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Oregon Shooter's Death Was Suicide, Authorities Say

Oct 3, 2015

The sheriff in Roseburg, Oregon, where a gunman killed 9 students at Umpqua Community College earlier this week, said that the shooter killed himself during a confrontation with police at the scene of the campus assault.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, speaking at what he said would be the final scheduled new conference on the Thursday shooting, said that the Oregon medical examiner has identified the cause of death of the shooter as suicide.

Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a 43-year-old Polish priest who revealed his homosexuality, and a same-sex relationship on the eve of gathering of bishops from around the world, has been stripped of his doctrinal responsibilities for what the Vatican says are "very serious and irresponsible" actions.

"The decision to make such a pointed statement on the eve of the opening of the synod appears very serious and irresponsible, since it aims to subject the synod assembly to undue media pressure," the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said in a statement.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Amy and Dave Freeman are willing to risk brutal winters, thin ice and hordes of hungry mosquitoes to raise awareness about impending mining operations on the border of public lands in northern Minnesota.

A year without a shower takes a tremendous amount of dedication and passion. Why do the Freemans believe the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is worth the sacrifice?

"The Boundary Waters belong to all of us. It's a national forest, it's federal lands. It's like a Yellowstone or a Yosemite," Dave says. "There's no other place like it on Earth."

What We Know About The Oregon Shooter

Oct 3, 2015

Authorities are trying to build a profile of the 26-year-old gunman who shot and killed 9 people and wounded as many at a western Oregon community college on Thursday in hopes of discovering what his motive might have been.

The Douglas County Sheriff, John Hanlin, has refused to say the shooter's name, stating that he doesn't want to "glorify" him, but officials have said he is Christopher Sean Harper-Mercer and that he was killed at the scene in a shoot-out with police.

Here's what we know about him:

In some areas of the Northwest, dryland farmers are getting impatient. They need rain to plant winter wheat.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has lately been confronting questions about ethnic diversity, gender equality and LGBT rights.

Now the church's believers, and its critics, are watching closely to see what a membership shake-up might mean for the church. The senior governing council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expected to name three new leaders to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after the fairly recent deaths of three elder members.

Updated at 9:03 p.m. ET

Hurricane Joaquin is moving rapidly away from the Bahamas as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 155 mph. Although forecasters say it will stay well offshore from the U.S. East Coast, Bermuda could be in the storm's crosshairs.

Even without a direct hit on the Eastern Seaboard, severe flooding, partly from hurricane-generated rain, was is a big concern in the Carolinas. The White House has declared a state of emergency in South Carolina, which is getting historic levels of rainfall.

Dennis Quintillo

Scientists are warning that intense wildfires in the northernmost areas of North America are changing the composition of the tundra ecosystem, degrading permafrost and contributing to a northward migration of trees, all of which have serious implications for the future of the climate.

Warming air masses resulting from climate change create the conditions for intense forest fires in the cold north, explains Scott Goetz, a senior scientist and deputy director at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts.

You might have seen the article by now: " 'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens." The Onion, a satirical news site that runs fake news stories, has published a story with that headline three times over the last year and a half: this week after a shooter killed nine people at an Oregon community college; in June of this year after a violent rampage in a black Charleston church that also killed nine people; and last May, after a shooting at the University of California Santa Barbara that killed seven.

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Time now for sports.


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For D.C. Second-Graders, It's All About The Bikes

Oct 3, 2015

"What's the first thing we do when we get to our bike?" David Gesualdi asks his second-graders. "Check the air!" they yell back at him.

His 19 students are sitting in a semicircle in the gym at Walker-Jones Education Campus, not far from the U.S. Capitol.

Decked out in blue helmets, hair nets (for lice protection) and bright orange mesh vests, their eyes shift impatiently between their phys-ed teacher and the racks of shiny new BMX bikes behind him.

First, though, he walks them through the A-B-C's: "Air. Brake. Chain."

Jacques Pépin says his new cookbook, Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul in the Kitchen, is an invitation to join him for dinner at his house. Of course, you'll have to do all the cooking — but you can use his recipes.

Pépin will turn 80 years old this year. He says this is one of his last cookbooks, and it's timed to coincide what he says is his final PBS show, airing this fall: Jacques Pépin: Heart and Soul.

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It took more than two hours for the team of health workers to reach Antonio, a 6-month-old suffering from severe malnutrition in rural Guatemala.

The journey started on a Friday morning in May in the mountain town of Tecpán, with a harrowing hour-long drive over the hairpin turns of the Pan-American Highway. Then came a rough stretch of unpaved road to the tourist hub of Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlán.

Joe Biden is flying high as speculation swirls around his joining the race for the White House.

But while the vice president may have soaring popularity in the polls right now, the true test of whether he can keep his favorables afloat comes after he becomes a candidate.

President Obama is losing his patience when it comes to the country's gun laws. Speaking Thursday following a deadly shooting in Oregon, he sounded aggravated as he excoriated Congress for not doing more to pass stricter gun legislation.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this summer, he called gun policy "one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stymied."

It's wonder enough in sharply-divided Washington that nine Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate came together this week to do anything, let alone touch the once politically charged arena of crime and punishment.

But groups as different as the ACLU and Koch Industries had joined this year in a coalition to press for change, and so too did senators as different as Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin.