NPR News

Law
10:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Cleveland Police Officer Receives Not Guilty Verdicts

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

The verdicts for Officer Michael Brelo came on allegations of voluntary manslaughter and lesser charges, stemming from a 2012 police shooting of an unarmed couple. Brelo had fired 49 shots at the couple following a car chase. Reporter Nick Castele of member-station WCPN speaks with host Scott Simon about the ruling.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:13 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Marc Maron Interviews Terry Gross, Letterman's Producer

Terry Gross and Marc Maron took the stage at WNYC's RadioLoveFest on May 6. During their conversation, Gross says, Maron "occasionally looked a little nervous or frustrated when he thought I was unforthcoming — or worse yet, being dull --€” but mostly, he looked emotionally present, curious and attentive."
Rebecca Greenfield Brooklyn Academy of Music

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Two-Way
9:01 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Cleveland Officer Acquitted In 2012 Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Suspects

Michael Brelo weeps as he hears the verdict in his trial Saturday, in Cleveland. Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 11:23 am

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

A judge handed down a verdict of not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter against a Cleveland officer charged in the 2012 deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams — unarmed suspects who were caught in a 137-shot hail of police gunfire following a high-speed chase.

Small protests quickly erupted in Cleveland, but they appeared to be peaceful.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Dozens Dead In Mexican Shootout Between Gangs, Police

Authorities say these vehicles caught fire during a gunbattle in a warehouse at Rancho del Sol, near Ecuanduero, in western Mexico, on Friday.
Oscar Pantoja Segundo AP

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 8:33 am

Forty-two suspected gang members and one Federal Police officer were killed in a shootout at a ranch in western Mexico that is being described as the deadliest such encounter in recent memory.

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Iraq
7:00 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Robert Gates: Obama Should Step Up Military Assistance To Iraq

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in 2014. "There's no certainty about any of this," he says of the situation in Iraq.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

The self-declared Islamic State gained a real grip on Iraq and Syria this week, capturing the cities of Ramadi and parts of Mosul in Iraq, and the ancient town Palmyra, Syria.

Most recently, ISIS has claimed credit for a suicide bomb attack inside Saudi Arabia on a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers. That attack killed at least 19 and could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

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Around the Nation
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

'They're Not Gang Members': Bikers Protest Mass Arrests In Waco

Authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant Sunday in Waco, Texas. Bikers say that most of the 170 people arrested had nothing to do with the violence.
Jerry Larson AP

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 9:13 pm

Authorities in Waco, Texas, continue to investigate the deaths of nine motorcycle gang members in one of the worst biker brawls in recent times. More than 170 people were arrested and charged with organized crime; each is being held under a $1 million bond.

Now there's a backlash from biker groups, who claim many of the riders were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, and had nothing to do with Sunday's bloody fight.

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Europe
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Historian May Have Discovered Henry I's Final Resting Place

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Europe
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Ireland Appears To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

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Environment
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Reopens Fierce Environmental Debate

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

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Politics
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Senate Blocks Measures To Extend NSA Data Collection

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

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Television
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

TLC's '19 Kids' Pulled For Sex-Abuse Scandal

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

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Asia
6:23 am
Sat May 23, 2015

People-Smuggling Is Big Business In Myanmar

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

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

Transcript

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Goats and Soda
5:03 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Photos Capture The Joy On Playgrounds Around The World

At the Aida Boys School, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the walls are extra thick to protect students against bullets.
Courtesy of James Mollison

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 8:02 am

Whether they're in a posh London school or in the slums of Kenya, in the midst of war or in a battle against bullies, kids take playtime very seriously.

That's what photographer James Mollison learned after spending five years photographing school playgrounds around the world. The project began in 2009, and took him to more than 50 schools in 17 countries.

Each photo tells a different story.

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The Two-Way
4:37 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Drag queen and gay rights activist Rory O'Neill, also known by the stage name, Panti, celebrates with supporters of same-sex marriage at Dublin Castle as they await the result of the referendum on Saturday.
Paul Faith AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 7:29 am

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

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NPR Ed
3:34 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Take It Outside: Teaching Sex Ed On The Streets Of New York

Francisco Ramirez, a sexual-health educator, offers free advice to a passerby.
Christopher Gregory for NPR

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 7:48 pm

On a gusty Friday evening in Manhattan's Union Square Park, Francisco Ramirez is setting up his chairs and a big sign that yells, "FREE ADVICE."

The park is packed with street musicians, chain-smoking chess players and preachers yelling predictions

Ramirez just wants to talk.

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The Two-Way
1:41 am
Sat May 23, 2015

Senate Blocks Bill To End Government Collection Of Phone Records

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 7:27 am

The Senate worked late into the night Friday and early Saturday, but still failed to agree on extending government surveillance programs under the USA Patriot Act before the Memorial Day holiday.

Lawmakers blocked votes on both a House-passed bill and a short-term extension of the Patriot Act provisions that allow government surveillance programs.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says lawmakers will try again on May 31, the day before the provisions expire.

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The Two-Way
7:11 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Fast-Track Trade Authority, A Step Toward Asia Deal, Passes Full Senate

The Senate voted 62-37 late Friday to grant President Obama additional trade powers, which the president plans to use in pushing through an extensive new agreement with a group of Asian countries.

The administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership has been opposed by labor groups and some Senate Democrats because of concerns that the deal could cost some U.S. workers their jobs.

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Parallels
6:32 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Expats Find Brazil's Reputation For Race-Blindness Is Undone By Reality

American Ky Adderley (center) with his wife, Shanna Farrar Adderley, and their daughter, Gisela Sky, live in Brazil. He says being an educated black man feels like a subversive act in Brazil. "All the blacks that I see are in service jobs, and the darker you are, the less you are seen," he says. "Your job is maybe back in the kitchen and not out waiting a table."
Courtesy of Ky Adderly

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 am

There is a joke among Brazilians that a Brazilian passport is the most coveted on the black market because no matter what your background — Asian, African or European — you can fit in here. But the reality is very different.

I'm sitting in café with two women who don't want their names used because of the sensitivity of the topic. One is from the Caribbean; her husband is an expat executive.

"I was expecting to be the average-looking Brazilian; Brazil as you see on the media is not what I experienced when I arrived," she tells me.

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The Two-Way
5:33 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

TLC Pulls '19 Kids And Counting' Amid Reports Of Star's Sexual Misconduct As Minor

TLC said Friday it has pulled all episodes of the long-running 19 Kids and Counting after reports surfaced that Josh Duggar, seen here in August 2014, had molested underage girls as a teen.
Brian Frank Reuters/Landov

TLC has pulled 19 Kids and Counting, the reality show featuring Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's family, from its schedule amid reports of sexual misconduct against John Duggar, their oldest son, when he was 15.

Here's TLC's statement:

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The Salt
3:47 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

In New Jersey, A Beef Over Pork Roll Sparks Rival Festivals

What is pork roll? As one fan puts it, "It's like Spam meets bacon." This sandwich is one of many ways to eat the processed meat, a largely unsung specialty of New Jersey.
via Wikimedia

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 am

Try to order "pork roll" in most of the country and you'll probably get a blank stare. But in New Jersey, pork roll is a staple at diners, restaurants and food trucks from Cape May to the Meadowlands. And this unsung meat product is now the star of not one, but two competing festivals on Saturday in Trenton.

To the untrained eye, pork roll looks like Canadian bacon. But New Jersey residents know better.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Decision On Gay Scout Leaders To Come By October, Group's Head Says

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:52 pm

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, tells NPR his organization will have a decision on its ban on gay adults no later than October. His comments come a day after he told the Boy Scouts that a ban on gay adults was "unsustainable."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Man Convicted Of Killing D.C. Intern Chandra Levy To Get New Trial

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:30 pm

Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET

The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001 will get another day in court after prosecutors agreed not to oppose a new trial for Ingmar Guandique.

Vincent Cohen, the acting U.S. attorney, and Leslie Ann Gerardo, the assistant U.S. attorney, asked the Superior Court of the D.C. Criminal Division for a status hearing to be scheduled in two weeks, "by which time the government will have completed an assessment of the time needed to prepare for a retrial in this case."

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Around the Nation
3:42 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Pre-Race Day, Indy 500 Struggles With Flying Cars

In the five days of practice leading up to the Indy 500 qualifications, Ed Carpenter is the third driver to have his car flip upside down. Carpenter emerged from the crash unharmed.
Jamie Gallagher AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:47 am

Last weekend, while drivers practiced just hours before the start of qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, a crash occurred that seemed eerily familiar.

Driver Ed Carpenter spun around backwards, heading into the Turn 2 wall. Wind got underneath his car, and flipped it into the air and upside down.

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Parallels
2:43 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

What Archbishop Romero's Beatification Means For El Salvador Today

Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.
Salvador Melendez AP

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 am

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

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U.S.
2:43 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Obama: Camden, N.J., Police A Model For Improving Community Relations

Camden County Police Officer Virginia Matias and Officer Jose Vale often walk together when on foot patrol in Camden. Matias patrols sections of the city on foot so she can strike up conversations with business owners and residents. She says this makes her more familiar with what's going on than she would be if she stayed in her patrol car all day.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 2:36 am

Camden, N.J., has long been known for its poverty and violence. But President Obama gave it a new label this week, calling the city, "a symbol of promise for the nation."

He praised the Camden County Police Department's effort to improve community relations. The city still has a high crime rate, but the president says progress so far makes it a model for others.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

A 3-D simulation of a human heart created by The Living Heart project.
Courtesy of Dassault Systèmes

How can you tell ­the difference between a good surgeon and an exceptional one?

You could start by looking for the one who has the rare ability to visualize a human organ in three dimensions from little more than a scan.

"The handful of the top surgeons in the world are like sculptors," said Dr. Deepak Srivastava, a director at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Thai Authorities Arrest Protesters On Anniversary Of 2014 Coup

Policemen face protesters during a protest in central Bangkok on Friday. Thai authorities detained dozens of activists protesting against military rule on the first anniversary of a coup against the elected government.
Damir Sagolj Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:14 pm

One year after an army-led coup toppled Thailand's elected government, authorities detained more than a dozen student activists in the capital and elsewhere for gathering to protest the putsch.

"We invited them to talk but they would not back down so we are sending them to the police," a soldier in the area who declined to be identified was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

ISIS Affiliate Claims Responsibility For Suicide Attack In Saudi Arabia

People examine the debris following a suicide bomb attack Friday at the Imam Ali mosque in the eastern village of al Qudaih in Saudi Arabia's Qatif province. A branch of the self-declared Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:57 pm

A branch of the self-declared Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia that has killed at least 19 people, a move that could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo that the online statement from ISIS "named and praised the Saudi suicide bomber who detonated himself amongst a congregation of Shiite Saudis praying in a mosque in the village of al Qudaih in Qatif province."

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Code Switch
12:28 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

2 Biker Rallies: One White, One Black — One 'Badass,' The Other, Just 'Bad'

A biker leaves a biker bar in Murrells Inlet, S.C., in May 2012 after competing in a slow ride competition inside the bar. It was one of the events held during the annual Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Spring Rally in and around Myrtle Beach.
Randall Hill Reuters/Landov

In his column this week, Charles Blow of The New York Times broke down the difference between "bikers" and "thugs" in the wake of the deadly biker gang shootout in Waco, Texas:

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Who Let The Dogs In? We Did, About 30,000 Years Ago

Josh Brones walks his hunting dogs, Dollar (from left), Sequoia and Tanner, near his home in Wilton, Calif., in 2012.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:36 pm

It looks like dogs might well have been man's (and woman's) best friend for a lot longer than once thought.

The long-held conventional wisdom is that canis lupus familiaris split from wolves 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and that the divergence was helped along by Stone Age humans who wanted a fellow hunter, a sentry and a companion.

Now, DNA evidence suggests that the split between dogs and their wild ancestors occurred closer to 30,000 years ago.

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