Latest National and International Headlines

The Colonial Roots Of Pimiento Cheese

May 19, 2019

Trinidad Escobar

Photographer Soumya Sankar Bose remembers how Jatra, a style of folk theater, was popular during his childhood in West Bengal. But 10 years after moving out, Bose returned home to find that Jatra was no longer celebrated nearly as much. The genre's brightest stars, once major celebrities, were fading from view. Even his own uncle, a famous Jatra performer, had to take a job at a train station to make ends meet.

Pete Buttigieg isn't giving President Trump much credit for saying the South Bend, Ind., mayor's marriage to a man is "absolutely fine" and "good."

"That's nice," Buttigieg said dismissively in an interview on Friday with the NPR Politics Podcast and Iowa Public Radio. "I'm more interested in policies that affect LGBTQ people."

Singer Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands has emerged victorious at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The finals were held Saturday night in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The 25-year-old Laurence won the international competition with a song called "Arcade," which he co-wrote. The song is a sweet, emotional ballad that stands in contrast to Israeli singer Netta's wacky "Toy," which won in 2018.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison won re-election on Saturday, stunning pollsters who had anticipated his defeat for several months. Morrison championed working-class economic stability during his campaign, and his victory is part of a populist trend, which now stretches across the U.S., Brazil, Hungary and Italy.

At his victory party in Sydney, Morrison said, "Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first. And that is exactly what we are going to do."

The next time anyone reports the results of a poll or survey, even NPR, remember: A new survey says 51% of the adults in America splash around in swimming pools instead of showering or bathing.

Further results get even yuckier. Forty percent of American confess that they — how to put this delicately? — have voided in pools. Experts warn the resulting effluence reduces the antiseptic potency of the chlorine.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Austria's vice chancellor has resigned after German media published a video that purportedly showed him offering government contracts to a woman posing as the niece of a Russian oligarch, in exchange for media coverage and political funding.

The scandal drove Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to call for snap elections instead of trying to revive his weakened coalition government. "Enough is enough," he told reporters on Saturday in Vienna.

Sean Jin is 31 and says he'd not washed a dish until he was in his sophomore year of college.

"Literally my mom and my grandma would ... tell me to stop doing dishes because I'm a man and I shouldn't be doing dishes." It was a long time, he says, before he realized their advice and that sensibility were "not OK."

Zakary Pashak is a rare breed. His company, Detroit Bikes, is one of the very few American bicycle makers. Most bikes come from China.

At times, Pashak endured ridicule at trade shows. "I'd get kind of surly bike mechanics coming up and telling me that my products stunk. There's definitely a fair bit of attitude in my industry," he says.

But last September, the industry's tune abruptly changed. The first round of U.S. tariffs, or import taxes, upped the cost of Chinese-made bikes by 10%, and companies saw Detroit Bikes as a potential partner.

Binge-worthy podcasts may be a 21st century phenomenon, but addictive, serialized storytelling is nothing new. From the 1930s through the 1950s, Cuba exported more daytime and nighttime radio serials than any nation in the Spanish-speaking world — even Fidel Castro was a fan.

When Robin McAllistar worked in the commercial fishing industry in the 1970s and 1980s, she was often the only woman on the boat. Once, she said she was stuck on a boat with a captain who was constantly drinking. She said he assaulted her in her room, and she had to fight him off.

"I mean physically grappling and trying to get through and get out and get away," she said. "I wasn't raped, but that was only because I got out."

The next day, she hopped onto another boat to get away.

If Hulu had announced an original dramatic miniseries that follows a World War II soldier awakening to the horrors of war, executive produced and partly directed (two episodes out of six) by George Clooney, and if the result had been Catch-22, it would have seemed largely successful. But the series, available in full now, is, of course, an adaptation of Joseph Heller's much-chewed-over 1961 novel, a book very unusual in both its tone and its structure. And as an adaptation, it struggles to meet the inevitable expectations.

Sen. Cory Booker is "a big fan" of researcher and speaker Brené Brown. The Democratic presidential candidate embraces Brown's mantra that vulnerability is a strength — and his openness shows on the campaign trail.

Booker regularly tells the story of one of the most painful moments of his life, which happened when he first became the mayor of Newark, N.J.

"A Low-Fat Diet Helps Reduce The Risk of Death From Breast Cancer." Did a headline like this catch your eye this week?

Dozens of news organizations, including NPR, reported on a new study that found that a low-fat diet helped women reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer.

A couple of federal agencies you probably haven't heard of keep track of what farmers grow, what Americans eat and how the country's entire food system operates. And the Trump administration wants them out of Washington, D.C.

Last summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) would relocate somewhere that's closer to farmers and public universities doing agricultural research. But critics, including many scientists, balked, saying the agencies won't be as effective.

On May 15, government forces bombed the Tarmala Maternity and Children's Hospital in South Idlib, Syria.

"The air strikes completely destroyed the facility, which had served about 6,000 people a month," says Dr. Khaula Sawah, vice president of the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations-USA.

The information on the incident comes from doctors on the ground in Syria.

According to the union, it was the 19th health-care facility bombed in Syria since April 28.

For nearly two decades, a doctor at The Ohio State University sexually abused at least 177 male students, according to an exhaustive independent investigation commissioned by the university. Most of the doctor's abuse happened under the auspices of providing the students with medical treatment.

The number of people dying by suicide in the U.S. has been rising, and a new study shows that the suicide rate among girls ages 10 to 14 has been increasing faster than it has for boys of the same age.

Boys are still more likely to take their own lives. But the study published Friday in JAMA Network Open finds that girls are steadily narrowing that gap.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has reached a deal to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and Mexico, in a move that could put the three nations a step closer to ratifying the USMCA trade deal that would replace NAFTA.

The tariffs will be lifted within two days, according to a joint U.S.-Canada statement posted by Canada's foreign ministry.

The Unanswered Questions About Anthrax

May 17, 2019

Nowadays, many people associate anthrax with bioterrorism.

Indeed, the anthrax bacteria is "one of the biological agents most likely to be used" in terrorism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because microscopic anthrax spores can be produced in a lab and be put into powders, sprays, food and water.

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