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NPR  A Home To Big Cats And Raccoons Recovers After Hurricane Irma


The 5-acre Kowiachobee Animal Preserve in Naples, Fla., holds more than 100 animals. Last month, Kowiachobee was hit by the eye of Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm. After an already wet season, the hurricane created more flooding on the property. Grace and John Slaby, the owners and operators of Kowiachobee, along with many volunteers, are now repairing cages damaged by the storm. John is working to re-create a safe space for those animals. The amount of help needed to make it through a storm grows quickly, John says. "We can get by with two or three people a day during the week [but] you literally need a small army to clean up the mess that's out there right now." They have no paid employees, but about a dozen regular volunteers help them with everyday operations from animal care to office operations. Another 20 to 30 volunteers help with disaster recovery, off-site visits and other community events. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @cassi_alexandra | Cassi Alexandra for NPR)

Monovithya Kem's father, Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha, was jailed in September, after his party fared better than expected in local elections in June. "Dictators see free, fair elections as a threat," she tells NPR. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @claireeclaire | Claire Harbage/NPR)

Neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, Okla., is investigating float therapy as a nonpharmacological treatment for people with conditions like anxiety and depression. "These are individuals with PTSD disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety — we covered the whole spectrum of different types of anxiety," he says. Before volunteers get in the pool, Feinstein maps their brains using functional MRI, which provides images of the brain's metabolic activity. Feinstein takes images again after a 60-minute float. And he's finding that floating seems to quiet activity in the amygdala, the brain's center of fear and anxiety. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @etlui | Esther Lui for NPR)

Pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim shares his insights on growing up in apartheid-era South Africa and what freedom means to him today. Follow the link in our bio to see the full video. (Credit: @jazznightinamerica)

Hahna Alexander spent years developing technology to create a shoe that could charge a battery with each step. But when she finally tested her prototype, she quickly discovered that people would rather carry a back-up battery than bother with a self-charging shoe. That was a tough realization.
The failure took her back to the drawing board, redeveloping the shoe to transmit data like GPS, step count, and weather conditions, to the internet. This new shoe could help keep track of troops in battle, or locate rescuers in the field. Failure, Hahna says, ultimately led her to create something better. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @oysterandplanet; @teamtumult | Frederic Siegel for NPR)

When it rains in Puerto Rico, it rains hard and it rains fast. And this week — three weeks after Hurricane
Maria — it has rained a lot. For portions of the island – especially in the mountains and in the valleys – that rain brings a continual trauma of mudslides and flooding. Even in San Juan, highway exits pool with a foot or more of water. But the capital city has fared comparatively well — it's the rural places that are doing much, much worse. And most likely, it won't be the last time: The forecast predicts rain through the weekend. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit @carolguzy | Carol Guzy
for NPR)

The remains at Journey's End Mobile Home Park in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Tuesday. The park manager says roughly 125 of 160 units were destroyed by the wildfire. Follow the link in our bio for our story on the California wildfires. (Credit: @narott | Nathan Rott/NPR)

Civita di Bagnoregio is a medieval Italian town perched atop a rocky outcrop 75 miles north of Rome, tucked between Tuscany and Umbria. Outside the town, there are signposts stating, "Civita, The Town that is Dying". And in fact, until a few years ago, Civita was at death's door. Then in 2013, the town took a bold step - one that has tempted many European cities reeling from the onslaught of mass tourism: it became the first (and perhaps the only) Italian town to charge visitors an entry fee. The result? Civita has become an international tourist destination. Copy and paste the link in our comments to see the full story. (Credit: Sylvia Poggioli/NPR)

When Hurricane Maria hit nearly three weeks ago, it wiped out more than three-quarters of the island's small agricultural sector overnight, by some estimates. "I think that maybe 90 percent of the plantation was destroyed by the hurricane," says Roberto Atienza, the third generation of his family to grow coffee on this land in central Puerto Rico. He has turned it into a specialty coffee company, with hand-picked beans that are dried in the sun.

Harvest season came late this year, he says. They had picked just 2 percent of the beans before Hurricane Maria blasted through. The ripple effects will continue — he expects the company, including the San Juan coffee shop, to run out of beans in December. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @nickolaihammar and @nicktmichael | Nickolai Hammer and Nick Michael/NPR)

Wilfredo Gonzalez (right), plays guitar during Sunday's service at The Iglesia Cristiana Monte Olivar in Utuado, Puerto Rico’s central mountainous region. The community is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Maria — including deaths from landslides, lack of electricity and blocked roads. The church's board president, Gonzalez lost three sisters in a landslide during the hurricane. Follow the link in our bio for the full story and more photos. (Credit: @carolguzy | Carol Guzy for NPR)

This week marks the anniversary of the 1937 massacre, in which Dominican soldiers targeted Haitians living near the Dominican-Haitian border. A team from NPR's @LatinoUSA gathered survivors' memories.⠀

Francisco Pierre, 90, was born to Haitian and Dominican parents in Loma de Cabrera, a Dominican town near the border with Haiti. He was 10 when a neighbor stopped by his house and called out, "Jump up and go across to Haiti right now, because they're killing people in the village."⠀

Pierre remembers filling a calabash with rice, loading up the family donkey and fleeing with his grandmother toward Haiti. Along the way, they passed the corpses of those who didn't make it. He lives in Ouanaminthe, Haiti, and has only returned once to the Dominican Republic — to visit a hospital when he was seriously ill. "I was scared of Dominicans," he says. Follow the link in our bio to see more photos and hear the full story. (Credit: @tatiluka | Tatiana Fernandez for Latino USA)

More than a quarter of a billion kids worldwide don't attend school, and that number hasn't budged for a decade. The Global Learning XPRIZE challenge is addressed specifically at these children, who may never see the inside of a schoolhouse or meet a trained teacher. For those who are in school, meanwhile, there is a massive gap in basic skills between the richest and the poorest. You can express this as points on a standardized test: in the United States, for example, that gap is almost 40 percentage points in math at the highest level. Follow the link in our bio for the full story. (Credit: @suharuogawa | Suharu Ogawa for NPR)

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