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Ammar Awad/Reuters

When the topic of stronger gun control resurfaces in the US, often in the wake of a mass shooting, pro-gun activists and politicians frequently cite Israel as a counterexample.

There are a lot of guns in Israel, the argument goes, but it has less gun violence — so the problem in America is not guns, but something else.

Mike Cassese/Reuters

Thomas Mapfumo is a music legend in Zimbabwe. 

So, when the so-called "Lion of Zimbabwe" released the album, "Corruption," in 1989, criticizing Robert Mugabe's authoritarian regime, his country's leaders turned against him. 

"A lot of people who were affiliated with this government were not happy with the song," he says. "They didn't want me to tell the people the truth about what was happening."

If you're recipe dependent, you may mumble, "Wait, what?" while paging through "The Myrtlewood Cookbook, Pacific Northwest Home Cooking" by Portlander Andrew Barton.

What's great: 100 nearly meditative recipes for soups, salads, sandwiches, dinners, pastas, accompaniments, breakfasts and sweets, organized by season. "Our book was truly made at my home, shot in real time over 18 months," said Barton, who worked with photographer Peter Schweitzer and a small team of collaborators.

London has a unique vigil for its forgotten dead

Nov 21, 2017

A few minutes from Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, a unique ceremony takes place every month. The Crossbones Vigil follows no particular religion and commemorates no powerful or famous people.

And that's what makes it so special. The vigil is for London's outcasts.

During a recent vigil, the road is closed to traffic soon after rush hour, while a few dozen people begin to gather. Maggie has come to remember her son. "He was 26 years of age, and he got shot and killed in the Netherlands," she says. She needs Crossbones at this time.

"I've been working for several years on the theme of how humans and technology interact," says artist Rachel Stuckey. "Especially on an emotional level."

"I guess maybe I'm a little bit different than... the classic millennial who really has grown up with computers," says Stuckey, remembering the early pre-Internet part of her life. "I remember the day that we got AOL in my house and that sort of started to become part of my life."

A second lawmaker filed a formal complaint on Tuesday accusing Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, of unwanted touching, even after she asked legislative lawyers to intervene.

In her complaint, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, detailed a recent conversation with Kruse in which she explained why his behavior bothered her.

Vincent Kessler/Reuters

In the US, and throughout the globe for that matter, the private sector is increasingly being looked to as a source of leadership for combating climate change. And many companies are stepping up, especially with the lack of leadership coming from Washington.

Consider the family-owned company Mars, the world’s largest candy maker — it produces iconic brands like Snickers, Skittles and M&M’s.

The wind is brisk on top of Ruksesvárri, or Red Mountain, on the coast of Norway about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, but it’s not stopping Reiulf Aleksandersen and the rest of his family from building a fence to gather and mark their reindeer calves, pounding big posts into the rocky soil.

“Reindeer herding is [work],” Aleksandersen says, laughing. “You're not getting fat!”

From Texas Standard.

Earlier this month, the Texas State Board of Education rejected a Mexican-American studies textbook, leaving public school teachers without state-approved materials to teach the topic. But that doesn’t mean schools can’t offer ethnic studies courses. In fact, a handful of public schools across the state have elective courses on ethnic studies topics, which are designed by local teachers and administrators with little direction from the state.

From Texas Standard.

The investigation into what led a gunman to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs is ongoing, and law enforcement are still trying to access a key piece of evidence – his phone.

For years the CHIP program has enjoyed bipartisan federal support, but during the battle over the Affordable Care Act, the deadline to fund it expired.

Now Gov. Kate Brown has asked the Oregon Health Authority to find the money to keep CHIP going — at least until April — even if that creates a budget shortfall.

That means 80,000 children and 1,700 pregnant women at risk of losing coverage will keep it. That’s equivalent to the population of Bend.

From Texas Standard:

Of the 3,500 structures in Vidor, Texas – a town outside of Beaumont – more than 2,000 were flooded in some way by Harvey. The First United Methodist Church in Vidor served as a shelter for around 200 flooded out residents in the town of about 11,000 people. That includes the parsonage where Pastor John Mooney and his family live. Many of his church members' homes were also hit.

"The majority of them were actually rescued by their neighbor, by their fellow Vidorian folks with boats, so a lot of these folks, their homes were ruined, they were flooded, they were damaged,” Mooney says. “So a lot of them don't have anywhere to go."



In 2015, Dallas School District officials notified parents that they would allow a transgender student to use the boys locker room. Now, the school district is being sued for its policy. Elliot Yoder, the transgender student at center of the lawsuit, joins us.


One teacher at Murray Middle School says it's hard to strike the right balance as he seeks to give students more voice and minimize punitive discipline. But he's committed.

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

About 300 employees of Duluth-based Essentia Health could lose their jobs for refusing to comply with the company's new mandatory flu shot policy.

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

The recent sexual misconduct allegations against Al Franken and Roy Moore are reminiscent of a scandal that upended the Minnesota Governor's race in 1990.

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

Most organizations these days have sexual harassment policies that they vow will be enforced with no retaliation for victims. That's the right thing to say, and hopefully do. 

Copyright 2017 MPR News. To see more, visit MPR News.

Central Oregon's Largest Employer Makes Cuts

Nov 21, 2017

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The first residents are beginning to move into new homes in Whisper Valley, a green housing development near Walter E. Long Lake in eastern Travis County.

While this type of eco-friendly housing is usually cost-prohibitive, the homes in Whisper Valley start in the low $200,000s, says Douglas Gilliland, president of the developer, Taurus of Texas.

Deciding At What Age To Give A Kid A Smartphone

Nov 21, 2017

It's the time of year when kids are thinking about their holiday wish lists. So what's a parent to do when a child, possibly a very young child, asks for a smartphone?

We hear that smartphones can be addictive, that screen time can hurt learning, but can't these minicomputers also teach kids about responsibility and put educational apps at their tiny fingertips?

After getting heat for keeping candidates' identities secret and evading reporters, the Austin City Council has released the names of six finalists for the city manager position.

Mayor Steve Adler published the names and biographies to the council’s online message board Monday afternoon.

Amid concern about the Portland area's growing road congestion, a key committee met Monday to begin putting together a tolling plan for the region.

The Oregon Department of Transportation advisory committee is set to come up with a plan by June for using tolls to help alleviate congestion.

ODOT officials say Interstate 5 now faces about 15 hours of delay on weekdays, while Interstate 205 typically has daily tie-ups for about 10 hours. Mandy Putney, an ODOT major project manager, says congestion is projected to double by 2040.

Bend is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and economic indicators say the area economy is ticking. 

So it came as a shock this fall when the big local health system, St. Charles, announced layoffs and pay cuts. Administrators at the nonprofit said the cuts were needed to avoid a $25 million to $35 million shortfall next year.

CEO Joe Sluka said he noticed earlier this year that St. Charles, the largest employer in Central Oregon, with some 4,200 staff, was seeing less money coming in and more going out.

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

The United Nations climate summit in Bonn, Germany, closed early Saturday morning after making modest progress toward long-term goals with the help of a subdued and downsized US delegation.

US diplomats worked alongside representatives of nearly 200 other countries to hammer out the details of the Paris climate agreement at the first UN summit to take place since President Donald Trump pledged to pull out of the international pact.  

Sumaya Hisham/Reuters

The new book “The President’s Keepers,” an investigative journalist’s look into President Jacob Zuma’s administration, has been flying off the shelves in South Africa.

Hip hop met Rio de Janeiro and never stepped back

Nov 20, 2017
Catherine Osborn

America’s 1990s hip-hop scene is reincarnated every Saturday night in what may seem like an unlikely location — beneath a highway overpass in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And it's been that way for 27 years. The event is one in a citywide ecosystem of soul line dances, which feature hybrid Brazilian American dance steps.  

Water: A New Export For Corpus Christi?

Nov 20, 2017

From Texas Standard.

When you think about exports and Corpus Christi, fossil fuels typically come to mind. Since Congress lifted the U.S. ban on crude oil exports in 2015, billions of dollars worth of oil has been shipped out of the port there.

Some in Corpus Christi have an idea to diversify the city’s export portfolio with a resource that’s available in abundance around the coastal city. Officials are investigating the viability of large-scale desalination, with a view toward selling water from the Gulf of Mexico to those who need it.

The Austin Independent School District is prepared to sell two of its largest, highest-value properties. Bids for the district’s downtown headquarters and its teaching facility in Hyde Park were revealed in the agenda for the Board of Trustee’s Nov. 27 meeting, where members are expected to OK the sale.

From Texas Standard:

In an attempt to manage the growing congestion on Texas highways, and corresponding rates of frustration for drivers, the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, has been implementing what could be called  a market-driven approach to driving. Rather than spend more state dollars on highway-building, Texas has turned to the private sector, which has built toll roads where the cost to drivers fluctuates with traffic demand.