In the western Mexican state of Michoacan, civilian militias have challenged a powerful drug cartel known as the Knights Templar. The vigilante uprising, which spurred the Mexican government to send soldiers and police to help counter the cartel, was fueled by migrants who returned to Mexico after years living north of the border.
Reny Pineda, who was raised in Los Angeles, is one of those migrants. When he returned to his homeland in Mexico, he found a new life fighting drug lords.
Now to the situation in Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry says evidence is mounting that Russian backed separatists are to blame for downing a Malaysia Airlines plane over Eastern Ukraine. Here's Kerry talking on CNN about the weapon system that the U.S. believes brought down that plane.
As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
A story now about scientists who are looking into the distant past. Archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan have used an ingenious technique to learn about the early human diet. NPR's Rae Ellen Bichell tells us what they found.
RAE ELLEN BICHELL, BYLINE: Karen Hardy is an archaeologist of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She started to think about dental plaque.
In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.
Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.
Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel today, more rockets, after the Israeli government announced it was expanding ground operations in the Gaza Strip. Thousands of Palestinians continue to flee their homes. Early this morning, some, still wearing their pajamas, left in haste to take shelter in local schools. Those schools are already packed beyond capacity. NPR's Emily Harris reports on the increasingly dire situation.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath, sitting in for Rachel Martin. Pressure is mounting on Russia as international inspectors wait to gain full access to the site of last week's Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine. World leaders are demanding that President Vladimir Putin use his influence with pro-Russia rebels so they'll allow inspectors in and allow the bodies to be recovered. Wall Street Journal reporter James Marson is following the story in Moscow and joins me on the line. Thanks for speaking with us.
Every summer for the last 15 years, the Latin Alternative Music Conference gathers musicians and industry folks within the corner of the Latin music industry known as Latin alternative. This summer was no different, and Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd from NPR's Alt.Latino podcast were there in New York to scout bands and geek out over the music business. Felix and Jasmine, welcome.
FELIX CONTRERAS: Good morning.
JASMINE GARSD: Thank you for having us.
RATH: So 15 years. Was this a quinceanera for the conference?
And while we are celebrating zombies who shuffle from movies into comic book, what about the toy robots that became a cartoon that then became a movie series and now have inspired Chinese farmers to become master replica robot builders?
(SOUNDBITE OF "TRANSFORMERS" THEME SONG)
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Transformers, more than meets the eye.
Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.
And for some insight into how the world community might respond, we turn now to retired Admiral James Stavridis. He was NATO Supreme Allied Commander and now serves as Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Welcome to the program.
JAMES STAVRIDIS: Thanks, Arun. Great to be with you.
RATH: So Ukraine is not a NATO member but the Netherlands, which lost nearly 200 citizens in this crash, is a member of NATO. If President Putin doesn't change course, what are NATO's options?
The diatonic phrygian tetrachord - just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Well, maybe you're not familiar with this expression. It's actually a sequence of four musical notes. But I can pretty much guarantee you've heard it played over and over again.
(SOUNDBITE OF COMPOSITION, "PASSAGLIA FOR SOLO VIOLIN")