fights American forces in Iraq are now fighting against the Islamic State — on the same side as the U.S. — and all sides involved have reservations about it.

A decade ago in Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite suburb of Baghdad, the Mehdi Army, led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, began to fight bitterly against American forces, calling them occupiers.

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Code Switch
7:32 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

MacArthur Fellow Trains Lawyers To Work For Clients, Not Judges

Jonathan Rapping, president and founder of Gideon's Promise.
MacArthur Foundation The John D. and Catherine T. Mac

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 1:56 pm

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World
3:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Ugandan LGBT Activist Recommended For Asylum In U.S.

Ugandan gay-rights activist John Abdallah Wambere, right, embraces attorney Janson Wu, after announcing his application for asylum in May. The U.S. government has now formally recommended Wambere's application for approval.
Josh Reynolds AP

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 6:31 pm

This past week, John Abdallah Wambere finally heard the seven words he had been waiting for:

"Your application has been recommended for approval."

Wambere, a prominent Ugandan LGBT-rights activist, had applied for asylum in the United States, due to anti-gay persecution in his home country.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Snowden Reveal Makes Israeli Spies' Protest An American Issue

At a cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv on Sept. 14, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the 43 Unit 8200 refusniks of "baseless slander" which "should be condemned."
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 6:31 pm

Last Friday, 43 veteran and reserve members of Israel's secretive spy organization, Unit 8200, claimed they'd been directed to spy on Palestinians for coercion purposes.

The group signed an open letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, accusing the spy agency of targeting innocent Palestinians and collecting data for political purposes, not national security.

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NPR Story
3:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Libya Still Hampered By Violence And Political Unrest

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 6:31 pm

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

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NPR Story
3:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Turkey Sees Influx Of Refugees Fleeing ISIS

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 6:31 pm

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

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Space
3:02 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Mission To Study Mars' Climate Enters Red Planet's Orbit

In this artist concept provided by NASA, the MAVEN spacecraft approaches Mars on a mission to study its upper atmosphere.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 8:41 pm

This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.

MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Thousands Of Refugees Flee Syria In Chaotic Scene At Turkey's Border

A Syrian family waits near the Turkish-Syrian border after entering Turkey near the town of Sanliurfa Sunday. An estimated 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled the extremist group the Islamic State this weekend.
Ulas Yunus Tosun EPA /LANDOV

An estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees have fled the violence brought by extremist group ISIS this weekend, choosing to cross into Turkey carrying whatever belongings they can manage.

The rush of predominantly Kurdish refugees came as fighters loyal to ISIS seized dozens of villages in the area. While a U.N. agency reported about 70,000 refugees this weekend, a Turkish official says 100,000 Syrians have come to Turkey for shelter in the past week.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Sun September 21, 2014

Man Caught At White House Is An Army Veteran

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 3:10 pm

Omar J. Gonzales, the 42-year-old man who the Secret Service says ran onto the White House grounds and entered a door Friday night, is an Army veteran who served in Iraq and was reportedly a sniper.

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The Two-Way
11:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

For Oktoberfest-Goers In Munich, A Parade And A Party

People wearing traditional Bavarian clothes take a break after the Oktoberfest parade in Munich Sunday. Millions of beer drinkers from around the world will visit the Bavarian capital over the next two weeks for the festival.
Michael Dalder Reuters /Landov

Munich kicked off this year's Oktoberfest Saturday, beginning festivities in which the city expects to host 6 million visitors. Today's events included a parade celebrating Bavarian culture – and of course, the rampant consumption of beer, served in a traditional one-liter Mass mug.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Sun September 21, 2014

One Year After Kenyan Mall Attack, Few Answers Have Emerged

Survivors and relatives of victims carry Kenya's national flags on the anniversary of last year's deadly attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya's capital of Nairobi.
Thomas Mukoya Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Kenyans are marking the first anniversary of a deadly attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi that sparked a siege and created new uncertainty over the reach of extremist violence in Africa. The attackers were identified as Islamist militants from Somalia, but few other details about the incident have emerged.

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Health Care
9:15 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Which Catholics Offer Birth Control? Look To The Insurers

Sisters of the Servants of Mary from Kansas City, Kan., at a rally in 2012. Catholic employers don't want to offer insurance coverage for contraceptives, but Catholic insurance companies have quietly arranged for coverage for years.
John Hanna AP

The Affordable Care Act requires that most health plans offer birth control to women.

Around the country, Catholic employers have been arguing in court that having anything to do with insurance coverage of contraceptives violates their freedom of religion.

But when the insurance companies themselves are Catholic, contraceptive coverage comes without a hitch.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Afghan Presidential Rivals End Dispute — And A Long Election Season

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shake hands after signing a power-sharing pact in Kabul Sunday. The first vote in the election was held in April; a runoff followed in June.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

Habemus Praesidentem: there's white smoke in Kabul – figuratively speaking.

And like choosing a pope, selecting Afghanistan's new president has been a long and enigmatic process. Candidate registration began on Sept. 16, 2013. The first round of voting was on April 5. The second round on June 14.

And now, on Sept. 21, Afghan election officials announced that Ashraf Ghani is the country's the next president. He'll succeed President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

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The Two-Way
6:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 3:00 pm

Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.

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Around the Nation
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Lodging Like A High-End Health Club

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

Copyright 2014 WSHU Public Radio Group. To see more, visit http://www.wshu.org/.

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Environment
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Climate Marchers Try To Build Momentum For 2015

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

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

Afghanistan
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Afghan Presidential Candidates Sign Power-Sharing Agreement

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

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

Middle East
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Syrian Refugees Flood Turkish Border

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

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

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National Security
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

U.S. Launches Media Campaign To Counter ISIS Videos

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:36 am

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

Performing Arts
5:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

For This Job, You Need A Creepy Voice And A Fabulous Scream

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

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

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Shots - Health News
3:38 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Terminally Ill, But Constantly Hospitalized

Paula and Ron Faber walk their dog Millie in 2009, between cancer diagnoses.
Shelley Seccombe Shelley Seccombe

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 9:15 am

The place: Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.

The diagnosis: fast-growing, small-cell lung cancer.

The patient: Paula Faber, unrepentant, life-long smoker.

The choice: treat it aggressively to extend life, but probably not cure the disease, or manage the pain and focus on the quality of life.

It was September 2012 and it was Paula Faber's third cancer in a decade, but she did not hesitate.

"She was going to fight it every inch of the way," says her husband Ron Faber.

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Middle East
4:40 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Dozens Of ISIS Hostages Freed And Sent To Turkey

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 4:51 pm

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

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Afghan Rivals Have Signed Power-Sharing Agreement

Abdullah Abullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani, shown here on August 8, have been contesting the results of Afghanistan's runoff presidential election for months. They are expected to sign a power-sharing deal on Sunday.
Wakil Kohsar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 5:41 am

This post was updated at 7:40 a.m. ET Sunday.

Afghanistan's disputed presidential election is finally coming to a close, as the two rivals for the presidency have reached a power-sharing deal that they formally signed on Sunday.

Under the agreement, Ashraf Ghani is poised to replace the outgoing current president, Hamid Karzai. The deal will create a national unity government and delegate limited powers to the loser of the election.

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Parallels
1:58 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

When The U.S. Backs Rebels, It Doesn't Often Go As Planned

Nicaragua's Contra rebels in 1990. The U.S. backed the Contras in the 1980s, which led to the ouster of the leftist Sandinista leadership. But the U.S. aid violated American law and contributed to the biggest scandal of President Reagan's administration.
Michael Stravato AP

As the U.S. steps up arms and training, Syria's "moderate" rebels are joining a long line of resistance movements the Americans have backed over the decades, from Angola to Afghanistan.

The high-water mark was President Reagan's administration in the 1980s, when the U.S. supplied weapons to three rebel groups on three separate continents in Cold War proxy fights designed to undermine the Soviet Union.

So how have they worked out?

Well, it's complicated.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Ravens Fans Line Up To Trade In Ray Rice Jerseys At Stadium

Baltimore Ravens fans exchange the jersey of the team's former running back Ray Rice at M&T Bank Stadium Friday. "He should have been the man here and backed away" instead of hitting his fiancee, a female fan says.
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:19 pm

Fans of the Baltimore Ravens, which earlier this month cut star running back Ray Rice over a domestic violence scandal, are lining up today to exchange jerseys featuring the player's name. It reportedly took more than an hour to get through the line around the Ravens' M&T Bank Stadium.

This is the second day of the trade-in, just one of the recent developments in a scandal that started taking shape back in February, when Rice hit his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at a casino resort in Atlantic City.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Calif. School District Will Get Rid Of Controversial Armored Vehicle

The San Diego School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue operations. The district had released renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is repainted. This version shows it as a police vehicle.
San Diego Unified School District

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:17 pm

Yielding to residents' concerns, the San Diego Unified School District says it's returning the 18-ton MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Department of Defense's surplus equipment program.

San Diego officials had said the MRAP would be used only as a rescue vehicle in extreme circumstances — but that didn't satisfy the plan's critics, particularly in a summer marked by controversy over police using military-grade equipment to face off with demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo.

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Pope Names A Moderate To Be Chicago's New Archbishop

Bishop Blase Cupich will replace Cardinal Francis George as the new archbishop of Chicago. He's seen here in 2011, presenting a Church study on clergy sex abuse.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 12:11 pm

One of America's largest Catholic dioceses is getting a new leader, as Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., to be the next archbishop of Chicago. Cupich will replace Cardinal Francis George, 77, a conservative who has spoken out on many social issues in his 17 years in the post.

Update at 10: 40 a.m. ET: Cardinal George Introduces Cupich

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Politics
8:18 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go To The Border To Court Voters

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shakes hands with state Attorney General Greg Abbott after their debate in the Rio Grande Valley on Friday.
Gabe Hernandez AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 4:21 pm

The candidates running for Texas governor, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, held their first televised debate on Friday in heavily Hispanic South Texas, in the border county of Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley.

The county is 90 percent Hispanic. It was the first gubernatorial debate on the border since 1998.

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the fast-growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and many Republicans believe their survival lies in recruiting Hispanic supporters.

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Goats and Soda
8:01 am
Sat September 20, 2014

Workers Hand Out Soap And Advice As Sierra Leone Locks Down

During the three-day lockdown, the government of Sierra Leone is sending teams of workers door-to-door to talk to people about how to protect themselves from Ebola.
Anders Kelto/NPR

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 9:16 am

Sierra Leone is holding a country-wide experiment: For three days, no one is allowed to leave their home.

It's part of the country's strategy for controlling the deadly Ebola virus. While people across Sierra Leone stay at home, teams of workers go door-to-door, educating the public about the disease.

The effort got its shaky start on Friday.

The streets were empty in the heart of Freetown, the capitol. The only sound came from a few street sweepers and a police van blasting a song from an old speaker.

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