National News

U.S. Conducts Airstrikes Near Besieged Iraqi Town

American forces have carried out airstrikes near the Iraqi town of Amerli, which has been under siege by Islamic militants for more than two months, multiple news outlets are reporting.

U.S., British, French and Australian aircraft also made aid drops to the area, where residents have been desperately short on food and without clean water for weeks.

Body collectors come to the home of four children in Monrovia who lost both parents to Ebola.

Liberia's Ebola Routine: Wear Your Temperature On Your Lapel

After 10 days in Liberia, NPR producer Nicole Beemsterboer has just landed in London. "You don't realize how much has been hanging over your head until you're out," she says.

She's talking about Ebola, the virus raging in Liberia as well as Sierra Leone and Guinea. "It was silent and invisible," she says. "So you're always on edge, always careful."

How did you protect yourself?

Discovery Channel identifies the shark in this promotional image as the "Shark of Darkness." And in the "documentary" by that name, supposed scientists describe how this monster "submarine" shark is over 30 feet long. But submarine sharks aren't real, and the documentary is fake — an important fact critics say is easy to miss.

When Wildlife Documentaries Jump The Shark

This summer's Shark Week on the Discovery Channel was the highest-rated in the special's 27-year history. But that success has also brought complaints.

The network has been criticized for pushing entertainment at the cost of science, with "documentaries" that advance dubious theories — or are entirely fake. Discovery Channel has aired specials about everything from mythical monster sharks in Louisiana's rivers to long-extinct Megalodons supposedly still swimming the seas.

Susan sits on a park bench in Washington, D.C. She has struggled with homelessness for nearly two decades.

One Woman's Lessons From Living On The Street

The grass is fraying around the edges in Washington, D.C.'s Franklin Square Park, but the trees are more important. They offer much-appreciated shade to the homeless people who sit below.

Many of the park benches are occupied by homeless men — but there are a few women too. Susan, sitting amid her bags in the park's northwest corner, is one of them. She's been on and off the streets of Washington since 1995 and asked that her last name not be used because she was in an abusive relationship and doesn't want her whereabouts known.

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday.

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

Update at 6 p.m. ET

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted to an NFL team, has been released by the St. Louis Rams, the team has announced.

ESPN.com writes:

"Sam's efforts to become the first openly gay player in NFL history came up just short in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks....

A member of the Lesotho military looks on as he stands guard in front of an armed personnel carrier at the entrance of the army barracks in the capital Maseru on Saturday. Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has accused the army of staging a coup.

South Africa Condemns Apparent Coup In Lesotho

South Africa has condemned an apparent coup in Lesotho, an independent kingdom within its borders where the army appears to have seized power, driving out the prime minister. Lesotho's defense forces, however, have denied a takeover.

Lesotho's military seized two police stations Saturday as gunfire rang out in the capital of the mountainous kingdom. The military justified the move by saying that police planned to arm factions at an upcoming demonstration in the capital, Maseru. An army spokesman denied a coup and said the army had returned to the barracks.

Smoke rises near a Syrian flag hoisted up a flagpole as a result of the fighting between Syrian rebels and the Syrian Army over the control of Quneitra crossing, on Saturday. The area is where  dozens of U.N. peacekeepers had been under siege by Nusra Front fighters.

U.N. Peacekeepers Rescued After Being Trapped By Syrian Militants

Dozens of besieged United Nations peacekeepers were safely extracted after being surrounded for days on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

After rebels of the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front seized 44 Fijian peacekeepers on Thursday, they laid siege to two encampments of Filipino peacekeepers totaling more than 70 soldiers.

The rebels demanded the Filipino soldiers, part of the U.N. mission known as UNDOF, surrender their weapons, but the peacekeepers refused.

A miner after he was rescued at the El Comal gold and silver mine in Bonanza, Nicaragua, on Friday. A total of 26 were trapped after a collapse on Thursday.

Nicaraguan Miners Trapped After Collapse

Rescue workers in Nicaragua were trying to reach four trapped miners in the gold and silver mine in the country's south-central city of Bonanza, after 22 others were freed.

The Associated Press quotes the country's first lady Rosario Murillo as saying 20 of the miners were rescued on Friday, in addition to two others who escaped a collapse on Thursday.

The AP says:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

How Are Different Asian-American Groups Faring Economically?

The United States Department of Labor recently published a report with a detailed breakdown of the different economic outcomes that various Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have faced.

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