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.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Twenty-five years ago, Miami-Dade County in Florida was overwhelmed with the crack cocaine epidemic. The judges there kept locking up the same addicts over and over so the county came up with a different concept to deal with them - drug courts. If you were a nonviolent drug offender, you could avoid an immediate prison sentence by going to a drug court. You'd get regular therapy and drug testing. A judge watched your progress, and if you relapsed, well, then you could go to jail.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Special forces in Ukraine have begun what they call an anti-terror operation. They're trying to take back a city where pro-Russian protesters set up roadblocks yesterday. People have been killed on both sides. That marks a major shift in this standoff which has remained relatively peaceful for the last week. NPR's Ari Shapiro is in Kiev, and he joins me now. Ari, what happened this morning? What's the latest?
European Union officials held talks about the crisis in Ukraine this past week. But the focus in the meetings wasn't Russian boots on the ground, but rather Russia's threats to cut supplies of natural gas to Ukraine. This has implications for Europe, since it gets about 15 percent of its gas from Russia through Ukraine. With us now is Jonathan Stern. He's a fellow at the Oxford Institute of Energy Studies. We have him on the line from the studios of the BBC in London. Mr. Stern, thanks so much for being with us.
In France this month, hundreds of thousands of workers were told, put the smart phone down and take a break. Sounds like a good idea. The new agreement between some companies and their employees aims to limit off the clock emails between workers or quote, "An obligation to disconnect from remote communications tools." Media around the world pounced on the announcement as another sign of the antiquated French workplace, where a 35-hour work week is still the norm. But perhaps there is a hint of envy in there somewhere.