National News

Anti-abortion demonstrators from the group Derecho a Vivir (Right to Life) take part in a protest in Madrid on Sept. 21. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had pledged to enact a strict anti-abortion law, but has now dropped the plan.

Spain's Abortion Debate Shakes Government That Pledged To Ban It

Spain's streets have been filled with dueling demonstrations in recent months: Women's groups arguing for abortion rights. Church groups lobbying for more restrictions on the procedure.

The debate was invigorated by ruling conservatives' plan to create one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe — a near-total ban, except in cases of rape or danger to the mother's health.

Jamira, 11, is an aboriginal girl in Australia. "I like being special," she says. "I like being — you know — different than everyone else."

On The Cusp: 11-Year-Olds Around The World Share Their Wisdom

Not children anymore — but not teenagers either — 11-year-olds are on the cusp of adolescence. That gives them a unique perspective.

Age 11 is when you're most passionate and optimistic, says Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey. It was her favorite age. She was the happiest then.

So in 2005, Bailey set out to document the lives of 11-year-old girls and boys around the world. The project took her six years. She traveled to 15 countries, from India to Morocco to the U.S. And she worked several jobs to pay for it all.

Indian tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and the late mandolin virtuoso U. Srinivas perform together in Mumbai in 2013. U. Srinivas died Sept. 19 at age 45.

Remembering Mandolin Hero U. Srinivas

Mandolin maestro U. Srinivas, an astonishingly talented Indian artist who brought his Western instrument into the heart of traditional South Indian music, died Sept. 19 in Chennai at age 45. According to Indian press reports, he died of complications following a liver transplant.

FBI Chief Says U.S. Has Identified Man Who Beheaded Americans

The United States believes it has identified the masked militant thought to have beheaded two American journalists, FBI Director James Comey told reporters on Thursday.

NPR's Brian Naylor reports that Comey declined to identify the man. The videos, released by the Sunni militant group Islamic State, show a masked man speaking English in a British accent. The video then shows the man beginning to cut the heads of the Americans.

The AP reports that Comey did not comment on whether the U.S. believes the man in the video also conducted the beheadings.

President Obama speaks about the Ebola epidemic Thursday at United Nations headquarters in New York.

Obama Calls On International Community To Fight Ebola

President Obama urged the international community to join the United States in trying to stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, saying the disease could kill hundreds of thousands of people in the coming months if it is left unchecked.

"If this epidemic is not stopped, this disease could cause a humanitarian catastrophe across the region," Obama said at a U.N. meeting in New York. "In an era when regional crises can quickly become global threats, stopping Ebola is in the interests of the entire world."

Ferguson Police Chief Apologizes To Michael Brown's Family

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who was at the center of the controversy surrounding the fatal police shooting in August of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, released a video today in which he apologized to the family of the victim.

"I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son. I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street," Jackson said of the four hours it took authorities to remove the body of the 18-year-old.

The death of Brown sparked days of sometimes violent protest.

President Obama addresses the 69th session of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday.

Obama Has Support For Syria Strikes, But Are They Legal?

President Obama appears to have strong bipartisan support in Congress to carry out airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. He also made his case for aggressive action in a speech to the United Nations on Wednesday. Most Western and Middle Eastern nations seem to be supporting military action, which the president describes as a counterterrorism strategy, not a war.

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a Sept. 4 news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

Richard Branson Thinks Employees Should Have Unlimited Vacation

British billionaire Richard Branson has long been a business revolutionary, but his latest venture is raising a few eyebrows. The Virgin Group founder has introduced a "No Vacation Policy" policy. Staff can take time off whenever they want, for as long as they want. They don't need managers to sign-off on it, and there's no tracking involved.

John Crawford III with his mother, Tressa Sherrod, in a photo released by the family. A special grand jury declined to indict officers in the fatal shooting of Crawford by police in an Ohio Wal-Mart in August.

Grand Jury Won't Indict Officers In Ohio Wal-Mart Shooting

The Justice Department says it has begun a review of police department procedures in Beavercreek, Ohio, after a grand jury decided not to indict officers in the fatal shooting of a black man in a Wal-Mart store.

The DOJ promised a "thorough and independent" investigation, and said it would take action if civil rights laws were violated.

The shooting, which took place on Aug. 5 as attention was focused on events in Ferguson, Mo., occurred when a 911 caller reported a man waving what appeared to be a rifle.

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