KRWG

NPR News

Please note:  Sometimes, NPR publishes headlines before the story and/or audio is ready; check back for content later if this occurs.  We also publish national/world news on our home page from AP, BBC, and others.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

If you are the kind of person who picks up a box of food in the store and studies the label to see how much sugar or salt is in it, you can thank a man named Michael Jacobson.

A massive shift happened, quietly, during the Obama years: Democrats got comfortable and gave up their lead in digital campaigning, Democratic and Republican political operatives say.

Republicans, meanwhile, itched to regain power and invested heavily in using the Internet to build political support.

Now, liberals in Silicon Valley want to shift the balance of power.

As some residents of South Texas begin to dry out their homes and belongings, significant challenges lie ahead as the city of Houston and others in the affected area look to recover and rebuild.

Congress is fast-tracking billions of dollars in recovery funding. But just because that down payment on Harvey recovery is on the way, that doesn't mean the rebuilding of Houston and other areas hammered by the storm's high winds and historic rains will go quickly or smoothly.

Here are five challenges ahead for the Harvey recovery:

Hurricane Irma — still swirling with Category 5 winds — could make a direct hit on Florida within days. And residents are preparing for a whopper of a storm, whether or not they plan on evacuating their homes.

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday morning that Miami-Dade County should prepare for "deadly storm surge and life-threatening winds."

"If you're in an evacuation area, do not wait to get out," Scott warned. "This thing is bigger than our entire state right now, so take this seriously."

The Department of Education will change its approach to campus sexual misconduct and begin a public notice and comment process to issue new regulations, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced today. In a speech at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, DeVos decried "a system run amok," "kangaroo courts" and repeatedly emphasized the plight of the accused. "One rape is one too many ... one person denied due process is one too many," she said. Outside, protesters yelled, "Stop protecting rapists!"

A bit of background.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

A string of tiny Caribbean islands have been left stunned and devastated by the destructive force of Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the region. Some islands appear to have been spared, but others suffered loss of life and damage on a near-apocalyptic scale.

Antigua and Barbuda

Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET

You might call it "The Schumer Test." It goes something like this: If you're a Republican and Chuck Schumer is happy, then it's likely not a good day.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The Sprague Fire that's burning in Glacier National Park reached the historic Sperry Chalet hotel building and "rapidly engulfed" it, according to the website for this historic building.

"We are saddened to inform you that Sperry Chalet has been lost," the website now reads.

Sperry Chalet.

I hadn't thought about it for years.

Back in 2000, my family spent the night, and all the memories – the miserable ones and the fantastic ones – came rushing back.

It has been 18 years since a magnitude 7.4 earthquake hit northwest Turkey, killing some 17,000 people and leaving half a million homeless. A series of government initiatives were designed to make the next big quake less deadly. But experts are warning that some of those protections have been lost in a rush to develop urban green spaces into lucrative apartment buildings and shopping malls.

As the water rose on their first-floor apartment, Rosa Sosa and her family fled to a vacant unit on the second floor. They watched in horror as it continued to rise, as it swallowed most of the cars in the parking lot that rings their sprawling two-story complex, as it stuck around, stubbornly, even after the rain stopped.

Updated at 5:00 a.m. ET Friday

The National Hurricane Center says Irma is now a Category 4 storm. It has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

Hurricane Irma continued its northwestward sweep Thursday evening, losing little steam as it skirted the Dominican Republic and Haiti and bearing the full force of its 165-mph winds down upon the southeastern Bahamas and away from the Turks and Caicos islands. Forecasters upgraded their alert for South Florida to a warning.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When you're building a zoo disaster plan, there's one thing to keep in mind: Murphy's law. Anything that could go wrong, will.

Just ask the flock of flamingos that weathered Hurricane Andrew in a public restroom at Zoo Miami in 1992.

Or, you could ask the zoo personnel across the coast who've been running emergency drills since the start of hurricane season.

The record is clear: Neither Charles Manson nor any of his murderous followers in the Tate-LaBianca killings have been released from prison so far, but attorney Rich Pfeiffer is hoping to change that.

Pfeiffer represents Leslie Van Houten, 68, who has spent more than 40 years in prison.

She and others were convicted in the murders of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969.

Why Do Parrots (And People) Eat Clay?

Sep 7, 2017

The parrots of Southeastern Peru crave an earthy delicacy: dirt. At the Colorado clay lick, a cliff face rising above the Tambopata River in the western Amazon Basin, parrots — often hundreds at a time from up to 18 species — gather each day to feast on sun-hardened clay.

"It's a real spectacle of both sight and sound," says biologist Donald Brightsmith of Texas A&M University.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So there is a whole lot that President Trump wants from Congress - Hurricane Harvey relief, a fix for DACA, maybe a border wall.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

During the last few weeks of August, Torri Hayslett's room at McKinley Technology High School feels more like an accountant's office than a college adviser's.

"Thirty-one thousand dollars minus $4,000, minus $2,500," she says, saying the numbers out loud before punching them into the calculator. She's sitting with one of her students, who recently graduated from McKinley. They're looking over her first college bill.

"Does the $9,000 include the $3,000?" Hayslett asks. "I think that is including," the student responds. "Again, I do not know a lot of logistics right now."

Lonely? Rent A Fish

Sep 7, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There aren't any case workers manning the phones at the offices of the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation on a tree-lined street in Wilmington, Del. In fact, there isn't anyone there at all.

The foundation exists on paper as an institution dedicated to making it possible for American families to adopt Russian children, but in the world of international advocacy, things sometimes mean more than they seem.

In this case, sanctions.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

Donald Trump Jr. told congressional investigators on Thursday that his June 2016 meeting with a Russian contingent after an offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton provided no useful information and was ultimately a waste of time.

In fact after it was over, Trump Jr. said, "I gave it no further thought."

The meeting, which took place at Trump Tower in New York City, has emerged as an important point of the investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia's interference in last year's election.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

Nearly one month since Danish inventor Peter Madsen returned to Copenhagen, rescued alone from his sunken homemade submarine, he appeared in court to explain the death and gruesome burial of the reporter who had been with him when he set out.

The Kanawha County Prosecutor's Office has dropped a criminal charge against a reporter arrested in May after "yelling" questions at Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in the West Virginia State Capitol.

Pages