Browsing articles from "March, 2019"

The Great Bagel Debate: Slice Horizontally Or Vertically?

Mar 31, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Great Bagel Debate: Slice Horizontally Or Vertically?

NPR’s Korva Coleman explores a recent controversy taking over the Internet: which is the best way to slice a bagel?

New Podcast ‘The Double Shift’ Explores What It Means To Be A Working Mom

Mar 31, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on New Podcast ‘The Double Shift’ Explores What It Means To Be A Working Mom

NPR’s Korva Coleman talks to Katherine Goldstein about her new podcast, which looks at the lives of working mothers and childcare issues.

In New York, Free Legal Help Arrives For Low-Income Tenants In Housing Court

Mar 31, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In New York, Free Legal Help Arrives For Low-Income Tenants In Housing Court

New York City has launched an effort to provided free legal counsel to low-income tenants facing eviction and reducing displacement. Other cities may soon follow.

A Game of Thrones Fan Traveled To The Arctic As Part Of A Worldwide Scavenger Hunt

Mar 31, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on A Game of Thrones Fan Traveled To The Arctic As Part Of A Worldwide Scavenger Hunt

Josefine Wallenå of Sweden sits on the Iron Throne after driving eight hours to find it.

Courtesy of Josefine Wallenå


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Courtesy of Josefine Wallenå

Josefine Wallenå of Sweden sits on the Iron Throne after driving eight hours to find it.

Courtesy of Josefine Wallenå

Some fans watch Game of Thrones. Others live it.

The final season of the HBO hit television series premieres in two weeks. But some fans got an early treat this month when the TV network challenged people to a worldwide scavenger hunt.

For those who don’t watch the show, the ultimate symbol of power in the fictional Game of Thrones kingdom of Westeros is the Iron Throne. So, HBO placed six of them in different locations around the world and tweeted the hashtag #ForTheThrone, along with a cryptic 12 second video. Fans could also view hour-long 360-degree videos of the thrones in various terrains.

Soon after, fans around the world began their quests.

One of those individuals was Josefine Wallenå, a 25-year-old gamer and project manager from Sweden.

After looking at one of HBO’s tweeted clues closely and its caption, she realized one of the thrones might be nearby.

“When I saw the snow , I was like, ‘Wait a minute. This may actually be Sweden.’ And when I read the first clue, I was sure right away that it was in Sweden,” Wallenå says in an interview with NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. “The clue for it said a crown for each of the three stags.”

Three crowns are part of the Swedish national emblem and the Sweden men’s national ice hockey team is nicknamed “Tre Kronor,” meaning three crowns in the Swedish language.

Then she combed through an hour-long video posted on the official Game of Thrones YouTube channel and saw the Northern Lights, so she knew to head north.

Within an hour from when the clue was tweeted, she grabbed her boyfriend and they drove eight hours in search of the throne — without time to even pack a snack.

Their next step was hiking up a mountain in search of the well-known U-shaped valley seen in the YouTube video, called the Lapponian Gate. It was then that they caught a glimpse of the spikes of the throne, hidden more than 150 miles into the Arctic Circle.

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“It was this super surreal weird feeling, seeing the throne standing there in the snow,” Wallenå says. “Like, no no no this is wrong, this is supposed to be in the show, it’s not supposed to be in the snow.”

Waiting for them at the throne was a surprise: a man dressed as a character from the television show.

The man, dressed as a member of the famous Night Watch from Game of Thrones, said to the pair, “In the game of thrones you either win or you die, and today you have won.” He then put a crown on Wallenå’s head, crowning her queen of the North.

Besides the throne in Sweden, other thrones have been found in England, Spain, Brazil, Canada, and Queens, New York.

In the end, Wallenå got to keep the crown. We pledge fealty.

NPR’s Audrey Nguyen and Cathy Shaw produced and edited this story for broadcast.

Director Alison Klayman Discusses ‘The Brink’, Her Reasons For Profiling Steve Bannon

Mar 30, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Director Alison Klayman Discusses ‘The Brink’, Her Reasons For Profiling Steve Bannon

NPR’s Korva Coleman speaks to director Alison Klayman about her most recent film, The Brink, which follows Steve Bannon after his time in the White House and through the 2018 midterm elections.

What Life After ISIS Looks Like In Iraq

Mar 30, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on What Life After ISIS Looks Like In Iraq

The Syrian government has declared victory over ISIS — years after the same was said of Iraq. NPR’s Korva Coleman speaks with Yale researcher Mara Redlich Revkin about life after ISIS in Iraq.

Does Instagram Have A Problem With Hate Speech And Extremism?

Mar 30, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Does Instagram Have A Problem With Hate Speech And Extremism?

Instagram has increasingly become a home for hate speech and extremist content, according to Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for The Atlantic.

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Instagram has increasingly become a home for hate speech and extremist content, according to Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for The Atlantic.

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Facebook announced on Wednesday that starting next week, it will begin banning white nationalism and white separatism content on its platforms. That includes its popular photo-sharing app, Instagram.

While Facebook and Twitter have come under heavy criticism for the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories, Instagram has flown relatively under the radar. That’s allowed the platform to increasingly serve as a home for hate speech and extremist content, according to Taylor Lorenz, a reporter for The Atlantic.

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In an article titled “Instagram Is the Internet’s New Home for Hate,” Lorenz writes that Instagram is “likely where the next great battle against misinformation will be fought, and yet it has largely escaped scrutiny.”

Instagram is huge, with over one billion users. But policing the platform has its challenges, says Lorenz.

For example, users can set their accounts to “private” mode, meaning that only approved followers can see the content that is posted on that user’s page — this makes it harder to regulate the content posted on private accounts.

Lorenz said that Instagram relies on its users to report problematic content. So, problematic content, especially on private accounts, can easily slip by unnoticed and go unreported by users.

NPR spoke with Lorenz about how extremist content spreads on Instagram — and what she thinks should be done to stop it.

Interview Highlights

On what Instagram’s extremist content looks like

Extremist content on Instagram is essentially just a more visual way of presenting classic misinformation that we’ve seen on other platforms. So, a lot of racist memes, white nationalist content, sometimes screenshots of fake news articles.

On who extremists target on Instagram

A lot of these accounts are actually targeted towards younger people. Some of the heaviest engagers on Instagram are teenagers and sort of young millennials. A lot of these big right-wing extremist meme pages consider those people their audience and those are the users that they’re targeting.

It’s not all young people that are following these pages, but primarily it’s a lot of teenagers, maybe college students, kids right out of school who are kind of looking to form their identity and learn about the world — learn about news events — and they’re increasingly turning to social media to do that. Instagram and YouTube are the two most used platforms for Generation Z. So they’re following these accounts and just becoming susceptible to their ideas.

On how memes are used to introduce people to extremist ideas

Memes and humor in general disarms people and it makes them almost more susceptible to extremist beliefs. Humor is a really good way to introduce people to ideas, especially extremist ideas, and conspiracy theories. You kind of start by laughing at it. Then, you start by questioning things a little bit, and you can end up believing and getting sort of sucked up in a lot of this stuff through humor.

On how Instagram makes it easier to find extremist accounts

Instagram is built on a bunch of different algorithms and one big algorithm that stimulates growth in the site is the page recommendation algorithm. So that’s when you follow one Instagram page [and then] you’re immediately prompted to follow a slew of more pages. So you can follow even a semi — what’s considered a mainstream conservative meme page, and you’re immediately recommended very extremist content from people like Alex Jones and other notorious conspiracy theorists.

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On why extremist content can go unnoticed on private accounts

Instagram relies on users to report problematic content, and while they are developing algorithms that they say can catch some of this stuff — a lot of extremists memes, for instance — you might have a meme page with 10,000 followers — all of those people are very susceptible to white nationalist beliefs and the account is set to private. So, it’s kind of what we’re seeing with Facebook groups too, where there’s no outside person policing it. This type of stuff is not appearing on a lot of normal users feeds.

On how popular Instagram is for Russian misinformation groups

A Senate report last year found that the IRA, which is the Internet Research Agency — a notorious Russian troll farm that promotes a lot of this nefarious misinformation — actually found Instagram to be their most valuable platform.

They ran tons of Instagram accounts aimed at stoking sort of divisive political opinions and promoting extremism to to Americans.

On how to combat extremism on social media platforms

The media has covered a lot of this misinformation stuff and done a great job of it. You know, there can always be more coverage, but it’s also up to people to hold people like Mark Zuckerberg, or the head of YouTube, head of Instagram, accountable for this type of stuff. Because when they see public outcry or they see #DeleteFacebook type of movements, it really does move the needle. So, people can just be aware.

This story was produced and edited for radio by Nell Clark and Natalie Winston. NPR’s Amanda Morris produced this story for digital.

Autopsy For 7-Year-Old Migrant Who Died In U.S. Custody Shows She Died Of Sepsis

Mar 30, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Autopsy For 7-Year-Old Migrant Who Died In U.S. Custody Shows She Died Of Sepsis

Family members pay their final respects to 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin during a memorial service in Guatemala, on Dec. 24, 2018. Jakelin died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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Family members pay their final respects to 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin during a memorial service in Guatemala, on Dec. 24, 2018. Jakelin died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Oliver de Ros/AP

An autopsy report has revealed that a 7-year-old girl who migrated to the United States from Guatemala died from a bacterial infection known as streptococcal sepsis while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Jakelin Caal Maquin had traveled to the U.S. with her father 2,000 miles from northern Guatemala. She passed away in December, two days after they were detained by border officials. By the time Jakelin was transported to a children’s hospital in El Paso, Texas, she was vomiting, having seizures and had difficulty breathing.

The medical examiner’s office in El Paso released its autopsy report on Friday showing that streptococcus bacteria was found in the girl’s lungs, adrenal gland, liver and spleen. The report says the infection led to the failure of multiple organs.

Jakelin’s death has underscored the dangers migrants face when traveling to the U.S. and added to the criticism of the conditions they can experience while in U.S. custody.

“When Jakelin Caal Maquin presented to the Border Patrol facility in New Mexico, there was no specific review of experiences, signs or symptoms that would have identified that she was sick,” said Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., in an interview with NPR. “There was no physical examination including a very basic vital signs that would have most likely identified that she had a fever … or a fast heart rate.”

According to The New York Times, several physicians who reviewed the autopsy report said Jakelin “would have been visibly sick for many hours.”

“Something definitely went wrong and is wrong with our system, that we need to correct by creating a set of humanitarian standards that the CBP must abide by which would include a meaningful health screening, a meaningful coordination with health trained providers that can give guidance and the care that is needed,” Ruiz said.

When contacted for comment, the CBP referred NPR to a Dec. 14 statement on Jakelin’s death. The statement reads:

“Border Patrol Agents, including trained Emergency Medical Technicians did everything in their power to provide emergency medical assistance for Jakelin Caal Maquin immediately after her father notified the agents of her distress at a remote Forward Operating Base, 94 miles from the nearest Border Patrol Station … Despite our trained EMT agents’ best efforts fighting for Jakelin’s life, and the work of the Hidalgo County and Providence Children’s Hospital medical teams treating her, we were unable to rescue her.”

According to the Times and CNN, lawyers for Jakelin’s family are calling for an independent investigation. Ruiz told NPR that conditions in migrant shelters are “petri dishes for people to get sick.”

Ruiz told NPR that the shelters he visited in New Mexico after Jakelin’s death had no baby food or formula or appropriate food for elderly people. Migrants would have to request water, and sometimes were not given the sufficient amount of water per day, Ruiz said. Many in the shelters were not able to sleep, he added, saying the shelters contained “children laying on concrete floors, in very, very cold rooms, with the lights on all night, and being interrupted with loud noise, throughout the night.”

“The CBP was not created to address the humanitarian needs of families who are legally seeking asylum in our country,” Ruiz said, “and therefore the conditions that the women, infants, toddlers, elderly, find themselves are subhuman.”

CNN reports Jakelin’s father has requested a “credible fear interview,” which is granted for people who have been “persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion if returned to your country.”

After her death in December, Jakelin’s body was returned to the indigenous community of Raxruha in Guatemala, where she was from.

Food Banks Are Dealing With A Surplus Of Meat, Milk And Cheese

Mar 29, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Food Banks Are Dealing With A Surplus Of Meat, Milk And Cheese

Food banks are flush with meat, cheese and milk, with twice as much as they usually have, as farmer supply outstrips demand. Some charities are scheduling extra distributions to prevent waste.

How Katie Sowers Became The Second Woman To Coach Full-Time In The NFL

Mar 29, 2019   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on How Katie Sowers Became The Second Woman To Coach Full-Time In The NFL

NPR’s Audie Cornish speaks with Katie Sowers about how she became the second woman in history to hold a full-time coaching position in the NFL.

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  • NPT: 2019-06-17 09:19 PM
  • EDT: 2019-06-17 11:34 AM
  • PDT: 2019-06-17 08:34 AM