National News

Tobacco prevention specialist Rob Carr speaks to a group of youth and elders at the Red Rock Chapter of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.

Casinos Worry As More Navajo Communities Go Smoke-Free

Walking onto the gaming floor at the Twin Arrows Casino near Flagstaff is a sensory-rich experience, with winning bells and slot machine jingles a constant. But in addition to hearing the sounds of the gaming floor, visitors also smell cigarette smoke.

The Smoke-Free Arizona Act doesn't apply to this casino, located just inside the southern borders of the Navajo Nation. That means smoking in an enclosed public space is legal.

Pamela Taylor, who lives near Brownsville, Texas, calls the border fence there "useless."

In South Texas, Few On The Fence Over Divisive Border Wall Issue

When Congress thinks about border security, it often sees a big, imposing fence.

The federal government has spent $2.3 billion to build the fence — 649 miles of steel fencing, in sections, between the U.S. and Mexico, designed to help control the illegal movement of people and contraband.

It's called tactical infrastructure, and the Border Patrol says it works. But people on the lower Texas border have another name for it: a boondoggle.

Whisked bakery founder Jenna Huntsberger (right) and baker's assistant Lauren Moore (left) prepare pies in Union Kitchen, a food incubator in Washington, D.C. Huntsberger says the shared kitchen space and the business know-how she's honed there have played a big part in her success.

For Food Start-Ups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success

If you want to get in shape, you can join a gym. But if you want to start a food business, where do you go?

Try a culinary incubator.

Just as gym members share workout equipment, members of many food incubators share commercial kitchen space.

Incubators also offer business support and technical assistance — like branding, sales and distribution — to help "foodpreneurs" get off the ground.

Lincoln, Neb., is home to a sizable community of Iraqi Yazidis — including Ismaeil Khalaf, shown here in his home watching the latest news about the Yazidi crisis in Iraq. Lincoln Yazidis petitioned for U.S. intervention to prevent the genocide of their friends and family.

Yazidi Community In America Watches Events In Iraq With Horror

For the past week, American warplanes and drones have been attacking militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq. The U.S. is working to prevent the genocide of an ethnic and religious minority known as the Yazidis.

A sizable group of Iraqi Yazidis lives in Lincoln, Neb. Sulaiman Murad is among them; he grew up in the Iraqi town of Sinjar, which has been at the heart of recent Islamic State violence. Murad translated for the U.S. military after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and he moved to Lincoln in 2010.

Paul MacLeod, shown in 2009, was such an Elvis fan he even named his son after "the king."

With Its Eccentric Owner Gone, What To Do With Graceland Too?

Holly Springs, Miss., is a postcard antebellum Southern town. The official motto is "All Kinds of Character." Newspaper reporter Sue Watson says locals put it differently.

"We say, 'Holly Springs, All Kinds of Characters.' " she says. "I think Mr. MacLeod probably could fit in there pretty easily."

After a hiring freeze caused by a budget crisis, New Orleans is now struggling to replace the roughly 100 officers a year it loses to retirements and officers quitting.

New Orleans Makes Big Push To Get More Cops On The Streets

New Orleans is still reeling from another spate of violence last weekend, when five people were killed by gunfire and 11 wounded, including two toddlers. The city has launched high-profile campaigns to address gun violence, but a big part of the problem is an acute shortage of police.

Karen Rogers lives in the lower 9th Ward, where a recent drive-by shooting left two teenagers dead and several more wounded. Police say it was drug-related.

"This is not the first time [I've heard gunshots]," says Rogers. "This is the first time to actually see people murdered and shot."

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson speaks during a rally at Greater Grace Church on Sunday.

Capt. Ron Johnson: 'I Am Sorry' For Brown's Death

Capt. Ron Johnson, the Missouri Highway Patrol officer in charge of security in Ferguson, Mo., told a thousand-strong audience gathered in a local church that he has a "heavy heart" over the violence and anger in the city in the wake of the police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Johnson, who is black, was handed security in the volatile St. Louis suburb by Gov. Jay Nixon last week, after local authorities were accused of a heavy-handed approach.

Ferguson residents pass out "I heart Ferg" yard signs at a local coffee shop.

In Ferguson, Local Faith Leaders Call For 'Different Dialogue'

On a quiet morning after another difficult night in Ferguson, businesses along the streets put up signs in their windows reading "I Heart Ferg." Former Mayor Brian Fletcher is passing out more.

"We're going to raise $5,000 by tomorrow at noon for yard signs," Fletcher says.

Palestinians carry belongings from their homes, destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. The devastation could resume if a cease-fire is allowed to expire at midnight on Monday.

Israel, Palestinians Still Far Apart As Truce Nears End

With the clock ticking on the expiration of the latest cease-fire in Gaza, representatives of Israel and Hamas resumed talks in Cairo today but appeared divided over an Egyptian proposal to ease the closing of the territory.

As NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Jerusalem, at the heart of the talks is the seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. "Hamas is demanding a full lifting of the blockade; Israel says it's only willing to ease some restrictions, allowing easier passage of goods and people in and out of Gaza."

Bochan Huy is part of a community of Cambodian-American musicians, remixing and reviving psychedelic hits from 1960s Cambodia.

The Death And Uneasy Rebirth Of Cambodia's Psychedelic Rock

Many of the old images in Bochan Huy's "Chnam Oun 16" music video are haunting — fleeting, grainy footage of workers in rural Cambodian labor camps and Phnom Penh's crumbling shops and streets, emptied of life.

But Huy says the eyes were the hardest — the photographs of Khmer Rouge victims, whose stares she and her producers would use to gauge how much pain could be tastefully set to electric guitar and thumping hip-hop beats.