At a local FairPrice Supermarket in central Singapore, you'll find baby carrots grown in Bakersfield, Calif., – the same ones for sale at my local grocery store in Washington, D.C.
Such well-traveled vegetables aren't unusual in the tiny island-state, which imports more than 90 percent of its food from some 35 countries. Singapore may be one of the most affluent countries in the world, but it depends heavily on others for basic foodstuffs.
Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:08 am
Extremist group the Islamic State claims to have executed American journalist James Foley, who was abducted in Syria in 2012. The FBI is evaluating a video that was posted online Tuesday, purporting to show Foley's beheading.
That video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed. The images show a man resembling Foley kneeling next to a masked militant, reciting comments against the U.S. before being killed.
Imagine you are very, very pregnant. For the purposes of this mind game, you are a married American woman (with an American spouse) and you are about to board a plane and, pregnant as you are, they let you on.
Your flight, on Lufthansa Airlines, will leave Frankfurt, Germany and travel nonstop to the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean. Germany is cold, wet and unhappy-making, and you crave the aquamarine waters, the balmy skies of the Maldives.
Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, is under nighttime curfew as that country struggles to contain the Ebola epidemic. On Wednesday, an entire neighborhood in Monrovia was quarantined, sealed off from the rest of the city by the government. The neighborhood is called West Point and it's where a holding center for patients suspected of having Ebola was attacked over the weekend. Patients fled, and looters carried off bloody mattresses and other possibly infected supplies. The NPR team in Liberia visited West Point on Tuesday. We spoke to correspondent Nurith Aizenman about the experience.
The tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, is another test for President Obama. He's struggled at times over how to navigate long-simmering tensions between police and the African-American community.
President Obama says he understands the passions and the anger that have engulfed Ferguson over the last week and a half, but he's carefully avoided taking sides. His warnings against violent confrontation have been directed equally at the protesters and the police.
Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:07 am
Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.
Or do they?
Poll Number One, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33%. But Poll Number Two, released yesterday, puts it at 53%. That's a big difference.
Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?
Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 3:07 am
Mercedes Ricks may be the perfect candidate to help launch a new cultural push in Magnolia, Miss.The 50-year-old native of Columbia ended up in this tiny south Mississippi town by way of New Orleans nine years ago.
"I met these ladies from here," Ricks says after greeting guests in the barroom next to her Mariposa restaurant. "They invited me to come spend the weekend in Magnolia. We were going to the river and drink beer and Katrina happened that weekend."
Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:26 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder has made a pledge to Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Aug. 9.
"Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent," he wrote in an op-ed for the St. Louis Dispatch. He added, "Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community."
With the continuous uptick in the number of cases and deaths in the current Ebola outbreak, the few agencies that are on ground are stretched thin.
That includes Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF. It's one of the main health care providers in West Africa, where there are more than 2,000 cases of Ebola and 1,200 deaths. Even with roughly 1,000 volunteers spread among the three Ebola-stricken countries, the agency says that still isn't enough.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most explosive in history. One reason the virus spread so fast is that West Africa was blindsided. Ebola had never erupted in people anywhere close to West Africa before.
The type of Ebola causing the outbreak — called Zaire — is the deadliest strain. Until this year, it had been seen only in Central Africa, about 2,500 miles away. That's about the distance between Boston and San Francisco.
So how did it spread across this giant swath of land without anybody noticing?
Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.
Most mornings, Sotiris Lymperopoulos walks the craggy shoreline of the western Peloponnese, foraging for salty wild greens.
In his straw hat and shorts, snipping wild chicory, garlic and sea asparagus with a kitchen knife, he hardly looks like a poster boy for Greece's nascent startup culture. But the 35-year-old Athenian, who trained as an economist, found a viable niche in the country's post-crisis economy.
It's been over a month since the World Cup ended in Brazil, but the shame of the country's blowout loss remains. Once, Brazilians were welcomed in other countries with talk of Brazil's soccer dominance; now, everyone merely speaks of their historic defeat against Germany.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds that there are stark racial divisions in reactions to the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Audie Cornish talks to Carroll Doherty, director of political research at Pew, for more.
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Rachel Swinehart has commandeered her family's living room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It's filled with large plastic tubs containing stuff like pink bedding and a coffee maker.
Rachel, 18, is about to head off to Shenandoah College, a small arts school in Virginia, where she'll study harp performance. In many ways, organizing her stuff is the easy part. Talking about the risks of college life — that's a bit harder.