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A larger-than-life bronze statue of Jefferson Davis was taken down at the University of Texas today after standing on the South Mall of the campus since 1933, following a legal appeal to keep the controversial memorial in place was rejected.

In addition to the statue of the president of the Confederacy being removed, a statue of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson is also being moved to another location on the Austin campus.

It was just after sunset on a muggy Friday evening earlier this month, and my wife and I were standing outside a Hardee's in Seneca, South Carolina. We were at a vigil for Zachary Hammond, a white teenager killed by a police officer during an attempted drug arrest in the restaurant's parking lot, three miles from where we live and teach at Clemson University.

This is one in a series of essays running last week and this week about the state of television in 2015. The series is based on developments at the recent Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., where broadcast and cable networks, along with streaming services like Netflix, presented new and existing shows to TV critics and reporters. The entire series is available here.

Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET

Three refugee children who were rescued from a minivan as they were being smuggled into Europe have reportedly disappeared from a hospital where they were being treated for dehydration.

Meanwhile, there were more arrests in a similar case in Austria last week in which 71 migrants were found dead in a truck.

Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and best-selling author who explored the human brain one patient at a time, has died of cancer. He was 82.

Sacks was best known for his books The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, which became a 1990 feature film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

A motive remains elusive as investigators in Texas try to determine why a 30-year-old suspect in custody would have gunned down a sheriff's deputy while he was fueling his patrol car at a gas station near Houston.

Shannon J. Miles, 30, was charged Saturday in what authorities have described as an "execution-style" killing of 47-year-old Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth.

Oliver Sacks, the famed neurologist and best-selling author of books such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, died of cancer today in New York City at the age of 82, a longtime friend and colleague has confirmed.

The London-born academic's 1973 memoir Awakenings, about his efforts to use the drug L-Dopa to bring patients who survived the 1917-1928 encephalitis epidemic out of their persistent catatonic state, was turned into a 1990 Hollywood film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. He was the author of a dozen other books.

Last November, voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 47, which lets people with some nonviolent felonies petition a court to reduce their crimes to misdemeanors. And that has opened up new opportunities for many former offenders.

Take 21-year-old Sofala Mayfield, for instance. Mayfield's life began to fall apart in his teens, after his grandmother suffered a stroke and his mother fell back into drug addiction.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On a rare sunny morning in the northern Pacific Ocean, biologist Douglas Causey takes to the sea to conduct his research — binoculars in one hand, and a shotgun in the other.

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Fishing lore is full of tales about "the one that got away," and fishermen have been known to exaggerate the size of their catch. The bragging problem is apparently so bad, Texas even has a law on the books that makes lying about the size or provenance of a fish caught in a tournament an offense that could come with a felony charge.

This is a story of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. It is the story of the meat straw. Yes, you read that right.

"It is a straw made out of pork," explains Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, the man behind Benny's Original Meat Straws.

It's a half-inch in diameter, the same length as a standard plastic straw. And it has a hole running down the middle of it, through which you're meant to slurp up Bloody Marys.

Actor Kyle Jean-Baptiste, who made history earlier this summer as the first black actor — and youngest person — to play the lead character in Les Miserables on Broadway, died Saturday. He was 21.

A spokesman for the production said that Jean-Baptiste died after an accident: he fell from a fire escape in Brooklyn early Saturday morning.

Are most people more likely to pull the trigger of a gun if the person they're shooting at is black?

A new meta-analysis set out to answer that question. Yara Mekawi of the University of Illinois and her co-author, Konrad Bresin, drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

On the morning of Aug. 28, 2005, the National Weather Service issued an urgent weather alert.

"Devastating damage expected," the message read. "Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks ... Perhaps longer."

A day later, on the morning of Aug. 29 — 10 years ago Saturday — Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast. By that afternoon, the storm had slowly moved on. It appeared that the worst was over.

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

There's a song out there right now that's catching a lot of people off guard. "S.O.B" sounds kind of familiar, maybe like a revived oldie, but it's not: It's fresh off the new self-titled album from the Denver ensemble Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Turkish warplanes have conducted their first airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

The joint airstrikes were carried out late Friday, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Tens of thousands of people have turned out in the streets of Malaysia's capital to demand that Prime Minister Najib Razak step down amid what opponents are calling a massive corruption scandal.

The country's former leader, Mahathir Mohamad made a surprise appearance at the anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur, Reuters reports.

Prayers and church bells in New Orleans marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking to assembled dignitaries at a memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified among the estimated 1,800 who died in the storm, said the city had to rely on itself to get through the tragedy.

"We saved each other," Landrieu said. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

NBC's former chief health editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has shared her experience of being quarantined in her New Jersey home last year after reporting on Ebola.

Police in Bangkok says they have arrested a suspect that they think was involved in the deadly shrine bombing earlier this month that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120 others.

A foreigner was taken into custody today, Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung, the head of Thailand's national police force, told reporters.

He said authorities had also "seized a lot of evidence, including bomb-making materials." Somyot added that it was too early to say for sure that the suspect was involved in the Aug. 17 bombing of the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok.

A trio of journalists from Al-Jazeera English has been found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison after their re-trial in an Egyptian courtroom on terrorism-related charges.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says a suspect is in custody for the killing of Deputy Darren Goforth.

Hickman announced at a press conference Saturday evening that the suspect, Shannon J. Miles, is facing capital murder charges. He also said Miles has a previous criminal history, including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm.

The shooting appeared "unprovoked," Hickman said, and a motive has not been determined.

Our earlier post continues ...

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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