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The brutal death of Emmett Till — an African-American teenager — in Mississippi in August of 1955, and the subsequent acquittal of his white murderers by an all-white jury, was a pivotal moment in the surge for civil rights in America.

Till, 14, was kidnapped, beaten and shot — after allegedly flirting with a white grocery store cashier — on Aug. 28, 1955. Civil rights activists saw Till's tragic death and open-casket funeral as a call to action.

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

Three young Americans, who are credited with thwarting a terrorist attack on a French train, were given France's highest honor Monday morning.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast unit that French President Francois Hollande welcomed Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos to Elysee Palace in Paris and made them Knights of the Legion of Honor.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Chester E. Finn Jr. has three very bright granddaughters. He thinks they "have considerable academic potential and are not always being challenged by their schools." Finn is not just a proud grandpa; he's a long-established expert on education policy with the Fordham Institute and Hoover Institution.

So it's not surprising that his grandkids got him wondering about — and researching — a big question: How well is the U.S. educating its top performers?

Over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was in the key early primary state of South Carolina. He's been drawing huge crowds around the country in his campaign for the Democratic nomination, but even if he succeeds elsewhere, South Carolina could be a big hurdle.

If Sanders has any hope of beating Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, he'll need black voters. They make up most of the state's Democratic base. But even in the predominantly African-American city of North Charleston, the crowd that showed up to see Sanders was mostly white.

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It was known as the "Swankiest Night Spot in the South" and considered one of the most famous clubs in the network of black cabarets known as the "Chitlin' Circuit." During the era of segregation, it was the cultural mecca of black New Orleans — what the Savoy Ballroom was to Harlem. Little Richard, a frequent performer there, even composed a song about the place.

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Second in a three-part report on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.

Level 6 of New Mexico's state penitentiary in Santa Fe is a dense complex of prison cells, stacked tight. As the gate opens, men's faces press against narrow glass windows. They spend 23 hours a day in solitary.

Security is so high that talking to one of the inmates, Nicklas Trujeque, requires a guard passing a microphone through the food port of his cell door.

It's time for consumers to wake up to the risks of sleep disorders, scientists say.

The sun is not yet up over Maranatha Baptist Church, a little red brick building in a south Georgia pecan grove, and already the line to get in wraps around the sanctuary. Some near the front of the line slept on the church porch, or even in their cars.

The crowd consists of the faithful and the curious alike: They've gathered here this Sunday to try to catch the Sunday school teachings of former President Jimmy Carter.

President Obama's campaign to win support for the nuclear deal with Iran got a forceful boost Sunday when Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada announced his endorsement. Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, says he will "do everything in [his] power" to make sure the deal stands.

Reid's backing adds even more weight to a groundswell of support building on Capitol Hill for the deal between the U.S., Iran and five other nations.

The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders. They're home to hundreds of thousands of troops and family members, and, in many cases, they're a cause of controversy.

David Vine, an associate professor of anthropology at American University, argues that we've become too dependent on such overseas bases — and that many of them cause serious opposition abroad. He lays out his thinking in his new book, Base Nation: How the U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.

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People in the Spanish city of Bilbao have a mission: to cut down on food waste. Now, to prevent food from going directly into the garbage, residents just send it to the Solidarity Fridge. (This story first aired on August 13 on Morning Edition.)

The workweek got off to a rough start for New Jersey rail commuters recently. A disabled train blocked one of the two rail tunnels under the Hudson River to Penn Station during the Monday morning rush hour.

Thousands of people were left scrambling to find another way into Manhattan.

"This really sucks," said Ira Kaplan of Basking Ridge, N.J. "Much worse than past summers."

Kaplan was among thousands of commuters who took a train to Hoboken, where they waited on sweltering platforms for another train to New York.

Copyright 2015 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit http://michiganradio.org/.

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TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

A day after storming past border checkpoints aimed at keeping them out of the European Union, thousands of migrants — most from Syria, but also some from Iraq and Afghanistan — crowded buses in Macedonia heading north toward the Serbian border.

Most of them are hoping to travel via Hungary into northern Europe.

Representatives from the rival Koreas are sitting down for a second day of talks at the village of Panmunjom in an effort to defuse a border crisis that has threatened to push them into a larger conflict.

The talks follow artillery duels last week at the border as South Korea blared anti-Pyongyang propaganda into the North using giant loudspeakers. The North responded with an ultimatum and the talks got underway just hours before that deadline was to have expired.

Updated 4:00 a.m. ET Monday:

French President Francois Hollande on Monday pinned the three Americans and a British man with the Legion of Honor medal. According to The Associated Press: Hollande said the men showed "that faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You also gave a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope."

Original Post:

The British embassy in Tehran has been reopened for the first time since it was attacked by "students" and forced to close nearly four years ago.

The BBC reports: "[Foreign Secretary Philip] Hammond attended a ceremony in Tehran with Iranian diplomats to mark the reopening while Iran will reopen its embassy in London later."

As we reported at the end of November 2011:

Sen. Bernie Sanders drew big crowds again this weekend, but they may not be the right kind of crowd if he hopes to win South Carolina's primary. The Independent senator from Vermont is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and he'll need black voters to win in the early-voting state.

NPR's Frank Langfitt has covered China for nearly a decade. After reporting on the Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin that killed more than 100 people, he offered this commentary.

There's a moment when you're covering a disaster in China when you know what happened.

You know it wasn't an accident, as the government initially says.

You know someone did something awful that put lives at risk to make money.

For me, that moment came when I was sitting in the hallway of a Tianjin middle school.

Ayoub El-Khazzani, the 26-year-old Moroccan who was tackled and subdued by passengers aboard a high-speed train in Belgium, reportedly had raised concern in three European countries for his supposed ties to radical Islamists and possible travel to Syria.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed official as saying he had been on the radar of authorities in France, Belgium and Spain. But officials have yet to provide a clear motive for the attack.

Marion, Ohio, just north of Columbus, used to be an idyllic place to grow up.

Kelly Clixby and Beth Carey remember what it was like a generation ago, when they were young.

"I lived across the street from one of the big parks here," Clixby says. "We would rip n' run all day and all night and come in when the street lights were on."

"It was just a nice place to live," Carey says.

Today, Marion is different. It's grappling with a full-blown heroin epidemic, one that derailed Kelly Clixby's life and killed Beth Carey's twin sister.

In 1998, Ben Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean. The 47-year-old athlete is preparing for another historic plunge: swimming across the ocean on the other side of the country.

At the end of September, Lecomte plans to take off from a Tokyo beach and spend the next six months making his way some 5,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco.

He'll swim for eight hours a day, then board a support boat to eat and sleep. The next day he'll jump back in the water at the exact same spot.

To hear the full conversation, click the audio link above.

There's an open box of skulls on the floor. A table is covered with pelvis bones. Nearby: a pile of ribs, tied up with a piece of string.

I'm standing in a basement room, underneath the bleachers of the football stadium at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Looking at floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with cardboard boxes. More than a thousand boxes, and each one contains a human skeleton.

"Pick a box. Any box," says Dr. Dawnie Steadman, the director of the school's forensic anthropology program. "What's your pleasure?"

Molten mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and yeast are the aromas that punctuate summer in Rome.

On a recent day, 7-year-old Filippo Virgo has a hankering for pizza — a classic of the Eternal City.

The problem is that Filippo has celiac disease. This means he gets sick from eating gluten — a protein found in wheat and other grains. Pizza is usually out of bounds. And, for a second-grader, that's a travesty.

Filippo's family heads inside Il Tulipano Nero, a classic Italian restaurant — right down to the checkered tablecloth.

Eight months after homelessness hit a record in New York City, you can still see the need of the city's most vulnerable in Tompkins Square Park.

"Good morning! Two pieces?" asks Mario Cornejo, as he places slices of frosted banana bread on paper towels for a long line of hungry people.

"It used to be just a small pot before," explains Cornejo, a volunteer with a New York group called Food for Life since 2008. "Now it's a big pot and bigger salad containers, more trays of cake."

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