U.S. News

Last November, voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 47, which lets people with some nonviolent felonies petition a court to reduce their crimes to misdemeanors. And that has opened up new opportunities for many former offenders.

Take 21-year-old Sofala Mayfield, for instance. Mayfield's life began to fall apart in his teens, after his grandmother suffered a stroke and his mother fell back into drug addiction.

On a rare sunny morning in the northern Pacific Ocean, biologist Douglas Causey takes to the sea to conduct his research — binoculars in one hand, and a shotgun in the other.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRENT MUSBURGER: If you see a little haze on your screen, folks, don't adjust your TV sets. The fires that have roared across the Western and the Northwestern part of the United States have poured smoke into western Montana.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Writer Gwen Thompkins says virtually nothing happens quickly in New Orleans. Like many residents, she is withholding judgment on the city's recovery and taking the long view with a little salty language to boot.

Are most people more likely to pull the trigger of a gun if the person they're shooting at is black?

A new meta-analysis set out to answer that question. Yara Mekawi of the University of Illinois and her co-author, Konrad Bresin, drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

On the morning of Aug. 28, 2005, the National Weather Service issued an urgent weather alert.

"Devastating damage expected," the message read. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks ... Perhaps longer."

A day later, on the morning of Aug. 29 — 10 years ago Saturday — Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. By that afternoon, the storm had slowly moved on. It appeared that the worst was over.

Copyright 2015 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.mtpr.org.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Turkish warplanes have conducted their first airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

The joint airstrikes were carried out late Friday, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Donald Trump's been having a lot of fun at the expense of others lately.

Prayers and church bells in New Orleans marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking to assembled dignitaries at a memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified among the estimated 1,800 who died in the storm, said the city had to rely on itself to get through the tragedy.

"We saved each other," Landrieu said. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."

NBC's former chief health editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has shared her experience of being quarantined in her New Jersey home last year after reporting on Ebola.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says a suspect is in custody for the killing of Deputy Darren Goforth.

Hickman announced at a press conference Saturday evening that the suspect, Shannon J. Miles, is facing capital murder charges. He also said Miles has a previous criminal history, including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm.

The shooting appeared "unprovoked," Hickman said, and a motive has not been determined.

Our earlier post continues ...

There are a lot of stories to tell about New Orleans.

There are uplifting stories about new houses, new shops and gigantic drainage projects. There are melancholy stories about everything residents lost in Hurricane Katrina, about all that can never be recovered. There are stories about all that remains to be done, 10 years after the hurricane and the levee failures.

And, throughout it all, there are love stories.

Want to hear one?

'It Was Still Mardi Gras'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week on Wall Street, investors experienced thrills, chills, tears and giggles as their investments plunged, soared, dropped, rose, dipped, moved sideways — and then ended about where they started.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average inched down 12 points to 16,643 for the day, ending a bit higher than last Friday's 16,459 close.

So if you just got back from spending a week on a tiny desert island with no smartphone, you might look at the Dow's close and think it was a pretty tame week.

You would be very, very wrong.

This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.

With fires burning hotter and more intense, there are renewed calls to change how the federal government pays to fight the biggest fires.

"These large and intense fires are a natural disaster in much the same way a hurricane or a tornado or a flood is," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "And they ought to be funded as such through the emergency funding of FEMA."

Al Arbour, who set an NHL record by coaching 1,500 games, has died at age 81. As the head coach of the New York Islanders, he led the team to four Stanley Cup championships in 19 seasons. He also won four NHL titles as a player.

"Al will always be remembered as one of, if not the, greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League," Islanders President and General Manager Garth Snow said, as the team announced Arbour's death Friday.

More than 1,000 square miles of wildfires are burning in Washington state. In the remote Okanogan Valley in the north-central part of the state, many cattle ranchers are scrambling to save their herds.

Ranchers in Omak, Wash., have lost animals, barns, pasture and winter haystacks to the wildfires. But some people still have their cattle, and at the town's Ag Tech Feed Store, owners Monte and Laurie Andrews are trying to help keep those ranchers in business.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you three items.

From NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, Emily Harris:

Hundreds of Vietnam combat helicopter pilots, their families and Gold Star families planted a tree in Arlington National Cemetery on Friday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. combat troops entering the Vietnam War.

The group called it the largest gathering of pilots, with 1,000 expected, says Bob Hesselbein, president of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Association, which is holding a five-day meeting in Washington that ends on Saturday.

Wearing a green Dartmouth College jersey, the newest player on the school's football team readies for action during a preseason practice. The whistle blows, he makes his move and then is thrown to the ground by a teammate's crushing tackle. This happens again and again and again, but every time, the new player pops right back up, completely unhurt.

This player is an MVP — a "Mobile Virtual Player," that is.

In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has nearly completed one of the world's most remarkable hurricane protection systems to encircle New Orleans. Locals say their low-lying city finally has the storm defenses it should have had before Katrina, which killed hundreds and caused billions in property losses.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we'll go next to our regular Friday commentators, David Brooks, columnist with The New York Times. Hey there, David...

DAVID BROOKS: Hello.

Copyright 2015 KJZZ-FM. To see more, visit http://kjzz.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

With egg freezing being touted as a way for women to potentially expand future childbearing options, the viability of those eggs when they're defrosted is still relatively unknown. The latest bit of guardedly good news is a short report in JAMA indicating that frozen eggs do indeed lead to live births after IVF nearly half the time — but that the odds of a live birth are almost 20 percent higher for IVF using fresh eggs.

Once thought to be ephemeral and fleeting, the keeping of keepsakes online may be the best way to hold on to — and to share — historic photographs and documents.

Pages