Browsing articles from "June, 2016"

Listener Composes A Hard Rockin’ Version Of ‘Morning Edition’ Theme

Jun 30, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Listener Composes A Hard Rockin’ Version Of ‘Morning Edition’ Theme

James Gardner of Lacey, Washington, says for his take on the Morning Edition theme, he started with surf rock as his base and added ingredients from punk and metal.

Election Demographics Appear To Favor Clinton Over Trump

Jun 30, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Election Demographics Appear To Favor Clinton Over Trump

Demographics play a huge determinative factor in presidential elections. NPR’s Politics team has assembled a way for the audience to calculate possible voting outcomes based on demographics trends.

South African Broadcaster Ordered To Show President Zuma In A Positive Light

Jun 30, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on South African Broadcaster Ordered To Show President Zuma In A Positive Light

South African journalists are in an uproar over a directive at the state broadcaster banning coverage of protests. They accuse the government of effectively censoring them ahead of local elections.

Researchers Examine Family Income And Children’s Non-Cognitive Skills

Jun 30, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Researchers Examine Family Income And Children’s Non-Cognitive Skills

Barbara Wolfe and Jason Fletcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found children from lower income families have lower non-cognitive skills than children from richer families.

At Least 32 Killed In Bombing Attack on Istanbul Airport

Jun 29, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on At Least 32 Killed In Bombing Attack on Istanbul Airport



ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We’re gathering more facts about the attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. At least 36 people are dead, and more than a hundred are injured. Reporter Dalia Mortada joins us with an update from Istanbul. And Dalia, what are authorities there saying about what happened?

DALIA MORTADA, BYLINE: Well, Turkey’s prime minister said in a press conference that three attackers allegedly opened fire at the airport and then detonated their suicide vests. He said that 36 people have been killed so far, and more than a hundred people have been injured. The number of casualties is expect to rise, and foreign nationals are likely among them.

SIEGEL: Do we know how this attack was carried out?

MORTADA: The prime minister said so far, based on the initial findings, the attackers got to the airport by a yellow cab. And when they got the airport, he said that they began shooting, and then they detonated their vests. They attacked during a very busy time for international travel, and Istanbul Ataturk Airport, is the country’s largest international airport. And authorities are looking into up to three suicide bombers in the attack.

SIEGEL: Now, this attack is really part of a wave of attacks that Turkey has experienced. Does it fit into a pattern?

MORTADA: It does. I mean, this is the fourth attack in Istanbul in 2016, and in the last year, major cities in Turkey have seen more than half a dozen attacks. A lot of these attacks have either been blamed on ISIS or ISIS affiliates or claimed by Kurdish militants. This attack in particular actually – the prime minister said that initial findings are pointed to the Islamic State. But that’s as far as – that’s as much as we know.

SIEGEL: Reporter Dalia Mortada in Istanbul, thanks for talking with us, Dalia, again.

MORTADA: Thanks.

SIEGEL: The news 36 people reported dead, at least a hundred injured after an attack at Istanbul Airport.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Bombings Kill At Least 32 People At Istanbul Airport

Jun 29, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Bombings Kill At Least 32 People At Istanbul Airport



ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We’re following the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport. At least 36 people have been killed and more than a hundred wounded. Jared Malsin is a Middle East correspondent for TIME. We reached him via Skype at Ataturk Airport where he spoke with witnesses to the attack.

JARED MALSIN: Yes, I spoke with several witnesses who were inside the airport during the explosions. They all confirmed at least two explosions, possibly three, although that’s the last one we are not sure about. One witness, an American passenger who was landing when the explosions happened, showed me photos of what looked like broken glass at the passport control.

So it looks like there was either gunfire or or some other kind of violence that took place deep inside the airport. Otherwise it’s been a very chaotic…

SIEGEL: Yeah.

MALSIN: …Night here with hundreds of passengers and airline employees stranded inside the airport for two or three hours. And then the police have been letting them out in stages, so it’s been hundreds of people kind of coming out of the terminal with their luggage, all the while ambulances’ sirens blaring coming to and fro, obviously heavily armed police deployed in force here…

SIEGEL: Yeah.

MALSIN: …And yeah, a number of very distraught people.

SIEGEL: Jared, you said that you’ve heard about at least two explosions. Were they in rapid succession? Were they in the same terminal, the same close space? What have you heard.

SIEGEL: So it’s – again, it’s very early still, but what I was told by people who were inside the airport at the time – said first there was one explosion that kind of stunned people and then a second one very soon after that that triggered a kind of panic or maybe almost a stampede inside the airport.

And I can’t exactly recreate right now where those explosions were, but it appears that they were inside the airport somewhere. For now, the police are not allowing most press to enter the grounds of the airport. There’s a cordon set up, so we’ve been set back several hundred yards here from the scene of the blasts. But I’m sure more details are going to emerge soon.

SIEGEL: Yes. And as you understand it, at this point, it’s been a few hours. Is the assumption…

MALSIN: Yep.

SIEGEL: …That the attackers have either been killed or took their own lives, or is it still regarded as a live situation at all?

MALSIN: No, the assumption is that the attack, as it were, is over and any of the assailants are obviously subdued at this point. There were a number of reports that they were killed by security forces.

But again, in any kind of attack like this, there’s – it’s a very fluid situation, so we don’t know exactly. But in any case, no, it’s – things have significantly calmed down. Now there’s no sign of any ongoing fighting or violence right now.

SIEGEL: And is there any indication that Turkish authorities might make a statement or brief reporters publicly at – sometime soon?

MALSIN: Yeah, the Turkish authorities have been releasing statements to the national media as well as various wire agencies. Here at the airport itself, they’re not saying much, so I can’t help you that much in that particular area. But I expect we’ll hear more from them soon.

SIEGEL: Well, thanks for filling us in on what you’ve heard and what’s going on right now at Ataturk International Airport.

MALSIN: Sure.

SIEGEL: That’s Jared Malsin of TIME.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

At Least 32 Killed, More Than 80 Wounded In Istanbul Airport Attack

Jun 29, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on At Least 32 Killed, More Than 80 Wounded In Istanbul Airport Attack

An attack at Istanbul International Airport has killed at least 32 people and wounded many more. A Turkish official says there could have been as many as three explosions.

Thank You, Pat Summitt: From One Tennessee Girl To Another

Jun 29, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Thank You, Pat Summitt: From One Tennessee Girl To Another

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt of Tennessee celebrates with her son Tyler after the Lady Volunteers defeated Georgia in the championship game of the NCAA Women's Final Four in 1996.i

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt of Tennessee celebrates with her son Tyler after the Lady Volunteers defeated Georgia in the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 1996.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


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Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt of Tennessee celebrates with her son Tyler after the Lady Volunteers defeated Georgia in the championship game of the NCAA Women's Final Four in 1996.

Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt of Tennessee celebrates with her son Tyler after the Lady Volunteers defeated Georgia in the championship game of the NCAA Women’s Final Four in 1996.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

I wasn’t born with an athletic bone in my body, and I’ve never played in a basketball game. But Pat Summitt has been one of my idols for as long as I can remember.

That’s just the way it was when you grow up as a young girl in Tennessee. It’s the only state in the country where the women’s basketball team gets more acclaim and attention than the men’s college team.

I didn’t realize that was an anomaly until I got much older. I didn’t realize that women, in sports or otherwise, didn’t get the same recognition as men, and that they had to work and fight twice as hard. I didn’t realize this because Pat never made us believe it was or should be any different. My parents told me I could do anything I set my mind to, and as a kid growing up in the mountains of East Tennessee, I had an excellent role model who proved that.

She was simply known to us as “Pat,” and you talked about her like she was your next-door neighbor. You felt like she was.

I grew up watching women’s basketball games with my parents with as much frequency as we did Tennessee football in the fall. If they were trailing at halftime, my dad would lean back in his weathered, orange recliner and say, “Oh boy, Pat’s gonna whip ’em into shape at halftime,” referring to her legendary midgame intense “pep talks.”

“Here comes the stare,” he’d say of her famed ice-cold glare if one of her players had messed up or wasn’t giving it her all. Sometimes, if the game got too tense or too close, my mom had to leave the room because she was so nervous. It was serious business in the Taylor household.

Pat never expected anything less than your best. “Here’s how I’m going to beat you — I’m going to outwork you. That’s all there is to it,” she wrote in one of her books.

Yes, Pat didn’t like to lose — who does? And she won more games than any basketball coach ever, men’s or women’s. But she pushed her players to be the best they could, on and off the court. The most astonishing statistic of her nearly four-decades-long career is that every single one of her players graduated with a degree.

She put in the same hard work they did, fighting to get women’s basketball televised. When she was first hired at just age 22, she drove the team van and washed the team uniforms herself.

My earliest memory of Pat was when she came and talked to our gym class at my elementary school when I was in kindergarten. She encouraged us all to be active and exercise (still working on that) and we all got Lady Vols T-shirts that could have fit about three 5-year-olds inside them. I still have that shirt.

It was a special treat for my parents to announce on a Saturday that we were packing our car up to make the two-hour drive to Knoxville to watch a game at sold-out Thompson-Boling Arena with fans singing “Rocky Top” at the top of their lungs. Men’s games hours later would be about half as full, but we didn’t go to those.

As I was leaving a football game at Neyland Stadium one time with my dad, we passed by her. My dad yelled out, “Pat Head Summitt!” and she turned and stopped, gave us hugs, and we all yelled out “Go Vols!” She didn’t know us, but in a sea of orange she stopped and shared a hurried moment with us. We were all Tennessee. She was — and is — Tennessee.

NPR reporter Jessica Taylor, a Tennessee native and lifelong Lady Vol fan, got to meet Summitt in 2012.

NPR reporter Jessica Taylor, a Tennessee native and lifelong Lady Vol fan, got to meet Summitt in 2012.

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Jessica Taylor/NPR

I remember crying in my car when I heard she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Tennessee was already in a pretty rough sports period anyway (just see our revolving door of football coaches over the past few years), but the one constant was Pat. Her diagnosis was a gut punch — not just for the fans, but for the entire world of sports. She should have had so many years ahead of her, able to extend her amazing winning record and inspire so many more female athletes and young girls alike. Alzheimer’s robbed us all of that. There was so much more she could have done.

Alzheimer’s is a disease I’m all too familiar with. I watched it rip my grandmother away from me when I was in middle school. By the time she died the week before I left for college, she hadn’t recognized my mother, my aunt, or me — her only grandchild — in years. She was a shell of a human, her eyes glazed over in her nursing home bed as the machines beeped until it was only a long, flat-line hum.

It’s a disease that shreds your dignity and the things that are the very core of you — your memories, your personality, who you are. I live in fear I’m going to lose another family member to it. I imagine that the players and family members who visited Pat in her final days and hours didn’t recognize who she had become. And she wouldn’t have wanted them to remember her that way either.

When Pat told the world five years ago she was battling this evil disease, I wondered how she would do it so publicly. You could begin to see the effects in her final year of coaching, and maybe even before. There wasn’t the same tenacity on the sidelines, that trademark fire. It was heartbreaking to watch.

I met Pat for the last time a few years ago, just after she had been diagnosed and had stepped down as head coach. She was speaking at an Alzheimer’s event here in D.C., and after I gushed to a nice press aide about how much I idolized the woman, she let me in to talk to her.

I shook her hand, told her how much she had meant to me and, even though I certainly never harbored any ambitions of being a basketball player, she had always shown me that a little country girl from the Tennessee hills could grow up to be whatever she wanted to be with enough hard work and determination. I told her how I had always wanted to be a political reporter and was now living that dream in Washington, D.C.

She grasped my palm, simply said, “Thank you, that’s great to hear,” and politely posed for a picture with me.

I finally got to look into those deep blue eyes myself, which had punctuated so many stares emanating from my television and the sidelines. They were softer, sadder, less bright. But she was still there, and she talked later at the event about how she intended to fight this disease and bring awareness to it.

Now, it’s our turn to fight for her and to outwork Alzheimer’s. For Pat Summitt. For my grandmother Iva Lee Grindstaff. For the 5 million people suffering with the disease, each whose family sees its own loved one’s eyes get a bit dimmer every day. Keep fighting. That’s what Pat would have wanted.

Jessica Taylor, a native of Elizabethton, Tenn., is a digital political reporter with NPR.

Democrats’ Report on Benghazi Attack: Hillary Clinton Was ‘Active And Engaged’

Jun 28, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Democrats’ Report on Benghazi Attack: Hillary Clinton Was ‘Active And Engaged’

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (left), confers with the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during a hearing on Capitol Hill.i

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (left), confers with the committee’s ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP


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House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (left), confers with the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

House Benghazi Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (left), confers with the committee’s ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A new report released Monday by the minority members of the House Select Committee tasked with investigating the events at a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, absolves the U.S military and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of any blame in attacks that left four Americans dead nearly four years ago.

The findings by the Democrats on the committee conclude that the Department of Defense “could not have done anything differently” on Sept. 11, 2012, that could have saved Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

The report adds that while State Department security at the compound was “woefully inadequate,” Clinton herself “never personally denied any requests for additional security in Benghazi.” Clinton was also “active and engaged” on the night of the attacks and in subsequent days, saying she was in touch with the president, the CIA director, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others in the hours following the attacks.

Democrats on the panel unveiled their findings to get out in front of a Republican-led committee report that is expected to be far more critical, if not scathing, of Clinton’s handling of the tragic events.

The 339-page minority report labels the investigation as being “partisan” and accuses the Republican members of the committee of using the two-year probe as a tool to “attack their political foes.”

“We have been hampered in our work by the ongoing Republican obsession with conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality,” the report said. “Rather than reject these conspiracy theories in the absence of evidence — or in the face of hard facts — Select Committee Republicans embraced them and turned them into a political crusade.”

In response, Select Committee on Benghazi Press Secretary Matt Wolking pushed back in a statement accusing Democrats of being the ones guilty of obsession when it came to the investigation:

“Benghazi Committee Democrats’ obsession with the former Secretary of State is on full display. For over two years they refused to participate in the Majority’s serious, fact-centered investigation. The dishonest Democrats on this committee falsely claimed everything had been ‘asked and answered.’ They said the committee had found ‘absolutely nothing new.’ If that’s changed, they should come clean and admit it. If not, everyone can ignore their rehashed, partisan talking points defending their endorsed candidate for president.”

The Select Committee, led by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is expected to release the committee’s full report ahead of the party conventions next month.

To Change Police Practices, A Push For Liability Insurance In Minneapolis

Jun 28, 2016   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on To Change Police Practices, A Push For Liability Insurance In Minneapolis

Michelle Gross (right) is a member of the Committee for Professional Policing, which is proposing a ballot measure in Minneapolis that would require police officers to carry liability insurance.i

Michelle Gross (right) is a member of the Committee for Professional Policing, which is proposing a ballot measure in Minneapolis that would require police officers to carry liability insurance.

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Michelle Gross (right) is a member of the Committee for Professional Policing, which is proposing a ballot measure in Minneapolis that would require police officers to carry liability insurance.

Michelle Gross (right) is a member of the Committee for Professional Policing, which is proposing a ballot measure in Minneapolis that would require police officers to carry liability insurance.

Martin Kaste for NPR

When cities settle cases of inappropriate or illegal force by police officers, they pay — a lot. Chicago alone has paid out more than half a billion dollars since 2004.

Yet some advocates say all those payouts haven’t had much of an effect on policing practices.

In Minneapolis, longtime activist Michelle Gross says when cities pay damages, individual police officers often aren’t held accountable, which means they’re not likely to change their behavior. That’s why she and a group calling itself the Committee for Professional Policing are now pushing a completely different approach.

“We are working to get a measure on the ballot that would require police officers to carry professional liability insurance,” she says.

Some officers already carry liability insurance, on a voluntary basis. Gross’ group wants to make it a condition of employment in Minneapolis. Their proposal would have the city cover the cost of basic insurance, but any premium increases due to misconduct would be the officer’s responsibility.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson comforts Laquan McDonald's aunt Tanisha Hunter during a vigil for the 17-year-old McDonald last November.

Dave Bicking, also a member of the ballot campaign, says the beauty of this scheme is that bad cops would pay more; the worse the track record, the more expensive the premium.

“We have one officer [in Minneapolis] who’s had five significant settlements against him just in a year and a half,” Bicking says. “Someone like that could never, ever buy insurance. They’d have to charge him $60[000]-$70,000 a year. That officer would be gone.”

The plan has a simple appeal. But police call it simplistic.

“I always equate police work to, like, basketball. If you’re not getting any fouls, you’re not playing hard enough,” says Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.

He says if cops have to start worrying about insurance rates, they’re liable to become overly cautious.

“Anybody can get in the squad car and drive around and put the blinders on, and not investigate suspicious circumstances,” he says. “If you don’t do that proactive police work, your likelihood of being sued is a lot less.”

Even some of those hoping for change in police practices see a problem there. “I’d have to see what it is that they’re going to use to determine what’s going to increase that premium,” says Michael Quinn, a retired Minneapolis officer, who wrote a book about misconduct and now teaches police ethics. He’s not sure insurance companies should be the ones evaluating an officer’s performance. “I don’t trust the system to do that right.”

Still, he sympathizes with the activists’ goal, because he believes the current system isn’t working. Quinn says the beneficial feedback that’s supposed to happen after a lawsuit — when the officer is disciplined or gets a lecture — just isn’t happening enough.

“I think the poor management and the lack of the supervision is what’s leading to this stuff,” he says. “The cops aren’t being held accountable, the supervisors aren’t holding them accountable, and we’re going to continue to have this money being paid out.”

A protester holds up a picture of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in a December 2014 demonstration in Washington, D.C.

Police unions in Minneapolis and other cities say part of the problem is that city councils are too quick to pay damages, even on frivolous complaints, just to save money on litigation. They’d like to see cities taking more plaintiffs to court, which — they believe — would decrease the number of brutality complaints and paint a more positive picture of police conduct.

University of Chicago Law assistant professor John Rappaport has been studying the question of how and why cities pay out damages on behalf of their police. He says there’s often a disconnect between payouts and accountability.

“We’re very much stuck in a rut, with American policing,” he says. He has been investigating whether cities that pay damages out of their own funds — cities such as Minneapolis and Chicago — are less likely to hold officers accountable than cities that have liability insurance.

Rappaport hasn’t looked at the question of whether a requirement of individual policies would affect police behavior, largely because he knows of no police department that requires it. He has doubts about whether it would work — for one thing, he doesn’t think premiums would really go up enough to discourage bad behavior.

But Rappaport says he “loves” the fact that the Minneapolis activists are proposing this.

“This moment is really causing people to be interested in shaking things up,” he says. “I don’t know whether this is the right answer or not … but we won’t ever know until someone tries it and we get a chance to see how it works.”

The Committee for Professional Policing has until July 5 to collect signatures — at last count, it was within 509 valid signatures of the number required, according to the Minneapolis City Clerk.

If the committee collects enough, it will then be up to the City Council to decide whether the proposal is legal (the police union argues it’s not legal under state law). If the council approves it, it will be on the ballot this fall.

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