NPR News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union are poised to win Germany's national elections Sept. 24. But for the first time since the Second World War, Germany's Parliament, the Bundestag, also looks set to include an extreme right-wing party — the Alternative fuer Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) or AfD.

Since its founding in 2013, the party, led by economist Alice Weidel and former CDU politician Alexander Gauland, has been shaking up the German political landscape. It is currently represented in 13 of Germany's 16 state legislative bodies.

Shilpa Ray is nothing if not honest. Her new album, Door Girl, captures New York nightlife in all its sordid, sweaty chaos and supplies caustic commentary on life in the unfeeling city.

Tensions continue to mount at the University of California, Berkeley, where a conservative student group is planning to host an event it's calling "Free Speech Week" starting on Sunday.

If the Tiny Desk offers one lesson, it's that greatness doesn't diminish with less volume. The lesson doubly applies here.

During their performance, Bomba Estereo's Simon Mejia (bass and keyboards) observed that it was the quietist the band has ever played; they rose to the occasion with an intense performance that reflects their earliest days working smaller venues in Columbia.

Iraqi Kurdish leaders plan to hold a controversial independence referendum on Monday. Kurds are expected to overwhelmingly vote in favor of separating from Iraq. The United States and other allies have warned them not to go ahead.

Here's what to know:

Who and where are the Kurds?

An estimated 30 million Kurds live in territory overlapping northern Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria. They are the fourth-biggest ethnic group in the region after Arabs, Persians and Turks.

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