NPR News

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We’re narrowing in on the day of the total solar eclipse, Aug. 21. Ahead of a weekend that’s expected to see a lot of travel to the region, we check in with the Missouri State Highway Patrol for updates on traffic and how to drive during the eclipse, the Missouri Division of Tourism and a Festus-based brewery prepping for the onslaught.

Related: What to expect from the rare solar eclipse

Missouri will use two of its 34 vials of the sedative pentobarbital on Tuesday when it executes Marcellus Williams, who was convicted in the 1998 killing of Felicia Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter.

The state has enough pentobarbital for 17 executions, Williams’ included, according to a document obtained by St. Louis Public Radio. No one except the state of Missouri knows where the stockpile comes from, despite lawsuits from inmates and media outlets.

As we struggled this week to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville, Va., some big questions bubbled up:

What lessons does history teach about white resentment in the United States? How is the experience of other countries and other times — like Germany — relevant? How are those in power reacting to President Trump's shifting response?

At least 58 people were killed by police in the Philippines this week in two raids — the first and deadliest of which was celebrated by President Rodrigo Duterte as a successful part of his brutal war on drugs.

On Tuesday, a raid in the province of Bulacon left 32 people dead, The Associated Press reports. It was the highest single-day death toll of Duterte's crackdown on the drug trade. More than 100 accused drug offenders were arrested in the province, the news service says.

On Wednesday and into Thursday, operations in the capital city of Manila killed 26 more people.

How Did North Korea Get Nuclear Weapons?

Aug 17, 2017

In an interview with The American Prospect, White House strategist Steve Bannon said “there’s no military solution” to North Korea’s growing nuclear weapons program. Going against President Trump’s threat of “fire and fury,” Bannon suggested Trump should tone down the brinkmanship with North Korea and focus on China instead.

But how did North Korea get its nuclear weapons in the first place?

Updated 2:20 p.m. Aug. 18 with lieutenant governor calling for expulsion — Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson said Friday the state Senate should expel Maria Chappelle-Nadal due to her Facebook comment in which she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We begin the hour with the terrorist attack in Barcelona. Local officials say 13 people have died. More than a hundred were injured when a van drove into a walkway crowded with tourists. Andrew Roby of Washington, D.C., was near the attack when it happened.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

We talked earlier today with Fiona Govan. She's a journalist in Barcelona. And we asked her what the local authorities were saying about who did this.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Attacker Drives Van Into Barcelona Crowd

Aug 17, 2017

A white van jumped up onto a sidewalk and sped down a pedestrian zone Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, swerving from side to side as it plowed into tourists and residents.

NPR’s Camila Domonoske (@camilareads) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young with the latest.

With reporting from The Associated Press

SeaWorld and animal welfare advocates are mourning the passing of one of the park's oldest killer whales. Kasatka was euthanized at SeaWorld San Diego on Tuesday evening after suffering from a respiratory infection.

Kasatka was a matriarch of the orca pod in San Diego. She had been captured in the wild off the coast of Iceland in 1978. SeaWorld says she had four calves, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Three of the most visible leaders of Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement have been sentenced to jail time for their roles in the series of massive pro-democracy protests in 2014. The sentences announced Thursday, which range from six months to eight months, revise previous, lighter penalties handed down last year and effectively bar the men from holding office for the next five years.

Two psychologists who were paid more than $80 million by the CIA to develop "enhanced interrogation" techniques — which have been called torture — have settled a lawsuit brought by men who were detained.

The list of brutal methods devised by Bruce Jessen and James Mitchell for use by the U.S. included waterboarding. The tactics were meant to condition detainees into a state of helplessness. Mitchell has said he was told by U.S. officials that the idea was to "walk right up to the edge of the law."

On Aug. 21, a 70-mile-wide ribbon from Oregon to South Carolina called the "path of totality" will experience a total solar eclipse. Large swaths of farmland in the Great Plains and Midwest will be plunged into darkness for 2 1/2 minutes, and temperatures will drop about 10 degrees in the middle of the day.

But as millions of people look up at the sky, many Midwest scientists will turn their eyes and cameras toward the plants and animals on the ground. And they're not sure what will happen.

Qatar has been isolated by neighboring countries in a heated diplomatic standoff. But on Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced that it plans to open its border to allow pilgrims from the tiny Gulf country to make the annual hajj to Islam's holiest sites.

The announcement comes after a meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a member of the Qatari royal family, Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani.

In the aftermath of the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Va., many civil rights activists took to Twitter and shared photos of people who allegedly were at the march. The idea was to identify who they were and shame them. But identifying someone from a photo can be tricky — and the activists managed to make at least one mistake.

Sierra Leone, a country that has been battered by Ebola, civil war and massive floods, suffered yet another tragedy this week. Government and international aid workers are racing the clock to find survivors after a mudslide struck capital city Freetown early Monday morning.

Some 600 people are still missing, and there are reports that some people are still alive, trapped in their homes underneath the mud.

Updated at 6:41 a.m. ET Friday

Hours after a van drove into a crowd of people in Barcelona, Spain, Spanish police say they stopped a second terrorist attack.

Authorities say the two attacks are linked.

Police say five suspects wearing explosives — later determined to be fake — were killed after a shootout with security forces in the Catalan coastal town of Cambrils located about 70 miles southwest of Barcelona. Six civilians and a police officer were injured, police said early Friday.

President Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, unloads on white nationalists, China and some of his administration colleagues in an interview with the liberal magazine The American Prospect.

Bannon — who successfully harnessed the so-called alt-right, a term used to describe white nationalists, as executive chairman of Breitbart News and later as an architect of Trump's unlikely election victory — dismissed white nationalist ideology as a "fringe element" that appeals to "losers" and a "collection of clowns."

Thirteen years ago, Mary Grams of Alberta, Canada, was weeding on the family farm when she lost her diamond engagement ring — dating back to 1951.

Grams searched "high and low" but couldn't find it, she told the CBC. She gave up on ever finding the treasured jewelry. And she never told her husband, "because I thought for sure he'd give me heck or something."

This week, the ring reappeared — pinched tight around a malformed carrot.

Pages