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Notre Dame Repair Crews Are Back To Work, But Paris' Lead Concerns Remain

Work at the site of France's damaged Notre Dame Cathedral resumed on Monday, after a three-week pause over concerns about lead that spewed from the fire in April. As the blaze ripped through the 850-year-old cathedral's roof and steeple, smoke billowed out — its yellow hue a sign of burning lead — spreading toxic dust that settled on streets, homes, businesses and schools in parts of central Paris. A cleanup of Notre Dame's plaza and surrounding streets began Aug. 13, and Paris police chief Michel Cadot says it will last until Sept. 10. The process involves vacuuming and scrubbing the pavement, using a high-pressure hose to rinse the ground with chemicals and recovering the wastewater. In some spots, a special gel is applied and then removed after hardening, taking harmful particles with it. New decontamination measures are in place for workers at the cathedral. But environmental associations, labor unions and other groups say authorities should have started the cleanup months ago, and
Source: Notre Dame Repair Crews Are Back To Work, But Paris' Lead Concerns Remain

Florida / Russian Sailor's Message In A Bottle Washes Up In Alaska
« on: August 20, 2019, 01:28:05 AM »
Russian Sailor's Message In A Bottle Washes Up In Alaska

Tyler Ivanoff was gathering firewood in Alaska when he found a Russian sailor's letter written more than 50 years ago during the Cold War, KTUU-TV reports. Russian state media tracked down the writer.
Source: Russian Sailor's Message In A Bottle Washes Up In Alaska

Florida / Documentary Review: 'One Child Nation'
« on: August 18, 2019, 10:24:39 PM »
Documentary Review: 'One Child Nation'

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: In 1979, China began a mandatory one-child policy. Meant to address what Chinese officials saw as a looming population crisis, it was a brutal experiment on an unprecedented scale, involving forced sterilizations and abortions. It's now chronicled in a new film. Critic Bob Mondello reviews the documentary "One Child Nation." BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Among the first images on screen - uniformed soldiers marching in formation, a seemingly endless army that makes visual the notion that China is the most populous nation on earth. Then we hear the voice of filmmaker Nanfu Wang. (SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "ONE CHILD NATION") NANFU WANG: I was born in China in 1985, a time when China's population crisis was making headlines around the world. UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: There are more than a billion Chinese, that one big statistic... UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: By the middle of the next century, if China's families have an average of three
Source: Documentary Review: 'One Child Nation'

Florida / How Does One Man Have So Much Power Without Being President?
« on: August 17, 2019, 10:33:39 PM »
How Does One Man Have So Much Power Without Being President?

"How does one man have so much power?" One hears that question asked in Washington a lot these days, often with exasperation and bewilderment. And it is not always a reference to President Trump. Quite often, the man in question is Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky. The man who calls himself the "Grim Reaper" — of signature Democratic initiatives. McConnell's status stems from his office as the Senate majority leader — elected by his party colleagues to lead their conference in the chamber. But few who have held this office have been able to wield it with this kind of results. In today's Senate, McConnell can decide virtually by himself what the chamber will do — and even what it will consider doing. You may have first noticed McConnell early in 2016 when he proclaimed the Senate would not consider any nominee appointed by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia. McConnell made this announcement on his own, within hours
Source: How Does One Man Have So Much Power Without Being President?

Maryland Court Rules Marijuana Odor Not Enough To Search A Person

It turns out that in Maryland, reeking of marijuana is not sufficient probable cause for police to arrest and search a person. In a unanimous ruling earlier this week, the state's Court of Appeals determined two police officers violated a man's Fourth Amendment rights by conducting an unreasonable warrantless search of his person, after police found him in a car that smelled like pot. "In the post-decriminalization era, the mere odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than ten grams of marijuana, absent other circumstances, does not grant officers probable cause to effectuate an arrest and conduct a search," court documents state. In 2014, Maryland decriminalized possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, and possession of less than that amount is now considered a civil offense that carries a $100 fine. The decision stems from a case involving officers from the Montgomery County Police Department — identified only as Groger and Heffley in court papers — who
Source: Maryland Court Rules Marijuana Odor Not Enough To Search A Person

Florida / Foresight 2020: Bill de Blasio
« on: August 15, 2019, 10:17:56 PM »
Foresight 2020: Bill de Blasio

After five years as mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio is running to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020. But de Blasio has struggled to break through into the top tier of candidates — an Aug. 8 Monmouth poll of Iowa caucus-goers puts de Blasio at 0 percent . He also hasnt qualified yet for the September round of Democratic debates. From FiveThirtyEights assessment of his candidacy: One of the reasons de Blasio is so easy to discount is that he’s been in the muck for the past six years, trying to enact his policies while running America’s largest city. This is the problem with actually holding office (and with doing it in plain sight of so much of the nation’s press corps). But all that work does mean he can make a case for his executive experience. No major-party candidate has ever gone straight from being mayor to being the presidential nominee, but New York City has more people in it than the places presided over by several other presidential hopefuls, including Colorado
Source: Foresight 2020: Bill de Blasio

Planned Parenthood To Withdraw From Title X, Unless Court Intervenes

Updated at 5:41 p.m. ET Planned Parenthood says it will formally withdraw from the nation's family planning program for low-income people within days, unless a federal court intervenes. In a letter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Planned Parenthood officials ask for a stay against new Trump administration rules that forbid organizations receiving Title X funds to provide or refer patients for abortion. If the court does not intervene, Planned Parenthood says it will be forced to pull out on Aug. 19 after decades with the program. Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood's acting president, said the impact on low-income patients will differ state by state. In some areas, she said, contraception and other services could become more expensive or wait times may be longer. "It means that some people will not be able to afford the care; it means that some people will have to make a decision as to whether or not they have the time to wait in line. It certainly means that
Source: Planned Parenthood To Withdraw From Title X, Unless Court Intervenes

What Hong Kong's Laws Say About When The Chinese Military Can Intervene

AILSA CHANG, HOST: When you turn on the lights in your home or switch on your TV, you may be contributing to the warming of the climate - or you may not. It all depends on how your electric company is generating that power. Utilities are seen as key to slowing climate change. And to explain why, we are now joined by NPR's Dan Charles. Hey, Dan. DAN CHARLES, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa. CHANG: So I don't ever think about my electric company unless there's, like, some blackout. And then I'm like, what is going on? But why are electric utilities so important in fighting climate change? CHARLES: Because electricity is the big hope. Electricity is the one big energy source that can be free of carbon emissions. You can make it from the sun. You can make it from the wind. Tap the heat of the Earth, hydro power. CHANG: So many options. CHARLES: Some people include nuclear. Other people say nuclear is too dangerous for other reasons. But that is the reason why utilities are sitting right in the middle of
Source: What Hong Kong's Laws Say About When The Chinese Military Can Intervene

To Find The Next Antibiotic, Scientists Give Old Drugs A New Purpose

With antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the rise, scientists are urgently trying to find drugs that will work against persistent infections. But coming up with new ones does not have to be the only strategy. A recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that they can repurpose bithionol — a drug formerly used to treat parasitic infections in horses — to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, a common hospital-acquired infection. The results not only suggest a promising treatment for this infection but hint at new ways scientists could tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance, by exploring new uses for old drugs and also using them in combination with traditional antibiotics. "There's a whole lot of effort these days to try and repurpose compounds to address the antibiotic resistance challenge," says Gerry Wright , a professor in the department of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in Canada who studies how
Source: To Find The Next Antibiotic, Scientists Give Old Drugs A New Purpose

After Epstein's Death, Political Leaders Demand Continued Investigation

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We're going to start our program today with news that may not be appropriate for younger listeners. Jeffrey Epstein, the financier charged with trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex, has died of an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell. Epstein was found dead just one day after documents were unsealed that included the names of prominent public figures, politicians among them, who had an association with Epstein. The Miami Herald has looked into the nearly 2,000 pages that were released and has reported that a number of prominent men are accused of having sex with young women at Epstein's direction. All of those accused deny the allegations. Epstein's death raises many questions, including what should happen to the investigations connected to his conduct? Congressman Lois Frankel believes that these investigations must continue. She represents Florida's 21st District, which includes Palm Beach, where Jeffrey Epstein
Source: After Epstein's Death, Political Leaders Demand Continued Investigation

Florida / Chicago Inmates Compete In Online Chess
« on: August 10, 2019, 08:54:18 PM »
Chicago Inmates Compete In Online Chess

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST: This week, prisoners at the Cook County Jail in Chicago participated in the first international chess tournament for inmates online. They competed against teams from Russia, Brazil, Armenia, Belarus, Italy and England, and they learned their moves from instructor Mikhail Korenman, who's with us to talk about the tournament and the jail's chess program. Mikhail, thanks for coming on the program. MIKHAIL KORENMAN: Thank you. Good afternoon. PFEIFFER: Could you tell us, why chess? Why do you think they should learn it? Why do you like to teach it to them? KORENMAN: Well, I think for this population, chess is very important. It's teach - not just a game of chess. It's, teach them life skills. They should try to make decisions based not just on their opinion, but they need to calculate what their opponents will do. They need to actually take time to think. They don't need to rush. And it gives them a chance to win. And when they
Source: Chicago Inmates Compete In Online Chess

'What You Did Changed Me': Ferguson Protesters Found Friendship Amid Unrest

Five years ago, Ferguson, Mo., erupted. A Ferguson police officer killed Michael Brown, an unarmed African American man, in what the U.S. Department of Justice would later rule as self-defense. After Brown was killed on Aug. 9, 2014, protesters took to Ferguson's streets, chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot!" In the days of protests that followed, strangers Jamell Spann and Elizabeth Vega marched to the Ferguson Police Department to demand justice. The two strangers forged a friendship out of that painful day and a photograph that immortalized their first encounter, taken by Robert Cohen of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch , won the Pulitzer Prize. In it, Spann, a young black man, is yelling, his face contorted with anguish and tears. Vega, a woman twice his age, also emotional, places a comforting hand on Spann's shoulder. "What you did changed me," Spann, now 26, told Vega, 52, in a StoryCorps conversation in June. Vega first saw Spann enraged and confronting Ferguson Police in riot gear. "I
Source: 'What You Did Changed Me': Ferguson Protesters Found Friendship Amid Unrest

'Succession' Season 2 Is A Cleverly Plotted Portrait Of Privilege

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. The Emmy-nominated series "Succession" tells the story of a family whose members struggle for control of the media empire founded by its patriarch. The second season begins Sunday night on HBO. Our critic-at-large, John Powers, has seen the first five episodes and says that if you haven't caught up with season one, go back and see it because you don't want to miss season two. JOHN POWERS, BYLINE: It says something about our overwrought times that so much of today's high-end television feels downright Jacobean, bursting with violence, brutal satire and corrosive cynicism. Show after show focuses on the rich and powerful behaving badly - the murdering president of "House Of Cards," the virulent Wall Street antagonists on "Billions" and all those would-be rulers slaughtering thousands on "Game Of Thrones." No show boasts a more unregenerate cast of characters than "Succession," the fantastically
Source: 'Succession' Season 2 Is A Cleverly Plotted Portrait Of Privilege

South Floridians Honor El Paso and Dayton Victims, Protest Gun Violence

Over 50 South Florida residents gathered Tuesday evening at the Freedom Tower to honor the victims of mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH and protest the lack of legislative change on the local and national level. The two mass shootings, in less than 13 hours, shook the nation and South Florida, who's still grappling with its own tragedy at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. "Here we are again, saying enough— ya basta! —this is outrageous. What is it going to take? What is it going to take?," chanted the protestors at several points. Among the participants were Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins and state senators J ose Javier Rodríguez and Annette Tadeo. Local chapters of organizations like Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action were also represented. MariaVictoria Chacón-Briceño is 18-years-old and a volunteer with Students Demand Action. She decided to become an activist after the Parkland shooting and has been disappointed with what she
Source: South Floridians Honor El Paso and Dayton Victims, Protest Gun Violence

'The Mosquito': Cataloging A History Of Devastation By 'Our Deadliest Predator'

With  David Folkenflik Mosquitoes are among civilizations most influential yet underappreciated killers. We unearth the uneasy truth about their outsized impact on human history. Guest Timothy Winegard , professor of history and political science at Colorado Mesa University. Author of  The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator . ( @tcwinegard ) From The Reading List Excerpt from The Mosquito by Timothy Winegard CHAPTER 1 Toxic Twins: The Mosquito and Her Diseases It has been one of the most universally recognizable and aggravating sounds on earth for 190 million years—the humming buzz of a mosquito. After a long day of hiking while camping with your family or friends, you quickly shower, settle into your lawn chair, crack an ice-cold beer, and exhale a deep, contented sigh. Before you can enjoy your first satisfying swig, however, you hear that all-too-familiar sound signaling the ambitious approach of your soon-to-be tormentors. It is nearing dusk, her favorite time to
Source: 'The Mosquito': Cataloging A History Of Devastation By 'Our Deadliest Predator'

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