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Last November, voters in California overwhelmingly approved Proposition 47, which lets people with some nonviolent felonies petition a court to reduce their crimes to misdemeanors. And that has opened up new opportunities for many former offenders.

Take 21-year-old Sofala Mayfield, for instance. Mayfield's life began to fall apart in his teens, after his grandmother suffered a stroke and his mother fell back into drug addiction.

To a visitor, it seems like a curious bit of territory for the Turkish military and the Kurds to be fighting over: steep rocky hills covered in brown windblown grass divided by patches of green forestland.

But if you get off the main road, and follow a gravel track into the hills, a makeshift camp emerges. This is where Kurdish activists have put themselves in the line of fire between the Turkish army and the youth faction of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or the PKK.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On a rare sunny morning in the northern Pacific Ocean, biologist Douglas Causey takes to the sea to conduct his research — binoculars in one hand, and a shotgun in the other.

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How Fishermen's Bragging Rights Gave Birth To Fine Art

Aug 30, 2015

Fishing lore is full of tales about "the one that got away," and fishermen have been known to exaggerate the size of their catch. The bragging problem is apparently so bad, Texas even has a law on the books that makes lying about the size or provenance of a fish caught in a tournament an offense that could come with a felony charge.

About an hour's drive south of Kabul, there's a vast Buddhist archaeological site dating back at least 1,500 years. It happens to be sitting on top of one of the biggest untapped copper deposits in the world, potentially worth billions of dollars.

This is a story of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship. It is the story of the meat straw. Yes, you read that right.

"It is a straw made out of pork," explains Ben Hirko of Coralville, Iowa, the man behind Benny's Original Meat Straws.

It's a half-inch in diameter, the same length as a standard plastic straw. And it has a hole running down the middle of it, through which you're meant to slurp up Bloody Marys.

Thousands took to the streets in Martyrs' Square in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on Saturday for the second week in a row to demand government accountability and solutions for a mounting garbage crisis.

Also for the second week in a row, the diehard protesters were dispersed by force. As the sun set and the families went home, a faction of protesters tried to break through barricades protecting the government palace. Police chased them down with batons, clearing the entire downtown and arresting stragglers.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump's been having a lot of fun at the expense of others lately.

Turkish warplanes have conducted their first airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Syria as part of a U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group.

The joint airstrikes were carried out late Friday, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Tens of thousands of people have turned out in the streets of Malaysia's capital to demand that Prime Minister Najib Razak step down amid what opponents are calling a massive corruption scandal.

The country's former leader, Mahathir Mohamad made a surprise appearance at the anti-government rally in Kuala Lumpur, Reuters reports.

Prayers and church bells in New Orleans marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the deadliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, speaking to assembled dignitaries at a memorial to the unclaimed and unidentified among the estimated 1,800 who died in the storm, said the city had to rely on itself to get through the tragedy.

"We saved each other," Landrieu said. "New Orleans will be unbowed and unbroken."

NBC's former chief health editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, has shared her experience of being quarantined in her New Jersey home last year after reporting on Ebola.

Police in Bangkok says they have arrested a suspect that they think was involved in the deadly shrine bombing earlier this month that killed 20 people and wounded more than 120 others.

A foreigner was taken into custody today, Gen. Somyot Poompanmoung, the head of Thailand's national police force, told reporters.

He said authorities had also "seized a lot of evidence, including bomb-making materials." Somyot added that it was too early to say for sure that the suspect was involved in the Aug. 17 bombing of the Erawan shrine in central Bangkok.

A trio of journalists from Al-Jazeera English has been found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison after their re-trial in an Egyptian courtroom on terrorism-related charges.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says a suspect is in custody for the killing of Deputy Darren Goforth.

Hickman announced at a press conference Saturday evening that the suspect, Shannon J. Miles, is facing capital murder charges. He also said Miles has a previous criminal history, including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct with a firearm.

The shooting appeared "unprovoked," Hickman said, and a motive has not been determined.

Our earlier post continues ...

There are a lot of stories to tell about New Orleans.

There are uplifting stories about new houses, new shops and gigantic drainage projects. There are melancholy stories about everything residents lost in Hurricane Katrina, about all that can never be recovered. There are stories about all that remains to be done, 10 years after the hurricane and the levee failures.

And, throughout it all, there are love stories.

Want to hear one?

'It Was Still Mardi Gras'

How much, if any, of the shocking sights and sounds should newsrooms report when two people are murdered on live television and the video whips around the world on the Web?

Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two local TV journalists, were gunned down while on the air Wednesday. They were near Roanoke, Va., interviewing local Chamber of Commerce official Vicki Gardner about tourism. Gardner was seriously injured.

One of history's greatest engineering feats is one you rarely hear of. It's the Inca Road, parts of which still exist today across much of South America.

Back in the day — more than 500 years ago — commoners like me wouldn't have been able to walk on the Inca Road, known as Qhapaq Ñan in the Quechua language spoken by the Inca, without official permission.

Donald Trump's Republican presidential campaign continues to lead in the polls, and this week Trump hired Sam Clovis to be his national campaign co-chairman. A week ago, Clovis worked for Republican rival Rick Perry. Clovis, a former radio talk show host and college professor, is an Iowan who has run for state treasurer and the U.S. Senate there. He Talked to NPR's Scott Simon from Sioux City, Iowa.

To hear the full conversation, click the audio link above.


Interview Highlights

On why he left Perry to work for Trump

In one of several high-profile cases that have drawn international criticism, a Russian military court has sentenced a Ukrainian film director to 20 years in prison for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in Crimea.

The cases have provoked protests from human rights groups and Western governments, including the United States.

Updated at 12 noon ET

What's left of a disorganized Erika, no longer a tropical storm, has moved western Cuba after drenching the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The remnants of Erika are expected to move across Cuba and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday.

The latest National Hurricane Center advisory says:

This week on Wall Street, investors experienced thrills, chills, tears and giggles as their investments plunged, soared, dropped, rose, dipped, moved sideways — and then ended about where they started.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average inched down 12 points to 16,643 for the day, ending a bit higher than last Friday's 16,459 close.

So if you just got back from spending a week on a tiny desert island with no smartphone, you might look at the Dow's close and think it was a pretty tame week.

You would be very, very wrong.

This has been one of the worst — and most expensive — wildfire seasons ever in the Northwest, where climate change and a history of suppressing wildfires have created a dangerous buildup of fuels.

With fires burning hotter and more intense, there are renewed calls to change how the federal government pays to fight the biggest fires.

"These large and intense fires are a natural disaster in much the same way a hurricane or a tornado or a flood is," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says. "And they ought to be funded as such through the emergency funding of FEMA."

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