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Suicide Bomber Kills 63, Injures 182 At Wedding Reception In Kabul

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 05:35:00 +0000

A suicide bomber killed at least 63 people and wounded 182 in an explosion at a packed wedding hall Saturday night in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to the country's interior ministry. An Afghan government spokesperson said the bomber detonated inside the wedding reception, where more than 1,000 guests had gathered to celebrate a marriage. "Everybody was running," a waiter at the hall, Sayed Agha Shah, told Reuters. "Several of our waiters were killed and wounded." Outside the hall people were searching for relatives and broken glass covered the ground, Jennifer Glasse reports for NPR from Kabul. A spokesperson for Afghanistan's president, Ashraf Ghani, called the attack a "heinous crime against our people," Glasse says. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing and the Taliban denied being behind it. The wedding hall is located in west Kabul, in a largely Shiite neighborhood. Shia Muslims are a minority in largely Sunni Muslim Afghanistan. The Islamic State has claimed

Pa. Workers Forced To Choose Between Watching Trump, No Pay Or Using Paid Time Off

Sun, 18 Aug 2019 00:12:00 +0000

Workers at a petrochemical plant in western Pennsylvania were given a choice ahead of President Trump's visit to the site on Tuesday: attend the president's speech, stay home without pay or use up part of their paid time off. Many of the construction workers did not find it a difficult choice. Seeing Trump's event at the ethane cracker plant operated by Royal Dutch Shell in Beaver County, Pa. was a welcome sight, Ken Broadbent, business manager for Steamfitters local 449, told NPR. "I'll tell ya what," Broadbent said. "I'll do photo ops all day long if they put another cracker in our area." "Cracker" is industry lingo for a facility that converts oil and gas into tiny pellets that can be used in plastic products. When construction is complete and the plant is operational in the coming years, it is expected to employ about 600 permanent workers. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the company did not write the notice to workers. Broadbent said it was devised by a construction site

Palestinian Activist On Rep. Tlaib: Nobody Should Be Humiliated For Visiting Homeland

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 21:16:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We're going to start the program with a story that's been playing out over the past few days. Two members of Congress, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, both Democrats, had plans to visit Israel and the West Bank. Then, following a tweet from President Trump saying Israel would look, quote-unquote, "weak" if the two were allowed entry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred the congresswomen, citing their support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement directed at Israel. The next day, Israeli officials said Congresswoman Talib could visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the occupied West Bank if she agreed to certain conditions. But she passed, saying, quote, "visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart" - unquote. Now, the so-called BDS movement is one part of a controversy. There's been extensive reporting on that

Marium, The Dugong That Charmed Thailand, Dies After Ingesting Plastic

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 21:08:00 +0000

Marium, an orphaned dugong cared for by biologists in southern Thailand, had what it takes to win over the internet; few could resist pictures and videos of the button-eyed mammal being fed sea grass and bottled milk and even cuddling her caregivers, all while seeming to wear a satisfied smile. But it seems 8-month-old Marium fell victim to another modern-day phenomenon: the growing presence of plastic in the water. An autopsy performed Saturday found numerous tiny plastic pieces in her intestines, according to Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation. Dugongs are marine mammals related to the manatee that graze on sea grass in warm, shallow waters from East Africa to Australia. The population is already threatened by habitat loss from water pollution and coastal development, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Marium was found motherless by a beach in southern Thailand in April. For months, veterinarians and volunteers would paddle out to her in

Barbershop: Jay-Z Partners With NFL

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 20:49:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: Now we want to turn to a big announcement this week - the decision by Jay-Z, the rap artist and business executive, to partner with the NFL to advise the league on artists for major events like the Super Bowl. The NFL - the National Football League, for those who just arrived here from another planet - is the country's most profitable and most-watched pro sports league and has entered into a multi-year partnership with Jay-Z's company Roc Nation. In addition to helping place artists, the press release said a major component of the partnership will be to "nurture and strengthen community through football and music." That's a quote. The announcement came as the league is starting yet another season, and it came almost three years to the very day that former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started sitting and then taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games as a protest against police violence and other

Documentary Review: 'One Child Nation'

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 20:49:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: In 1979, China began a mandatory one-child policy. Meant to address what Chinese officials saw as a looming population crisis, it was a brutal experiment on an unprecedented scale, involving forced sterilizations and abortions. It's now chronicled in a new film. Critic Bob Mondello reviews the documentary "One Child Nation." BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Among the first images on screen - uniformed soldiers marching in formation, a seemingly endless army that makes visual the notion that China is the most populous nation on earth. Then we hear the voice of filmmaker Nanfu Wang. (SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "ONE CHILD NATION") NANFU WANG: I was born in China in 1985, a time when China's population crisis was making headlines around the world. UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: There are more than a billion Chinese, that one big statistic... UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: By the middle of the next century, if China's families have an average of three

Stacey Abrams Talks New 2020 Voter Protection Initiative

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 20:49:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: You may have been following the Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, who's been a Democratic Party favorite since she came close to becoming the nation's first African American female governor last year and gave a well-received response to the State of the Union. Many have been wondering what she'll do next. She announced this week that she will not run for the Senate or the presidency, as some in her party had hoped. Instead, she unveiled a national initiative called Fair Fight 2020. Abrams said the project is intended to combat what she called voter suppression across 20 competitive and battleground states. The initiative will also focus on boosting involvement in the 2020 census. And Stacey Abrams is with us now. Thank you so much for being here. STACEY ABRAMS: Thank you for having me. MARTIN: So, first of all, let's review why the issue of voting rights is so central to you. You ran for governor in 2018 against Republican Brian

Critics Say Trump Administration Is Weakening Endangered Species Act

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 20:49:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: This week, the Trump administration announced changes to some of the ways the Endangered Species Act is enforced. Among the criticisms that followed the announcement was this - that the revisions would make it easier for federal wildlife agencies to ignore climate change when deciding whether to protect a species or not. NPR's Nathan Rott has more. NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: There are two revisions in particular that conservationists are worried about because they think that they will limit wildlife officials' ability to consider climate change. One centers on the designation of something called critical habitat. The Trump administration is directing wildlife officials to prioritize the areas that threatened and endangered species currently are before looking at the areas they might be in the future. Jim Lyons, who worked in the Interior Department under President Obama, says the risk there is that with climate change, species -

U.S. Attorney Slams Philadelphia DA Over 'Culture Of Disrespect For Law Enforcement'

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 20:26:00 +0000

The shooting of six police officers in Philadelphia earlier this week has provoked the region's top federal prosecutor to take swipes at the city's district attorney. William McSwain, who was appointed by President Trump to serve as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, released a blistering statement on Thursday attacking District Attorney Larry Krasner for promoting what he called a "new culture of disrespect for law enforcement." McSwain said the hours-long standoff between the gunman and police was precipitated by "a disrespect so flagrant and so reckless that the suspect immediately opened fire on every single officer within shooting distance." Since winning office in 2017, Krasner has attracted praise — as well as some pushback — for his record as one of the country's boldest progressive district attorneys. Krasner has been charging fewer defendants with crimes, de-emphasizing low-level offenses and railing against police misconduct. It's a record that McSwain

El Paso Shooting: Hundreds Of Strangers Come To Mourn With Widower At Wife's Funeral

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:49:00 +0000

Earlier this month, Margie Reckard, 63, was gunned down along with 21 others in the El Paso, Texas, massacre that authorities believe was driven by racial hatred. Two weeks later, strangers amassed by the hundreds to honor Reckard and surround her widower, Antonio Basco. "Never had so much love in my life," Basco said on Friday as he beheld the crowds, many who waited in triple-digit heat to attend Reckard's memorial service and support a man they had never met. When Reckard was killed, she left behind Basco, her partner of 22 years, who considered her his only close family. The couple had moved to El Paso a few years earlier and didn't have many local relatives and friends. Basco was greeted with applause from the hundreds of attendees at the service for his wife, who was among the 22 people killed in the El Paso mass shooting earlier this month. Jonathan Levinson / Jonathan Levinson / OPB Powerful images of a solitary Basco crouching and weeping in front of Reckard's makeshift

Sound Montage From Queen Mother's Funeral

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:47:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Fresh Air Weekend: Colson Whitehead's 'The Nickel Boys'; Quitting Opioids Alone

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 16:15:00 +0000

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week: Colson Whitehead On The True Story Of Abuse And Injustice Behind 'Nickel Boys: Whitehead's new novel is based on a notorious Florida reform school where boys were beaten and sexually abused. "If there's one place like this, there are many," he says. Rooted In History, 'The Nickel Boys' Is A Great American Novel: Colson Whitehead's deeply affecting new novel is based on the true story of a segregated reform school in Florida where African American boys were brutalized and possibly murdered. Motorcycle Crash Shows Bioethicist The Dark Side Of Quitting Opioids Alone: When medical bioethicist Travis Rieder tried to taper off pain medication after a roadway accident, he was disappointed by his

Pastrami

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 13:00:00 +0000

RACHEL SANDWICH, (WITH PASTRAMI) © 2019 All Rights Reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken Yield : 2 sandwiches 6 ounces of pastrami, (or more as desired). melted (or clarified butter), as needed butter, softened, amount as needed 4 slices Jewish rye bread or pumpernickel 8 thin slices Emmenthaler Swiss cheese 6 Tablespoons good cole slaw, drained 1/4 Cup Thousand Island Dressing , (recipe below) Heat up the pastrami in a pan or in a toaster type oven if you have one. Keep warm. Brush the four slices of bread with the melted or clarified butter as they sit on your cutting board. Heat a large enough skillet or griddle to hold the bread slices on medium-low to medium heat. Now lay the bread down on the melted buttered side to toast it. This will help keep the bread from absorbing the wet ingredients and making your sandwiches soggy. Return the bread to your cutting board and butter the other side of the bread slices with the softened butter. Now place the softened butter bread side down

Week In Politics

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:25:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: The hallways may be quiet on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, but still plenty of noise coming from your Congress and the president. Here to help us cut through the chatter, NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Ron, thanks so much for being with us. RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good morning, Scott. SIMON: Why is a member of Congress from Michigan front-page news in Israel? ELVING: It's front-page news there because our president wants it on the front page back here in the U.S. But let's step back just for a moment. Congress has two new members who are Muslim women and who are outspoken in their support of Palestinians. The president has made them a major target of his Twitter feed. And one of them is Rashida Tlaib from Michigan. She was born in the U.S. but still has family on the West Bank. She and her colleague Ilhan Omar from Minnesota were going to go to Israel until earlier this week when Israel decided to ban

Saturday Sports: Women's Soccer Team, Jay-Z

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Finally, time for sports. (SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) SIMON: Talks broke down this week between U.S. soccer and the women's team who demand equal pay. And you know who Jay-Z's newest collaborator is? We're going to be joined now by NPR's Tom Goldman, who is not his newest collaborator so far as I know. Not yet. Not yet is what I should say. Thanks for being with us, Tom. TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Always a pleasure. SIMON: So the women's national team walked out of mediation with U.S. Soccer Wednesday I believe over equal pay. What happened? GOLDMAN: If you ask the women's team members, U.S. Soccer wasn't interested in talking about equal pay, specifically, paying the women bonuses that match the men's players. And if you ask U.S. Soccer, talks broke down because the women's attorneys were, quote, "aggressive and unproductive after presenting misleading information to the public," end quote. So, Scott, both sides are angry. No talks

Government Checks Addresses To Prepare For Census

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: We're about five months away from the official start of the 2020 census. But census workers have already begun to knock on doors, part of the final preparations for a headcount that determines how political representation and federal funding will be shared for the next decade. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang explains why getting a good count begins with the right addresses. HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: The 2020 census is built on more than 100 million addresses of where every person lives in the U.S. The federal government is checking those addresses now so it knows where to mail census instructions and send out workers next year. JOSEPH SALVO: If you do not make it to the address list, you don't exist. WANG: You don't get counted. SALVO: You effectively don't get counted. WANG: Joseph Salvo is New York City's chief demographer. He heads the office in charge of making sure every home in the country's largest city gets on that list... Some people

Bassey Ikpi On 'I'm Telling The Truth, But I'm Lying'

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: "I'm Telling The Truth, But I'm Lying." As phrases that can stop and startle you, here's just one. My mother loves and hates and heals and hurts with the same hands. The noted spoken word artist has written a book of essays that perform a memoir - childhood moments in Nigeria, adolescence in Oklahoma, abuse at home, what she calls the pain and fog of a bipolar disorder and her hard work to make a real life for herself. Bassey Ikpi, the author of "I'm Telling The Truth But I'm Lying," joins us from our studios in New York. Thanks so much for being with us. BASSEY IKPI: Thank you so much for having me. SIMON: I want to begin with another arresting phrase early in the book, the lie I tell the most is I'm OK. Did you have to tell that to survive? Do you still have to say it now? IKPI: Absolutely. As open as I am about where I am with my emotional and mental health, I still think that the easy answer of I'm OK helps alleviate any

Netflix Curbs Tobacco Use Onscreen, But Not Pot. What's Up With That?

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000

When is it wrong to show cigarette smoking on television, but OK to depict people smoking cannabis products, particularly in programming popular among young teenagers? Netflix recently announced it would curb depictions of cigarette smoking in original programming intended for general audiences, after a Truth Initiative study showed its monster summer hit, Stranger Things, featured more tobacco use than any other program on streaming, broadcast or cable. There's tobacco in every single episode. Tobacco advertising has been banned on TV and in the movies for decades; when it comes to characters smoking cigarettes onscreen, restrictions are largely self-imposed. The Walt Disney Company is one of the few studios with a comprehensive and public policy about depicting tobacco use in movies . But what about smoking pot? The Netflix show On My Block is rated TV-14, for audiences, aged 14 and older — exactly the same rating as Stranger Things . The very first scene of On My Block , about high

Opinion: Hong Kong Protesters Might Bother Tourists, Or Pierce Their Conscience

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 12:00:00 +0000

It may be strange for tourists to land in Hong Kong to find throngs of impassioned protesters. They might wonder: What do they expect me to do about the Chinese government? Tourists come from all over the world to see the elegantly industrious city-state. "It is like a cauldron," Jan Morris wrote in her book Hong Kong , "seething, hissing, hooting, arguing, enmeshed in a labyrinth of tunnels and overpasses, with those skyscrapers erupting everywhere into view, with those ferries churning and hovercraft splashing and great jets flying in." But there are also visitors coming to Hong Kong from China's mainland. They are citizens of a country in which they have no political freedom and little uncensored information, and live under threat of imprisonment if they dissent. They come from the country the Hong Kong protesters don't want to be their future; even as they know each day brings them closer to 2047, when Hong Kong is to be absorbed into the whole of China. President Trump is vocal

PHOTOS: 'African Spirits,' From A Guy On A Bike To Cardi B

Sat, 17 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0000

A young man clowns around with a bicycle or two. Cardi B strikes a pose. A man in a camouflage uniform blends into camouflage wallpaper but the flowers he holds are an explosion of color. These are some of the images in the exhibit "African Spirits" at the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York through August 23. Almost all of the photographers themselves are African spirits, hailing from such countries as Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria and Senegal. Those who aren't from the continent either base their work in Africa or pay homage in their art to African photographers. The images in the exhibit are infused with the spirit of African identity. Hanging on the gallery walls, the photos seem to speak to each other across time and space — and making statements about African society and culture. The artists range from the pioneering African portrait photographers Seydou Keita (1921-2001) and Malick Sidibé (1935-2016) to photographers at work today like Samuel Fosso, Sanle Sory, Hassan Hajjaj and