National News

Vape was chosen as the word of the year for 2014 in part because it provides a window "onto how we define ourselves," says Casper Grathwohl of the Oxford University Press. Here, women exhale vapor clouds during a competition at the Henley Vaporium in Manhattan.

Take It In: 'Vape' Is The Oxford Dictionaries Word Of The Year

The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has now sparked the notice of the estimable Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen "vape" as the word of the year for 2014. The word can be a noun or a verb; it beat out contenders such as "bae" and "normcore."

Noting that e-cigarettes have come a long way since the the early 1980s, when the "vape" was first breathed into life, the folks at Oxford Dictionaries say it took a while for the new market, and the new word, to mature.

Protesters march in Clayton, Mo., Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown, a black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer in August.

Ahead Of Ferguson Decision, Governor Declares Emergency

With the community of Ferguson, Mo., poised to receive a grand jury decision regarding possible charges in the death of Michael Brown, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday.

Nixon's decision clears the way for the National Guard and state agencies to work together to help quell any potential unrest.

Ferguson, on the outskirts of St. Louis, has been the scene of emotional protests and clashes with police in the weeks and months since Brown, unarmed at the time, was shot to death by police officer Darren Wilson.

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project.

What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long — just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.

But the pipeline, which would stretch from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico, is at the center of a years-long, contentious debate among politicians, energy companies and environmentalists.

A marriage license has been issued for 80-year-old serial killer Charles Manson, seen here on Oct. 8, to wed 26-year-old Afton Elaine Burton. Burton, who goes by the name "Star," told the AP that she and Manson will be married next month.

Charles Manson, 80, Gets License To Wed 26-Year-Old Prison Visitor

Charles Manson has been in prison since 1969 and isn't eligible for parole until 2027, but he may be getting married — to a 26-year-old woman who visits him in prison and believes he is innocent.

The Associated Press obtained the marriage license for Manson, 80, and Afton Elaine Burton, who maintains websites advocating for his innocence in the Tate-LaBianca murders.

Premature and sick babies are cared for in the neonatal unit at Isaie Jeanty maternity hospital, operated by Doctors Without Borders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

For Babies, Preterm Birth Is Now The No. 1 Cause Of Death

Babies around the world face a lot of risks to their health: pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, to name a few.

But it turns out that no single infectious disease takes a greater toll than the simple fact of being born premature.

Premature birth is now the single largest cause of death among babies and young children. Every year, 1.09 million children under age 5 die due to health complications that stem from being born before week 37 of pregnancy (a 40-week pregnancy is considered full-term).

Revolution Foods makes healthy kids meals for both schools and stores. Co-founder Kristin Richmond says mentoring and support have been key to the success of her business.

Culinary Institute's School For 'Foodpreneurs' To Cook Up Innovation

The Culinary Institute of America may be best known for churning out chefs. And some of its graduates — from Grant Achatz to Roy Choi to Anthony Bourdain — have succeeded in entertaining and inspiring a new generation of foodies.

Bill Cosby speaks at a press conference about African- American art on Nov. 6.

Bill Cosby's Silence On Rape Allegations Makes Huge Media Noise

This may be the first time in a long while that Bill Cosby can't control the public conversation about Bill Cosby.

Read the recent biography Cosby: His Life and Times, and you see a portrait of a talented performer who took control of his business and career interests early on, forever suspicious of journalists and industry executives who might try to interfere.

Peter Kassig, who changed his first name to Abdul-Rahman when he converted to Islam, is shown with a truck filled with aid supplies for Syrian refugees.

Slain Aid Worker Shows 'One Person Can Make A Difference,' Parents Say

The parents of Peter Kassig, the American aid worker who was killed by the Islamic State militant group, said his life was evidence that "one person can make a difference."

In a brief statement Monday, Paula and Ed Kassig remembered their 26-year-old son, who was seized in October 2013, as both a realist and an idealist.

Are Modafinil's Brain-Boosting Benefits Hype Or Science?

Nobody gets enough sleep these days and everyone needs to work harder. Sometimes coffee just doesn't seem like it's enough. Thus the temptation to apply pharmacology to thinking smarter, faster and longer.

One option is modafinil, a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat narcolepsy. "I feel like a well-oiled machine 5 days a week on 5 hrs a night," one poster who uses modafinil writes on Reddit.

Second-grade teacher Amanda Siepiola reads with Cornelia Blixt and Isabelle Posner-Brown.

Channeling Springsteen: Teachers As Performers

This fall the NPR Ed team is celebrating great teachers and examinging what makes great teaching.

When Amanda Siepiola steps into her second-grade classroom, she channels two role models.

"I'm a big Bruce Springsteen fan," says Siepiola, a teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School in Washington, DC. "And when I go to his concerts, I end up leaving and saying, 'I want to teach like him.' "

The other role model is Siepiola's own English teacher from the 1990s at Clinton High School in upstate New York: Ms. Hepburn.

Pages