NPR News

A Mongolian horse that has long been hailed as the last truly wild horse species in existence isn't really all that wild.

It turns out that Przewalski's horses are actually feral descendants of the first horses that humans are known to have domesticated, around 5,500 years ago.

What's more, the modern horses that people ride today cannot be traced to those early steeds. That means humans must have tamed wild horses once again later on, somewhere else, but no one knows where or when.

Tens of thousands of years ago, the first artists painted images on the walls of caves. They collected, painted and ground holes in shells, presumably to wear. It was the very first art, created by what we call "modern humans," or Homo sapiens.

SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket Thursday morning.

But the hard part came next: trying to catch the rocket's falling nose cone with a big net on a ship in the ocean.

Wait, what?

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

The Federal Communications Commission is working toward officially taking current net neutrality rules off the books. The agency took the requisite formal step of publishing the rules on Thursday, opening the door for lawsuits from a number of state attorneys general and advocacy groups.

A quarter of a million Americans die every year from sepsis, which is the body's reaction to overwhelming infection. This cascade of organ failure can be nipped in the bud if health care workers know it's ramping up, but that's often not easy to do.

Take $3,500 and a one-way ticket to Africa by April, or face forced deportation or jail.

This is Israel's new plan for thousands of East African migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, who crossed the Sinai Desert into Israel over the last decade.

What if your goal was to just write some good songs? What if you and your longtime friend did that and then went back to your day jobs at a law firm and in the music industry? Then what if everything changed? Your song gets 10 millions plays on Spotify, you are spotlighted by NPR Music, you perform live on Conan and you sign a major label deal — and all before your debut album's release!

Tori Amos made her major-label debut not with her landmark album Little Earthquakes, but with an embarrassingly cheesy hair-metal album, Y Kant Tori Read. It was 1988, albums by Bon Jovi and Poison were selling like crazy and Atlantic Records — Amos' label at the time — wanted her to try something similar. It was a massive flop, but Amos came out of it with the chance to fight for the piano-driven music she had wanted to make all along.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

Just over a week after 17 people were killed at Parkland, Fla., high school, National Rifle Association executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery, defiant speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday at the National Harbor in Maryland. LaPierre defended Second Amendment rights and warned of a "socialist agenda" intended to strip firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

The blind have descended in droves on the Bisidimo Hospital in Eastern Ethiopia.

The Himalayan Cataract Project is hosting a mass cataract surgery campaign at the medical compound that used to be a leper colony. For one week a team from the nonprofit has set up seven operating tables in four operating rooms and they're offering free cataract surgery to anyone who needs it.

On the first day of the campaign it's clear that the need is great.

Edward Sanders was 17 years old when he was convicted of first degree murder in 1975. He was a passenger in the car of a drive-by shooting. He's now 60 and he was paroled this past summer — after spending 42 1/2 years in prison.

Sanders says he is nothing like the teenager sentenced four decades ago. "I don't identify with that youth that committed the offenses he committed. I condemn that youth. I rebuke his behavior. I'm not that person."

It wasn't the Miracle on Ice, exactly — but when the U.S. men's curling team squared up with their Canadian counterparts in the Olympic semifinal, few could have expected what happened next. Canadian men have won gold at each of the past three Winter Games, after all, and Americans had never — ever! — won an Olympic semifinal.

That all changed Thursday.

The U.S., led by captain John Shuster, shocked the traditional powerhouse in the close contest, riding a late surge of momentum to win 5-3.

Brett Dennen brings great vibes with him wherever he goes. He stopped by our studio for a solo acoustic set on the release date of his new EP, Let's. The first single, "Already Gone," is an easy favorite.

SET LIST

  • "Already Gone"

Detroit-bred rapper and producer Black Milk's new video for "Laugh Now Cry Later" plays like an episode of Netflix's sci-fi horror hit Black Mirror, with its incisive commentary on the impact of technology.

Blind Pilot On Mountain Stage

12 hours ago

Singer and guitarist Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dubrowski began making music together in Portland, Ore. almost a decade ago. Since then, they've grown their band, Blind Pilot, by adding four additional talents to fill out their folk-pop melodies. Since 2008, the band has released three records and made several high-profile television appearances, as well as taken the stage at various large-scale music festivals throughout the country.

Fig and pomegranate trees, grapes, carrots, and narcissus flowers are some of the plants that Aveen Ismail like to grow in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq where they live. That's because these plants remind her of Syria and home.

At first, Ismail did not find the dry land welcoming. But she values greenery and gardening, so she cultivated a small patch of land next to the house her family built in the camp.

Russian police detained Alexei Navalny for less than an hour Thursday, the prominent opposition leader tweeted Thursday. Navalny said that during the brief arrest, which came just as he was leaving a dental appointment, officials warned him that he faces up to 30 days in prison for organizing illegal protests.

"They offered me a lift somewhere," he said, according to a translation by Reuters, "but I declined and have gone to work. I don't understand what happened, and why it took seven people to detain me."

Aleksandr Krushelnitckii has officially lost his Olympic bronze.

I remember back during the 1997-98 school year when we were all stunned by five school shootings within a period of eight months in places few Americans had heard of: Pearl, Miss., West Paducah, Ky., Jonesboro, Ark., Edinboro, Penn., and Springfield, Ore.

Updated 10:30 a.m. ET

Ford Motor Co.'s North American President Raj Nair has been forced out over allegations of "inappropriate behavior." The company didn't offer many details.

In a statement, Ford said that Nair, 53, is leaving the company effective immediately.

Mind-altering substances have inspired artists for centuries, but going sober isn't usually associated with flights of wild creativity. Perhaps only the legendary French artist Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, could be so tickled, dizzied and generally thrown for a loop by the experience of giving up marijuana. Inside Moebius is based on notebooks he kept after "weed[ing] himself out" in the early 2000s, but it reads more like the work of a teenager doing LSD for the first time. This is Moebius' brain off drugs. It's sobriety as you've never seen it before.

Installation Progresses On Bezos-Backed 10,000-Year Clock

17 hours ago

A 500-foot-tall clock designed to encourage long-range thinking is being constructed inside a mountain range in West Texas on property owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Bezos released a time-lapse video of the installation on Tuesday.

"49 Hairflips," one of the breakup songs on Jonathan Wilson's arrestingly ambitious third solo album, is set late at night, in the reflecting hour. The tune is a waltz with a "Mr. Bojangles" gait, and Wilson darkens it by singing listlessly, with almost chemical detachment. Near the end, just after the Hollywood strings clear out, he makes a declaration: "I'm not leaving these walls without the prettiest song I can find."

The music of Soccer Mommy — aka 20-year-old Nashville songwriter Sophie Allison — often focuses on uneasy desire, sometimes peered at in retrospect and always with a kind of world-weary wisdom. "I want to be the one you miss when you're alone / I want to be the one you're kissing when you're stoned ... I'm clawing at your skin / trying to see your bones," Allison sings on the dreamy "Skin" from her new album, Clean.

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