Middle East

Islamic State Reportedly Seizes Last Syria-Iraq Border Crossing

Fighters of the self-declared Islamic State have seized the last border crossing in Syria, where they control half of the country, according to a British-based monitoring group.Syrian government forces withdrew from al-Tanf, known as al-Waleed in Iraq, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The border crossing lies at the extreme northwest of Iraq's border with Syria.After seizing the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the Observatory says that ISIS now controls 50 percent of the...
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Book Award

Tema Silk / NEPR

Connecticut Student Readers Help Pick Nominees for the Nutmeg Book Award

May is a big month for the Nutmegs — Connecticut’s children’s book award. This year’s winners were just announced, the result of votes from kids across the state. Some students also have a say in which books are nominated.
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Pixabay / Creative Commons

If you’ve been to any public school lately, chances are you weren’t able to just walk right in. You have to ring a bell, then you’re either buzzed in or greeted by a security guard or school employee.

Voters in Ireland are deciding today whether the country will amend its constitution to make same-sex marriage legal.

The vote follows months of debate in the heavily Catholic country. Opinion polls suggest the referendum will pass and Ireland become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in a national vote.

But, as NPR's Ari Shapiro points out, "polls in this part of the world have been totally wrong in the past.

EyeLights/iStock / Thinkstock

Unexpected price spikes in home energy bills have been a focus for legislators this session, but a new study says even programs designed to lessen the impact of your monthly bill could still be impacting your wallet. 

The future of Vermont’s health insurance exchange depends on the Shumlin administration’s ability to meet a looming deadline. Still unanswered, though, is the question of how to proceed if the milestone goes unmet. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and top lawmakers think the solution might be in Connecticut.

Public Domain

The Boston Public Library is working with local and federal law enforcement to find two missing pieces of artwork worth more than $600,000.  It’s not clear if the works by Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer were stolen or misplaced.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

A bill that requires all Connecticut colleges to establish "affirmed consent" as the threshold for determining whether sexual activity is consensual is moving through the General Assembly.

Public Domain

Gustav Mahler stood five-foot-four.

That doesn’t quite place him at the absolute bottom of the Famous Composer Vertical Comparison Scale (Grieg was a tad shorter, as was Ravel), but it’s strange to think that the man who created some of the most thunderously colossal symphonies the world has ever known, who famously said that each symphony should “contain the whole world,” stood just a few centimeters above Mickey Rooney.

Following the self-declared Islamic State's capture of Palmyra, concern today is turning to the security of the ancient Syrian city's archaeological sites and fears that the Islamist extremists might try to destroy them, as they have done elsewhere.

When the final episode came, after weeks of accolades and tributes to his genius, David Letterman made sure he punctured the emotion of the moment with a little old-fashioned, self-deprecating sarcasm.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

President Obama may have had an unusually tough message on climate change for graduates at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, but commencement was still a day for celebration and reflection for the cadets themselves.

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More News: Music

Chris Boland / Creative Commons

After 40 Years, Graham Nash Says There's Still Music to Be Made

It's been more than 40 years since Graham Nash first sung with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.
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More News: Environment

MarilynJane / Creative Commons

An App to Map Biodiversity, From Anywhere

"Map of Life" has a simple premise: tell the app where you're located and it will tell you what kind of wildlife is there.
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More News: Health

Andrew Magill / Creative Commons

Firefighters, Cancer, and Workers Comp

Does firefighting cause cancer? That's a question at the heart of a bill at the state legislature that would make it easier for firefighters who have certain cancers to get workers comp benefits.
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More from WNPR

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Sonny Rollins Reflects on His Life, Career, and Goals, Both Musical and Spiritual

Looking every inch a silver-maned patriarch of Biblical grandeur, Sonny Rollins, the 84-year-old genius of the jazz tenor saxophone, was especially elated last weekend to receive an honorary doctor of music degree from the University of Hartford at graduation ceremonies on its West Hartford campus.
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