Good morning. I'm David Greene. Tourists at South Africa's Kruger National Park witnessed a dramatic high-speed chase - two cheetahs chasing a herd of impala. Impala are African antelope, and of course a Chevy model. And seconds from becoming dinner, one of the impala decided to make a tourist's SUV its getaway car.
Confessional cartoon chronicler Jeffrey Brown's new autobiographical work, A Matter of Life, will sit next to Craig Thompson's Blankets as one of the most touching and wise graphic memoirs we have about growing up in a religious household and grappling with faith.
With 20 bodies found so far and an additional 30 people still unaccounted for, that means the death toll is expected to be around 50. Authorities are telling the families of the missing to prepare for the worst.
A break-in at an Australian thrift store had police stumped. There was a hole in the ceiling and smashed merchandise. Nothing was missing. Not a burglar, possibly a prankster on a rampage. The next day, staff spotted the intruder still in the store. It was a giant python, 19 feet long, 37 pounds, the head the size of a small dog. The local newspaper reported police chose not to handcuff the culprit, quote, "for logistical reasons."
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Pork was on the menu on Capitol Hill yesterday, but not the kind Congress produces. Lawmakers on the Senate Agriculture Committee were focused on the takeover of Smithfield Foods by a big Chinese company.
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a brief appearance in federal court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty to 30 counts in connection with the attack. The charges include using a weapon of mass destruction in an attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. The 19-year-old faces the possibility of the death penalty. NPR's Tovia Smith was in the courtroom.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm David Greene.
The massive immigration bill passed in the Senate with bipartisan support is now facing a challenge in the House. The Republican speaker has served notice that he will not put any bill to a vote that doesn't have the support of a majority of Republicans. And yesterday, almost every House Republican crowded into a closed-door meeting in the basement of the Capitol to discuss the issue.
Many of you, as you're listening, are on your commute to work, perhaps dealing with traffic, maybe waiting for a late train. But imagine for a moment a different commute, one on foot, where to get to work you have to pass through armed security checkpoints, all the while dodging sniper fire. That is the reality for many people in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
There's a very different kind of rebellion going on in northern Nigeria. It involves a movement that's been dubbed Boko Haram, which translates to: Western education is a sin. And it's often waged a deadly war against schools. Last weekend, gunmen attacked a bordering school. In a predawn raid, they doused a dormitory with fuel, set it on fire and shot students trying to flee. Forty-two students and teachers died. Authorities blame that and other attacks on the radical Islamists of Boko Haram.
Let's go to Brazil now, where protests that began last month have transformed the political landscape. Today, there is a national strike supported by several unions. Before all these demonstrations began, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff seemed a sure bet to win reelection next year. Now her popularity has plummeted, and polls show she will probably face a runoff against another woman. Her name is Marina Silva. And as NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports, she has a compelling rags-to-political-power story.
Police in the Canadian province of Quebec say as many as 50 people are feared dead after a massive train explosion on Saturday. That growing death toll is another painful blow to residents still stunned after that blast flattened the heart of their small rural town. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann went to the community.
BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: I'm walking down the railroad tracks here in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. These are the tracks that the train rolled down Saturday, carrying its deadly cargo into the heart of the village.
In Chinese culture, filial piety is the virtual of respect for one's elders. In fact, a new Chinese law requires adults to provide financial and emotional support to their elderly relatives, which brings us to today's last word in business: outsourcing tender loving care.
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That's right. This new law is giving entrepreneurs a business opportunity. The Wall Street Journal reports that China's version of eBay now has listings that offer services like running errands or standing in line.
Wal-Mart is changing its plans for the nation's capital. The company says it won't be building stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a law requiring big-box retailers to pay what's known as a living wage.
Patrick Madden of member station WAMU has the story.
PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: Before the vote, Wal-Mart issued city lawmakers an ultimatum: kill the living wage bill, or it would pull the plug on three stores it has planned to build in the nation's capital.
Thousands of prisoners across the state are expressing solidarity with inmates being held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison in Northern California. They began refusing meals on Monday.
Problem inmates at the Pelican Bay maximum security facility are held in the Security Housing Unit. Some inmates have been in the SHU, pronounced "shoe," for decades.
Advocates for the inmates have filed a federal lawsuit to end the protracted use of solitary confinement.
This summer, NPR's Cities Project has been looking at how cities around the world are solving problems using new technologies. And though there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, New York University's Anthony Townsend remains skeptical.
Townsend, whose book Smart Cities is due out in October, tells NPR's David Greene about the causes, benefits and potential dangers of the smart city boom.
To keep America's wilderness anything like it used to be when the country was truly wild takes the help of biologists. They have to balance the needs of wildlife with those of cattle-ranching and tourism, and even weigh the value of one species against another. Ultimately, they have to pick and choose who makes it onto the ark. And, as scientists in Montana's Centennial Valley have discovered, all that choosing can be tricky.
American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there's been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. Canadian police say they found five more bodies in the rubble of the small village in Quebec devastated by a train explosion on Saturday. That brings the confirmed death toll to 20. And officials say the 30 people still missing are now presumed dead. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann is on the scene. He joins us now on the line.
The prospects for an immigration overhaul effort that could reshape the contours of American society appeared grim Wednesday after a closed door meeting of House Republicans.
A majority of the fractious House Republican Conference lined up in opposition to (barely) bipartisan legislation already approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate, despite the urging of leaders to do something on the issue.
More than half of American voters in a new Quinnipiac University national poll say that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Interviewers asked more than 2,000 people about the National Security Agency contract worker who leaked secret documents about U.S. surveillance. They also asked about the line between privacy and security.
Sensing that recent delays in key portions of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obama administration at a weak point in its rollout of the law, Republicans in Congress are doubling down on their efforts to cripple the measure, at least in the eyes of the public if not in fact.
The two main pilots on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the jetliner that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, had each gotten eight hours of sleep the night before their trip to San Francisco, says the National Transportation Safety Board.
The agency's chief, Deborah Hersman, provided that information and other updates to the media and the public on the investigation into the crash that killed two passengers and injured dozens.
The Republican Party seems like two parties these days. In the Senate, Republicans joined a two-thirds majority to pass an immigration bill. But in the House, Republicans are balking.
Strategist Alex Lundry says it's hard to figure out the way forward when your party's base of power is the House of Representatives.
"One problem we have in the wilderness is that there are a thousand chiefs," he says. "And it is hard to get a party moving when you don't have somebody at the top who is a core leader who can be directive."
America is as much of a melting pot for dogs as it is for their human friends. Walk through any dog park and you'll find a range of breeds from Europe, Asia, even Australia and mutts and mixes of every kind.
But a few indigenous breeds in North America have a purer pedigree — at least one has genetic roots in the continent that stretch back 1,000 years or more, according to a new study. These modern North American breeds — including that current urban darling, the Chihuahua — descended from the continent's original canine inhabitants and have not mixed much with European breeds.
The Central Asian nation of Tajikistan has huge rivers. They begin atop some of the world's highest mountains and then flow west through the country's lush, green valleys. Yet for many Tajik families, getting enough water each day is still a struggle.