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Moscow wags the dog on Manafort

Nov 1, 2017

With the indictment of three Trump campaign officials — including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort — injecting new drama into special council Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the US elections, the Kremlin took a different view of events: The news fell just short of a full exoneration. 

Related: Paul Manafort and two other former Trump aides are charged in Russia investigation

Johanna Varner’s trip to Oregon in October was a shot in the dark. But she hadn’t planned it that way.

In fact, she’d planned her trip months in advance.

Varner was returning to the same sites in the Columbia River Gorge that she's visited every year since 2010. She left temperature sensors there for her research on pikas, a small rabbit-like animal typically found at higher elevations. 

From Texas Standard:

Two Houston-area high school students protesting the Pledge of Allegiance say their constitutional rights have been violated by their school districts – and they’re taking their protest to court.

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott was in Washington on Tuesday, seeking additional federal funding for Harvey relief and getting an earful from Texas' congressional delegation – a group he called "spineless" a few weeks ago when he felt they weren't working hard enough to bring home the bacon.

The first time Jorge Filevitch played underwater hockey, he brought along a friend. His friend hated it. The sport was like "drowning over and over," the friend told Filevitch. 

But Filevitch was hooked. 

"I said, 'I love this game. This is like playing underwater and being free and flying,'" he told OPB's "Think Out Loud" host Dave Miller.  

How German 'wood detectives' protect endangered species

Nov 1, 2017

The words “endangered species” might make you think of tigers and panda bears. But in 183 countries, an international law also protects the wood from endangered trees — which can affect everything from kitchen tables to paper plates.

In 2011, journalist Jose Antonio Vargas published a revealing personal essay in the New York Times Magazine called “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.” Since then, he’s been documenting and advocating for American immigrant communities as a writer, filmmaker and the founder of Define American.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Yvette M. Miley, senior vice president for MSNBC & NBC News, and the 2017 recipient of the Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

President Donald Trump is nominating former state District Judge Ryan Patrick, son of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to be the next U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the White House announced Wednesday.

Oregon Crabbers Work To Save The Whales

Nov 1, 2017

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

UO President Says Students Should Have Let Him Speak

Nov 1, 2017

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

"I really wanted to direct a play this year," says director Jason Phelps.

Capital T Theatre artistic director Mark Pickell suggested he read The Brothers Size, by playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. "I read it and it was amazing," Phelps says. "And then after I saw Moonlight [this year's Oscar winner for Best Picture] ... by the same writer ... I just wanted to do it even more."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled a 12-count indictment against Paul Manafort that includes allegations of money laundering in the course of his work in Ukraine. Manafort has pleaded not guilty. In 2016, Manafort served as Donald Trump's campaign chairman.

In March, WNYC reported on three unusual real estate deals by Manafort in New York City .

Alejandro Alvarez/Reuters

A few weeks after the catastrophic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, I felt a desperate need to connect with others who were similarly grappling with what it means to be American at this particular moment.

MPR News Update

Nov 1, 2017

Minnesota news for November 1, 2017

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

A popular shopping center in Northwest Austin could be redeveloped to include hundreds of apartments.

The 17-acre site, owned by Great Hills Retail Inc., currently includes a shopping center, restaurants, a movie theater and a bank. It will be up to Austin City Council to decide whether to allow for new types of development there.

From VELA, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

No one prepares you for having a child with special needs. There will be ups and downs, acronyms and paperwork, and special education services and doctor’s visits to figure out. VELA was created to empower families of children with special needs through hand-on courses, support and community building. VELA stands for Vibrant. Empowered. Limitless. Able- this is how we feel about the families we serve!

Overview of Services: We know that providing parents with brochures and websites is simply not enough to empower them on this new journey. Instead, we aim to build a community around them through our Family Empowerment and Training Program. Through the parent, for the child. VELA’s programming includes free courses designed to teach parents how to support their child’s strengths and needs, connect to community resources, and navigate systems (Autism, Special Education and Taking Care of You Courses), Monthly Support Groups, Supportive Case Management and Family Fun Days! All programming is in Spanish and English and includes specialized childcare services. 

Witnesses Describe NYC Bike Path Attack

Nov 1, 2017

Copyright 2017 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit WNYC Radio.


Ramon Cruz (ph) was working in lower Manhattan near the West Side Highway yesterday when the terror unfolded.


Latinos say institutional discrimination, including discrimination while trying to vote or participate in politics, is a problem in America today. However, when asked, many Latinos reported feeling better about their local government.

That's according to a new survey out this week from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

If you buy insurance on your own and have been paying attention to the Affordable Care Act, you've probably heard that open enrollment for 2018 plans has just started and the government is spending a lot less money this year to get the word out.

That's true in the 39 states that rely on But circumstances are different in some of the 11 states plus the District of Columbia that run their own ACA websites and marketplaces.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act starts Wednesday.

One of every four Oregonians gets health insurance through either the Oregon Health Plan or the individual marketplace.

Repeated efforts to scuttle the program have left people unsure about coverage this year.

But Gov. Kate Brown is encouraging everyone who needs coverage to get it.

"If you don’t have insurance through your job, or it’s unaffordable, come visit our marketplace," she said. "You may even qualify for financial assistance.”

MPR News Update

Oct 31, 2017

Minnesota news for the evening of October 31, 2017

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

Marco Werman/PRI

On the first anniversary of the revolution that brought him to power, Captain Thomas Sankara rejected the colonial name of his country — Upper Volta — and by presidential mandate declared the country would be known as Burkina Faso, the land of people of integrity.

It was one of many attention-grabbing things Sankara did. But many of his fellow Burkinabe were OK with that because it was the first time the world paid attention to this impoverished, landlocked country.

A race for a seat on the Port of Vancouver Board of Commissioners has brought in more than $1 million. That’s prompted lawmakers in Southwest Washington to consider new legislation that could limit contributions for future elections. 

Currently, candidates for port elections in Vancouver can receive an unlimited amount of money from individuals and corporations.

Riding along with Albania's pot police

Oct 31, 2017
Nate Tabak

Elton is a cop on a mission to help snuff out Albania’s massive illegal marijuana industry. He looks the part, too, with a beefy build and a shaved head.

On a sweltering August morning, this regional anti-drug commander in Albania’s state police force leads a small convoy of SUVs from the town of Kruja, to a region with few people and an abundance of mountains.

We’re just a few minutes outside of the city, driving along a winding two-lane road, when the first sign of marijuana appears with a cannabis leaf spray-painted on a boulder.

From Texas Standard.

Two months after the storm, there may be cause to rethink what many of us thought we knew about Harvey. Most folks assume that during times of disaster you do see major spikes in crime, but that’s actually not what happened in Houston.

Robert Downen, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle, has found some surprising numbers that counter a common narrative.

Facebook, courtesy of Laura Boldrini

Fake news is everywhere. Americans learned that last year, when the spread of false news stories and misleading information on social media played a role in the 2016 presidential election.

But the problem isn’t limited to the US. It’s a big concern for leaders all over the globe. The question is, what do we do about it?

Nate Tabak/PRI

On a clear morning, in the hills overlooking the village of Lazarat, Albania, Jetmir Gjini maneuvers his black Mitsubishi truck across a rocky plain, headed toward the mountains where the family’s herd of sheep grazes. “I’ve been up since four,” Gjini yells.

It’s hard to see much of anything, between the giant crack in the windshield and the cloud of dust and debris. But Gjini, 36, points out a rusted-out water truck abandoned off to the right. 

From Texas Standard.

Travis County, home to Austin, has been working to build a better voting system – one that satisfies the need to maintain security and accessibility for voters. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, the chief election official, has been a part of developing the system, called STAR Vote, which would have replaced the current Hart InterCivic eSlate system that has been in use since 2001. That system cost roughly $7 million, and has seen several security augmentations over the years.

From Texas Standard

While news that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus wouldn’t be seeking re-election reverberated through the state capital last week, we got word of more turmoil in the Texas Republican Party – this time involving state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal columnist Jay Leeson says the Panhandle is rumbling again.