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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Democratic presidential candidates played to a full house in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Friday night — in the same ballroom where in 1959 Buddy Holly played his last-ever show. At the historic Surf Ballroom, with a vintage mirror ball dangling from the ceiling, candidates offered up a version of their own greatest hits.

In her speech, Hillary Clinton took a new approach, going after those who have been attacking her over her email accounts and over her actions during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Greek island of Kos, near the coast of Turkey, is a popular tourist retreat, but it has also become the latest destination for huge numbers of refugees and migrants going to Europe.

Teachers Nizar and Nasser plotted their escape from the Syrian city of Damascus during coffee breaks at school. They both came from religious minorities threatened by the Islamic State. Worn down by the constant shelling they decided to try to seek asylum in Europe and quickly secure visas for their families, who hid with relatives.

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May we begin by getting you to read the first paragraph of your first novel?

OTTESSA MOSHFEGH: Sure.

OK, so maybe it was the photo of the painted goat that first caught our eye. (After all, we are Goats and Soda).

But there are many other gems from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest.

Paris turns a bank of the River Seine into an urban beach every August, providing a respite for Parisians who can't get away for a summer vacation.

This year the Israeli seaside city of Tel Aviv was the theme for what was supposed to be a day of music and food trucks set amid sand, umbrellas and palm trees. But the faux seashore turned into a Middle East political battleground on Thursday.

"Israel murderers, Paris accomplices!" the pro-Palestinian protesters shouted next to a children's playground by the river.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

Chinese police are clearing everyone within 2 miles of a fire in the port city of Tianjin over fears of chemical poisoning, days after a massive explosion that authorities now say has killed at least 104 people.

Police confirmed that highly toxic sodium cyanide was present near the site, raising fears that spread of the chemical could cause more casualties.

A Colorado man plead guilty on Thursday to littering. He wasn't dumping trash, or toxic waste from a mine, but books, writes the Times-Call newspaper.

The paper reports that Glenn Pladsen, 62, got a ticket this spring after he tossed books along U.S. 287. Pladsen lives in Arvada, a town just outside of Denver, and apparently threw thousands of books out on the highway over several months because "he couldn't figure out another way to get rid of them."

Sen. Sherrod Brown announced Friday he is going to block the confirmation of a high-level White House nominee, because of the Obama administration's refusal to relax its secrecy protocols that make it difficult for members of Congress and their staffs to review the language in a Pacific Rim trade deal.

U.S. government officials report that Kayla Mueller, the American who was kidnapped while doing relief work with Syrian refugees, was repeatedly raped by the top leader of the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

You don't host All Things Considered without having a list of memorable interview moments with musicians, actors and authors.

On her last day as host, NPR's Melissa Block takes a look at some of the highlights over her 12 1/2 years as one of the voices of All Things Considered.

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The U.S. is investigating the possibility that the self-proclaimed Islamic State used mustard gas or another chemical weapon to attack Kurdish forces in Iraq this week.

The Wall Street Journal reported first reported the story:

"Islamic State militants likely used mustard agent against Kurdish forces in Iraq this week, senior U.S. officials said Thursday, in the first indication the militant group has obtained banned chemicals."

Fifty foreign nationals have been arrested in several cities across the U.S. in raids this week by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on suspicion of human rights violations.

Mangoes For The Masses

Aug 14, 2015

Mango season is just about over in South Florida, where one group has been spreading the “king of fruits'” wealth. Mangoes to Share has donated more than 700 pounds of mangoes this summer to homeless shelters.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, WLRN’s Alexander Gonzalez reports.

One Man's Story Of Texting While Driving

Aug 14, 2015

MTV is featuring the story of Reggie Shaw, who was 19 years old when he driving his truck and sent a text to his girlfriend. His truck crossed the road’s center line, hitting an oncoming car. The two men inside were killed.

This week, McDonald’s announced that it’s planning to close more restaurants that it’s opening in the United States this year. It’s the first time in 40 years that the fast-food chain has scaled back like this.

McDonald’s has been struggling to lift itself from its worst sales slump in more than a decade. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks to Michael Regan of Bloomberg News about the announcement.

Guest

Jennifer McLoud-Mann had almost come to believe that her last two years of work had been for naught.

"It had gotten to the point, where we hadn't found anything," she said. "And I was starting to believe I just don't know if we're going to find anything."

Armed with an algorithm, McLoud-Mann, along with her husband, Casey Mann, and David Von Derau — all of the University of Washington, Bothell — had been trying to help unravel one of math's long-standing unanswered questions.

State Of Emergency Lifted In Ferguson, Mo.

Aug 14, 2015

St. Louis County has ended the state of emergency put into effect after gunfire broke out over the weekend, as people were marking the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

County Executive Steve Stenger imposed the order Monday afternoon, following the shooting the night before. The state of emergency gave St. Louis County police authority over police emergency management in Ferguson and the surrounding areas.

Ben Carson alleged in an interview with Fox News Wednesday that Planned Parenthood puts most of its clinics in black neighborhoods to "control the population" and that its founder, Margaret Sanger, "was not particularly enamored with black people."

The discovery of a new planet about 100 light years from Earth could provide clues as to what Jupiter was like early in the life of our solar system.

The new exoplanet, 51 Eridani b, is thought to be just 20 million years old, a tiny fraction of the age of Jupiter, which was formed along with the rest of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago.

Editor's note: NPR's Melissa Block was on a reporting trip to southwest China in May 2008 when a massive earthquake hit, leaving some 90,000 dead or missing. Now, as she wraps up her time hosting All Things Considered, she reconnected with a girl, now a young woman, who has overcome great obstacles since that traumatic event. The original version, published in English, is here.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET

Secretary of State John Kerry presided over a ceremony reopening the U.S. Embassy in Havana, including a flag-raising ceremony — an event that will mark the first time the Stars and Stripes have flown over a diplomatic compound there in 54 years.

Kerry, speaking before assembled dignitaries, remembered the strained history of U.S.-Cuba relations, including the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Soviet Union was discovered to be siting nuclear rockets on the island nation.

Two days after twin explosions devastated a warehouse area in northeast China, officials say the death toll has risen to 56, including 21 firefighters. More than 6,000 people have been relocated over contamination concerns; the warehouse contained dangerous chemicals.

The authorities are still trying to determine what caused the huge explosions in an industrial area of the port city of Tianjin, where some fires have continued to burn.

In a much-anticipated speech, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his "profound grief" and "sincere condolences" for his country's role in World War II.

But the leader stopped short of renewing apologies extended by his predecessors, and he said he doesn't want future generations to be "predestined to apologize" for the war.

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