Nation/World

It's show time.

"Please try to limit all other background noise, like your cellphone should be muted."

This is a virtual classroom, and that's the stage manager giving last-minute instructions to students. This is unlike any virtual classroom you've probably ever imagined. Behind the scenes, in a control room upstairs, a producer calls the camera shots.

"Stay with him. I'm going to four. Take six."

The Harvard Business School has rented this television studio from WGBH in Boston, and transformed it into a sleek online classroom.

A tough new report has concluded that the federal government's system for defending poor people needs to change. The nearly two-year study by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said judges who are supposed to be neutral arbiters too often put their fingers on the scales.

The report said defense lawyers for the poor who work in the federal court system need more resources to do their jobs. That means money, not just for themselves, but to pay for experts and investigators.

Today, the 53 countries of the British Commonwealth mark a historic milestone as Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-serving monarch in British history.

She surpasses Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, seven months and two days.

Sixty-four years ago, Quentin Wadman was a Boy Scout in Kenya, then a British colony.

Elizabeth, then still a princess, was visiting, and there weren't enough police, so the Boy Scouts were called in to line the route.

Nearly a century ago, immigrants from Germany and Ireland founded St. Helena Church in a working-class neighborhood in north Philadelphia.

Immigrants, and their children, still fill the pews at St. Helena's — but the vast majority of them are now from Vietnam, Latin America, the Philippines and Africa. Weekly masses are conducted in Spanish and Vietnamese as well as English. The senior priest, the Rev. Joseph Trinh, is himself a Vietnamese refugee. One of his associate priests is from Haiti, and another is from Ecuador.

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Released From Jail

Sep 9, 2015
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If there was a moment that best summed up the inspired, surprising and sometimes uneven nature of Stephen Colbert's debut as host of CBS' Late Show last night, it came toward the program's end.

That's when Colbert, known for his willingness to croon a tune or two, jumped on stage to belt out a version of Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People with an all-star band that included bluesman Buddy Guy, gospel legend Mavis Staples and Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard.

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Children from Syria and Afghanistan rattle a double chain-link fence topped with barbed wire at this migrant detention camp nestled in cornfields near the Hungary-Serbia border. They're locked up here.

I stick my microphone through the fence, and dozens of people run over, pleading for help.

"We can leave [and travel onward] with our own money — we have enough! Just let us leave your country — that's it," says one Syrian man. "Please help us, if you can!" pleads his wife. Their toddler screams: "We want go!"

For Syrian refugees, trying to find safety and building a new life in the one of the wealthy Arab Gulf states would seem logical: no harrowing sea journeys, and a familiar language, religion and culture. Human rights groups and others are urging these countries to do more to welcome Syrian refugees.

Teachers in Seattle, Wash., the state's largest school district, will go on strike Wednesday. Seattle teachers haven't gone on strike since 1985.

The primary issue is pay, but as KPLU's Kyle Stokes told NPR's Newscast unit, it's "pay with a twist."

"The school district wants to increase the length of the instructional day for students," he adds, "and the way that they propose to do this is to take away some of the time that teachers get currently to prepare for school before or after classes and use that to help lengthen the school day."

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The oil-rich West African nation of Angola has a dubious distinction. Its child mortality rate is the world's worst: 157 kids out of every 1,000 die before their 5th birthday. By comparison the child mortality rate in the U.S. is 7 deaths per 1,000. In Europe it's between 3 and 4.

It's not exactly clear why Dahlia Yehia was in Nepal. Was she trekking? Did she want to volunteer to help earthquake victims?

Cellphone records could help epidemiologists predict which cities and towns might be hit next by dengue, the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in the world.

That's because cellphone records let scientists track how people actually move around, says Amy Wesolowski, a researcher who models epidemics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

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When Stephen Colbert takes over the Late Show tonight on CBS, he'll have a new partner in crime on stage: pianist Jon Batiste.

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These are the tiniest babies born. Some weigh only a pound or two. And can fit in the palm of your hand.

Extreme preemies — born somewhere between 22 and 28 weeks — have a better chance of surviving now than they did 20 years ago, doctors report Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. But many of these babies still have severe health problems.

Senate Democrats are on the verge of delivering a big win to President Obama on the nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other world powers.

With three more Democrats announcing Tuesday they were backing the accord, it gave supporters enough votes to prevent the passage of a disapproval resolution. Any such resolution would sink the White House-backed nuclear deal that lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

Math can be as scary as spiders and snakes, at least in the brain of an 8-year-old child. And that early anxiety about dealing with numbers can put a child at a significant disadvantage, not only in school but in negotiating life and a career. Fortunately, a study of third-graders, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests an intervention that can help. One-on-one tutoring does more than teach kids, the researchers say. It calms the fear circuitry in the brain.

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Sam Smith first melted hearts with his song "Stay With Me."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAY WITH ME")

SAM SMITH: (Singing) Oh, won't you stay with me 'cause you're all I need.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The shootings on live TV of two young journalists last month highlighted, once again, the perils of dealing with potentially dangerous employees. Prior to the Roanoke, Va.-area attack, former employee and alleged shooter Vester Flanagan showed some violent tendencies at work. But it can be very difficult for employers to know when — and how — to step in.

In New York City, some 65,000 children have enrolled in Mayor Bill de Blasio's new, universal preschool program. To put that number in context, that's more than all the public school students — in all grades — in either Washington, D.C., or Boston. Free pre-K for all 4-year-olds was a key de Blasio campaign promise.

Going to college today is a very different experience than it once was. The cost has soared, and the great recession cut into many of the assets that were supposed to pay for it. This week All Things Considered is talking with young people — and in some cases their parents — about the value of school and about their choice of what kind of college to attend.

The ingredients for a Southern campaign swing? Hometown endorsements, a stadium and Lynyrd Skynyrd blaring from the loudspeakers.

Donald Trump had them all when he took the stage at a recent stop in Mobile to the tune of "Sweet Home Alabama."

"Unbelievable," he said, seeing the estimated 30,000 people who came to hear his pitch.

"My whole energy and my whole being is going to be to make our country rich and to make our country great again," he said.

Kansas State's marching band is in trouble for what some saw as getting too "creative" with a halftime show.

During KSU's Saturday football home-opener against South Dakota, the band injected some levity into the performance by poking a bit of fun at rival University of Kansas. The band grouped itself into the shape of the Kansas mascot, a Jayhawk, getting attacked by a spaceship.

This week's show is split much like some of our favorite records: The A-side is loud and fast. The B-side is slow and quiet.

World Cafe Next: John Mark Nelson

Sep 8, 2015

John Mark Nelson is just 21, but he's already figured out how to make a cohesive album in I'm Not Afraid, on which he sings with easy confidence. On this week's episode of World Cafe: Next, you can hear two songs from the Twin Cities singer-songwriter — and download them as part of the World Cafe: Next podcast, available at the show's Tumblr.

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