Two weeks ago, NPR reported on a group of Pentecostals in Appalachia who handle snakes in church to prove their faith in God. The story got us thinking: Why are the handlers bitten so rarely, and why are so few of those snakebites lethal?
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. In San Antonio on Saturday, 1,000 activists are expected to rally at the Alamo. They are gun owners gathering to protest what they say have been illegal efforts by police to restrict their right to openly carry guns. To help make the point, they will be protesting armed. Ryan Lloyd of Texas Public Radio reports.
RYAN LLOYD, BYLINE: Earlier this week in the central Texas town of Temple, C.J. Grissom(ph) was outside firing off a few rounds.
Migrants arrive in Valletta, the Maltese capital, aboard a patrol boat on Oct. 12, a day after their boat sank, killing more than 30 people, mostly women and children — just the latest deadly migrant tragedy to hit the Mediterranean. Despite Europe's financial crisis illegal immigrants continue to attempt to enter Europe through its southern coastal countries as they seek a better life.
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Isoken Philips, 27, is a Nigerian migrant living in Algeciras. Philips arrived in the country five years ago, after a four-year journey north from Nigeria through Niger, Mali, Algeria and Morocco.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
In Italy, men carry the coffins of victims of the Lampedusa tragedy in Porto Empedocle near Agrigento in Sicily on Oct. 15.
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Bathers enjoying the beach while Africa is seen in the distance on Aug. 30, in Tarifa, Spain. Thousands of African migrants have landed in Tarifa, on flimsy boats that make the dangerous journey across the Straits of Gibraltar, from Morocco.
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Isidoro Macías Martín, aka "Padre Patera," stands in front of his monastery office across the street from the port of Algeciras, in southern Spain. Martín is a Franciscan brother who for 40 years has been the first point of contact in Spain for thousands of Africans arriving illegally by boat.
Thugs with machetes killed Muhammed's two younger brothers. They were coming for him next.
Lingering violence from an 11-year civil war sent Muhammed fleeing his village in Sierra Leone. He escaped to the coast and paid smugglers to sneak him into the cargo hold of a ship at port. He had no idea where he was going.
"There was no light, no food — nothing for 10 days," he recalls. "I was very hopeless. I'd been in the darkness for 10 days."
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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One effect of the 16-day government shutdown is that economists have had only a murky picture of the state of the economy. That's because the government is one of the most important sources of economic data. And as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports, most of the people responsible for compiling and analyzing the numbers were furloughed, even barred from checking their email.
President Obama today named former Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson as his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed by the Senate, Johnson would succeed Janet Napolitano who stepped down in August. The president said of Johnson, he's a cool and calm leader with experience running big, complex organizations. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, he'll need those skills to tackle what President Obama himself called a monumental task.
It's been a tough week for the Tea Party and its supporters in Congress. The Affordable Care Act survived the Capitol Hill standoff largely untouched. President Obama and the Democrats stared them down and won. And fights with establishment Republicans revealed the depth of division within the GOP.
Leonarda Dibrani, 15, holds her sister, Medina, in Mitrovica, Kosovo, on Friday. Police seized Leonarda from a school field trip last week and expelled her and her family from France. The case has prompted protests across France.
A 15-year-old schoolgirl is at the center of an emotional debate in France over the country's immigration policies.
Leonarda Dibrani was taken away by police during a field trip with her school class last week and deported along with her parents and five siblings to Kosovo. Many French are outraged at the way she was seized. And whether the deportation was legal or not, many say the action runs contrary to French human rights values.