National & World News from NPR

India's Modi Defends Moves In Kashmir As Lockdown Continues

Aug 15, 2019

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed his government's recent constitutional reform that stripped Kashmir of its statehood in a speech Thursday to mark India's Independence Day. He said the change will bring prosperity and equality to the area.

"It is our duty to fulfill the hopes and wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It is our responsibility to give their dreams new wings," he said at the Red Fort in New Delhi.

The saxophonist and clarinetist, a student of Sidney Bechet and a specialist in early styles of the music, died Aug. 4 at the age of 91. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988, excerpted here. (Hear the full interview through the Fresh Air archive.)

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Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped his bid for president Thursday.

"Today, I'm ending my campaign for president. But I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together," Hickenlooper tweeted.

He had been urged to run for Senate in Colorado, challenging Sen. Cory Gardner. In a video attached to his tweet, he said he would give that "serious thought" but made no announcement.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has banned two Democratic U.S. congresswomen from visiting the country and the Palestinian territories this weekend, according to a government official.

Israeli radio reported that in an interview, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said the country would bar entry to "those who reject our right to exist in the world."

On a sultry recent afternoon, throngs of people in Hong Kong's North Point district lined King's Road, waiting tensely for black-clad young protesters to march through. In the mostly male crowd, many wore T-shirts with Chinese national flag stickers, identifying them as coming from China's Fujian province, several hundred miles northeast of Hong Kong.

A banner over the road bore the message "Please do not interfere with our liberties, please go back," making it clear that the protesters were not welcome in this neighborhood.

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A federal judge has denied a request to move all of this fall's municipal elections in Georgia away from "unsecure, unreliable and grossly outdated technology" and toward hand-marked paper ballots that are optically scanned and counted.

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

Investors paused to catch their breath Thursday, one day after the stock market suffered its worst drop of the year. Market indexes closed up modestly as investors digested mixed signals about prospects for the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained nearly 100 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 rose 0.25%.

It's a common problem for many older adults. You may have more than one doctor and each prescribes a different drug for a different illness. Before you know it, you're taking multiple medications and start feeling tired, dizzy or nauseous. Your doctor interprets that as a new symptom for a new disease and prescribes yet another drug.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

Gibraltar has released an Iranian oil tanker that was detained last month by Britain, despite a last-minute request by the U.S. to take possession of the vessel.

Grace 1 was raided on July 4 in the waters off the coast of Gibraltar, a British territory, by Britain's Royal Marines. The tanker was impounded on suspicion of transporting oil to Syria — a breach of European Union sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. It was said to be carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil.

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Yoel Alonso sat in a cell for 10 months before he ever met with a lawyer. His wife had to travel 1,000 miles to visit him at the remote Louisiana facility where he was detained.

Alonso is not imprisoned for committing a crime. In fact, he turned himself in to immigration officials last October, seeking asylum from Cuba. Since then, he has been detained in two rural facilities — first in Louisiana, and now in Adams County, Miss. — where he is faced with daunting legal hurdles. Chief among them: Alonso has met his lawyer only once in his nearly 11 months in federal custody.

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On one hand, the release of Ibram X. Kendi's new book, How To Be An Antiracist, couldn't come at a better time.

The book hits bookstores this week amid an ongoing national debate about what qualifies as racist — and who gets to decide. Its August arrival also coincides with the 400th anniversary of the first Africans documented to reach the colony of Virginia, entering involuntary bondage in what would become the United States.

Don't enter Claiming T-Mo with any immediate need to be comfortable or oriented. This debut novel by African Australian author Eugen Bacon is an instantly confounding and mysterious tour de force of imagination.

Following two recent mass shootings, about half a dozen Democratic presidential candidates are not mincing their words when it comes to President Trump.

They're calling him a "white supremacist."

"He is," former Rep. Beto O'Rourke said on MSNBC.

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What exactly makes an Irish pub an Irish pub?

In the 1970s, Irish architecture student Mel McNally spent his final year in school studying the design of Irish pubs (partly as an excuse to drink with his buddies). They hit up all the famous pubs in Dublin and brought along their sketchbooks and a measuring tape to answer one question: What makes these places work?

After back-to-back mass shootings, residents in one Houston suburb are demanding members of Congress finally take action to stop a deadly trend in America.

Fort Bend County is home to Sugar Land and other cities where demographics and political stripes are dramatically changing. And voters in the 22nd congressional district who have elected Republicans opposed to major gun restrictions in recent years may be considering giving a Democrat the job in 2020.

Asian and European markets put in a mixed performance a day after fears of a looming global recession triggered an 800-point drop in the Dow — one of the biggest one-day sell-offs on Wall Street ever.

In Asia, indexes in China and Hong Kong were mostly in positive territory, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng both posting modest gains. South Korea and India were also up.

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An epidemic of African Swine Fever is sweeping through China's hog farms, and the effects are rippling across the globe, because China is a superpower of pork. Half of the world's pigs live in China — or at least they did before the epidemic began a year ago.

"Every day, we hear of more outbreaks," says Christine McCracken, a senior analyst at RaboResearch, which is affiliated with the global financial firm Rabobank.

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President Trump has proposed a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to discuss how to "humanely solve" months of protests that have wracked Hong Kong.

In a Wednesday evening tweet, Trump called Xi "a great leader who very much has the respect of his people."

"He is a good man in a 'tough business,' " the president added. "I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?"

Japan's new emperor followed in his father's footsteps, expressing "deep remorse" for his country's role in World War II as part of an annual ceremony marking its surrender, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe followed another recent tradition on Thursday — sending an offering to the Yasukuni shrine that honors, among others, some of Japan's most notorious war criminals.

Most children enrolled in Medicaid who get a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder don't get timely or appropriate treatment afterward. That's the conclusion of a report published Thursday by a federal watchdog agency, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET Thursday

Officials in Philadelphia are praising city law enforcement for peacefully resolving a chaotic episode Wednesday night in which a gunman armed with an AR-15 and a handgun fired off more than 100 rounds, hitting six police officers, then barricaded himself inside a residence, creating a more than seven-hour standoff.

The suspect is now in custody and all six wounded officers have been released from local hospitals.

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Deep in the Harvard Forest of Massachusetts lives a towering red oak tree. It's no different from its neighbors except for the fact that it tweets.

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