Much has been said and written about the Dust Bowl, but if you want to get a visceral feel for how it all began and the way it affected the people who experienced it, you need go no further than the opening pages of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 6:24 pm
After a blustery final round at Augusta National, Bubba Watson won the 78th Masters golf championship on Sunday.
The win earned Watson another green jacket — the famed prize of the Masters outside of the prize money — his second in three years. He shot shot a final round of 3-under-par 69 and finished the tournament at 8-under-par 280.
In an emotional finish full tears and high-fives to the crowd, Watson's 2-year-old son joined him on the 18th green to celebrate the moment.
The war in Syria, now in its fourth year, has created a massive humanitarian crisis. More than 2 million Syrians have left the country in an attempt to escape the conflict. Millions more have been displaced inside Syria, forced to leave their homes to survive.
In March, the United Nations World Food Programme reported that a potential drought in the area could significantly hurt food production in Syria:
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 8:51 pm
Police confirmed that three people were killed after shootings that took place at a Jewish community center and another location near the Kansas City area on Sunday.
At a press conference a few hours after the shooting, Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said two males were killed at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and one female was killed at Village Shalom, an assisted living center about a mile from the community center.
Those are, surprisingly enough, the first words of the deeply felt Say Anything, which turns 25 years old on Monday. It opened April 14, 1989, and that weekend, it made $5.2 million. It wasn't enough to come anywhere close to what Major League pulled down in its second week ($9.1 million), but it was enough to come in one slot ahead of the opening weekend of the Tony Danza comedy She's Out of Control ($4.6 million).
In Chile, a large fire that burned forest land and consumed houses has reportedly killed at least 11 people and destroyed 500 homes. Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate areas near the port city of Valparaiso.
The BBC says the death toll had been 16, but it was dropped to 11 after authorities realized a family had been counted twice.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. Arun Rath is away. I'm Tess Vigeland. The crisis in Eastern Ukraine seems to be worsening. The government in Kiev says it is prepared for a large-scale assault on separatists who have taken over government buildings in cities near the Russian border. Clashes between pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian government turned deadly in the City of Slavyansk. NPR's Ari Shapiro is in Donetsk and he joins us now with the latest. Ari, tell us what happened overnight.
Since Fidel Castro ceded authority to his brother Raul in 2006, life in Cuba has slowly been changing. Young Cubans are more comfortable talking about their government and cellphones have begun to open up the island more, connecting it in a small way to the outside world.
"I am a bully," it reads. "I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."
That sign was displayed next to a busy roadside in a Cleveland suburb Sunday by Edmond Aviv, after a court found that he had abused his neighbors with racial slurs and vandalism that sometimes included dog feces.
President Obama says his administration is fighting to close the gender wage gap, the gulf between what working men and women earn for the same job.
Last week, Obama moved to circumvent a divided Congress on the issue. He announced two executive actions promoting the idea of "equal pay for equal work," both directed at creating more transparency in the workplace.
For one, the president directed the Department of Labor to collect more information on what federal contractors pay their employees, "so pay discrimination can be spotted more easily."
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 11:49 am
Initial results from Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election show two candidates — Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani — far ahead of their rivals. Election officials released the figures Sunday, based on less than 7 percent of the total vote.
Though the sample released Sunday represented a small fraction of the estimated 7 million votes cast, that hasn't stopped the leading candidates from posturing about the final outcome, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul:
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 9:52 am
An automated pot-selling machine was unveiled at an event held at an Avon, Colo., restaurant Saturday, promising a potential new era of selling marijuana and pot-infused snacks from vending machines directly to customers.
Its creators say the machine, called the ZaZZZ, uses biometrics to verify a customer's age. The machine is climate-controlled to keep its product fresh.
It's a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes.
"What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?" she asks.
The lesson doesn't go exactly as planned. Doyle wants the kids to build their domes with wire, but she wants the children to come up with that idea themselves. The kids used wire several months ago for a related project, and she hopes they'll remember.
A new report from the United Nations' panel on climate change says major action is needed, and fast, if policymakers want to limit global warming to acceptable levels.
There's an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that's 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it's technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 10:03 am
After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.
Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.
"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.
Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'
A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.