NPR News

Fake Bike Helmets: Cheap But Dangerous

Sep 16, 2018

Forget the fake Rolex watches sold on street corners. These days, most counterfeits are sold over the Internet, right into your home. And some of them could seriously hurt you.

Take bicycle helmets. If you don't use one, you probably have a child or relative who does. Bike helmets are meant to protect us if we ever have a serious fall.

An Ancient Ballgame Makes A Comeback In Mexico

Sep 16, 2018

Drums rumble between the stone walls lining the court. An ancient ritual is underway. The smell of incense wafts across the concrete, as wiry men and a woman wearing leather waist wraps and headbands volley a ball back and forth. They use only their hip bone to hit it.

Emmanuel Kalakot tilts his head back and blows into a conch shell horn. The sound echoes off the brick walls of the apartment complex next door. For an instant, this doesn't really feel like 2018.

A swimmer has died after being bitten by a shark in the waters off Wellfleet, Mass., in what appears to be the state's first fatal shark attack in more than 80 years.

The attack occurred on Saturday near Newcomb Hollow Beach on Cape Cod. Wellfleet Police Lt. Michael Hurley told The Associated Press that the victim was a man in his mid-20s, but his identity has not been disclosed.

Updated 6:24 a.m. ET Sunday

Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in southern China's Guangdong province Sunday evening, after ripping through the Philippines and Hong Kong earlier.

Wind speeds hit 100 mph as the storm reached the city of Taishan in Guangdong at 5 p.m. local time, The Associated Press reported.

The storm passed by Hong Kong earlier, which "dodged a direct hit," according to the BBC, yet at least 111 people were reportedly injured in the territory.

To Manage Dementia Well, Start With The Caregivers

Sep 15, 2018

When Kate Sieloff's husband, Karl, began acting strange, she didn't know where to turn. Her hard-working, affectionate spouse was suddenly having fits of anger and aggression. He stopped paying the bills. Karl, 56 at the time, was an engineer at General Motors, where he'd worked for more than 40 years. But some days he didn't even show up for work, finding it too hard to get out of bed.

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia want the legal authority to get any communications between President Trump and officials of foreign or U.S. state governments pertaining to his Trump International Hotel near the White House.

The proposal is one of several for "document discovery" in the historic civil suit against the president. As plaintiffs, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh can seek documents to bolster their complaints. They made their proposals Friday in a filing in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Md.

The Trump administration has confirmed it will no longer fund peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis — including an interfaith youth program and a project for children with disabilities.

It's the latest in a series of announcements of the U.S. cutting hundreds of millions of dollars for Palestinians, with the aim of pressuring Palestinian leaders to cooperate with U.S. efforts to broker a peace deal with Israel.

Some Chicago drivers who have had their cars towed got a little victory this week after the Illinois Commerce Commission, a state oversight agency, revoked the license of Lincoln Towing Service.

The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge sits on more than 5,000 acres of trees, wetlands and pristine rolling prairie about 16 miles northwest of Denver. It hosts 239 migratory and resident species, from falcons and elk to the threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse.

It also used to be the site of a federal nuclear weapons facility — and it's reopening to the public this weekend.

This week in the Russia investigation: Paul Manafort turns state's evidence ... what will he tell the government?

St. Paul

After a long career as an advocate for political animals of nearly every kind across the world, Paul Manafort is now going to work for the United States government.

I miss Bill Cunningham. There. I said it. I miss opening the Thursday and Sunday pages of the New York Times and seeing a whole cross-section of humanity, courtesy of Cunningham's photos, that had become a documentation of how New Yorkers lived and what they wore.

The new school year marches on, and so does our weekly roundup.

Tropical Storm Florence closes schools in the Carolinas

Lawanda Jones' house near Myrtle Beach, S.C., is next to a large, lovely tree. Earlier this week, as Jones listened to the evacuation orders and hurricane warnings piling up, she looked at that tree and thought: what if it falls?

On Friday afternoon, Jones stood outside Conway High School, a Red Cross shelter and, on drier days, home of the Tigers. She and her family have been staying at the shelter since Tuesday and, although it's crowded and difficult to sleep among strangers, she said she's glad she evacuated early.

Three years after suspending Russia's anti-doping agency for enabling athletes to cheat in the Olympics, a committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended it be reinstated.

The first potential trial of the six lawsuits over the hotly contested 2020 census citizenship question could kick off the day before voters head to the polls for the upcoming midterm elections.

During a court hearing at Manhattan federal court on Friday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman set the tentative start date for Nov. 5, adding that his "strong instinct" is that the two cases before him require a courtroom trial before he can issue a ruling.

It was the summer of 2013 and Daniel Handel had just moved to Rwanda. He was unpacking boxes in his new house, when his wife walked over with her laptop and said, 'You have to listen to this radio story!' The piece she played him was by NPR's Planet Money team, and it profiled a charity that was testing a bold idea: Instead of giving people in poor countries, say, livestock or job training to help improve their standard of living, why not just give them cash and let them decide how best to spend it?

Editor's note: Given the subject this story explores, the discussion includes some explicit language.

Two sisters from a remote pastoral village in Puntland State, Somalia, died on Sept. 11 of complications from a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure.

An "inexperienced self-proclaimed traditional circumciser" performed the procedure the day before, according to Dr. Mohamed Hussein Aden, director of the University Teaching Hospital in Galkayo, Somalia, who sent an email with his comments to NPR.

FEMA is rolling out a new tool as it begins to deal with now-tropical storm Florence. It's a rumor-control webpage.

Unfounded rumors — what might be called "fake news" — have been a problem in coping with recent disasters, according to Gary Webb, a professor and chair of emergency management and disaster science at the University of North Texas.

"Disasters do create a great deal of uncertainty, confusion and anxiety," Webb said, "and, as a result, there is the potential for rumors to propagate."

Updated at 7:17 a.m. ET Saturday

Typhoon Mangkhut barreled into the northern Philippines early Saturday morning, with the eye of the storm passing over the island of Luzon.

As of Saturday night local time, at least three people had been killed and at least 42 landslides had occurred, Reuters reports.

The Associated Press reports the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded Mangkhut from a super typhoon to an equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane after it made landfall before dawn Saturday.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

The traditionally anti-union Tronc newspaper company on Friday agreed to allow journalists at its two Virginia newspapers to organize, averting the need for a federally overseen vote, organizers tell NPR.

Sometimes wildlife photographers capture images that are awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, dramatic, emotional.

And sometimes, they catch one moose sticking its tongue out at another.

Yes, it's that time of the year — time for the Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards.

The awards highlight the most amusing animal pictures of the year, to draw attention to wildlife conservation.

In the pre-dawn darkness on Friday morning, work crews removed a controversial statue from San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza, after the city's arts commission unanimously voted to take down the "racist and disrespectful sculpture."

The statue depicts "the degradation and genocide of Native American peoples" using stereotypes that "are now universally viewed as disrespectful, misleading, and racist," the arts commission said in February.

Hurricane Florence made landfall Friday morning in North Carolina. While people along large swathes of the Eastern Seaboard have been dreading the storm for days, you can say one thing: it arrived right on time.

We are smack-dab in the middle of Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Nearly all tropical storm activity in the Atlantic basin occurs between those dates.

A Swiss laboratory likely involved in analyzing samples from a March chemical attack in Salisbury, England, has reportedly been targeted by Russian agents.

UPDATED 6:46 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh strongly pushed back on an allegation of sexual misconduct from more than 30 years ago. The allegation was made in a letter by a woman who said the incident took place in high school.

"I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time," Kavanaugh said in a statement.

It's the rainy season now in Mexico. Between May and September, on most late afternoons, thick clouds roll into Mexico City's mountain-ringed valley. The skies darken and then an amazing downpour ensues.

Despite the rainfall, for five months of the year, many of the metropolitan area's more than 20 million residents don't have enough water to drink. Nearly all that rainwater runs off the streets and highways into the city's massive drainage system built to stave off perennial flooding.

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET

In the days leading up to the arrival of Hurricane Florence, North Carolina's governor offered a series of dire warnings.

"Even if you've ridden out storms before, this one is different," Gov. Roy Cooper said.

As Hurricane Florence made landfall, it appeared many North Carolinians had listened.

As Hurricane Florence hits North Carolina, Amanda McKee's only concern is for her animals at 1870 Farm outside Chapel Hill. McKee and her husband, David Schwartz, transformed the nearly 150-year-old farm, and another in Durham, into an agritourism destination that now houses horses, donkeys, a cow, alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens and a host of other animals, including a baby alpaca named Xanadu that lives with the family full time.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort entered his guilty plea to two felony counts during an hourlong hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. The plea took place three days before he was to face trial on charges related to his lobbying work for Ukraine and alleged witness tampering.

Secrets Of Success From A 102-Year-Old Runner

Sep 14, 2018

Editor's note: This story was originally published in January and has been republished with updates on Man Kaur's running achievements.

At 102, Man Kaur is still running — and winning gold medals.

The phenomenon from India just nailed the gold medal in the 200-meter race for the 100-to-104 age group at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Malaga, Spain. She finished in 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

Then again, she was the only competitor in that age bracket.

She also picked up a gold medal in the javelin competition.

Pages