NPR News

Television
2:23 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

TLC's 'Honey Boo Boo' Cancellation Shows Dangers of Exploitative TV

June "Mama June" Shannon, right, jokes with her daughter Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, star of TLC's unscripted series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
John Bazemore ASSOCIATED PRESS

It's easy to slip into gloating mode, now that TLC has finally canceled a show so many of us critics have hated for so long: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Unfortunately, the cancellation comes following a horrifying moment; gossip site TMZ reported Thursday that June "Mama June" Shannon, the mother of child beauty pageant contestant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, has resumed dating an old boyfriend who was convicted of molesting an 8-year-old related to Shannon.

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Shooting In Washington School Leaves Shooter, One Other Dead

A shooting at a Marysville, Wash., school left a gunman and one other person dead, police said on Friday.

Television images showed students running out of Marysville-Pilchuck High School with their hands up, while police moved room to room with guns drawn. Police were responding to the school over reports of a shooting.

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Movie Reviews
2:11 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Alienating Leading Men: The Force Behind 'Listen Up Philip' And 'Majeure'

A 'controlled avalanche' gets out of control in Force Majeure.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Back in 1940, in a review of the then-new Rodgers & Hart musical Pal Joey, New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson famously asked whether a show with a "cad" for a hero could ever really work for audiences.

"How can you draw sweet water," he wondered, "from a foul well?"

Goes without saying that times have changed, what with antiheroes now common on the big screen, and cable TV celebrating everything from mobster Sopranos to sexist Mad Men, to drug dealers for whom everything always breaks Bad.

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Goats and Soda
2:06 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

When You've Seen Subway Rats, Ebola Seems Like Nothin'

The media is all over this story: Ebola in NYC! Don Weiss, a doctor with the New York City Health Department, faces microphones outside the bowling alley visited by the physician who tested positive for the virus.
John Minchillo AP

Yesterday, public health officials announced that Ebola had been identified for the first time in both Mali, a country that neighbors Guinea, and New York City. The arrival of the virus in another West African country is a cause for concern. The World Health Organization has sent a team of health experts to manage contact tracing and infection control for the two-year-old patient.

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Goats and Soda
1:26 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Fashion Police: Why Are You Wearing Rubber Boots In Liberia?

On the streets of Liberia, chlorinated water is available for hand washing.
John Moore Getty Images

Working in Ebola hotspots is old hat for NPR. We've had reporters and photographers at the epidemic since April. Our global health correspondent Jason Beaubien has been to West Africa three times during the crisis.

This week it's my turn.

When I left the U.S. last week, I brought a list of tips from veteran Ebola reporters for keeping myself safe. Many of them are proving to be quite useful:

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Parallels
1:24 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

In Southeast Turkey, A Long History Of Bloodshed And Worship

The pillars at Gobekli Tepe resemble those at Stonehenge — but pre-date them by several thousand years.
J. Pfeiffer DPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:47 pm

The Urfa plain in southeastern Turkey — not far from where Syrian refugees watch fighters from the so-called Islamic State wage a brutal war in the name of a primitive version of their faith — is one of the most fought-over landscapes in human civilization.

But on the plain — soaked in blood since the days when Sumerian and Assyrian kings ruled Mesopotamia — there's a place that's even older, so old that its denizens hadn't mastered the arts of pottery, writing or making war.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Fri October 24, 2014

'Freakish' Sunspot Wows Astronomers

NASA image of sunspot AR 2192
NASA

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:55 pm

As sunspots go, AR 2192 is, as astronomer Phil Plait has noted, "freakishly huge."

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Shots - Health News
10:10 am
Fri October 24, 2014

In Minnesota, Abandoned Wheelchairs Are Just Part Of The Landscape

A lone Mayo Clinic wheelchair sits on the Cascade Creek walking trail near Kutzky Park in Rochester, Minn.
Elizabeth Baier MPR News

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:20 pm

Anyone who has spent much time in Minnesota's "Med City" can't help but notice that wheelchairs are everywhere.

From city parking ramps and downtown sidewalks to park trails and the local mall, the chairs have an inescapable presence.

More than likely that has do to with the fact that Rochester is home to Mayo Clinic, visited by thousands of patients every day. Many of them use wheelchairs to get around. So it's not surprising that they exist in big numbers.

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NPR Ed
9:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?

The Limbic Reward System lights up when curiosity is piqued.
LA Johnson NPR

How does a sunset work? We love to look at them, but Jolanda Blackwell wanted her 8th graders to really think about them, to wonder and question.

So Blackwell, who teaches science at Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior High in Davis, Calif., had her students watch a video of a sunset on YouTube as part of a physics lesson on motion.

"I asked them: 'So what's moving? And why?'" Blackwell says. The students had a lot of ideas. Some thought the sun was moving, others, of course, knew that a sunset is the result of the earth spinning around on its axis.

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Shots - Health News
9:27 am
Fri October 24, 2014

VIDEO: Talking While Female

NPR

Ask a woman if anybody has ever complained about her voice and, chances are, you'll get a story. Watch the above animated video, and you'll see what we mean.

Your voice is too squeaky, it's too loud, it lacks authority, it sounds childish, it's grating or obnoxious or unprofessional.

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The Two-Way
9:18 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Dallas Nurse Nina Pham, Now 'Ebola Free,' Discharged By NIH

Nina Pham, 26, who became the first person to contract Ebola within the United States, is set to be released after testing free of the virus.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:55 am

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who became the first person to contract Ebola on U.S. soil, is now free of the virus and has been discharged from a special facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Speaking at a news conference, Pham said in a statement that she felt "fortunate and blessed" and put her trust "in God and my medical team."

"I believe in the power of prayer because I know so many people around the world were praying for me," she said.

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The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Halloween High Jinks For Fun And Nonprofits

Evelyn FitzGerald, 2 months old, is in a Princess Leia — of Star Wars renown — costume made from recycled clothes by her mother Shenandoah Brettell of El Segundo, Calif. "I made the wig out of yarn and the belt out of felt," says Shenandoah, who listens to NPR member station KPCC.
Shenandoah Brettell

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:15 pm

Making costumes from secondhand stuff is a part of the Halloween scene in 2014, according to Goodwill. We call it boocycling.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Boko Haram Reportedly Abducts More Girls Despite Cease-Fire Deal

Earlier this month, people demonstrated in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, calling on the government to rescue girls taken from a secondary school in Chibok region in April. Now there are reports that militants of the extremist Boko Haram movement have kidnapped more girls.
Olamikan Gbemiga AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:50 am

As Nigeria awaits the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls under a cease-fire deal with their Boko Haram captors, reports have come in that 25 more women and girls were abducted shortly after a truce was announced last Saturday.

The government in Abuja has condemned the latest reported abductions from two villages in the country's northeast Adamawa state by suspected militants from the extremist group.

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The Two-Way
6:14 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Mali's First Ebola Case In Current Outbreak Is 2-Year-Old Girl

A volunteer receives the experimental Ebola vaccination "cAd3-EBO-Z" at the vaccines center in Bamako, Mali, earlier this month. Mali has become the sixth country in West Africa to report Ebola.
Alex Duval Smith EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 11:55 am

Mali has become the sixth country in West Africa to confirm a case of Ebola, after a 2-year-old girl who arrived from neighboring Guinea tested positive for the hemorrhagic virus.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib says of the young girl: "She traveled with her grandmother in Guinea and returned to Mali. We don't have all details of this trip."

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The Salt
5:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

A Wisecracking Biochemist Shares Her Kitchen ABCs

A selection of foods discussed by Shirley Corriher at the National Press Club on Oct. 22.
Alison Bruzek/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:58 pm

Biochemists aren't really known for their sense of humor. But we recently met one who was warm, inviting and downright hilarious. "When chemists don't know what something is, they call it a substance," quips Shirley Corriher.

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The Two-Way
4:47 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Man With Hatchet Shot Dead After Attacking NYPD Officers

In this frame grab taken from video provided by the New York Police Department, an unidentified man approaches New York City police officers with a hatchet Thursday. The man was fatally shot by police after he wounded two officers.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:26 pm

A hatchet-wielding man has been shot and killed by police after he attacked a group of patrol officers, wounding two on a busy street in Queens, New York.

One of the officers was struck in the head and another in the arm during the attack, which occurred about 2 p.m. ET on Thursday. A bystander, a 29-year-old woman, was hit in the back by a stray police bullet as the assailant was engaged by the officers.

The New York Times reports:

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Strange News
3:07 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Halloween Twitter War Pits Conan O'Brien Against Madeleine Albright

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 5:03 am

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

The Two-Way
3:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

European Scientists Conclude That Distant Comet Smells Terrible

The Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko smells of rotten eggs, drunk people and horses.
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:35 am

A European spacecraft orbiting a distant comet has finally answered a question we've all been wondering: What does a comet smell like?

"It stinks," says Kathrin Altwegg, a researcher at the University of Bern in Switzerland who runs an instrument called ROSINA that picked up the odor.

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Around the Nation
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

With Ferguson Protests, 20-Somethings Become First-Time Activists

Dontey Carter (from left), Mel Moffitt, Lenard Smith, Ned Alexander and Allen Frazier are all members of the Lost Voices group, formed after Michael Brown's death in August. They say they want to ensure justice for Michael Brown and other unarmed individuals killed by police officers.
Cheryl Corley NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 9:18 am

In the weeks after 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., protesters gathered daily at the site of a burned-out convenience store.

About a block away, the empty lot of a boarded-up restaurant became the campsite for a group of young activists called the Lost Voices. During the protests, the group "invited all the people who can't come out every day and wanted to share the experience with us," says Lenard Smith.

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Politics
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Courting Republicans, Georgia Democrat Tries To Keep His Seat

Rep. John Barrow speaks at First African Baptist Church in Dublin, Ga. Barrow needs African-Americans to turn out on Election Day, but they're not enough to put him over the top.
Sarah McCammon NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:25 pm

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Parallels
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Iraq's Abu Ghraib Is Back In The News, Now As A Front-Line Town

Iraqi policemen patrol Abu Ghraib, 25 miles west of Baghdad, in June. Islamic State militants have captured many cities and town in western Iraq this year. The government still controls Abu Ghraib, but the militants are nearby and local tribes are also restive.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 8:23 am

To get to Abu Ghraib, I hitch a ride with an Iraqi military patrol. We start in Baghdad, where the convoy of battered Humvees weaves through heavy traffic. But as we head out west of the capital, the roads empty and we hardly see any civilian cars.

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Remembrances
2:53 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Journalist And Political Aide Frank Mankiewicz Dies At 90

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 5:03 am

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

The Two-Way
12:23 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Frank Mankiewicz, Aide Who Announced Robert Kennedy's Death, Dies

Frank Mankiewicz, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's press secretary, updates the media about Kennedy's condition after being shot in June 1968. Mankiewicz died Thursday at the age of 90.
AP

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 11:50 am

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

Frank Mankiewicz, a longtime Washington insider who as press secretary to Robert Kennedy in 1968 announced the senator's death by an assassin's bullet and who later served as the head of NPR, has died at age 90.

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The Two-Way
7:41 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Criticized Over Missing Mexican Students, Governor Of Guerrero Will Step Down

After the kidnapping and disappearance of dozens of students in his state of Guerrero, Gov. Angel Aguirre announced he would step down on Thursday.
Jesus Guerrero AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 10:16 pm

The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero, where 43 students were kidnapped and disappeared last month, says he will leave office.

Angel Aguirre had been under growing pressure to step down as the investigation of the student's disappearance dragged on.

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The Two-Way
5:50 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

EU Leaders Agree To Cut Emissions By At Least 40 Percent

European Union leaders announced on Thursday that they had agreed to cut emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, made the announcement on Twitter, saying the agreement marked the "world's most ambitious, cost effective, fair climate energy policy."

The AP reports:

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All Tech Considered
4:24 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Calling 911 On Your Cell? It's Harder To Find You Than You Think

The Fairfax County 911 Center in Virginia takes calls during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was relatively easy to locate callers when most people used landlines. But most 911 calls now come from cellphones, which can pinpoint a callers' location only within 100 to 300 meters.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. Mai/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 4:57 pm

Today's mobile phones can do almost everything a computer can. But we still need them for their most basic purpose: making phone calls — especially in emergencies.

Yet existing technology can't always pinpoint a caller's location, particularly when a 911 caller is indoors.

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed new regulations for wireless carriers to help address the problem, but so far, wireless providers are resisting the changes.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Second White House Fence Jumper Had Been Arrested Before

A Secret Service police officer walks outside the White House in Washington on Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:59 pm

The man who jumped the White House fence on Wednesday night has been charged with unlawful entry of the White House grounds and harming animals used in law enforcement.

According to officials, Dominic Adesanya kicked and punched two Secret Service dogs. NPR's Tamara Keith filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The dogs, Hurricane and Jordan, helped stop the fence jumper in his tracks on the White House lawn.

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The Salt
4:13 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

How 'Foodies' Were Duped Into Thinking McDonald's Was High-End Food

McDonald's Organic/youtube

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:24 pm

We all know that how a food is packaged and marketed can influence our choices, no matter how hard we try to shake the effect. Haven't you ever found yourself contemplating a row of wines, trying to decide which bottle to buy, and then opting for the one with the higher price tag, the prettier label or the more tempting descriptors?

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Around the Nation
4:13 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Park Service Construction Damaged Native American Burial Sites

Jim Nepstad, superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument in northeast Iowa, stands at the top of a bluff looking over the Mississippi River.
Clay Masters NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 12:10 pm

Imagine being able to drive an all-terrain vehicle right up next to a sacred earthen Native American burial mound.

At Effigy Mounds National Monument, you can. Three million dollars' worth of illegal construction projects went on for a decade at one of the nation's most sacred Native American burial grounds in northeast Iowa. And it happened under the watch of the National Park Service.

The park didn't do the proper archaeological studies before installing an intricate boardwalk system that now encircles ancient burial mounds that are shaped like bears and birds.

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Law
3:29 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

ACLU Challenges Miami Law On Behalf Of Homeless Sex Offenders

This encampment under the Julia Tuttle Causeway in Miami, shown in 2008, was cleared out by authorities in 2009. It was home to sex offenders who were unable to find places where they were permitted to live under Miami-Dade County's strict residency law. Although this makeshift community was broken up, homeless sex offenders continue to camp out in other areas of the county.
David Adame AP

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 6:15 pm

Miami-Dade County's sex offender residency restrictions — some of the tightest in the country — drew national attention a few years ago when an encampment of sex offenders sprang up on a causeway in Biscayne Bay. After a public outcry, local and state authorities evicted several dozen people, mostly men, from that makeshift settlement.

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