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The Sacred Glacier Is Melting But The Festival Goes On

May 21, 2016

On Sunday, May 22, over 100,000 Peruvians are expected to arrive at a site in the Andean highlands near the peak of Ausungate, in the southeastern region of Cusco. They may have traveled hundreds of miles to get there. At an altitude of 16,500 feet, they'll camp out, sing, dance and pray at the holiest — and one of the biggest — religious festivals in the Andes mountain chain. It's called Qoyllur Riti, which means "snow star" in the local Quechua language.

The commencement speech season is underway and grads are soaking up advice and wisdom all over the country.

And since it's an election year, it's hard for speakers to resist stepping onto the soapbox.

Last weekend, President Obama spoke at Rutgers University in New Jersey, one of the nation's oldest higher ed institutions. He appeared to take a jab at Donald Trump — though he didn't call him out by name.

"It's up to you," said a 1945 public service announced aimed at Americans. Find "one of man's worst enemies" and "destroy their foxholes."

The video came from the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas (now known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And it was talking about a particular species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti — the very same mosquito in the news now. Back then, public health officials were mostly worried about dengue and yellow fevers.

The Secret Service says one of its officers shot a man carrying a gun after he refused to drop his weapon, just outside the White House on Friday afternoon.

The FBI, among other law enforcement agencies who continue to investigate the incident, say there's no known connection to terrorism right now.

From the Associated Press:

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed a bill on Friday that would have made it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion.

The legislation, which was the first of its kind, as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reported Thursday, would have effectively eliminated abortion in the state. Oklahoma lawmakers passed the bill on Thursday, as the Two-Way reported.

Snakes and lizards and crocodiles, oh my!

All of these creatures, which include Burmese pythons and carnivorous lizards, have turned up in Florida in recent years, sparking concerns about possible damage from invasive species and questions about how the nonnative animals came to be in the state.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Watching a Terence Davies film is like watching paintings come to life. On the other hand, the filmmaker jokes, "The people who don't like my films say it's about as interesting as paint drying."

Still, Davies (pronounced "Davis") has plenty of defenders. More than one critic has called him Britain's greatest living film director, and French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard — who was famously not a fan of British moviemakers — called Davies' 1988 full-length feature breakout, Distant Voices, Still Lives, "magnificent".

Infamous drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán is one step closer to being extradited to the U.S. after Mexico's Foreign Relations Department said the process could go ahead.

A U.S. Department of Justice spokesman said, "We understand that the Mexican Foreign Ministry has now approved our two requests for extradition, following their approval by Mexican courts."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration is promising the agency will do a better job of staffing enough officers at airport security checkpoints to reduce long lines. But he says those long lines are likely to continue through the peak summer travel season.

Travelers at some airports have been waiting two to three hours or more to get through screening. As a result, thousands have missed their flights in recent weeks.

The problem has been particularly bad at Chicago's airports.

For the second time this month, demonstrators stormed Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, home to Iraq's parliament, government buildings and embassies.

NPR's Alison Meuse reports the Iraqi Interior Ministry confirmed that "indirect fire and tear gas were used to quell today's protests." The government also declared a citywide curfew.

"Riot police are dealing with anyone trying to damage state institutions in accordance with the law," Iraq's military says, according to Reuters.

The National Rifle Association endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, just before the apparent Republican nominee addressed its annual conference in Louisville, Ky.

"To get the endorsement, believe me, is a fantastic honor," Trump said, adding that he and his sons are members of the NRA. "They're much better shooters than I am," he said.

"They have so many rifles and so many guns, I tell you, sometimes even I get a little concerned," Trump said.

After the regular Friday prayers at Cairo's Sultan Hussain Mosque, it was time to say prayers for the dead.

Worshippers outside for the overflow service stood in neat rows through four calls of "God is great." They said silent prayers in between.

Afterward, Khalid al-Kassam, 67, received hugs and claps on the back from many friends. His brother and sister-in-law, plus their son and his wife, were all on EgyptAir Flight 804.

A new label on some of the steaks in your grocery store highlights a production process you may never have heard of: mechanical tenderizing.

This means the beef has been punctured with blades or needles to break down the muscle fibers and make it easier to chew. But it also means the meat has a greater chance of being contaminated and making you sick.

The labels are a requirement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that went into effect this week.

Doctors Without Borders says it is suspending its work in areas the Central African Republic after gunmen ambushed a convoy and killed one of the aid group's drivers.

The attack near the border with Chad is one of many recent attacks on the group's staff members, highlighting the risks they are exposed to while treating patients in many of the world's most dangerous conflict zones.

The World Humanitarian Summit begins this Monday in Istanbul. But one prominent group won't be in attendance. Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, withdrew from its role in the summit in early May, after 18 months of active involvement in preparations. The group's main reason for pulling out was that governments around the world won't be bound to any initiatives put forth.

Painting Out Blackface

May 20, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Late-Night Laughs with Grace

May 20, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A city in India has recorded the highest temperature in the country's history — 51 degrees Celsius, or 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Murari Lal Thanvi told the BBC it was so hot in the city of Phalodi on Friday that his cellphone stopped working. "I was able to switch my mobile phone on after putting a wet cloth on it for about 20-25 minutes."

The new, redesigned "Nutrition Facts" label is coming. The Food and Drug Administration has announced that the new label will be required on most packaged food by July 2018.

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a plan to update a 40-year-old law regulating the safety of chemicals.

Over 150 pregnant women in the United States appear to have been infected with Zika virus. That's in addition to more than 120 women affected by Zika in U.S. territories, mainly Puerto Rico.

Those are the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which has been keeping track of all pregnant women in the U.S. and its territories who have lab tests suggestive of Zika virus infections.

In a remote corner of eastern India, far in the jungle and hours by boat from any village, there is a camp with a brightly colored shrine to a forest goddess. Behind a tall fence, a statue of Bonbibi wears silks and garlands, with a gold headdress. She shelters a boy from a tiger.

We've made great progress treating people who are infected with HIV, but if they get cancer they're less likely to get the care they need, a recent study found.

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