investigation

Red Cross Exec Doesn't Know What Portion Of Donations Go To Harvey Relief

As Americans are opening their wallets and donating to relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, one of the most prominent charities is the American Red Cross.

But donors might be surprised to learn the Red Cross doesn’t make clear what percentage of their dollars will go directly to helping the victims of the storm.

Dating back to 2014, NPR and Pro Publica have reported that the Red Cross misstated how donor dollars are spent.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Ailsa Chang, Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman was asked about reports that the charity has unusually high administrative costs.

“We are committed, I am committed, my team is committed to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas,” said Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics.

Morning Edition’s Ailsa Chang: Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief?

Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman: Yeah, I don’t think I know the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.

Listen to the full interview

Ok so I just rewatched Comey’s testimony and here are my highlights: 

  • Comey says he spoke with Trump nine times ― including six phone calls. (He only spoke one-on-one with Obama twice.)
  • Trump invited Comey to dinner at the White House. Comey assumed others would be there. It was just the two of them.
  • Comey was “uneasy” about the meeting. Then Trump asked for “loyalty.”
  • After an Oval Office meeting, Trump talked to Comey about “letting Flynn go.”
  • Comey “understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn.”
  • Comey told Jeff Sessions that Trump was acting inappropriately - Sessions did nothing. 
  • Trump told Comey he wasn’t involved with Russian “hookers.”

Lordy, I hope there are tapes, too. 

Originally posted by northgang

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As a neonatal intensive care nurse, Lauren Bloomstein had been taking care of other people’s babies for years. Finally, at 33, she was expecting one of her own. The prospect of becoming a mother made her giddy, her husband Larry recalled recently— “the happiest and most alive I’d ever seen her.”

Other than some nausea in her first trimester, the pregnancy went smoothly. Lauren was “tired in the beginning, achy in the end,” said Jackie Ennis, her best friend since high school, who talked to her at least once a day. “She gained what she’s supposed to. She looked great, she felt good, she worked as much as she could” — at least three 12-hour shifts a week until late into her ninth month. Larry, a doctor, helped monitor her blood pressure at home, and all was normal.

On her days off she got organized, picking out strollers and car seats, stocking up on diapers and onesies. After one last pre-baby vacation to the Caribbean, she and Larry went hunting for their forever home, settling on a brick colonial with black shutters and a big yard in Moorestown, N.J., not far from his new job as an orthopedic trauma surgeon in Camden. Lauren wanted the baby’s gender to be a surprise, so when she set up the nursery she left the walls unpainted — she figured she’d have plenty of time to choose colors later. Despite all she knew about what could go wrong, she seemed untroubled by the normal expectant-mom anxieties. Her only real worry was going into labor prematurely. “You have to stay in there at least until 32 weeks,” she would tell her belly. “I see how the babies do before 32. Just don’t come out too soon.”

When she reached 39 weeks and six days — Friday, Sept. 30, 2011 — Larry and Lauren drove to Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, the hospital where the two of them had met in 2004 and where she’d spent virtually her entire career. If anyone would watch out for her and her baby, Lauren figured, it would be the doctors and nurses she worked with on a daily basis. She was especially fond of her obstetrician/gynecologist, who had trained as a resident at Monmouth at the same time as Larry. Lauren wasn’t having contractions, but she and the ob/gyn agreed to schedule an induction of labor — he was on call that weekend and would be sure to handle the delivery himself.

Inductions often go slowly, and Lauren’s labor stretched well into the next day. Ennis talked to her on the phone several times: “She said she was feeling okay, she was just really uncomfortable.” At one point, Lauren was overcome by a sudden, sharp pain in her back near her kidneys or liver, but the nurses bumped up her epidural and the stabbing stopped.

Inductions have been associated with higher cesarean-section rates, but Lauren progressed well enough to deliver vaginally. On Saturday, Oct. 1, at 6:49 p.m., 23 hours after she checked into the hospital, Hailey Anne Bloomstein was born, weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Larry and Lauren’s family had been camped out in the waiting room; now they swarmed into the delivery area to ooh and aah, marveling at how Lauren seemed to glow.

Larry floated around on his own cloud of euphoria, phone camera in hand. In one 35-second video, Lauren holds their daughter on her chest, stroking her cheek with a practiced touch. Hailey is bundled in hospital-issued pastels and flannel, unusually alert for a newborn; she studies her mother’s face as if trying to make sense of a mystery that will never be solved. The delivery room staff bustles in the background in the low-key way of people who believe everything has gone exactly as it’s supposed to.

Then Lauren looks directly at the camera, her eyes brimming.

Twenty hours later, she was dead.

Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger

Dragons are feared. They’re dangerous. They’re huge and powerful and could crush most men with a step. Only, Person A? They aren’t. Sure, they’re a dragon. They have scales and some magic and a lair with a nice sized hoard ( though it’s mostly only sentimental value ), but most of the time they travel the world as a human, exploring and investigating the world as a whole; fascinated by the humans and elves and all the other interesting little mortals. Of course, they are a little peeved by the whole bad reputation they have - especially because they wouldn’t hurt a fly. But they enjoy their life largely. Traveling around and pretending to be mortal bard/knight/ranger/etc, they’ve seen a lot.

Person B is another dragon. Their attitude towards the mortals is inconsequential, because regardless of it, they have come under attack. A local lord claims that B was behind the mass destruction of several cities, and thus, B was forced out of their home - their lair - and out into the world. Only, a massive dragon flying through the sky is a little conspicuous, so they’ve opted to go incognito as a human.

Person A is curious though. Having heard of B before, though not having met them, they doubt B actually did anything, and set out to investigate. B’s investigating too, and they happen upon each other - completely clueless as to their true forms. Together they team up to get to the bottom of it, and set out on a quest, facing off against, wizards, giants, knights, and - worst of all - politicians.

NPR journalists David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna died a year ago this week, ambushed on a remote road in southern Afghanistan while on a reporting assignment traveling with the Afghan National Army.

Since their deaths, NPR has been investigating what happened, and today we are sharing new information about what we learned. It’s a very different story from what we originally understood.

The two men were not the random victims of bad timing in a dangerous place, as initial reports indicated. Rather, the journalists’ convoy was specifically targeted by attackers who had been tipped off to the presence of Americans in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Gilkey, an experienced photojournalist, and Tamanna, an Afghan reporter NPR hired to work with him, were sitting together in a Humvee when they were attacked.

“After the loss of our colleagues, we wanted to be sure we understood what really happened on the road that day,” said Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news and editorial director at NPR. “So we kept reporting.”

Not A Random Attack: New Details Emerge From Investigation Of Slain NPR Journalists

Illustration: Isabel Seliger for NPR
Caption: Journalists David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna were killed on the road to Marjah, Afghanistan, last year during a reporting trip.

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes To Step Aside From Russia Probe

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes says he is temporarily stepping aside from the committee’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Nunes will remain as the committee’s chairman and remain involved in other matters before the panel. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, will take lead on the Russia investigation.

The chairman has been dogged by calls that he recuse himself after he “secretly went to the White House grounds to meet with a source, before he surprised his colleagues by briefing the president — and the press — on information they hadn’t seen,” as we’ve reported.

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