NPR News

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2015 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Should the president of the Navajo Nation be required to speak fluent Navajo?

The Navajo Nation held a referendum on that question this week, and the majority voted no.

The vote was victory for supporters of a Navajo presidential candidate who was disqualified last fall because he didn't speak the language fluently. The next Navajo Nation election is in 2018.

More than 1 million people die in traffic deaths around the world each year — that's drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians combined.

It's a problem in the United States: There are 11.4 deaths a year per 100,000 population. It's a problem in low-income countries like Zambia, where the comparable figure is 23.8 deaths. And it's a huge problem in the middle-income world. The Dominican Republic records 41.7 deaths per 100,000, and was ranked in 2013 as the most dangerous country in the world for drivers.

The sun has very nearly set on Beirut, and in a bar called Anise, they're mixing the first cocktail of the evening.

There's vodka, vermouth and iced glasses. And next to the bunches of mint for mojitos are sage, wild oregano, rosemary and the Lebanese favorite, za'atar, a kind of wild thyme.

Here in Lebanon, mixologists and brewmasters are taking a national cuisine and reimagining it in liquid form.

In Angola, a civil war that raged for decades has left lingering, and dangerous, reminders of the violence across the countryside. Long since the worst of the fighting ended in 2002, land mines continue to claim lives — and not just those of humans.

Even as the elephant population there saw a replenishment in numbers following the war, many of the mammoth animals were being killed by leftover land mines, as well.

Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard could be released from prison after serving 30 years of his life sentence.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports that he will be eligible for parole in November. "Under the laws in place at the time [of his sentencing], Pollard is eligible for parole unless he's acted up in prison or likely to commit another crime," she says.

Pollard, 60, was arrested in 1985 and eventually was convicted of espionage for conspiring to pass national defense information to Israel. Carrie reports that the Israeli government has repeatedly pushed for his release.

This week the Greek Parliament approved a set of reforms it hopes will lead a new bailout. The country remains under strict capital controls that bar people from sending money abroad. In a country that imports much of what it uses and eats, that's having a debilitating effect on the economy.

A new study of veterans from the Vietnam War has troubling implications for troops who fought much more recently — in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The study suggests that 40 years since the Vietnam War ended, hundreds of thousands of those vets still struggle every day with mental health problems linked to the traumas they experienced. It was published in the latest issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

New York state has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Compliance with those laws is another matter.

New York passed a broad package of gun regulations after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., despite the objections of hunters and gun rights advocates. Now it appears that many gun owners are refusing to comply with a key provision that requires the registration of so-called assault weapons.

As California's drought drags on, its almond industry has come under scrutiny. As you've probably heard by now, almonds use a lot of water — about one gallon per nut. Most growers are relying on groundwater even more this year, because their surface water has been cut off. But that brings a different problem all together: too much salt.

Not the salt added to make roasted almonds savory, but salt in groundwater – which is killing trees.

It's high summer, and for a lot of us that means it's time to go camping. This summer, we're celebrating one particular camping trip.

Way back in 1858, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great philosopher and poet, set out into the Adirondack Mountains in New York. On the famous journey, he took with him some of the most famous artists, scientists and thinkers of his day.

This year, I set out early in the morning in my canoe with a company of my own: environmental activist and writer Bill McKibben and our guide, Mike Carr with the Nature Conservancy.

Scientists with NASA's mission to Pluto revealed stunning new images of the dwarf planet on Friday. Researchers say the pictures suggest an icy world complete with glaciers and "snow" that falls through a wispy atmosphere.

On Friday, President Obama arrived in Kenya, the birthplace of his late father, for his first official visit to the east African country.

Obama, at the start of a planned three-day visit, was greeted on the tarmac in Nairobi by President Uhuru Kenyatta and other top Kenyan officials, and he received a hug from his half-sister, Auma Obama.

Sixty-five grams of added sugar. That's how much you'll find in a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola.

But can you picture 65 grams? It's about 16 teaspoons worth of the sweet stuff.

The Food and Drug Administration wants to make it easier for Americans to track how much added sugars we're getting in the foods and beverages we choose.

World Wrestling Entertainment has terminated its contract with wrestler Terry Bollea, a.k.a. Hulk Hogan after reports the wrestler used racist language in a sex tape. The alleged transcripts from the leaked tape were published in a joint investigation by Radar and The National Enquirer and depict Bollea using the N-word and identifying himself as a racist.

Malaria sickens tens of millions each year and kills roughly 500,000, mainly in Africa. A vaccine has been seen as the holy grail in global efforts against the disease.

Kenyans like to tweet.

A lot.

The report "How Africa Tweets" says Nairobi is "the most active East African city on Twitter.

And this past week, Kenyans have outdone themselves. They're using the hashtag #KenyansMessageToObama to share their concerns with the president, who'll be visiting the country this weekend.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four reads.

From NPR's Washington correspondent Don Gonyea:

It's only rock and roll.

A manatee was seen swimming in a northern canal that joins the Chesapeake Bay with the smaller and shallower Delaware Bay just days after the marine mammal was spotted in an estuary of the Potomac River.

The docile "sea cow," is normally found in the warm waters of Florida and is a rare sight so far north.

It's Pie And Beer (And Pioneer) Day In Utah!

Jul 24, 2015

July 24 is Pioneer Day in Utah, honoring the arrival of Brigham Young and other Mormon settlers at Salt Lake Valley in 1847. State offices and banks are closed, employees have the day off, and there are parades and fireworks throughout the state.

Sugar gives the human brain much pleasure. But not everyone revels in cupcakes with an inch of frosting, or milkshakes blended with candy bars, though these crazily sugary treats are increasingly the norm.

The actions of two teachers who were in a Louisiana movie theater when a gunman opened fire Thursday night are being praised, as officials say the women's bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of unsuspecting patrons.

Two people were killed in the attack in Lafayette, La.; nine more were injured. After being cornered by police, the gunman, identified as John Russel Houser, 59, reportedly killed himself.

Arriving in his father's homeland, President Obama has business on his mind.

The president will spend portions of his visits to Kenya (where his dad was born) and Ethiopia discussing security cooperation, but in a White House speech Wednesday, the president described his trip mainly as an opportunity to forge new economic ties.

Youngsters aren't the only ones who have an affinity for consuming a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time – in other words, harmful drinking. It turns out, the parents and grandparents of millennials know how to binge drink, too.

Adults over age 50 who are healthy, active, sociable and well-off are more at risk for harmful drinking than their peers, according to a study published in the BMJ on Thursday.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It had all the elements of an Internet hit: Two magicians hijack a TV news update, performing in the background behind an oblivious reporter. The video quickly went viral in Britain — but then it emerged that the Sky News team was in on the joke.

Pages