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Ireland could make history this week. Same-sex marriage is legal in about 17 countries around the world. In all of those countries, the decision was made by the legislature or the courts. Ireland appears poised to become the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a national popular vote set for Friday.

In Dublin, it is impossible to miss the debate. Nearly every lamppost carries a big poster, or several.

"YES: Equality for everybody," reads one showing a diverse group of smiling people.

Is it the mercury or the malaria?

Or maybe it's something else entirely that's making people sick in the Peruvian Amazon.

Those questions are bedeviling researchers from Duke University who have been studying gold mining in the region. Illegal mining has exploded in the area in the past decade, and the people living downriver have a variety of medical issues, from malaria to anemia to high blood pressure.

About 80 percent of Americans now live in urban areas, and more and more of us are growing food in cities as well.

But where's an urban farmer to turn for a soil test or when pests infiltrate the fruit orchard?

The biker gang shootout this weekend in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead, 18 wounded, and as many as 192 facing organized crime charges has sparked a lot of scrutiny over how police and media are treating this incident compared with how they approached the protests in Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore.

The challenge of strategizing the best route to work against the herd of other drivers can be as routine as the daily commute itself. A number of apps are out there to help shortcut one's route and evade traffic jams. But which ones are the most accurate? And how?

The All Tech Considered team put a few competing traffic apps to the test in Robert Siegel's usual short commute from Arlington, Va., to NPR's D.C. headquarters.

The Test Drive

This ride is about 15 minutes in no traffic. But it's now morning rush hour.

Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy who was seized 15 years ago from his relatives in Miami by U.S. government officials who returned him to his native country, says he would like to visit the United States as a tourist.

Voters in more than half the states will soon be able to register online, rather than filling out a paper form and sending it in.

Twenty states have implemented online voter registration so far, almost all in the past few years. Seven other states and the District of Columbia are now in the process of doing so. That includes Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill last Friday requiring the state to allow online voter registration by 2017.

Cellphones Or School? What Makes Kids Around The World Happy

May 18, 2015

What's bugging children around the world?

Kids in South Africa say they're not very happy about their opportunities to play safely outdoors. Kids in Algeria and Ethiopia say they don't get enough time to play, in general, because they are needed at home to help with siblings and chores. Kids in European countries are less satisfied with their time in school than those in some African countries.

In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

Worker-rights groups are calling labor conditions in Qatar "horrific" and urging FIFA sponsors to take responsibility ahead of the 2022 soccer World Cup. Their call comes on the same day the BBC said a reporting crew spent two nights in a Qatari jail for trying to film migrant workers who are building the infrastructure for the sporting event.

"Hello Twitter! It's Barack. Really." And with that, President Obama became part of the Twitterverse. The White House announced Monday that @POTUS would be "the official Twitter account of the President of the United States."

According to a post on The White House Blog:

In a ruling that will trigger the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenue and is likely to affect many other states, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down Maryland's practice of double-taxing residents' income earned in other states.

The case challenged Maryland's refusal to grant residents who paid income tax on money earned in other states a credit against that amount when they tally up the taxes they owe to their home counties (and some cities). The state allows the credit to be applied only against the state taxes; county income taxes can be as high as 3.2 percent.

Sometimes I look at my husband and think, "I really don't remember what you just said." Is that because of his charming European accent, or because hey, we're married?

Don't leap to blame the accent, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say. They are trying to figure out how the brain deals with foreign accents, hearing loss and other speed bumps on the road to understanding.

Keeping food out of sight could be a way to keep it out of your mouth. That's the hunch of Charles Emery, a psychologist at Ohio State University, anyway. His latest research suggests that how food is set up around the house could be influencing how much people eat and, ultimately, how heavy they might be.

There are a lot of factors that scientists say explain obesity — defined as a body-mass index over 30 — from genetics to lifestyle changes to socio-economic status.

The world of climbing lost a daring innovator Saturday when Dean Potter, 46, died during a wingsuit flight from Yosemite National Park's Taft Point. Potter was killed along with Graham Hunt, 29, as they attempted to soar above Yosemite Valley and El Capitan.

The pair attempted their wingsuit flight on Saturday around dusk — a time that National Geographic says many athletes choose for BASE jumping, which is illegal in all of America's national parks. They were found Sunday by a search and rescue helicopter.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is ready to join the crowded 2016 presidential race — and he's having a blast in doing it.

The defense hawk and pragmatic Republican said Monday morning on CBS's This Morning that he would make an announcement on June 1 about his plans, but he went on to dispense with all pretense of what that decision would be.

"I'm running because I think the world is falling apart," Graham said.

Updated at 5:14 p.m.

An FBI examination of the windshield of the Amtrak train that derailed last week in Philadelphia, killing eight people, has found no evidence of damage that could have been caused by a firearm, the National Transportation Safety Board says.

But, the agency said in a statement, "The NTSB has not ruled out the possibility that another object may have struck the windshield."

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

President Obama said military-style equipment used by police departments "can alienate and intimidate local residents and send the wrong message," as he ended federal transfers of such weapons to local law enforcement.

Obama's remarks, made in Camden, N.J., are an attempt to ease tensions between police and minority communities in the wake of several high-profile police-involved shootings.

From the beginnings of the Mad Men phenomenon, many of the show's fans wondered if superstar adman Don Draper was destined to write one of the iconic advertising catchphrases of the time.

So it's a testament to the skills of show creator Matthew Weiner that some regular viewers were still surprised by the show's series finale Sunday, which implies that Don invented the classic 1971 Coca-Cola campaign, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke." This, after he concluded a long, soul-searching trip through America with a trip to a California yoga retreat.

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

Federal, state and local authorities are collecting evidence at the scene of a gunfight among five rival motorcycle gangs Sunday in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead and 18 injured.

Officials said at least 170 people were arrested in connection with the gunfight at the Twin Peaks restaurant. Each is being held on a $1 million bond.

NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast unit:

Motorist Uses Fountain As A Free Car Wash

May 18, 2015
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Romney, Putin In Action Over The Weekend

May 18, 2015
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're joined next, as we are most Mondays, by someone who always has a blast on the radio, Cokie Roberts. Hi, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve. That's true (laughter).

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Amtrak trains are running again between Philadelphia and New York. The line was closed for almost a week after a passenger train derailed. Last night, people paused in Philadelphia to remember the dead as NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

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

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

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You get a visit by someone you've never met before. You're invited on an all-expense paid trip to your country's biggest city for a two-day meeting on natural gas policy.

Oh, and if you show up you get a free cellphone!

It might sound sketchy. But it's actually an innovative strategy that is being tested by researchers at a Washington, D.C.-based think-tank, the Center for Global Development, or CGD, to help the African nation of Tanzania decide how to spend its expected windfall from new discoveries of natural gas.

When Sam Swiller used hearing aids, his musical tastes ran to AC/DC and Nirvana — loud bands with lots of drums and bass. But after Swiller got a cochlear implant in 2005, he found that sort of music less appealing.

"I was getting pushed away from sounds I used to love," he says, "but also being more attracted to sounds that I never appreciated before." So he began listening to folk and alternative music, including the Icelandic singer Bjork.

Given the always-present tensions in this region, it's no surprise that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Seoul on Monday was all about security.

"We are not seeking conflict, we are seeking a peaceful resolution of the differences that still exist after so many years on the peninsula," Kerry said.

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