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Around the Nation
5:45 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

From A Stream To A Flood: Migrant Kids Overwhelm U.S. Border Agents

Romero is detained at a county park near McAllen, Texas, after wading across the Rio Grande. He says he left Central America to avoid conscription by street gangs and to join his family in the U.S.
John Burnett/NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:59 pm

Like a marathoner at the end of a grueling race, 16-year-old Jorge Romero sits on the grass, exhausted. A county constable has detained him about a hundred yards from the Rio Grande.

For a month, Romero traveled from El Salvador through Mexico to Texas, avoiding predatory police and gangs, warding off mosquitoes and hunger.

Migrants like Romero are creating a humanitarian crisis for federal border authorities. Record numbers of Central American immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande into South Texas, overwhelming the Border Patrol's limited holding facilities.

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Iraq
5:44 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

After Mosul's Fall, Iraqis Adjust To New Normal Under ISIS

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:08 pm

Not all Sunnis are on board with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, even if they oppose the Iraqi government. One ranking Sunni cleric in northern Iraq calls ISIS "scum" and hints at limits to the group's influence.

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Parallels
5:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Saddam's Ex-Officer: We've Played Key Role In Helping Militants

Kurdish peshmerga forces look at a checkpoint held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Iraq's second city, Mosul, on Monday.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 3:00 pm

As they steamrolled across northern Iraq, Sunni militants had important help from an old power in the country — former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party and his army.

One retired air force colonel said he is a member of a newly formed military council overseeing Mosul, the large city captured last week by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and its allies from Sunni Arab armed factions.

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Commentary
5:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Seeking the Solstice: Kick Off Your Summer of Cosmic Sunsets

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Here in the Northern hemisphere, summer officially begins this weekend. The summer solstice is Saturday. Other than warm weather and school letting out, what really marks this moment are sunsets, as NPR blogger Adam Frank explains.

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Arts & Life
5:13 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

While cities are still competing for the not yet built Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, parts of the collection are already on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

A short time ago, in a city not far away, Star Wars creator George Lucas decided to build a museum to house his movie memorabilia and his art collection.

There's just one looming question: Where should it go?

Lucas says he'll spend $300 million of his own money to build the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum and will provide a $400 million endowment after his death. In addition to holding Skywalker artifacts galore, the museum would also host Lucas' private art collection, featuring works by Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, among others.

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Europe
5:10 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

German Defense Minister On U.S.: We Have To Defend Common Values

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

More now, on Ukraine and other matters confronting the U.S. and its allies. We're going to talk with Ursula von der Leyen, who is the defense minister of Germany a very high-ranking member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party, the Christian Democratic Union. Welcome to the program.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN: Thank you.

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Sports
5:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Even If Their Team Loses, Japanese Fans Still Sweep The World Cup

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

It's common to hear of soccer hooligans taunting players and fighting in the stands. In Japan, though, it's a different story: Soccer followers there even have a tradition of cleaning up the stadium after matches. Melissa Block speaks with Japanese soccer fan Kei Kawai, who's attending Thursday's match between Japan and Greece.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

GOP Completes Leadership Shuffle, As McCarthy And Scalise Step Up

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

House Republicans voted Thursday on leadership positions in the party's caucus. While House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy stepped up to the role of majority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise overcame a more crowded competition to replace McCarthy.

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

Law
4:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

From Supreme Court, Firm Support For Employee In Retaliation Case

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:20 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public employees cannot be fired in retaliation for testifying truthfully on matters of public corruption or public concern. The unanimous decision came in the case of Edward Lane, who was fired after he testified that an Alabama state legislator was a no-show employee being paid by the taxpayers for no work.

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Business
4:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

American Apparel's Founder Is Out, Tailed By Reports Of Misconduct

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. America Apparel has ousted its founder, his name is Dov Charney. The clothing company had dealt with allegations of misconduct against him and lawsuits for years. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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U.S.
7:08 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Grappling With Gangs, Salt Lake City Turns To Racketeering Laws

Members of the FBI Evidence Response Team enter the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City in April after a U.S. marshal shot Siale Angilau, who authorities say was a member of the city's Tongan Crip Gang. Angilau was on trial for racketeering charges when he rushed the witness stand with a pen.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:05 am

When it comes to gang activity, most people picture cities like Los Angeles and Newark. But gangs are a problem in unexpected places, too — like Salt Lake City, where law enforcement officials are using federal racketeering charges to try to bring them down.

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Law
5:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Michigan's High Court Limits The Fees Billed To Defendants

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Michigan's top court, today, moved to put limits on what local governments can charge defendants who go through the court system. The court ruled in a case we told you about last month of a man who got billed more than a thousand dollars for his court costs. NPR's Joseph Shapiro, who reported the series of stories we called Guilty And Charged, has this update.

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Business
5:26 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Amazon Raises The Curtain On A Fire Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

At an unveiling in Seattle, online retail giant Amazon announced its entry into the smartphone market with a new device called "Fire." NPR's Martin Kaste was at the unveiling in Seattle, and he offers his take on the event.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Middle East
5:21 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

In Support For Kurds, Does Turkey Hope For A Redrawn Middle East Map?

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

One actor with an eye on Iraq's ongoing violence is Turkey. For more on Turkey's complex relationship with Iraq, as well as its interests in Iraqi Kurds, Robert Siegel speaks with Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group.

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

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Economy
5:18 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

In Press Conference, Fed Chair Keeps Things Upbeat — And Vague

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Transcript

: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I am Robert Siegel. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen may have learned a lesson - don't get specific when talking about when the benchmark interest rate may go up. She made that mistake during her first news conference as Fed chief. Today she left it at it depends, and as NPR's John Ydstie reports, Yellen also gave a relatively upbeat assessment of the economy following a two- day meeting.

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A Blog Supreme
5:18 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Legendary Pianist Horace Silver Dies At 85

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:22 am

Pianist Horace Silver, whose potent and catchy combination of blues, funk and Latin sounds shifted the jazz landscape in the 1950s and '60s, died Wednesday morning at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. He died of natural causes, according to his son, Gregory Silver. He was 85.

As a bandleader, Horace Silver mentored some of the hottest musicians of his era. As a composer, he devised numerous jazz standards still played today.

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Global Health
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

As Death Count Rises, Health Officials Work To Stem Ebola's Spread

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

The World Health Organization is reporting that the Ebola virus has yet to be contained in West Africa. It's one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in decades — with over 500 cases, some 330 of which ended in death.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Iraq
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

The Specter Of Iraq Haunts The Political Life Of Barack Obama

President Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., in December 2011.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Iraq has long played a major role in President Obama's political life, going back to his earliest days as an Illinois state senator barely known outside of his Chicago district.

Obama's early anti-Iraq war stand would become a centerpiece of his first run for the White House, but it's since been a persistent crisis that's been his to manage, despite his every effort to put it behind him.

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Sports
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

In Brazil, Predictions Of Doom And Gloom Give Way To Minor Annoyances

Brazil's World Cup preparation endured some heavy criticism leading up to the games. Stadiums were still under construction, Internet connections were sketchy and transportation faced major challenges. A week into the tournament, NPR's Russell Lewis has traveled to three airports and three cities so far. He talks to Melissa Block about what has worked and what remains a challenge.

Environment
6:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Plastics Don't Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Plastic floats ashore in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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Iraq
6:13 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil?

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen show their enthusiasm Tuesday for joining Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.

What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?

Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.

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Politics
4:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Lightning-Fast Trades Go Beneath The Congressional Microscope

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing on problems in the financial markets caused by high-frequency trading firms.

Politics
4:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The Would-Be Ambassador To Norway Who Has Never Been There Himself

George Tsunis, the Obama administration's nominee for ambassador to Norway, at his January confirmation hearing.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:41 am

It wasn't expected to be a controversial nomination. After all, ambassador to Norway isn't a very high-profile position.

But the nomination of George Tsunis, a major fundraiser for President Obama and other Democrats in 2012, has turned into a minor embarrassment for the administration.

The reason? Several prominent Democrats say they won't vote for him on the grounds he's not qualified.

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Iraq
4:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Will The Trouble In Iraq Draw U.S. And Iran Closer Together?

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

One big question about Iraq concerns it's neighbor to the east, Iran. What will Tehran do in the face of the ISIS offensive? And do Iran and the United States share sufficient common interests to actually cooperate over Iraq? Well, joining us from Tehran is Thomas Erdbrink, who is the New York Times bureau chief there. And tell us, how worried are the Iranians, first, about what ISIS has done in Iraq?

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Music Reviews
4:06 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Album Review: 'While You Were Sleeping'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:28 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: A jazz singer for the hip-hop generation - that's how Jose James was described after he released his first album last year for the famed Blue Note record label. James has now released a follow-up. It's called, While You Were Sleeping. And reviewer Tom Moon says the 35-year-old shows phenomenal growth.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING")

JOSE JAMES: (Singing) Shadows long upon my face. Shadows long upon my face.

TOM MOON, BYLINE: Catch up with Jose James now because he's a rarity - an artist evolving at warp speed.

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Sports
8:12 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

With Win Over Ghana, U.S. Is Off On The Right Foot In Brazil

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:09 pm

On Monday night, the U.S. soccer team accomplished a feat it failed to achieve in the past two World Cups: beat Ghana. With a 2-1 victory, the Americans position themselves well for the games to come.

Law
6:17 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Supreme Court Rules Against Gun 'Straw Purchases'

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 3:59 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.

The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.

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Book Reviews
6:16 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

'The Unwitting' Explores The Lure Of Complicity

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:20 pm

I confess that I never did make it past the first few episodes of the universally acclaimed TV series Mad Men. For all its stylistic innovation (yes, the clothes were great), the casual, relentless misogyny, even if artfully crafted, was exhausting. I had read Jacqueline Susann's Valley of the Dolls as a teenager, and it always seemed sensible to me that so many women took to "little helpers" to see them through those dark ages.

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The Salt
5:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain

When families give up farming and move away, it drains life out of small communities.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:37 am

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.

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Middle East
5:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Teens Disappear In The West Bank, And Israel Blames Hamas

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:20 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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