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Sen. John Walsh, a Democrat from Montana. (AP)

Montana Sen. Walsh Says PTSD May Have Played A Role In His Plagiarism

by Eyder Peralta
Jul 24, 2014

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After The New York Times reported Sen. John Walsh plagiarized at least a quarter of his master's thesis, the Democrat from Montana is telling the AP post traumatic stress disorder may have played a role.

"I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," the Iraq war veteran said. "My head was not in a place very conducive to a classroom and an academic environment."

Walsh told the AP that he was on medication at the time and was dealing with the suicide of a fellow veteran.

Walsh was appointed to the Senate in February, after Max Baucus resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to China.

On Wednesday, the Times published a report that combed through the 14-pages of "The Case for Democracy as a Long Term National Strategy," which Walsh submitted as his final paper to earn his Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College.

The paper found that Walsh lifted whole sections from "academic papers, policy journal essays and books," without providing proper attribution.

The six recommendations Walsh makes, the paper reports, "are taken nearly word-for-word without attribution from a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace document on the same topic."

These revelations are likely to have an impact in the fall elections, because Walsh is the Democratic nominee for a full term.

In recent memory, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, was the last prominent politician to be in hot water for plagiarism. As It's All Politics reported, Paul was accused of lifting language from Wikipedia and news articles for several speeches.

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Fouad Massoum speaks to the press after an Iraqi Parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2010. Massoum, a Kurd, has been elected to the largely ceremonial post of president in Iraq. (AP)

Iraq Elects Kurdish Politician To Ceremonial Post Of President

Jul 24, 2014

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Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum has been elected president of Iraq by the country's parliament, another step in forming a new government after months of deadlock.

As Leila Fadel reports from Erbil in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region, "Massoum took his oath vowing to protect the constitution and the unity of Iraq. He made the promise as Iraq threatens to splinter into three pieces."

The vote for the largely ceremonial post of president was delayed for a day after the Kurdish bloc of legislators asked for more time to make their pick. Massoum was their choice.

Leila says: "In the Kurdish north calls for independence are growing and relations between Baghdad and the region have soured since Sunni extremists overran much of northern and western Iraq. The Kurds used the opportunity to seize disputed territories they believe are part of a future independent state."

"Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki angered Kurdish leaders when he accused them of harboring terrorists. World leaders, including Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon, who is visiting Iraq today, are urging an inclusive government as violence escalates in the capital."

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Fouad Massoum speaks to the press after an Iraqi Parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2010. Massoum, a Kurd, has been elected to the largely ceremonial post of president in Iraq. (AP)

Top Stories: Mideast Conflict Continues; Missing Algerian Jet

Jul 24, 2014

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Good morning, here are our early stories:

— Authorities Lose Contact With Air Algerie Aircraft.

— Gaza Conflict Day 17: Here's What You Need To Know.

And here are more early headlines:

Dutch Officials To Receive More Bodies From Downed Jet. (CNN)

Sudanese Woman Sentenced To Death Arrives In Italy. (Al Jazeera)

Weather Suspected In Taiwanese Airline Crash. (Wall Street Journal)

Senate Poised To Vote On Highway Trust Funding. (The Hill)

Federal Judge Overturns Colorado Same Sex Marriage Ban. (Denver Post)

Huge Washington State Wildfire Half Contained. (KING-TV, AP)

U.S. Teen Pilot Dies On Around-The-World Flight. (Indianapolis Star)

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Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye. (Republic Records)

First Watch: Maddie & Tae, 'Girl In A Country Song'

Jul 24, 2014

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Ann Powers

It's starting to seem like even the bros are tired of bro country. The truck-loving Florida Georgia Line has switched up its game with the chart- dominant "Dirt," a sensitive ballad about marriage and farming. The fastest-rising summer songs are "Bartender," Lady Antebellum's ode to girls' nights out, and two distinctly un-macho tales of men giving in to romance, "Yeah" by Joe Nichols and "I Don't Dance" by Lee Brice. The turn away from overt female objectification is gradual, however — Nichols still refers to the woman who tames him as "that sundress" — and could still use a kick in the Wranglers. Maddie and Tae have arrived to provide it.

The youthful Texas-Oklahoma duo made an instant sensation when "Girl in a Country Song" first emerged on the Internet. The foot stomper, written by Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye with Aaron Scherz, speaks in the voice of the woman supposedly enticed by the wolf whistles of artists like Thomas Rhett in "Get Me Some of That" or Tyler Farr in "Redneck Crazy." Aw, naw, Marlow and Dye say to such Cro-Magnon advances. Bikini tops chafe. Cutoff shorts ride up. It's boring to slide on over to the passenger side and just sit there looking pretty. "How in the world did it go so wrong?" Maddie and Tae harmonize. "Like all we're good for is lookin' good for you and your friends on the weekend — nothin' more."

Maddie and Tae are more. They're songwriters, powerful harmonizers, and in the video for "Girl in the Country Song," natural comediennes. Directed by TK McKamy (who's worked with at least one those bros in the past), it casts its two stars as observers of three bros at an outdoor party, rolling their eyes as the guys pant and whistle at some scantily-clad female guests. Then a sign flashes ROLE REVERSAL, and in scenes similar to Seth Rogen and James Franco's KimYe parody or the gender-flips of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," the dudes are shown in belly shirts and hot pants, fawning and strutting like the cartoon ladies recent country hits relentlessly present.

The video (which we're premiering here today) amuses not only because the male actors nail the ridiculousness of what country videos current ask of women, but because Maddie and Tae react with such verve and charm. Shots recreating the song's composition show the checklist the pair says they actually made; with phrases like "sugar shaker" and "money maker," it's relevant to the whole history of popular music, and of women reclaiming the perspective from men.

Now that the media's paying attention, Maddie and Tae are being careful to note that they're not haters of the male acts their song skewers. Like most young artists seeking mainstream success today, they keep their protest fairly benign. But the message of "Girl in a Country Song" and its video can't be misconstrued. Stereotypes are ridiculous. It's time to slide away from them.

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So trendy. Again. (Shutterstock)

Thanks To Backpack's Revival, Lugging Stuff Is Fashionable Again

by Constance C.R. White
Jul 24, 2014 (Ozy.com)

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Constance C.R. White

Backpacks are making a comeback. Which shouldn't be surprising. We're so obsessed with athletic wear designed to be worn everywhere but the gym, so it would seem inevitable that sports bags would make an appearance, too.

But it's not the bag filled with American history books that kids heave to school. Nor is it the rugged, nylon thing athletes carry around. These backpacks are clever examples of fashion following function.

Backpacks' hobo heritage gives wearers a patina of daring and freedom. A briefcase? That's so company woman. This age of bold (or pragmatic) entrepreneurialism calls for a bag that bellows adventure. Plus, what are you supposed to carry when you're already wearing sweatpants to work? A backpack.

Here's who's diving into the fray:

Not content with conquering the shoe world, Vince Camuto's handbag collection boasts three great-looking and utility-friendly backpack styles. There's a small, butter-soft, black pouch with a zippered strap. A crisp white and black number might remind you of 1920s men in linen suits taking seaside strolls and thus is well-suited to summer.

You may prefer the clean lines and smooth leather of a midsize handbag from Alexander Wang or Proenza Schouler. Proenza Schouler has one with a generous top flap and square bottom. It comes in red, black or dove gray with gold or silver trim.

Several big fashion names have gotten creative with what may become the new "it" bag. Unusual prints, pebbled leather and other distinctive treatments like studs, beading and fringe are everywhere. Emerging designer Sarah Law has some of the best-looking backpacks around. Her collection, sold under the name "Kara," includes eclectic combinations of shearling and pebble leather and others in painterly hues of wine or sky blue.

Generally, there's a lot more whimsy in backpacks this go-round than existed in the '90s. Though the fluffy backpacks and kiddie colors of Clueless would be an exception — or maybe an inspiration — for designers like Law.

Copyright 2014 Ozy.com. To see more, visit http://www.ozy.com/.

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