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Mohamed Azakir/Reuters

For more than a week, the Lebanese people have been consumed with one question. In shops, in bars, over balconies and online, they have been asking: Is our prime minister a prisoner?

Saad Hariri, who became prime minister less than a year ago, sparked a national crisis when he resigned on Nov. 4 in a televised address from Saudi Arabia.

MPR News reporters Catherine Richert and Brian Bakst talk to Minnesotans about the future and why so many think it's bright despite our present day divides.

Two people were stabbed in the Mall of America Macy's store Sunday night after a shopper tried to stop a theft, police said.

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

MedCure, a company based in Portland, was recently raided by the FBI. We’ll find out more about the unregulated body parts industry, from Reuters reporter John Shiffman who recently did an investigative report.

Chemawa Indian School's Culture Of Retaliation

Nov 13, 2017

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

 Alejandro Bringas/Reuters

Outside, the heat was finally tired of beating on the suburbs. Sore and spent, it let the evening go. My brother-in-law and I were seated at the dinner table in a tiny vacation rental, going at a plate of grocery store fried chicken and a two-liter bottle of Country Time lemonade. It had been a quiet couple of days in El Paso, Texas, waiting to cross into Ciudad Juárez the next morning for his visa interview.

“Mano, esta es tu última cena de mojado,” I said. Bro, this is your last meal as a wetback.

Antonio Ramirez let out a hearty laugh, his eyes twinkling.

More than a year and a half after the final ship sailed following a bitter labor dispute at Oregon’s only international container terminal, container ship service is poised to return to the Port of Portland in January.

It’s the port’s final push at demonstrating to global carriers and the region’s shippers alike both that there’s a market and that labor conditions have improved between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its employer.

Austin City Council will not release the names of the finalists vying for the vacant city manager position today.

Council members went to great lengths to keep the selection process secretive last week. After criticism, the council, candidates and the search firm tasked with finding a city manager agreed to make the names public by no later than today. Mayor Steve Adler said that reveal will have to wait – as one of the five candidates has dropped out of the running. 

Reuters/Tasnim News Agency

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked a border area 20 miles southwest of Halabja near the Iran-Iraq border. The massive quake, which has killed more 300 people and injured thousands, struck at around 9:20 p.m. on Sunday.

The worst affected areas were in Iran's western province of Kermanshah, where the coroner's office told state television that at least 336 people were dead and 3,950 injured.

Across the border in Iraq, in more sparsely populated areas, the health ministry said eight people had died and several hundred were injured.

GOP lawmakers have proposed a tax overhaul that could double the standard deduction for taxpayers in an effort to simplify the filing process. But a simpler tax form could hurt a number of local nonprofits.

What would it look like if Oregon’s largest public universities fell into private control? It’s an idea that surfaced recently as a possible way to save the state money. But the people who floated the suggestion also acknowledged that it’s a bit of a long shot. The suggestion came as part of an effort to trim $5 billion of “unfunded actuarial liability” from the state’s public pension system, or PERS.

Wordstock — Portland's book festival — is that most wonderful of days, when Oregonians’ book lust reaches a fever pitch, culminating in increased secret police presence at book signings, reader mobs storming the gates of Powell’s, and more mayhem.

We talked to a slew of fantastic authors at this year's event: Tom Perrotta, Katie Kitamura, Chuck Klosterman, and more. We'll serve these up on our podcast in the coming weeks, but for now, feast on this live show, recorded at noon with four writers on the vanguard.

The military history behind the Star Wars costumes

Nov 10, 2017
© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. 

The costume designer for Star Wars, John Mollo, died recently, at the age of 86.

Even though he didn’t have any previous costume design experience, he was hired by director George Lucas to design the costumes for the 1977 Star Wars film because of expertise in military history.

“Since he was a little kid, he watched movies and fell in love with costumes," says Laela French, the director of archives for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, “And military costumes really grabbed his attention."

Francisco Chapa Alvarado was living in northern Mexico in 1943 when he received a draft notice from his native U.S. Alvarado, who had moved to Mexico with his young family a few years earlier, came home and took up arms.

His 75-year-old son, Felix Alvarado, wonders why his father returned.

Next time you walk into the Austin Film Society’s Cinema or find yourself sipping a drink at Lonesome Dove, take a moment to stop and look up.

The light fixtures are the creations of two Austin lighting designers, and they’re illuminating some of the city’s most notable commercial spaces in a whole new way.

"Think you can get HIV from food?  Bite me." 

That was just one of the slogans on aprons worn by 14 chefs at Canada's first and only pop-up HIV eatery, held earlier this month in Toronto.  

For two days, Nov. 7 and 8, every dish served at the pop-up — called June's HIV+Eatery — was prepared by cooks who are HIV-positive.    

For $125, diners were treated to a menu of northern Thai potato leek soup, roasted heirloom salad, a "surf and turf" main course and a gingerbread tiramisu. 

Both nights were sold out.  

Maya Shiroyama and her husband pull up to a ranch-style tract home in San Jose, California.  An older man waits for them at the screen door.

Tom Kitazawa, 87, is the last surviving son of the founder of Kitazawa Seed Company, a business that opened its doors 100 years ago.

Tom’s father, Gijiu, was a Japanese immigrant who sold vegetable seeds to Japanese Americans hungry for the taste of home, things like Japanese eggplant, shiso leaves and daikon. 

<a href="">Angel Boligán</a>, Cuba/Mexico

Cuban cartoonist Angel Boligán doesn’t draw to make hit-you-over-the-head political points. He draws to make you think.

There are no speech balloons or furrowed brows. In fact, you can barely make out the facial expressions of anyone in his cartoons. It’s their action (or lack of it) that he wants you to ponder. “For all the topics I like to draw, for me the most important thing is to be honest," says Boligán. "All my cartoons come from my heart and my soul. I want them to be authentic.”

From Texas Standard:

It is impossible to calculate the loss suffered by the survivors of the shooting at Sutherland Springs. Even if victims tried to sue for damages, the most obviously culpable person – the shooter – is dead. That’s often the case at the end of such tragedies.

From Texas Standard:

Have you ever sat in a long line for a show opening or movie premiere? In several Texas cities, lying or sitting down in certain public spaces for an extended period is a punishable offense. Often, the fines associated with these ordinances push those without means into an even deeper cycle of poverty.

Members of Austin’s homeless community are using theater to give a firsthand account of how city codes like Austin’s “No Sit/No Lie” ordinance impact their lives.

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump's insistence that the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is a bad deal sparked talks aimed at renegotiation among the U.S., Mexico and Canada. And until now, groups representing farmers and ranchers in Trump-supporting states have been willing to wait and see where those negotiations go. But Politico reports the agriculture lobby is now going on offense, sending a sharply-worded message that the trade pact must be saved.

As politicians in Washington try and figure out what to do with the DACA program — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — across the country, DACA recipients are working on their own plans ... trying to stay in the country if Congress doesn't act in time.

Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

Lawrence Davidson, a veteran of the Iraq War, and Yaroub Al-Obaidi, admitted to the United States as a refugee, both left Iraq in 2007 and today, both live in greater Philadelphia. The two took part in a project earlier this year that invited members of both communities to share their memories of Iraq.

The Austin City Council took a step yesterday to streamline the process of building and remodeling homes by approving the Family Homestead Initiative. The resolution calls for the city to identify all the regulations and costs associated with the process.

Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton met with students in the journalism program at Reagan Early College High School in Austin this week. Hear what they had to say about the state of journalism today:

After jumping in an airport shuttle last week in an attempt to maintain secrecy, Austin City Council members agreed Thursday to release the names of second-round candidates for the vacant city manager position.

Up to five names of candidates will be made public no later than Monday.

Murad Sezer/Reuters

In Istanbul, shoppers at the popular retailer, Zara, were recently in for a shocking surprise. Attached to some of the clothing were tags that read, "I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn't get paid for it."

China Daily/Reuters

Take George Orwell’s "1984." Now sprinkle in that episode of "Black Mirror" where characters live in a world in which every aspect of their lives is dominated by ratings.

That’s one way to think about the Social Credit System, a plan that the Chinese government will make mandatory for all its citizens by 2020.

&nbsp;Eduardo Munoz/ Reuters

President Donald Trump has said he’s pulling the US out of the Paris climate agreement. But UN rules don’t allow the country to exit the agreement until 2020.

Para el diez por ciento de estudiantes en Oregon quienes pertenecen a familias inmigrantes y hablan otros idiomas como el español, ruso, vietnamita, etc. Hay dos maneras de conseguir que ellos hablen el idioma inglés con fluidez: una es que ellos asistan a una escuela donde el currículum escolar es completamente en inglés y la otra manera es que ellos sean parte de un programa bilingüe. 

Pero ya sea una educación o la otra, si estos estudiantes no llegan a hablar el inglés con fluidez, tendrán menos probabilidades de graduarse de la secundaria.