National News

FBI Releases Mobile App for Finding Bank Robbers

Have you ever wanted to keep track of bank robberies in your neighborhood or city? Or maybe you've always wanted to help the FBI catch a bad guy? As you've no doubt heard before, there's an app for that.

The FBI today released a Bank Robbers mobile app designed to help the public, law enforcement, and financial institutions see and share photos and information about robberies all over the country.

A boat floats between flooded homes in Hammond, La., after heavy rains inundated the southeastern part of the state.

Flooding In Louisiana Raises Questions About Timing, Urgency Of Warnings

The rain fell for days, sometimes 3 inches or more in a single hour, as streets became rivers and rivers ate up entire neighborhoods in southeast Louisiana.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 14, more than 20 inches of rain fell in and around East Baton Rouge, one of the hardest-hit parishes. And in some parishes in the region, as much as 2 feet of rain fell in 48 hours.

The National Weather Service says the likelihood that so much rain would fall in so little time was about one-tenth of 1 percent. A flood this bad should only happen once every thousand years.

A plane sprays pesticide over the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami on Aug. 6. That's just one way health officials are battling back Zika-carrying mosquitoes in the area.

How Big, Really, Is The Zika Outbreak In Florida?

As expected, the Zika outbreak in Florida is growing — though how fast is still difficult to say.

State and federal health officials say mosquitoes are spreading Zika in two neighborhoods of Miami, including Miami Beach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told pregnant women Friday not to go into these neighborhoods — and to consider postponing travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County.

Raylene Monterroza (left) was one of nine California public school students who challenged the state's teacher tenure laws. The California Supreme Court declined to hear their case.

California Teacher Tenure Laws Upheld

In a major victory for teachers unions in California, the state Supreme Court has upheld teacher tenure laws. By a 4-3 vote, a divided court decided not to hear Vergara vs. California, a case challenging state tenure laws.

The closing ceremony of the Rio Games on Sunday gave the city one last chance to party at the Olympics.

The Rio Olympics: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Uncertainty

This has been an Olympics of questions: Will everyone who goes to Rio get Zika? Can they survive the polluted water — or the polluted air? Will criminals ruin the games? Are Rio and its venues chaotic? And what is up with that green water?

Those are some of the questions I was asked by friends, colleagues and NPR's audience after I got to Rio. Several times, I gave a joking answer that was only half-joking: that the Rio Olympics are like a three-week Mentos commercial.

A Miami-Dade County mosquito control worker sprays around a school in the Wynwood area of Miami earlier this month.

Miami Schools Take Steps To Protect Returning Students From Zika

Students returned to school on Monday in Miami amid a new concern: the threat of Zika. Nine schools in Miami-Dade County are in or near a zone where nearly a month ago health officials confirmed that mosquitoes are spreading the virus.

One of them, Jose de Diego Middle School, is in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood, an area known for its restaurants, cafes and street art. It's also home to middle-class and low-income families, many newly arrived from Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti.

Ahmad Faqi al-Mahdi in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court in the Hague last September. Mahdi pleaded guilty to war crimes over the deliberate destruction of buildings at a UNESCO-listed desert heritage site in Mali in 2012.

Militant Who Destroyed Mali Cultural Sites Pleads Guilty To War Crimes

A former Malian rebel leader has pleaded guilty at the International Criminal Court to destroying priceless monuments in Timbuktu in 2012.

As the Two-Way has reported, the trial against Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi is believed to be the first time desecration of cultural heritage has been prosecuted as a war crime by the tribunal in The Hague.

For our Newscast unit, Teri Schultz reports:

A 5-year-old boy, identified in news reports as Omran Daqneesh, sits in an ambulance Wednesday after reportedly being pulled out of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria.

This Photo May Not Change The World But It Moved One Mom To Act

The headline of a recent NPR's story about Omran Daqneesh, a little Syrian boy who was rescued in Aleppo, asked: "Can One Photo End A War?"

This "one photo" may not end a war tomorrow, but it has made me aware of the devastation happening every second in Syria. And it has prompted me to take action to help end the war today.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he will try to return to the office. He's pushing hard-line policies on immigration and security.

Conservative Leader Nicolas Sarkozy Announces Bid To Retake French Presidency

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he's running once again for the presidency — years after a failed re-election bid that was seen as a rebuke to his leadership.

The conservative politician announced his decision to run in 2017 elections by publishing on social media an excerpt from his soon-to-be-released book. Reuters has this quote from the announcement:

"I felt I had the strength to lead this battle at a troubled time in our history. ... The five years that come will be full of danger, but also of hope."

Richland Single Estate Old Georgia Rum is made from cane grown, cut, distilled and rested on the premises of a 100-acre plantation in Richland, Ga. International awards and gold medals have poured in for this field-to-glass rum.

Craft Distillers Tap Pure Sugar Cane For A Southern Rum Renaissance

Ah, rum, with its legendary pirates bellowing for grog, tiki umbrellas peeking up from neon-colored cocktails, tequila-spiked punch at college parties. Rum, universally imbibed and yet often scorned. Most rum is "the distilled essence of industrial waste," in the words of Wayne Curtis, author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails. That waste is molasses, the byproduct of sugar production.

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