Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:07 am
Update at 6:41 a.m. ET. The Smoke Is Black:
Smoke just started pouring from a special chimney above the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City — and its dark color means the 115 cardinals meeting inside the chapel have not yet agreed on a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
If all has gone as planned inside the chapel, where the cardinals are meeting in secret, they have now cast three ballots and no one name has been written on at last two-thirds of the slips of paper. It takes two-thirds — 77 votes — to become leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Even if the cardinals now locked away in the Sistine Chapel are losing sleep over who will become the next pope, that does not mean that you have to, thanks to Popealarm.com. The service is provided by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. It lets eager Vatican watchers sign up for a text or an email alert that will go out as soon as the pope is chosen.
Their slogan? When the smoke goes up, you'll know what's going down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Police Deputy Donna Rogan relived her high school years. She went undercover pretending to be a transfer student in Carter County, Tennessee. The Elizabethton Star reports it was called Operation Jump Street, after the old TV show. Now, we do not know Ms. Rogan's grades or which boys asked her out. But we do know she played a student convincingly enough to slip into the local drug culture, gathering information leading to 14 arrests.
This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.
Ahmad "Harvester" Heidar is a computer software engineer whose work for the Syrian rebels includes sweeping the hard drives of detained anti-government activists, and trying to develop a robot that will help extract sniper victims in Syria. Turkish officials have given Heidar the green light to develop a prototype of his robot, which he calls Tina.
The Internet is a battleground in Syria, a place where President Bashar Assad's regime has mounted a sophisticated surveillance campaign that includes monitoring and arresting activists by tracking their Facebook pages.
A Syrian rebel in the city of Kfar Nbouda holds a grenade launcher in February, part of a recent weapons shipment to the rebels by the Saudi government. Arms are not the only thing flowing from Saudi Arabia to Syria. Young Saudis are joining Islamist rebels in a "holy war" against President Bashar Assad.
Following a circuitous route from Saudi Arabia up through Turkey or Jordan and then crossing a lawless border, hundreds of young Saudis are secretly making their way into Syria to join groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, GlobalPost has learned.
With the tacit approval from the House of Saud and financial support from wealthy Saudi elites, the young men take up arms in what Saudi clerics have called a "jihad," or "holy war," against the Assad regime.
Linwood Hearne, 64, and his wife, Evelyn, 47, stand near Interstate 83 in Baltimore where they have slept on and off for the past four years. According to the local nonprofit Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), a growing percentage of homeless patients nationally are 50 or older, with complex mental and physical conditions.
Behler lost his job as a piano tuner and has been living in shelters for a year and a half. "I'm going to find the way back," he says, "and part of this lobbying effort is making inroads in that respect." The two pass time at a 24-hour Dunkin' Donuts before HCH opens for the day.
Evelyn displays her bag of prescription medications, which she says are for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression. HCH offers comprehensive services, including medical care, prescription subsidies, mental health services, housing assistance, and access to education and employment.
HCH also runs a convalescent floor in a nearby shelter where patients can recover from fractures or recent surgeries. Susan Zator, a community nurse for more than 41 years, bandages 66-year-old William Jones' foot injury. Zator says this service is vital for homeless men and women who cannot recover properly while living on the street.
Albert Monroe and many others sleep on the porch and under the bright lights of the HCH clinic. Many say it's safer than sleeping under the highway or in city shelters, where theft and violence aren't uncommon.
Paul Behler, 59, and Tony Simmons, 51, leave a shelter where residents have to be out at 5 a.m. HCH also cultivates potential advocates still struggling to get back on their feet, like Behler and Simmons.
Behler and Simmons take up issues on behalf of the homeless population. Here, they discuss Maryland House Bill 137, which calls for proof of identification at polling places, before going to a hearing in Annapolis. Simmons argues that many homeless have lost their IDs but shouldn't be disenfranchised.
Simmons irons a dress shirt at his storage unit, which he shares with three other homeless men, in preparation for the hearing. A father of three, he became homeless after a 2011 drug arrest and has been staying in shelters for 14 months.
Linwood has long suffered from schizophrenia and admits that he was evicted from public housing after stabbing a neighbor in a fight. Many of the city's chronic homeless have criminal records, which makes it harder to get employment. "I'm getting older, and being out on the streets plays with my mental stability," he says.
Meredith Johnston, HCH's director of psychiatry, meets with Linwood once a month to review his medications and screen for behavioral symptoms. "Getting into housing will be a huge stabilizing change for Linwood and Evelyn," Johnston says.
Physician assistant Jean Prevas tends to Jones' leg wound. Many aging homeless suffer from ailments not readily visible to outsiders. Medical conditions often go untreated and escalate into more acute health problems.
Linwood Hearne, 64, and his wife, Evelyn, 47, stand near Interstate 83 in Baltimore where they slept on and off for the past four years. Increasingly, the nation's homeless population is getting older, sicker and fraught with complex medical conditions.
If aging is not for sissies, that's especially true if you're homeless. You can be on your feet for hours, or forced to sleep in the frigid cold or seriously ill with no place to go. But, increasingly, the nation's homeless population is getting older. By some estimates, more than half of single homeless adults are 47 or older.
And there's growing alarm about what this means — both for the aging homeless and for those who have to foot the bill. The cost to society, especially for health care and social services, could mushroom.