NPR News

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

I'm Mary Louise Kelly with the fallout from an airport security breach on Friday. A man stole and crashed an empty commercial airliner from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The Northwest News Network's Tom Banse has more.

Nico Walker is in jail for robbing banks.

He can use the pay phone for 15 minutes at a time, and then he has to wait a half-hour. It took a while to do an interview.

That's also sort of the way he wrote his debut novel, Cherry — on a typewriter, with a hundred-or-so other guys looking over his shoulder.

"It was something that I was doing when I was locked up," he says. "Something to pass the time. But I didn't — I wasn't planning to write a novel, you know, autobiographical or anything like that."

The first preseason Chiefs game is in the books and September is just around the corner, which means it’s time to ask yourself: 'Are you ready for some football?' As commentator Victor Wishna admits in this edition of A Fan’s Notes, that isn’t the easiest question for everyone to answer.

As training gets underway at camps and campuses from coast to coast, football is back in the headlines — and most of them are bad:

With Budd Mishkin

American hate. We talk with a human rights lawyer about the powerful stories of hate crime survivors.

Guests

Arjun Singh Sethi, editor of “American Hate: Survivors Speak Out.” (@arjunsethi81)

There's been a lot of attention on the recent spate of shootings and homicides in Kansas City. On this episode, we take a deeper look into what's happening now in regards to violent crime, compare it with the broader trends of Kansas City and learn about the actions both activist groups and the city government are taking to prevent it. 

Guests:

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET Tuesday

West Virginia's House of Delegates voted to impeach all four justices on the state's Supreme Court of Appeals on Monday.

Three of them, Chief Justice Margaret Workman and Justices Allen Loughry and Elizabeth Walker, now face impeachment trials in the state Senate.

The fourth, Justice Robin Davis, announced her retirement on Tuesday, just hours after her impeachment. A fifth justice on the court resigned before impeachment proceedings began.

This week, the Puy du Fou theme park in western France put some new employees in the field: six trained rooks, members of the crow family, picking up small pieces of paper and cigarette butts in exchange for food.

Boubou, Bamboo, Bill, Black, Bricole and Baco officially started their new gigs on Monday.

For the record, the park would like to note, the corvid colleagues are not replacing any human cleaning staff.

In the latest in an ever growing pile of legal challenges, the principals behind a questionable lab billing scheme at 10 small rural hospitals in Missouri, Kansas, and three other states have been sued by a Mission Hills couple for fraud and conspiracy.

The couple, James and Phyllis Shaffer, allege the defendants fraudulently took majority control of a company, HMC Hospitals, that owns the hospitals and used them as “instrumentalities in the operation of an illegal billing scheme.”

The Taliban's surprise attack Friday on the city of Ghazni has now killed around 100 members of Afghanistan's police and security forces and between 20 and 30 civilians, Afghan officials said Monday.

A U.S. military spokesman told NPR's Diaa Hadid that some 140 Taliban insurgents have also died – meaning the fighting has already cost nearly 300 lives since the Taliban launched its assault. Afghan officials differed in their account, saying nearly 200 Taliban fighters have been killed.

Missouri State University’s Board of Governors has extended the employment contract of President Clif Smart to June 30, 2026.  That’s a four-year extension of his existing contract.

"We are extremely pleased with the direction of Missouri State University under President Smart’s guidance,” said Board Chair Carrie Tergin. “His leadership has been invaluable in helping the university successfully navigate through a difficult year of budget reduction and uncertainty.”

Editor's note: StoryCorps OutLoud visited KCUR in the summer of 2015 to collect stories from Kansas City's LGBTQ community in partnership with the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America. This story originally aired in August 2015. Since then, Bernard Shondell and Brigid Burgett both say they remain good friends. StoryCorps is once again in Kansas City, and KCUR will begin airing new stories recorded here starting Monday, August 20, 2018.

Bernard Shondell and Ann Marie Pikus were best friends in high school. After college they were inseparable and decided to get married. They were married for 10 years and had three kids, then 14 years ago Ann Marie died of cancer. It was after her death, during a car ride with his three-year-old niece that Shondell had a profound realization about his sexuality.

“It was Christmas after Ann had passed away,” recalls Shondell. “And as we were driving around Colleen just blurts out, ‘When are you going to get a new mommy for Joey?’ That really kept me up.”

For three days in a row, throngs of protesters took to the streets in Romania's capital city, Bucharest, to protest what they see as a corrupt government and to call for new elections.

Tens of thousands of people rallied Friday on the first day of demonstrations, which were largely organized by Romanian expatriates who came home to demonstrate en masse; some estimates put the crowd at 100,000.

A version of this story was first published by MPR News.

Keith Ellison, a U.S. House member and deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, confronted allegations Sunday of domestic abuse from a former girlfriend.

Students in the EMT class at Manual Career and Technical Center were honest when Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell asked if they were excited or scared to be back at school.

Scared, said Jayla, a senior. “I just don’t want to fail,” she told Bedell, “and I don’t want to disappoint anybody. Because I refuse to fail.”

Bedell, who made stops at several KCPS schools Monday morning, nodded sympathetically.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Updated at 7:24 p.m. ET

The FBI has fired an embattled special agent who was removed from the Russia inquiry after internal investigators discovered he had criticized then-candidate Donald Trump in text messages with another bureau official.

Peter Strzok had remained on the FBI payroll until his employment finally was terminated on Friday, his attorney said Monday morning.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that he was considering ending the automaker's 8-year run as a publicly traded company, he indicated that he had found the money to do it.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted.

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" during the noon hour Tuesday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

As politics tend to divide people, there is one thing that has the ability to unite individuals of various backgrounds and creeds: laughter.

Updated August 13 at 2 p.m. with comments from the city and auditor — A new report from state Auditor Nicole Galloway finds the city of Ferguson has made important changes to its municipal court.

But the audit released Monday also found city officials still have not taken action to secure and repair damaged court documents.

“Subversive minstrelsy.” That’s how Brandey Chandler describes the inspiration for an upcoming performance at the Kansas City Improv Festival.

Chandler is one of nine members of the troupe U People, which was formed in February by a group of Kansas City-based black improvisers.

The Baltimore Police Department has accepted the resignation of an officer after a video surfaced in which he repeatedly punches a man in the face.

President Trump just gave Omarosa Manigault Newman the gift of another news cycle. Trump tweeted a scathing criticism of his former top-level aide just as her book-promoting media tour was gaining steam, all but guaranteeing the kind of made-for-cable feud that made them both reality TV stars and ultimately brought them to the White House.

Manigault Newman's book, Unhinged, is due out Tuesday.

This week on Making Democracy Work, host Leslie Carrier speaks with Cara Shaefer, director of energy services and renewables for City Utilities.

Today’s discussion looks at renewable energy and what City Utilities is doing to enhance this service, and what that means to the local consumer. 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plan to hold their third summit, announcing Monday that they will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September.

"For peace and prosperity of the world as well as those of the Korean peninsula," read a short issued by South Korea's Blue House on Monday, after diplomatic delegations from the estranged nations met in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the idea of a new summit.

It’s perhaps easy to take KCUR for granted when it’s part of your morning. You may not even realize when exactly you hear the news or local coverage each morning, but this daily “clock” is carefully organized by NPR.

Every hour, NPR stipulates the timing of stories and interviews, newscasts, funding credits, and opportunities for local content.

Today (Monday, Aug. 13), the Morning Edition clock changes — slightly. The idea is to deliver an improved live and “in-the-moment” experience.

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever.

Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards.

A wooden boardwalk collapsed during a concert in the port city of Vigo, Spain, late Sunday, injuring at least 336 people who were attending a festival. Rescue workers say there was chaos when boards buckled and concert-goers began sliding into the sea.

"Witnesses reported scenes of panic as hundreds of people fell into the ocean around midnight, some falling right on top of each other," Lucia Benavides reports from Barcelona for NPR's Newscast unit.

Doctors have long known that women in the U.S. have a higher risk of dying from heart attacks than men.

The reasons driving this gender gap in survival, however, have perplexed researchers. A study led in part by Washington University suggests the gender of the attending doctor may play a role. Women were more likely to survive a heart attack when treated by a female doctor than a male doctor.

Highway 65 between I-44 and Kearney has reopened, but the southbound stretch between Valley Water Mill Rd. and I-44 is closed, and there is no access to I-44 from southbound 65.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says the closure will last until 10 p.m. Sunday, August 19.  Crews are working on pavement reconstruction.

The detour is westbound Greene County Route AA to southbound Glenstone Ave. to I-44 to southbound Route 65.

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

“The head hangs down and they don’t eat,” said Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

While learning to communicate with animals takes years of patience, Yanez said the true language barrier exists between the dairy workers and the veterinarians who rarely speak Spanish. Medical terminology can be confusing, and to avoid embarrassment, Yanez said she and other workers may feign comprehension.

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