Lead Stories

The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Thousands Reportedly Flee Battle In Tikrit

A Shiite fighter sits on a military vehicle in the town of Hamrin in Salahuddin province on Thursday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:49 pm

Thousands of refugees have fled fighting in Tikrit, according to the U.N., as Iraqi forces backed by Shiite militias and Kurdish peshmerga battle to expel extremists from the self-declared Islamic State from the city.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that ISIS militants have set fire to oil wells in Iraq's north in an effort to slow government forces.

Read more
Code Switch
2:56 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

A 'Black Tax' At Charlotte's Ritz-Carlton?

A photo of a table tent at the lobby bar of the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte during CIAA week.
Courtesy Patrice Wright

A Charlotte news station reported on Monday that the Ritz-Carlton, one of prosperous uptown Charlotte's swankiest hotels, added what looks suspiciously like a black tax to the lobby bar tabs of patrons in town last week for the CIAA, the popular mega-tournament for basketball teams at historically black colleges and universities from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:36 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

'Respect The Robot': Giant Robots Oversee Traffic In Kinshasa

A man walks by with a basket of bread during the official presentation ceremony of three new robots that were installed Tuesday in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to help tackle the city's traffic.
Federico Scoppa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 4:55 pm

Perhaps, we will welcome our robot overlords after all.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:27 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Why Is The VP Of Sierra Leone Running The Country By Laptop?

Sierra's Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana (right) is in charge while President Ernest Bai Koroma (center) is in Europe.
Michael Duff AP

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:59 pm

Ebola hasn't been in the news much lately.

That's because the number of new cases has plummeted since the height of the epidemic late last year. In fact, the turnaround has been so dramatic that Liberia, once the hardest-hit country, is now on the brink of declaring itself Ebola-free.

But two headlines from Sierra Leone this week caught our attention.

According to reports, a boat with sick fishermen sparked a new outbreak in the capital. Meanwhile, the vice-president of Sierra Leone was under quarantine after his bodyguard died of Ebola.

Read more
Code Switch
1:39 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Study: At 'Rate My Professors,' A Foreign Accent Can Hurt A Teacher's Score

The biggest gaps overall were in the South.
Kat Chow/NPR

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 6:21 pm

"So-and-so is really, really hard to understand." Or: "His accent is so distracting." I remember hearing off-the-cuff remarks like this a few times in college, complaints by classmates about teaching assistants and instructors, almost all of them of Asian descent and non-native English speakers.

Read more

Pages