3:50 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Merchant Ships Called On To Aid Migrants In Mediterranean Feel The Strain

The King Jacob, a Portuguese-flagged cargo vessel, was the first ship to arrive near the migrant boat that sank off the Libyan coast over the weekend. The boat had been carrying more than 800 people.
Alessandro Fucarini AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 2:22 pm

Italian prosecutors say the ship carrying hundreds of migrants that sank over the weekend most likely crashed against a cargo ship that had come to its rescue.

Merchant ships are often called on to help rescue migrants on vessels attempting to cross the Mediterranean. So when a distress call went out late Saturday evening from the overloaded migrant vessel, commercial vessels in the region responded.

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3:49 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Last Armenian Village In Turkey Keeps Silent About 1915 Slaughter

Armenian refugees on the deck of the French cruiser that rescued them in 1915 during the massacre of the Armenian populations in the Ottoman Empire. The photo does not specify precisely where the refugees were from. However, residents of Vakifli, the last remaining Armenian village in Turkey, were rescued by a French warship that year.
Photo 12 Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:45 am

A hundred years ago this week, the Ottoman Empire began the killings and forced marches of Armenians in what most historians call the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey staunchly denies that label, saying the deaths — estimated by historians at around 1.5 million — were part of widespread ethnic fighting in a civil war.

Regardless of the label used, the result was destruction of virtually every Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed after the war. What was left of the country transitioned into the modern-day Republic of Turkey.

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Sweetness And Light
3:48 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Bruce Jenner's Long History Of Clearing Hurdles

Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner throws the javelin during an Olympic competition in Montreal on July 30, 1976.

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:03 am

In an interview airing Friday on ABC, Bruce Jenner is expected to announce that he is transgender, though he has made no such acknowledgment.

As the public awaits his presumed revelations, Jenner is still invariably and glibly identified by his paternal connection to the Kardashian clan. It's presented almost anecdotally that he won the gold medal for the Olympic decathlon — the 10-event classic of track and field athleticism — in 1976. But back then, he was a glorified champion and called "the world's greatest athlete."

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The Salt
6:33 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

At Last: Kentucky Authorities Bust Ring Behind Great Bourbon Heist

Pappy Van Winkle bourbons at Bourbons Bistro in Louisville, Ky. The spirit was pricey even before a heist at the distillery.
Noah Adams/for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 6:41 pm

Finally, the great Kentucky bourbon mystery has been solved.

Back in 2013, more than 200 bottles of aging Pappy Van Winkle bourbon vanished from a locked, secure area of the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, Ky. Even before the heist, the bottles were rare — some fetched as much as $1,000 in private sales.

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The Salt
5:47 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Millions Of Chickens To Be Killed As Bird Flu Outbreak Puzzles Industry

Chickens stand in their cages at a farm near Stuart, Iowa, in 2009. This week, bird flu hit a large poultry facility in Iowa. It's not clear how the virus is evading the industry's biosecurity efforts.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 1:08 pm

Bird flu has been striking chicken and turkey farms in parts of the West and Midwest. This past week, it hit a flock of millions egg-laying chickens in northeastern Iowa. Update 4/22/2015: The USDA now says that around 3 million birds were affected in the Iowa facility — down from a previous estimate of 5 million.

Our original post continues below.

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5:47 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 9:31 am

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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5:47 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Too Often, Some Say, Volunteer Officers Just Want To Play Cop

Robert Bates (left), a Tulsa County, Okla., reserve deputy, leaves his arraignment Tuesday with his attorney. Bates fatally shot a suspect who was pinned down by officers, raising alarms about volunteer police officers who wear badges and carry guns.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 10:58 am

Bob Ball is a real estate investor in Portland, Ore., but that's just his day job. For the past 20 years, he has also been a volunteer cop.

"When I was new, it was the best time of my life. I got to go out there and wear a white hat and help people and make a difference in my community, one little piece at a time," Ball says. "That's a very, very fulfilling thing to do."

This is real police work. On one occasion, Ball had to pull his gun on a guy threatening a woman with a knife.

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

In Sentencing Phase, Prosecutors Say Tsarnaev Is 'Unrepentant And Unchanged'

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Handout Getty Images

Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is "unrepentant and unchanged."

That's what a prosecutor told jurors on Tuesday as they weighed whether the 21-year-old convicted in the bombings that killed three people and left 264 others wounded should get the death penalty.

NPR's Tovia Smith reports that the prosecution presented jurors with four large portraits of the victims and one photo of Tsarnaev giving the middle finger to a security camera in his jail cell.

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All Tech Considered
5:37 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Google's New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of 'Mobilegeddon'

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Brussels. This week, Google is changing the way its influential search engine recommends websites on smartphones and tablets in a shift that's expected to sway where millions of people shop, eat and find information.
Virginia Mayo AP

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming "Mobilegeddon."

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed "mobile friendly," giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

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Back At Base
4:56 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Looming Budget Cuts Pit National Guard Against The Army

An aviation technician works on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in the Washington National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Patricia Murphy KUOW

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:25 am

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the second of four reports this week about the National Guard.

Inside the hangar at Washington state's Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), the Army National Guard mechanics are busy maintaining a neat line of Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters.

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