Local News

City Leaders Set Up "War Room" To Combat Crime

City leaders are establishing a new system to help tackle crime following another bloody weekend. A "War Room" is being set up to help with collaborative efforts between local and federal agencies. The around-the-clock system will help address the spike in violent crime in Baltimore since the death of Freddie Gray. Officials including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis held a press conference Sunday to announce the effort. “We need to just...
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NPR News

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A teenager locking down a summer job as a lifeguard used to be a big deal.

But this summer, several parks and recreation departments and YMCA's across the country are reporting a shortage of lifeguards. And an improving economy may be playing a big role.

The Ridge Road swimming pool in Raleigh, N.C. is packed. There are easily 200 people here competing in a swim meet, some of them as young as 5 years old.

It took a while for Dana Bowerman's long prison sentence to sink in.

Bowerman is a onetime honor student and cheerleader whose brassy personality cleared most obstacles from her path. But there was one hurdle her quick mind couldn't leap. In early 2001, Bowerman got sent away for nearly 20 years on federal drug conspiracy charges, her first and only offense. It wasn't until two years in, in her bunk behind a fence in a Texas prison, that her fate seemed real.

"It was a hard swallow," Bowerman said.

Jonathan Pollard, who has served almost 30 years in prison after being convicted of espionage, will be granted parole on Nov. 21, according to his attorneys.

The former civilian Navy analyst was arrested in 1985 and charged with passing classified information to Israel. He pleaded guilty and received a life sentence.

"But under laws in place at the time, that meant he could get parole after 30 years," NPR's Carrie Johnson says. "Now, that term is nearly up — and the Justice Department did not stand in the way of his release."

Tuesday was the first day of the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association. Press tour is an event that goes on for a couple of weeks, in which TV networks bring in personnel from their new shows (and sometimes their existing shows) for panel press conferences where the convened critics and reporters can ask questions.

The crash of a Virgin Galactic spaceship last fall in California's Mojave Desert was caused by pilot error and design problems, the National Transportation and Safety Board announced Tuesday after a nine-month investigation.

Saying that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady "was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs" below required levels, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the punishment.

In doing so, Goodell also faulted Brady for not cooperating with the investigation, citing his "destruction of potentially relevant evidence" — a reference to Brady's cellphone and SIM card, which he gave to an assistant to be destroyed, according to Goodell's findings.

Presidential campaigns cost a lot of money these days — perhaps as much as $5 billion could be spent in the next election, by one estimate.

Though tea strainers often come in brightly colored, sweet packaging with punny names like "the manatee," the lowly tea bag is often forgotten. Made from silk, plastic or paper, these bags are meant for one-time use only. Yet some artists are giving the tea bag a second life, letting their simple shapes and colors shine.

Colorado artist Wewer Keohane has been making art from spent tea bags for over 20 years. Sometimes she simply uses tea as a subtle dye, or pastes pieces of empty bags into an otherwise two-dimensional painting.

When the U.S. State Department released its annual human trafficking report on Monday, it told distressingly familiar tales of forced sex work and housekeepers kept against their will. But this year, one area got special attention: Slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture.

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Music News

July CD: Bob Baldwin's "MelloWonder"

There have been countless tribute albums to the 8th Wonder of the World, Stevie Wonder, over the years. However, when it comes to contemporary jazz, outside of Najee’s Songs From the Key of Life, none come close to the brand new release from one of the genre’s top selling artists, Bob Baldwin, who presents MelloWonder, Songs in the Key of Stevie. Baldwin says he’s wanted to do this album for the last 15 years and put the wheels in motion for the project about two years ago. He presents a...
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