Laura Wagner

President Obama took to Facebook Thursday night to comment on a photo of an Iranian father and son posted by the popular photography blog Humans of New York. The blog , which began in 2010 as a series of portraits of people on the streets of The Big Apple, has become something of a global phenomenon . Creator Brandon Stanton has recently been in Iran, sharing images and stories of people and life there. It was one of these photos that prompted the president's comment. Posting from the...

Football giant FC Bayern Munich today pledged to help refugees in Germany. In a statement it announced plans to donate 1 million euros from a friendly match to support refugee projects and to establish a "training camp" for refugee youth in which participants will train at FC Bayern, take German language classes and be provided with meals and football jerseys. The statement read in part: "Germany is currently experiencing its greatest influx of refugees for many decades. This presents a...

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET The white man accused of murdering nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., in June will face the death penalty, according to court documents filed Thursday. South Carolina Solicitor Scarlett Wilson spoke to reporters shortly after filing the court paper announcing she would pursue the death penalty for Dylann Roof, according to the Associated Press. She called Roof's actions "the ultimate crime that deserved the ultimate punishment" and said...

Among the kangaroos and kookaburras, another creature trundled through the Australian bush. Hooves barely visible, eyes mostly covered, the animal was the size of a refrigerator, the color of dirty snow. A concerned hiker spotted the furry specimen days ago and raised the alarm. It was a matter of life and death — and this sheep needed a haircut. News reports say the merino sheep had likely wandered from his flock five or six years ago and had been on the lam(b) in the wild ever since. While...

Law enforcement authorities in Illinois have widened their search for three suspects wanted in connection with Tuesday's shooting death of a police officer in the community of Fox Lake. Officers from local, state and federal agencies have been searching the area where Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, 52, was shot — so far without success. NPR's Cheryl Corley reports from Chicago: "Authorities say they have thoroughly searched a perimeter of 2 square miles where a backup officer found Gliniewicz...

Starting Oct. 6, Egg McMuffins, hotcakes, hash browns and more will be available all day at McDonald's. On Tuesday, the company officially approved the decision to offer breakfast items all day at its more than 14,000 U.S. locations, which generally stopped selling the menu items around 10:30 or 11 a.m. The restaurant giant has been testing the all-day breakfast plan at select locations in the U.S. since this spring, and based on the results, franchises voted in favor of expanding the...

Take a trip to The Mob Museum in Las Vegas and you'll find exhibits on gangsters, corruption, killers, crime bosses, drug traffickers — and, now, the international governing body of soccer. Tuesday, the much maligned FIFA Congress finds itself alongside the likes of the Mafia and drug cartels, thanks to the opening of a new, temporary exhibit called "The 'Beautiful Game' Turns Ugly." "This is good, old-fashioned corruption," the museum's director of content, Geoff Schumacher, said of FIFA's...

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET The officer shot to death Tuesday morning was identified as Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, a veteran of the force for 32 years, according to the Chicago Tribune , which reports that he was married with four children. The Tribune says: "Gliniewicz was fun-loving and optimistic, said Thomas Poulos, a retired Waukegan police officer who said he went to high school with Gleniewicz in Antioch before both graduated in 1981. "They stayed in touch and saw each other at local...

Police in Thailand have arrested a second foreign man — who Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said is the main suspect — in connection with the deadly Bangkok bombing on Aug. 17, Michael Sullivan reports for NPR. Prayuth told reporters the man arrested Tuesday was taken into custody in eastern Thailand, near the border with Cambodia, and that the suspect may have been attempting to flee the country, Sullivan reports. "Prayuth said the man is not Thai and is believed to be the main suspect in...

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories. This week, we bring you three items. From NPR's Jerusalem correspondent, Emily Harris: The headline drew me in first. If something good could come out of the various conflicts in the Middle East, bring it on. Although on the face...

Wearing a green Dartmouth College jersey, the newest player on the school's football team readies for action during a preseason practice. The whistle blows, he makes his move and then is thrown to the ground by a teammate's crushing tackle. This happens again and again and again, but every time, the new player pops right back up, completely unhurt. This player is an MVP — a "Mobile Virtual Player," that is. Developed by students at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, the new robotic...

As promised yesterday in our post about Oxford Dictionaries' new words , here are a few of the most linguistically nimble sentences submitted by NPR readers responding to a call-out to see how many of the words they could cram into one sentence. From Facebook, Carrie Donovan: Mkay, some snackable deets from beer o' clock at my favorite fast-casual digs (if I didn't already pocket dial you during these awesomesauce bants): This manic pixie dream girl and an aspiring social justice warrior just...

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., announced Friday that the surviving cub of giant panda Mei Xiang is a boy. Genetic testing also showed that he was sired by China's panda, Tian Tian, the zoo tweeted. The cub, along with another, smaller panda cub (also male) that died earlier this week, were born Saturday . As we reported this week, "The two cubs were born hours apart; the zoo staff had been attempting to give both of them access to their mother, Mei Xiang, but they reportedly had...

With the passage of a new law earlier this year, North Dakota has become the first state to legalize law enforcement use of armed drones. Though the law limits the type of weapons permitted to those of the "less than lethal" variety — weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers — the original bill actually aimed to ensure that no weapons at all were allowed on law enforcement drones. The sponsor of the original bill, Republican state Rep. Rick Becker, said he...

Oxford Dictionaries has added a slew of new words, and let's just say these awesomesauce entries will have you fangirling . Rly . Many entries are food-related: fast-casual, adj.: denoting or relating to a type of high-quality self-service restaurant offering dishes that are prepared to order and more expensive than those available in a typical fast-food restaurant cakeage, n.: (informal) a charge made by a restaurant for serving a cake they have not supplied themselves beer o'clock, n.: an...

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET The accidental destruction of an ancient tomb in northwest Spain was best summed up by an archaeologist in one perfect, if unintended, pun: "monumental error." Workers in the town of Cristovo de Cea in the Galicia region mistook what is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Neolithic tomb for a broken stone picnic table and "repaired it." Lauren Frayer reported from Spain for NPR's newscast: "An ancient tomb in northwest Spain had heritage status — and thus was supposed to...

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to keep its association with the Boy Scouts of America, despite the Scouts' decision last month to allow openly gay men and women to serve as troop leaders. The Mormons, "who are the largest single sponsor of Boy Scout units," according to The New York Times , initially threatened to leave the Scouts after it decided to allow gay adult leaders. "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today's vote by the...

A county judge has upheld Tennessee's method of execution by lethal injection. The ruling is the latest in the state's years-old death penalty fight. Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled the protocol was constitutional, saying a group of death row inmates and their attorneys failed to show that the use of a single injection of the drug pentobarbital, compounded especially for the state, violates the Eighth Amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment. The Tennessean...

Wal-Mart, thought to be the largest seller of firearms in the U.S. , will stop selling military-style modern sporting rifles, such as the the AR-15, this fall. Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg said the decision to phase out the controversial semi-automatics was based in business, not politics, citing declining demand. "If you have a product customers aren't buying, you phase it out," he said, according to Bloomberg . He added that Wal-Mart shoppers "were buying shotguns and rifles, and so we...

Can't watch your local news channel? It's not your TV that's broken. Negotiations between Dish Network and Sinclair Broadcast Group have broken down, resulting in the blackout of 129 local stations across the country. It's the largest TV blackout ever in the U.S. The standoff prompted Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to order a meeting today with the two companies to resolve the dispute. "We will not stand idly by while millions of consumers in 79 markets across the...

Twenty-two-year-old professional rock climber Sasha DiGiulian is attempting to become the first woman to scale the Paciencia route on the north face of Mount Eiger. The peak in the Swiss Alps is known as the "Wall Of Death." DiGiulian and her climbing partner, Carlo Traversi, have spent weeks at the base of the mountain preparing for the climb. Inclement weather forced the pair to abandon several attempts to scale the route, which was first free-climbed in 2008 by Swiss Alpine climbers Ueli...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7KKySANnxQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU_Dk6aRfUQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksk-fKV253c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPPM-bj4ibM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc25_SiifBc The runners sprinted down the stretch during the 10,000-meter World Championships race in Beijing. American Molly Huddle neared the finish line. Just steps away from a bronze medal, she eased up, raising both of her arms in triumph — just as her countrywoman Emily Infeld ducked...

Between 5,000 and 8,000 Syrian refugees will be welcomed into the U.S. next year, officials said Monday. Calling the U.S. a "leader" in resettling refugees, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.N. refugee agency has referred 15,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S., according to AFP News Agency . More than 4 million Syrians have become homeless since civil war broke out in the country in 2011. Though the U.S. has contributed $4 billion in humanitarian aid to help with refugee...

Five months after the U.S. Justice Department said the city of Ferguson, Mo., unfairly used its courts to raise money, a new municipal judge ordered that all arrest warrants made before Dec. 31, 2014, be withdrawn. Judge Donald McCullin was appointed in June to replace Judge Ronald Brockmeyer, who resigned after the publication of the critical Justice Department report. McCullin also ordered that defendants receive new court dates and alternative options for resolving their cases, such as...

A Japanese man who is missing nine fingers will be the first person to attempt to climb Mount Everest since a deadly earthquake rocked Nepal earlier this year. More than 9,000 people were killed, including at least 17 on the mountain. Nearly four months after the quake triggered a massive avalanche that crashed through the Everest base camp and prematurely ended the spring climbing season, climber Nobukazu Kuriki and a photographer will try to scale the reopened mountain. Kuriki, who was...

Princesses have first days of school, too. In one of those so-normal-it's-newsworthy moments, Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands posed for a first day of school picture in her driveway, wearing jeans and pink sneakers. Before the 11-year-old queen-to-be set off for school on her bicycle, a popular mode of transportation for the Dutch, her father, King Willem-Alexander, filmed his daughter riding down the driveway. He posted it to Facebook along with a message asking that his...

The man leading FIFA's new reform commission says that he has seen the indictment prepared by prosecutors in the U.S. and he knows of no evidence against FIFA President Sepp Blatter. "There is something unfair in the way he is [being] treated. I say that with complete independence," said Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard, in an interview with Le Matin , in which he also confirmed that he was being paid by FIFA. Carrard was appointed to FIFA's 15-person reform committee this month. He is a former...

The endorsements are already rolling in for 2016 presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul (Paul was endorsed by his father, Ron, earlier this week) — but now, candidate Deez Nuts has secured his first public endorsement. Jimmy McMillan, founder of The Rent Is Too Damn High party told the New York Daily News that he is endorsing Nuts for his party's nomination. Deez Nuts may be a 15-year-old farm boy from Iowa, but according to McMillan, Nuts has...

An abandoned castle looming above a scummy moat; a dead Cinderella hanging limply from her crashed pumpkin carriage; a grim reaper hunched over in a bumper car — these are just a few of the highlights of a new "bemusement park" in England. The park, an art exhibit called Dismaland, was commissioned by the mysterious British graffiti artist known as Banksy and opens Saturday in the coastal city of Weston-super-Mare. He calls it a "festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism." The...

A 15-year-old crime has come back to haunt a North Las Vegas water department manager. Jerome Breland, 55, was the interim utilities manager for North Las Vegas, overseeing the safety of the city's water system, before he was reassigned this week to the sewage department while officials investigate a complaint regarding his 2001 conviction for poisoning children. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which first reported the complaint Tuesday, Breland was convicted of poisoning juice —...

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