Browsing articles from "September, 2014"

Calif. School District Will Get Rid Of Controversial Armored Vehicle

Sep 20, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Calif. School District Will Get Rid Of Controversial Armored Vehicle

The San Diego School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue operations. The district had released renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is repainted. This version shows it as a police vehicle.i
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The San Diego School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue operations. The district had released renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is repainted. This version shows it as a police vehicle.

San Diego Unified School District


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San Diego Unified School District

The San Diego School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue operations. The district had released renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is repainted. This version shows it as a police vehicle.

The San Diego School District is sending back a military vehicle it had planned to use in rescue operations. The district had released renderings of what the MRAP might look like after its tan military color is repainted. This version shows it as a police vehicle.

San Diego Unified School District

Yielding to residents’ concerns, the San Diego Unified School District says it’s returning the 18-ton MRAP, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle, that its police department recently acquired from the Department of Defense’s surplus equipment program.

San Diego officials had said the MRAP would be used only as a rescue vehicle in extreme circumstances — but that didn’t satisfy the plan’s critics, particularly in a summer marked by controversy over police using military-grade equipment to face off with demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo.

“Some members of our community are not comfortable with the district having this vehicle,” Superintendent Cindy Marten said in explaining the decision. “If any part of our community is not comfortable with it, we cannot be comfortable with it.”

As we reported last week, the six-wheel Caiman MRAP has an official value of around $733,000. The San Diego school district paid far less than that amount, needing only to cover the cost of transporting it to California from a storage facility in Texas. The MRAP drew controversy after its acquisition was reported by inewsource.org, a news partner of member station KPBS in San Diego.

“The district was forced into the national spotlight last week when news broke that its police department had acquired a mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicle,” Joe Yerardi reports from KPBS. “The vehicle, designed to survive blasts from improvised explosive devices, was provided for free under the Department of Defense’s Excess Property Program.”

Yerardi adds, “Officials emphasized the MRAP was unarmed. They said it would be used as a rescue vehicle, loaded with medical supplies and even teddy bears.”

Of the reversal, the head of the school district’s police, Rueben Littlejohn, said the public’s trust and perceptions were more valuable than the benefits the vehicle would have brought.

“Our officers understand the community’s concern and are committed to continuing the mission of keeping our students and schools safe as we have done since the department’s inception in 1984,” he said.

The district says it’s holding on to the vehicle until the Defense Department finds a new taker.

Ravens Fans Line Up To Trade In Ray Rice Jerseys At Stadium

Sep 20, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Ravens Fans Line Up To Trade In Ray Rice Jerseys At Stadium

Baltimore Ravens fans exchange the jersey of the team's former running back Ray Rice at MT Bank Stadium Friday. He should have been the man here and backed away instead of hitting his fiancee, a female fan says.i
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Baltimore Ravens fans exchange the jersey of the team’s former running back Ray Rice at MT Bank Stadium Friday. “He should have been the man here and backed away” instead of hitting his fiancee, a female fan says.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images


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Baltimore Ravens fans exchange the jersey of the team's former running back Ray Rice at MT Bank Stadium Friday. He should have been the man here and backed away instead of hitting his fiancee, a female fan says.

Baltimore Ravens fans exchange the jersey of the team’s former running back Ray Rice at MT Bank Stadium Friday. “He should have been the man here and backed away” instead of hitting his fiancee, a female fan says.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Fans of the Baltimore Ravens, which earlier this month cut star running back Ray Rice over a domestic violence scandal, are lining up today to exchange jerseys featuring the player’s name. It reportedly took more than an hour to get through the line around the Ravens’ MT Bank Stadium.

This is the second day of the trade-in, just one of the recent developments in a scandal that started taking shape back in February, when Rice hit his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an elevator at a casino resort in Atlantic City.

From Baltimore, Christopher Connelly from member station WYPR reports:

“Lelloni Cheeks says she’d been a fan of the Ravens running back from the early days of his career.

” ‘You know, he was that little boy that lived next door,” she says, “and he made a very good name for himself.’

“But after seeing video of Rice knocking out his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino, Cheeks came to trade in her jersey.

” ‘He should have been the man here and backed away,’ she said. ‘That did not happen, and I’m sad for that.’

“The event has served as an opportunity to talk to her 15-year-old daughter about domestic violence. The two traded in their Ray Rice gear for vouchers to buy different jerseys: After long lines yesterday, the team’s most popular jerseys were sold out.”

The lingering fallout of a situation that was only made worse by the NFL’s admittedly lenient initial punishment of a two-game suspension for Rice – and then became a national discussion after video of the elevator altercation became public -– led league commissioner Roger Goodell to defend both the NFL and his own handling of the case again Friday, in a news conference in which he promised, “The same mistakes will never be repeated.”

Goodell also said he had not considered resigning from his position.

On Friday, Goodell was challenged by a reporter from TMZ, the site that first published the Rice video, who said the footage’s existence had been confirmed with only one phone call.

“You guys have a whole legal department,” TMZ’s Adam Glyn said, according to Mediaite. “Can you explain that? We found out by just one phone call.”

“I can’t explain how you got the information, only you can do that,” Goodell answered.

Today, ESPN is reporting on what it calls “a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since that February night,” saying that the Baltimore team learned details of the incident in Atlantic City within hours of it happening.

ESPN says top Ravens officials were in frequent contact with Rice’s defense attorney, and that they urged Goodell to punish Rice with “no more than a two-game suspension.”

Episode 570: The Fine Print

Sep 20, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Episode 570: The Fine Print

The details in a homeowners insurance policy are amazingi
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The details in a homeowners insurance policy are amazing

On today’s show, we read our homeowners insurance policy.

The details are amazing. Lava! Vermin! Falling objects! And, hiding in all the fine print, the story of how insurance works — and what makes it break.

Music: Hauschka’s “Radar” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire.” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

Texas Appears To Step Back From Proposal To Sell Alcohol At Some Gun Shows

Sep 20, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Texas Appears To Step Back From Proposal To Sell Alcohol At Some Gun Shows

A customer checks out a shotgun at a store in College Station, Texas.i
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A customer checks out a shotgun at a store in College Station, Texas.

Pat Sullivan/AP


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A customer checks out a shotgun at a store in College Station, Texas.

A customer checks out a shotgun at a store in College Station, Texas.

Pat Sullivan/AP

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission appears to be backing away from a proposal to allow the sale of alcohol at some gun shows.

On Friday, the staff of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission recommended that commissioners vote to withdraw the plan.

NPR’s John Burnett filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“Under the proposal, gun shows would’ve banned the sale of live ammunition, require that firearms be disabled, and forbid buyers to walk out with a purchased weapon. But citing public comments, an agency spokesperson said that even with these restrictions, people just don’t think guns and alcohol are a good mix.

“Texas already prohibits concealed handguns in taverns.

“Over the border, in Oklahoma City, however, last spring the city council approved a liquor license to Wilshire Gun Range; the owners say customers can only drink after they shoot.”

The AP reports the plan was first introduced last month.

Bill Charlap And Renee Rosnes On Piano Jazz

Sep 19, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Bill Charlap And Renee Rosnes On Piano Jazz

It’s a rare thing to have three pianists at three pianos in one studio. But given the marriage of keyboard masters Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes, host Marian McPartland thought it was a perfect opportunity to expand the Piano Jazz format with two of today’s most gifted players as her guests.

Charlap is one of the finest interpreters of American popular song and Rosnes is a modern jazz wizard. They join McPartland in this 2008 session for a trio of “You and the Night and the Music” as well as “I’ll Remember April.”

Originally recorded July 14, 2008.

Set List
  • “Just in Time” (Styne/Comden/Green)
  • “Gone With the Wind” (Magidson/Wrubel)
  • “Chelsea Bridge” (Strayhorn)
  • “Too Late Now” (Lane/Lerner)
  • “You and the Night and the Music” (Dietz/Schwartz)
  • “Stranger in a Dream” (McPartland/Caesar)
  • “Twilight World” (McPartland)
  • “Free Piece [Manhattan Beach]” (McPartland/Charlap/Rosnes)
  • “I’ll Remember April” (DePaul/Johnston/Raye)

The Hold Steady On World Cafe

Sep 19, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Hold Steady On World Cafe

The Hold Steady.i
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The Hold Steady.

Kelsey Stanger/WXPN


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The Hold Steady.

The Hold Steady.

Kelsey Stanger/WXPN

Today, World Cafe presents a lengthy set from The Hold Steady, the Brooklyn indie-rock staple led by Craig Finn. The band plays songs from its new album, Teeth Dreams, as well as selections from across its decade-long history — including a selection Finn describes as his favorite Hold Steady song.

Born in Minnesota, Finn turns frequently to the Midwest — and to the messy lives of recurring characters — in his densely worded, exultant lyrics. “We started this band when most of us were in our early 30s,” Finn says. “We had kind of been through the 20s thing: indie rock, hipsterism and all of that. And [we] wanted to do something that was not exclusive, but inclusive.”

In Sierra Leone, A Lockdown … Or A Time To Reflect?

Sep 19, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In Sierra Leone, A Lockdown … Or A Time To Reflect?

A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.i
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A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.

Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images


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A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.

A woman washes clothes in a slum in Freetown.

Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Starting just after midnight, residents of Sierra Leone will be confined to their homes for a three-day lockdown.

It’s the latest government plan meant to stem the tide of Ebola cases, which exceeded 1,500 last week in Sierra Leone.

But the plan has not won the support of the international medical community — and is causing concern among Sierra Leoneans as well.

“Everyone is rushing to the markets and stores to stock up on food to get ready for these three days, when they’re not going to be allowed to leave their houses,” says NPR’s Anders Kelto, reporting from Freetown, the capital city.

Stephen Gaojia, head of the Ebola Emergency Operations Center in Sierra Leone, bristles at the word “lockdown.” He says 28,000 volunteers have been recruited and trained to go door-to-door throughout the country, educating families about Ebola.

Earlier this month, the government’s health ministry said it would actively seek out Ebola patients, but now it says it won’t. “This process is not a lockdown, neither is it a shutdown, neither is it a root-out exercise,” Gaojia told All Things Considered Wednesday. “This is more a psycho-educational exercise.”

Shoppers in Freetown stock up on supplies before a countrywide lockdown starts on Friday.i
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Shoppers in Freetown stock up on supplies before a countrywide lockdown starts on Friday.

Anders Kelto/NPR


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Anders Kelto/NPR

Shoppers in Freetown stock up on supplies before a countrywide lockdown starts on Friday.

Shoppers in Freetown stock up on supplies before a countrywide lockdown starts on Friday.

Anders Kelto/NPR

Instead, Gaojia says, it’s a time for people to “stay together to do some reflection, engage in prayer, generate some kind of family discussion about Ebola.”

A press release from the Emergency Operations Center called it a “house-to-house Ebola talk,” or “Ose to Ose Ebola Tok” in Krio, a local language.

“We want to help rebuild public confidence and trust in the public health care system,” Gaojia says.

International medical professionals think the plan could backfire.

“Large scale coercive measures like forced quarantines and lockdowns are driving people underground and jeopardizing the trust between people and health providers,” Doctors Without Borders said in a statement earlier this month, when the government first announced its plans. “This is leading to the concealment of cases and is pushing the sick away from health systems.”

In response to such criticism, Gaojia says, “The risk of doing nothing far outweighs the risk of doing something.”

But a quarantine in a Liberian slum neighborhood in August led to violence and riots.

Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife, Amber, leave a news conference after his release from Emory University Hospital on Aug. 21.

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

And, says Doctors Without Borders in their statement: “Without enough beds to treat patients who have Ebola we will fail to stop it spreading even further. What Sierra Leone and Liberia urgently need are more beds in case management centers, and they need them now.”

Gaojia says the Emergency Operations Center estimates the country will see a “surge of about 15 to 20 percent of the cases that we have had … anywhere between 200 or more nationwide.”

But even with a new Red Cross facility in Kenema, the country’s third largest city, there aren’t enough beds at treatment centers. Instead, there are holding centers, which many people view as places where suspected Ebola patients go to die alone.

“These holding centers are very bare bones,” says Kelto. “They don’t have IVs, they don’t have saline solution to keep people hydrated, they don’t have medicine to treat diarrhea or to stop vomiting. So essentially it’s no different than just lying at home in your own bed.”

In the meantime, the prospect of a lockdown has caused a spike in food prices in Freetown. “Everything is so expensive, double the price,” says Miriam Kallom, a shopper in Freetown. That’s a problem in one of the world’s poorest countries, where many live on day-to-day wages.

The health ministry plans to send over 7,000 teams of four people each to go door-to-door throughout Sierra Leone “to disseminate information on Ebola virus and enlist family and community support to participate in the response process.” Gaojia says. Each team will include a healthcare worker, community volunteer “and possibly a youth within the community.”

Gaojia says that they will be “using an encouragement approach,” telling people who may be ill or who have ill family members to call a hotline so a rapid response team can transport them to a holding center, where they can be tested for Ebola.

“Military people, police and soldiers are not the face of this campaign at all,” says Gaojia. “Of course, the police and military will be in readiness in the event of any lawlessness.”

The volunteer teams are set to work between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. In the evening, people will be able to move three to four doors from their homes. Vehicular movement will still be restricted.

“We don’t expect [Sierra Leoneans] to refuse,” Sidie Yahya Tunis, communications director for the health ministry of Sierra Leone, told the BBC earlier this month. “You follow or else you’ll be breaking the law. If you disobey then you are disobeying the president.”

Initially, the plan was for the volunteer teams to reach every single house in the country of 6 million. Now, their aim is to visit 1.5 million households, each of which will get a bar of soap.

The only protective equipment the volunteers will carry, Gaojia says, is rain gear.

In Scotland History Is Made… But At A Golf Club

Sep 19, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In Scotland History Is Made… But At A Golf Club

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women had not been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754.i
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The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women had not been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754.

Doug Tribou/NPR


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Doug Tribou/NPR

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women had not been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754.

The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews sits just off the first tee. The course itself is open to the public — women as well as men. But women had not been allowed to join the club since its founding in 1754.

Doug Tribou/NPR

Yes, history is unfolding in Scotland this evening.

But another bit of history was made in the region earlier today, when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews announced that its members had voted overwhelmingly to allow women to become members.

In a statement, the club’s secretary Peter Dawson said 85 percent of members voted in the affirmative. He added:

“This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The RA has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men.”

As Doug Tribou reported for NPR, the club set the modern standard for golf, when it trimmed its local course from 22 holes to 18 holes.

Doug reported that women were allowed on the course, but they were not allowed inside the club house, not even as guests.

The vote to allow women came as St. Andrews was getting ready to host the 2015 British Open.

The New York Times reports the club had been under international pressure to open up its ranks to women. The Times reports:

“Scrutiny of all-male clubs everywhere has increased since the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, which hosts the Masters, accepted two women as members in 2012: Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, and Darla Moore, a South Carolina businesswoman.

“In an odd twist of timing, the decision was announced on the same day that Scots flocked to the polls to vote on whether to secede from the United Kingdom.”

Driftwood On Mountain Stage

Sep 18, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Driftwood On Mountain Stage

Steeped in traditional jazz and classical music, the members of Driftwood — violinist Claire Byrne, banjo player Joe Kollar, guitarist Dan Forsyth, and bassist Joey Arcuri — eventually found themselves diving headlong into folk and bluegrass.

Based in Binghamton, N.Y., they also incorporated tones from ’60s RB and rock, forging a distinct sound that has earned them spots performing alongside Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, and Emmylou Harris. They’ve performed more than 500 shows in just three years, honing a particular form of onstage energy that’s on full display during their Mountain Stage debut.

SET LIST
  • “To Kill Ya”
  • “The Carburetor And The Steam Engine”
  • “Before I Rust”
  • “Gold Mine”
  • “The Sun’s Going Down”

Driftwood On Mountain Stage

Sep 18, 2014   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Driftwood On Mountain Stage

Steeped in traditional jazz and classical music, the members of Driftwood — violinist Claire Byrne, banjo player Joe Kollar, guitarist Dan Forsyth, and bassist Joey Arcuri — eventually found themselves diving headlong into folk and bluegrass.

Based in Binghamton, N.Y., they also incorporated tones from ’60s RB and rock, forging a distinct sound that has earned them spots performing alongside Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, and Emmylou Harris. They’ve performed more than 500 shows in just three years, honing a particular form of onstage energy that’s on full display during their Mountain Stage debut.

SET LIST
  • “To Kill Ya”
  • “The Carburetor And The Steam Engine”
  • “Before I Rust”
  • “Gold Mine”
  • “The Sun’s Going Down”

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