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  • Trump Weakens Protections For Class Of Federal Workers

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 03:56:00

    Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • Preparing Pups For The Post-Pandemic Life

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 03:56:00

    Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • 'Small Axe': Steve McQueen Talks 5-Part Anthology

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 03:56:00

    Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

  • Photos Capture World's Largest Iceberg As It Heads Toward South Atlantic Island

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:09:00

    Britain's Royal Air Force has obtained images of what is considered the largest iceberg as it veers toward the island territory of South Georgia. Pictures of A68a were released Friday following a reconnaissance flight of the iceberg. At roughly 93 miles long and 30 miles wide, the floe is believed to be the world's largest. The pictures taken by British military aircraft, offering some of the closest views of the iceberg thus far, show cracks and apparently smaller chunks of ice breaking off. In a Facebook post, British officials note that because of the iceberg's massive size, it's nearly impossible to photograph it in full with the exception of satellite imagery. The chunk of ice cleaved off the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica in 2017 at a reported size of roughly 2,300 square miles. Researchers have noted for some weeks now that A68a has been on a collision with the island of South Georgia. The iceberg is roughly 130 miles off the island's coast and could run aground in shallow

  • Limericks

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:08:00

    Bill Kurtis reads three news-related limericks: Dusty Denim, Extreme Pizza Supreme and Fishy Dinner Choice.

  • Lightning Fill In The Blank

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:08:00

    All the news we couldn't fit anywhere else.

  • Predictions

    wuga.org Sunday, 6 December 2020 00:08:00

    Our panelists predict what will be the first thing written on Joe Biden's cast.

  • Trump Orders The Withdrawal Of Most U.S. Forces From Somalia

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:53:00

    The Trump administration is planning to draw down U.S. troops in Somalia by early 2021. In a statement released Friday , the Pentagon explained that "the majority" of the roughly 700 soldiers currently stationed in the country will be reassigned to positions in neighboring countries in East Africa. "While a change in force posture, this action is not a change in U.S. policy," said the Department of Defense, which noted that President Trump had personally ordered the withdrawal. "We will continue to degrade violent extremist organizations that could threaten our homeland while ensuring we maintain our strategic advantage in great power competition." The announcement represents just the latest upheaval at the Pentagon, where President Trump has ordered a raft of changes since his loss in the presidential election last month. Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, in mid-November, and just a

  • Fresh Air Weekend: Hugh Grant; The Sanitation Crisis Affecting The Rural Poor

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 23:01:00

    Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week: No More Mr. Nice Guy: Hugh Grant Embraces The 'Blessed Relief' Of Darker Roles: After spending much of his career playing the male lead in romantic comedies, Grant is shifting into darker roles. In the HBO series The Undoing , he plays a narcissistic doctor accused of murder. Heartbreaking And Hopeful, 'Ammonite' Is A Wind-Swept Tale Of Forbidden Love: Kate Winslet plays Victorian-era fossil hunter Mary Anning, and Saoirse Ronan is her lover, in a film that dares to envision a world in which women are ultimately free to make their own decisions. 'Waste' Activist Digs Into The Sanitation Crisis Affecting The Rural Poor: In 2017, a study reported one in three people in one rural Alabama county

  • Japanese Capsule Containing Bits Of An Asteroid Returns To Earth

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 22:47:00

    Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET A Japanese space capsule ferrying sample material from an asteroid — the bounty from a six-year mission spanning billions of miles — made its triumphant return to Earth this weekend. The small capsule that had detached from the Hayabusa2 space probe landed in the vicinity of the town of Woomera, in the Australian Outback, early Sunday Japan time. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, which spearheaded the mission, said a helicopter found the capsule in the planned landing area. "We found the capsule! Together with the parachute! Wow! " JAXA tweeted just after 3 p.m. ET. Inside the capsule is just a little bit of dust and dirt with potentially grand ramifications. It comes from Ryugu, a jet black asteroid roughly one mile wide, which orbits the sun between Earth and Mars, roughly 180 million miles from our planet. Researchers expect the sample to contain organic matter similar to the early space rocks that combined to make planets, which, with careful

  • Carbon Monoxide Leak Leaves 18 Dead At Coal Mine In Southwest China

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:33:00

    At least 18 people have been confirmed dead following a carbon monoxide leak inside a coal mine in southwest China, the nation's Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday. Those killed in the leak were among 24 people who got trapped in the mine around 5 p.m. local time on Friday when "excessive levels of carbon monoxide" began to seep into the air, according to the state news agency. One person has been pulled from the mine and rescue efforts remain underway to save five others still inside. The accident occurred at the Diaoshuidong coal mine in the city of Chongqing. The mine had been suspended and shut down two months ago, and at the time of the accident workers were inside to dismantle equipment. Investigators were working to determine the cause of the accident, according to Xinhua. The Diaoshuidong mine was built in 1975 and since 1998 has been operated as a private enterprise with an annual capacity of roughly 120,000 tons of coal. In 2013, three people died at the mine following a

  • Backing Trump, Some Ex-Military Officers Spread Conspiracies, Urge Martial Law

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:08:00

    The first time Scott O'Grady made a splash in the news the Air Force pilot had been shot down on a mission over Bosnia in 1995. He survived in the woods by eating leaves, grass and bugs for six days before he was rescued. He returned to the U.S. a hero, was welcomed by President Bill Clinton and appeared on the cover of Time magazine. He's in the news again, this time for different reasons. The White House on Monday nominated O'Grady to be assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs at the Pentagon. But in a review of his public statements, CNN found that O'Grady called former President Barack Obama and some military generals "sworn socialists" in a radio interview. On Twitter, he endorsed a tweet that called former Defense Secretary James Mattis a "traitor." And he has backed multiple conspiracy theories, retweeting the baseless claim that Hillary Clinton and George Soros somehow helped facilitate foreign interference in last month's election. O'Grady's

  • Pence Says It's A 'Season Of Hope,' While CDC Officials Warn Of COVID-19 Surge

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:05:00

    Vice President Pence traveled to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Friday for a briefing, saying America is "in a season of hope" and "help is on the way" with emergency use authorization for the first coronavirus vaccine potentially less than two weeks away. But what Pence heard from some of the nation's top public health officials was a grim assessment of the current state of the pandemic. Pence noted new cases had declined somewhat in the upper Midwest states, asking for an update on the surge. Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC's division of preparedness and emerging infections, told him the strain on hospitals was still growing. "Hospitalizations are still rising. And it's a real problem. Health care providers are overstretched, beds are full," Walke said, providing the "very tough advice" for Americans to stay at home during the holiday season. Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC's director, said the focus now is just on trying to prevent the health care

  • 'He Will Be A Happier Elephant': Vet Describes What It Was Like To Rescue Kaavan

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:01:00

    Dr. Amir Khalil is no stranger to helping animals out of really bad situations. The 55-year-old Egyptian-born veterinarian, who works with the Vienna-based animal welfare group Four Paws International, has been rescuing animals from crumbling zoos and conflict zones such as Syria and the Gaza Strip for more than two decades. "We go to places where the logic doesn't exist," Khalil told NPR last year. "The government doesn't exist. No one cares. And where no one will believe you are coming to save animals." Now he can add moving an elephant by plane between countries during a deadly global pandemic to his storied résumé. Khalil led the team that this week transferred a 37-year-old male Asian elephant named Kaavan from confinement in a decrepit zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, to a conservation park in Cambodia. Moving Kaavan was already a difficult mission logistically and politically, Khalil says, and the coronavirus pandemic made it even more challenging. The health and safety of the team

  • Maduro Allies Set To Win Back Venezuela's Congress In Vote Boycotted By Opposition

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 19:00:00

    A five-year campaign by President Nicolás Maduro to wipe out the last democratically elected bastion of opposition power in Venezuela is reaching its peak. Maduro and his loyalists are poised to win back control of the National Assembly in elections Sunday, adding to the litany of woes facing his chief rival, Juan Guaidó. U.S.-backed Guaidó and the mainstream opposition parties are boycotting the poll, calling it a "fraud" and arguing that conditions for holding "free and fair" elections do not exist in Venezuela. Maduro has responded by firing off triumphant tweets, including one jeering at the U.S. for its decision not to recognize the election's outcome. "From the streets of historic and heroic Caracas, we tell imperialism that we don't care what they do and say," he declared . Nicolás Maduro Guerra, son of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, walks before a session of the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly's in Caracas on Aug. 8, 2017. Juan Barreto / AFP via Getty Images His son

  • Opinion: The Truth About Pardons

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 18:53:00

    The power of a president to pardon people for crimes has always been controversial. Some early American leaders thought it smacked too much of royalty. But Alexander Hamilton argued the law should have avenues for mercy, or "justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel." He thought one person was more likely to use such power with conscience than a committee. The history of presidential pardons is often surprising. George Washington pardoned two men who led the Whiskey Rebellion. He didn't condone a tax collector being tarred-and-feathered, but thought the men responsible should not be hung for treason. President Millard Fillmore pardoned the two white captains of The Pearl, a schooner that tried to help 77 enslaved people escape to freedom. But most of the Black people on the ship were sold back into slavery. President Abraham Lincoln pardoned 265 members of the Dakota Tribe for their roles in the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. But he allowed dozens more to be hanged,

  • Nilüfer Yanya Reflects On A Tumultuous Year In 'Feeling Lucky'

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 18:53:00

    Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit SCOTT SIMON, HOST: A moment now with a retiring musician. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DAY 7.5093") NILUFER YANYA: (Singing) Heaven is day. SIMON: Nilufer Yanya of London is only 25 years old, but she's shy for a performer. YANYA: Feels a bit like a weird time to be self-promoting. SIMON: That's from earlier this summer during a Tiny Desk Home concert for NPR Music. Her discomfort with self-promoting has been with her throughout this year of global crisis. YANYA: It's kind of like a clash, I think, between, like, the music industry and reality sometimes. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DAY 7.5093") YANYA: (Singing) She won't realize. So hit me up with some of the lines. This girl's falling, falling. SIMON: Nilufer Yanya did spend last year on tour nonstop for her debut album, "Miss Universe." But of course not this year. YANYA: It's a weird one because at first, I was quite - I don't want to say relieved, but I was quite relieved that I didn't have to go back on the

  • With Georgia Rally, Trump Tests Role As Asset Or Liability For Senate GOP Control

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 18:00:00

    When President Trump hosts a campaign rally later today in Georgia — a state he's repeatedly attacked with false claims of election fraud — he'll test whether he will be an asset or a liability for Republican hopes to keep control of the Senate. It marks the president's first return to the campaign trail since he lost his bid for re-election, triggering Trump's rampage against states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden. This includes Georgia, where Trump and his associates have assailed the state's election system and top Republican officials, including Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. "It leaves Republicans fighting with each other, instead of fighting their opponents," said Brendan Buck, who was a top advisor to the former Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. And "in an election that's going to be close enough, those distractions can be enough to make the difference." Two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia will be decided in runoff races on Jan. 5, with

  • The Political World Starts To Move On From Trump

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 18:00:00

    While President Trump continues to baselessly allege widespread election fraud, the political world is starting to move on from his presidency. Key states have certified their election results . Republican election officials have pushed back against the president's rhetoric, which they say led to threats against election workers. "Mr. President, you have not condemned these actions or this language," Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager in the Georgia secretary of state's office, said Tuesday. "Senators, you have not condemned this language or these actions. This has to stop. We need you to step up. And if you take a position of leadership, show some." A growing number of Republican senators are acknowledging Democrat Joe Biden will be president. Sen. David Perdue of Georgia noted a "change of command at the top" during a video conference call with the Republican Jewish Coalition this week. "We have the potential if we have a majority in the Senate on the

  • 'Extraordinary Acceleration': Takeaways From The Pandemic This Week

    wuga.org Saturday, 5 December 2020 18:00:00

    With the arrival of December, it's now clear the winter surge of the pandemic is materializing in many of the ways that the country's top scientists and health care leaders feared. On all fronts — cases, hospitalizations and deaths — the U.S. toppled records this week. For the first time, new infections soared above 200,000 cases in a single day. "What we're seeing now is less of a curve and more of a vertical climb," says Jennifer Nuzzo , an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "It's really an extraordinary acceleration." This week, the daily death toll eclipsed even the worst day of the spring, with nearly 2,900 lives lost on Thursday. And hospitals are teetering under the weight of so many critically ill patients. "This is going to be the biggest stress test of American health care in history," says Dr. Bruce Siegel , president of America's Essential Hospitals , which represents more than 300 safety-net hospitals. There continues to be

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