New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


On A Rocky Maine Island, Puffins Making A Tenuous Comeback

Aug 24, 2013
Originally published on August 24, 2013 11:39 am



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. East Coast seabirds have had a tough year. They've been battered by storms and disruptions in the food chain. Among them, the sturdy little Atlantic puffin. Now, here in the United States, their numbers dwindle to just a single nesting pair by 1901. Since then, thanks to the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, they've made a comeback. But as WBUR's Fred Bever reports, the puffins are now facing some new threats.

FRED BEVER, BYLINE: Rocky, windswept Eastern Egg Rock, about six miles off the coast of Maine, was once a haven for a hugely diverse bird population. But in the 1800s, fishermen decimated their ranks for food and for feathers. When ornithologist Stephen Kress first visited 40 years ago, the seven-acre island was nearly barren, with only grass and gulls left. Not a puffin in sight. Not even an old puffin bone.

STEPHEN KRESS: But it had great habitat because there were great boulders on the island and I could imagine the puffins standing on top of them.

BEVER: No imagination is needed now. Thanks to a relocation experiment pioneered by Kress and his co-workers in the Audubon Society's Project Puffin, this treeless little island is now kind of a bird tornado.


BEVER: Island manager Maggie Post leads the way.

MAGGIE POST: So, there are eggs and chicks. I guess I can lead the way up there. We'll go single file. So, try to step on bare rock and our trails, if you can.

BEVER: In peak years, more than 200 of the orange-and-black beaked puffins nest here. Ten other bird species, including the endangered roseate tern, have been tempted into their slipstream, with an assist from hand-made burrows, decoys and recorded birdcalls. In nesting season, humans are posted to wave off predators such as Black-backed gulls and eagles.


BEVER: Kress heads to a bird blind out on the perimeter. He's surrounded by a whirl of laughing gulls and terns. They're mostly what's heard, here: puffins are silent above ground. But a dozen or so puffin loaf - that's the scientific term - loaf on a jutting rock nearby. It's a group of little bird-faced jesters in tucked-back tuxedos, all seeming to ponder the sea and the sky.

KRESS: They keep their distance. They don't ever - oops, one goes, the others thinks maybe it's time to leave too. Yup, yeah.


BEVER: Kress snaps pictures of puffins on the wing, as they bring staples like herring and hake to chicks nesting deep inside the rocks.

KRESS: So, there's two puffins flying around, coming in with food. So, you see the fish, shiny in their beak even from here. I think it's two or three herring, which is good news.


BEVER: Herring are good news now because last year, they never arrived in local waters. Their absence coincided with the warmest water temperatures ever recorded in the Gulf of Maine, part of a general warming trend documented over the last decade. Instead, a more southerly species, called butterfish, showed up. Butterfish are fine, even nutritious, for adult puffins. But they're too big for the babies' gullets.

KRESS: Last year, the puffin chicks were surrounded by big butterfish that they couldn't swallow, and most of the, about half of the chicks starved.

BEVER: The herring are back now, and there are fewer butterfish around. Still, workers are finding a new southern invader, uneaten, in puffin and tern nests. And after last year's hard winter, the numbers of birds, nests and surviving chicks are low. Kress says it's too soon to tell if this is a long-term trend.

KRESS: I think the seabirds will tell us about the changes. If the oceans are changing so that the seabirds can't survive here, this is not good news for humans either.

BEVER: Island workers do get depressed about it all. But they have a pick-me-up: grubbing for puffin chicks.

POST: Yeah, we have a few tools we're using for this grubbing here. One of them...

BEVER: Maggie Post and resident intern Kate McNamee worm their way far down in a jumble of boulders.

KATE MCNAMEE: He's on my stick. He's standing on my fly swatter. He's really close to you.

POST: OK, I've got him.


BEVER: McNamee emerges with a 10-inch beaked bundle of gray and white fluff. It has a distinctive crown, a little like a bald-headed friar.

MCNAMEE: He's got male pattern feathers.

POST: He's got a friar's haircut.

MCNAMEE: Friar Tuck.


POST: Yeah, Friar Tuck.

BEVER: Friar Tuck is banded, measured, weighed and returned to his burrow. With luck, in a few weeks this new Maine native will fledge and take on the mature puffin's distinctive colors. And after dark, one night soon, he'll head out onto uncertain seas. For NPR News, I'm Fred Bever. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.