National News

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a terrestrial globe presented him as a gift in Tver region, Russia, on Friday.

Putin Calls For Talks To Consider Statehood For Southeastern Ukraine

Update at 10:35 a.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for "meaningful talks" to end the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, reiterating that the Kremlin, which is said to have allowed thousands of its soldiers to join the rebels, views the situation as an internal dispute.

"Substantive, meaningful talks should begin immediately ... related to the issues of society's political organization and statehood in southeastern Ukraine to protect legitimate interests of people living there," Tass quoted Putin as saying.

Jazz singer and pianist Sarah Vaughan reportedly earned the nickname "Sassy," from pianist John Malachi. Apparently she liked it.

How 'Sassy' Came To Mean Something Both Sweet And Sour

In our semi-regular Word Watch feature, we take a look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story.

I'm sometimes described as "sassy," and when that happens I choose to take it as a compliment. I always think of Sarah "Sassy" Vaughan's spirit, verve and "sass."

In Amerli, people try to board an Iraqi Army helicopter aid flight bringing in supplies to the town on Saturday. The town, which includes some 20,000 Shiite Turkmen, has been surrounded by Sunni Islamic State fighters for two months.

Iraqi Forces Reportedly Enter Besieged Northern City Of Amerli

Iraqi security forces backed by Shiite militias and U.S. airstrikes have reportedly entered the northern town of Amerli, where Islamic State militants have laid siege to the town for weeks, prompting fears of a sectarian massacre.

Reuters and BBC report that Iraqi Army and volunteer fighters entered the town on Sunday after defeating the Sunni rebels, also known as ISIS or ISIL, east of the city. The Islamic State, which claims to enforce a pure version of Islam, has apparently targeted Amerli because of its large Shiite Turkmen population, seen by them as apostates.

Syria Crisis Complicates U.S.-Iran Nuclear Talks

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Citizen Scientists On A Mission To Find Frogs

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Topping $11M, Coolest Cooler Breaks Kickstarter Record

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Ebola Prevention Supplies Running Short In Liberia

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Turkey Is Major Transit Route For Islamic State Fighters

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Ukraine Crisis Casts Long Shadow Over NATO Summit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

U.S. Launches Airstrikes To Help Aid Reach Iraqi Town

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit