NPR News

Why Would Turkey Shoot Down A Russian Plane?

Nov 24, 2015

Let's start with one thing that's clear and simple in Syria's messy war: Many foreign powers are engaged in the battle, and all share the goal of beating back the Islamic State.

This very loose grouping includes Turkey and Russia, who aren't best friends, but at least have this common interest in Syria that would seem to override any inclination to confront one another.

Pope Francis is often seen as a champion of the downtrodden. He frequently speaks about poverty and the injustice of inequality.

During his upcoming visit to Africa — from Nov. 25 to 30 — he'll visit three countries with high rates of poverty and rapidly growing economies: Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic.

His presence is certain to attract a lot of attention. But will his visit benefit poor people in these countries? What kind of difference, if any, can a visit from the pope make?

Update at 10:40: p.m. ET: Protesters React To Video Release of Shooting

'Masking' Memories: Thanksgiving In Disguise

Nov 24, 2015

These days it seems like the holidays are running together — at least commercially speaking — when Halloween masks start popping up around Labor Day and Christmas trappings are for sale in the stores before Thanksgiving.

In the stores it feels sort of like Hallothankshanachristmasgivingween.

But the jumbling of holidays is not exclusive to contemporary times. Turns out that people all across America used to wear costumes on or near Thanksgiving, which effectively created a mash-up of Halloween and Turkey Day.

President Obama and French President François Hollande promised to increase cooperation and expand attacks against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

During a joint press conference with Hollande at the White House, Obama said that the United States and France "owe our freedom to each other."

After the Paris attacks, Obama said, "our hearts broke too."

"In that stadium, concert hall, restaurants and cafes we see our own," Obama said. "Today we stand with you."

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET

Three people are in police custody after five people were injured last night as gunmen opened fire near the site of a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis.

Early Tuesday afternoon, police arrested one man, saying in a press release: "A 23 year old white male was taken into custody in the City of Bloomington in relation to this case. His name will be released upon charging. The search for additional suspects continues."

Americans Weigh In On Excitement

Nov 24, 2015
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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



A Mother Hangs Her Hopes On A New High School

Nov 24, 2015

Last year, when Jann Peña was in eighth grade at a public school and his little brother was in second grade at a charter school, the little brother got more homework.

That was just fine with Jann, an easygoing 14-year-old who passed his ample free time racing cars on his Xbox. But it was unacceptable to the boys' mother, Jovanka Anderson, a Dominican immigrant who wants to give her children a better life than she has.

Turkey says that after issuing 10 warnings in five minutes, two of its F-16s shot down a Russian warplane that Turkey claims violated its airspace.