World

Parallels
4:28 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right. Go!" he says.

Regular soccer balls would practically come up to the kids' knees, so they practice with miniature ones instead.

But Byer, a native of New York, argues that even at age 6 or 7, the children are already late to the game.

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The Two-Way
4:18 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

Police in riot gear stand around an armored vehicle as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:09 pm

When riots erupted last fall on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., police in riot gear fanned out armed with assault rifles and armored vehicles made for the battlefield.

Analysts said at the time it was just another symptom of the continued militarization of local police forces.

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World Cafe
3:58 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Liz Longley On World Cafe

Liz Longley.
Rocco Peditto WXPN

The latest installment in World Cafe's Sense Of Place: Philadelphia series features singer-songwriter Liz Longley. Now based in Nashville, she got her start in the Philly suburbs.

Longley played in local clubs before moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. Her musical travels led her to Nashville, where she used a Kickstarter campaign to make the album she always wanted.

Favorite Sessions
3:43 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

KCRW Presents: José Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez performs live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Shelly Badal KCRW

José González has kept himself busy over the past few years; between his work with Junip and his Secret Life Of Walter Mitty soundtrack, he's cranked out quite a bit of new material. But González took quite a while to release a new solo album, and the Swedish-Argentine singer doesn't disappoint with Vestiges And Claws. The stunning beauty of "Let It Carry You" really comes through in this live performance for KCRW.

SET LIST

  • "Let It Carry You"
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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Head Of Boy Scouts Says Group's Ban On Gay Adults 'Unsustainable'

Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, warned that failure to make changes quickly could spell "the end of us as a national movement."
Thierry Roge Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:40 pm

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, says the organization must reassess its ban on gay adults, saying, "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be."

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Goats and Soda
3:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.
Mark Maseko Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:46 pm

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

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Television
3:11 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Rob Burnett celebrates with Barbara Gaines (left) and Maria Pope (right) after winning an Emmy Award for his work on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000.
Kevork Djansezian Associated Press

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:01 pm

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985 and never left, even when the talk-show host moved from NBC to CBS. During the course of his 29-year tenure, Burnett evolved from intern to head writer to executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, a position he held through last night's final show.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:53 pm

Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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Monkey See
2:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Another sequel, another chance for Hollywood to hurl metal hither and yon and make with the flashy summer blockbuster blow-'em-ups. Yawn, right?

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Music
2:03 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Mathias Eick's 'Midwest': A Musical Landscape

On Mathias Eick's new album, Midwest, he composes musical impressions of the Midwestern landscape.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

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Parallels
1:54 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

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NPR Story
1:48 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Mother Of Student Informant Who Overdosed Wants Dealer Charged

Eric Sinacori died of a heroin overdose, after university police enlisted him as a confidential informant, in exchange for dropping drug charges. (ericsinacorimemorialfoundation.org)

The mother of a University of Massachusetts, Amherst, student who died of a heroin overdose is frustrated that no charges have been filed against the dealer, 19 months after she found her son Eric Sinacori dead in his off-campus apartment.

Francesca Sinacori hadn’t known her son had recently been arrested by university police, and was enlisted as a police informant in exchange for dropping charges. The university has since suspended its drug informant program.

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The Record
1:29 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Rickie Lee Jones Embraces 'The Big Invisible'

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Other Side of Desire, will be out on June 23.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:41 pm

Rickie Lee Jones needs no introduction. Seriously. The singer-songwriter is so elementally articulate, so gifted at grasping both the rawest and the most complicatedly cooked emotions in her compositions, that critical framing best comes after the experience of listening to her.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Historic Syrian Site Endangered By ISIS

This photo released on Sunday, May 17, 2015, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows the general view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, Syria. When Islamic State fighters routed Syrian government forces and took control of the ruins of Palmyra Thursday, May 21, 2015 morning, the ancient city became the latest archaeological heritage site to fall into the hands of the militant group. (SANA via AP)

Militants with the self-proclaimed Islamic State overran the famed archaeological site at Palmyra early today, just hours after seizing the central Syrian town.

Palmyra is a Unesco World Heritage site and there are concerns the extremists might destroy some of the priceless ruins, as they have done in neighboring Iraq.

The Islamic State’s capture of the town of Palmyra late yesterday was a stunning triumph for the militant group, only days after it captured the strategic city of Ramadi in Iraq’s largest Sunni province.

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Clean-Up Continues After Santa Barbara Oil Spill

Crews clean oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015 north of Goleta, California. About 21,000 gallons spilled from an abandoned pipeline on the land near Refugio State Beach, spreading over about four miles of beach within hours. The largest oil spill ever in U.S. waters at the time occurred in the same section of the coast where numerous offshore oil platforms can be seen, giving birth to the modern American environmental movement. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:07 pm

Officials say as many as 105,000 gallons of oil have spilled from a ruptured pipeline along the Santa Barbara coast, and around 21,000 gallons of that is believed to have made it into the waterways.

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday declared a state of emergency because of the spill, and biologists are working on beaches to try to save wildlife from the oil.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:26 pm

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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NPR Story
1:15 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Why Are More Black Children Taking Their Own Lives?

School bus (caitlinator/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:40 pm

The study “Suicide Trends Among Elementary School Aged Children in the United States,” published in this week’s JAMA Pediatrics, shows that the suicide rate among young black children has nearly doubled over the last two decades.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Wide Media Coverage Of Fabricated Study Begs The Question, How To Do It Better?

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:14 pm

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, This American Life and many others were among the media organizations that covered the results of a recent study about gay marriage opinions that turned out to be fabricated.

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NPR Story
1:13 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Study: Suicide Rate Doubles For Black Children 5–11 Years Old

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 3:47 pm

The suicide rate among young black children has nearly doubled over the last two decades, even as it declined for white children in the same age group. The disturbing finding marks the first time ever that suicide rates among blacks of any age have exceeded those of their white counterparts.

The data on suicides among kids between the ages of 5 and 11 were gathered between 2003 and 2012. The results were shocking enough that researchers decided to hold off for a whole year to gather more data before releasing their findings, to be sure that they weren’t misinterpreting anything.

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