The Two-Way
5:29 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Nairobi Mall Attack: Civilians Remain Hostages; Dozens Dead

Kenyan soldiers secure a section of Nairobi's upscale Westgate Mall, in this image taken from AFP TV. At least 68 deaths have been reported as a result of Saturday's midday attack by gunmen at the mall.
Nichole Sobecki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 3:26 pm

This post was last updated at 5:25 p.m. ET.

A standoff that began with a shocking attack at Kenya's Westgate Mall Saturday is in its second day, with civilians held hostage by gunmen in the upscale shopping center.

The authorities say they have isolated the attackers. As of Sunday afternoon, Red Cross officials reported 68 deaths and at least 200 wounded in the assault, with 49 people still missing. We'll add news to this post as it emerges.

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Code Switch
4:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Last Tweets From An American Jihadist In Somalia

In this 2011 photo, American-born Islamist militant Omar Hammami, right, sits with al-Shabab deputy leader Sheikh Mukhtar Abu Mansur Robow during a press conference in Somalia.
Farah Abdi Warsameh AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 7:42 am

Omar Hammami grew up in the small of town of Daphne, Ala., but ended up in southern Somalia on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list. Last week, Hammami was reportedly killed by members of al-Shabab, the al-Qaida-linked militant group, after a falling out with its leadership.

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Africa
4:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Somali President Tries To Pull Country Out Of Emergency

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud speaks to the press prior to talks at the U.S. State Department on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 8:20 am

The extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a mall Saturday in Nairobi, Kenya. Just to the east of Kenya, Somalia has been desperately trying to drive the Islamist group out of its towns and cities.

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Education
4:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:19 pm

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

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All Tech Considered
2:40 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Promises And Pitfalls Of Social Media — For Police

David Oliver, chief of police in Brimfield, Ohio, maintains a Facebook page that went viral (by police Facebook page standards) earlier this year. With more than 80,000 followers, he mixes humor with blunt opinions.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 8:48 am

For years, teens in Upper Darby Township, Pa., have taken to the local cemetery for after-hours, underage and very illegal parties.

And for years, the cops in the Philadelphia suburb have played a cat-and-mouse game to break up the graveyard debaucheries.

But this year, when the cops caught teens drinking in the cemetery, they didn't just file some paperwork — they also tweeted about it.

It's policing in the 21st century: where community outreach comes on Twitter, surveillance tape footage is posted on YouTube and gangs are infiltrated on Facebook.

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It's All Politics
2:36 am
Sun September 22, 2013

Obama's Passing Up Chances To Turn On The Charm

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at last year's congressional picnic on the South Lawn of the White House. This year, the picnic — seen as a chance for lawmakers to socialize beyond party lines — was canceled.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 8:20 am

President Obama isn't known as a schmoozer like Bill Clinton or a back-slapper like George W. Bush. But he does know that a personal touch can woo allies and soften adversaries.

Right now, domestic and international crises are looming on all sides of the president. Although a little tenderness might come in handy, Obama is repeatedly passing up opportunities to wage a charm offensive.

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Asia
8:34 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Bo Xilai's Life Sentence Reveals China's Leadership Problem

Disgraced politician Bo Xilai stands during his trial on corruption charges in August.
Kyodo/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 22, 2013 8:20 am

A court in East China sentenced former top Chinese official Bo Xilai to life in prison for corruption after one of the highest-profile political trials of recent years.

Media coverage of the court hearings transfixed audiences with details of murder, a love triangle and lavish official life styles. The case may prove to be a political Pandora's box that could bring down even higher-ranking officials and widen divisions over the country's future direction.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

In Life, Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus

Stephen Crohn, a New York artist and editor, carried a genetic mutation that protected him against HIV. He died last month at age 66. The cause was suicide.
Facebook.com

Stephen Crohn, a man best known for staying alive during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, died Aug. 23 at age 66. Throughout his lifetime, the New York artist helped researchers uncover vital clues about HIV and how to stop it.

Crohn's partner was one of the first people to die from AIDS in 1978. Over the years, Crohn watched boyfriends and acquaintances die from the disease. But he never got sick.

Knowing that there was something unique about himself, Crohn volunteered to be studied.

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Music News
2:45 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Walking The Sunset Strip, A Fading Beacon Of Cool

The Whisky a Go Go club on the storied Sunset Strip, once the hub L.A.'s music scene, acknowledged the May 2013 death of The Doors' keyboardist on its marquee: "Rest In Peace Ray Manzarek, Thanks for the Memories."
Jason Kempin Getty Images

In a city with 6,500 miles of blacktop, one stretch of road might be the most legendary in Los Angeles: the Sunset Strip. It's where the vibrant L.A. music got its vibe; imagine The Doors blaring through the gates of one club and The Byrds softly strumming just a few doors down. From one decade to the next, from folk to metal to hip-hop, iconic music was born there.

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Science
2:03 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

Black Widow Spider Fan Gets Dangerously Close To His Subject

Nature writer Jackson Landers kept a black widow alive in a jar on his desk for months.
Courtesy Jackson Landers

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 5:07 pm

The first time Jackson Landers spotted a black widow spider on his front porch, he was transfixed. The nature writer grew curious about the poisonous arachnids and even kept one as a pet in a jar for months.

"When you're confronted by this deadly, venomous thing day after day, you can't help but become interested in it," Landers tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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