National News

French energy giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, posing prior to a press conference held in Paris on Feb. 13, 2013.

CEO Of French Oil Giant Total Dies In Plane Accident

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie, died when his plane collided with a snowplow Monday night at a Moscow airport. He was 63.

Total posted a statement on its website:

Hong Kong Federation of Students council members attend a meeting with senior Hong Kong government officials in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Hong Kong Leader Hints At Concessions As Talks With Students Begin

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, at the start of talks today with student-led pro-democracy protesters, says although his Beijing-backed government cannot allow the public to nominate candidates to replace him in 2017, the process could be made "more democratic."

"There's room for discussion there," Leung told a small group of journalists on Tuesday. "There's room to make the nominating committee more democratic."

President Obama casts an early ballot for the midterm elections at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Center in Chicago on Monday.

In Tight Races, Both Parties Bank On Early Votes

On the first day for in-person early voting in Illinois, President Obama went to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center to cast his ballot.

"I'm so glad I can early vote here," he told the elections worker checking him in.

Early voting is something Democrats have used to their advantage in recent elections. And it's likely not a coincidence that Obama chose to vote in person, with cameras rolling and clicking, rather than quietly dropping an absentee ballot in the mail.

Some Millennials — And Their Parents — Are Slow To Cut The Cord

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

So your child moved back in with you after graduation, and it seems like she will never leave. Or worse, you're sending rent checks each month while she searches for jobs in the big city.

You often find yourself wondering if she will ever grow up. You're concerned that your child is suffering from delayed adolescence.

South African track star Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend.

Oscar Pistorius Gets 5 Years In Prison For Killing Girlfriend

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

South African Paralympic and Olympic track star Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius, 27, received a verdict of culpable homicide from a judge in South Africa in September — a conviction that could have put him in prison for 15 years.

Aza Betwata (left) and his brother Mirwan (center) left Holland to join the Kurdish peshmerga fighting against ISIS militants in northern Iraq. Though the brothers come from a family of fighters, Aza had just two days of training — his brother must show him how to strip and clean his rifle.

Kurds Leave Life In Europe To Fight ISIS In Their Iraqi Homeland

The men of the Betwata tribe gather to drink tea every morning in Irbil, Iraq, in an outdoor courtyard with curving pillars and climbing plants.

In northern Iraq, almost everyone is ethnically Kurdish, and most of them wear a traditional Kurdish baggy blue suit with a colored sash, and a black-and-white headdress. And they all talk about the war.

One of the men — Sarhad Betwata — is a general. The grizzled officer says he commands about 1,000 men and later this morning will head off from Irbil to the front lines against the Islamic State, close to the Syrian border.

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War re-enactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great-grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag.

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he has spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he has met many who say they do.

Debra Messing stars with Robert Klein in NBC's <em>The Mysteries of Laura</em>.

Winners And Losers Of The Fall TV Season Begin To Emerge

What's most amazing about this point in the TV season is what hasn't happened yet.

One month into the new season, no new fall TV show has yet been canceled.

(By this point last year, several shows had already been put out of our misery, including ABC's Lucky 7 and NBC's Ironside remake.)

Still, despite programmers' patience this year, there are still lots of clues about what's working this TV season and what isn't. Here's a peek at what we know so far about the current TV season.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement.

The Short Shelf Life Of Urban School Superintendents

If you're a 12th-grader right now in the Los Angeles schools, that means you probably started kindergarten back in 2001. It also means that, as of this week, you've seen four superintendents come and go.

As we discussed today on Morning Edition, the ouster of John Deasy last week as the head of the nation's second-largest district has renewed a long-running debate about leadership of big-city schools, and particularly the challenges of raising achievement in such a politically charged environment.

Former first lady Laura Bush, left, talks in July about the dress her daughter Jenna Bush Hager wore to her 2008 wedding at the family's Crawford ranch, and the teal mother-of-the bride dress, right, that she wore the same day. The ensembles were among more than 60 featured in a retrospective on de la Renta's career that was shown at the George W. Bush Library and Museum.

Reports: Fashion Icon Oscar De La Renta Dies After Long Cancer Fight

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, 82, died Monday after a decade-long battle with cancer, The New York Times and other media outlets report. NPR has not independently confirmed the news.

The Times reports:

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