NPR News Newsletter: Alabama’s Abortion Law; Embassy Evacuation; American Muslims In Politics

Published by NPR News on May 15th, 2019 12:22pm.

Plus, which vaccines do adults need?
by Korva Coleman and Jill Hudson
First Up
The State Department ordered "non-emergency" U.S. government employees out of Iraq on Wednesday. A helicopter carrying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen taking off from Baghdad International Airport last week.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Here’s what we’re following today.

The State Department has ordered all "non-emergency" U.S. government employees to leave Iraq right away, citing high risks of kidnapping, terrorism and armed conflict. The order comes at a time the U.S. is urging other countries to stop buying oil and cut ties with neighboring Iran, which backs some militias in Iraq.

Alabama may soon have the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It's part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Comedian Tim Conway, best known as one of the co-stars of The Carol Burnett Show, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 85. In a career that spanned nearly six decades, he used his lightning-fast wit and improvisational skills to play goofballs who rarely took center stage.

San Francisco is the first U.S. city to ban the government’s use of facial recognition technology. A new study found facial analysis frequently errs when checking female faces or those of people of color. Listen to the story.

The Daily Good
After walking thousands of miles, Mink the bear is almost back home.
Hanover, N.H., Deputy Fire Chief Michael Hinsley in the woods with Mink the bear.
Courtesy of Michael Hinsley

For years, a man in New Hampshire fed maple-glazed doughnuts to a black bear. When the man died, the bear went into Hanover, N.H., to look for more doughnuts. So wildlife officials moved her into the woods far up north. Ever since then, Mink the bear has been making her way home.

Digging Deeper
American Muslim political candidates say they receive harsher treatment.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. She has been the target of criticism and censure for statements regarded as anti-Semitic. Many other prominent black Muslim leaders say her experience is familiar.
Susan Walsh/AP

Although she's only been in office a few months, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has made a name for herself with controversial comments against Israel. She has gotten death threats after President Trump falsely accused her of minimizing the Sept. 11 attacks. Some other Muslim Americans believe the controversy around Omar is more about who she is than what she says. "They cannot stand that a refugee, a black woman, an immigrant, a Muslim shows up in Congress thinking she's equal to them," Omar said at a recent rally organized by black female leaders who support her. Her words resonated with many American Muslims who are tired of being asked to prove their patriotism.

Today's Listen
Periods! These eighth-graders aren't afraid to talk about them.
English teacher Shehtaz Huq and the eighth-graders at Bronx Prep Middle School behind the winning podcast — Sssh! Periods.
Elissa Nadworny/NPR

The middle school winners of the NPR Student Podcast Challenge offer their perspective on why talking about periods is so taboo — and why that's silly. (Listening time, 6:40)

Before You Go
Many people might not be aware of what types of vaccines they need as they get older. Here, an adult gets a flu shot in Jacksonville, Fla.
Rick Wilson/AP images for Flu + You
  • What vaccines do adults need? Here’s a list.
  • An 11-year-old New Zealand girl sent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern $5 in seed money to launch studies about dragons and telekinesis. Why? So she can grow up to be a dragon trainer.
  • Scientists caught on video a triangle-weaver spider using a kind of slingshot to catch prey.
  • The ex-USC soccer coach behind fake athletic profiles in the college admissions scandal pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge on Tuesday.

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