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The aftermath of the deadly attacks in Barcelona

Aug 18, 2017

Thousands of people marched to the Plaça de Catalunya in Barcelona Friday, chanting “I'm not afraid” in Catalan. It was a show of solidarity after a series of terrorist attacks claimed by ISIS rocked Spain. About 14 people were killed and several more were injured in the tourist-heavy Las Ramblas area of Barcelona when a van plowed into pedestrians. Liz Castro, a writer and longtime resident of Barcelona, witnessed the march on Friday.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters 

Peter didn’t want to use his real name because he’s afraid of becoming a target for white nationalists.

He was one of the counter-protesters in Charlottesville on Saturday — the ones President Donald Trump on Tuesday referred to as “very violent” and “charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs.”

I first reached out to Peter in July, over Skype, when I was doing research on a movement called antifa, short for anti-fascist.

In the wake of the protests by neo-Nazis and white supremacists that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Donald Trump has come under fire for not immediately and clearly condemning American racists. It’s not the first time. Trump and those close to him have often played down the threat of violence committed by white supremacists across the country. This week, through interviews with key Trump supporters and advisers, we explore if we should have seen Charlottesville coming and if we should expect more race-based clashes on the way.

Brenna Daldorph

On Saturday, Aug. 12, four days after Kenya’s elections, Octopizzo had some tea with his cousin Oloo in Nairobi. Octopizzo is a well-known hip-hop artist in Kenya. When the cousins were done, Octo walked Oloo to a taxi stage where he could get a boda boda — a motorcycle taxi — back home to Kibera, the slum where they both grew up.

Octopizzo went home and flicked on the news.

Back in the mid-2000s, when producer Roy Lee was pitching an American remake of the Japanese horror film “Ju-On: The Grudge,” the original movie didn’t even have English subtitles. In order to shop it around, he and his team inserted their own subtitles based on what they thought was happening in the movie.

“I remember there was a meeting with the original director [Takashi Shimizu] where people were asking him about the storyline, and he had no idea what they were talking about, because we had gotten some of the details wrong,” says Lee.

Andrea Crossan/PRI

We just finished our POSITIVE series — stories of women and girls under the age of 24 living with HIV in South Africa. We called our Series POSITIVE not only because it centers on the stories of HIV-positive women and girls, but also because it was important to us to highlight stories of people who do not see such a diagnosis as an ending.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters 

America's standing in the world is dwindling fast under the Trump administration. The White House appears in chaos, and the failure to confront neo-Nazis has alarmed Europe. Europeans are giving up on a US that can't get anything done and refuses to provide leadership on the world stage.

These are the impressions gleaned by the BBC's Katty Kay after four weeks in Europe. Kay is an anchor of BBC World News America in Washington.


From PRI's The World ©2017 PRI

Joshua Roberts/Reuters

I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in September 2003. The beautiful college town was heaven that month. Gorgeous leaves. Blue skies. Gentle breezes.

I fell in love with Charlottesville. I lived there for eight years and it remains my favorite city.

But my heart broke to see the streets there filled with anger and hate just a few days ago.

Marcus Teply

Braunau am Inn would like to be an ordinary town, like its neighbors in this river valley on Austria's border with Germany. But it's not, thanks to an unwanted native son — Adolf Hitler. Hitler was born here in 1889 and was still in diapers when he left. But that's enough for Braunau to still be known as Hitler's hometown.

Donald Trump is not known for his strong grasp of history. But in controversial unscripted remarks this week, Trump claimed "leftists" were trying to rewrite history by destroying monuments.

“This week it's Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down,” he said on Tuesday, referring to the top two generals of the Confederacy in the Civil War. “I wonder,” he continued, “is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after. You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?"

Jason Rekulak from Philadelphia is camping with his family at a goat farm in McMinnville, Oregon.

He realized last minute that an already-planned family vacation to the West Coast would bring him within a few hours of the eclipse’s path of totality and rushed to book a place to stay.

"I thought we were going to be staying at a Holiday Inn and probably watching from a parking lot,” Rekulak said. “But instead, we're going to be on a 500-acre goat farm.”

Courtesy of Jessica Jinn/Advancing Justice

Jason Fong is at the age when affirmative action programs could make a crucial difference in his life. He’s 17 and often uses social media and his blog to speak out about college admissions policies that consider race as a factor to create a diverse student body.

Alejandro Alvarez/Reuters

On Saturday, a white nationalist rally erupted into deadly violence as a car plowed into a crowd. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence, in effect equating neo-Nazis and white supremacists with counter-protesters speaking out against racism.

Why we still remember a ‘relatively’ important eclipse nearly a century later

Aug 17, 2017

Millions of onlookers may find themselves pausing in awe of the cosmos on Aug. 21, as a total solar eclipse darkens swaths of North America. (And at PRI, we want your eclipse plans, stories and photos.)

Justin Ide/Reuters 

Wajahat Ali is an author, attorney and son of Pakistani immigrants. He believes that what happened this week in Charlottesville is a crucial turning point in our country.

And it's that moment when, as an American, you have to take a stance.

Aussie eclipse chaser heads to Idaho for 16th eclipse

Aug 16, 2017

Roughly 200 million people live within a day’s drive of next Monday's eclipse.

But eclipse chasers road-tripping to the path of totality will also be joined by those traveling much farther to stand in the shadow of the moon for just a few minutes.

Among them is Terry Cuttle, an amateur astronomer, and photographer, traveling from Brisbane, Australia, to the US to see his 16th total solar eclipse.

He’s been planning this trip for years and is aiming for eastern Idaho where the chances of clear weather are good.  

Courtesy of the Partition Museum

India and Pakistan both celebrate an Independence Day. In Pakistan, it’s Aug. 14; in India, a day later. Each national holiday marks the end of British rule, and the creation of two, independent countries.

Olivia Harris/Reuters

It’s a dance that’s been playing itself out for millennia. On average, once every year and a half, the moon slips directly between the Earth and the sun, punching a hole of darkness into the daytime sky. And whenever possible, there have been people below, looking up.

Experiencing a total solar eclipse is revelatory, especially for people who study them.

"Every eclipse gives you new information,” says Shadia Habbal, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii, originally from Syria.

Edgar Su/Reuters

Throughout much of history, witnessing a total solar eclipse would mean one thing above all else. And that is fear.  

For the ancient Greeks, an eclipse was a sign that the gods were angry. The Vikings saw eclipses as a potential apocalypse. And the ancient Chinese apparently believed that an eclipse meant that a giant dragon was trying to devour the sun and that people needed to make as much noise as possible to scare the dragon away.

Before taking action against hate, white people should look inward

Aug 16, 2017

In the aftermath of racist violence like what unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, one visceral reaction is a call to action — a call by outraged activists, by politicians who want to provide moral leadership, and by ordinary people who ask themselves what they can do in the face of extraordinary hatred.

Washington Apple Commission

For decades, Red Delicious represented the definition of an of apple. Kids across the nation got them in their lunch bags, and they were ubiquitous on store shelves. But with the explosion in more tasty apple varieties — like Gala, Fuji and Honeycrisp — the Red Delicious has largely fallen out of favor in the US.

Not so in China, though — Red Delicious are huge there. And that’s a big consideration for Washington state growers.

The summer movie season is rapidly drawing to a close. But you've still got two weeks (maybe three, if your summer runs through Labor Day) to squeeze in a couple of new, foreign documentaries. Matt Holzman, the host of The Document, a podcast from KCRW about seeing the world through documentary films, gave The World's Marco Werman a few recommendations.

1. "Barbecue"

Glen Beltz/Flickr CC BY 2.0

Rising temperatures, partly driven by global warming and longer drought seasons, have turned western forests into easy kindling for raging megafires that could threaten millions of people in the US.

This new, alarming situation has several causes, and a new book lays them out. It’s called "Land On Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West," by nature writer Gary Ferguson.

What it was like that day in Charlottesville

Aug 14, 2017
Lidia Jean Kott 

I knew that things in Charlottesville were going to be intense, but I still was not prepared for what I saw when I drove into town early Saturday morning.

We parked behind a McDonald's and then walked towards the park where the main protest and counterprotest was happening. On our way, we encountered a group of people carrying a huge wooden sign that read, “There is no master race."

I tried to take a picture of them, but they waved me off. Later, I saw them on TV, using the sign as both a shield and a weapon when the fighting got intense.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

If you’ve been talking to people about hate crimes since the election, like I have, you’d know that Charlottesville didn’t come out of nowhere. People have been priming for a fight for months.

The string of hate crimes across the country has people scared, defensive, a little paranoid, and preoccupied with their own safety. And when President Donald Trump initially failed to condemn white supremacists in Charlottesville, instead saying there was violence “on many sides,” that wasn’t surprising either — because there’s a long history of American failure to acknowledge white hate. 

The US far-right is a fan of — Syria's Assad?

Aug 14, 2017

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has some unlikely fans in the US among far-right communities.

In a video that was posted on Twitter, three men who took part in the Charlottesville protests talk about their support for Assad, the notorious Syrian leader accused of killing thousands of his own people. One of the men is wearing a T-shirt that reads “Bashar’s Barrel Delivery Co.”

"Support the Syrian Arab army," one of them says.

As investigations continue into whether ExxonMobil misled investors by failing to report its own scientists’ predictions about global warming, the company and other fossil fuel titans are being challenged on another legal front.

Alan Alda's secret to better communication? Have a little more empathy.

Aug 13, 2017
<a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/marketing-man-person-communication-362/">Gratisography</a>/<a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/">CC0</a>.

Actor Alan Alda is on a mission to help scientists make their research more relatable to the public. He even co-founded an organization at New York’s Stony Brook University, the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, to get the message out.

What’s your game plan for the Great American Eclipse?

Aug 13, 2017
<a href="https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4518">Ernie Wright/NASA&rsquo;s Scientific Visualization Studio</a>

If you’re reading this in the United States, you’re perfectly positioned for a dazzling glimpse of the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21.

In the US, the total eclipse will cross 14 states from Oregon to South Carolina, and, according to NASA, a partial eclipse will be visible across North America and parts of South America, Africa and Europe.

Mark your calendar: Aug. 21 is the Great American Eclipse.

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