NPR News

Parallels
3:09 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Bulgaria Steps Up Efforts Against Drug Trafficking Across Its Borders

A Bulgarian border policeman stands near a barbed wire wall on the border with Turkey in July 2014. Experts believe that about two-thirds of the heroin that enters Europe comes through Bulgaria, and that a third of that moves on to the United States.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:58 am

As heroin addiction grows in the United States, the U.S. is focusing on the global supply chain, and officials believe one crucial link in it moves through Bulgaria, delivering most of the heroin that enters Europe — and some of what winds up on American streets.

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Clinton Makes A Stop In Missouri; Discusses Race Near Riot-Torn Ferguson

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 4:33 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Wed June 24, 2015

Lawmakers Promise To Take Action After NPR's Mustard Gas Exposure Report

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 10:41 am

This week, NPR has been reporting on World War II veterans who were exposed to mustard gas. The men were used as test subjects in secret experiments conducted by the U.S. military.

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Wed June 24, 2015

'New Yorker' On Secret Civilian Efforts To Save America's ISIS Hostages

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:05 am

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

Parallels
1:43 am
Wed June 24, 2015

A Thorn For Russia, Georgia's Ex-President Pops Up In Ukraine

Galina Mazourenko, 80, makes her living playing sentimental songs from Soviet times near the port in Odessa. She says her city is open-hearted but has deeply rooted corruption.
Courtesy of Diana Derby

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 12:24 pm

When Mikheil Saakashvili was the flamboyant, provocative president of Georgia, he made an international name for himself with his willingness to take on Russia, his much larger neighbor to the north.

Saakashvili led his tiny country, a former Soviet republic, in the brief war with Russia in 2008, which Georgia quickly lost. Saakashvili, who was also known as an economic reformer, served two terms as president but left Georgia after his party suffered a crushing defeat in parliamentary elections.

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The Two-Way
10:27 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

VA Responds To NPR Story On Broken Promises To Vets Exposed To Mustard Gas

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 10:40 am

The Department of Veterans Affairs responded Tuesday to an NPR story that the U.S. military exposed thousands of American troops to mustard gas in secret chemical weapons experiments during World War II.

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The Two-Way
4:44 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Judge Declares Mistrial In Vanderbilt Rape Case

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 5:39 pm

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of two former Vanderbilt football players who were found guilty of rape in January.

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The Salt
4:41 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

As Tastes Shift, Food Giant General Mills Gets A Makeover

Product developer Erin Schutt was part of a team that came up with a new line of frozen vegetables for General Mills' Green Giant brand.
Jim Zarroli NPR

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 12:54 pm

It's not just the Lucky Charms that are getting a makeover at General Mills. The company's announcement Monday that it is removing artificial colors and flavors from its cereal line is part of a much bigger overhaul at the food giant.

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All Tech Considered
4:33 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

What's Trending On Instagram? A Battle With Twitter

Instagram's latest update features curated photo collections and trending tags.
Instagram

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 5:35 pm

Consider yourself warned: Instagram rolled out an update Tuesday, and the photo-sharing app may be about to eat up a lot more of your time.

More substantial than other recent makeovers touting new filters, this change will transform Instagram into a stream of real-time updates from around the country. Following in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram wants to be a source for your news.

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NPR Ed
4:06 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

A Recipe For Success With Two Student Groups That Often Struggle

Lannie Castagne teaches first grade at Brimley Elementary School. She does monthly reading assessments to make sure her students are on track.
Jennifer Guerra/Michigan Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Brimley is the kind of small town where the students of the month in the elementary school get full-page write-ups in the local newspaper.

There's an Indian reservation just up the road, a couple bars, a gas station, a motel and that's about it.

Brimley Elementary serves two groups that often struggle academically. Of the 300 students, more than half are Native American. Many come from low-income families.

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U.S.
3:34 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

State Department Computer Glitch Creates A Visa Nightmare

A glitch in the State Department's visa system has affected people around the world. Many, including athletes, workers and students, have been unable to enter the United States.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

The State Department says it is working around the clock on a computer problem that's having widespread impact on travel into the U.S. The glitch has practically shut down the visa application process.

Of the 50,000 visa applications received every day, only a handful of emergency visas are getting issued.

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History
3:27 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Confederate Flag Debate Symbolizes Rapid Change In The South

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Female Shortstop, 16, Could Be Signed By MLB Teams In July

In what Major League Baseball says is a first, French baseball player Melissa Mayeux has had her name added to the list of international prospects who could be signed by clubs on July 2.

At age 16, Mayeux plays shortstop for two of France's national teams: the U-18 junior squad and the senior softball team. She's known as a smooth fielder who can also handle a bat.

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The Two-Way
2:50 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Just In Time For Summer: National Parks Hiking Entrance Fees

Many national parks, including Yellowstone, are raising visitor fees.
Anick Jesdanun AP

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:23 pm

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Visiting a national park this summer?

Be prepared to pay more for the experience. Many national parks across the country, faced with tight budgets and delayed maintenance, are increasing entrance fees.

The National Park Service says 106 of the 128 parks that charge entry fees are raising those fees or planning to do so in the coming year.

The list includes many of the most popular parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, as well as monuments and historic sites.

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Parallels
2:39 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

When Corrupt Chinese Officials Flee, The U.S. Is A Top Destination

Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court of China, speaks to the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 12. Chinese authorities are waging a major campaign against corruption, and that includes a list of 100 suspects believed to be overseas. Many are former officials who are thought to have fled to the U.S. or Canada.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:51 am

China issued global arrest warrants for 100 fugitives in April. Most of them, it turns out, are believed to be corrupt officials hiding out in the U.S. or Canada.

The U.S. may not seem like an obvious destination, but Huang Feng, a criminal law expert at Beijing Normal University, says there's a clear rationale.

The fugitives pick the U.S. for its standard of living and its mature legal system. They know that the U.S. and China have no extradition treaty, and that the U.S. is wary of sending fugitives back to China, where they may be denied legal due process.

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Parallels
2:33 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Iraqi Soldiers, Generals Shift The Blame For Battlefield Defeats

Iraqi Sunni volunteers take part in a graduation ceremony at the Habaniyah military base near Ramadi on June 17. Iraq's military is dominated by Shiites and is trying to recruit more Sunni soldiers.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

When the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to the self-declared Islamic State last month, it was a big defeat. Ramadi is a provincial capital just 60 miles west of Baghdad, and the setback played into the notion that the Iraqi army is weak and inept.

The U.S. Congress and Pentagon were scathing, saying the Iraqi army lacked the will to fight. There were plenty of other critics as well, though we haven't heard much from the Iraqi soldiers themselves.

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Remembrances
2:29 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

James Horner, Oscar-Winning Film Composer, Presumed Dead

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES HORNER SONG, "A KALEIDOSCOPE OF MATHEMATICS")

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:29 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Senate Votes To Push Forward White House Trade Plans

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

In Baltimore, Rec Centers Provide So Much More Than Just Fun

Najuel Gaylord plays foosball at the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center in West Baltimore's Sandtown neighborhood. Local recreation centers, which have a long tradition in Baltimore, provide a much-needed refuge for children in some of the city's poorest areas.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

On a recent day at Baltimore's Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center, adolescent boys play basketball, while a group of girls play Monopoly at a nearby table. There's also air hockey, foosball and a computer room in back.

Director Brandi Murphy says there are also swim classes, science lessons, arts and crafts. But the center gives the kids — students age 5 to 12 who come after school and in the summer — far more than fun things to do.

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Music Reviews
2:29 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Review: 'Covered,' Robert Glasper

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

When he started the Robert Glasper Experiment, the pianist was trying to blend hip-hop, jazz and R-and-B into a new sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CHERISH THE DAY")

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Across The South, A Push To Banish Confederate Flags From State Buildings

Protesters hold a sign Tuesday during a rally to take down the Confederate flag at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia.
Rainier Ehrhardt AP

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 7:02 am

The shooting last week at a black church in South Carolina has prompted calls in the South for the removal of the Confederate Flag and other symbols of the Confederacy.

Here is a roundup of efforts in different states — and the response from businesses:

South Carolina

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Goats and Soda
1:46 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

The Mural That Made A Photographer Stop In His Tracks

A student at a girl's school in Port-au-Prince walks past a mural by a famous Haitian street artist.
Courtesy of Patrick Farrell

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 1:50 pm

The Doctors Without Borders Instagram feed often features doctors and patients and pills.

Last week, a startlingly different photo was posted.

A woman, her head slightly turned, stares out from the wall of a building on the bustling streets of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. A lock clamps her lips shut. The painted woman's larger-than-life eyes gaze past a real-life schoolgirl in blue, her head down and shoulders hunched.

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Garlic Scapes, Green Garlic And Roasted Garlic: Recipes And Tips

Clockwise from top left: garlic scapes, mature garlic and green garlic. (Kathy Gunst)

Of all the ingredients she uses in her dishes, Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst prizes garlic above all. “Garlic is the spine of all my cooking. I cannot imagine cooking without it,” she told host Robin Young.

Kathy gave us this primer on garlic scapes, green garlic and roasted garlic. She also brought us these four recipes:

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

What Will It Take To Prevent Future Russian Aggression?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg adjusts his spectacles during a debate of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee and its Subcommittee on Security and Defence, in Brussels on March 30, 2015. (John Thys/Getty Images)

As NATO defense ministers gather for a meeting in Brussels tomorrow, they face a central question: Just how serious is the threat from Russia? Some say they have much bigger problems than Vladimir Putin, but others fear the Kremlin is growing dangerously hostile.

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NPR Story
1:28 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Hollywood’s History Of Putting Gay Rights On Trial

Teachers Karen and Martha (Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine) find the extent of their relationship questioned in the courts of public and private opinion in 1961's "The Children's Hour." (John Springer Collection/Corbis)

Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not states have the constitutional right to ban same-sex marriage. Whichever way the court goes, this ruling could create a murky legal situation for several states that allow same sex marriage, as well as several states that prohibit it.

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Parallels
12:41 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Best Frenemies: Japan, Korea Mark 50th Anniversary Despite Rivalry

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (left) speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at their meeting in Tokyo. The two countries are marking the 50th anniversary of establishing relations. While leaders in both countries stressed the importance of the ties, a bitter history continues to strain the relationship.
Issei Kato AP

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 6:59 am

This week, Japan and South Korea are marking the 50th anniversary of an important treaty — the one that normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two nations signed the landmark 1965 treaty after years of war and the Japanese colonization of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

But to celebrate, both countries are having to hide ongoing bitterness.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Actor Dick Van Patten Dies At 86

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 1:06 pm

Actor Dick Van Patten, who played the father on the TV show Eight Is Enough, died Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., of complications from diabetes. He was 86.

The news was confirmed in a statement by his publicist, Jeff Ballard.

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It's All Politics
11:26 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Obama Administration To Shift Ransom-For-Hostages Rules

American Journalist James Foley, pictured in 2011. Foley's beheading at the hands of the Islamic State militant group has forced a debate over how the U.S. balances its policy of not paying ransoms.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 3:28 am

This post was updated at 1:25 p.m. ET to include comment from the White House press secretary.

The Obama administration is preparing to announce changes in the way it deals with families whose loved ones have been taken hostage by terrorist groups such as the self-declared Islamic State militant group. Families were invited to a private meeting with administration officials Tuesday in advance of a public announcement at the White House on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Tue June 23, 2015

NASA Flummoxed By Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots, 'Pyramid-Shaped Peak'

A "cluster of mysterious bright spots" can be seen on the dwarf planet Ceres, NASA says. The image was taken by the Dawn spacecraft, in orbit of Ceres.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

New images of Ceres are the clearest ever taken, but NASA's scientists still haven't figured out the enigmatic dwarf planet. The agency's latest photos of Ceres show multiple bright spots — and a "pyramid-shaped peak towering over a relatively flat landscape."

That's according to an update posted by the space agency, saying that Ceres and its bright spots "continue to mystify."

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It's All Politics
10:25 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Republicans Don't Have A Plan Yet To Replace Obamacare Subsidies

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on March 4. The Supreme Court is considering the case of King v. Burwell, which could determine the fate of health care subsidies for millions of people.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 4:03 pm

As the Supreme Court edges closer to issuing an opinion that could deal a blow to the federal health exchange operating in more than 30 states, Democrats have sounded a warning to their colleagues on the other side: Be careful what you wish for.

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