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Law
7:21 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Restrictions

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

Regulations passed in Texas, which affected clinics that perform abortions there, were set to go into effect on Sept. 1. On Friday, a federal judge blocked those regulations, on the grounds that they unconstitutionally restricted access to legal abortion.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Education
4:44 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

New Orleans Enters The Charter School Era

Ninth-graders at George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy learn to shake hands and greet each other during the first day of school in New Orleans.
Kainaz Amaria

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:37 pm

On Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and gutted most of its public schools. Even before the storm, the district was one of the most troubled in the nation.

Today, the New Orleans school system is unlike any other anywhere in the U.S. More than 9 in 10 students this fall are attending charter schools run by dozens of private, nonprofit organizations. Families choose the schools their children will attend, and the neighborhood school is a thing of the past.

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Governing
4:42 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Legal Questions Loom As Obama Weighs Military Action In Syria

President Obama says he agrees that Congress should have buy-in on military intervention against the Islamic State.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 5:43 pm

The White House is working behind the scenes to develop a strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Syria, a strategy that could include airstrikes and other military action there. But there are already lots of questions in political and national security circles about the legal authority the Obama administration might use to justify those actions.

In the days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Congress authorized the White House to use military force — broad authority to strike against al-Qaida.

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Men In America
4:29 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

'I Am Not An Inmate ... I Am A Man. And I Have Potential'

Dan Huff rests after a long day's work. He spent much of his life incarcerated in the California prison system. Now, he lives in drug- and alcohol-free transitional housing in Portland, Ore.
Beth Nakamura for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:40 pm

If you want to know how prison can shape a man, talk to Dan Huff. He's spent more than half of his 59 years locked up. He says he was "raised by the state of California."

"Even judges, when they would send me away — looking back at it now — they [were] kind of more like a father figure sitting up there," he says. "Closer to fatherly than any father that I ever had."

Those judges had plenty of reason to be concerned about him: Huff used heroin. He committed robberies.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

On Ferguson's Streets, Echoes Of Another Fatal Shooting

A memorial at the site where Michael Brown was shot, on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo.
Myles Bess Youth Radio

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:53 pm

Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant.

I was 14 years old when Oscar Grant was killed just a few miles from where I live. Grant was unarmed and lying facedown on the BART platform when a transit cop shot him in the back.

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Politics
4:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Climate Policy Takes The Stage In Florida Governor's Race

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 6:20 pm

Florida is getting ready for an unusual governor's race. Like incumbent Rick Scott, a Republican, Charlie Crist is running for a second term as governor. In his first term, Crist was also a Republican.

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Around the Nation
4:07 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Fear Not The Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Foley's Mother: We Didn't Want Him To Go Back To Syria

Journalist James Foley in 2011. He was killed by Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this month.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:28 pm

The mother of slain journalist James Foley says in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered that the family did not want him to return to Syria after a brief trip back to the United States in 2011.

"We really did not want him to go back," Diane Foley tells host Melissa Block. "I must be honest about that," she says of her son, who was killed by Islamic State militants in Syria earlier this month.

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Around the Nation
5:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

Police arrest a woman in Ferguson, Mo., protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. Most officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings are white, but the neighborhoods they police are predominantly African-American.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:57 pm

The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St. Louis are becoming more vocal about defending themselves against the charges of bias.

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Men In America
5:22 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

What's A Writer Gotta Do To Get A Little Health Care Around Here?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:10 pm

In my teens, I stumbled onto the wide trail of "the writer's bildungsroman," the coming-of-age stories that often gave me too much to identify with. That whispered clear messages while I slept and while I tried to imagine a life far, far outside the heat and farmlands of where I grew up.

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Law
5:20 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

In Settlement, Homeland Security Agrees To Reform 'Voluntary Departures'

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:53 pm

The Department of Homeland Security is settling a lawsuit with the ACLU, which deals with immigrants who were improperly pushed to leave the country. The suit alleged that DHS agents coerced immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to take part in a process called "voluntary departure."

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Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Life After Ice Buckets: ALS Group Faces $94 Million Challenge

Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, LeBron James, Lindsay Lohan, Kermit the Frog and Conan O'Brien all got icily drenched for charity.
via YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

The ALS ice bucket challenge continues to bring in huge donations this summer for efforts to cure and treat what's commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As of today, the viral campaign has raised more than $94 million for the ALS Association. That's compared with $2.7 million raised by the group during the same time last year.

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Men In America
5:10 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Freemasonry Still Alive And Well, And (Mostly) Men-Only

Danny Done, 26, worshipful master of the Queen Anne Masonic Lodge in Seattle. The fraternity is "a really interesting social network that's not online," he says.
Martin Kaste NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:17 am

The members of the Queen Anne Masonic Lodge near downtown Seattle are on the young side. The guy in charge is 26.

Danny Done, the lodge's worshipful master, is lounging on his designated chair in the room reserved for private ceremonies.

His title comes with a top hat, though he avoids putting it on — he says it makes him look dorky. But he does like other aspects of Masonic regalia, like his Templar sword. Done uses it to point to a diagram on the wall that charts out the different kinds of Masonry.

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Music Interviews
4:29 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Cory Branan: A 'No-Hit Wonder,' Making Small-Batch Country Music

Cory Branan's latest album is The No-Hit Wonder.
Nicole C. Kibert Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

On the cover of his new album, Cory Branan is stretched out, with his feet up. His boots are all battered, worn down at the heels, and he's dozing off. The album's title kind of says it all: The No-Hit Wonder. It's his fourth in a career stacked with lonesome country anthems to life on the road, delivered in a voice that's pleasantly weathered.

In an interview with NPR's Melissa Block, Branan says that while his style of music hasn't produced many hitmakers, he's content playing a smaller game. It's a lesson he learned in part through his years as a bartender.

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Trade Lingo
4:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

The Calamity Of The 'Clam,' Every Musician's Headache

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Meet The Squirrel Whisperer Of Happy Valley

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
6:11 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Colorado's Pot Brownies Now Come With Instructions

Edibles available at LoDo Wellness Center, a retail marijuana and medical marijuana dispensary and grow facility in downtown Denver.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened the door for food products infused with the psychoactive ingredient, THC, to anyone over the age of 21. That means bakers and food companies now have to ensure new products aren't contaminated with foodborne pathogens. And they have to make sure they're not falling into the hands of children or are too potent to eat.

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Europe
6:08 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Report Details 16 Years Of 'Horrific Abuse' Of Children In U.K. Town

Alexis Jay, author of a report released Tuesday that documents the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did nothing.
Dave Higgens PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

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The Salt
5:57 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

High Prices Aren't Scaring Consumers Away From The Meat Counter

Meat is displayed in a case at a grocery store in Miami in July. Pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:41 pm

You may have noticed when grilling steaks or hot dogs this summer that they cost more than they did last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork and beef prices are up more than 11 percent since last summer.

Supply and demand determine price, and the pork supply comes from places like Riley Lewis' hog farm near Forest City, Iowa.

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Author Interviews
5:05 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Marine Turned Novelist Brings Brutal, Everyday Work Of War Into Focus

Soldiers fill a hole left by an explosion on a road outside Beiji, Iraq, in 2005. In his debut novel, Michael Pitre follows a group of Marines doing similar work on Iraq's highways.
Ryan Lenz AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

"Every inch of that place, every grain of sand, wanted desperately to kill us."

That's a line from a compelling new novel about the Iraq War, written by former Marine Michael Pitre.

Pitre was a history and creative writing major at Louisiana State when he joined the Marines after Sept. 11. He became an officer and served two tours in Iraq's Anbar province working in logistics and communications.

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National Security
5:04 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Obama Considers Widening Strikes Against Islamic State Militants

During a speech at the American Legion's National Convention on Tuesday, President Obama again called the extremist group the Islamic State a "cancer."
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:12 pm

President Obama is considering widening military strikes against the extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley. The U.S. has been bombing the Islamic State's positions in Iraq, and may decide to extend those strikes to Syria.

Three years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a year after President Obama tried to turn the page on the open-ended war on terror, the U.S. is facing a threat from a group even more extreme than al-Qaida.

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Europe
5:03 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Kiev Claims Russia Has Sights Set On New Eastern Ukrainian City

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Ukraine has accused Russia of trying to open a new front in the war between the government and pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine says its troops are involved in heavy fighting with an armored force that it says entered Ukrainian territory. Kiev has also released video of what it says is a group of captured Russian soldiers. Russia says the soldiers might have crossed the border inadvertently.

Goats and Soda
6:57 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Could A 2-Year-Old Boy Be 'Patient Zero' For The Ebola Outbreak?

A scientist tests a patient's blood for Ebola at the European Mobile Laboratory in Gueckedou, Guinea. The first cases reported in the outbreak occurred in a small village about eight miles outside Gueckedou.
Misha Hussain Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:53 pm

Back in early December, a little boy in southern Guinea caught a mysterious disease. He had a fever, was vomiting and had blood in his stool.

The boy died a few days later. Before he did, he passed the disease to his 3-year-old sister, his mother, his grandmother and a midwife. The latter was eventually hospitalized in Gueckedou, a nearby city of 200,000 people.

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NPR Ed
6:25 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software

LA Johnson/ NPR

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:53 pm

Students are heading back to campus. And when they finish writing that first paper of the year, a growing number will have to do something their parents never did: run their work through anti-plagiarism software.

One company behind it is called Turnitin. And the database it uses to screen for potential plagiarism is big. Really, really big.

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Guilty And Charged
6:20 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

In Ferguson, Court Fines And Fees Fuel Anger

People line up to take part in an amnesty program to clear up outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants in August 2013, in Ferguson, Mo. For those living on the economic margins, the consequences of even a minor criminal violation can lead to a spiral of debt, unpaid obligations, unemployment and even arrest.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:53 pm

To understand some of the distrust of police that has fueled protests in Ferguson, Mo., consider this: In 2013, the municipal court in Ferguson — a city of 21,135 people — issued 32,975 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses, mostly driving violations.

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Middle East
5:08 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

In Hostage Negotiation, Qatar Plays Middleman To Prove Its Worth

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 7:57 am

The small, gas-rich Arabian Gulf nation of Qatar played a key role in freeing U.S. hostage Peter Theo Curtis after nearly two years in Syria. For context on the release, Robert Siegel speaks with Shadi Hamid, of the Brookings Institution was based in Doha for four years. He's the author of Temptations Of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy In A New Middle East.

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Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Between A Town And Its Bears, A Star-Crossed Relationship

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:53 pm

Most people in the town of Old Forge, N.Y., want to refrain from feeding black bears. The trouble is, without the bears coming around as often as they do, North Country Public Radio's Natasha Haverty reports that the town could stand to lose a lot of its tourism.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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All Tech Considered
4:43 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Some Call For More Sharing In Ridesharing

Lyft driver Danielle Kerley showcases the company's iconic mustache, which is displayed on cars used in the service.
Aarti Shahani NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:43 am

Taxicabs are fighting tooth and nail against Uber, the company that enables car owners to drive part time or full time for pay, like cabbies.

But behind this battle, there's another one brewing inside the world of ridesharing. Uber and its competitors in San Francisco are sparring over cash, over drivers, and over some basic values, too.

But a researcher says branding the startups Uber and Lyft as ridesharing services isn't quite accurate. Now, an emerging set of services promises to be more about sharing.

Chauffeur Vs. Your Friend With A Car

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Movie Interviews
4:22 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Longtime Friends Lithgow And Molina Play Longtime Couple In 'Love Is Strange'

Alfred Molina (left) and John Lithgow play George and Ben in Love Is Strange, a film about two men who have shared four decades of their lives.
Clay Enos Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 7:53 pm

When actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina came by NPR's New York studios, they brought with them a loose, joking rapport — the shorthand of longtime friends. "Fred and I had known each other for 15-20 years," says Lithgow — who calls Molina "Fred."

"If anyone says, ... 'I know Alfred really well,' they're lying!" Molina tells NPR's Melissa Block.

"You can call him Freddie Teacups; that's his mob name," Lithgow says with a laugh.

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Latin America
4:06 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Mexico Swears In A New Police Force, But Many Aren't Impressed

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 9:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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