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It's not often that people get a second chance, and in fact, for many people, there is no such thing as a second chance.

Germany's defense minister warns that her country currently can't meet its long-term NATO commitments because of a widespread grounding of German military planes and helicopters.

"At the moment, we are below the target numbers announced a year ago on airborne systems we would want to make available to NATO within 180 days in cases of emergency," Ursula von der Leyen told the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag over the weekend. "The reason is the delays in getting replacement parts" for planes and a recent grounding of German navy helicopters.

The volcano whose eruption surprised hikers in central Japan this weekend sent a plume of ash and gas more than 1,500 feet into the air Monday as it continued to erupt, officials say. That has complicated efforts to find victims and survivors, and rescue efforts have again been halted.

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters, wearing surgical masks and holding umbrellas to ward off tear gas lobbed by police, have continued to throng Hong Kong's Central business district and other areas of the city, calling on Beijing to make good on a promise to allow the former British colony to choose its next leader.

Organized mainly by a group calling itself "Occupy Central," the mass protest and the police pushback is being described as the worst unrest in the southern Chinese business hub since it was handed back to China in 1997.

Think of it as a rematch of a rematch.

In New Hampshire, Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is battling Republican Frank Guinta for the third time in a row. Each has beaten the other before – Guinta defeated Shea-Porter during the 2010 Tea Party wave, and Shea-Porter won her seat back in 2012.

You wonder if it starts to get boring when you're hitting the same rival over and over again.

"Well, I know what he's going to say, that's for sure," says Shea-Porter.
Guinta admits the same: "I mean, it is kind of old hat."

Early last month, on a hill outside a tiny, windy village of almond and tobacco farmers in northeastern Greece, veteran archaeologist Katerina Peristeri announced that she and her team had discovered what is believed to be the biggest tomb in Greece.

The "massive, magnificent tomb," Peristeri told reporters, is likely connected to the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, which, in the fourth century B.C. produced Alexander the Great.

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

When it comes to studying sexual violence, college surveys often don't include students at historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. But one major study found sexual assaults are lower on those campuses than others.

Some question those numbers and whether HBCUs have the resolve to openly address the issue of campus rape.

Of the 100 HBCUs in the country, Morgan State University in Baltimore ranks in the top 15 for academics.

The heavyset man with a bandage on his throat is having trouble repeating a phrase. "No ifs ..." he says to the medical students and doctors around his bed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"Can I hear you say no ifs, ands or buts?" says Dr. Allan Ropper, the Harvard neurologist in charge. The patient tries again. "No ifs, buts, ands or," he says.

The final day of Major League Baseball's regular season has been one for the record books.

Jordan Zimmermann, up against the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon, became the first Washington National to pitch a no-hitter. As ESPN notes, "no major leaguer had thrown a no-hitter in Washington since Bobby Burke did it for the Senators in 1931 against Boston."

Obama: U.S. Underestimated ISIS, Overestimated Iraqi Army

Sep 28, 2014

President Obama, during an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, cites a member of his administration in acknowledging that the United States underestimated the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, while overestimating the Iraqi army's capacity to fight against the terrorist organization.

For the first time in nearly two decades, federal money is beginning to flow into gun violence research. And there's growing momentum behind creating a reliable national reporting database for firearm injuries and deaths.

On the front lines at the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, one of the top trauma hospitals on the West Coast, researchers like Dr. Demetrios Demetriades hope to get a better picture of the scope of the problem, so states can better target their prevention programs.

Breathalyzers were placed in the doorway of a nightclub in Stockholm this weekend, with an unusual purpose: to ensure no guests had been drinking alcohol. It was all part of a plan for a booze-free night out called Sober, where staff were also on the lookout for anyone who seemed to be on drugs.

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

For the first time, the world record in the marathon is now under 2 hours and 3 minutes, after Dennis Kimetto of Kenya tore through the course at Sunday's Berlin Marathon. Kimetto, 30, says he wants to set a new record next year.

"I feel good because I won a very tough race," Kimetto said after the finish. "I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record. I believe I can improve it further. I'd like to return and try to break it again next year."

As the Ebola outbreak gains steam, experts continue to deploy to the region.

Teams from Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the U.S. military and others are in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia assembling treatment centers and fighting the deadly virus.

There's one group of experts missing from the picture, says Ann Kelly, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter: anthropologists.

In India, the law has caught up with one of the country's most powerful political figures. A court has sentenced the popular J. Jayalalithaa, chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to four years in prison and a record $1.5 million fine.

Her crime: accumulating vast wealth for which the 66-year-old veteran politician could not account.

It is India's highest-profile corruption case addressing illegally amassed wealth; the ruling has stunned an Indian political class that is widely seen as permeated with graft.

Years ago, Lil Miss Hot Mess created a Facebook profile.

"The way that I move through the world as a drag queen is different than how I move through the world every day," she says. With her stage name, she has a different social circle, a different way of being online.

Her page was shut down early last week, and she wasn't the only one whose account was deactivated. Facebook also closed the pages of other queens after they were reported for not using their "real" names on Facebook.

Nicaragua's gigantic transoceanic canal, if it gets built, will dwarf the neighboring Panama Canal. Ground-breaking is set to begin before the end of the year.

The $50 billion mega project would bring an economic boom to the poor nation — and a political bonanza for its president, Daniel Ortega.

Ortega is not the bombastic revolutionary of years past. He shies away from public appearances and has left day-to-day operations to his wife, an eccentric former revolutionary poet.

Saying his country will do "whatever is needed" to help fight the extremist group ISIS, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has reached what local media are calling "a point of determination."

What Drives Abortion: The Law Or Income?

Sep 28, 2014

About 50,000 women worldwide die because of unsafe abortions. Five million more are admitted to hospitals with complications after the procedure.

Activists and researchers on both sides of the abortion debate agree that these "back alley" operations are dangerous for women. It's figuring out the best way to stop them that has been contentious.

A day after Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, he made a long-planned visit to Scranton, Penn.

That's where he won his first big trial as a young public corruption prosecutor nearly 40 years ago. And he says coming to this federal courthouse now, returning to the site of his earliest legal success, makes sense.

"This, for me, was ... almost like completing a circle," he says. "I came here as a young and inexperienced trial lawyer and I came back as the head of the agency that I had just joined back in 1978."

Police in riot gear have been deployed to the streets of Hong Kong, where thousands of protesters are calling for free elections. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to try to clear the city's central business and government district. Organized by student groups, the Occupy Central protests have now been going on for three days.

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: Organizers Urge A Retreat

Saying that the chance for severe injuries is too great, Occupy Central's organizers ask supporters to retreat from stand-offs with police.

During my recent reporting trip to cover the Ukrainian conflict in the eastern city of Donetsk, I stayed at one of the city's last functioning hotels. It also happens to be the unofficial separatist headquarters, affording me a close-up glimpse of the leaders of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic.

This is the name the separatists have given to this part of eastern Ukraine they want to become independent.

The sudden and powerful eruption of a volcano Saturday may have killed more than 30 hikers in central Japan, according to authorities who have made their way up the side of Mt. Ontake. Officials say the hikers were found close to the mountain's peak, in cardiac and respiratory arrest.

As the AP reports, "The victims have been described as not breathing and their hearts have stopped, which is the customary way for Japanese authorities to describe a body until police doctors can examine it."

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We often hear about the droves of refugees fleeing Afghanistan, but there are also people from places like Tajikistan, Iran and Iraq who are taking refuge in that country. But as NPR's Sean Carberry reports, Afghanistan has no laws to protect these asylum-seekers.

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

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This being my last weekend with this blog, I wanted to repost a story I wrote a few years ago that has continued to intrigue me ...

I'm going to show you two kinds of nothing.

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