National News

Secretary of State John Kerry  arrives at Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday, ahead of a stop in Iraq. Kerry is hoping to nail down support for a U.S. plan to combat the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria.

Kerry Seeks Iraq's Support On Move Against Islamic State

As President Obama prepares to address the nation to outline his plan for combating the spread of the Islamic State militant group, Secretary of State John Kerry is in Iraq for talks on the crisis with the newly installed government in Baghdad.

The president will deliver his televised speech at 9 p.m. ET. (Check back later for details on NPR's coverage of the speech.)

Slow-loading messages will appear on some of your favorite sites Wednesday, as part of a protest for net neutrality. But the sites won't actually be loading slower, the banners will be displayed just to make a point.

Your Favorite Sites Will 'Slow Down' Today, For A Cause

You'll find spinning wheels at the top of Netflix, Etsy, Foursquare and other top sites today, as they take part in Internet Slowdown Day. While sites won't slow down for real, participating Internet companies will be covered with the symbolic loading icons "to remind everyone what an Internet without net neutrality would look like," the organizers write on their website.

A line of people wait to speak during a meeting of the Ferguson City Council on Tuesday. The meeting was the first for the council since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a city police officer.

Ferguson's Plan To Cut Back On Court Fees Could Inspire Change

Here are just a few of the fees the city court in Ferguson, Mo., can bill you for:

There's a fee to plead guilty. That's $12.

You even pay for your own arrest warrant.

"The sheriff can charge you for the mileage that it costs them to serve a bench warrant," notes Alexes Harris, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington.

Each individual fee may seem small, but there are at least a dozen, and they add up. Harris, on her computer, pulled up Ferguson's municipal code.

Obama To Push Military Campaign Against Islamic State Militants

President Obama delivers a rare, primetime address Wednesday.

Taking over the TV networks during the crucial 9:00 p.m. ET programming slot is not something any White House does lightly.

This time, it's for Obama to spell out his plan to combat militants from the Islamic State, and spokesman Josh Earnest calls the timing a signal of the high national security priority at stake.

Campaign ad still from Arkansas congressional candidate Jackie McPherson.

Veterans' Care Emerges As A Key, Bipartisan Issue In Campaign Ads

There aren't really any unifying issues in this year's midterm elections, except for one: the treatment of the nation's veterans.

In 2010, it was Obamacare that dominated the airwaves. This year veterans, and the Veterans Affairs scandal, have risen to prominence in both parties' ads.

"It has been the one big breaking news story of 2014 that's actually reverberating in campaign ads in a widespread way," says Elizabeth Wilner, vice president of Kantar Media Ad Intelligence, which tracks political advertising.

Men from Lev Tahor shop in San Juan, Guatemala. In a culture of brightly colored clothing and clean-shaven men, the black suits and long beards stood out.

Dogged By Controversy, A Jewish Sect Is On The Move Again

Picture a small village in the highlands of Guatemala.

Whatever your mental image, it's not likely to include ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in black suits and women covered head to toe. Yet, there they were, in the pueblo of San Juan la Laguna: members of a small Jewish sect known as Lev Tahor.

They fled Canada after being accused of child abuse. Now, they are on the move again.

Uriel Goldman, sitting on his porch in the village of San Juan, had a simple demand: "Leave us alone. This is minimum request."

New transit-oriented, mixed-use walkable downtowns, like<a href="http://www.wdgarch.com/portfolio/projects/rockville-town-square" target="_blank"> this one in Rockville, Md.</a>, are often replacing indoor shopping malls and strip malls that once defined suburban America.

Here's What's Becoming Of America's Dead Shopping Malls

Chances are your local mall is hurting. There are roughly 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S. and only about a third of them are doing well.

Online shopping, the recession and demographic shifts are some of the factors killing shopping malls. And as these changes leave behind huge concrete carcasses, they're being "reimagined" into everything from medical centers to hockey rinks.

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gina Raimondo waves as she takes the stage to address supporters during a primary election night watch party Tuesday in Pawtucket.

Rhode Island Sets November Matchup For Governor

Powered by the top-spending campaign, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo scored a decisive Democratic gubernatorial victory over her two main rivals Tuesday, in a campaign dominated by debate about Rhode Island's long-suffering economy and the pension overhaul spearheaded by Raimondo in 2011.

Unofficial returns showed Raimondo with 42 percent of the vote, compared with 29 percent for Angel Taveras, and 27 percent for Clay Pell.

Raimondo, 43, used her victory speech at the Met, a music club in Pawtucket, to vow to put Rhode Islanders back to work.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs in to cast his vote during the primary election Tuesday at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Fends Off Democratic Primary Challenge

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won the Democratic primary for governor, but not without an unexpectedly strong challenge from law school professor Zephyr Teachout, who spent virtually no money and had a bare-bones campaign operation.

Cuomo barely cleared 60 percent of the vote Tuesday, and though he won his home county of Westchester, the governor lost nearly the entire Hudson Valley.

Even before returns were in, Cuomo downplayed expectations, saying that primaries were unpredictable and that he would be happy with anything "over 50 percent."

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