After years of discrimination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, black farmers are now getting a $1.25 billion settlement. Founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd tells host Michel Martin what this settlement means for farmers and their families.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. After decades of litigation, checks are going out this week to thousands of black farmers who - lawmakers eventually agreed - faced discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We'll speak with one of the people who helped lead the fight for years, even though he will not personally benefit. That's in just a few minutes.
Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.
"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.
Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.
William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.
(POST-BROADCAST CORRECTION: The obituary of Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was prepared three years ago and includes observations by Giap biographer Cecil Currey, who died in March.)
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. Let's remember, now, a legendary Vietnamese general. Vo Nguyen Giap has died at 102. It was Giap who defeated the French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, which effectively ended a hundred years of French colonial rule in Southeast Asia.
Computer programmer Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions done by millions on the Internet for greater good. He put CAPTCHAs, those online puzzles to verify you're not a robot, to work by digitizing books and teaching foreign languages.
On South Carolina's steamy Johns Island is a fern-draped, centuries-old live oak that has withstood hurricanes, the creation of the United States and every government shutdown to date.
But conservationists worry that the tree known as the Angel Oak could fall victim to encroaching development. They've got two months to come up with enough money to buy the land where it has stood for more than 400 years.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 6:16 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. Of course, it's hard to be happy if you're one of the more than two million federal workers either furloughed or working without pay, or one of the millions of other Americans whose lives are disrupted by official Washington's dysfunction. It's Day Four of the federal government shutdown, 2013 edition. And an end to the disagreement still doesn't seem in the offing.
On that grim note, here are some items of political interest worth mulling over this morning.