The Associated Press is quoting a Mexican government official as saying six people in the hospital for possible radiation exposure are suspects in this week's theft of a shipment of radioactive cobalt-60.
The unnamed official tells the AP that the suspects were arrested on Thursday and were taken to the general hospital in Pachuca for observation and testing.
The news agency quotes Hidalgo state Health Minister Pedro Luis Noble said none are in grave condition and may be released soon.
As we reported earlier this week, a white Volkswagen truck carrying the medical-grade cobalt-60 was stolen on Monday at a gas station in Mexico. On Wednesday, officials recovered the "extremely dangerous" chemical hours after finding its empty container.
As The Associated Press reports:
"The theft triggered alerts in six Mexican states and Mexico City, as well as international notifications to the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. It raised concerns that the material could have been stolen to make a dirty bomb, a conventional explosive that disseminates radioactive material. But Mexican officials said that the thieves seemed to have targeted the cargo truck with moveable platform and crane, and likely didn't know about the dangerous cargo."
Every Friday on Morning Edition, we are touched by the very personal stories told in the StoryCorps booth. The stories are poignant not because they are glamorous or rare but perhaps because they are told by people just like us living their seemingly ordinary lives.
When you put it that way, stories of regular people, then you start to realize that there must be countless stories all across America just like the ones we hear on Fridays.
Wyoming Public Media has undertaken the task to tell more of those stories from people living right in their own state.
Preserving Memories of the State
Earlier this year, when StoryCorps traveled to Wyoming to provide the opportunity for residents to record, share and preserve their stories, Wyoming Public Media General Manager Christina Kuzmych pursued an idea. She wanted to capture the history of Wyoming through the memories of those who live in the state.
The project, Wyoming Stories, is supported in part by a grant and enables Wyoming Public Media reporters to collect and record a wide variety of oral histories from around the state that will be preserved at the University of Wyoming. Since July, the station has aired dozens of these stories - tragic yet inspiring insights into Japanese internment camps from people who experienced it first hand, and more lighthearted tales, such as one man's path to becoming a gold miner.
The purpose of the project, according to Kuzmych, is to hear the real stories of the people who make up Wyoming and what it's like to live there. This project has allowed Wyoming Public Media to help capture the history of the state and preserve it for generations to come.
A Boy and a Magpie
The story from a man who was in a Japanese internment camp, which was one of the first Wyoming Stories ever recorded, is Kuzmych's favorite.
Shigeru Yabu found salvation during his time at the World War II internment camp Heart Mountain Relocation Center, and he found it in a magpie.
Recounting the experience to Wyoming Stories, Yabu told how he had made pets out of insects, worms, and amphibians, and ultimately a magpie bird. Once, when he had snuck out of camp on a pet-finding expedition, a friend hit a magpie's nest with a slingshot. When Yabu discovered that the chick had survived, he decided he would help the bird live. He named the bird Maggie and taught her to speak and laugh.
His friendship with Maggie helped him survive a tough childhood in the internment camp, Yabu said. When Maggie died, Yabu dug a hole and buried the bird with her favorite toys including one of his t-shirts.
"It was a sad moment," Yabu concluded. "Maggie did not want to leave Wyoming, nor Heart Mountain."
Pixels that Make Up the Big Picture of History
This one small story - a boy and a magpie - is juxtaposed against the larger historical context of internment camps and a world war.
"Sharing these untold details is precisely what the reporters working on Wyoming Stories are intended to do," says Wyoming Public Media's Cultural Affairs and Production Director Micah Schweizer.
"Recording these stories offers a fresh and personal perspective on some of history's big events," Schwizer says. "And the more quotidian family stories fill in the pieces that the history books miss: what it was like to have Amelia Earhart as a neighbor or why a Missouri man has poured his life into an Atlantic City gold mine."
Working on finding these Wyoming Stories and interviewing has given Schwizer an increased appreciate for the state's big and small details.
"In a sense, these Wyoming Stories are the pixels that make up the big picture of history," he says. "Wyoming Public Media has the privilege to capture and preserve glimpses that might otherwise be lost."
More Than a Soundbite
To capture these interviews, Wyoming Public Media picks a variety of cities around the state. The station works with local organizations and libraries to spread the word about the project and the opportunity for local residents to participate. Reporters then travel to the city where they record the participants who have volunteered to be a part of Wyoming Stories.
"Interviewing someone for a Wyoming Stories piece is very different than interviewing for a news story," said Wyoming Public Media Reporter and Anchor Willow Belden. "It's a chance to let people talk - to have them recount their memories and describe their emotions in a way that's deeply personal. You're not looking for a 10-second sound bite; you're looking for a well-told, cohesive story. Rather than asking a set list of questions, you just let people talk."
In addition, Wyoming Public Media is collaborating with local community organizations and oral history groups to accomplish Wyoming Stories. It also has provided local college students with the opportunity to learn how to edit interviews to air on the radio.
Wyoming Stories has been a moving experience for the staff and volunteers involved but also for the community.
"It is a fantastic opportunity [for Wyoming Public Media] to connect with the public and creates a synergy between the public and the station," Kuzmych says. "Wyoming Stories brings [Wyoming Public Media] closer to the public and brings the public to radio."
Colleen Vivori is the Manager of Advocacy and Outreach. When she is not working with member stations to implement strategies, she is on a fruitless mission to collect a million Pez dispensers.
Emily Hellewell contributed to this story.
Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws that make it illegal to text while driving. Six others forbid new drivers from texting behind the wheel.
But that doesn't stop drivers from doing it — and enforcing those laws can be difficult.
On a highway north of New York City, state Trooper Clayton Howell is in an unmarked SUV. He's looking for drivers who are texting or using hand-held phones, which is banned in New York, along with 11 other states.
Even if you're a pro, it can be really tricky to spot someone on a cellphone. State police have been using these unmarked SUVs to try to catch drivers.
"You can see down into the car," Howell explains. "It's a bird's-eye view as opposed to being at the same level."
He sees one driver who looks like she's on her phone.
"See, I pulled right along next to her. She looked at me. And you can see now, no directional [signal]," he says. "Because it was in her right hand, and because I didn't actually physically see the phone, I'm going to give her a break."
People know it's dangerous to use phones while they drive. They know it's illegal. And they still do it anyway.
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee economics professor Scott Adams and a colleague looked at what happens when states pass texting and driving laws.
It turns out, people stop texting and driving for a little while — and then they start doing it again pretty quickly.
"What we saw was that there was an initial decline in accidents once texting bans were passed. That was quite substantial," Adams says. "But after a few months, there was no effect."
Adams thinks it's partly because the consequences for getting caught are often pretty light. In some states, the police can't even pull you over unless you're doing something else wrong, like not using your turn signal.
In New York, you can get pulled over for cellphone violations, but the fines start at only $50. You do get five points on your license, but it takes 11 points before your license is suspended.
Drunk driving in New York, on the other hand, will cost you at least $500, and your license is automatically revoked for at least six months.
Arthur Goodwin, who studies distracted driving at the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina, says that decades ago, drunk driving was also essentially ignored by the public.
Then states started imposing harsher penalties. They made it clear that people who did it would be caught. Now, there's a real stigma.
"There isn't anything like that yet for cellphones, but at some point, society may frown on people who use cellphones while driving, just the way we do with drinking and drivers," Goodwin says.
Back on the highway in New York, Howell is chasing down those distracted drivers.
"Now look at her driving on the dotted line there," he says. "Now she's actually coming into my lane, no directional, engaged in her phone call."
He turns on the siren and pulls her over. "May I see your license and registration, please? Who were you talking to, miss?"
The driver is a young woman who says she had been talking to her mother — telling her she would call back later. She's crying.
"I'm going to issue you a citation for operating a motor vehicle while using your mobile phone, OK?" Howell says.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that at any given time, more than 650,000 people are using their cellphones while they drive.
This one just got caught.
We all listen to music differently. What we hear is shaded by our history, our knowledge, our equipment, our mood, our taste. But every year there are moments when everybody who lives and breathes hip-hop is talking about the same thing.
In June, when Jay's Samsung/Magna Carta Holy Grail ad aired during game 5 of the NBA Finals. A Thursday in April when Pusha T's "Numbers on the Boards" dropped. A Friday night in May, when Kanye's face appeared on buildings all over the country. The middle of September, when Drake's Nothing Was the Same leaked. The evening in August when Funkmaster Flex dropped — complete with bomb sound — Kendrick Lamar's verse on Big Sean's "Control."
For this episode of Microphone Check co-hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley are joined by their social media manager, Cedric Shine. All three of them experienced those disruptions differently — and their opinions of both their meaning and the quality of the music at their root are not unanimous. The conversation ranges from Ali's inside track on Magna Carta to Troy Ave, ASAP Ferg, music journalism's involvement in Kanye's year and how the quality of life in New York City is affecting the music being made there.
France has sent troops to the Central African Republic after violence there flared between Muslim and Christian militias amid reports that the death toll from fighting had reached 280.
The Associated Press reports:
"[Mostly] Muslim armed fighters who have ruled the country since March hunted door-to-door for their enemies. Bodies lay decomposing along the roads in a capital [Bangui] too dangerous for many to collect the corpses."
Reuters says the former French colony
"has slipped into chaos since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March, leading to tit-for-tat violence with 'anti-Balaka' militia formed by the Christian majority. The violence that began on Thursday was the worst the capital has seen during the crisis."
Hundreds of soldiers began arriving from neighboring countries after Paris gave the go ahead for the mission, Reuters says.
The news agency quotes a resident in the PK12 neighborhood of the CAR capital as saying Seleka fighters were going "door to door."