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Europe

This weekend, voters in France head to the polls in the first round of the presidential election.

One of the leading contenders is political newcomer Emmanuel Macron.

His supporters are using an American tactic, unfamiliar to French voters. The French rarely knock on their neighbors' doors. So, asking a stranger to talk politics during election season is something new.

Christelle Dernon, 25, has decided to step out of her comfort zone for Macron, her presidential pick.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that she is calling for an early election on June 8, describing it as the "only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead" as the U.K. prepares to negotiate its exit from the European Union.

The decision was immediately welcomed by the head of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. He called it a "chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first."

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim declared victory in the referendum bid to convert Turkey from a parliamentary to a strong president system of government.

The historic referendum, which passed by a narrow margin, grants more power to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who promised when he was elected in 2014 to be a "different kind of president."

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine / flickr creative commons

As the Department of Homeland Security collects plans for the US-Mexico border, the conversation is turning more towards how border walls don't work in keeping people out.

This hour, we talk about what walls are effective in dividing: our psyches, our environments, and the populations around them.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday sharply reversed his 2016 campaign stance on NATO. "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete," Trump declared, after a meeting at the White House with the alliance's secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

The first round of the French elections takes place April 23, a vote that’s expected to be momentous for Europe. It might seem a long way away, but the outcome might also be very important to Connecticut. 

Walter Woodward / University of Connecticut

Herbert Hoover realized early in the 20th century that food was as important as bullets to win a war. After witnessing Belgians starve under the harsh treatment of Germany before World War I, he determined to never let that happen in America. So, when the men marched off to war in both World War I and again in World War II, the women marched out to the fields. 

Connecticut State Library

April 6, 2017 marks 100 years since the United States officially entered the First World War — igniting the journey for thousands of young men to the deadly trenches of Europe.

This hour, we learn about the soldiers and hear how Connecticut was one of just a few states with records that explained how some of these men viewed their service. 

Updated 5:15 p.m. ET

"The Article 50 process is now underway, and in accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union," British Prime Minister Theresa May said Wednesday, informing the House of Commons that she has begun the formal process of unraveling the U.K.'s membership in the European bloc.

Lindsay Kinkade / Creative Commons

Are tolls coming back to Connecticut? Yes, we’ve heard this before -- but the state Speaker of the House now says tolls are "inevitable."

This hour, we talk with Democratic State Representative Joe Aresimowicz and Republican leader, Senator Len Fasano about that and other budget decisions facing Connecticut lawmakers.

Mike Acton / Creative Commons

Twenty years ago, a lot of Icelandic teens were drinking too much. But an innovative program changed that.

This hour, we talk with the American researcher who helped combat the problem by tapping into natural highs — like sports. If the program has worked, why aren’t other countries following suit? We find out.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The man who is believed to have carried out a deadly attack near the U.K. Parliament has been identified by Britain's Metropolitan Police as Khalid Masood, 52.

Police believe the man acted alone. He was shot and killed after carrying out an attack that killed a police officer and three civilians and wounded several others around 2:40 p.m. local time Wednesday. (Two of the civilian victims died on Wednesday; the third was hospitalized after the attack and died Thursday.)

An Irish Storyteller's Tales Of Fairies And Famine

Mar 23, 2017
Helena Byrne / Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

In the 18th and 19th centuries, seanchaís were traveling storytellers who were welcomed into Irish villages to entertain and bring local news in return for food and a place to sleep. 

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday

British authorities have made eight arrests in their investigation into Wednesday's attack in London, police said Thursday morning.

Mark Rowley, the national lead for counterterrorism policing, told reporters that there were four dead, including the attacker, and 29 people have been treated in hospitals. Seven people are in critical condition, he said.

Police had earlier said there were five dead including the attacker.

Former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness, who left violence behind to choose peace — and who eventually met Queen Elizabeth II — has died at age 66. For nearly a decade, McGuinness served as Northern Ireland's deputy first minister.

From London, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports:

"McGuinness retired from politics in January, suffering from a rare genetic disease. Today, he was lauded for his crucial role in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which brought peace to Northern Ireland.

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