National News

NY, NJ Say Quarantine Will Keep Some People At Home, Not At Hospitals

Update at 10:40 p.m.: New Jersey Says Its Policy Also Calls For Home Quarantine

Hours after New York's governor announced a quarantine policy that was based on home stays, rather than confinement in a medical facility, the New Jersey Governor's Office has released a statement saying their policy is similar.

Los Angeles' Skid Row contains one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the United States.

As Downtown LA Grows, So Does Urgency To Fix Skid Row

In Los Angeles, more than thousand people sleep on the street in cardboard boxes and tents — just a mile away from City Hall.

This is Skid Row, and compared to the affluent downtown areas that practically surround it, the area is like a different planet. Fifty blocks of sidewalk are jammed with people who live on the street, with all of their worldly possessions crammed into shopping carts and crates.

Former <em>Reading Rainbow</em> host LeVar Burton reads from the 2011 bestseller <em>Go the [bleep] to Sleep.</em>

LeVar Burton Reads 'Go The [Expletive] To Sleep'

In case any over-exhausted parents might wonder if they're hallucinating, we can assure you: former Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton did actually give a reading of the 2011 bestseller Go the [bleep] to Sleep this weekend.

A video of the reading has been viewed nearly 250,000 times since it was posted Saturday. Burton read the book to a small audience (of adults, naturally) as part of a charity event for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

In case it's not obvious, we'll warn you that the reading includes profanity. Here it is:

The family of Ibrahim Abid, who was killed when guards employed by security company Blackwater opened fire at Baghdad's Nisour Square in 2007, visits his grave on Dec. 9, 2008.

After The Blackwater Convictions, A Book On Iraq's Nightmarish Reality

Back in 2007, a shooting in Iraq caught the attention of many in the U.S.

Four security guards working for the company Blackwater shot and killed at least 14 Iraqi civilians in a traffic circle in Baghdad. This week all four were pronounced guilty by a federal jury.

For our series, This Week's Must Read, author and Air Force veteran Brian Castner reflects on this news by turning to literature.

A voter raises her ink-stained finger after voting in Tunis Sunday. Tunisians voted in parliamentary elections that bring full democracy finally within their reach, in the cradle of the Arab Spring.

Many Tunisians Vote In Key Test Of Arab Spring's Legacy

Nearly four years after staging a revolution that ousted a dictator and promised a future of democracy, Tunisians cast votes in their country's first full parliamentary election Sunday, picking from thousands of candidates. Voter turnout has been reported at around 60 percent of the electorate, according to state media.

"On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate the people of Tunisia on the democratic election of a new parliament," President Obama said in a written statement Sunday, calling the vote "an important milestone in Tunisia's historic political transition."

Pandora founder Tim Westergren is a former touring musician himself, but some say the music streaming service he leads is hurting musicians more than helping.

Pandora Hopes To Lure Musicians Backstage With Analytics

Coming up on the end of a year marred by bitter quarrels over royalties for online music, Pandora is now making a play for artists' goodwill.

On Wednesday morning, Pandora announced the launch of AMP (Artist Marketing Platform), a free service that pulls back the curtain on the widely popular streaming service and gives musicians access to data on who is listening to their music, when and where.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, (right) announced a new mandatory 21-day quarantine Friday, alongside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Christie Defends Quarantine And Jabs At CDC Over Ebola

Gov. Chris Christie says that a new rule requiring a 21-day quarantine for people who've been in contact with Ebola patients is necessary to protect the public in New Jersey and other states — and that the CDC "eventually will come around to our point of view on this."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, disagrees, saying the quarantine could hamper efforts to combat the deadly outbreak in West Africa.

Construction workers lift an oak tree to move it to the other side of the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.

Lifted On Giant Inner Tubes, An Old Tree Moves In Michigan

For as many as 250 years, a bur oak has been growing on what is now the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. The big tree stands in the way of an expansion of the Ross Business School.

But instead of cutting it down, the university is moving the tree. It's not easy, it's not cheap, and it's definitely not fast.

As it was prepared for its 500-foot trip down a pedestrian mall, the old oak's 44-foot diameter root ball was wrapped in plastic and burlap and rested on long pipes, inserted earlier this summer to create a platform for lifting.

Nurse Criticizes Quarantine After Negative Ebola Test, Hires Lawyer

Kaci Hickox, a nurse whose return to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone was sidetracked when she was placed in a mandatory 21-day quarantine Friday, is criticizing the way New Jersey officials have handled her case.

Hickox says she doesn't have a fever; a preliminary blood test came back negative for Ebola. She reportedly hired a civil rights attorney Sunday to work for her release.

A woman has her fingerprints checked with a new biometric identification machine before voting in Brasilia Sunday. More than 142 million Brazilians went to the polls, ending a dramatic campaign.

Brazil Picks New President In A Tight Race Of Stark Contrasts

Brazilians are voting in a runoff election to select their next leader today, and it's anyone's guess how the divisive campaign season will end: voter polls have shown nearly a dead heat in the race's final days. The election has come down to competing visions for the future of Latin America's largest economy, put forth by leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff and center-right challenger Aecio Neves.

From Sao Paulo, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports: