Awaly Diallo, Paula Tabaschek and Shreya Sunder sort clothes at the Shop of Hope.
Lindsey Whissel Fenton / WPSU

Penn State Students Help Refugees On Alternative Spring Break

Spring break conjures images of college kids partying in Cancun. But, for some students, this week off is spent doing community service. Eleven Penn State students spent a week in Atlanta on a Penn State Alternative Break to work with refugees with the International Rescue Committee. Throughout the week, the students rotated through volunteer stations. Duncan de la Feld, the volunteer coordinator at IRC’s Atlanta office, says the organization’s role in the refugee resettlement process takes...

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An American journalist operating in eastern Ukraine has been kidnapped by pro-Russian gunmen, the separatists said Wednesday.

Simon Ostrovsky, working for Vice News, was seized at gunpoint early Tuesday by masked men in the restive eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.



I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to go back to a story that we've turned to a number of times on this program. We're talking about the move in many countries in Africa to toughen legal penalties and increase the stigma against homosexuality.



Finally today, let's hear from a model and actress who also has Nigerian roots, Yaya Alafia. Last year was a breakout year for her with meaty roles in critically acclaimed films including Lee Daniels' "The Butler" and Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George." And she had a baby.



Now we turn to education for the youngest Americans. We're talking preschool here. President Obama has challenged the country to provide what he calls high-quality preschool for all 4-year-olds. He mentioned this in his last two State of the Union addresses. Here he is earlier this year.


The Joys Of Spoiling

Apr 23, 2014

In the age of the Internet, the act of spoiling is easier than ever before. Through live-tweeting and message boards and comments sections, the information is out there and spreads quickly.

But why do some people enjoy revealing certain information about stories — surprises and finales and more — before others have had the opportunity to experience it?

We could tell you what we think now. But that would spoil the rest of this story.

Spoliation Nation

"A Rio de Janeiro slum erupted in violence late Tuesday following the killing of a popular local figure, with angry residents setting fires and showering homemade explosives and glass bottles onto a busy avenue in the city's main tourist zone," The Associated Press writes.

I Believe in Gratitude

Apr 18, 2014
Wagner This I Believe
Johanna Wagner

In the summer of 2012, I had a lot for which to be grateful. My husband and I were expecting our first child in early September. As an anxious mother-to-be I spent those early summer months devouring books, movies, articles and just about anything I could find about babies and those first crucial weeks. I was thrilled and terrified imagining what it would be like in a few short months. Never once did I think that I might not be there to experience it myself. 

WPSU Jazz Archive - April 18, 2014

Apr 18, 2014

An archive recording of WPSU Jazz program broadcast on April 18, 2014 with Greg Halpin.


Today’s guest, Jeffry Wert, is a historian and author who specializes in the American Civil War. He's written nine books about the Civil War. His book, Gettysburg--Day Three, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award. Wert also taught at Penns Valley Area High School for more than three decades. WPSU's Kate Lao Shaffner talked with him about his career as an author and teacher.

Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

Apr 10, 2014
Burks BookMark
Hannah Burks

Centre County Reads is an organization that encourages county residents of all ages to read and discuss the same book. This year’s pick is Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars. Our reviewer, Hannah Burks, is the undergraduate intern for the Center for American Literary Studies at Penn State.


NPR Stories

The same-sex dating app Grindr responded Monday to revelations that it allowed third parties to view the HIV status of users, saying its customers had the option not to supply sensitive information.

Grindr acknowledged that information on users' HIV status, including the date they were last tested for the virus, was shared with two companies – Apptimize and Localytics, who were paid to monitor and analyze how the app was being used.

A deadly fire that broke out last week at a Venezuelan jail that killed dozens of inmates is believed to have been intentionally set by some prisoners, the country's chief prosecutor said Monday.

Attorney General Tarek William Saab said prisoners at the jail set the blaze in response to a "type of inspection" being conducted by wardens at the jail, according to The Associated Press. What, if anything, was objectionable about the inspection is not clear.

DJ Sessions: Happy Birthday, Marvin Gaye

7 hours ago

To mark the 79th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s birth, KCRW DJ Liza Richardson (@maddollliza) digs through the “Prince of Soul’s” archives for this week’s Here & Now DJ Session with host Jeremy Hobson.

U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut announced Monday she will not run for re-election in the 2018 midterms, giving in to calls for her resignation.

Esty was came under attack last week accused of failing to protect female staffers from her male chief of staff, Tony Baker, who allegedly physically assaulted and harassed another member of her staff.

Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing?

Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon scarcity, and they say it touches on many aspects of our lives.

"It leads you to take certain behaviors that in the short term help you to manage scarcity, but in the long term only make matters worse," says Sendhil Mullaianathan, an economics professor at Harvard University.

Get More NPR News

EPA Moves To Weaken Landmark Fuel Efficiency Rules

The Trump Administration today moved to weaken fuel economy standards for automobiles, saying the current ones are inappropriate and wrong. The long-anticipated move is a win for auto manufacturers, which had lobbied for lower fuel-economy standards. It's also a rejection of one of former President Barack Obama's biggest efforts to combat climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In making the announcement, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, accused Obama of...

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The History — And Future — Of Gun Violence Research

Last month, Congress passed a spending bill that included language allowing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume conducting research on the causes of gun violence. The Democrats who wrote that part of the bill intended to reverse the 1996 so-called Dickey Amendment, that banned the CDC from using money to advocate or promote gun control. The amendment didnt directly ban research, but it had a chilling effect, and according to Dr. Mark Rosenberg , along with funding cuts,...

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To Treat Pain, PTSD And Other Ills, Some Vets Try Tai Chi

Every week in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Zibin Guo guides veterans in wheelchairs through slow-motion tai chi poses as a Bluetooth speaker plays soothing instrumental music. "Cloudy hands to the right, cloudy hands to the left," he tells them. "Now we're going to open your arms, grab the wheels and 180-degree turn." The participants swivel about-face and continue to the next pose. Guo , a medical anthropologist at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has modified his tai chi to work from a...

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Want More Control Over Your Facebook Page? Here's What To Do

Facebook has announced some of its plans to combat the ongoing controversy surrounding how it uses user data. The company has struggled in recent weeks following the news that a company called Cambridge Analytica was able to use the data of over 50 million Facebook accounts to try to influence the 2016 election. The company has said it will soon roll out a streamlined privacy and security settings page that will make it easier for users to change settings on their accounts. They also plan to...

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What Chinese Tariffs Targeting American Crops Will Mean For Farmers

Today, the Chinese government announced tariffs on 128 American products, including food. Pork will be taxed 25 percent, and wine, dried fruit, and nuts are now subject to a 15 percent duty. The announcement comes in response to the tariffs President Trump recently imposed on steel and aluminum. Trade officials from each country are negotiating, and it's not yet clear how long the duties will be in effect, or what the lasting impact will be for American producers and growers. But for...

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13-Year-Old Boy Rescued, Hours After Disappearing Into Sewer Pipes

On Sunday, a 13-year-old boy on an Easter picnic with his family fell through a wooden plank in Los Angeles' Griffith Park — and plummeted 25 feet down, into the city's sewer and drainage pipe system. He was swept away. A frantic overnight search began. And after more than 12 hours, he was located conscious and alive. "It's with happy hearts that all Los Angeles city agencies are able to state that we have found Jesse Hernandez," Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department told...

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You May Live Longer By Severely Restricting Calories, Scientists Say

Research has shown that sharp reductions in the amount of food consumed can help fish, rats and monkeys live longer. But there have been very few studies in humans. Now, some researchers have found that when people severely cut calories, they can slow their metabolism and possibly the aging process. Clinical physiologist Leanne Redman , who headed the study at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, says the first challenge was finding people willing to take part. After all,...

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Texas Woman Sentenced To 5 Years For Illegal Voting

On Nov. 8, 2016, Crystal Mason got out of work and drove through the rain to her home in Dallas. She walked through the door and tried to settle in for the evening. But her mother delivered something akin to a scolding. "You have to go vote!" Mason's mother said, according to her attorney, J. Warren St. John, who spoke to NPR. Mason grabbed her keys and set out for her local precinct. When she got there, she found out that her name was not on the voter roll so she was given a provisional...

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A 'Ragged School' Gives U.K. Children A Taste Of Dickensian Destitution

Miss Perkins stands on a creaking wooden floorboard, peering over wire-rimmed glasses. With a bang of her cane on a small wooden desk, she instructs her students to repeat after her: "Four farthing equals one penny." "Four farthing equals one penny," answer the 9- and 10-year-olds. The children sit on stools, slate boards on their laps, alongside a wall with a replica 19th century sepia map showcasing the British Empire. They've stepped into the past at the Ragged School Museum , which allows...

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Trump Administration Can't Block Undocumented Immigrants From Seeking Abortions

On Friday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., said the Trump administration cannot prevent young, undocumented women in federal custody from seeking abortions. That includes interfering with or blocking medical appointments, abortion counseling, and abortion services. It protects minors without guardians, who come under the control of Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, from being forced to share if they are pregnant and whether they are considering...

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Ousted Marine Commander Aims To 'Fight Like A Girl' Against Gender Bias In Marines

To former Lt. Col. Kate Germano, achieving success can be as simple as setting higher standards. In her new book titled, Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained , the former Marine and co-author Kelly Kennedy, share her story of fighting to raise the bar for training female recruits in the Marine Corps. The military branch has one of the lowest rates of women serving , and it's the only remaining branch to separate women from men during training. Germano says the...

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Robin Olson: Tiny Desk Concert

Editor's note on April 2, 2018: You may have figured this out already — this story was an April Fools' joke. It's not real. We hope you enjoyed it. "Not all pianists are created in equal temperament," Robin Olson told a small but enthusiastic audience behind NPR Music's storied Tiny Desk. The pianist, hailed as an "avant-garde gewandhaus" by Berlin's Staubzeitung , is as celebrated for his cryptic maxims as he is for his inscrutable music. Olson's trademark style — shooting clusters of...

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Kentucky Teachers Protest Pension Overhaul, Budget Plan At State Capitol

Kentucky teachers are rallying Monday at the state capitol in Frankfort. They say theyre upset about a pension overhaul bill that state lawmakers passed last week. Here & Now s Peter ODowd gets the latest from Frankfort from Ryland Barton ( @RylandKY ) of WFPL. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

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We need public radio nerds!

WPSU-FM has a $140,000 goal for our fund drive that begins April 14. We'll need a big head start to reach it, and your contribution now gets us closer. Thanks!

WPSU's 2018 Election Coverage

Find candidate profiles, information on the newly drawn PA Congressional districts, resources on voter registration, and more on WPSU's Vote '18 web portal.

The new map of Pennsylvania Congressional districts, released February 19 by the PA Supreme Court.
PA Supreme Court

Pa. Supreme Court Dramatically Overhauls State’s Congressional Map (Clickable Map Included)

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has enacted a new congressional district map that onlookers say is much more favorable to Democrats, replacing one the court overturned and deemed an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander last month. Justices described the new map in their 48-page decision as “superior” to other proposals filed for their consideration. It’s more compact, they wrote, and splits only 13 counties — fewer than half the number divided in the 2011 map drawn in a process controlled by...

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Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. WPSU is a contributing station.

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Reasons To Stay

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