News You Can Use

Do Your Wurst. Food Pun Haters, The Yolk's On You

2 hours ago

Q: How do you measure the weight of crackers?
A: In grahams.

Q: Why do melons prefer weddings?
A: They cantaloupe.

Q: Why did the Pale Ale feel out of place in the winter?
A: It wasn't the right saison.

If you're groaning aloud and enjoying every groan, if you relish jokes about "shellfish" and "sea bries," and if you're convinced that you can out-matcha anyone when it comes to food puns, this game is for you.

Without further ado, lettuce play Punderdome.

When curbside recycling caught on in the 1970s, it was mostly about cans, glass, cardboard and paper. That's how Donald Sanderson remembers it.

Sanderson is 90 years old, an earnest man with a ready smile. Every Thursday in Woodbury, N.J., where he lives, he hauls a big blue recycling bin out to the curb. Recycling is close to his heart. "I guess you could say I'm the father of recycling," he says. "I don't know if that's good or bad."

China's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that an employee of Britain's Hong Kong consulate was detained nearly two weeks ago during a business trip to the mainland.

Although consulate officials suspected he'd been detained by Chinese authorities, Cheng's exact whereabouts had been unknown to family and friends since he disappeared on Aug. 8 in Shenzhen, a city in China's Guangdong province just across the border from Hong Kong.

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Congress is considering a bill that would encourage states to pass red flag laws. Members of Congress may want to study Florida, where it's been in place for a year and a half.

Since it was adopted there, courts have approved some 2,500 risk protection orders. That's nearly five every day, more than any other state. The Florida law allows police, acting with court approval, to temporarily seize weapons from people deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others.

A new tool

To some, Republican Sen. John McCain embodied principles of a bygone Washington: He sought common ground; he reached across the political divide; he had close friendships with Democrats.

His wife, Cindy McCain, would like to try to get back to those days. So to mark a year since her husband died of brain cancer, she is encouraging Americans to be more civil.

"We're missing John's voice of reason right now in so many ways," McCain tells NPR's David Greene.

The lunch rush is over at a popular, cozy restaurant in a city somewhere in Missouri. The owner, Lynn, is sipping a glass of pinot grigio as her cooking crew cleans up.

Like thousands of other restaurants across America, Lynn's kitchen is staffed mainly with unauthorized Latino workers. She agreed to openly discuss this employment conundrum if NPR agreed not to give her last name, identify her restaurant, name the city, or even specify the type of cuisine. Like a lot of employers these days, she doesn't want to attract the attention of federal immigration agents.

With a majority of House Democratic lawmakers now behind him, Rep. Al Green says he'll try for a fourth time to impeach President Trump when Congress returns next month.

Green first filed articles of impeachment the day before Trump was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2017.

Now, more than 120 House Democrats have publicly said they support an impeachment inquiry, according to NPR's tracker.

Walter Yovany-Gomez evaded authorities for years before the FBI put him on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Gomez, a member of the MS-13 street gang, was wanted in connection with a brutal murder in Plainfield, N.J., that took place in May 2011. Police almost nabbed him a month afterward — but Gomez jumped out a second-story window and escaped.

Investigators finally tracked him down and arrested him in August 2017 in a gym parking lot in Northern Virginia.

Bob Boilen and I are back together again to share some of the phenomenal new music we've been hearing, starting with Brittany Howard's stirring and inspired "He Loves Me," from her upcoming solo debut Jaime. She named the album after her sister who passed away when they were both teenagers. The music is a celebration of the human spirit.

An Australian state appellate court on Wednesday upheld lower-court verdicts against Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic cleric to be found guilty of sexual abuse.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Court of Appeal of Victoria state rejected Pell's request to overturn his December conviction. The 78-year-old prelate, a former archbishop of Sydney who later became a top Vatican adviser, is serving a six-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys.

President Trump says he will put off a planned visit to Denmark after the country's prime minister made it clear that she has no intention of selling Greenland to the U.S., calling the idea "absurd."

In a Tuesday night tweet, the president said Denmark is "a very special country with incredible people," but added; "based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting ..."

Two former Major League Baseball stars, pitcher Octavio Dotel and infielder Luis Castillo, have been implicated in a massive drug trafficking bust in the Dominican Republic. The country's attorney general, Jean Alain Rodríguez, announced Tuesday that the operation targeted alleged drug kingpin César Emilio Peralta, also known as "César the abuser," and the extensive criminal operation he led.

A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans hospital was charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter in the deaths of three patients whose records he allegedly falsified to conceal his misdiagnoses.

According to federal prosecutors, Dr. Robert Morris Levy, 53, is also charged with four counts of making false statements, 12 counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of mail fraud, stemming from his efforts to conceal his substance abuse while working at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks.

The U.S. used to send a lot of its plastic waste to China to get recycled. But last year, China put the kibosh on imports of the world's waste. The policy, called National Sword, freaked out people in the U.S. — a huge market for plastic waste had just dried up.

Where was it all going to go now?

Two Manhattan landlords took an unusual — and illegal — route to double their rentable space: cutting their two condos in half horizontally so they could rent out 18 tiny apartments in their Lower East Side building, according to the New York City Department of Buildings.

"The ceiling heights were 4.5 feet to 6 feet tall on each level, depending on where you were standing," Department of Buildings spokesperson Abigail Kunitz said in an email to NPR.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has announced that his resignation amid political chaos and jockeying for power within his own coalition.

In a scathing speech to the Senate, Conte railed against his right-wing coalition partner, Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini. Conte is an independent. His coalition includes the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Salvini's party, the League, which is staunchly anti-migrant and euroskeptic. Conte's government has held power for some 14 months.

If you wanted to measure your heart rate or step count during exercise, you would use a fitness tracker. But what if you wanted a device to tell you when when you need to drink more water or should reach for a sports drink?

A young woman from El Salvador who was convicted of aggravated homicide after she lost her pregnancy has been acquitted in a retrial.

El Salvador has one of the strictest abortion laws in the world — it's not allowed under any circumstances.

Evelyn Beatriz Hernández, 21, has said she was raped by a gang member and didn't know she was pregnant. In 2016, she gave birth into a toilet, and her mother found her passed out next to it.

You recall back in 2004 when George W. Bush referred to "rumors on the Internets." That instantly became a classic Bushism, but to my mind he got it right — not just because what we call the Internet originated as a collection of networks 40 years ago, but because what people call "Internet culture" is an ocean of yammer strewn with innumerable islands and continents, each with its own rules, customs and conversations.

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.

For months, Hong Kong's streets have seethed with discontent. Scenes from the semiautonomous region show protesters, sometimes numbering in the hundreds of thousands, many wearing surgical masks and carrying umbrellas that have come to signify resistance.

The images are astonishing, and the issues that set the protests in motion are complex.

So here's a primer breaking down the major players, why they have poured into the streets and the response so far from China.

Mifepristone is one of a regimen of two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to end an early pregnancy. It's also prescribed to help reduce the severity of miscarriage symptoms. But it is heavily regulated in ways that can make it hard for women to obtain.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is now the tenth Democrat to qualify for next month's Democratic primary debate.

Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, who later became a part of President Obama's cabinet, met the final benchmark on Tuesday after a CNN poll showed him at 2%, giving him the requisite four surveys where he hit that threshold. He had previously already attained the required 130,000 unique donors from 20 states.

Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET

Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and state cybersecurity experts are examining the ongoing breach, which began Friday morning and has affected mostly smaller local governments. Officials have not disclosed which specific places are affected.

YouTube

If Sturgill Simpson seemed like an unlikely country star before — back when the Kentuckian was showcasing his rambl

When Kim Gordon dropped "Murdered Out" three years ago, her first single under her own name, she didn't ascribe it any significance. "It just kind of happened randomly," she told NPR at the time.

Yuletsy Martinez, 19, and her husband crossed the border into Colombia when she was pregnant with her second child. They left because they couldn't find food or medical care in Venezuela. Martinez gave birth at a hospital in Colombia. "They took good care of me. And they helped me there," Martinez told NPR correspondent Ari Shapiro in a report that aired on All Things Considered.

Billie Full Of Grace

Aug 20, 2019

To consider a women's Hall of Fame in American music is to come face-to-face with that music's debt to African-American religious life. The biggest names in blues — Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ida Cox — all came up singing in the makeshift choirs of black churches in the South. What Billboard magazine first christened "rock and roll" were the Holy Roller hymns of gospel legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

A few months ago, I watched a chilling film, My Friend Dahmer, based on a graphic memoir written by a high school friend(ish) of infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

While IMDB's logline for the film reads, "A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school," I saw it more as an attempt to contextualize Dahmer. It showed his chaotic family life, the masculinity he was expected to perform yet couldn't, his social ineptness, and the disturbing ways his instincts were and weren't validated.

Pages