More Public Radio News

Slowing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s by helping patients relearn lost skills

Aug 12, 2017
<a href="">Matthias Zomer</a>/<a href="">CC BY 2.0 (image cropped)</a>&nbsp;

For people with Alzheimer’s, the disease brings a gradual, devastating loss of ability to manage basic daily needs — a decline known as retrogenesis. First, patients lose higher planning functions, then skills like money management and then simpler skills like dressing and bathing.

Drugs can slow this decline, but new research has pinpointed an approach that could stall the slide even further: pairing medication with supportive care to help patients relearn basic skills. The findings were presented in July at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London.

Probing Humanity’s Endless ‘Why?’

Aug 12, 2017

Panting, Perspiration, And Puddles

Aug 12, 2017

How The Moon Lost Its Magnetism

Aug 12, 2017
Katie G. Nelson/PRI

The usually congested streets of Nairobi were silent this morning as Kenyans quietly cast their vote for their next president. Many had left the nation’s capital ahead of Tuesday’s vote, heading up-country in hopes of avoiding the kind of violence that has engulfed their country in past elections.

But all remained peaceful as the majority of polling stations closed Tuesday evening, some voters still waiting patiently under night skies to see their tickets successfully placed inside a ballot box.

Katie G. Nelson/PRI

Violent demonstrations erupted across Nairobi Wednesday afternoon, just one day after Kenyans elected their next president. 

Wednesday’s protests were fueled by ethnic and political divisions between longstanding rivals President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition party candidate Raila Odinga. 

Elections officials have yet to announce an official winner of the contentious race — a delay that has added to suspicions of voting rigging and instigated protests around the East African nation. Unofficial results, however, point to a decisive victory for Kenyatta.

Travel the world on an ice cream tour in Los Angeles

Aug 11, 2017

Among life's pressing questions, which ice cream to have poses an eternal conundrum. There's coffee, obviously, and chocolate, but what about raspberry, pistachio, rum raisin and mint chocolate chip? Toppings are a further challenge — sprinkles, whipped cream, hot fudge, the proverbial cherry on top?

So it's a relief to learn that Filipinos have an answer: halo-halo.

Helping the blind 'see' the solar eclipse

Aug 11, 2017
Carolyn Beeler/PRI

It sounds like the beginning of a riddle. How can someone who’s blind “see” the upcoming eclipse on Aug. 21?

It’s a question solar astrophysicist Henry “Trae” Winter started thinking about several months ago after a blind colleague asked him to describe what an eclipse was like.

“I was caught completely flat-footed,” Winter said. “I had no idea how to communicate what goes on during an eclipse to someone who has never seen before in their entire life.”

South African artist Lady Skollie explains why she paints burning vaginas

Aug 11, 2017
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Laura Windvogel unlocks the heavy outer door to her studio on a quiet Sunday morning. She climbs the warehouse stairs. And she unlocks the next lock to another metal door. And through that door, she turns the key on yet another lock to get into her work space.

It’s a reminder that this is Johannesburg. And security is everything — especially for women.

John Hockenberry gives us his takeaway

Aug 11, 2017
The Takeaway&nbsp;

So, what do you say about nearly 10 years of your life measured out in radio programs?

For me, it's that long, though not for most of you, because this show was birthed in the shadows of a long-forgotten mission to become a public radio alternative in morning drive time. That goal, which was written into grant proposals and pitches, launched The Takeaway. Then two of the biggest stories of the century — the election of Barack Obama and the financial debacle that almost took down the global economy — lifted us steadily as a place where people could hear ideas mixed with the news.

Marcus Teply

Poets are a big deal in Iran, and Forugh Farrokhzad was one of the biggest. In the 1960s, her modern, highly personal work won wide acclaim and brought her the poetry equivalent of rock stardom — she cut records, made films, and even today is known popularly by her first name.

When Farrokhzad was killed in a car crash in 1967, thousands of fans thronged to her funeral. But after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, her work vanished, banned for a decade, and since then heavily censored by the government.

Mark Dixon/Flickr&nbsp;

Residents who live in and around Clairton, Penn., about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, have filed a class-action suit against US Steel, claiming air pollution from the company’s Clairton Coke Works has lowered local property values.

Can the US rely on its North Korean intelligence?

Aug 11, 2017
Bobby Yip/Reuters

US President Donald Trump doubled down on his warnings to North Korea Thursday, saying his threat to rain "fire and fury" on the nation maybe "wasn't tough enough."

Earlier this week, Trump said North Korea would face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States with its missile and nuclear programs.

That prompted a defiant Pyongyang to threaten a missile attack on Guam, a tiny US territory in the Pacific that is home to major US air and naval facilities.

US&nbsp;Air Force/Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Defense Department handout

If there was any doubt that President Donald Trump was talking about nuclear weapons when he talked about "fire and fury" descending on North Korea, that doubt was dispelled Wednesday with a statement from the secretary of defense, James Mattis.

Mattis, long considered a moderate in the Cabinet, said North Korea should "cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people."

Mattis also called directly for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapon ambitions.

A young Japanese voice breaks the silence of autism

Aug 10, 2017
Jun Murozono

Japanese author Naoki Higashida might not seem immediately approachable if you were to run into him on the sidewalk. 

"If you see him walking down the street toward you, he has all the classic autistic ticks, and you think 'Whoa, I'd better stand off the sidewalk and let this guy go by because he obviously needs the space more than I do,'" says author David Mitchell. "And yet when you read him and sit down opposite the table from him, he will spell out these sentences letter by letter and he's articulate, he's eloquent."

The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe

Aug 10, 2017

Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases. This story from last year is just one of thousands from the crisis of America’s unidentified dead.

It's been a little over a year since Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel died.

He was celebrated around the globe as an activist and a writer, and for his lifelong efforts to keep the world from forgetting the horrors of the Holocaust.

But for his only child, Elisha Wiesel, coming to terms with who his father was and what he represented was a difficult road.

What it means in South Africa when you are #blessed

Aug 10, 2017

What does it mean to blessed?

A “blesser” in South Africa is kind of like a sugar daddy. He's an older man who often has multiple girlfriends he lavishes with gifts, in exchange for sex and companionship.

The term “blesser" first emerged on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

In 2015, South African girls and women started posting photos of expensive shoes, clothes and stacks of cash while tagging the pictures #blessed. What they meant was that a man had given them the luxury items.

And those men became known as "blessers."

Do bride prices drive terrorism?

Aug 10, 2017
Ali Jarekji/Reuters&nbsp;

Terrorism experts have long known that poverty is a factor in tempting young men to join radical terrorist groups, but what about bride prices?

A new article in MIT Press Journal argues that many young, male recruits who are driven to terrorist organizations for financial reasons are actually aspiring to use the money to help themselves and their brothers get married.  

Sergio Moraes/Reuters

On Rio de Janeiro’s one-year Olympic anniversary, thousands of federal troops patrolled the streets. And they’re going to be there for a while.

Brazil’s defense ministry announced the troops will stay until the end of 2018. Their deployment is in response to criticism last month from house speaker Rodrigo Maia, among other local lawmakers, that “we have completely lost control of public security in Rio.” In June alone, over 106 people died in gunfire in the city. Many were killed in shootouts between drug traffickers and police.

It’s a stark assessment of the realities of the climate crisis, and it seems to have the Trump administration’s rhetoric and policies on climate change directly in its crosshairs.

“The world has warmed ... by about 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) over the last 150 years ... [and this] has triggered many other changes to the Earth’s climate.”

“The last few years have ... seen record-breaking, climate-related, weather extremes, as well as the warmest years on record for the globe.”

Brenna Daldorph/PRI

The student journalists of Habari Kibra are gathered in a mobile classroom in the middle of their hometown, Kibera, a huge slum on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Their teacher, Thomas Bwire, is having them go over some recent articles about their community. He asks one student, Salma, to read the opening lines of a story from the BBC.

Sujatha Gidla was only 2 years old when she first realized she’s different.

One day, her parents had a fight. Her mother stormed out of the house and headed for the railway station. There, she bumped into a colleague, who was also with her daughter.

<a href="">Erica Deeman/California Sunday</a>

Michael Brown, Philando Castile, Walter Scott — these names have entered the public lexicon as attention and outrage continue to mount over officer-involved shootings. But there’s another name on that list you may not be so familiar with: Mario Woods.

In December 2015, Woods died after he was shot 21 times by San Francisco Police officers. He was 26.


Ghana’s first satellite is now orbiting Earth.

It’s a historic moment for the country at a time when several African countries are increasingly interested in space exploration. Just last year, the African Union passed an initiative to help coordinate the efforts of space agencies across the continent.

The GhanaSat-1 was designed by a team of engineers at Ghana’s All Nations University and will send a signal to a ground station at the university.

Jasmine Garsd/PRI

Ziyanda Kamte says she knew her husband was cheating on her.

And she knew a lot about the HIV epidemic — her aunt died of AIDS-related tuberculosis. So, when her husband demanded sex, Kamte demanded that he use condoms.

“There were times when he would beat me up just for asking for a condom,” explains Kamte. “Because I said no. I refused. I was trying to protect myself. But he didn’t see it that way.”

Here’s the question that’s stumping health workers and activists: If more than 7 million HIV infections nationwide won’t convince a man to wear a condom, what will?